Friday, December 30, 2016

37 days of Christmas: day 4 of the 12 days of Christmas

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, delicious Dunkin' Donuts, 3 magic words, a date night out, and a pair of his socks lest my feet freeze!

37 days of Christmas: day 3 of the 12 days of Christmas

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 3 magic words, a date night out, and a pair of his socks lest my feet freeze!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

37 days of Christmas: day 2 of the 12 days of Christmas

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a date night out, and a pair of his socks lest my feet freeze!

Monday, December 26, 2016

37 days of Christmas: day 1 of the 12 days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, a pair of his socks lest my feet freeze!

(I didn't wear socks yesterday because it was so warm but by the time we headed to my house from being with his family, the temp had dropped so much that they were freezing!)

37 days of Christmas: day 25

Luke 2:4-7 (ESV) And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

37 days of Christmas: day 23

'Twas the night before Christmas eve, when all thro' the store
the people scurried, in and out the door;
The carts were loaded and filled to the brim,
In hopes that they remembered each her and him;
The children were impatient as they glanced at the toys,
While having visions of playing with them with great joy.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

37 days of Christmas: day 22

I leaned down to begin my dramatic stage whisper, "Guess what? I heard that somebody...from the NORTH POLE is coming!!!"

Eyes widened with excitement while from a door behind me, Santa appeared with candy canes and a "ho ho ho"! 

Nothing today, was more adorable than that!!! Thank you, John, for being Santa!! 😊

37 days of Christmas: day 21

Psalm 46:10 (ESV)

“Be still, and know that I am God.
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth!”

In the middle of the hustle and bustle as Christmas comes closer, be still. He is the reason for this glad season! Honor Him through your still and reflect on His goodness...remember who receives the glory of this blessed time!

37 days of Christmas: day 20

One of my favorite American girl dolls highlights a Spanish Christmas tradition called Los Posadas. Every year as a kid, I would reread the story of Josefina as celebrated it with her family. This year, we did a Spanish Christmas song that made me recall the story I read as a kid. I am thankful that dancing and reading could bring together memories with the dance I did to "Adorar Al Nino".

En la noche las pastores
A sus ovejitas velan
Angeles del cielo alaban
Angelses del cielo alaban
Pastroicitos, id, patoricitos ya
Adorar al Nino
Adorar al Nino
Que en Belen esta
Que en Belen esta
In the evening there were shepherds
Resting while their flocks were grazing
Angels from the heavens told them
Heaven’s King is near you sleeping
Shepherds go to Him
Go and praise your King
Go and worship Jesus
Go and worship Jesus
Born in Bethlehem
Born in Bethlehem
Go and worship Jesus
Go and worship Jesus
Born in Bethlehem
Born in Bethlehem
Con alegre reverncia
En la bella Noche buean
Los cristiano hoy alaban
Los cristianos todos cantan
Pueblos, oh venid, pueblos, oh llegad
Adorar al Nino
Adorar al Nino
Que en Belen esta
Que en Belen esta

Monday, December 19, 2016

37 days of Christmas: day 19

Christmas has always been such a special time of year to me. When I was young it was a time to see all my family I never got to see during the year. As the years have gone by however, has become more and more about rest. I still see family and we exchange gifts, but I look forward to this time of year as a break from things like college. 

However, probably the greatest thing that has changed as I have gotten older is the focus on Christ. When I was young the presents wrapped up all my attention. Now a days though I find myself getting into the Scriptures and really pulling some meaning out of this very materialistic time of year. This I am thankful for and as I grow older I wonder what more will change about the Christmas season for me. 

Guest post by John Schairer

Sunday, December 18, 2016

37 days of Christmas: day 18

I had the pleasure of going to a Christmas contada tonight. The music was lovely and well thought out with the readings of the Christmas story. Earlier today, for the first service, I played the bells! I love how people jumped in this past week to fill in the missing pieces. Music brings us together....always has in history and always will. 

I encourage you today to enjoy some music. I know I've said it before, but there truly is nothing more enjoyable! Find some friends or family to join you! 😊

Saturday, December 17, 2016

37 days of Christmas: day 17

This Christmas is pretty special, because John proposed, and I accepted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

37 days of Christmas: day 16

"And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, 
stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more." ~ How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Thursday, December 15, 2016

37 days of Christmas: day 15

One of my favorite stories in the Old Testament is about Elijah. In 1 Kings 19:9-12, it talks about how the Lord spoke to Elijah. He did not speak in a great wind, earthquake, or a fire...

...but in a gentle whisper

With the stormy winds today, I was reminded of how much I love this story, and how God has been speaking to me like that recently. I expect Him to come in the great wind, the earthquake and the fire, yet He always comes in the gentle voice. 

That is how Jesus came into the world, not with fanfare or fancy celebrations, but with a quiet entrance.  

Take some time to listen for Him today.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

37 days of Christmas: day 13

Nothing makes me happier than seeing the Nativity scene downtown every year! They always set it up under the Christmas tree, and on the other side of the square, they put up a Menorah as well! It reminds me that even in the big cities there is still good, even in the hearts of those around us there is still good!

