Saturday, December 31, 2011

{Our Top Ten}

This last year has been a doozy! Amazing things have happened to us and we feel so blessed. Here are our top ten highlights of 2011:

1. I read through the entire bible, cover to cover. It is my first time reading it all the way through as opposed to the select chapters I had before. It was amazing to get it finished up and I can't wait to read it again next year. It has really helped me to understand the Lord more and appreciate His majesty.

2. Jeremy had 19 articles published through American Thinker and he was also given his own editor to work with. It is so wonderful to see my man grow in his craft and continue to write amazing articles that point his audience to God's truths. Here's to more articles and opportunities in the coming year!

3. We found our new apartment- it was in the same city, but the rent is less and the place is nicer. Win-Win! It's amazing the little miracles God places in our path and how we found this place after searching for months and not finding anything as nice or that fit our price range. We definitely found our home sweet home.

4. This year has been rather interesting when it comes to my job. At the beginning of the year I was working with one company that soon merged with another company. The companies decided to split halfway through the year but I ended up staying at the later company. Then I received a promotion. Another miracle that God allowed to be placed in our lives. He is ever faithful!

5. In August we celebrated 2 years of marriage and 5 years together. My how the time flies. It's funny to reminisce on how we first met (Myspace- I know totally sketch huh?!) who we were as individuals back then and how God has changed us and redeemed our relationship. It is a true testament to His power and I praise Him every day for His blessings in our lives and marriage.

6. We're debt freeeeeeeeeeeeeee!! That was our Dave Ramsey freedom yell :) It took us a little over 3 years to get out of more than $40,000 of debt. Just like Dave always says, "You live like no one else so later you can live like no one else." We slowly but surely got our debt snowball going and finished it off this year when we paid off my car. We are no longer a slave to the lender!

7. Another year of AWANA started this year. It is like any other year except at a recent lesson I taught I was delighted to find out the girls were actually learning. I mean, you never know how much information the kids are retaining when they are all hyped up for the many activities in AWANA. I am getting through to them and it is a blessing to know that I am helping grow those little girls into followers of Christ.

8. 2011 brought some new friends into our lives (Liz from holy yoga and Michael and Deirdre from church). We are enjoying the many people God has placed into our lives - the new and old friends who bring such joy to our lives.

9. Each and every year my prayer is that I grow closer to Christ and this year I have definitely felt the sense of that. I have come to really trust Him, with everything. Sometimes I tend to worry about things, i.e. work, money, family, etc... but recently I just said "God, it's yours. Here are my worries. I am leaving them with you and trusting you to help me through." It is a wonderful thing to surrender all to Him!

10. And finally- one highlight of this year is what is to come. We know 2012 has lots of surprises in store and we fully trust God to see us through.

Happy New Years dear readers, though you may be few. May God richly bless you and your family in the coming year!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Birthday of a King

Today was the sweetest of days as we prepared for the birthday of the Christ child. It was filled with some baking, gift wrapping, running last minute errands but most important worship.

Tomorrow will be a truly blessed day as we celebrate the birth of the Savior of the world. To help our little church kiddies (and parents) with the festivities I prepared small gift bags of funfetti cake mix (only .89 cents at the store!!), frosting, sprinkles, candle and noise maker. That way they can really celebrate the birthday of the King!

Merry Christmas to you all. May God be with your families as you celebrate this joyous day!

"In the little village of Bethlehem, There lay a child one day

And the sky was bright, With a holy light, O'er the place where Jesus lay.

Alleluia, O how the angels sang! Alleluia, How it rang! And the sky was bright, With a holy light. 'Twas the birthday of a King."

Sunday, December 18, 2011

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

During this season, as in every day, we are faced with two choices: focus on Christ and His coming or focus on any and everything else. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the glitz and glamour of the day (Christmas, or any day for that matter) that we forget the one who it is all about.

