Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

Christmas Bells

December 13, 2019

photo credit: chris.alcoran <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/65912092@N08/11629760965″>Community Bell Ringers | Buena Vista Street</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>  

 

Shh, I think I hear Christmas bells…

Someone is ringing out the story of Jesus’ birth.

Bells come in a large variety of shapes and sizes. Many churches often include a hand bells group in their music ministry. Bell-ringers stand together with a large assortment of bells on a table before them. Patiently they wait for their turn to ring out notes. Each carefully grasps a bell in white gloved hands; gently, they play their bell. Their note, when joined with others, creates a beautiful Christmas Carol.

Each year, I eagerly wait for my chance to wear Christmas clothing and jewelry. I’ve even worn a jingle bell necklace and matching jingle bell earrings. Friends heard me coming and going! Do you have a pet companion? This is the perfect time of year to add jingle bells to your pet’s collar. Include them in your holiday fun.

We can turn the ringing of bells into Christmas blessings. Salvation Army buckets are located at many shopping areas. Listen for the sound of ringers bells as pocket change jingles among other donations. Their collections will be used to bring the miracles of Christmas to needy people in your vicinity.  

“Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7 NASB).”

photo credit: SchuminWeb <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/64873675@N00/10163953713″>Salvation Army bell ringer</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

 

 

 

 

I’m Yours!

December 6, 2019

photo credit: Steve Snodgrass <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/10710442@N08/3150758883″>Joseph & Mary sitting in a tree…</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a> 

Most mothers immediately bond with their newborn child.

Both the mom and baby become deeply involved in a parent child relationship.

The infant is totally dependent on the mother; while the mother is at the baby’s beckoned call.

The mom may get weary, but she has a desire to meet every need of her babe.

As the infant’s caregiver, she wants the baby to feel secure in every way.

Mary knew baby Jesus would be no ordinary child.

He would not only be her son, but also her Lord.

She could not contain her joy!

She was at his disposal.

“And Mary said:

‘My soul exalts the Lord,
And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
‘For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave;
For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed.
‘For the Mighty One has done great things for me;
And holy is His name.
‘And His mercy is upon generation after generation
Toward those who fear Him.
‘He has done mighty deeds with His arm;
He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart.
‘He has brought down rulers from their thrones,
And has exalted those who were humble.
‘He has filled the hungry with good things;
And sent away the rich empty-handed.
‘He has given help to Israel His servant,
In remembrance of His mercy,
As He spoke to our fathers,
To Abraham and his descendants forever (Luke 1:46-55 NASB).”

Mary bonded; Lord Jesus, I’m yours!

Abbreviated Glory

November 29, 2019

{Image: crosscards.com}

The choice of a child’s name becomes official at the signing and registering of their birth certificate.  

The months of mulling over a list of possible names are over; the child’s legal name is in black and white.  

After a notary seals the document; the parents store the original copy in a secured place.

And, what will you name the child?

God the Father beamed proudly and proclaimed, “He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6b HCSB).”

Imagine a registrar’s predicament; that lengthy name would not fit in the space allotted.

How could God abbreviate glory?

“She will give birth to a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21 HCSB).”

Jesus….

The name flows with eloquence from called and ordained lips.

Voiced in prayer, all will one day confess the name Jesus Christ. He is Lord!

“… so that at the name of Jesus
every knee will bow—
of those who are in heaven and on earth
and under the earth—
and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10-11 HCSB).”

 

 

He Gave

December 14, 2018

photo credit: JLS Photography – Alaska <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/50830796@N04/39252158801″>Merry Christmas!</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

 

Many children write letters to Santa; it’s a very busy time at the post office.

When I was young, one of the Syracuse, New York television stations had Santa segments. He read letters from the boys and girls in the Central NY area. They asked Santa for gifts from their wish lists.

The Heavenly Father is the giver of gifts. I don’t wish; I pray.

“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow (James 1:17 NASB).”

God gave the perfect gift.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16 NASB).”

The LORD gave the gift of life.

He gave us His Son.

He gave Jesus.

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me (John 14:6 NASB).”

White as Snow

December 8, 2018

photo credit: mripp <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/56218409@N03/39624591724″>Dog owners are more healthy</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>   

Dreaming of a white Christmas?

Your life can be transformed; you can be white as snow every Christmas.

“Come now, and let us reason together,’
Says the Lord,
Though your sins are as scarlet,
They will be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They will be like wool (Isaiah 1:18 NASB).”

Dressed in garments white as snow…

“He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels (Revelation 3:5 NASB).”

Children make angels in the snow. The Father makes hardened sinners as white as snow.

 

Silent, Holy Night

November 24, 2018

photo credit: Riccardo Palazzani – Italy <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/45503185@N06/23421017403″>Nativity 2015</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a> 

 

Luke 2:1-19 (KJV)

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

A Christmas Without Batteries

December 24, 2017

 

 

photo credit: wuestenigel <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/30478819@N08/37546469204″>Pile of batteries</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

 

What’s a Christmas without batteries?

Hmm, that’s an interesting concept. Let’s mull that over for a minute or two. So many of our gizmos need batteries inserted before we can operate them. Pity the parents who forget to buy batteries before children and teens open their gifts.

What about poor Dad? He will be unable to hear the whir of battery operated tools if they are not included.

There’s still time to buy extra batteries; you won’t want to miss a minute of the battery operated action.  The thrifty use rechargeable batteries. As a Christian, I depend on a far greater power than disposable batteries.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8 HCSB).”

Like rechargeable batteries, we receive God’s power through repeated fillings.

“… be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18b HCSB).”

While batteries power gizmos, the Holy Spirit empowers Emmanuel followers!

They Named Him… Jesus

December 18, 2017

photo credit: Thomas Hawk <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/51035555243@N01/89373348″>Nativity</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

 

In Bible times, names held significant meanings.

Samuel: ‘Heard by God’* (1 Samuel 1:20)

Jabez:  ‘He will cause pain’* difficult childbirth (1 Chronicles 4:9-10)

Benjamin: ‘Son of my sorrow’* as mother died following delivery (Genesis 35:18)

Simon Peter: Cephas ‘A Stone’* (John 1:42)

The angel directed Mary and Joseph to name the holy child Jesus, meaning ‘salvation.’*

“And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21 NKJV).”

To know Jesus (by grace, through faith) is to experience His salvation. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Jesus…  “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12 NKJV).”

{* definitions from NKJV Bible notations}

Ho-Ho-Ho!

December 11, 2017

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwzYQopdHD0

Ho-Ho-Ho!

No, not Santa…

Sing praises to the Savior!

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.

But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:

And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus (Matthew 1:18-25 KJV).”

 

 

 

Shalom!

December 4, 2017

 

 

Shalom!

 

{Image: crosscards.com}

 

Christmas… There is a keen sense of peace and tranquility.

“The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.

For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.

For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this (Isaiah 9:2-7 KJV).”

 

 

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