Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Of Falling Buckeyes and Buds in Winter


In shades of winter white, the buckeye tree waits, hushed and still. It stands outwardly dead and cold in the rain and mist that drapes it in a pale shroud.  A fleeting moment of diffused sunlight touches the almond-colored bark and it brightens coolly.


A few tenacious buckeyes cling stubbornly to the tree, not ready to fall . . . not just yet.


The buckeye tree speaks to me in the days leading up to the turn of the calendar that drops the final leaves and buckeyes on the old year.

2010 has been more than I ever expected . . . and less.


It has been MORE . . .

. . . busy,
. . . rewarding,
. . . painful,
. . . terrifying,
. . . trying,
. . . victorious,
. . . grace-infused,
. . . celebratory,
. . . people-full
. . . and love-soaked than I knew it would be.

It has been LESS . . .

. . . plentiful,
. . . complicated,
. . . home-bound,
. . . sad,
. . . distant,
. . . tentative,
. . . fear-driven than it might have been.

I am thankful for all the bad things that could have happened, but didn't.


I am thankful for all the good things that didn't have to go right, but did.


I am more-than-I-can-say THANKFUL for God's protection over the lives of my family this year!


While there were many things I would have written differently in the story of 2010, gratitude is uppermost in my mind as I look back at how God has kept us closely in His loving care for the last 12 months.  There have been splashes of glowing green leaves and warm bright light this year, for which I am deeply grateful, but in many ways this has been a year of winter whites, sparse and stripped down to essentials, the fourth in a series of years of trial and struggle. Now it is almost time for the last buckeye pod to open, releasing the beautiful polished-wood seeds within, hopefully to produce the trees they are destined to become, job finished, mission accomplished.




Cycles completing and cycles renewing, simultaneous life and death, beginning and ending. As the old year releases and falls away, the next cycle has already begun to open the fresh and tender bud of the new year.


The calendar year turns for us in the Northern Hemisphere in the middle of winter.  Even here in California where the rain turns everything a springy green, the leafless trees tell us it's winter.  When they are bare and naked against the winter white sky the buds stand out in stark contrast to the death all around.

What will this yet-to-be-opened budding new year bring?

Sometimes I refuse to give myself permission to expect the best from it--circumstances in the world, and an extended time of difficulty these last few years put a bit of damper on my usual optimism.  Other times I think, "Surely this will be the year of our turning!"  The truth is, I cannot see what is contained in the bud of the year 2011, but I know Who goes ahead of me into it and Whom I can trust to guide and carry me through it.
"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV
If you are facing the coming year with fear and uncertainty, please be encouraged in knowing that you are not alone.  Many, many people are feeling the same way.  I pray that you will know Him in new and deepening ways this year and that He will calm all your fears with nothing less than Himself.  I pray that Deuteronomy 31:8 will come alive for you personally as you experience the LORD going before you!  I pray that this will be the year of our turning, both individually and as a nation, and that this time next year we will have many joys and victories to thank God for!


How did you experience God going before you in 2010?
How does that comfort and encourage you going into 2011?


P.S.  To my readers--Thank you for sticking with me through my year of interruptions.  Thank you to everyone who gave me the gift of a comment--your encouragement is precious beyond measure.  I wish each and every one of you a most Blessed New Year!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Living Backwards in the Upside-down Kingdom

"What I'm about to tell you is true. Anyone who will not receive God's kingdom like a little child will never enter it."  Luke 18:17 NIrV
I fully expect Merlin and his owl to step out of this tree
at any moment! Don't you?
I've told you before that one of my all-time favorite movies is the 1967 musical, Camelot.  In that movie, one of my favorite characters is Merlin, who lives in a tree, keeps a pet owl who sits on his shoulder and has eyes that look like mercury--pure magic to me when I saw Camelot for the first time in the theater, my first movie ever!

In the beginning of the story, a nervous King Arthur finds himself at a loss to know how to do and say the right things to his bride-to-be, and he laments that his teacher, the wizard Merlin, isn't there to tell him what to do.  He tells Guinevere that Merlin "is the wisest man alive--he'd know what to do!  He lives backwards."  She is understandably incredulous, wondering what he could possibly mean.  Arthur explains further, "He doesn't age, he . . . youthens."


