Are We There Yet?

Star

Matthew 2:9-11  After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. 

This weekend, I had the privilege of traveling with three wise men….. My husband and two sons! We embarked on a journey from Minnesota to Iowa, through Nebraska, Wyoming and finally into Colorado where we will attend our daughter’s college graduation. Even though our sons are 27 & 30 years old, about half way through Nebraska the question every mom who has ever been on a road trip with children has heard – “Are we there yet?”

The Magi or Wise Men in Matthew followed a guiding star to Bethlehem to see the infant Jesus. They traveled for days asking, “Are we there yet?” The wise men were determined to reach their destination – Jesus!

May God be with you as you travel through advent, a time of expectant waiting and preparation for both the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas and the return of Jesus at the Second Coming.

You are almost there! Continue to follow the star leading you to Bethlehem’s treasure.

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O Christmas Tree

 

o christmas tree

Luke 2:7  and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

In 2004, Pope John Paul called the Christmas tree a symbol of Christ. This very ancient custom, he said, exalts the value of life, as in winter what is evergreen becomes a sign of undying life, and it reminds Christians of the “tree of life” of Genesis 2:9, an image of Christ, the supreme gift of God to humanity.

The tree was intertwined throughout Jesus’ life. At his birth, he was laid in a manger built from a tree. At his death, he was crucified on a cross built from a tree. To learn more about the incredible life of Jesus, read the entire book of Luke. There are only 24 chapters in Luke. If you read one chapter a day, by Christmas, you will have studied the life of Christ and be prepared to celebrate Jesus’ birthday!

O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree
How lovely are thy branches
O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree
How lovely are thy branches
Your boughs so green in summertime
Stay bravely green in wintertime
O tannenbaum, o Christmas tree
How lovely are thy branches
Let us all remember
In our gift giving and our merriment
With our family and friends and loved ones
The real and true meaning of Christmas
The birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ

O tannenbaum, o tannenbaum
How lovely are, are thy branches
O tannenbaum,…

As we begin the advent season, remember to keep Christ, our tree of life, at the center of your Christmas. He is the reason for the season!

Christmas Puzzles

Puzzles

Romans 8:28  We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

One of the items on my Black Friday shopping list every year is a jigsaw puzzle for both of our moms. I am not a puzzle person, but my mom and mother-in-law both enjoy the challenge of putting a puzzle together. They sort through the pieces handling each one individually to make sure it is right side up. Then begin with the outside pieces and work inward until all the pieces are in place creating a picture more beautiful than the one on the box.

As we move into the Christmas season, it feels like there are so many pieces that need to come together before Christmas morning…. the tree, the decorating, the baking, the cards, the shopping, the wrapping, the parties. How will all of the pieces come together?

As you move forward one step at a time, one piece at a time, know the hand of God will put all the pieces together with Christ at the center of your puzzle.

May your Christmas puzzle be a beautiful one this year!

Give Thanks

1 Timothy 4:4-5  For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.

How will you spend your Thanksgiving this year?

We will be traveling to my sister’s house, to celebrate with my parents, sisters and their families as well as all of our children. I feel blessed beyond measure! It feels like a little piece of heaven on earth, when family comes together to eat, laugh and catch up on life.

We have had years when our extended family wasn’t able to come together for Thanksgiving. On those years, we enjoy hosting Friends-giving with others in our community unable to be with family. One of those years, we volunteered to serve at a community Thanksgiving dinner. It was one of our favorite Thanksgivings.

This Thursday, no matter where or with whom you celebrate Thanksgiving, thank God for the community of people he has placed in your life. People are the greatest blessing of all.

As you quickly move from your turkey dinner into Black Friday it would be the perfect time to start a gratitude journal. Every night before you go to sleep, jot down two things that you are thankful for and at least one person that you are thankful for.

Receive all God has given with a grateful heart.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Fix Our Eyes

Hebrews 12:2-3  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Considered him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. 

Last week, I went in for my annual eye exam. I had perfect 20/20 vision until about 4 years ago when I was prescribed my first pair of glasses. This year, I wasn’t having head aches or experiencing any problems with my eyes…. it was just a routine visit. The optometrist put me through a series tests like which row of letters on the chart can you read and which is better, one or two?

At the end of the exam, my optometrist explained that my eyes had gotten worse. She showed my how much more clearly I could see with the new prescription she was writing.

How healthy are your eyes? Has your sight become blurry? When we fix our eyes on Jesus our life becomes much less blurry. We can see His face with 20/20 vision, no matter how strong our prescription may be.

God bless you and give you eyes to see Him!

 

VOTE

1 Timothy 2:1-2  I urge, then first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for Kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

Tuesday, November 6th is voting day. Please take the time to do your civic duty and get out to vote. This year before heading to the polls in your district, take time to pray for the men and women on the ballot.

For months on T.V. we have seen the smear campaigns against candidates. For the next three days before the election, every time a campaign ad is aired, instead of listening, rolling your eyes and being frustrated…. take that time to pray for that candidate and their family.

This election season, instead of insults and bringing candidates down, lets lift them up. Pray for all those elected, even the people you did not vote for. Pray for them that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

Dark Skies

John 1:4-5  In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

The City of Northfield’s Public Works Department begins work at 7:00 am. Which means, these days I am commuting to work in the dark.

Early this week we were blessed with a beautiful full moon and clear skies. It made my commute so much easier to have the moon lighting up those dark skies. Navigating the roads and turns on my route made the drive effortless.

Life works the same way! On our dark days, when it is hard to see the good in anything, Jesus lights the way making it much easier to navigate the twists and turns of life.

Allow Jesus be the light in your life!