Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year Buttons for ALL

Friday is the New Year, so I want to celebrate by giving blog awards. Jeanette, gave this one away to her readers, and I would like to do the same. If you are one of my readers and haven't been given this button, please take it and put it on your blog. We all seem to write to and for each other, and ya'll are an inspiration to me.

This next one, Parlsey gave out on the condition you say five things you love. Soooo, if you want this one, you must list those five things. I'll be watching!

Okay, here goes. Besides the most important and obvious, which are God, family, friends, health; I'm listing some minor ones that I love, in no particular order.

1. The smell of something sweet in the oven baking.

2. My dog laying his head on my lap. (He's a Golden, so only that fits..)

3. The salt-tinged air on the beach with a slight breeze in my hair. (We live about 5 miles from the beach.)

4. A new book waiting to be explored. And when good writing thoughts come to mind.

5. My gardenias in full bloom, and fresh cut grass. (Even tho' both make me sneeze...sigh...)

I could go on, but that would be boring. So what do you love? And that word may be loosely used. Wishing all,

Happy New Year!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Too Big Gift-Children Christmas Truth

For Christmas my two-year-old son, wanted anything football, oh, and the Hot Wheels, three wheeler you see behind him. He repeatedly asked for a "hemit" and football so we gave in. But the helmet was a tad big, and he wasn't sure how to place it on his head. But he loved it! He wanted to wear it everywhere. However, there were times that was not appropriate. Say, like church... But he did grow into it.

"For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And the Child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him." Luke 2:11, 40

In this last post of Children's Christmas Truth, we see Jesus grows and matures as a child. The Savior yes, but much maturing had to occur before that awful, amazing day of grace and mercy.

Sometimes the Lord's gifts require time to fulfill.

I'm learning to believe one gift the Lord gave me, is writing. I went to a writers conference 3 years ago with a written devotional. They told me the idea had merit, but too niche and too short. There I met wonderful Christian sisters who have encouraged me and helped me grow into this craft of writing. What I wrote then, yaouza was awful! Now the book is completely changed. I was not "big" enough (maturity wise..snicker) for what I wanted to do then. The Lord gave me the desire, but I didn't even know how to "wear" it either. I had and still have much maturing to do with the gift and in God's grace to grow.

What gift has God given you that's a bit too big?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Drive By Jesus-Children Christmas Truth

Mallory, my friend's three year old granddaughter, excitedly sat in her car seat to see the live nativity. She squealed when she saw the live animals.

Her mother explained the story as they drove through. They stopped the car beside the manger with a real baby portraying the Christ child. Mallory wanted to get out of her seat and go play with him. Of course her mother would not let her.

The next day Mallory could be heard in her room, "No, no, you can't get out, no!"

Her mom went and peeked in the doorway. Mallory's little toy people were piled high in cars leaving only the baby Jesus in the manger. Mallory would push the cars by and not let any of the toy people get out to play with Jesus. Her mom smiled, sat down with Mallory and let all the people out to play.

"And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her, desired to put her way secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, and angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, 'Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins.'" Matthew 1:19-21

Joseph, wanted to wed Mary, but then this. His plan was to hide her away, until the angel spoke to his heart. He understood this was to be a public event.

This Christmas season, we openly confess Jesus to be the Lord, the One who came to earth to save us. Yet when the season is over, what then? Do I celebrate Christmas, then the rest of the year, drive on by? Where is my Jesus, or rather where am I--in the car passing by? Or will I invite others to come play and enjoy Him, too?

Have a Blessed Christmas with Full of Love and Joy for You All!

Photo: Bing images

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Run for Joy-Children Christmas Truth

Running with excitement on Christmas morn. What makes these pictures so endearing to me and makes me smile with my heart? Well, it sure isn't my curly-perm hair-do that was popular then...

Is it waiting to see if my children liked what was brought by Santa Claus? All the work my hubbie and I did to gather their special requests, and sometimes work to put together those "easy to assemble" items? No....

For me, the gifts didn't matter. It's watching the undisguised joy in seeing what they dreamed for come true.

"Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw his star in the east, and have come to worship Him." Matthew 2:2

"And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel...and he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus...he took Him into his arms, and blessed God." Luke 2:25, 27-28

"And there was a prophetess, Anna...and at that very moment, she came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem." Luke 2:36, 38

All of these waited and hoped to see the miracle of the Messiah. God granted them their dream and filled them with joy.

I wonder if the Lord smiles in His heart when we run to see Him, or when we find what we've longed and hoped for? I think He does. (He probably laughed at my hair-do, too.)

Keep me running Lord, filled with the expectation of seeing You.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Oh Rudolf!-Children's Christmas Truth

Homemade decorations. Can you tell what this is, the one on the left? ...snicker.... My hubbie and son worked together and made reindeer for the front of the house. My son is five here, and just old enough to start soccer. (Notice the brand new chin guards; he wanted to wear them all the time.)

