Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas to All

Originally uploaded by bernardoh

This is a stained glass window of the Holy Family from a church in Australia.
It captures the color and joy I hope you are all having this Christmas season.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Our Christmas Tree and Nutcracker Collection

Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah to All My Blog Friends, Both Near and Far.
Here is our Christmas tree for 2012, all decorated and purty, and most of our wooden nutcracker collection.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Comfort of His Love

Close-up of baby Jesus
Originally uploaded by wrenoud

The Comfort of His Love

A baby was born in a manger
While a bright star shone down from above
And the world learned the depths of God's mercy
And the comfort and strength of His love.
May the thought of that long ago Christmas
And the meaning it's sure to impart,
Bring a wonderful message of comfort
And a deep new peace to your heart.
   poem by Helen Steiner Rice

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

St Clare and waiting for the King of Angels

St Clare
Originally uploaded by Lawrence OP

O marvelous humility

O astonishing poverty

The King of angels

The Lord of heaven and earth

is laid in a manger.

The above was written by Saint Claire of Assisi in a letter to Agnes of Prague.

Saint Claire is also spelled Clare and her life was fascinating; she lived from July 16, 1194 to August 11, 1253.

Her father was a count and her mother very religious, and her father wanted her to be married at age 15. She postponed marriage to age 18 when she met Saint Francis of Assisi, and Claire became his first female follower.

Following her death the order she founded was renamed in her honor as the Order of Saint Clare, today often called the Poor Clares.

Her words (above) are perfect for this Christmas season as we await the birth of the King of Angels.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Sharing the Christmas Story with Kiddoos

I took this photo of our tree in 2010, and like the way the sunlight is illuminating it.

These following ideas were in a recent email newsletter my church sent out, and I added some of my own at the end of this post.
This Christmas we suggest families spend some time together and hear the REAL reason for giving and celebrating at Christmas. During the entire month of December, break the Christmas story into small segments in this suggested way:

A Savior King is Promised - Read Isaiah 7:14; 9:6-7; Jeremiah 23:5; Micah 5:2-5a
The Angel Visits Mary - Read Luke 1:26-38
The Trip to Bethlehem and Stable - Read Luke2:1-7
The Christ Child is Born - Luke 2:6-7
The Angel Visits the Shepherds - Luke 2:8-14
The Shepherds Visit the Manger - Luke 2:15-18
The Wise Men Travel to Jerusalem - Matthew 2:1-8
The Wise Men Worship the Christ Child - Matthew 2:9-12
The Trip to Egypt - Matthew 2:13-15

Make the story come alive, don't just read it from your Bible, but tell it with your Bible by your side. Don't be afraid to stop and discuss something if your child seems confused or is having a hard time understanding. Ask questions while you are telling the story. This could be the start of a new tradition for your family, or a new way of celebrating the season. Any way you do it, the entire family will be blessed.

An idea of my own I like to do is to have the kiddoos move the pieces of our nativity set as we read the above Scriptures.  So at one point the stable is there but has only sheep and cattle in it, and then it fills up as Joseph and Mary and their donkey arrive and Jesus is born, an angel appears, and the shepherds and wise men arrive.