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An Angel Promise

  Luke 1: 30-38– “But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit …

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Are You Ready For Christmas

For the past few weeks, I have had numerous people that I have come in contact with ask me, “…are you ready for Christmas?”  For some strange reason (yes, I say that very sarcastically), those five words have been on my mind all morning as I really thought about what that meant. “…are you ready for Christmas?” Ironically (yes, I also say that very sarcastically, because I know that nothing with God is ironic or coincidental), one of my co-workers came into my office this morning, put something in my inbox and asked me, “So, are you ready for Christmas?”  I started …

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From Tradition to Memories

In a world of busyness and chaos, hustle and bustle, it is nice to take time to stop and enjoy it.  How often do we simply relax with our spouse or play with our children?  I can honestly say I often find myself telling my children to “go play” instead of “let’s play.” One of the many things I love about the Christmas Season is that even though it is hurried in the shopping and wrapping and parties…. there are still those moments when I can sit and do a craft with my children or make cookies with my family.  …

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A New Tradition

A tradition is simply the transmission of beliefs from generation to generation.  We have to be careful that we do not get caught in them and undermine the authority of our creator, but rather bring Him pleasure by remembering Him in all that we do.  Such traditions that bring Him pleasure are saying grace before we eat or the taking of the Lords Supper.  As we do this, we quote “…Do this to call me (affectionately) to remembrance.” I Cor. 11: 24 AMP  I am always amazed at the various types of family traditions that I hear about during Christmas …

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Great Joy

                              “… I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2: 8-9 NIV, emphasis added) My youngest son loves to play with our toy nativity. It is a “Little People Nativity” that has lasted through his older sister and brother and now has been discovered by him. Three different sets of little hands have held the little baby Jesus, made the …

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Hope

      When I said I would write about hope during the Advent season, I thought it would be easy. Hope is a wonderful thing, right? So surely the words would flow easily, giving way to a hope-filled post. Only, when I started to write, the words simply wouldn’t come. I wrote “Hope.” at the top of the page and it just sat there, as if it were mocking me. You see, lately I’ve been afraid to hope. It seems like every time I get my hopes up about something, it all comes crashing down around me—my heart in …

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The Light that Shines in the Darkness

Hey everyone- Carissa here! One of my favorite Christmas passages comes from the words of Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist and the one who held the honor of hearing a word from the Lord for the first time in 400 years. “Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.” (Luke 1:78-79) The mercy of light in the darkness… anyone who is sitting in suffering today understands …

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When Your Christmas is Blessed

  “And Theirs Isn’t”     Christmas, like any holiday, can be a blessing for some and a painful reminder of loss and loneliness for others. We often hear advice on how to keep our chins up when we’re struggling through Christmas, but what if you’re like the majority who are having a very Merry Christmas and yet know of someone who isn’t? Guilt settles in as you realize that it could have easily been you in their shoes, but you were spared. Maybe the person who popped in your head is struggling financially, lost a loved one, or received …

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Hidden Gifts

  Some of the most wonderful gifts we ever receive are surprises. They can be free or extremely expensive, be wrapped with a bow or take the form of a person. The element of surprise within a blessing is all about perspective and when we have the right perspective, it can affect everything else in our lives. Imagine a young boy who’s always longed to play the guitar. On Christmas morning, wrapped in a beautiful red bow, is a brand new acoustic just for him! He is overcome with joy because he never had a clue that the gift could …

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Priceless Christmas

Is it just me, or does disappointment sometimes seem to rear its ugly head at the most illogical times? How much sense does it make to feel discontent or discouraged when you are in the middle of mounds of blessings? It sounds spoiled to say that, but I know I’m not the only one. Sometimes we tend to hyper-focus on what we wish would be and it’s hard for us to see the greatness of where we are. We see and hear examples of this most obviously in the faces and voices of excited children at Christmas. It sounds like …

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All Things New

Some of my favorite decorations at Christmas are the ones that reflect a time long past: vintage ornaments, popcorn chains, and brown paper packages tied up with string (sorry, couldn’t help myself). There’s something nostalgic about Christmastime when you’re picturing the beauty of years gone by. However, irony lies in the fact that nowadays it seems to take more effort and investment to embrace something old than to just buy something new- just look in those home magazines! How much money do we spend on items that look like they’re a hundred years old when the factory made them just …

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Faith Like Mary

Do you remember when you were about 14 years old? I was a sophomore in high school and boy, did I think I was grown! I thought that I knew exactly how my life was going to work out, what I was going to be, and how God was going to use me. HA! I was a good kid who loved God but I also thought God would take all my prayers into consideration and surely, His plans for my life would look like mine because they were great plans! Maybe you were a self-diagnosed goody-two-shoes like I was, or …