Only in Camelot, right?


Not so fast--maybe it's not only in Camelot that it's possible to live backwards.


There is another kingdom, a true Kingdom, with a King who delights in turning the ways of the world upside-down.  Truth be told, it's the world that has things the wrong way up, but since we are so used to living here, we get turned around.  In this great King's right-side-up, upside-down Kingdom, growing up moves backwards.  Unlike here, where growing up means increasing independence on your way to maturity, in the upside-down Kingdom, growing up means depending less and less on yourself and abiding more and more in the King.  In the upside-down Kingdom, the longer you mature, the more childlike you become!  You could think of it as spiritual "youthening."

"Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ." Ephesians 4:15 NIV1984
In the waning days of this year, it's time to reflect on whether I've shown any signs of "youthening" since last year, and to begin to prepare my heart to begin a new year of living backwards in the upside-down Kingdom.

Do you think you're aging, or youthening?
What childlike qualities do you think Jesus had in mind?
__________________________________________

I'm joining Ann Voskamp in her counting of the multitude of gifts God bestows everyday!
I hope you'll join in if you haven't already!


holy experience

#191-205


191. Young pastors who stand tall in wisdom and love
192. That when I call to vent sadness and frustration, Daddy calls me higher
193. For Drummer Boy, willing to walk through the fire for the sake of his love for others
194. That She-So-Sweet reminded me about the lunar eclipse in time to take pictures






195. For the Word who set the machine of stars and planets and moons awhirl and keeps it all in perfect motion
196. For even a little bit of wherewith to buy Christmas presents--giving feels so good!
197. Old friends who can't wait to see you
198. A Christmas party where there was no "small talk!"
199. For an acquaintance renewed and his strong encouragement for Drummer Boy
200. For She-So-Sweet's sense of humor and her feisty fun with *his* mom  =)  
201. For the contentment I saw in my children on Christmas morning
202. Windshield wipers
203. Our sure-footed SUV that carries us safely home in the heavy rain
204. For the opportunity to notice and appreciate things we used to take for granted
205. For my precious Savior who gave up so much "for the joy" of not giving us up

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

When Mama Grizzly Comes to Christmas


Celebrating is the easy part.  Lights, laughter, favorite food and sweet treats, songs that set bells a-jingle and us all warm and tingly with joy, and the Baby in the manger . . . yes, celebrating falls easy into our Christmas lives.


It's living Christmas out in the gritty grind that is sometimes very, very hard.


I must choose my words wisely to write this, I beg your patience for being deliberately vague about details.


I don't WANT to be nice.  I don't WANT to pray for them.


Mama Grizzly is growling low and menacing in me and I would like to unleash her to tell them about themselves.  I could have stood it if they had hurt me, but they hurt my cubs, and now are adding insult to injury--the Mama Grizzly crouches, ready to spring, everything in her screaming for the chance to put them in their place!

Photo courtesy of freelargephotos.com, Copyright © 2010 David Chudnov
All stirred up inside, alone in my living room, I called home to my parents to vent my molten emotion.  I wanted sympathy.  I wanted vindication for the way I was feeling.  Mommy will know how I feel!  She'll get all grizzly with me over the wrong done to her grandcubs and even if we both know better than to actually attack, we'll want to . . . together!  We'll talk it through and she'll help me sort it all out.

But it wasn't my mommy who answered the phone. Grandma Grizzly was busy having the flu, so it was my daddy who got the ear-full of my upset.


He didn't exactly play along with my multi-generational Grizzly Bear theme.

Remember him?
Instead he gave me Coach Allen who coached football and basketball for 40 years and who knows how to get better stuff out of his players than they think they've got in them, better stuff than they naturally feel like giving.

He said it was an opportunity to better understand Jesus.


Have you ever run into a brick wall?  Gotten ice water thrown in your face?  Yeah, it was a lot like that.

But Daddy, can't you see how wrong they were and how the cubs were only trying to do something good?


Just like Jesus
, he so humbly reminded.  No judgment in his words, only the tempered steel of one who walks close with the God he loves.  As Daddy coached, his words brought much-studied images to mind of all I knew.  Jesus came with only love in His heart and wanted only to rescue the people He loved.  How did they treat Him?  They rejected Him, spat on Him, beat Him and crucified Him.  What did He do?  Gave His life for them and asked His Father to forgive them because they didn't even realize what they were doing.

