Thursday, December 24, 2009

With Us

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from old, from ancient times. Micah 5:2

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child & give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
Isaiah 7:14

Words written. Words of prophesy. 700 years before. The birth. Of a baby boy. In a stable. In Bethlehem. To a virgin. A sign. Given us. Immanuel. God with us.

God with us.

God with you.

No matter. What. You go through.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Advent Attitude

My amazing wife, Melanie, writes...

Advent: Preparing one's heart to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

Take time each day to contemplate what this glorious season means. I have tried to explain some of our Christmas traditions to our children in relation to their own birthdays, something they easily understand. We decorate one room for a day or two when we celebrate their special day. For Jesus' birthday, we decorate the whole house - inside and out - and leave the decorations up for over a month! On their birthday we have a few friends over to celebrate. For Jesus' birthday we get together with friends, church family, neighbors, co-workers - all kinds of people! On their birthday we make a cake and sing "Happy Birthday." For Jesus' birthday we sing all kinds of carols and eat a wide variety of special treats. On their birthday they receive presents from friends and family members. For Jesus' birthday we give gifts of love to friends, family, and even people we don't know - all because of the grace gift that God gave us in Jesus.

As you consider the task of decorating your house to prepare for the Christmas activities this week, remember to take time to prepare your heart as well. Try not to get frustrated with the lights that don't work, the ribbon that's starting to look a little faded, or the tree with a missing branch or two. Remember who's birthday party you are getting ready for, and smile because you have an opportunity to celebrate! We are celebrating the glorious birth of our Savior!

I'm getting excited just thinking about it all! Have a blessed Advent-ure this week, dear friends.

The proper Advent attitude is to humbly, thankfully remember the simple reason why we celebrate Christmas in the midst of all it has become. God loves us & sent His only Son to earth as a baby. A Son that would give his life to free us from sin, provide us abundant life now & eternal life in heaven. Thank you, Melanie for allowing me to share this. Thank you, God, for loving us as you do.