Neosho High School Vo-Ag Instructor Austin Steele was Thursday's keynote speaker during the Laymen's League Pre-Christmas Services, held at Northside Baptist Church.

Neosho High School Vo-Ag Instructor Austin Steele was Thursday's keynote speaker during the Laymen's League Pre-Christmas Services, held at Northside Baptist Church.
"My Christmases growing up were pretty typical in my opinion,: he said. "We would go shopping a couple of weeks before Christmas. Wrap all of our gifts, put them under the tree. Christmas morning, we would all wake up as a a family, open them up, have Christmas cleanup and then have dinner."
Steele outlined three things on the league's theme, "What Christmas Means to Me."
"The first one is Christmas means God keeps his promises," said Steele.
He read Proverbs 25:14.
"Like clouds and wind without rain is one who boasts of gifts never given," according to the Bible verse.
"Rest assured, God always falls through on his promises... God's promises always come true," he said. "Christmas means promises, God is always there for us and if He says he is going to do something, He is going to do it."
Steele's second item dealt with "love."
"Christmas means that God is love," he said. "In John 3:16, we are all familiar with this verse, it says, 'For God so loved the world, that He gave is one and only son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.'  God knew that we needed a savior. ... The word 'love,' is used in many different contexts, but when God uses the word 'love' it is even different in itself, it is more powerful than we can even understand, because we use the word 'love' all of the time. but we don't use it in the same context that God does... when I think about Christmas time, I think that love is really one of those things that should be portrayed every day, not just during Christmas season, but all of the time... I think that love is very much intertwined in this season and this reason for the season."
Steele's final item dealt with "hope."
"Christmas means hope," he said. "The Webster Dictionary defines 'hope' as to expect with confidence. I thought that was a very interesting definition, but very accurate. As Christians we have hope, we are expecting with confidence that Christ is going to follow through and going to return someday. On the hope side of things that God has promised us that in the future, that He is going to send us His Son back to save us and take us all to Heaven with Him... We have to spread His love on Earth as much as we can, spread his message about His son, He died for us and rose again for us. but the greatest hope is that He is coming again for us one day, we will be reunited with our loved ones in Heaven and that we can be reunited with Christ up there."
In conclusion, Steele said, "That is what Christmas means to me, the promises that God has outlined for us, the love that He shows us everyday that we need to show everyone around us and  in the hope that  hopefully in the near future, Christ is coming back for us one day and He is going to call us back home again to meet our Savior and Lord up there."