And His Father, because He loved the black-hearted abusers too, forced Himself to sit by and watch His Son have all His love wrung out for them.  He could have gone into ultimate Grizzly Bear mode!  He could have destroyed them with a word, He could have sent Heaven's host to give the wrongdoers their deserved comeuppance, or with no effort at all, He could have just simply quit sustaining the very breath and energy it took for them to curse and torture and kill Jesus.  But He didn't.


He allowed His Son to be exceedingly great in the face of earth's most impossible moment.


Mama Grizzly stopped dead in her tracks, frozen by the truth.


I still don't want to be nice.  I still don't want to pray for them.  They still don't deserve it.  And I still, in my mama's heart, want them to make the apology they owe.


BUT . . .


it's time to live the Christmas I say I celebrate, and Christmas is only Good Friday's prologue on the way to Easter's victory.


Without Good Friday and Easter Sunday, Christmas would not be worth celebrating, and if I am unwilling to live sacrificial love in my Christmas, I have no right to celebrate at all.


I have often heard my daddy say when someone is causing friction, "Jesus loved 'em enough to die for their sins, but I struggle with that person."  That's honest and that's where I am with this.  But since Jesus did love them enough to die for them . . . AND for me . . . at my most black-hearted . . . I can follow Him and pray for them and be kind despite everything.


It also means I can support my son when he faces a tough-to-swallow moment of his own and stands humbly tall for the love of people who are counting on him.


As Coach Allen, aka Daddy, said, "That's a pretty good motivation."

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."



Is there any Good Friday or Easter in your Christmas?
Is God giving you opportunities to live Christmas beyond the celebrations?


P.S.  You'll be happy to know that Grandma Grizzly is feeling better and the next day, she did indeed commiserate with me and finished helping me smooth my ruffled hackles.  So good of God to give me such wise and wonderful parents!!
________________________________________________

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Ann's Walking With Him community
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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Labor of Love


Here it is!  There is one box I must find first--the 22-year old cardboard box with yellowing shipping tape and Grandma Laurene's lacy handwriting with our used-to-be address in Oakland on it.  This is the decoration that goes up first every year!


The contents are just as they were the first time I opened this box--two pieces of heavy foam sandwiching the prize between them.  The excitement is the same in 2010 as it was in 1988! Our very own jewel tree, designed and hand-crafted just for us by Grandma Laurene and Grandpa Dale.


Like others in the family who had these special customized trees, Hero Husband and I, married just 8 months when we received ours, were being acknowledged as the beginnings of a new family, a new branch on the family tree.  I loved that!

I looked at every single detail!  There were so many lovely vintage pieces of costume jewelry I vividly remembered being worn by both my Grandma and my Great Grandma before her.


Oh, and look here--using an old brooch as a picture frame was a picture of my mom and dad as high school sweethearts--the roots of my tree.



At the top was a cross, properly occupying the most prominent position . . . then a rhinestone "F" for my new last name . . . a golfer pin for Hero Husband with his initials hand painted in gold . . . one of our wedding pictures . . . an American flag for this very American girl . . . a pair of sandstone earrings from the Black Hills of South Dakota--a family favorite place . . . a picture my Grandpa took of me at my graduation--they drove 1800 miles to be there . . . an Oakland A's baseball cap because they knew we were such fans . . . and many, many more details that highlighted who we were.


Each and every piece was a tangible memory, a touchstone, a token of history . . . my history . . . our shared history.  There were even little nods to our new life together and celebrations of who we were becoming.

This was such a labor of love!  The detailed planning, the framing and arranging, the placing of each light and fixing it in place must have taken hours!  I love thinking of my Grandma and Grandpa working together, sharing ideas and picking out each just-right piece, excited to give us the treasure they were creating.


You won't believe this, but I have never had to change a light bulb on my jewel tree!  A Christmas miracle?  Could be!


