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Christ-Centered Countdown: Weekly Challenges for a Sacred Season

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As December unfolds and the holiday season gathers momentum, it's easy to get caught up in the commotion of merriment. It's important to remember what Christmas is really about, beyond the gifts and decorations. Christmas is meant to celebrate the birth of Jesus and the values of love and hope that come with it. Keeping this true meaning a priority over all of the seasonal activities makes Christmastime more meaningful. Doing this helps us appreciate the joy of giving, be thankful for what we have, and enjoy real connections with others. 

To help maintain the central focus on Christ's birth throughout the Christmas season, we've crafted a calendar that has been thoughtfully designed to steer your attention back to the spiritual essence of Christmas, providing simple yet meaningful ways to honor and celebrate the joyous occasion of Jesus' birth. From simple acts of kindness to finding quiet moments of connection, each daily suggestion is a simple nudge to shift your attention from the busy routine to what really matters during the holiday season. When you use this calendar, you voluntarily make room for joy, kindness, and the true meaning of Christmas throughout the month. Take this opportunity to make the season more meaningful and share the warmth of Christ's love with those around you. Challenge yourself to follow through with two activities from the calendar each week. 

Feel free to download a copy of the calendar, or follow us on social media, where we will share each day's challenge on our stories. You’ll notice that on December 1, the challenge is to begin each day with an Advent Calendar Devotional. We’ve gone ahead and created a devotional for December 1-25. You can find a printable version for download, and we will also be sharing each devotional on social media, too. 
Download a copy of the Christmas Calendar Challenge Here
Download the Daily Advent Calendar Devotionals Here
Follow Us on Instagram Here
Follow Us on Facebook Here

Accept the Challenge

As we roll through December, think of this calendar as a friendly guide steering us back to what Christmas is all about. Each day's idea, from spreading kindness to taking a moment for some soul-searching, is a simple way to keep the holiday spirit real. In the thick of the holiday chaos, let's make these little choices to add some joy, spread positive energy, and remember what Christmas is truly about. May our days be filled with giving, thoughtful moments, and a good dose of the real magic of Christmas.

-Torrance Church of Christ

A Feast for the Soul: Family Devotionals Before Thanksgiving Dinner

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As the aroma of Thanksgiving feasts fills the air and families gather around tables adorned with gratitude, there's an opportunity to boost the spirit before indulging in the bountiful meal. Today we are sharing four heartwarming devotionals that are designed to usher in a sense of thankfulness and unity. Each devotional provides moments of connection and reflection, deepening bonds as we prepare our hearts to celebrate Thanksgiving in the most meaningful way—with family and a spirit of gratitude.

Devotional 1: "Overflowing Gratitude"

Scripture: Psalm 107:1 (NIV)
"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever."

This devotional, titled "Overflowing Gratitude," centers around Psalm 107:1, urging individuals to give thanks to the Lord for His enduring love. It encourages self-reflection on moments of experiencing God's goodness, emphasizing gratitude beyond positive situations. The devotional suggests actively engaging in sharing examples of blessings and concludes with a prayer for nurturing hearts of gratitude and encouragement to let gratitude transform one's perspective.

Download the PDF here

Devotional 2: "Thanksgiving Joy"

Scripture: Philippians 4:4 (NIV)
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!"

The devotional, "Thanksgiving Joy," centers on Philippians 4:4, encouraging individuals to rejoice in the Lord always. It reflects on the connection between gratitude and joy, emphasizing how thanksgiving can bring about a deep sense of rejoicing. The reflection prompts consideration of moments when gratitude has brought joy and challenges readers to find joy in expressing thanks for both blessings and lessons learned. The prayer seeks help in nurturing a spirit of gratitude for lasting joy, and the encouragement wishes for the joy of the Lord to fill hearts as gratitude becomes a testimony of being anchored in His love during Thanksgiving.

Download the PDF here

Devotional 3: "The Table of Thanksgiving"

Scripture: Psalm 23:5 (NIV)
"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows."

The devotional, "The Table of Thanksgiving," draws inspiration from Psalm 23:5, presenting a metaphorical "table of thanksgiving" symbolizing God's provision and abundance. It encourages reflection on areas of abundant provision, moments of feeling God's presence in challenges and recognizing His overflowing love. The application suggests intentionally acknowledging God's presence and sharing stories of His generosity during Thanksgiving, fostering gratitude and appreciation. The prayer expresses thanks for God's blessings and seeks His guidance in recognizing His hand at work. The encouragement wishes for a sense of awe and gratitude to fill hearts at the Thanksgiving table.

Download the PDF here

Devotional 4: "A Thankful Heart"

Scripture: Colossians 3:15 (NIV)
"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful."

