Tag Archive | Faith

Little Things That Mean So Much

 

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Compassion can take many forms we often overlook. Sometimes it’s the “little things” that are often overlooked in our day to day activities. I was reminded yesterday of an act of compassion my late stepfather brought to my life.

Yesterday, I awoke with a sore throat to go with the cold that doesn’t want to go away.  John had to go to Church alone – again! He stopped at Hardees and bought lunch which was such a blessing. I don’t think I could have stood long enough to prepare sandwiches.

John at the Liberty Station in Bedford, Va

That’s my guy!

After lunch, he went to the grocery store for cold pills and brought home a box of popsicles. A kindness or act of compassion which began with my stepfather.  I was seven-years-old when Mom married Jerry and we became a family.  That first year, I had chronic ear infections and tonsillitis resulting in having surgery over Christmas break from school.

The first time I had a sore throat, Dad Hinchee went to the store and bought a bag of banana popsicles, which were my favorite. I still remember how the cool treat felt as it slid down my throat giving relief and enjoyment. From that time on, if he heard me say that my throat hurt, he would disappear for a few minutes and return with that cool treat. Even when I was home from college. He even continued the tradition for many years until I married and moved away.

Dad Hinchee went home to be with the Lord in November. He is where there is no more sorrow, no more pain and no more popsicles for this kid’s sore throat. But my husband remembered. What a sweet reminder that God never forgets!

Tomorrow, April 10th would have been Mom and Jerry’s 54th Anniversary. I know it will be sad for her. I want to be there for her but am afraid that she will catch my cold. I am praying that some small act of kindness will comfort her.  I love you, Mom!

Easter 1964

Easter, 1964. Our first Easter as a family.

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

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Mom and Dad Hinchee several years ago. I always think of them just like this!

Fruit of the Spirit Eggs and So Much More! Katherine H. Purdy©

                    Years ago when I taught preschool, Sunday School and spoke in AWANA, I always used a tool as I taught the Bible lesson so that the children would remember. That tool may be flashcards, flannel graph, or something the children could participate in. 

This especially worked for the older children. For example, at Easter, I used “Gospel Eggs” with correlating scripture cards. The children took turns opening the egg and the one with the corresponding card stood and read the scripture. Now you can buy Gospel Eggs at the Christian bookstore. (I always included Bible verse cards printed on business card paper so that they would remember the lesson.) To make sure I used as many senses as possible, candy or some treat was included. 

Earlier tonight, I was thinking about the children who came to our home each day for childcare. One Friday before Easter, I had planned to have an Easter Egg hunt but everything that could happen did happen. The Eggs weren’t ready and it was raining outside. Did I say rain? I meant pouring rain! 

While the children were napping, I made colorful eggs out of an old wallpaper sample book and hid them all around the playroom and den. The children were so happy! One would think they were chocolate covered eggs but I think it was the thrill of the search! Sugar from their Easter party might have attributed to their excitement.As I remembered the good old days with “my kiddos” and worked on the Easter blog, the thought came to me that it would be interesting to go beyond “Easter eggs” and emphasize how we change when we receive Christ as our Savior

 

 

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I know this is a little crude but I think it gives you an idea of what I had in mind. We could also add the attributes of God. Of course, We could also include the Passover, Death, Burial, Resurrection of Christ but they are taught with the Gospel eggs. We could add the Rapture and Second Coming of Christ too. Just a new way to present the Gospel and growing in the grace and knowledge of The Lord Jesus Christ. Painted wooden shaped eggs with the messages on them and hanging on a tree would be a good example of growing as we trust Him and read God’s Word.

 

Fruit of the Spirit Eggs would be for older children but it would be fun to make some as a reminder of how we can be like Him. If anyone uses this illustration, I would love to hear about it or see pictures! 

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

Corresponding Verses:

  • LOVE – (Unselfish care for others) 

“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:34

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 5:8

  • JOY

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews 12:2

  • PEACE

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid”

John 14:27

  • LONGSUFFERING (Patience)

Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:”

Colossians 1:11-12

  • GENTLENESS (Kindness and Humility)

Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ,”

2 Corinthians 10:1

  • GOODNESS

“Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

1 Thessalonians 1:10-11

  • FAITH (Adhering to, Relying on, and completely trusting)

“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” Galatians 2:16

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”  Galatians 2:20

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  Hebrews 11:1 (The Faith Chapter!)

  • GRACE – (Receiving that which we do not deserve.Unmerited favor by God.)

When I was a teen at Colonial Baptist Church in Blue Ridge, VA. I heard this definition of Grace and it has stuck with me. I have quoted it often when teaching children. I think it may have been Dr. B.R. Lakin or Pastor Elbert M. Yeatts but I am not sure. They are both with the Lord now. It goes something like this: “If a little boy comes into the kitchen as Mama takes bread out of the oven and he asks for a slice and she cuts the bread and then hands it to him; that’s Mercy. However, if she first slathers that hot bread with butter and jam – that’s Grace!

