Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Jesus Our Greatest Treasure and a Gift for You

"Jesus.. was wrapped in swaddling clothes, as other children are when they are new-born, as if he could be bound, or needed to be kept straight. He that makes darkness a swaddling band for the sea was himself wrapped in swaddling bands, Job 38:9. The everlasting Father became a child of time, and men said to him whose out-goings were of old from everlasting, We know this man, whence he is, Jn. 7:27. The Ancient of days became an infant of a span long."

-Commentary on Luke 2 by Matthew Henry

This above quote has given me so much to think about in the last few years. I love reading through the Christmas story and Job 38-42. Somehow reading these Scriptures together just makes the mystery and wonder of Christmas so much more apparent in my own heart. I prepared this document two years ago for our family for Christmas. It is my Christmas gift to you and I hope you enjoy it!

Jesus- Our Greatest Treasure

My sincere apologies

Dear friends, well my first attempt at doing a series on this blog has met with failure. Does it count as a series when you only have one post? I didn't think so. Our precious Lord has graciously seen fit to keep me very busy this Christmas season. With getting the flu, bookshelves breaking and repaired, new (given to me!!!) furniture being moved in and house rearranged, a surprise business trip for my husband, and the regular joy and chaos of children, my house has been decorated and redecorated several times; not to mention busy! Which means that my planned posts on the blessings of decorating for Christmas have fallen by the wayside. So, I apologize dear friends!

My husband it taking a whole week and a half off this year for Christmas which he hasn't ever done. I am so excited! But, I will not be posting until after the new year. So, until then, I thought I would share some lovely Christmas books that we have been enjoying this year:

For our little boys:

 I just love this book and that it includes the names of Jesus within it. This year we are learning the names of Jesus and we make a little paper ornament each day with a name of Jesus and hang it on our tree. This book is so special for tying all that in, especially for the littlest eyes.

We love this book as it present the whole gospel story as a grand tour of the Bible. It is so beautiful and we love reading it. It is a longer picture book so we read a chapter a night or over several days because of my wiggly little guys.

The pictures have a different flavor in this book but my boys like it a lot. I have no idea why it is so expensive. Perhaps because it is Christmas?

This is another favorite with the traditional words to the song and Ezra Keats pictures.

I love this one! The pictures are so lovely with the nativity and I love how the little boys talks about his animals. The boys enjoy it so much as well.

Books for Adults:

I love this book so much! It is a compilation of writings from godly men and women- both old and new. I have enjoyed this greatly this year. She also has an Easter one that I love as well.

I confess I haven't finished this book. But, what I have read so far is wonderful. (Christian Audio has a free audio book download of this this month so look out for that.)

I have not read this book before even though it is considered a classic. I really thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is so very descriptive and just perfect for Christmas. (You can find this book for free through Google Books or as a audio book through Books Should be Free.com)

Well, I hope that you are enjoying your Christmas season celebrating the joyous birth of our Savior. He alone is worthy of all praise! He is altogether lovely.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christ Centered Decorating- Advent Arrangement

I thought that I would start a series on Christ Centered decorating for Christmas. I have been so inspired since a company called Doorposts had a contest on decorating your home with Scripture. So many of the entries were so lovely and inspiring. Ever since then, I have been attempting to decorate my home more with Scripture. So, I thought that would share some of my ideas for decorating at Christmas since the whole reason is Christ come to earth. I would love it so much if you would share how you incorporate Scripture in decorating your home.

Today I am sharing my homemade Advent arrangement. When searching for Advent ideas this year, I had seen many resources that have a reading everyday. I had also seen traditional Advent wreaths with the four candles. (I think I might even have one of those somewhere). But, I have little children and wanted to have something every day for them to do. My little ones just love candles so I decided to make an arrangement where we could light one candle every night. So, each night we light a candle, sing a Christmas hymn, and read a section of Scripture. It has been really lovely so far!

(I must add a disclaimer. I am not a professional decorator. I just am a mother trying to make my home lovely and Christ exalting for my family.)

As you can see, I used two cookie trays as the base. I then used wine glasses and mason jars that I had and turned them upside down. Underneath each glass I put cinnamon sticks and pinecones. Finally, I put some pretty flowers, berries, and foliage around. The picture cuts off the two taper candles that I have for lighting on Christmas Eve and Christmas. The lighting isn't very good as I took this pictures after the kids have gone to bed. It is a big display for our table but the boys are quite excited about lighting all of the candles. It is much nicer in person!

(Also, you'll notice that we only have 24 candles instead of 25. We started a day late so I just put out 24.)

Well, here you are. I hope that it might inspire you a little. As mothers, it is our lovely joy to set before our children memories that will hopefully lead them closer to the Lord. As this beautiful season continues, I pray that you will have multiple opportunities to impress the truths of the gospel upon your children's hearts.

Heaven Can Give No More

Ron DiCianni - Simeon's Moment
Artist: Ron DiCanni

 "O God, take me in spirit to the watchful shepherds, 
and enlarge my mind;
Let me hear good tidings of great joy, 
and hearing, believe, rejoice, praise, adore,
my conscience bathed in an ocean of repose, 
my eyes uplifted to a reconciled Father;
place me with ox, ass, camel, goat, 
to look with them upon my Redeemer's face, 
and in Him account myself delivered from sin;
let me with Simeon clasp the new-born child to my heart, 
embrace Him with undying faith, 
exulting that He is mine and I am His.
In Him Thou has given me so much that heaven can give no more."

~ The Valley of Vision

Monday, December 3, 2012

Prayer for Our Nation Monday- Arkansas

Another Monday is here my friends! What a blessing that we can come before the Lord in prayer. This week we will be praying for Arkansas.

"Wonderful, Holy God, we come before you today in prayer for the state of Arkansas and the people who live there. We just pray that you would do your mighty work in the hearts of those who are lost. Please impress upon their hearts their desperate need for Your salvation. Please give strength and wisdom to those who are serving you in Arkansas and who labor to preach Your Word. May they be refreshed in You Father, for Your glory. May their hearts be dependant upon You alone and not their own strength. You are the One who saves from sin and we praise you greatly for Your love and kindness. In Your wonderful name, Amen."

"The secret of a beautiful life is living in unbroken fellowship with Christ, under the influence of His presence, and the inspiration of His love and grace." ~ J.R. Miller