Monday, December 21, 2015

FALL ON YOUR KNEES

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Christmastime. When we celebrate and remember the birth of Jesus.
Jesus Christ, born to be our Savior. The Savior of the world, in fact.

Angels, messengers of heaven, were sent to announce His birth.
And to worship.
But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord. . . ." Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests" (Luke 2:10-14).


O holy night, the stars are brightly shining;
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.

Jesus lived a full life as a man. Crucified. Dead & buried. Rose again!
Lives at the right hand of God the Father. Interceding on our behalf.

Jesus said, "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades" (Revelation 1:17-18).

The angels are still announcing and worshiping this Jesus in heaven!
(Don't skip over this passage. Better yet, read it out loud!)

Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang:
 “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
    to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
    and honor and glory and praise!” 

Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing:
  "To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
    be praise and honor and glory and power,
    for ever and ever!” 

The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.  
(Revelation 5:11-14)

Imagining this scene gives me chills! Ten thousand was their highest known number at that time, so the Apostle John is literally saying: angels beyond counting! Jesus, born in the manger, is the Worthy Lamb, to whom all worship is due.

A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!


Remembering the birth of Jesus, the incarnation, God-becoming-man, is important.
But don't let your soul stop there.
Keep remembering: remember His life, death and resurrection.
Remember that He lives and reigns even now.
And remember-in-hope that Jesus will return again--to rule in justice and power.
He is the Conquering King.

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice He judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on His head are many crowns. . . . He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and His name is the Word of God (Revelation 19:11-13).

Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His Name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy Name!
Christ is the Lord! O praise His name forever!
His power and glory evermore proclaim!

So many sing the beautiful Christmas hymn "O Holy Night."
But do they know the weight of their words?
One day, all will indeed "fall on their knees" and acknowledge Jesus
--some in delight and some in dread.
Jesus said, "Behold, I am coming soon!" (Revelation 22:7).

This Christmastime let your soul soak in the majesty and wonder of our  
living, holy, just, powerful, and reigning JESUS.
Christ is the LORD!


* And the next time you sing "O Holy Night," try to imagine yourself joining the angels in heaven, praising the magnificent Lamb of God. He is standing in the center of the Throne and coming again soon to rescue and judge and rule!

** Photos by the lovely Jessica Bernier, editing by me.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

CHRISTMAS AT THE PARSONAGE

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Christmas at the Parsonage--2015 Rendition

For those of you who like picture posts--here's your Christmas present! A little taste of Christmas in our home. Nothing super fancy and just some phone pics--but it's so much fun to decorate! Every year I try to add a little something and it's fun to mix-and-match what we already have. 
Without further ado.... 


When you walk into the living room....put garland + lights over the window this year.



The nativity scene that I found at a consignment shop last year takes center stage.
Real life.

Real flowers here and there always add to the ambiance.
New this year: our Advent calendar!
While I was taking photos, this was going on.
Fake tree. And the ornaments are all messed up (thank you, Silas).
But we sure enjoy it! (sorry, wonky garland!!)


Oh, hi JD!



Card display! One of my favorite parts of December--receiving all of the Christmas cards.
More flowers, and Hershey kisses are always good.
My "angel tree"--all of my breakable angel ornaments.

Thanks for coming along on the tour!

Monday, December 14, 2015

SILAS IS 2!


Our Silas is two years old! We can hardly imagine a time when he wasn't bouncing around our home and laughing. Such joy and spunk he brings!




Some thoughts . . . in the form of an acrostic for Silas Fredric. 

S - Singing and talking, there is so much verbal happening these days! When Justus yells for Silas across the house, you'll usually heard a responding "Yeah?" He is the resident toilet flusher (who comes running when anyone is going to the bathroom) and yells "Bubbles!" He likes to say "Welcome" (short for "you're welcome") and will usually roll it into whatever response he's making, for example "Thank-you-welcome." Silas knows songs pretty well but usually just sings the last line of a phrase; although, this past week I overheard him singing "Twinkle Twinkle" and "Jingle Bells." The song "Deep and Wide" is his favorite song to sing before bed.

I - lIkes to give hugs, especially to JD. Silas will just lean in with a big bear hug. (And JD, who doesn't like much touching, is not always very happy about it.) Sometimes Silas will come running at me and just wrap his arms around my knees as hard as he can--favorite!

L - Laugh--oh our Silas loves to laugh. Sometimes it's just a fake laugh--which he will even do for strangers if they laugh back at him. He leans toward you with a big grin; we're convinced he thinks/knows he's hilarious.

A - All the details: Down to one nap a day. Sometimes he takes a morning one if he's extra tired, but it's usually just an afternoon nap, about 2 hours long. Wears a size 2T. Seems like a little boy now, no more baby. He's lengthening out and not so chubby in the face.

S - Sneaky about getting into things--oh my! All of my little bins and boxes for things in the dining room and living room are free game for him. And the bathroom. And our bedroom. If Silas is quiet, then I know that I need to go looking for him!







F - Fun with Playdoh! It's his new favorite activity. Very focused and interested. He pulled the Playdoh into little pieces, put them in a cup, dumped the cup, started over... Other favorite toys: cars, any sort of little cup or container, legos.....usually he decides on a favorite toy for the day and then sticks with it.

R - Runs everywhere and bounces when he runs. So much excitement and joy in life. He likes to scream on occasion, just for fun, when he's excited (which usually makes JD cry--he's not a fan of loud noises).

E - a children's Encyclopedia book is his favorite, which he calls "Big Book." He does pretty well recognizing the different pictures and naming some things. Silas tends to be hard on books but I'm so glad that he likes them. He especially loves to crawl into Bryce's lap with a book.

D - Daddy! When Bryce is at work and Silas hears the dog bark, he says "Daddy!" (hoping that Bryce is home). Silas usually talks with his mouth open, so it's sometimes hard to understand. JD is the best interpreter. Lately, Silas has been putting together little phrases and sentences. "Hold you, Mama/Daddy" is something we like to hear.

R - Really loves his JD (pronounced something like "dee-dee"). Lately I've realized that Silas doesn't know what to do with himself when Justus is gone. Usually Justus runs errands with Bryce when Silas is napping, so it's rare that they are separated. The few times it has happened, Silas wanders around, asking for JD. For the most part, they play together pretty well. Makes Bryce and I so happy with how much they enjoy being together.

I - nIcknames: Si-Lo, Si-Man, Si-Lo Free. It changes a lot. I didn't know that we would be a nickname family but I think we are.

C - Cereal, one of his favorite foods--along with oatmeal, yogurt, bananas, olives...and the list goes on. He's a good eater, but can tend to be slow, especially at dinner time. Breakfast on the other hand--he scarfs it down! Sometimes Silas will hold the last bite from dinner in his mouth long after he's already down from the table and running around. He knows to take his dishes over from the table and toss them into the sink (since he can't quite reach it) and likes to "help" load the spoons and unload the bowls.


Silas Fredric.
Our sweet boy.
We sure love you.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

{Advent} -- JESUS IS OUR . . .



 "And He shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, 
Mighty God, Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace."
Isaiah 9:6



Scripture {Advent} readings:


Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and 
His wonderful deeds for mankind . . . (Ps. 107.8, 15, 21, 31) 

Jesus is our Counselor
To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are His.
(Job 12.13) 

Jesus is our Mighty God
For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, 
the great God, mighty and awesome. (Deut. 10.17) 

Jesus is our Everlasting Father
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! 
And that is what we are! (1 Jn. 3.1) 
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near
 by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace . . . (Eph. 2.13-14)