I Stand With Phil.

There are very few TV shows that my husband and I enjoy together. Namely, “The Office”, “The Blacklist”, and “Parks and Recreation.” Shortly after I gave birth to Baby J, I was up at 4am with his early morning feeding, flipping through our channels on our TV in Lima. Just that week, a variety of good friends had posted something about some show called “Duck Dynasty” and I randomly came across it that day. My laughter woke up my husband and we watched it together and were hooked. Our last few months in Peru and the first few in the States were highly stressful and Duck Dynasty became our outlet – we could watch it, relax, laugh, and feel the stress melt away for that oh-too-brief half an hour.

It is no secret among our friends and family that Duck Dynasty is a big part of our lives. Even my co-workers at our church are all into the show; the youth pastor has even tried to get one of them to come speak…. but of course that won’t happen! They are in kind of a big demand. 🙂

Because we’re such big fans, when this whole controversy about Phil hit the airwaves like a bomb, I wanted to be informed and figure out what was happening. I’ve been reading a lot of blogs, articles, opinions, and Facebook statuses about the issue and have been slowly formulating my own opinion. I want to see if I can word it here, for whatever it’s worth, in a loving, hopefully tactful, calm way, for those who care to read it.

I am not a debater – I do not enjoy it, do not want to participate in it, and reserve the right to delete any comments I do not personally care for. This is my blog, my space for my opinions. I am not here to persuade you or debate with you, just to share with you what I think. 

One of the many things Brian and I have been discussing lately is the hierarchy of sin that Christians seem to have come up with over the years. It seems like sins like homosexuality, divorce, and sex before marriage are very high on an imaginary, yet somehow very real, list of sins. We tend to shun those who are caught up in these sins. We say hurtful things, become quite derogatory, and eventually become extremists — you know, the ones who bomb abortion clinics and hold violent protests. We feel so strongly that God hates these sins that we push these people away completely instead of drawing them back in.

But, then there’s the other side. There are some who think, “We can’t be extremists! We’re pushing everyone away from Christianity!” And I would tend to agree. Extremists in any direction kind of miss the mark, wouldn’t you say? So, then, they err on the side of love. Yes, err with love. See, instead of “shunning”, they “love.” Instead of speaking they truth, they “don’t judge.” What God says is sin, they say, “Oh, but they don’t know any better. They’re carnal.” True…. but….

Phil Robertson said what many of us Christians would like to have a public podium to say. He said that homosexuals will not inherit the Kingdom of God (among other things – I’m not going to quote him here). True. They won’t. Neither will liers, murderers, disobedient to parents, rebellious, adulterous, promiscuous… the list continues. “Homosexuality” is in the same list as many sins for a reason. Some of those sins we consider “heinous” and some we consider “not so bad.” That’s us – we have created our own hierarchy of sin, remember? To the face of Almighty, Holy, Infinite Creator God all sin is sin. If I lie once to my parents or if I have sex with another woman, it’s all the same to God Almighty. Both of these acts, even if just committed one time and I never did anything else the rest of my life, would earn me eternity in hell.

God does not hate “homosexuals.” He hates homosexual behavior. He created us how we are – man and woman – for a reason. With a distinct purpose. We were created to worship Him, subdue the earth, and multiply. We cannot multiply if we all choose homosexual relationships – it’s impossible. To fulfill mankind’s purpose that was laid out in Genesis, we need a male and a female – just like plants and animals.

We live in a sinful world. A world where Satan has stepped in and wants to destroy everything good that God has ever done. His first target? The home. If he can decimate a home, he has won because everything in life stems from the home. If he can ruin you there, he’s ruined you completely. What’s the best way to decimate a home? Make it the opposite of what God intended it to be. Make it literally nonfunctional. It’s a battle. The book of Romans lays it out so well. Please take a moment to click here and read Romans 2:21-32 in its entirety. When you’re done, come back. I’l wait.

For those of you who don’t want to read the whole passage, let me quote the end out of the New Living:

28 Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. 29 Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. 30 They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. 31 They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. 32 They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.

But wait – the best is yet to come! Check out the beginning of Romans 2:

1 You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things. 2 And we know that God, in his justice, will punish anyone who does such things. 3 Since you judge others for doing these things, why do you think you can avoid God’s judgment when you do the same things? 4 Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?

The rest of Romans is filled with “But God.” But God… But God… But God…

7:24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.

