Thursday, December 31, 2009

Looking Back at 2009

As we approach a new year and a new decade let's take some time to do two things: Look back and Look ahead. Both of these looks are extremely important. In order to move forward you need to see where you have been. It is absolutely necessary to record God's faithfulness for yourself and your family. Looking forward is really about having a good plan. Our plans give us a target and without it we will hit nothing!

I came across this post at (In)courage and I think it would be very helpful as you look back at the past year to answer these 20 questions.

I plan to sit in my favorite chair with a cup of Starbucks Komodo Dragon Coffee in the morning and do this very thing. So grab your favorite beverage and join me. And leave a comment below and share your answer to one of the 20 questions from the list!

Stop by after the new year for part II!

Looking Back,

Saturday, December 26, 2009

What It's All About

"But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." Luke 2:19
Wishing you and your family a glorious celebration of His birth.
Asking God to reveal Himself to you in knew ways in the New Year.
May your heart be filled with memories that you will treasure and ponder in the days ahead!
Looking Forward,

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

E is for Emmanuel

"And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14

Christmas Eve Night

Light the four outside Advent candles, reviewing each letter A-D and what it represents.

Talk about the center candle being the Christ candle. It is in the center because it is special. It stands for E - Emmanuel which means God is with us.

Scripture: Matthew 1:23, John 1: 4-5, 9-14, John 3:16

Key Figures: Jesus is Emmanuel, He is God who became a little baby so that He could save us from our sins. He is the light of the world that shines in the darkness.

Other: You can wrap this up nicely by turning out all the lights and letting the candles shine in the darkness. The Christ Candle is in the center because His coming is what Christmas is all about. He is the most precious gift at Christmas. If you are using the "What God Wants For Christmas" tool, it moves easily into a Gospel presentation. What does God want for Christmas? He wants you! He wants to live in your heart, be your closest friend, and shine His light through you so others can know Him too!

Gifts: Christmas pajamas, a special doll, or keepsake item with the date on it.

Activities: We always have a Birthday Cake for Jesus on Christmas Eve with candles and singing. You can let the kids decorate it by themselves. Also, you may want to make your cake like this:

1st layer chocolate - our sin
2nd layer - red - the blood of Christ covers our sin
top layer - green - our growth in him
white icing - we are whiter than snow when His blood cleanse us
candles - He is the light of the world, and we shine for Him when He is in our hearts

Happy Advent!

Looking Forward,

Thursday, December 17, 2009

D Is For Down On One Knee

Light your 4th Advent Candle.

Scripture: Matthew 2:1-12, Luke 2:19

Key Figures: Wise Men

Activities: Make a star and put it on your Christmas tree

Possible Gifts - Christmas ornament, Wise Men Little People Set,

Other: We like to discuss that the Wise Men arrived to see Jesus when he was older, probably a toddler. But the Star they followed appeared when Christ was born. All who came to the Christ child had the response to bend their knee and worship. These wise men - scholars who came from afar sacrificed a great deal to make their journey. The gifts they brought with them represented their hearts to adore Him and that they knew who He was and where He came from.

Can you believe Christmas is just a few days away? I pray you are finding time to bend your knee to the Savior of the world. Take the time to bring Him your gifts and worship Him this week.

Looking Forward,

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

C is for Choir of Angels Sing

Light your 3rd Advent Candle and review candles 1 & 2

Scripture: Luke 2: 1-20

Key Figures: Angels and Shepherds

Possible Gifts: A new Christmas CD, a musical instrument, a small stuffed sheep, angel Christmas Ornament

Activities: You can sing Christmas songs, go caroling in your neighborhood, or glue cotton balls onto a picture of a sheep, or make hand print angels.

Other: I love to share with my girls that the shepherds were not a likely bunch to be the first to hear about the birth of Christ. In fact, they were hard working loyal men, but considered social outcasts by most and rarely went to town. But, upon hearing the glorious song of the Savior's birth from the heavenly hosts they quickly went to find the Baby. They left their sheep, because they knew that this was something worthy of their devotion.

Looking Forward,

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

B is for Baby Born In Bethlehem

Light Advent candle 1 and Advent candle 2. (I review each letter).

Scripture Reference:
Luke 2: 1-7

Key Figures: Baby Jesus, Bethlehem, unlikely birthplace of the Son of God (the stable).

Possible Gifts: A new Christmas book, stickers, Christmas movie.

Activities: Make a manger scene. We have made a manger out of toilet paper tube and a craft stick for Baby Jesus. Our favorite set was made from small clay pots. You could also cut out the nativity scene from an old Christmas card, glue it to construction paper, and add a star with glitter.

Other: I love nativity sets that kids can make or play with. We have added to our Fisher Price set every year. I put this toy away after Christmas so it is special. Even my oldest daughter who is ten loves to set up the story with this set.

Looking Forward,