The devotional, "A Thankful Heart," focuses on Colossians 3:15, highlighting the connection between gratitude and the peace of Christ. It encourages reflection on moments when gratitude has brought inner peace and suggests considering how a thankful attitude can impact relationships. Individuals are encouraged to commit to nurturing a grateful heart as a daily habit, extending peace and gratitude to others, and fostering unity within the community. The prayer expresses gratitude for the peace that comes from a thankful heart and seeks guidance in expressing gratitude in all circumstances. The encouragement emphasizes letting gratitude be the key to opening the door to inner peace and unity.

Download the PDF here

May your Thanksgiving Celebration be Abundant in Love, Faith, and the Warmth of Family

As you incorporate these family devotionals into your Thanksgiving traditions, may the moments of reflection and gratitude become threads weaving the fabric of togetherness through shared faith and love. May the essence of thanksgiving linger in your hearts, transforming the gathering around your table into a truly blessed and joy-filled occasion. Let these moments of devotion be a foundation for lasting memories, reinforcing the significance of gratitude not just during the holiday season but throughout the entire year. 

Happy Thanksgiving,

Your Friends from Torrance Church of Christ





Building Strong Foundations

In the timeless verses of Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus shares a profound metaphor that transcends the ages, resonating with universal truths and enduring relevance.

The imagery of building a house with a solid foundation, capable of withstanding the storms that inevitably assail, reveals a parallel to the challenges and choices we encounter in our lives. This scripture encapsulates the universal importance of constructing a well-built life on an unshakable foundation, emphasizing the significance of our choices and the enduring wisdom found in the teachings of Christ. Join us as we dissect the words of this parable and its application to the challenges that echo through the corridors of our existence.

The Wise Builder - Foundation on the Rock

The wise builder emerges as a luminary figure, embodying qualities that resonate with intentionality and discernment. At the core of their character lies wisdom, an extensive understanding of Christ's teachings that transcends the temporary allure of immediate gratification. The wise builder's decision-making process is thoughtful and deliberate, extending beyond the immediate present to consider the ongoing implications of each choice. It's a forward-thinking approach grounded in the principles of prudence and sagacity.

In the symbolic landscape painted by the parable, the rock becomes more than mere geological matter; it becomes a powerful representation of Christ Himself. Choosing to build on the rock signifies more than architectural stability; it signifies a commitment to a foundation firmly anchored in the unchanging principles of faith, trust, and obedience to the teachings of Jesus. Analogous to a physical structure fortified in rock withstanding external pressures, a foundation rooted in Christ offers stability and resilience amid life's tumultuous challenges.

The Foolish Builder - Foundation on the Sand

Serving as a cautionary tale, the fragility of the house on the sand urges us to reflect on the consequences of neglecting to build upon a foundation fixed in Christ. As the storms loomed on the horizon, the challenges faced by the foolish builder began to unfold. These storms, symbolizing the trials and uncertainties that pepper our human journey, weren't merely meteorological but rather reflections of conflicts and struggles. The foundation built upon the loose sand is as shifting and unreliable as the transient values of the world; a life constructed on fleeting ideals; a life devoid of a solid connection with Christ. Inherent to the human experience, the storms laid bare the vulnerability of a foundation built on sand— be they personal, relational, or existential. 

Applying the Lesson in Daily Life

The metaphor of a well-built house becomes a poignant analogy for the resilience and stability required in the face of life's storms, bringing to light the practicality of building a life with a foundation embedded in faith. Representing an individual who listens to the teachings of Christ and puts them into practice; actively applying them to shape their life, the wise builder encourages us to reflect on the areas where our foundations may need reinforcement, acknowledging weaknesses and committing to intentional growth. 

Assessing our foundations requires a deliberate introspection into our beliefs, the quality of our connections, and the reasoning behind our choices. Pause for a moment and ask yourself: Is your faith grounded in the principles of Christ? Consider the intricate architecture of your relationships. Are they built on the solid bedrock of love, trust, and mutual respect? When it comes to decision-making, scrutinize your choices. Do they coincide with your values and carve a path toward a lasting vision?

The journey to a robust foundation is a continual process — one that involves self-awareness, commitment, and a reliance on Christ. Below are steps you can take to evaluate and fortify your foundations.


In the face of life's inevitable storms, the parable extends the invitation to build our lives on the unshakable foundation of Christ. As you start to identify cracks within your foundation, may you find encouragement in the power of intentional reconstruction. Let your decisions, relationships, and faith be anchored in the bedrock of Christ's teachings. The call to action is now yours — reflect, fortify, and build. For in the intentional construction of a life rooted in Christ, you forge a foundation that withstands the ferocity of the storms.

-Torrance Church of Christ

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