Thursday, December 18, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I wanted to tell you about our Jesse Tree and I also wanted to participate in Kelli's Show and Tell Friday, so I combined the two and here it is. I love Kelli's blog. She is so real, down to earth, and incredibly creative. Go and check her out if you haven't already.
Ok, here is our Jesse Tree in all his glory. I want to show you the picture and then explain the concept.
First, we took a branch from a tree outside and stuck it in one of my milk bottles with some beans for stability. It of course, needed a nice red bow.LOL Then I printed our ornaments for each night and laminated them to go on the tree. Now, every night from Nov. 30 until Dec. 25 we have a devotional that pertains to some promise that God gave having to do with our need for a Saviour. Each one of these ornaments, that we add to the tree nightly, coincides with the promise for that night. So like last night we read the story of Samuel anointing David as king.(1 Samuel 16:1-13) The ornament we hung was a horn filled with anointing oil.
I have really been searching for something that sets this season apart from what the "World" looks like and for us the Jesse Tree has done it. It has been a great time of really seeing how the whole Bible is set up to show us our great need of redemption and how Jesus is that redemption.
I got mine from Graham Family Ministries. I ordered their 12 week holiday planner and the Jesse Tree was part of the planner. However, the devotions are very young and next year I may make them a little more meaty.
Here are some other great sites for Jesse Tree stuff:
http://rocksinmydryer.typepad.com/shannon/2008/11/jesse-tree.html ( this is Shannon at rocks in my dryer's post on her Jesse Tree) http://rocksinmydryer.typepad.com/
Here is a list of blogs that refer to the Jesse Tree:
**************Oh, and check out the snow pictures that I posted yesterday, we got about 4 inches. Which is unbelievable for Mississippi.*********************************************
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
I struggle this time of year with the whole "Christmas" thing and have for a few years now. I know that sounds insane in a world that loves Christmas but I try so hard to live a life that is truly following and seeking God's guidance. So when I look at "Christmas", I ask myself what does God think of this. It is a holiday that is very deeply rooted in Paganism dating back before Christ's birth. Well, we know what God says about that.( Gal. 4:8-11) It's also so commercialized and worldly. God clearly says that we are not to love this world or the things of this world!!! (1 John 2:15)
Then there is the whole Jesus' birthday thing. Well, Jesus was born more like August or September than December. However, what does God say about celebrating His birthday. He doesn't. There are only two mentionings of birthdays in the whole book and they were not happy occassions. (Gen. 40, Matt. 14:6-10) The Bible says to mourn the day of birth and rejoice the day of death.
I could go on and on but I will spare you. I will tell you that if we had been seeking the Lord earnestly, when our children were little, we would have done things very differently. There would probably not be as much of an emphasis on this one day. However, we weren't. So here we are with 3 kids who love Christmas and 2 parents who do not want to crush their spirit.
I have heard the phrase " redeeming Christmas" and I guess that is what we now do. I don't want to focus too much on the Jesus' birthday thing (as far as the day) but I do want to take this period of time to really delve deep into the events of His birth and why He had to be born (as a sacrifice for our sin). So this year we are doing some things differently.
We are doing a Jesse Tree, which is a great devotional tool starting in Gen. and ending with the birth of Jesus. We are also memorizing Luke 2:1-20.
We will still be baking cookies and giving to friends and neighbors. There will still be presents under the tree and singing of Christmas carols. We are just little by little trying to revamp the way we do things in order to become more and more like Christ (2 Cor. 3:18) and put away some traditions of men (Matt. 15:9).
With all of that being said, here are my middle daughter and son making our yearly gingerbread houses. They turned out great and the kids had a great time. My oldest daughter missed out this year, as she has taken on an afternoon job, helping a lady up the street until January. (sniffle, sniffle, they grow up too soon)
Here is the end result. They are beautiful!!!