Each and every year since the time that Jeremy and I came to know the Lord, it seems we weed out more and more 'things' from our Christmas to make room for what really matters. I need to remind myself to not waste my life on trivialities because they will suck away my time and energy for the Lord. Satan would have me spend all my time out shopping or attending any number of parties this season, anything to keep me busy and away from time in worship of Jesus. It's not easy, because the world will have you think the gifts and lights and caroling is what it's all about but that just isn't true. What
is true is that we as Christians should be preparing for and anticipating Christ's return- that's what Advent is all about. We celebrate His first coming as the little babe who was born to die for the sins of the world. And we look forward to the day when He comes back as King of Kings and Lord of Lords to rule and reign on earth.

These last few days have been precious as I've studied God's word and reflected on His plan in my life and His plan in the world. We serve an amazing God who had the rescue plan for all humanity planned even before the foundations on the earth. He knew what would happen in Eden. He knew we would need a Savior. And He planned to come down to earth to save us. Christmas is merry because God loves us so much. We have been reconciled to our Holy God through His Son.
I pray you too are having a merry Christmas reflecting on the Lord and anticipating His triumphal return!

"Where is He that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him" Matthew 2:2

Monday, December 12, 2011

Baby it's Cold Outside

This past weekend was spent showering my best girlfriend and her little one on the way with lots and lots of love. The theme of the shower was 'Baby it's cold outside' and I had a lot of fun planning the decor, food and games.

Can't wait to meet you sweet babygirl!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Songs of Christmas; Songs of Truth

It has already begun; the beautiful Christmas songs playing in the stores and on the radio. I'm sure we all have our favorites but last year I realized so many of them have gospel truths smack dab in the middle of them. How cool to have them heard by so many each year!?

{Hark the Herald Angel Sing}
Those angels were harking because a baby boy was born, the baby born to die. As the 2nd verse states, He was ‘veiled in flesh – the Godhead see; Hail the incarnate Deity’ and ‘Jesus, our Emmanuel’. According to Matthew 1:23, Emmanuel is translated ‘God with us’. Jesus Christ, our Emmanuel, the Savior of the world, left His throne and became a man. He left His heavenly home to save us from our sins, which all started in the Garden of Eden. Because that sweet baby was born we can join the triumph of the skies, we can have second birth, and we can be full of peace and joy because God and sinners have truly been reconciled because of the blood of Christ!

{Joy to the World}
I’ve shared before about my tendency to be like Martha when I know I should be more like Mary, so the ‘aha’ moment in this song is the line – “Let every heart prepare Him room”. He has come down to earth to redeem the whole world, if we will but come to Him and accept Him in our hearts. Once you have accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life, daily you are relying on Him to give you His strength and wisdom. That is where the Martha syndrome comes into play. The trivialities of life often times seem like the most important things and distract us from God. Especially during Christmas time, there is a tendency to focus on the tree, the presents and the many activities. Jesus' birth is just an after thought. This should not be.. it is His birthday, after all, and you wouldn't have a birthday party for your child and leave your little one at home would you? This carol reminds us to make Jesus at home in our hearts- our first priority over all things. What a great reminder of putting Him first always!

{What Child is This?}
For an onlooker it is natural to ask- who is this child? What's all the fuss about? Scripture tells us of a coming Messiah long before He was born in a manger. There are 300+ prophecies fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ. Some of them were prophecies of things like his family lineage, where he would be born, etc.. So who exactly is He? He is the Wonderful Counselor, Everlasting Father, Mighty God, Prince of Peace, Creator of all things, Great High Priest, Savior of the world, The Resurrection and the life, and the righteous judge. It is inconceivable* that the Creator of the universe would come in the flesh (incarnation= in carne {meat or flesh})

"Hail, hail, the Word made flesh, the babe, the Son of Mary"

John 1:1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:14
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

So now when you hear those old familiar songs playing in Safeway or other shopping center you can smile to know that the gospel is being spread for all to hear!