Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

Christmas Memories   Leave a comment

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Sorry that it has been a while since I posted on here.  With the holiday last week, life became busy and hectic.  I think that I am back in control of everything and will get back to more normal regularity in posting.

This morning I was thinking a lot about the memories which I have from my past Christmas times.  Over the years I have acquired some great memories.  So I thought I would share a list of them with you today.

  • Every year when I was growing up, my sister would purchase an Advent calendar for me which had a piece of chocolate hidden behind each day’s door.  I used to eagerly anticipate that calendar, the chocolate treat each day and the countdown to Christmas.
  • We used to string popcorn and cranberries to use as garland on our real Christmas tree.  I cannot count the number of times that I poked myself with the needle.  Or the number of times that Mom would have to re-thread the string through the needle.
  • We always had a lot of candles throughout the house during the Christmas season.  I would often light the candles, turn on the Christmas lights, and listen to Christmas records.
  • Attending Christmas Eve services and walking out of the church at midnight to find a light snow falling.
  • My Dad’s relatives gathering at our house on Christmas Eve.  One Christmas Eve when I was young the adults had all of us go to my room and stay there.  Soon there was a knock on the front door and when we were allowed to come out of my room we were surprised by Santa standing there.  I still have never figured out who was behind that beard.
  • Waking up on Christmas morning and knowing that I could open anything I found in my stocking but the rest of the presents had to wait until everyone was awake and sitting in the living room.
  • Decorating my college dorm room and having enough lights that we never turned on the overhead light until after Christmas break.
  • Listening to Mannheim Steamroller’s Christmas album in my dorm room with friends.

These are just a few special memories that have come to mind this morning.  What memories do you have?


Who Knew?   Leave a comment

One of my favorite songs this time of year came to my mind today as I was thinking about what to share on Music Friday.  So I hope that you enjoy this!

Posted December 19, 2014 by thoughtfulbeliever in Belief, Christmas, Music, Music Video

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Keep the Nugget   Leave a comment

This time of year it is so very easy to become overwhelmed.  There seems to be so many tasks to get completed.  There is a long list of activities in which to engage.  There are traditions to uphold and a hunger for some new ones.  In all the hustle and bustle of the season, being overwhelmed can lead to a distaste for the season.  Instead of having the joy of the season which we had at childhood, adults can become more eager about the end of the season.

So here is my advice…..  Reclaim the nugget of joy from which the season came into existence.  Christmas was intended to be a time of great celebration.  That celebration, as a result of great joy, was due to the realization that a child had been born many years ago.  This child was no “ordinary” child.  This child was the incarnation of our God.  This child would grow to be a man who reached out to those who had been rejected, who had brought healing to bodies and spirits, who did not only speak about love but demonstrated it in the way he lived.  This man would give the ultimate demonstration of love by willingly dying so that any punishment for sin would be erased from anyone who believed in him.  This man would defeat death through the power of the Spirit and open the opportunity for all people to defeat death.  This is the nugget that must never be lost.

So whenever you are feeling overwhelmed in your preparation for Christmas, reclaim the nugget of joy which began all of this.  Then you will still be busy and have many tasks but the joy will carry you through them.

Reconnecting   Leave a comment

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One of the great aspects of this time of year is that we are given an opportunity to reconnect with people.  Through Christmas cards and the letters included in them, we are able to share about our lives and hear about the lives of others with whom we may not have regular contact.  It is always a great joy for me to go to the mailbox and see who has sent a card each day.  (By the way, mine is in process this week.)

Yesterday, as I worked on Christmas cards, I was thinking about the importance of reconnecting.  Not only is it important to reconnect with friends and family this time of year, but it is also important for us to take time to reconnect with the cause for celebration this time of year.  In the celebration of the incarnation of Christ, we remember that God truly became one of us.  We remember about Christ’s life and ministry.  Of course we remember the ultimate purpose of his arrival, the providing us a way back to God by the removing of the stain of our sins.  Christ brought the ultimate opportunity of re-connection.

The other significant celebration is the welcoming of a new year.  As a believer, I am reminded that just as the Lord was present in my life over the past year, the Lord will be present in this new year.  I have no idea what the new year will bring but the Lord does.  No matter what each day of the new year holds in store for me, the Lord is right there beside me.  I have this connection with the Lord that will not be severed on the Lord’s part.

So I encourage you to not only celebrate the joy of reconnecting with family and friends this time of year but to also reconnect with the significance of your relationship with the Lord.  Reconnect with the reality of what the Lord has done and is doing for you.