There is another labor of love, a true miracle, that outshines even these tiny lights that have lasted me so long.  In a humble stable in Bethlehem, a very young, very faithful virgin girl labored to give birth to God's own beloved Son.  Her tiny baby held all the hopes and dreams, the joys and passions, the hurts and needs and broken hearts of the whole human race. And if that wasn't a job too big for one so small, He would also be called the "Light of the World." Wrapped in swaddling clothes that temporarily hid the light of His majesty, Jesus came so the lights in our living "jewel trees" would never have to go out.

"The LORD their God will save his people on that day
as a shepherd saves his flock.
They will sparkle in his land
like jewels in a crown."



How are you letting your light shine?
What does it mean to you to be a jewel in His crown?
__________________________________________

I'm joining Ann Voskamp in her counting of the multitude of gifts God bestows everyday!
I hope you'll join in if you haven't already!


holy experience

#176-190
176. Gifts that God tucks in when things go wrong--when my battery died (again)we got to drive around looking at Christmas lights while the battery recharged.
177. Unexpected blessings in spite of because of redirection
178. Wisdom from a pair of delightfully rambunctious 4 year old boys:  "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit!"
179. Little girl with dancing sapphire-blue eyes and a sifting of freckles across her nose--she jumped up to breathe in the wisps of smoke from the blown-out candles , exclaiming, "I LOVE that smell!"
180. When I called Drummer Boy to find out how his final went, he was just picking up the phone to call ME to say that it went great!
181. Sitting in on She So Sweet's basketball referee training
182. Time to gather at Peet's to talk and catch up with Hero Husband & She So Sweet at the end of the day
183. This week's extra places to share my blog and to connect with other bloggers' stories of their step-by-steps with God
184. Technology that connects me with people I have yet to meet face to face, making them into close friends
185. Discovering the classic movie Holiday Inn with She So Sweet
186. Favorite Christmas decorations that usher in "a feeling of Christmas."
187. Being on the same page
188. That Drummer Boy was able to reschedule work to be with the family on Christmas Eve
189. Spoken words that reconcile hearts
190. Generous family members who fill up our empty places


Also linking to L.L. Barkat's Seedlings In Stone today!


On In Around button

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Love Wrapped in Flesh



INCARNATION

The Flesh-wearing Word lived and breathed and moved among us, sharing our space-and-time existence, for a span of 33 years.  In that mere blink of history, He spanned the chasm between divine love and human desperation.

Christmas . . . His coming.  We so easily envision His birth, the praising angels, the Joy to the World, the Peace on Earth, the Good Will to Men, shepherds, wise men, drummer boys--the Christmas card comes to life in our mind's eye.  But do we rewind a little further, go back to the moment where He took off His glory like a glistening robe and left it hanging on a hook in Heaven's hallway?  Do we envision the moment He handed His crown to His Father and said, "Don't worry--I've got this!  I'll go!"  Do we reckon with the sacrifice it was for Him to limit all that He had always been to the permanent wearing of humanity, just so He could rescue us from the dragon . . . and ourselves . . . and our ugly sin?
  • He, who was all-powerful, put on helplessness in the tiny, fragile-strong, soft-wrapped body of an infant.  He wanted to know how powerless we feel.
  • He, who created time, accepted the limitations of being clock-bound, living on borrowed time as we do.  He wanted to experience our life of deadlines and finitude, and to know what it's like to have to hurry and be late and feel that there is never enough time.
  • He, who put the machine of space and stars and planets into clockwork motion, had to learn a trade at his father's side.  He had to start from square one to learn how to put muscle and sinew and sweat, hard work and know-how to into carving and building pieces of trees into useful pieces of furniture.
  • He, who is the WORD, the eternal LOGOS, came to put the great "I AM" into words little children like us could understand.
Do we know how far down He reached for us?  No, we really don't.  We can only catch glimpses and make feeble attempts to reach as high as our tippy-toes will let us to know all that He really gave up for the sheer inexplicable love of us.  His love is everything there is.  Nothing else matters.  Nothing else is of any value.


In this season of gifts and gift wrap, I pray that we would remember the very first Gift wrapped for Christmas--the Word was wrapped in flesh and given for people stuck in flesh that wasn't worth saving.  I pray too that we would  unwrap that gift, reach inside and grab ahold with both hands the LOVE He gave, the LOVE He IS, and pass it around to everyone we know.  There simply is no greater gift than this:

"So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father's one and only Son."  John 1:14 NLT



What part of His coming blows you away?
How will you grab ahold of His love and share it?
________________________________________________

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Stacking Lack or Gathering Bounty?


