by Johnese Burtram
No other experience quite matches the blend of children and Christmas. The excitement is tangible and chaos reigns. So also is the genuine curiosity and wonder. Christmas - a tantalizing mixture of peril and miracle. The heart-stirring drama of the story speaks to the child-heart in all of us.
Following is from Christmas 2009:
Jejus, - I know Him by Johnese Burtram
So begins another "van conversation." Whether it's traveling to school, to the have lunch with Daddy, or to the grocery, the family van houses the preschooler's think tank. Discussions vary widely and can border on the philosophical. Conversations full of countless questions and long explanations about the state of affairs, makes the trip anything but boring.
"Mamma, Christmas isn't about celebrating Santa Claus, is it?"
Read more. . .
|Upcoming Women's Events|
2012 Days of Prayer
January 5 - Mechanicsville Christian Center
January 10 - Potomac Park Camp
God of the Arts
Ladies Winter Conference
February 17 & 18
2012 Women in Ministry Retreat
April 13 - 15, 2011
Potomac Park Conference Center
|Connecting with the Sistah's|
Traditions: Three Broken Angels by Denise Ouellette
Like every kid, my two brothers and I loved Christmas. We loved the
family traditions such as helping our mom make cookies, fighting over the turkey wishbone, and listening to holiday music while decorating the tree.
My mom had a set of porcelain angel ornaments that I especially
loved and looked forward to hanging on the tree. They looked like little
children and each one held in their arms a Christmas object like a star, or candle. In my child's mind I imagined real angels who looked just like
these that were happily running around heaven. I would spend hours
looking at them and wondering what was heaven like.
Read more . . .
Eat Well, Exercise- and Don't Forget to Laugh
by Mary Frasnelli
My mother - a Queen among those who worry - demonstrated meticulous care for her family. She insisted we eat well and exercise in hopes that healthy habits would produce healthy children. Never the less, we were often sick in spite of her care. However, when I brought problems to her, she used to say, "You cannot see the forest for all of the trees." In other words, be meticulous in your care, but don't be overwhelmed by your cares.
Read more . . .
SANTA PA-PA by Laura Qualls
My father loved Christmas and all that was connected to celebrating Christmas. During World War II, when I was a small child, my father would come out early in the season proclaiming to his two little girls, "DO I EVER KNOW STUFF! DO I EVER KNOW STUFF! LITTLE BOXES, BIG BOXES, WIDE BOXES, SKINNY BOXES...DO I EVER KNOW STUFF!"
When Dad started this, I knew Christmas was near. Excitement began to build in my heart as I anticipated another loved-filled Christmas.
Read more. . .
Sandy Anderson is a Licensed Minister with the Assemblies of God and is active in serving at a new church plant; Destination Church in Colonial Heights, Virginia. She has a passionate desire for women to understand Papa's unconditional love for them, to discover and walk out their unique giftings and for them to each experience an unequaled passion for Jesus Christ. . Sandy Anderson lives in Chester Virginia. She and her husband Lee of 29 years, have two grown daughters, Lachelle and Janelle. She enjoys writing and is published in various online devotional series and in her spare time she loves to read and spend time with family and friends.
THE CHRISTMAS GIFT
by Sandy Anderson
In times before the world began
the Three got together and made a plan
That just in case creation fell
that everything would still go well
As One they talked and pondered long
until at last perfection's song
Angels would come and shepherds would see
this Child of wonder upon bended knee
His name was called Jesus by the Father's decree
that He'll save His people and from sin set them free
And also His name would be called Emmanuel
meaning God, He is with us and yet He still dwells
He'd come and He'd heal and teach us all things
of the Kingdom of Heaven and the love that He brings
The Father looked at His Son and with love He said
"If you'll die for their sins You'll be raised from the dead
But first you will have to go down and be
the image of God, the image of Me
To show them the love that You and I share
I want them to know that I want them for heirs
But it pains to say My only dear Son;
there will be a moment we won't be as one
For an instant of time Your face I won't see
because of their sin You'll bear on Calvary
But once it is finished and You give up the ghost
the victory will come among a strange host
For deep in the earth that serpent will sing
because he'll believe that at last he'll be king
He'll mock You and smite You for all Hell to see
but suddenly a light from Heaven there will be
'This is My Son in whom I'm well pleased
the sin of the world He's just appeased'
And that's not the end, oh no there's far more
He'll take from you the keys and knock down the door
Sickness and death and Hell will no longer reign
so all of creation knows He died not in vain
And now's come the time to set Him on high
for never again will I allow Him to die!"
So when you think of Santa and not gifts from above
just remember the true meaning is From: Jesus, with love
by Ruthie Weinke
Married to Ron Weinke
Falling Waters, WV
Years ago we were living in Hawaii and decided to spend Christmas with my husband's family in California. Our whole family remembers that Christmas well. We went out to see the Christmas lights.
My niece, who now has children of her own, was about three or four years old sat in my lap "Look at all the green and red lights all down the road!" She was looking at all signal lights and noticed only the red and green colors.