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

MEEKNESS – (Humility, lowliness, kindness)

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:”  I Peter 3:15-18

ASSURANCE OF SALVATION

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”  Acts 4:12

What shall we then say to these things? If be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 8:31-39

Cards for Landen

Landen

This was yesterday. He had a good day but I understand today didn’t go as well.

This is from the facebook update: Landen didn’t have as good of a day as yesterday. He was tired and nauseous. He did play for a little bit but mainly stayed in bed and watched movies all day! Having visitors always brings a smile to his face and we are so thankful Adam Huss, Darby Huss, and Keelie Blackburn were able to visit and cheer him up! His blood work looks good but he will likely need transfusions soon. Keep praying for Landen and our family! We are thankful for all God has done so far! #landensstory

His grandmother, Gina texted the following information to pray for.

The doctor said to prepare for 6 more weeks at the hospital.

  1. He needs be eating better.
  2. Chemo side effects to subside.
  3. Cells growing, immune system rebounding.

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“The Lord hs worked in so many ways through it all, not only in what He is doing for Landen, but doors of opportunety He is opening to witness and minister to hurting people.”  Regina Stevens Johnson

If you would like to send a card to encourage Landen, his family and the hospital staff, this is his address:

Landen Johnson

Rm. 11019

Levine Children’s Hospital

1000 Blythe Blvd.

Charlotte, NC 28280

“Thanks again for your concern and prayers!”

Landen’s Family

 

 

Restoring the Flow

Today our post was written by my dear friend from Nevrdun News.

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It could not be put off any longer. The bathroom sink was draining slower and slower. If I didn’t do something about it soon it wouldn’t be draining at all. Last night I cleaned out the ooey, gooey, slimy, grimy, smelly glob that was the root of the problem. Ugh. It was disgusting.

While removing that stomach flipping glob of goop I was reminded of how similar it is to sin in my life. I just kinda let things build up, little by little, not really paying that much attention, until I end up with a big grimy slimy glob emitting horrendous odors restricting the flow of the Living Water.

Please forgive me, Lord.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!”
– Psalm 139:23-24

Lord, please cast Your light of truth into my heart’s darkness and reveal to me any sin I need to confess. Please give me a heart of repentance to see myself as You do and then give me the grace to respond to Your merciful call to change. Please use Your Word to correct any wrong thinking I may have. Please control all the destructive power within me. Please do Your cleansing work in me, wash me with the water of Your Word, and make me a channel of blessing to someone today.

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An Exciting Evening in our Neighborhood!

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When all of the wrappers are empty

and all of the candy devoured,

The Word of God remains.

In this you can be secure.

“Jesus Christ the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow.”

It was so exciting in our neighborhood last night. We saw a beautiful Cinderella, a cute little lady bug, some pirates, two “Officers in Blue”, two Darth Vaders, Many Star War characters, pirates, (one beautiful girl pirate in a gorgeous costume!) Too many to count.

John was giving out treats to four young ladies (probably in 4th -6th grade) and one girl dressed in a pioneer dress and bonnet caught my attention. She reminded me of “Ma Ingalls” with pretty blonde hair. (Probably Laura or Mary Ingalls) For some reason, I had an overwhelming desire to give her a copy of The Vision of a Mother’s Heart. (My book). She reminded me of “Isabel!” I grabbed a book and ran after her.

The Vision of a Mother's Heart

Link: https://amzn.com/1515298477

She was so excited when I told her she could keep it. Her three friend’s faces lit up. “May we have one too?” “Of course!” So I gave out books and promised they could stop by and I would sigh it for them – if they like it.

A light went off for John. “How many Missy Cats books do you have?

A Christmas Story

Link: https://amzn.com/1481028626

 

We gave out quite a few to the little ones. Thank you, Lord for the opportunity to serve Him even on an occassion first designed in paganism. Between Gospel Tracts and my books,which include the Gospel,  Jesus was our focus tonight.

God’s Word never returns void. I am praying for each child and parent we met last night.

Did I mention we also got to meet many neighbors? It was a beautiful night and many of our neighbors sat on their porches to give out treats and we decided to sit outside as well. It was a wonderful evening.

Now, if only I had thought to take pictures! Speaking of pictures, I found these two gems among the Purdy Family Pictures. These two snapshots were taken in 1958. My husband is the cute little pirate.

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Things haven’t changed too much over the years. Have they?

Little Isabel and Rainy Days ~ Part 3 ~ Kittens and the Ark

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 “Mama, did Jesus send the kittens because of the storm?” Isabel’s beautiful blue eyes looked to Mama for an answer.

“If He did, it wouldn’t be the first time He sent animals. Do you remember the Bible lesson we have been working on every morning?

