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The ADVENTure of Christmas 11/30/15

Monday, November 30, 2015

What is it about this time of year that brings back memories of childhood? This season rolls around and my memories transport me back in time to the simple and happy days of Christmases gone by.

In my family, we had many Christmas traditions:

  • Dozens of different types of Christmas cookies tucked away in tins in the cupboard
  • Driving around looking at Christmas lights
  • The one gift (always pajamas) that we opened on Christmas Eve
  • Watching every single Christmas special on TV – Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, It’s A Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street and, the classic, Charlie Brown Christmas

Traditions are an excellent way to prepare your heart for the ADVENTure of Christmas. They are like well-worn paths that lead you to what you have been searching for.

Take some time to reflect upon what traditions are meaningful to you and your family. Are there any new traditions you’d like to start?

Would you allow me to suggest one? Tonight, ABC will help the Peanuts Gang celebrate their 50th anniversary of sharing the true meaning of Christmas.[1] Why not join them? Pop a big bowl of popcorn, make some cocoa, gather some family and friends and sit down to enjoy the one Christmas special that puts the ADVENTure of Christmas into perspective.

Nov 30

I don’t know about you, but Linus’ speech gets me every time when he quotes the Christmas story from Luke chapter 2.

Just make sure you don’t ruin it for others by quoting every line (*smile*).

Today’s Family ADVENTure!

Family activity: Put on your pajamas, snuggle under the blankets, and tune into ABC to watch Charlie Brown Christmas with friends and family.

Dinner discussion: What are some of you favorite traditions? Are there any new traditions you’d like to start? Take it one step further and start one of these new traditions!

[1] Check local listings for airtime

Wind Storm 2015

As the light begins to shine on a new day, I am waiting to go outside to see the damage that was done by last night’s wind storm. The wind was so strong that it downed large trees and power lines. We were without electricity for about eight hours as we sat in the dark and listened to the clanging and banging as dozens of shingles fell off of our roof.

This experience made me think about life. Sometimes life gets crazy. We find ourselves in the perfect storm as circumstances arrive with such force that we think we will topple over. It’s in those times that we run to the safety of our loving Father. He is our shelter, refuge and ever present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46).

Then we wait. We wait for the storm to blow over and we wait to assess the damage. Life does some damage to our souls and often times we don’t even know the full extent of the damage until the storm has completely passed and the light has dawned once again.

If you are coming out of a storm, don’t be overwhelmed by the toll it has taken. The shingles of your life may have blown off, but you still have a firm foundation under your feet, Jesus.

Run to him, not away from him. Offer Him the fragments of your broken life and watch what He will do. It will take some time, but don’t give up. This is His promise to you, “To all who mourn in Israel he will give: beauty for ashes; joy instead of mourning; praise instead of heaviness. For God has planted them like strong and graceful oaks for his own glory.   And they shall rebuild the ancient ruins, repairing cities long ago destroyed, reviving them though they have lain there many generations.” Isaiah 61:3-4 TLB

Jesus is a Master Builder and Restorer. It’s His business to repair the damage life brings. Let Him.

Your Friend in Ministry,

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Summer Bible Reading

It’s that time of year again . . . Woo hoo – summertime! Summer is my absolute favorite season, for many reasons: my birthday, it’s warm, pedicures, family road trips, making jam, etc. . .

Usually, as a family, we make an intentional plan to get into God’s Word. This year, my husband and I decided to share our summer reading plan with our church family as well. I am looking forward to seeing growth in both my family and church family.

I thought it would be fun to share it here on the blog as well, in case any of you would like to join us. We’re reading through the book of James and the reading plan goes through the middle of September. The thing I love about this plan is that there are only 1-4 verses to read each day, which allows you to dig deep into what each verse is saying. We’ve also included some cross-reference verses that go along with the theme of certain verses.

The first day’s reading was June 7th, so it’s not too late to join us.

June July verses

Also, we are encouraging people to grow a little deeper in God’s Word by using a SOAP or TIME method to interact/study the Bible a little more than reading alone would allow.

SOAP TIME

To use the TIME method, you will need to use Blue Letter Bible, which you can find online at blueletterbible.org or you can down load the free app. To use the app do the following:

Find the verse you are looking for:

Bible Verse ESV

Then click (by touching your screen) the verse your important word is in. For example, my important word is “generously” in James 1:5. When you click on the verse, this screen pops up:

Interlinear

Click on Interlinear, which is the first option. It will take you to a screen with all the words of that verse. Scroll down to find your important word. When you find it, click on it to find its definition. The Greek definition of the word “generously” is simply, openly, frankly, sincerely.

Meaning of Word

Write down that definition under the “M” part of TIME.

I know this can sound rather complicated, but once you learn to navigate through the Blue Letter Bible app, it is really quite simple. If you get overwhelmed, find a person younger than age 27 and ask them to help you!

Below, I’ve included a few of my journal entries to show you how simple, yet effective, “TIME” in God’s Word can be.

James 1  4

1 Pet 1 6  7

James 1  5

If you don’t already have a plan for reading the Bible this summer, consider joining me. To encourage you, I may post some of my journal entries from time to time, but don’t let the word I’ve gotten from the Lord be left-overs for you. He wants to give you your own!

Your Friend in Ministry,

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