The kids, dressed in the pajamas (mostly red) they received to wear on Christmas Eve, sat around the rocker while my husband read the Christmas story. The entire family enjoyed the story and still remember that Christmas.
Christmas memories - precious times we share with family and friends.
Christmas: It's Not a Dream by Nancy Arsenovic
One Christmas our family had the rare privilege (because we were world missionaries) to be together with my brother Ken's family for Christmas day. We sat around the Christmas tree and divided up the gifts that were wrapped and marked. We waited until all were given out before we opened any.
I will never forget our daughters' reactions. Suzi, the youngest, tore into her gifts ripping off paper and bows, glancing at the gifts then going on to the next one. She was in a "normal Christmas frenzy." Then came Tina, the oldest. She looked at her pile of gifts - really almost obscene in abundance - and for some reason, decided that she could not open any of them. It was after much coaxing and begging she finally began to slowly unwrap one gift after another. I thought we would never get through the pile.
Read more. . .
Remembering Christmas by Rosetta M.C. Rushing
During my childhood, we lived on the farm with horses, mules, cows, chickens, goats, and turkeys. Our Dad worked. As children, we had chores to do before the sun went down. Christmas was very exciting at our home. I had six brothers and two sisters. Each of us had our Christmas list to Santa Clause written two weeks before Christmas. When we were not cooperative in doing our chores, our parents told us, if we were not good, Santa Clause might give our presents to other boy and girls who deserved them. Their statements settle all disagreements among us.
Read more. . .
Bethel Temple A/G
|Connecting with Your Family|
What to Do with Santa Claus
Angie Mosteller, CelebratingHolidays.com
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
In my first article,"Who Is Santa, and What Does He Have to Do With Christmas?" I discussed the background of the historical St. Nicholas. Now comes the question of what to "do" with Santa Claus in regard to our family celebrations.
Now I realize that this is a controversial topic for many Christians, so I hope that we can all respect each others' decisions. Many of the families that I admire most in this world have chosen to completely disassociate Santa from their family celebrations (some don't even celebrate Christmas at all). I have a high regard for the commitment of these families to keep the focus on Christ, and I have no intention of convincing them to do otherwise.
However, I know there are some parents, like me, who have fond childhood memories of Santa fantasies and jingles. Though I wholeheartedly agree that the focus should be on Christ during the Christmas season, I wondered if it was necessary to toss out all the old books and ornaments that had any association with Santa. As I struggled with this decision, there were a variety of thoughts that came to mind.
Mr. Fun and Ms. Religious Marry and Try to Celebrate Christmas
by Sarah Phillips
Ah, it's that time of year! The time filled with all our most precious family traditions. Traditions we -- dreaming of our future married lives -- envisioned our spouses embracing with equal sentimental vigor and attachment.
Then you really get married. And yes, he is wonderful. Obviously. But... you now realize there are some things missing from your younger daydreams of Christmas bliss. Like - his family. His traditions. His tastes and preferences. His personality and identity and equally sentimental but inevitably opposite approach to Christmas.
http://www.crosswalk.com/blogs/sarah-phillips/mrs-religious-and-mr-fun-marry-and-try-to-celebrate-christmas-together.html Picture: http://www.askaweddingplanner.com/blog/index.php/2011/03/fight-fair/
Christmas Poem for Mom
For all the nights you stayed up late
to trim the Christmas tree,
For all the costly presents
That you purchased just for me...
For all the times you tucked me in
And read me stories too,
For all the ways you cheered me up
When I was feeling blue...
For all the cookies that you baked
And stockings that you stuffed,
For all the messes you cleaned up
And pillows that you fluffed...
For all the days you loved me,
Even when I made it hard,
For all these things,
and much,much more...
Here's a Christmas card!
(Kinda' makes it all seem worth it,
doesn't it, Mom?...Mom?)
|Think about it|
|Reflections of Christmas
Thanks be to God for his unspeakable Gift- indescribable, inestimable, incomparable inexpressible - precious beyond words.
It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty founder was a child himself.
The way to Christmas lies through an ancient gate....It is a little gate, child-high, child-wide, and there is a password: "Peace on earth to men of good will." May you, this Christmas, become as a little child again and enter into His kingdom.
The greatest gift you will ever receive will never be found under a Christmas tree. It is far too valuable to be stored in any other place but in the depths of your heart.
Daily Christian Quote
On the Morning of Christ's Nativity
by John Milton
This is the month, and this the happy morn
Wherein the Son of Heav'ns eternal King,
Of wedded Maid, and Virgin Mother born,
Our great redemption from above did bring,
For so the holy sages once did sing,
That he our deadly forfeit shoud release,
And with his Father work us a perpetual peace.
That glorious Form, that Light unsufferable,
And that far-beaming blaze of Majesty,
Wherewith he wont at Heav'ns high Councel-Table,
To sit the midst of Trinal Unity,
He laid aside; and here with us to be,
Forsook the Courts of everlasting Day,
And chose with us a darksome House of Mortal Clay.