Isabel twisted her hair while swaying to the pitter-patter of rain on the roof and windows while keeping her eyes on the kittens. “Noah’s Ark?”

“Yes, that’s right Isabel. You have been listening!” Mama said as she swept Little Isabel in her arms for a hug and butterfly kisses. “We will talk some more about Noah’s Ark but for now, we need to coax Mama Cat into bring her kittens inside the house where they will be warm and safe.”

“How will we do that?” Eugene asked loudly.

“Shhh,” Mama put her finger to her lips and motioned for the boys to join her and Isabel near the stove. “First, we need to stay very quiet. Cats are often afraid of people; especially noisy ones. Now that we have a box filled with soft flannel, we will need to coax Mama inside first. Then she will bring her kittens one at a time. Curtis, please fill that old chipped bowl with cream – not milk. She needs the extra nourishment and then I will place a trail of goodies leading from the tree limbs where she is hiding to the kitty bed.”

Isabel held her breath as Mama picked up the pan of scrambled eggs and dropped small pieces of egg from the porch to the box by the stove.

“Now, we must be very quiet and don’t move a muscle. Sit back at the table, finish your breakfast and try not to make a sound.” Mama said softly.

Isabel found sitting quietly was difficult when something so exciting was happening in this very room.

Papa filled his saucer with coffee again and slurped too loudly as Mama gave him a warning glance. Eugene and Curtis put their hands over their mouths to keep from laughing.

Soon, Mama Cat slowly entered the room. She sniffed the air and then gobbled up the eggs until she reached the warm box. Stepping inside the box, she kneaded the blanket while purring loudly.

“Mama,” Isabel whispered. “Does she think she’s making bread or biscuits?” Mama shook her head with a smile and put her finger back to her lips. Isabel turned back to the cat and watched as Mama Cat rubbed her chin on the corners of the box.

“Mama, does her chin itch?”

“She’s putting her scent on it so that she and the kittens will know they belong there,” Papa whispered a bit too loudly and the cat looked at him, walked to the table, rubbed against Papa’s leg and then sauntered to the back porch and brought the kittens one by one to the new warm bed.

“It looks like we have new members of our family,” Mama said softly and laughed gently as Papa rubbed the whiskers on his chin and shook his head from side to side before giving the family a slight smile of approval.

~*~

“I have an idea,” Mama said as she cleared the table and peered out the kitchen window as she poured boiling water and soap shavings into the dishpan. “It doesn’t look like this storm will end any time soon. Why don’t you children bring your animal carvings Papa made for you and bring them into the kitchen? When you come back into the kitchen, we can make a pretend Ark for the animals and you.”

Eugene picked up Isabel and put her on his shoulders as they dodged water droplets and puddles, jumped over bowls and pitchers collecting the water until they reached the curtain divided room.

~*~

“Guess what, Peter; you are going into Noah’s Ark!” Isabel chirped as she picked up the stuffed Peter Rabbit her friend Sally Anne had given her at their first tea party combined with birthdays for each girls a few weeks earlier. “Now Peter, how will we carry all of the toys Papa made for us?” Isabel placed Peter Rabbit near her ear and smiled. “Very good, Peter Rabbit. You are so smart! We’ll put them in the Easter basket!”

“Hey Sis,” Curtis said as he peeked through the curtain dividing their room. “Are you ready yet? It’s raining too much in here!”

~*~

Just as the children entered the kitchen, Papa entered from the back porch – dripping wet.

“I found it! This is a lot of canvas but it should work,” Papa said as he laid the large bundle on the kitchen table.

“Perfect!” Mama said as she dried her hands on her apron and reached into her sewing cabinet for a pair of large, sturdy scissors. The children watched wide eyed as Mama and Papa worked together to make a tent over the kitchen table which had been moved to a dry spot in the room.

“Let’s read about Noah from God’s Word, the Bible.” Mama reached for the Bible on the shelf as Papa slipped into the other rooms, cutting canvas and draping it over pieces of furniture before returning to the kitchen with two full buckets of water, dumped them into water barrels on the back porch and made another trip. By the time he had finished, Eugene, Curtis and Isabel were sitting patiently on the floor and baby Maggie slept soundly in her tented cradle.

Mama opened the Bible to Genesis and started to read. “Before we begin,” she said softly, “We will act out Noah’s story as I read. So when  we get to the building part what will we do?”

“We will pretend to be builders!” Curtis dipped his head as if to ask forgiveness for disturbing Mama Cat who stopped grooming her orange kitten and stared intently at the boy.

“That’s right Curtis. Now, I would like you to place all of your toy animals in Isabel’s basket and set it on my sewing machine.”

Eugene collected the animals, placed them in Isabel’s basket and placed the basket on the sewing machine at the far end of the room.

Papa entered the room with the bolt of canvas just as Mama began to read.