See, to God, sin is sin. Call a spade a spade – it’s SIN. It doesn’t matter what labels society and culture have put on a sin; the fact is, it’s sin. No matter what it is, it keeps us away from God. We all have it within us and but for the grace of God, we could be locked in any number of inescapable pits. BUT GOD stepped through time and eternity and entered His own creation for the sole purpose of pulling us out of this miserable life of sin and suffering by paying the ultimate penalty – God Himself died for His own creation so that our sin can be snatched out of our lives for all eternity and we can go live with Him. 

Back to Phil’s statements. What he said, no matter how coarsely or tactlessly worded (because he is, after all, Phil Robertson!) was truth. It hurt. It was harsh. It was culturally inappropriate. It was raw. It offended.

Well, guess what. That’s what truth does. Didn’t Jesus Christ Himself say that He came to divide? To bring a sword? To split up families? That He Himself is an offense? When has it ever been or will it ever be culturally appropriate to speak the truth about or into someone else’s life? No one wants to hear that they’re a sinner! I’m not immune to that and neither are you. It’s sandpaper rubbing on our conscience. We hate it! We are repulsed by it!

That doesn’t make it any less true.

We have gotten so concerned that we don’t become the bomb-blowing, crazy protesting, fanatical Christians that we have erred on the side of, “I’m just not going to say anything about their sin and let God convict. It’s not my job to judge; I’ll just love them for who they are and God will eventually convict them if I pray hard enough for them.”

Love has a place and we are never, ever to judge someone nor are we to shun them out of our lives. I’m certainly not saying that! What I am saying is, if I were about to drive off a cliff and you knew the cliff was around the next bend, I’d sure appreciate you telling me it was coming and save my life instead of letting me believe my GPS was leading me correctly. Even if I got mad and argued that you’re a know-it-all and don’t like my modern equipment and I get offended that you don’t trust my driving skills — at least I knew that you loved me enough to tell me I was headed in the wrong direction.

We have a job to do, brothers and sisters. Our job is not merely to proclaim the Gospel itself, but to remind people that sin is sin, even if it’s culturally inappropriate to say so. Phil Robertson is just the first one in a long time to have the platform and the courage to say it where he did. Did he say it as tactfully as he maybe should have? I don’t know, that’s not for me to judge. That’s not the point, though. The point is – he said what most of us are too afraid to say. It’s sin. God hates all sin and any sin keeps us from Him. Period.

We need to stand with Phil. Do I think he’s being persecuted or his constitutional right to freedom of speech is being taken away? Not really. He still has his money, his fame, and his company. He’s not in jail nor has his platform for speaking been revoked. We will hear from the Robertsons again, I assure you, even if it’s not on A&E. He’s not being persecuted. You want persecution, visit this site, they can tell you what persecution truly is. Their Facebooks (and I’m sure their Twitters, though I don’t follow Twitter) have not been removed, therefore his freedom of speech is still fully in tact, I assure you.

However, we still need to stand with him. We need to stand behind him and say,

“I agree with Phil. No matter what my country and my government may say and no matter what ‘laws’ they may come up with, in front of God Almighty, homosexuality is still sin and unacceptable. You can be freed from it – just like any other sin – but only with the help from God Himself. Because we care about your eternal destiny and how you will answer when you stand before the Great White Throne, we choose to remind you that this is still a sin.”

And but for the grace of God, we’d be there with you. I struggle with my own sins – anger, jealousy, pride, selfishness – the list goes on, trust me. Just because I don’t struggle with homosexuality doesn’t mean I’m any less of a sinner. I have, however, been saved by grace.

I stand with Phil. I choose to say that homosexuality is a sin and no, God doesn’t like it. But, God loves you. He died for you. He cares for you.

Romans 3:22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.

The Christmas Prayer

Back in ’08, I was inspired by Steven Curtis Chapman’s Christmas song, “All I Really Want for Christmas” and wrote a short story about it. I’ve posted it here before under the tab “My Writings” and thought I would share it again. I have no idea how to get it published or what to do with it, so I’ll just put it here each year. 🙂 Half of it is here; the rest of it is under “My Writings.” I hope you enjoy! **Do not copy or use without written permission from the author.**

             The first time I saw him, it was Christmas Eve at the children’s home. I had volunteered my time, and my husband’s, in order to help distribute Christmas presents to the orphans at the children’s home. We were far from home and family, serving as missionaries in another country, and this seemed like an appropriate thing to do Christmas Eve. Personally, it helped take my mind off of being away from friends and family for the holidays. I needed something totally different to do so I wouldn’t think about being so far from home. My husband tagged along; not because he needed it like I did, but because we were missionaries. This is what missionaries do on Christmas Eve.