Silver Bells

Silver bells, silver bells
It's Christmas time in the city
Ring-a-ling, (ring-a-ling) hear them ring (ting-a-ling)
Soon it will be Christmas day

City sidewalks, busy sidewalks
Dressed in holiday style
In the air there's a feeling of Christmas
Children laughing, people passing
Meeting smile after smile
And on every street corner you hear

Silver bells, silver bells
It's Christmas time in the city
Ring-a-ling, (ring-a-ling) hear them ring (ting-a-ling)
Soon it will be Christmas day

37 days of Christmas: day 14

One of my favorite traditions is to sit by the tree in a quiet evening. Today Ansel joined me and is still currently purring happily.😊 Even if you don't have a tree yet or don't do one, I encourage you to find a quiet place to sit away from the hustle and bustle. You'll be relaxed and at peace!

Romans 15:13 (ESV) May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

That is my Christmas prayer for each and everyone of you!

Monday, December 12, 2016

37 days of Christmas: day 12

Christmas ornaments....sparkly, unique, homemade, ancient, brand new, special to one person, favorites by another....

Each of them have a story....

One from a store, another made years ago by a grandma and her granddaughter, one made in recent years, one treasured because of the special glass.

Some people may see the tree for the decorations and the ornaments, but I see it for the memories....

....each as unique as each ornament....

37 days of Christmas: day 11

One of my favorite things about Christmas is the pretty lights!!! I encourage you to take a drive one night with friends or family so you can enjoy them!!!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

37 days of Christmas: day 10

Upcoming is the darkest, shortest day of the year. The sky is dark by 4:30pm. Yet only a couple days after this dismal day, the Christ is born! He brought light to a dark world, and shows us this in His word.

John 1:1-5 (ESV) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

The days before Christmas may be dark, but rejoice! The Light of the World is coming!

Psalm 19:1 (ESV) The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky aboveproclaims his handiwork.

Friday, December 9, 2016

37 days of Christmas: day 9

Something I love about Christmas is the music. It draws people together, brings them closer together, and brings such joy!!! I encourage you to enjoy some Christmas music today!!

Psalm 98 (ESV) Oh sing to the Lord a new song,
    for he has done marvelous things!
His right hand and his holy arm
    have worked salvation for him.
The Lord has made known his salvation;
    he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations.
He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
    to the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen
    the salvation of our God.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth;
    break forth into joyous song and sing praises!
Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre,
    with the lyre and the sound of melody!
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
    make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord!

Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
    the world and those who dwell in it!
Let the rivers clap their hands;
    let the hills sing for joy together
before the Lord, for he comes
    to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
    and the peoples with equity.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

37 days of Christmas: day 8

To think that a mighty King would come to earth as a humble baby to save us from our sins is incredible!

Isaiah 9:6 (ESV) For to us a child is born, to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

And to think that He would die a humiliating death to do so is even more so! Thank Him! I've brought this up a lot doing this series but it's one of the best times to remember to do so. I encourage you, if you're a believer, to do what it says in Hebrews 10. Live your life as an example to those around you in humility, grace, love, faith, and hope!

Hebrews 10:19-25 (ESV) Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

37 days of Christmas: day 7

Why did Jesus come? What better time of year than Christmas to remember that He came to bring forgiveness of sins and to wash us as white as snow? That is the greatest gift we could ever receive.

Isaiah 1:18 (ESV) “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet,
    they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
    they shall become like wool.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

37 days of Christmas: day 6

Today I encourage you to hide in a corner this Christmas, but to shine God's light so that others may see Him in you and glorify Him this Christmas!

Matthew 5:14-16 (ESV) You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Monday, December 5, 2016

37 days of Christmas: day 5

"Strange, isn't it? Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?"

One of the best Christmas classics of all time, "Its a Wonderful Life". George is almost ready to give up hope, yet Clarence is able to remind him what a wonderful life he has! I encourage you to not give up hope. Jesus came, and gave us incredible hope. That's something we can thank Him for today as Christmas approaches. Join me in that?

Hebrews 10:23 (ESV) Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

37 days of Christmas: day 4

I encourage you all to read the first two chp of Luke. I did during Sunday school today, and after probably a year of not reading it, it brought hope to read it for myself. 😊 Do so today, and remember to keep Christ at the center of your Christmas! 😊

Saturday, December 3, 2016

37 days of Christmas: day 3

Through the eyes of a child, you can see the simplicity of Christmas:

~ the Nativity
~ decorating the tree
~ a couple small gifts

I nearly cried seeing such a sweet scene that lay before my eyes.

Today, look through the eyes of a child, whether they are a child's or your own. See the simple miracle of Christmas!

Friday, December 2, 2016

37 days of Christmas: day 2

Sometimes in all the rush and busyness we find Jesus in unexpected places! Today I found him in the corner of a bookshelf in the library among the kids' Christmas books. I paused at the sight of the simple nativity. It was a good reminder that Christmas is one of the best times to share the gospel with others; to pray for them. I encourage you to do one of those things!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

37 days of Christmas: day 1

Sometimes this is what Christmas feels like....

Everything is out of place, and no matter how hard we try to keep Jesus the center, it is hard.

For the first time, I have had a hard time "keeping up" with Christmas, but that is why together, we will go through the 37 days of Christmas. 25 up until Christmas + the 12 days of Christmas after.

Together we shall strive to keep Jesus the center, and as to quote "A Christmas Carol", keep Christmas in our heart all year round.

So as we begin, and as Tiny Tim observed, God bless us, everyone!

30 days of Thankfulness: day 30

Today I am thankful for community gathering together to celebrate the Christmas season!!!!