Child of Bethlehem, what contrasts you embrace! No one has ever been so humble; no one has ever wielded such power. We stand in awe of your holiness, and yet we are bathed in your love.
And where shall we look for you? You are high heaven,
in the glory of the Godhead. Yet those who searched for you on earth found you in a tiny baby at Mary's breast, We come in hushed reverence to find you as God, and you welcome us a man. We come unthinkingly to find you as man, and are blinded by the light of your Godhead.
You are the heir to King David's throne, but you renounced all his royal splendor. Of all his luxurious bedrooms, you chose a stable. Of all his magnificent beds, you chose a feeding-trough. Of all his golden chariots, you chose an ass.
Never was there a king like you! Instead of royal isolation, you made yourself available to everyone who needed you. Instead of high security, you made yourself vulnerable to those who hated you.
It is we who need you, above anything in the world. You give yourself to us with such total generosity, that it might almost seem that you need us. There never was a king like this before!
- Ephraem of Syria (300-379 A. D.)
From A Treasury of Christmas Classics
Harold Shaw Publishers. 1994, pp 14, 18
God bless our soldiers who are away from home this Christmas Season.
A SOLDIER'S NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
(Original Title is "Merry Christmas, My Friend")
'Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
In a one-bedroom house made of plaster and stone.
I had come down the chimney, with presents to give
And to see just who in this home did live.
As I looked all about, a strange sight I did see,
no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stocking by the fire, just boots filled with sand.
On the wall hung pictures of a far distant land.
With medals and badges, awards of all kind,
A sobering thought soon came to my mind.
For this house was different, unlike any I'd seen.
This was the home of a U.S. Marine.
I'd heard stories about them, I had to see more,
So I walked down the hall and pushed open the door.
And there he lay sleeping, silent, alone,
Curled up on the floor in his one-bedroom home.
He seemed so gentle, his face so serene,
Not how I pictured a U.S. Marine.
Was this the hero, of whom I'd just read?
Curled up in his poncho, a floor for his bed?
His head was clean-shaven, his weathered face tan.
I soon understood, this was more than a man.
For I realized the families that I saw that night,
Owed their lives to these men, who were willing to fight.
Soon around the Nation, the children would play,
And grown-ups would celebrate on a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoyed freedom, each month and all year,
Because of Marines like this one lying here.
I couldn't help wonder how many lay alone,
On a cold Christmas Eve, in a land far from home.
Just the very thought brought a tear to my eye.
I dropped to my knees and I started to cry.
He must have awoken, for I heard a rough voice,
"Santa, don't cry, this life is my choice
I fight for freedom, I don't ask for more.
My life is my God, my country, my Corps."
With that he rolled over, drifted off into sleep,
I couldn't control it, I continued to weep.
I watched him for hours, so silent and still.
I noticed he shivered from the cold night's chill.
So I took off my jacket, the one made of red,
And covered this Marine from his toes to his head.
Then I put on his T-shirt of scarlet and gold,
With an eagle, globe and anchor emblazoned so bold.
And although it barely fit me, I began to swell with pride,
And for one shining moment, I was Marine Corps deep inside.
I didn't want to leave him so quiet in the night,
This guardian of honor so willing to fight.
But half asleep he rolled over, and in a voice clean and pure,
Said "Carry on, Santa, it's Christmas Day, all secure."
One look at my watch and I knew he was right,
Merry Christmas my friend, Semper Fi and goodnight.
|Connecting with Your Funny Bone|
The Day After Christmas
The pastor was looking over the crèche the day after Christmas when he noticed that the baby Jesus was missing. He went outside and saw a little boy pulling a new red wagon. In the wagon was Jesus.He walked up to the boy and said, "Hi, there. Where did you get the baby Jesus?"
The boy answered honestly, "In the church."
"Why did you take him?" the pastor asked.
Looking for a Christmas Tree Kowalski and Janzek left Hamtramack and went out in the woods looking for Christmas trees.
They looked all day without any luck.
Near nightfall Kowalski finally said, "Janzek, I'm takin' the next tree we come to, whether it has lights on it or not!"
There will be no Christmas celebration in Washington, DC this year. Apparently they could not find three wise men. http://www.christian-jokes.net/Jokes/Christmas-Jokes/131-No-Christmas-in-Washington-DC-.aspx
Merry Christmas to You Too Please accept without obligation, express or implied, these best wishes for an
environmentally safe, socially responsible, low stress, non addictive, and
gender neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday as practiced within
the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice (but
with respect for the religious or secular persuasions and/or traditions of
others, or for their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at
all) and further for a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically
uncomplicated onset of the generally accepted calendar year (including, but not
limited to, the Christian calendar, but not without due respect for the
calendars of choice of other cultures). The preceding wishes are extended
without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious
faith, choice of computer platform, or sexual preference of the wishee(s). http://www.christian-jokes.net/Jokes/Christmas-Jokes/233-Today's-Merry-Christmas.aspx
|Praying your Christmas will be blessed with grace and truth. Let Immanuel reach into the secret places of your life and reveal Himself as God with you.
A very Merry Christmas to you and your family.
You are loved,