Friday, December 28, 2012

My Prince of Peace

I've posted my Advent Devotion over at 1st Writes. (I know Advent is over for this year, but let it stay in your heart all year long.)

My Prince of Peace


For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 (KJV)

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Christmas Box

I don't usually have time to read at Christmas (or do much of anything else) because I am so busy, but this year, I didn't direct our church's Christmas play, so I've had some time to focus on Christmas. I've gone to see some Christmas plays and I've been reading Christmas books.

One of them is "The Christmas Box" by Richard Paul Evans.What a sweet little book! I was immediately intrigued when the character found a wooden box that had a Nativity carved on the lid.

I recommend this book. It is a nice short read with a beautiful lesson.

The book also has inspired me to do a writing prompt.

Writing Prompt:
You find a beautiful wooden box in a dusty old attic. The lid has a Nativity carved in it. What's in it? who did it belong to? Write for 15 minutes.

Here is my response:

It was Christmas break and I visited Nan like I always did when I came home from college. As boredom overtook me, Nan suggested I go into the attic to see I could find something that I might like to have. It would be her Christmas gift to me. 

As I rummaged through the contents of my grandmother’s attic, I opened a hope chest and there underneath two handmade quilts was a wooden box. My hands felt a carving on top even before I saw it. When I pulled it into the light I saw an ornately carved Nativity scene on the top. The rich colored wood swirled into figures of Mary holding baby Jesus, Joseph watching her, two shepherds, animals, and an angel hovering above the stable. 

I sat for a long time in the quiet of the attic, touching each figure. The smooth wood was cool under my fingers. Finally, I opened the box. The lid pulled upwards easily, but I was disappointed to find that the box was empty. 

I sighed. It would have been cool to find something of value in there. As I sat holding the box, though, my thoughts turned deeper. It wasn’t yet Christmas and the emptiness of the box reminded me of the empty manger and how I should be anticipating Jesus’ birth. I smiled at that, but then a new thought hit me. The empty box seemed to represent the empty tomb. Suddenly everything from church and Sunday School made sense. The gravity of my faith hit me.

When the tears finally stopped, I wiped off them off with my sleeve, and hugged the box tight to my chest. I had found my Christmas gift.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Serenity Prayer

Did you know there is more to the 
Serenity Prayer than this?

God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

The prayer continues with this...
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

What a blessing the WHOLE prayer is. 
How much more POWERFUL the prayer is in its entirety. 
I hope it blesses your day as much as it did mine!

(I found the entire prayer in the book "The Purpose of Christmas" by Rick Warren. The Serenity Prayer was written by Reinhold Niebuhr.)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Stop Comment Spam!

I've been getting a lot of Comment Spam lately, so I looked up how to stop it. Here's a great article from Google - Hard Facts About Comment Spam.  

I decided to disallow Anonymous Comments as the first step. If that doesn't help, then I'll try some of the other suggestions (turning on Word Verification, though, will be my last resort!).

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Christmas Song Lyrics

My co-worker rushed to my side and said, "I just heard the most amazing song!" It was CeeLo Green's version of "Mary Did You Know". She had never heard the song before and the words had a profound impact.

Because of her declaration, I find myself listening closely to familiar Christmas songs, so that I fully grasp the message that God has through the lyrics. I believe God inspired many of the lovely Christmas songs and I don't want to take them for granted. I want to take the words into my heart.

What Christmas song is speaking to you and why?  

Here is CeeLo Green's version of "Mary Did You Know" [Official Audio]

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sunday, December 2, 2012