The children’s home was on the edge of town. It was filled to overflowing with children of various ages and genders who had either been abandoned or orphaned. Most were under the age of 10, although a few were in their early teens. We never did get a proper head count of the children.

Local churches and individuals had donated gifts too many to count. We had spent the past month volunteering our time and energy in order to sort, pack, and wrap those gifts. Tonight, we distributed them. The joy in the children’s home was palpable!

We lived in a poor country, so decorations, even in the children’s home, were scarce. I had made a few popcorn strands and some paper chains with colored paper I had brought from home. My husband had gotten out a pair of scissors and gone to work on some white paper to make snowflakes we could hang from the ceiling. Someone had gotten industrious and made a red coat and white beard with a giant red hat so my dear husband could dress up like Santa Claus in order to hand out the gifts and listen to the kids’ wishes. Someone had sent me some key baking ingredients from home, so I had made a batch of what I considered to be “real sugar cookies.” A few others had brought some more traditional desserts and fruit had been donated. To the kids in the home, it looked like a feast!

The children were dressed in their finest. They ranged from pretty, colorful, traditional dresses on the girls to more subdued, clean pants and shirts on the boys. A few girls had on some more American-style clothing, but all of them had giant red bows in their hair that another lady had made for them. Everyone was beaming, laughing, and running around the room.

As I carried the punch bowl across the room, I lifted it high above my head so as not to get bumped, and looked across the sea of laughing children. Over in the corner, though, I noticed one, small child. He was a little boy, only about eight years old. He looked lost and horribly lonely. His clothes were tattered and obviously donated by well-meaning Americans. His plaid green shirt stood out in the crowd. It looked faded and worn; I wondered who in the U.S. thought it a good idea to send down a used, worn-out “John Deere” shirt to an orphan in another country who had nothing else to wear? I shook my head, more at the inconsideration of the American who sent the shirt than at the thought of this little boy standing off alone on Christmas Eve.

I set the punch bowl down and wandered over to the line of kids waiting to sit on “Santa’s” knee and tell him what they wanted for Christmas. The gifts would be handed out once all the children who wanted to had talked to Santa. My husband listened closely to each request, gave his best “Ho, Ho, Ho!” and handed them a lollipop before sending each child on their way. I could tell by the look in his eye that he was loving his job.

I stood to the side and listened to some of the requests. Most were asking for toys like dolls, trucks, or books. Some of the requests were so specific, I couldn’t help but smile! My husband’s eye would catch mine when that happened and we both had to suppress a laugh. I looked at the line and noticed then that the little boy in the plaid shirt was still standing off by himself and hadn’t joined the line.

My confidence in the language wasn’t overly high, but I thought I’d give it a shot. I walked up to the little boy and tapped him on the shoulder. His eyes got huge as he turned to look at me. He looked scared, so I immediately reassured him that he wasn’t in trouble. I asked if he’d like to talk to Santa and he shook his head no. He said he’d tried to talk to Santa last year, but it hadn’t made any difference. Santa obviously hadn’t listened. I told him maybe he should try one more time. He turned his big, brown eyes up to me and whispered, “Do you think he’ll care?” I assured that him that, of course, Santa would care! He reached up and took my offered hand and walked very solemnly across the room to the end of the line.

The happy voices of the other children faded as I watched this little boy’s face as we waited our turn. He looked so serious for one so small. His eyes were focused on Santa, but I could tell his mind was elsewhere. He looked nervous and I could feel his hand shaking as held onto mine with a vice-like grip. Slowly, the line moved forward. He was the last one to get to talk with Santa that night.

Finally, it was his turn. My husband, the wonderful Santa that he was, reached out his big hands and smiled a welcome at the frail little boy in the plaid John Deere shirt. The little boy walked tentatively up to Santa, who promptly picked him up and set him on his lap.

I could hear Santa ask, “Now, what would you like for Christmas?”

There was such a long pause, I found myself holding my breath, waiting for the little boy to respond. I was just about to prompt him, when he took a deep breath and turned his big eyes to Santa. I saw my husband’s happy expression change to one of concern for rolling down the little boy’s cheek was one giant tear drop.

I leaned forward to hear what he had to say since he barely managed to whisper his request.

