Christmas

The Secret to a Joy-Filled Christmas While Juggling Pinterest-Perfect Holiday Expectations

My friend, Pam, always said that men believed in Santa Claus because when they woke up Christmas morning, everything had already been done. They neglected to see the behind-the-scenes work: baking, cleaning, shopping, etc. Know the feeling? Joy bursts from the Christmas story like fireworks on the Fourth of July. When we still had kids…
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A Christmas Quiz for You

It’s finals time. As my college student takes his finals, here’s a quiz to test your biblical Christmas knowledge: How did Mary and Joseph get to Bethlehem?a. Chariotb. Covered wagonc. Donkeyd. No one knows. Jesus was born in:a. The Bethlehem Innb. A stablec. A caved. A manger The angels told the shepherds to look for:a.…
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I Believe

Something in the human heart desperately wants to believe.  We started watching Christmas movies as soon as the Thanksgiving leftovers hit the fridge. Miracle on 34th Street has long been one of our favorites.  I don’t analyze every movie we watch, but this year, things just jumped out at me. Miracle on 34th Street centers on the tension…
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The Family Business

Son of David. A loaded phrase in Scripture. It came with ties to royalty, future promises of the Messiah, and an eternal kingdom. Consequently, genealogical records were carefully recorded. Genealogies typically read from father to son as seen in Matthew 1:1-17. However, in Matthew 1:20, when the angel appeared to Joseph in a dream, the…
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What’s in a Name?

I’m big on names.  In biblical culture, name often represented character. Think of how many times you speak a child’s name over them. How could that not influence a child? With that in mind, I chose the names of our children carefully:  Benjamin (son of the right hand) Russell (his father’s name)  Richard (ruler, leader,…
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The In-Between Days

It’s Advent time. Christmas trees primp and preen as they don their seasonal finery. Mistletoe dangles from the ceiling. Candles and poinsettias elbow one another for the most prominent display spot. Our homes glitter, glow, and gleam as we celebrate the Light of the world.  I love to spend time reflecting over the Christmas accounts…
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Away in a Manger

Merry Christmas! Instead of the normal blog post, I wrote a Christmas story for your reading pleasure. Biblical scholars believe that, at the time of Jesus’ birth, caves or the lower level of a house often served as stables. I wrote this story from the innkeeper’s perspective of Luke 2. I hope you enjoy it!…
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God’s Chessboard

“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.  (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)  And everyone went to their own town to register.” (Luke 23:1-3 NIV) Rome. One of the world empires mentioned in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2:31-45.  Caesar…
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Saving a Drowning World

As part of our swim classes, our students play lifeguard as we teach water safety. We pose the question, “How do you save someone from drowning?” Their method typically involves leaning over to offer a hand or an object the victim can grab in order to pull them to safety. When the student does this,…
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Baby Jesus: Worship Worthy

Workout for the Week: Worship Worthy Memory Verse: Matthew 2:10-11b Meditation Passage: Choose one from below. Key Thought: Jesus was worthy of worship at the first Christmas, and He is worthy still. Our Christmas carols ring with worship. Can you identify these carols? “O come let us adore Him.” “Born is the king of Israel.”…
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