Top Ten Christmas Activities

What are your top ten Christmas activities?  I’m listing mine below  (in no particular order) and would love to hear from you!  Merry Christmas, and God bless us, everyone!

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Decorating the Christmas Tree and our whole house for Christmas.

I so enjoy home décor, period, but I get so much joy in pulling out meaningful ornaments and making my Christmas trees pretty.  I had planned to buy another tree for my dining room, but they were so expensive that I decided to wait for the after-Christmas sales.

Fortunately, my next-door-neighbors were tossing their tree because the lights weren’t working anymore.  They said I could have it, so I drug it across the street and put new lights on it.  I used only silver ornaments, while we used the other ornaments on our living room tree.  My “silver tree” is so beautiful–one of the prettiest I’ve ever had.  It lights up the whole dining room with it’s white lights and silver elegance.  (At least I think so!)

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Hearing my husband read the story of Jesus’s birth in Luke 2:1-20.

The story of Jesus’s birth is so beautiful.  The verses are like a balm in their rhythm and the hope they give us in our world.  I think people are more generous and kind at this time of year because so much is focused on our Lord, the Light of our complex world.

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Baking Christmas goodies

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Grandmother Lindsey (who lived just across the pasture from us, when I was growing up in rural south Alabama) used to always make the best in sweet Christmas goodies.  My favorite were her date balls, fudge, and divinity.  When I was supposed to be practicing the piano, I’d go swipe a piece between songs.  But I think she knew about it! 😉

Shopping for Christmas gifts for everyone.

Carefully selecting Christmas gifts for everyone is a favorite hobby of mine.  I like to get the best gifts at the best prices and be a good steward of my cash.

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Crafting hand-made presents for family and friends.  Being crafty in wrapping gifts.

I am in my element, my happy place, my zone when I’m making presents for family, friends, and Princess Buttercup’s teachers.  Furthermore, I like adding just a little bit of creativity when wrapping my gifts.  I’d better get on it, actually.  I’ve got only 2 weeks till show time!

Singing Christmas carols.

We went caroling last year.  I did that for the first time when I was in college and loved it!  I want to get a brave group to sing in our new (as of June 2016) neighborhood.  Any volunteers?

Spending time with family and friends.

Spending time with those I love makes Christmas a special time for bonding and building memories.  It’s the time of the year that Lefty takes time off of work, and Princess Buttercup and I love that!

Opening presents.

I’ve gotta be honest…opening presents is just plain fun!

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Silver snowflake, a gift from my friend Kibbers.

Attending all the parties and eating all the good food!

We southerners are known for our food.  It just wouldn’t be Christmas without the feasting.

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Smiling and saying, “Merry Christmas” to people I meet.
</h1>Like I said for my second activity on the list, people are so much friendlier around Christmas time.  True, traffic can be a nuisance.  And true, we’re southerners, and people from other places say that we’re friendly, anyway.  But I think people are kinder around Christmas because so many more are thinking of the Light of the world, Jesus Christ.

10 Bible Verses to Jump-start Your Week

2bible_oct25I don’t know about you, but my Monday is getting off to a very s-l-o-w start!

The weekend was so much fun, filled with family and friends, and now it’s back to work.

Never fear, here are 10 verses (or a collection of verses) to start our week out great–even if you are having a slow start, too!

  1. Romans 10:12
    “…the Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call upon Him…”
  2. II Corinthians 4:16
    “…Our inner man is being renewed day by day…”john14
  3. II Corinthians 5:20
    “We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
  4. II Thessalonians 2:16-17
    “May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.”
  5. I Peter 1:17-16
    “Prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do, for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.'”
  6. Isaiah 40:29
     “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”dumb_bells
  7. Psalm 7:10
    “My shield is God Most High who saves the upright in heart.”
  8. Psalm 9:1-2
    “I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. I will be glad and rejoice in you. I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.”
  9. Galatians 6:10
    “So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.”
  10. Philippians 4:8
    “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.”

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Hope for a World Gone Mad

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Flower on the ridge.

The headlines are ominous:

  • Isis attacks French Church During Mass –Priest’s Throat Slit.
  • Terrorist Cell Plots Attack for Brazil Olympics.
  • Racial Tension in United States Hits Breaking Point

Where does it end? Should we stay home from church? the mall? the grocery store?

You would think that our world has gone completely mad.

I would never minimizing the pain of a hurting world and what’s going on now. But here’s the thing, if I were a hundred years old right now, this is just some of the things that I would have already seen.

1918-1919 Spanish Flu Epidemic killed around 50 million people.
1921 Drought destroyed crops in Soviety Union. Lenin doesn’t even admit that there’s a problem and sends no help.
1931 Massive flooding on Yellow and Yangtze rivers in China leads to drowning and subsequent diseases.
1947-1981 Cold War.
1912 Titanic sank, killing over 1500.
1914 World War I — Supposedly the “War to end all wars.” 9 million soldiers killed, millions more wounded.
1929 Stock Market crashes, initiating the Great Depression.
1933-1949 The Holocaust.
1940-1941 The Blitzkrieg.
1940-1945 World War II — 1939-1945.
1957-1958 Asian famine kills millions.
1961 Bay of Pigs disaster.
1972 Eleven Israeli coaches/athletes killed during Munich Olympics.
1979-1981 Iran hostage crisis holds the United States on edge. 52 diplomats and other Americans held for 444 days.
1986 Chernobyl disaster.
2010 Haiti earthquake. Over 230,000 killed.

***

Where was God in all of this? He was right where He was supposed to be–on His throne, and saddened by all that He saw.

“The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. (Genesis 6:5*)”

However, the same God wants us to be encouraged.  In Philippians 4:8, the Bible says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Even if you are a non-Believer, I simply ask you to think of these things:

Somewhere, today…

…a beautiful and healthy baby was born.
…a child took his first step, with a proud family looking on with camera in hand.
…a toddler first glimpsed the vast ocean for the first time and felt the sand between her toes.
…a young woman procured the new job she was praying for.
…a father received a raise.
…a mom realized her new business venture was a hit.
…a loving married couple saw a positive on a pregnancy test after years of praying for a child.
…a flower bloomed.
…the sun came up.
…we all took a breath of oxygen.
…the world went on.

“Take heart, I have overcome the world.” (Words from Jesus Christ, John 16:33.)

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Note: All scripture was taken from http://www.biblegateway.com.this Morning some i