“I don’t know if you remember me. I talked to you last year. And the year before that. In fact, I’ve talked to you every year since I was three. I’m eight now. And I don’t want any toys. I want…” another tear rolled down his cheek. My husband, Santa, caught my eye really quick to make sure I was listening then looked down at the boy. “…a family. I want a mommy who will tuck me in at night. I want a daddy to play with me and teach me how to play soccer. I want” another tear rolled down his cheek, but he didn’t seem to notice, “to never be alone again. Santa, can you bring me a family? That’s all I want for Christmas.”

His request was so sincere I felt my heart burst inside me. My husband was speechless. The little boy looked up at him with such an imploring gaze, I had no idea how my husband would respond. I watched the tears roll softly down the little boy’s face, wetting the front of his plaid shirt. My husband wrapped his arms around the child and gave him a big hug. He looked over the top of the boy’s head at me and said softly, “I’ll see what I can do.”

I had to leave. I went to the restroom and locked the door behind me. The tears came so fast, I wasn’t sure I could stop them. There I was, trying to forget about not being able to be with my family, totally not even acknowledging that at least I had a family to try to forget about! I had lamented being away from home, living on a missionary salary and not being able to have the huge Christmas celebration I was used to, and not wanting to be in the country over the holidays – period! Humility poured over me like a tidal wave. How selfish could I possibly be?

When I finally composed myself and emerged from the restroom, my husband was already changed out of his Santa suit and was frantically looking for me. He caught my arm and dragged me to the punch bowl, out of ear shot of a couple other volunteers.

“Did you hear that request?” his eyes were red-rimmed. I knew he had either been trying to not cry, or had just composed himself from crying.

“Of course I heard!” I bit my lip. I was not going to cry again. I looked around the room for the boy, but he seemed to have disappeared.

“Well, what do you think?”

“What do you mean, ‘what do I think’?”

“I mean, what are we going to do about it?”

I jerked my head around to look him in the eye. “What?”

“You heard me. How do we fix this?”

If his eyes hadn’t been so serious and his grip on my arm so strong, I would’ve had a hard time believing he was serious. “Fix this? You want us to go find the poor child a family? Wouldn’t we have to find every child in here a family if we did that? You know that’s not possible.”

“Not find him a family. Be his family. We’ve talked about adopting. Why not now? Why not him?” his eyes held my gaze and searched them for my answer. I was so stunned I wasn’t sure how to respond at all!

Be his family? We don’t know anything about him! We aren’t ready to be parents – much less to an eight year old! I…” my voice cracked. I couldn’t go on. My husband’s eyes glazed over. He looked dejected, almost like I’d rejected him. I felt awful for answering how I did, but I just couldn’t wrap my mind around being the solution to this boy’s problem.

“Think about it. What’s different from adopting a newborn baby that we know nothing about, and adopting an eight year old we know nothing about? Either way, we’re starting from scratch. I would dare say I know more about eight year olds than newborns, too! Why couldn’t we do this?”

He was serious. So serious, I was almost scared. But, he had a good point. We had no other children; neither of us knew a thing about babies; both of us wanted to adopt at some point in our lives. Our hearts had always been that we would take care of and work with children. If there was a way we could help a child to grow up to know, love, and obey God, we would find it. Why would adopting an eight year old not be one of those ways? My mind was spinning.

The rest of the evening went by in a blur. We passed out packages; sang Christmas carols around an old, out-of-tune piano in a language I wasn’t completely familiar with; ate a ton of food that was so far from traditional, I’m still not sure how to categorize it; and left knowing we had the biggest decision of our lives yet to make.

Neither of us could sleep that night. We woke up Christmas Day feeling more tired than the night before. We opened our few packages sent from home, watched “White Christmas” on our laptop, and ate the cranberry sauce someone from home sent us – straight from the can. By mid-afternoon, our emotions boiled over and we finally started honestly discussing this new dilemma.

Three days later, we still hadn’t reached a decision. I was due to return to the orphanage in just two more days in order to help teach a new weekly Bible Club there. I knew I could not face the brown-eyed boy in the John Deere plaid shirt if we didn’t have an answer. Even though the child hadn’t asked us directly to be his parents, my husband felt God had. So, why didn’t I feel like God had asked me the same question? …

Look under the tab “My Writings” for the conclusion of the story…

To Santa or Not to Santa…

Just so you know that I’m not anti-Santa…..

