“God is not a belief to which you give your assent. God becomes a reality whom you know intimately, meet everyday, one whose strength becomes your strength, whose love, your love. Live this life of the presence of God long enough and when someone asks you, “Do you believe there is a God?” you may find yourself answering, “No, I do not believe there is a God. I know there is a God.”~Ernest Boyer, Jr.

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your might.~Deuteronomy 6:5

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas at our house

I'm so excited!
It's Lego
watching in great anticipation
I thought we were keeping it simple what happened?

Monday, December 22, 2008


This is Chirstmas week and everyone is a buzz trying to finish up the last minute details before the BIG day. This week I want to share with you an article from John Mc Arthur at Grace to You about some people that missed Christmas.

Luke chapter 2 and verse 7. Now I want you to think with me as we look at this truth. This is the story, of course, in Luke 2 of the birth of Christ and I just want you to look at verse 7 and we're only going to pick out some highlights to illustrate this matter of the people who missed Christmas. Verse 7, speaking of Mary it says; "And she brought forth her first born son and wrapped Him in swaddling cloth (really, they weren't clothes really, they were just long strips of cloth) and laid Him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn." Now the first person who missed Christmas was the innkeeper.

The innkeeper missed Christmas. It was right in front of him but he missed it. He had to confront a pregnant woman and her husband but he had no room for them. And so he missed it. Look back at verse 7. He not only missed it by not letting them in to stay with him but he missed it by being so indifferent that he doesn't even appear to have called for any help for Mary when she gave birth because verse 7 is markedly concerned with a lonely birth, a lonely birth. We don't even know where Joseph was. If I know anything about fathers at the time of births, especially young fathers like Joseph who could have been as young as 15 or 16 years of age, he would have been little help at all, at this time. And so it writes, she brought forth her first born son.
Mary brought forth her own son. And then it says, she wrapped Him in swaddling cloth. Mary did. Where were the midwives? Where were the people who were supposed to care for things like that? Where was the innkeeper? Didn't he know anybody who could help? Didn't his wife concern herself with this? Or, wasn't there some source of assistance to Mary?

Ah, but after all hadn't the prophets said He would be despised and rejected? And wouldn't it be true that this could be the case at His very birth? And it says, she laid Him in a manger. An animal feeding trough. Swaddling cloth, by the way, were long strips of cloth and when an infant was born, immediately the infant was wrapped, its limbs and its body in this swaddling cloth. And then, of course, in an outer blanket. That was the tradition. And certainly there would be a midwife to clean the baby and to do that. But, no, Mary did that. This was a lonely birth.

The loneliness of it that in that hour of all hours when womanhood should be surrounded by the tenderest care Mary was alone. She with her own hands wrapped the baby around with those swaddling cloth? and laid Him in a manger. There was no one to do it for her. And again, I say the pity of it and yet the glory of it to the heart of Mary.

The innkeeper missed Christmas. And what amazes me is that he missed it even though it might have happened on his own property And I began to think about why he missed Christmas. Simple answer. Preoccupation.
Preoccupation. You say ‑ What do you mean? Well, he was so busy. I mean his inn was full or his guest room was full or all of his little lean‑to's were full. Why? Because it vas the census in Bethlehem and the city was literally bulging with everybody who ever had any ancestry there and they were coming; to the city and since it was the city of David those who were in the line of David were there. And that's why Joseph and Mary were there coming from the line of David, one through Solomon and one through Nathan. So, there they were. And the city was bursting with people. And he was busy caring for his guests in his house and whatever situation he was involved with and he wasn't hostile and he wasn't unloving and he wasn't unsympathetic and he wasn't really indifferent he was just busy. Just real busy.

I guess there are a lot of people like that. The chambers of their souls are filled with needless things, filled with human interests. They're filled with the stuff that doesn't matter and they miss the Christ of God.
It was an ignorant preoccupation on the part of the innkeeper, he didn't know. He didn't know. Ignorant preoccupation. I look at the world and that's what I see, they just don't know. They don't know who Christ is. They don't know who He is, they don't know why He came. They're just ignorant. And ignorantly preoccupied with the mundane and the meaningless. Oh how ridiculous it is to live your entire life in mundane, meaningless activity, wake up sometime in eternity without God and look back over all of the waste.

The innkeeper missed it. He was too busy. Look at your own life. Did you spend more time shopping then you did adoring Christ?
Did you spend more money on stuff then you invested in His kingdom?
Then maybe you've been in the trap. too. Where the innkeeper was.

Read the whole article at Grace to You

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Just in case anyone is wondering from the content of the last few posts I DO LOVE CHRISTMAS but this year I really feel a need to focus on Christ without whom we would have no Christmas. No I'm not becoming some fanatical who can't have any fun at Christmas so here's a few pictures to let you know I am having a lot of fun in this season.

Our little Santa baby!
Making Gingerbread Houses Hard at work assembling the house
Now time for a marshmallow break our favorite part!
So proud! the master at work

Caleb decided to use a few less of his decorations on the house and save them fior a yummy snack

On top of these fun things we have decorated cookies with the church kids and delivered while caroling to some of the shut in's of our church.

So I am not anti-Christmas I just have decided this year I'm not getting caught up in the "craziness" of the season. I don't want to miss the great JOY this time of year holds for me as I celebrate the birth of Emmanuel-God with us!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Two years ago we bought an Advent calendar you know the kind with little drawers you open each day in December with a candy inside. We thought it would be a fun way for the kids to count down to Christmas and yes they love it. Well this year I decided to take a new look at Advent...what is Advent and why do we have it. Here is what our family is doing for Advent this year I think it is a GREAT tradition. Instead of filling our children's heads with all the lies (i know that's harsh but it is lies.) of Christmas join me in teaching our children the wonderful truth of the Christmas Season! IWhat's more exciting than celebrating the birth of our Savior?

