God Loves Directly, Not Virtually.

One of the most difficult aspects of 2020 has been the lockdowns and social distancing measures that have been implemented to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Being separated from friends and family is never pleasant. Being separated during holidays is even more frustrating. Thankfully, technology has allowed us to stay in touch and celebrate special occasions through virtual get-togethers.

God’s love isn’t something we experience virtually. It’s tangible in the sense that we see it in everything from the kindness of strangers to the majesty of the Milky Way. God’s love is so vast that Paul described it as more than we could ever imagine. That’s saying something!

God’s greatest expression of love, of course, was sending His son, Jesus Christ, to earth for the purpose of being the sacrifice for our sins. Believe it or not, the partridge in a pear tree in the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas” is symbolic of this most excellent gift. Unlike most other birds, partridges are known to make their nests on the ground, not in a tree. And compared to other animals, partridges also exhibit an unusual degree of commitment to their mates over their full lifetime.

When we think of someone who came down from heaven to dwell among us – and then demonstrated an unnatural loving commitment to all people – our thoughts naturally turn to Jesus. The fact that the partridge is found in a pear tree also reminds us that, even though Jesus was first laid in a manger, he would one day be laid in a tomb after dying upon a cross hewn from a tree.

The partridge in a pear tree symbolizes Jesus Christ, the best Christmas gift ever! It’s also the only gift given on every day of the traditional twelve days of Christmas, which reminds us again of the important and special nature of this gift.


Who’s Ready for 2020 to be Over?

With 2020 now in its final month, it’s clear this has been one of the most difficult and challenging years in recent American history. There’s no need to catalog the many. many societal and personal conflicts we’ve witnessed and experienced this year. As we look to 2021, the question in everyone’s mind seems to be this: “Will next year be better?”

One of the great things about Christmas is that it comes at the end of the year. It’s something we can look forward to throughout the year and, for many, the joy of the Christmas season carries right over into the New Year’s Day holiday. It’s fitting that a holiday with such a deep spiritual meaning as Christmas should come at a time when we reflect on the current year and look ahead to a new year.

One of the purposes of writing My True Love’s Gifts was to help people reconnect with God at this time of year. The traditional twelve days of the Christmas season spans from December 25th through January 5th. If you want to really deepen your relationship with God over what amounts to less than two weeks, check out the daily devotionals in this book and see God’s loving generosity revealed.

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WDKY Interview

Check out this interview from 2017 and see how the words of an old Christmas carol that we all know and love has a rich Spiritual meaning. My True Love’s Gifts is a great way to reconnect with God during the traditional twelve days of Christmas!

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My True Love’s Gifts to be Featured at the 2018 Kentucky Book Fair

The Kentucky Book Festival will be held on November 12-17, 2018 and culminates with the 37th annual Kentucky Book Fair on Saturday, November 17th at the Kentucky Horse Park’s Alltech Arena.  My True Love’s Gifts will be featured at the Kentucky Book Fair.  Stay tuned for more information on how you can participate or visit the Kentucky Humanities Council at www.kyhumanities.org

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The Cost of Christmas


The PNC Christmas Price Index was released recently.  For over 30 years, the folks at PNC have tracked the cost of each of the gifts in The Twelve Days of Christmas.  This year, the cost of giving each gift in the song just once would be $34,558.65.  That’s a 0.06% increase from last year.  The least expensive gift on the list is the eight maids a’milking, which will only set you back by $58.  But if you want seven swans a’swimming, be prepared to pay over $13,000.  Swans are in high demand these days.  If you were to give every gift that is given in the song (e.g. a partridge and a pear tree times twelve, eleven pairs of turtledoves, etc.), the total cost of Christmas would be $157,558 according to PNC.  Wow!


The PNC Christmas Price Index tracks the literal cost of Christmas, but we know that the actual cost of Christmas is much greater.  In My True Love’s Gifts, we find that the partridge and the pear tree is symbolic of Jesus Christ on a cross.  The only gift given on every day of the traditional Christmas season is the Savior of the World who came to be offered as a sacrifice for sin.  That’s an expensive gift.

And how much would you pay to know that God’s power is immeasurable and that His promises are always kept?  What’s the value of having generations of faithful Christians who have come before us, preserving and sharing the faith?  What sort of a price can you put on being able to walk on the streets of heaven one day?  Clearly, Christmas is about God’s loving generosity and, when we understand the symbolism behind each of the gifts in The Twelve Days of Christmas, we are reminded just how fortunate we are to be the recipients of the True Love’s real gifts.

It’s for this reason that Paul writes in Ephesians 3:17-19, “And I pray that you…may have power, together with all the Lord’s people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” At Christmas we see quite clearly that God’s love is priceless.

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Kirkus Reviews My True Love’s Gifts


Kirkus Reviews, the publishing industry’s leader in providing thoughtful critiques and analysis of new books has published its review of My True Love’s Gifts, calling it “a thought-provoking guide to a spiritually charged holiday tune.”  The review compliments the author’s writing style, stating, “Samford writes clearly and informally, carefully explaining both the song and its biblical references. This is not a scholarly study…but it still achieves exegetical seriousness.”  Check out the full review of My True Love’s Gifts and order your copy today!

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Merry Christmas!

Hello! Welcome to My True Love’s Gifts: Rediscovering God in “The Twelve Days of Christmas”.  Isn’t it ironic that, at one of the times of the year when we most want to feel God’s presence in our lives, we are often too busy to do so.  But here’s the thing.  Christmas is about so much more than decorating, or gifts, or even the traditional nativity scene.  Christmas is all about God’s loving generosity.  This simple reality hit me in a place where I didn’t expect to find it – in the words of a 400 year old Christmas carol that we all know and love.  It seems there is a profound message in the gifts given in “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”  Over the next few months, we will see how this song blesses us personally and how My True Love’s Gifts will help bless others.  Let’s make this Christmas the best, most meaningful Christmas ever!