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Okay, now that we’ve got that cleared up…

I’ve been reading a lot online lately about Santa and whether or not Christians should “do” Santa. I thought, hey, for what it’s worth, here’s my two cents on the subject and what we do as a family:

As you can see, I’m not opposed to Santa. Saint Nicholas was a real man who did really great things.  The story is fun for little ones to imagine and it certainly isn’t evil or wrong. Where I think people stray is when Santa is used as a bribe to keep children obedient over the holidays and when Santa and all that surrounds him replaces the true story of Christmas and becomes bigger than Baby Jesus.

Let’s be real for a second here. I know people who seriously say, “You need to behave or I’ll tell Santa and you won’t get presents this year!” Really? You really won’t give your children presents because they were naughty in December? I know of no one who will follow through with that ominous threat.

Another thought: since when is Christmas all about receiving gifts anyway? Most of us are trying to teach our children that Christmas is about giving to others… and yet we’re telling children that if they’re bad, they get nothing? Doesn’t that go against everything else we’re trying to teach?

Back in Bible School, I remember one Christmas devotional where the speaker said, “The world has to keep adding to Christmas to make it even better. But, the real Christmas story has stayed the same for thousands of years. We don’t need to add anything to it.” He’s so right. Santa has grown into this fat guy who lives in the North Pole with elves and drives a flying sleigh with flying reindeer. Then there’s all the extraneous stories – like Rudolph and Frosty (I still don’t understand how Frosty fits into it all) and Buddy the Elf. Now, there’s Elf on the Shelf in the mix. The world has to add to it in order to keep making it bigger and better.

But, the true story – the real reason Christmas exists at all – is actually a simple story. A quiet story that took place in the middle of the night. The telling of this simple story barely fills three chapters in the entire Bible. Simple. Humble. Quiet. Beautiful. That’s it. No flying reindeer or singing elves. No jolly man in a red suit who eats your cookies and climbs down your chimney. A barn. Some animals. A young mom, a new dad, and a tiny baby. The end.

So, where does Santa fit in this? Well, to be honest, he probably doesn’t. Saint Nick is a fun story, told the world over, that encourages a child’s imagination and makes Christmas “magical.” Necessary? Absolutely not. Fun? Yeah, I guess.

What we do at the moment is keep Santa out of the house as far as decor goes. No Santa on the roof, on the tree, or even as a candle. No Santa-shaped sugar cookies and no Santa hats. What E. learns about Santa she’s learning from cartoons and a couple random books we were given. We are not encouraging it, but neither are we denying it. She has a huge imagination, but is generally smart enough to know the difference between real and make-believe. If she goes through a stage where she believes Santa is real, so be it. Brian always gives a “Santa Gift” – one gift from Brian that’s for the entire family that I know nothing about. He labels it “From Santa”, but that is the only present “from Santa.” We will not be putting out cookies and milk, and when she asks, we tell her he’s a nice story.

We will tell her who Saint Nick really was and why he’s so celebrated today. We will let her believe, but we won’t use the myth as a bribe for her to be good nor will we threaten her with it when she’s bad.

Christ will always be central. Advent is done daily. We talk every single day about Jesus in a manger. We color nativity pictures and read different children’s versions of the Christmas story. Christmas Eve will be spent in church at the Christmas Eve service and the Christmas story will be read Christmas morning before presents are opened. We will sing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus and we will give gifts to others.

Santa certainly won’t hurt her imagination and he isn’t a bad thing to have around. But, all that glitz, glam, and magic have absolutely nothing to do with the true story – and they never will… because it’s not about you and me. It’s about the fact that God became a baby because He loves you and I so very much.

E. summed it up the other day in the car: “But Mommy, if Jesus is God, why was He a baby?” Oh, sweetpea, because He loves YOU. That is what Christmas has always been and always will be about.

Merry & Bright.

In our home, we do not do “Elf on the Shelf.” I had never even heard of it before we lived in PA. Now, it’s all over Pinterest and almost everyone we know does it to some degree or another. I, however, am not going to do it in our home. I just have a problem with using Christmas and whether or not Santa will bring you presents as a way to bribe our children into being good. And then the whole deal of having your Elf be “naughty” or “mischievous” and yet, your kids are supposed to act like angels or Santa won’t bring them gifts? Doesn’t that seem a little backwards?! Besides, it’s one month out of the year. You’d think for it to be effective, you’d use the Elf year-round because doesn’t Santa watch you the entire year, not just December? Yeah. I am so opposed to the Elf idea. I want my children to be good because Jesus wants them to be good – not because some creepy Elf is going to tattle on them to Santa. I want them to be good year-round, not just in December. And I want Christmas to be about giving to others – not being super good so they can get loaded up with gifts. So, the Elf is not welcome in our home. *End of Rant.*

The things we are doing are the following:

  • “You’ve Been Socked” : We took a 99 cent stocking and filled it with goodies.

