Now that the turkey leftovers have been pushed to the back of the refrigerator and forgotten about I can finally say without reserve, “Merry Christmas!”  

Man, I love the Advent Season!

One of the great things Christmas does, is it gives way to the New Year.  

We get to erase the past and start over and who does not like a “do-over?” In my business we call this hope.

When I was pulling down the Christmas decorations out of the attic this year I found some unused wrapping paper from last year … it made me pause and say, “What were we thinking?” We actually wrapped gifts for people we loved in that stuff?  

Wow, no wonder we failed to get many gifts in return … so this year we are going all out, going to buy some nice shiny paper without any depictions of a distorted Santa or skinny trees. We are even going to buy some of those tags that say, “To” and “From” instead of cutting out little squares from the bad wrapping paper, folding them over and writing people’s names with a Bic ink pen we stole from the bank … I guess I am saying we are going to actually put some effort into what we do and show some people we actually care about them.  

Did I just say that?  

You bet I did. I think it was Roger Staubach who said, “There are no traffic jams on the extra mile.”

Shrink is probably my New Year’s Resolution (John 3:30).  John the 1st Baptist (love him) said that, “He must decrease so that the Rabbi has room to increase.”  

The road to greatness is not found in ascension but rather descension … I read somewhere if you want to be first you have to be last.  

I’m competitive so striving for last place is going to mess up my entire metric … it’s not that I have not come in last place before, I am sure I have, it’s just that I did not set out for it.

Last place means I will put others before me, think of others as more important than myself … maybe I don’t buy myself that new pair of running shoes that I think I deserve … maybe I buy someone else those running shoes whom I am certain do not deserve them … see, it totally messes with your head … that’s what Jesus does best. He turns the kingdom you have built upside down.  Good thing for grace, I mean good thing for do-overs.

Now go and clean out your refrigerator before someone eats that stuff and gets sick.  :-)  

Happy early New Year!

Ken Ansell is the pastor of Community Life Church in Waxahachie ( The church meets at 10:30 Sunday mornings at the Waxahachie Country Club.