What is Advent?Advent marks the beginning of the Christmas season and the Church year for most Western churches. The word "Advent" means "arrival" or "coming" in Latin and represents the approach of Christ's birth (and fulfillment of the prophecies about that event) and the awaiting of Christ's second coming. It is composed of the four Sundays before Christmas day, starting on the Sunday closest to November 30th and ending on Christmas. Because Christmas is on a different day from year to year, Advent may last anywhere from 22 to 28 days.

Celebrating the Season
For Christians, Advent is a time of reflection about the amazing gift that God gave to us in the person of His Son who came to live among us on earth. It is also an opportunity to restore Jesus to His rightful place as the center of our holiday celebrations! Advent is, appropriately, both somber and joyful!The focus continues to be the great news that the Messiah was and is coming and how we live out our heartfelt longing for both.
Here is a list of small gifts you can give as you countdown to Advent:
1. Quarter--A quarter! That equals 25 cents. But 25 also stands for the number of days till Christmas, when God gave us His best present. Jesus told about one woman's gift and the way she gave it. Read: Mark 12:41-44

2. Grape Gum or Candy--Grapes make jelly and juice, raisins and wine. But Jesus didn't need grapes to perform His first miracle. Read: John 2:1-10

3. Smiley Face--Here's a smile! A smile usually expresses happiness. Jesus gave us many instructions to keep us happy. Read: Matthew 5:1-12.

4. Swedish Fish candy--Well, if you were surprised to find these fish, wait till you read the story today! Others were surprised to find fish, too. Read: Luke 5:4-7.

5. Birthday Candle--As you know, we are getting ready to celebrate Jesus' birthday. However, Jesus talked about something else that is related to this candle. Light! Read: Matthew 5:14-16.

6. Small Bell--You could make some noise with this. But it would not have bothered a certain man--until he met Jesus. Read: Mark 7:31-37.

7. Goldfish Crackers--These would not go very far if you were really hungry! But Jesus could make much out of little. Surely He knew how to multiply! Read: Matthew 14:13-21.

8. Cotton Balls--These cotton balls would be helpful in a thunder storm, wouldn't they? We could use them for ear plugs to muffle the loud noises that thunder makes. But we know someone who doesn't need cotton. Jesus can control the weather. Read: Matthew 8:23-27.

9. Piece of Map--People needing to use the other parts of this map are in trouble! Don't you get lost today! Read: John 14:1-6.

10. Soap--Do you like to wash? Behind your ears? Washing turned out to be a happy time for a man who met Jesus. Read: John 9:1-7.

11. Heart Candy or Sticker--Hearts. Wordlessly, they speak of love, don't they? Jesus spoke some commands about love. Read: Matthew 25:17-41.

12. Small Cross--We use the cross as a symbol, representing Jesus. Do you know why? Read: Phillipians 2:1-11.

13. Packet of Salt--Ordinary salt. Yes, Jesus related salt to us and our behavior. He also gave us some advice. Read: Matthew 5:14 and Colossians 4:6. (Notice that He doesn't recommend pepper!).

14. Sand--Don't try to eat this! It's sand. It reminds us that Jesus knows something about architecture, about buildings--and building lives. See His instructions: Matthew 7:24-29.

15. Silk Flowers--Flowers are pretty, aren't they? Jesus used flowers to teach us a reassuring lesson. Read: Matthew 6:28-34.

16. Raisins--Raisins! Many children are given raisins instead of candy for a snack. That's because they are a health-promoting and delicious fruit. Jesus told us how we can produce good fruit. Read: John 15:1-5.

17. Seeds--Jesus told a story about seeds that man planted. Then He explained it, revealing its deep meaning. Read: Matthew 13:3-8 and Matthew 13:18-23.

18. Christmas Carol--Christmas is just about a week away. And here is an appropriate song. Sing it loudly! Read: Psalms 100.

19. Rock--A hard stone! Can you change this stone into a piece of bread? Do you think Jesus could? Jesus was asked to do just that. Do know how He handled it? Read: Matthew 4:1-4.

20. Crumpled Foil--Try to smooth out this piece of aluminum foil and use it as a mirror. It's hard to see your reflection plainly, isn't it? Many circumstances are hard to understand, but someday everything will be clear. Read: 1 Corinthians 13:12.

21. Mustard Seed (or packet of mustard)--The mustard seed is the smallest there is! When it sprouts, it grows into one of the largest plants! See what Jesus said. Read: Matthew 17:20.

22. Dove--We've learned that the cross represents Christ, but do you know what the dove stands for? Read: Matthew 3:13-17.

23. Scrap of Wool Material--The threads that compose this fabric came from the wool of a sheep. Jesus called Himself the good shepherd. Do you know who His sheep are? Read: John 10:7-18.

24. Marble--A marble! Do you know what is sometimes called the "Big Blue Marble"? The world. God made the world for us. What does God continue doing to the world? And who is the world? Read: John 3:16.

25. Picture of Baby--Isn't this baby cute? When he was born, he made a whole family happy. Jesus was born a baby, too. He came to make the whole world happy. Read: Luke 2:1-20. Enjoy your celebration today. Continue to learn about Jesus--and love Him forever!
*This comes from www.daniellesplace.com (among other places on the web)