Because my son helped craft the creature, I saw it through a mom's rose-colored-artist eyes. It was the most beautiful Rudolf of all. And yes, we put them (two) out in the front yard for all the world to see. Nothing made me prouder than to show off my child's work. (And I still think it's the cutest one around.)

"And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.'" Luke 2:13-14

It pleased God to place Jesus in among us unruly, uncouth people, putting Him into our world for all to see. God knew the taunting and laughter that would eventually turn to rage against His Son. Even so, He sent a sky full of angels to sing His pleasure and pride at the birth of His Son, advancing the work of eternity. God crafted salvation.

I am proud of all my homemade decorations.

Do you have a favorite decoration?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Don't Eat the Manger-Children Christmas Truths

This is my darling daughter when she was two. We spent Christmas at my Aunt's house, and Shelly was fascinated with her Nativity scene. The characters were almost as big as her dolls.

See how she is lovingly touching and pointing out each one? My cousin is there on the couch behind her, so she knows to be careful. After all, I warned her, too.

Here, she has been allowed to pick up one, but carefully, I remind her.

Now with no one looking, or so she thought, she decided to taste one. We snapped this picture, catching her in the act, before quickly retrieving the sodden character. (Luckily, no characters were harmed in the taking of these pictures.)

"And in the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields, and keeping watch over their flock by night.... And it came about when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds began saying to one another, "Let us go straight to Bethlehem, than and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us." Luke 2:8, 15

This busy time with all our Christmas "jobs," let us stop, like my daughter and the shepherds, and run to the manger to see and taste the goodness of God. Come let us adore Him.

But please do not eat the characters.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bunched Ornaments-Children Christmas Truth

When my kids were young, our tree started out looking like this, with all their favorite and personal ornaments bunched in a group on their side of the tree. (Who knew trees had sides?) Once all the ornaments hung on the tree, I tried to discretely move some of them up higher or around to make a more balanced looking tree.

But you can guess what happened when they caught me. Oh, the whining and personal affront! You would have thought I'd eaten the last Halloween candy, or kicked the dog out in the cold.

I tried to reason with them, you know, I wanted a beautifully decked out tree and with company coming-so it would look nice.... Well, we came to a compromise, and I'd move the ornaments a bit closer to where they were put, and they would stop whining. After all, it was Christmas and I did not want to be Mrs. Scrooge, bah-hum-burger. So my tree was a bit "decorative-challenged" at Christmas.

"And she gave birth to her first-born son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." Luke 2:7

Did God care that Jesus was born with out mid-wives or clean cloths or a nice pallet? Yes, I think He did care, but to reach us, He chose to limit His creativeness and come to our level.

Thank you Father, for making Your Son accessible to all.

Long live the unbalanced tree.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Jesus' Star-Children and Christmas Truth

"I found it," two -year-old Jeremy said, "it's Jesus' star!" Held in his grandfather's arms, Jeremy pointed to the brightest star in the December's eastern sky and wiggled with excitement.

His grandfather told him throughout the day about Jesus and the events surrounding His birth. He talked about all the things that a two-year-old could understand, and that they might get to see the star.

"Before you go to bed, we'll look for the Christmas star, okay?" his grandfather said.

Nighttime came and Jeremy picked out the star, just as his mom did when she was a toddler.

"He called a little child and had him stand among them. And He said: 'I tell you unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.'" Matthew 18:2-3

During this Christmas season, I want to be like Jeremy and see wonder anew in each part of the Christmas story. I want to wiggle with excitement and point others to the bright star of Jesus.

May I be still long enough to listen as Jesus whispers His story again in my heart. I might just go out tonight and start to look for that star. (If only it wasn't raining...sigh.) Well, maybe tomorrow.

I'm star gazing!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Children and Christmas Truth

Herod marched down from his throne to a car full of kids and their grandparents. "I am looking for that Christ child. Have you seen him?" he demanded. "I want to know where he is," he said with all the authority given to a volunteer Herod.

The car, full of Christmas viewers visiting a drive-thru Christmas story, had just come from the manger scene and now arrived at Herod's palace. One of the children, a five year old, was near the car window. His eyes grew big and his grandparents could see that Herod frightened him with his gruff questions.

But he raised himself up in his seat and yelled out the window, "Yes, I know where he is, but I'm not going to tell you!"

It was Herod's turn to look surprised.

"For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed, when He comes in His glory." Luke 9:26

This little boy, though scared, did not back down when asked about Jesus. He was going to defend him. Of course, he had the security and love of family with him, but wasn't that darling?

Will I yell out the window for Jesus this Christmas? When others say "Happy Holidays," will I say, "Merry Christmas?" Will I invite my friends to Christmas functions or church, knowing that Christ will be proclaimed? The list could go on and on, but will Christ look at me this Christmas and smile and be happy at what I've done?

Say, where is the Christ Child? Will you yell with me?

Side note: I did finish nano, whew!
Photo: Gerard von Honthorst (1620), bing photos