Saturday, December 28, 2013

A little Rest

After Christmas...the shopping, returning, getting clearance items, negotiating price matches, cleaning, cooking, cleaning more, cooking more, and... resting! :)
After Christmas, there's a sense of... peace. Finally, after wrapping presents, cooking, cleaning, preparing, everyone can rest. That's what it's suppose to be...right?! ;)
A tradition in our family every Christmas Day, is to have an open house in the afternoon. Have snacks, play games, and talk. This year was a little different. We had invited several families throughout that week to join us, and some of them said yes... it wasn't until the day before that everyone canceled! So, while my mom wanted to just cancel it, we told her no... when you start a tradition, you just can't stop. So, we invited out very good friends, the Sargent family over... they've come every year for the last 7 years? Any way, so, they came over. Our house was filled with laughter, food, games, and love. Our very good friend, whom is a police officer was on patrol that night, and decided to stop by for a few, so, our house was full.

After our friends left that night, as a joke, I said, "So, Mom, what do you want to do for New Years?!" ;)
A couple people, including myself are extroverts in our family, and so, if dad's off, then we should do something "fun"... not this time. :) After cleaning, and getting back to normal life, doing some returns, life was finally... normal... although, there is no such thing as normal in my life. ;)
Do you ever feel that way? My brother and I were talking about the story of Mary and Martha the other day. Martha was worried about this and that, while Mary, was sitting quietly at Jesus' feet.

"Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home.  She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
~Luke 10:38-42~

So, as we prepare for New Years, and returning back to normal life, let's not be worried about everything, but instead, pray about everything. Have a wonderful New Years!

Philippians 4:6-7
 "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Monday, December 23, 2013

Peace on Earth

In just 2 more days, it's Christmas! Wow! Where has the time gone?!
I thought I'd post a couple poems that I thought were funny and appropriate for this Christmas! :) Enjoy!

Twas the Night Before Christmas – Jesus Birth Version
By Rock GriffisIt was the night before Christmas and all thru the land

people were traveling to their home land. The Inns were full of travelers you know
And a young couple was searching for someplace to go.
She was heavy with child and found permission to rest
in a small stable, not considered the best. It had a manger and hay, not much more,
Just a few animals and a dirt floor.
In the same country abiding in the field
Shepherds were tending their sheep as they will. The stars up above were shining up high,
One in particular was lighting the sky.
All of a sudden there appeared in the sky
An angel of God with a message from high. The angel announced don’t be afraid I bring you good tidings
For all people today.
A Saviour is born to you this day
Which is Christ the Lord, he had to say.
In the city of David wrapped in old clothes lying in manger is the
sign you should know.
And all of a sudden there was singing in the air
a multitude of angels singing with care.
Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men.
And when they were gone, the shepherds agreed
that they would travel to Bethlehem immediately.
When they arrived they found the sign.
Mary, Joseph and the babe.
He was lying in the manger, just as the angel proclaimed.
They told the parents that they were told
of this Holy child that she now holds.
Mary was thinking of the things that they said
then they returned and bowed their heads
They praised and prayed
and glorified him and for all the things the angel had said
Eight days later when it was time
The small child JESUS was named.
Remember the star that lighted the sky
that special night, the angels came by .
From even that time, from really afar,
there had been three kings following that star.
It had taken much time to follow the star but they
rejoiced with great joy when they saw what they saw.
A mother named Mary with a child that they saw
they fell to the floor and worshiped with awe.
They brought him gifts of Myrrh, frankincense and gold very pricey items I am told.
Over two thousand years have passed since then
When Jesus was a child born not of sin.
He came and he lived and died for us
God almighty really loves us.
He will be back very soon indeed
To gather his bride for a wedding feast.
Christmas will continue forever indeed
So give your gifts in His memory.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night
may you’re life be filled with His joy and His light.

The REAL Night Before Christmas
(By Parents)
Twas the night before Christmas
when all through the house, I searched for the tools
to hand to my spouse. Instructions were studied, and we were inspired, in hopes we could manage "Some Assembly Required."The children were quiet (not asleep) in their beds, while Dad and I faced the evening with dread: a kitchen, two bikes, Barbie's townhouse to boot!
And now, thanks to Grandpa, a train with a toot!We opened the boxes, my heart skipped a beat
let no parts be missing or parts incomplete!Too late for last-minute returns or replacement;
if we can't get it right, it goes straight to the basement!
When what to my worrying eyes should appear
but 50 sheets of directions, concise, but not clear,With each part numbered and every slot named,
so if we failed, only we could be blamed.
More rapid than eagles the parts then fell out,
all over the carpet they were scattered about."Now bolt it! Now twist it! Attach it right there!
Slide on the seats, and staple the stair!
Hammer the shelves, and nail to the stand."
"Honey," said hubby, "you just glued my hand."And then in a twinkling, I knew for a fact
that all the toy dealers had indeed made a pact
to keep parents busy all Christmas Eve night
with "assembly required" till morning's first light.We spoke not a word, but kept bent at our work,
till our eyes, they went blurry; our fingers all hurt.
The coffee went cold and the night, it wore thin
before we attached the last rod and last pin.Then laying the tools away in the chest,
we fell into bed for a well-deserved rest.
But I said to my husband just before I passed out,
"This will be the best Christmas, without any doubt.Tomorrow we'll cheer, let the holiday ring,
and not run to the store for one single thing!
We did it! We did it! The toys are all set
for the perfect, most magical, Christmas, I bet!"Then off to dreamland and sweet repose
I gratefully went, though I suppose
there's something to say for those self-deluded—
I'd forgotten that BATTERIES are never included!