Northern California is rainy this time of year.  While many of you are eagerly anticipating the beauty of a white Christmas, here we get rain.  Some people don't like it and can't wait for the return of the sunshine, but I like the break in the monotony of weather that doesn't have 4 distinct seasons to follow.  Rain is also lovely for turning the hills an almost Irish shade of green (at least how I imagine Ireland to be).  Then there's always the fact that I hate it when the powers that be talk about drought and rationing water and expecting me not to flush toilets--so yessirree, I do love the rain!!

This week brought rain, really more heavy mist than rain, but so heavy you could actually hear it. It soaked and soaked and soaked into everything.  For a day and a half it lingered.  It gave some people all the reason they needed to complain.  I just listened to the lovely soft sound it made and breathed it in.  The morning it stopped, I drove up a street that is lined on one side with huge eucalyptus trees.  In place of their usual silvery trunks were colors I didn't know they had in them!  I have been driving past these trees for over ten years and have NEVER seen them wearing COLORS like this!


Practically speaking, I shouldn't have taken the time, but I went home, got my camera and went out gathering pictures of the stunning and surprising beauty God had created.  For an hour and a half I meandered up and down a quarter of a mile stretch of road that I drive multiple times a day, examining in detail the unique beauty of that rain-drenched morning.


Later in the day I drove up the same avenue of eucalyptus again and it was as if it had never happened.  Drying in the peek-a-boo sunshine, the trees were back to their usual silvery browns and greys and all traces of the morning's glory were again cloaked in normal.  Like the sunrise I shared with you last week, and the rainbow before that, I could have missed it entirely.  I could have stacked up my lack of time and failed to gather the bounty of uncommon beauty.  I was utterly nourished in my spirit when I obediently . . . joyfully . . . CONTENTEDLY gathered up the good gift God wanted me to have for that day. This was my "up the sunbeam" moment to exclaim, "This also is Thou!" (C. S. Lewis)


I
n this world there will always be ample opportunity where I can choose to stumble around my days, stacking up lack and dissolving into the lamenting howl of a child who hasn't gotten everything she wanted . . . 

OR . . .


I can choose instead to deliberately walk out into my world with joyful wonder in my heart at all the miraculously good gifts there are to gather, and a song on my lips in gratitude to Jehovah Jireh who provides them every day!

"Every good and perfect gift is from above . . ."
James 1:17a NIV

Which one sounds like more fun . . . which one sounds like drudgery? Which one breathes the breath of life into weary bones . . . which one puffs the smoke of weariness in my face? Which one makes the trip drag on and on . . . which one makes the journey as miraculous as the destination?

Christmas itself is filled with these points of decision about what we will stack up.  Stress or Joy?  Busyness or presence in the moment?  Have to or want to?  The season or the Reason for it?  Mary showed us the way--she could have built a very tall stack of lack and lament over the way her life was interrupted, overtaken and redirected.  Instead of crying about having to give birth in a stable, she rejoiced in the divine identity of the baby she bore there, gathering up every detail for her collection of God's amazing favor toward her.

I have begun to ask myself--Which stack are you building?  Which collection are you adding to? Are you stacking up lack?  OR  Are you stacking up blessing and provision, joy and grace?  Are you collecting things to add to your list of what you want and don't have?  OR Are you adding to your collection of God's good gifts that He picked out just for you?  The stack I build each day, the collection I give my time and energy and passion to, determines to a large degree, the kind of day I have.

" . . . whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Philippians 4:8 KJV

What are you stacking up this Christmas season?