Hallelujah   Leave a comment

Recently this song was a major hit on Facebook.  Today, the word hallelujah just continued to run through my mind and heart so let me share this special version of a beautiful song….

Determination   2 comments

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As is my custom, I worked over the weekend trying to get the Christmas lights on the outside of the house to work.  Last week, I picked up the additional strings of lights that were needed to replace the lights that were not working on original testing.  So with some help, I strung lights on all the normal locations and then yesterday attached drop cords and put out the remaining lawn displays.  The moment came to turn on the light switch inside and see what the outcome outside was going to be……  and much like Clark from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, I was met with disappointment.  Some of the issues were just realizing that some strings had not been plugged in but there were other strands of lights and the animated white deer which were just dead.

Now anyone who is given the task of managing the outdoor Christmas light display will tell you, frustration usually accompanies the task.  Add to the expected frustration of lights that were tested not working the matter of having temperatures in the teens, you have a desire to just throw in the towel.  However, most individuals who are assigned this duty will quickly tell you there is a part of you that refuses to let the many strands of lights and displays win.  So like everyone in this role, I began the search for replacement strands.  I had determined a few years ago that it was wiser to just throw away a non-working strand of lights than to try to determine which bulb or which fuse was the issue.  So when I buy replacements, I buy one more than needed because I am confident that another strand will falter.  I used all my extra strands and determined that I still needed to purchase one more strand and a replacement for my dead deer.  Unfortunately, no place in town had the items which I needed.  So after dinner, I made a trip into the metro to get the items.

Upon arrival back home, I began the task of finishing the replacement work.  Of course by now it is dark outside and that means even colder temperatures.  I test the new strand, walk outside, climb the ladder, and put the replacement on the tall bush.  Before securing it in place, I plug it in and find that half of the new strand has decided not to work.  So I take it down, go into the house, and begin to tinker with it in hopes that it will work.  Replacing the fuses did nothing to change the situation.  So I began wiggling each bulb.  Finally, the culprit is found.  I tighten it in its socket and head back out.  This time it continues to work even after being hung and secured.

I then assemble the new white deer.  This one has glitter on it so of course there is glitter all over the floor and some on me.  I test the deer and it is working.  So out in the cold I go again.  I place deer in the appropriate spot, anchor it to the ground and plug it in.  It works like a charm.  Although, I notice that it is using white LED light bulbs and everything else on the lawn uses regular yellow bulbs.  Oh well, I am too tired to care at this point.

Then this morning arrives, I go outside to take the dogs for their outdoor needs and guess what?  Yes, you are correct….  The deer is faintly flickering and I found a new strand of lights not working.  Guess I have another project awaiting me.

I share this story to remind each of you how to remain determined in achieving the tasks which you have been assigned and/or accepted.  There can be times of great frustration.  However, as in the case of my outdoor Christmas lights, determination will help you achieve, your goal.  I love the end result of my work with the outdoor Christmas lights.  I am sure you will come to appreciate your completed tasks as well.

Christmas Eve and Vacation   Leave a comment

a very merry christmas

a very merry christmas (Photo credit: SaltGeorge)

Today is Christmas Eve.  You can definitely tell that by how quiet things are around town.  Some of the businesses are not even open today so that their employees can have the day for travel or final Christmas shopping.  That cannot be said about the malls and large retailers however.  There is a definite busyness around them as people rush in for last-minute items.  The grocery stores are the same way.

Of course, this is a day that I focus on the reason for all of the celebrations.  Tonight we will have a beautiful worship service to remember that on a night many years ago, a young boy came into this world.  This boy was typical in many ways.  He cried, he slept a lot, and he responded to the touch of his loving mother.  He would grow up to be pretty normal in his activities and how he would spend his time.  However, he was also significantly different.  This child born so many years ago would change the course of human history forever and would change the way humans understood God and one another.  This boy, Jesus, would become a man who would teach with authority and newness.  He would reverse the norms of the have’s and have-nots’.  He would change the focus from condemnation and judgment to forgiveness and grace.  He would place love as the primary focus of what it meant to be God’s children.

The work is definitely not complete.  While the birth of the boy would begin a change, the change has not occurred in all the hearts of humanity.  So each of us continues to allow the Spirit to change our hearts.  Each of us are given the opportunity to share the message of the boy whose birth we celebrate.  Each of us are given the opportunity to live the life that he spoke of and provided by example.

Speaking of work, there will be a break in blog posts as I am going on vacation after today.  I eagerly anticipate the opportunity regenerate and to refocus.  My blog posts will begin again on January 7.

Let me close by wishing all of you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and the hope for you to have blessed New Year!