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Gift of Giving

We've heard it said from the Bible, "...It is more blessed to give than receive," in Acts 20:35.
However, some of us have a hard time to give. Over the years, I've learned the joy of giving. Sometimes, I don't want to, but I find that when I do, I feel so good and joyful! Plus, it makes the other person feel special. I feel like God has blessed me, so I should bless other people.
This past week, my dad told us, "The Church needs more money to build the Church Building, and they need it by the end of the month. Would any of you children like to give any amount of money to the Church?"
Between all of us kids, we gathered $1,000! To some people, that may be very little, but, it's $1,000 closer to the goal needed to build a debt-free Church Building.

I couldn't help but think of how Jesus must have felt when the wise men brought him gifts.
How special, to even have gifts!
When Jesus Christ was born, that was the best gift of all! My Uncle and Aunt in Texas have, in big, bold letters on their fence that says, "It's all about Jesus!" It's true! Jesus is the reason for the season! Can you imagine what that night must have been like when Jesus was born? Was it smelly since it was where animals lay? Was Mary relieved that the pain was over? Was Joseph in complete awe? Did the innkeeper know that night, the Messiah was born?

Mary did you know that your baby boy would some day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you've delivered, will soon deliver you.

Mary did you know that your baby boy would give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy would calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when your kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.

Oh Mary did you know 

The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the dead will live again.
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb 

Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven's perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you're holding is the great I AM

When we give, we bless someone, so let's go out and bless someone this Christmas season. And remember, that Jesus is the reason for the season! :)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Keeping Christ in Christmas

As the time draws near to Christmas, I'm reminded of Jesus's birth.
This last week, I had a recital for my, now, 21 Piano Students! I always love Christmas songs this time of year. One of my students was considering which song to play for the recital, when he told me, "The Little Drummer Boy". Thinking that he knew this song already, I told him, "sure!"
A couple weeks later, we were discussing it, and I said, "You know what the Little Drummer Boy is about, right?" He said, "No, it's just my mom's favorite song."
So, without a moment to lose, I witnessed to him not only the little drummer boy, and what it's about, but the story about Jesus's Birth, even though he kind of already knew it. :)

Sadly, many people today, think that Christmas is about Presents, Santa Clause, toys, mistletoe's, Christmas Trees/lights, etc... many people don't know the true meaning of Christmas.

Last year, we watched a movie called, "Christmas with a Capital C", which I highly recommend watching as a family movie. In this movie, there's a man that comes to town trying to get people to put up, "Happy Holidays", and other misc. things, instead of "Merry Christmas". He goes so far as to vote to take the nativity scene out of the town. The Mayor, tries to convince everyone that Christmas is all about Jesus being born, but little by little,  no one listens.
Isn't this how our world is today? No, there's nothing wrong with putting up the Christmas lights/trees, and Santa with the Reindeer and sled, but some people have forgotten why we celebrate Christmas. I recently watched this video of a man interviewing kids in Hollywood, to see what they thought Christmas was/is about. Sadly, not very many of them even knew what Christmas was/is about.
I pray that as you get ready for Christmas, with all the hustle and bustle of getting presents, cleaning, decorating, that we all will remember to keep Christ in Christmas!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Leading our busy lives

We got back on Friday night from our annual trip to Texas for Thanksgiving. Our family was able to take a     moment and... rest... some what. 
We were within an hour of our house, and BOOM, our tire blew! :( Thankfully we had a spare in the trunk, but we made it safely home.
As I was unpacking last night, and this morning, I took a moment and prayed. I thanked God that we had a wonderful trip, and that we made it home safely. I thanked God that we noticed some good changes with some of our family members, and friends. And I thanked God that we are so blessed! 
On Saturday, we had gotten our Christmas Tree, had our traditional chili, fudge, Christmas lights hanging, and Christmas movie watching. Our friends came over for a couple hours, and it was so fun! 
But again, on Sunday, our rest didn't stop! ;) We had gone to church, had our church potluck, and then took my dad to the airport so that he can be refreshed in the morning for his class in Chicago.
You know, I don't think we will get to rest, until after Christmas. ;)

As I was contemplating this week what I was going to get accomplished, I had to stop and think. I had so many things to get done on my "list". So much to do before "this event" or "that event".
I was wondering, "Did Jesus have a list?" I list of, "heal this person at this time, at this place". No, Jesus knew what was going to happen, he didn't need a list. Sometimes, things happen that aren't on our "list". A child might get sick, you might get in a car wreck, a friend might need you, a loved one might be struggling... etc... all of these made me realize just how important it is to lay our burdens down at the foot of the cross.

Last night, I was doing some shopping, and I had stopped at Starbucks because I had a free coffee to use for that day only. I thought to myself, "I'll just run in, come back out and go to Target to see if they have the shoes I've been wanting for years." I got into the Suburban, and BAM... the car wouldn't start. So, I called my brother, and one thing led to another, we had to call a tow truck. I started to get so upset, but then after a while I realized, "God's plans, are NOT my own plans." Maybe God prevented me from going because I could have been in a car wreck that night and died. Or maybe, God wanted to teach me patience and contentment! ;) Whatever the case may be, we need to STOP what we're doing, and thank God that we're still here, and that he's not finished with us... even in our busy lives. ;) So, make time for HIM!