__________________________________________

I'm joining Ann Voskamp in her counting of the multitude of gifts God bestows everyday!
I hope you'll join in if you haven't already!


holy experience

#161-175

161. My first Christmas Tree Ornament sold!
162. For Drummer Boy's wry smile and self-control in a maddening moment
163. For She So Sweet rocking it out!
164. The chance to watch Hero Husband in action, motivating, inspiring and uplifting
165. For eyes that stayed open long enough to get it finished
166. My BSF girls who earnestly seek Him and help me chew on His truth
167. A wonderful evening with the World Impact team to wish Hendrik and Judy farewell
168. Cajun Macaroni & Cheese with Shrimp & Andouille Sausage! and Crème Brulee shared with Hero Husband
169. That every once in awhile the timing works out to perfection
170. Eye-achingly beautiful colors of LED Christmas lights
171. The soft misty rain that fell and fell and fell
172. The astounding colors of the eucalyptus trees revealed by that misty soaky rain
173. The time I stole to go on a photo-excursion exploring the visual mysteries of saturation
174. Getting to play vocal coach and sound tech (and Pro Tools wannabe) for Drummer Boy's project
175. That when you take it straight to Him, God counts even tearful temper tantrums as earnest prayer

Also linking to L.L. Barkat's Seedlings In Stone today!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Simple Simplicity


I love Christmas lights!!  I love the color and dazzle they bring!  I love that they illustrate the truth that Jesus came as the Light of the world!  Every year there are a number of houses I can't wait to see decorated! Some of them are so elaborate, I think the people must have to start around the 4th of July to get all those lights in place for the next Christmas season!  I love it that there are people who will go to these lengths, but it makes me tired just to think about all that work!!  Here is a video of one such magical place (I've never been there, but would love to see this in person!)--more power to 'em!!



Pretty great, huh?!!  I think so too!


Of all the houses that I love to see decorated, there is one house I look forward to more than all the others.  They came through for me just this past weekend, much to my delight!!  My son called me a "creeper" for going and lurking in front of this house, quietly snapping pictures to capture it, but I LOVE THIS PLACE and I HAD to share it with you!!  







SCROLL ON DOWN TO SEE!!




































How amazing is that?!!!  Do you not love the complete and utter simple simplicity of this?  It makes me happy every. single. year!!  I think it is brilliant that with the changing of two little light bulbs, this guy (it has to be a guy, right?) makes his statement crystal clear--THIS HOUSE CELEBRATES CHRISTMAS!  No fuss, no muss, no complications, but so definite, so distinct!


It is easy to feel pressured by the expectations of the season, by traditions you may or may not love, by what the neighbors do, by your own desire to do something superlative to celebrate Christmas.  It can be disheartening if your circumstances don't allow you to celebrate the way you picture it in your ideal Christmas visions.
This gloriously (albeit simply) adorned house puts it all back in perspective.

God did the most amazing, unimaginable and God-sized miracle that first Christmas, but He did it in the humblest of places through the most ordinary people with an audience of animals and farm hands under the light of one single star.  How could He do something so great, so grand, so anticipated, so desperately needed--and do it in such unassuming simplicity?

As I try to prepare both my home and my heart for Christmas, I think often of these two simple lamps that say openly, definitely, distinctly, "This house celebrates Christmas!"  It makes me want to keep Christmas simple no matter the complications of the preparations.  

I pray that I can keep Jesus Christ and His beautiful, humble, passion to save the world, foremost in all I do.  In all of our efforts to observe Christmas, I want, like the simple simplicity of a red bulb and a green bulb that symbolize so much more, to be stayed on the simple simplicity of Christmas.  I want to fix my mind on the God who saw sinners in need of a Savior and said, "Go to their rescue, my Son!"  I want to know no other Christmas thought than "Immanuel, God with us!"  I want no other purpose but to say, "This heart celebrates the Christ of Christmas!"

For you, you who are kind enough to come read the words I offer, if you've never met the Son of God, the One who set aside His divine privilege for the joy of coming to your rescue, I pray that this would be the Christmas when true Christmas finds its way into your heart forever!  And if you know Him, oh I hope you know Him, I pray that you would know Him more vividly, more deeply and more in the simple simplicity of profound JOY than ever before!

"For God so loved the world,
that He gave
His only Son,
that whoever believes in Him
should not perish
 but have
eternal life."
John 3:16 ESV


That, simply, is Christmas.

How do you keep Christmas simple, even in the midst of elaborate preparations?
________________________________________________

Joining the fun at Faith Barista JAM!
~ and ~
Ann's Walking With Him community
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