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I found the note from this blog on Pinterest, printed it off, and stapled it to the stocking. Brian was to deliver it this morning. We’ll see how it goes!

  • We are doing Advent this year with the children. Now, I am not creative – mainly because I can’t afford to be creative! I simply can’t afford lots of art supplies and I don’t have the time to get all crafty. So, instead, what we’re doing is that every night, Brian reads the portion of Scripture for Advent and then E gets to put a small Christmas ball on the tree with a name of Jesus written on it. We bought a couple boxes of inexpensive Christmas balls and I wrote on them with a simple Sharpie. The balls are numbered and in a vase on our dining room table. This also serves as a countdown to Christmas since, obviously, there will be fewer and fewer until Christmas Day. At the end of this post, I’ll include our list of Scripture with the corresponding name of Jesus that I chose.
  • E and I are making a variety of Christmas cookies, this week and next, all to give away. This week, the cookies go to our church for their annual Living Christmas Village and next week, they will go to each missionary currently living here at the property. The idea is that she will learn to give things away – we don’t always keep everything we make.
I got real industrious this year and made Peruvian "alfajores" - a vanilla-type cookie with dulce de leche filling. Turned out amazing and were surprisingly easy to do!

I got real industrious this year and made Peruvian “alfajores” – a vanilla-type cookie with dulce de leche filling. Turned out amazing and were surprisingly easy to do!

  • Then, the week before Christmas, E and I will go through her toys, books, and clothes and fill up some boxes and bags with items to give away. We have been noticing that there quite a few toys the kids simply don’t ever use. We’d like to clear their rooms out before they get new items and hopefully, it will teach E a little more about generosity.

The idea is that we do something together each week – our “project of the week” – before Christmas. They are things that will normally take more than a day to accomplish and will help to teach her that Christmas is about giving and showing love to others. She loved making chocolate covered pretzels yesterday and we already whipped up a batch of sugar cookie dough this morning that will get rolled and cut out in another hour or so.

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Hopefully, some of these things will become traditions. It’s fun to think that in a few years, they will be things she asks to do and looks forward to doing! Every family needs to make their own traditions, I think, and we’re looking forward to beginning ours with our kids.

Here’s the Advent Verse List with corresponding Names of God:

  1. Dec. 1: 1 John 1:1-5, Alpha & Omega
  2. Dec. 2: Isaiah 9:2-7, The Word
  3. Dec. 3: Isaiah 11:1-10, Lion of Judah
  4. Dec. 4: Jeremiah 33:14-16, Ancient of Days
  5. Dec. 5: Luke 1:5-10, High Priest
  6. Dec. 6: Luke 1:11-17, Savior
  7. Dec. 7: Luke 1:18-25, Yahweh
  8. Dec. 8: Luke 1:26-38, Son of God
  9. Dec. 9: Matthew 1:18-21, Light of the World
  10. Dec. 10: Matthew 1:22-26, Wonderful Counselor
  11. Dec. 11: Luke 1:39-45, Great Physician
  12. Dec. 12: Luke 1:46-56, Mighty God
  13. Dec. 13: Luke 2:1-5, King of Kings
  14. Dec. 14: Luke 2:6-7, Everlasting Father
  15. Dec. 15: Luke 2:8-12, Messiah
  16. Dec. 16: Luke 2:13-14, Lord of Glory
  17. Dec. 17: Luke 2:15-18, Good Shepherd
  18. Dec. 18: Luke 2:19-20, Redeemer
  19. Dec. 19: Micah 5:2-5, Prince of Peace
  20. Dec. 20: Matthew 2:1-2, Jehovah
  21. Dec. 21: Matthew 2:3-6, Rock of Ages
  22. Dec. 22: Matthew 2:7-8, I Am
  23. Dec. 23: Matthew 2:9-12, Lamb of God
  24. Dec. 24: John 1:14, Immanuel
Hanging up one of the first Advent balls.

Hanging up one of the first Advent balls.

December 2013
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