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Little Isabel’s Christmas Joy ~ Part 2

 

 Christmas Joy

Part 2

Isabel’s Story

By Katherine Hinchee Purdy

            After the dishes were done, the popcorn strung and handmade ornaments hung on the tree, Mama picked up the family Bible and the children gathered around her.

“Did you know that the people of Israel waited for the birth of Jesus – the “Messiah” for a very long time?”

“As long as we waited for baby Sylvie to come?” Maggie asked softly.

“Yes,” Mama said as she reached down and touched the child’s cheek. “They waited many years.

“That’s a long time!” Isabel exclaimed, walked closer to Mama and sat cross-legged on the floor.

“Almost since the beginning of time – since Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden.”

“Did Abraham wait for Jesus to come?” Eugene asked as he folded a piece of paper to cut into the shape of a snowflake.”

“Yes, Abraham believed! God even showed Abraham that He what salvation is all about; He showed us what salvation is by promising Abraham a son and then as precious Isaac began to grow and learn how to be a man for God, he was used as an example of sacrifice.”

“God asked Abraham to take Isaac to the mountain, didn’t he Mama? Eugene said as he laid his craft aside and leaned on his elbows as Mama flipped the pages of the Bible to Genesis.

Papa turned from adding water to the bucket holding the tree, rubbed his chin and joined the conversation. “Abraham was a very old man when little Isaac was born, you know.”

“Older than you, Papa?” Curtis asked innocently.

“Oh, I guess Abraham was about fifty or sixty years older than me.”

“He was old!”

“Yep, he and Sarah both were much too old to have a child. That is part of the miracle – right Mama?” Papa tossed the question back at Mama who had found her place in Scripture.

“That’s right,” Mama smiled at Papa and then looked at the children. “Sarah was much older than me so don’t need to ask. She was even older than Gammy Isabella and Grandma Sarah Elizabeth too. Abraham was one hundred years old when Isaac was born and Sarah wasn’t much younger.”

The children quieted as Mama pulled the lamp closer to her chair and lifted the Bible.

“Genesis chapter 21 tells us about the birth of Isaac.  It also tells about what happens when people try to take matters into their own hands to make things happen instead of waiting for God to answer but we will discuss that another time. Tonight, we are talking about the very long wait Abraham and Sarah had to wait for the son God had promised to them.  Oh, they were so happy to hold that sweet baby in their arms! Every day he grew bigger and stronger making their parents proud to be chosen by God for such a blessing!  They laughed as he smiled in his sleep, watched him try to fit his tiny fist in his mouth – just like you did when you were babies.

He became his Papa’s helper when he learned to walk and then run.”

“Did they have sheep to sheer?” Eugene asked excitedly.

“Oh, yes. Abraham had many fine animals and many workers helping him but I am sure he taught Isaac all about the animals.”

Mama smiled and continued with the story. “One day, God spoke to Abraham and asked him to do something very hard. Something Abraham could never imagine doing but he trusted God.

“What did he ask Abraham to do, Mama?”

Mama began to read. “God said, ‘Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love and go to the land of Moriah and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you. So Abraham arose early in the morning and saddled his donkey and took two of his young men with him and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said to his young men, ‘Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship and we will come back to you.’ So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand and a knife, and the two of them went together. But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, ‘My father!’ And he said, ‘here I am, my son.’ Then he said, ‘Look to the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, ‘My son, God will provide Himself the lamb for the burnt offering.”

Mama hesitated and then looked at Papa and then at the children. “Abraham obeyed God and made the altar just as he was supposed to. He put the wood on the altar and then he lifted up his son, Isaac and laid him on the altar where he would normally put a perfect lamb.”

“But why, Mama?” Eugene stood and looked over her shoulder to see the Word of God.

“Because God asked him too,” Mama said softly. You see, before Jesus was born, a perfect lamb or a ram had to be sacrificed to cover their sin. It was an act of faith to show that they believed God would forgive them – to lay the blame for their sin – and remember anything that displeases God is sin – on the sacrificial lamb.”

“They kill the fluffy lamb like Papa has to shoot animals for food?” Isabel felt a tear run down her cheek as she remembered seeing Papa bringing home a deer and a turkey earlier in the week.

“Something like that dear,” Mama said softly, “however, this was an offering to God and not for dinner.  The animal used for the sacrifice was very special.”

“So what happened to Isaac?” Curtis asked impatiently.

Mama scooted closer to the lamp and continued reading. “Lets see now, where did we leave off? Oh, verse ten.”

“And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the Angel of The LORD called to him from heaven and said, ‘Abraham, Abraham!’ So he said, “Here I am.”

And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”

“Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.

And Abraham called the name of the place The-LORD-Will-Provide.”

“Phew!” Eugene exclaimed, “I thought he was going to kill Isaac!”

Mama nodded in agreement and looked at Papa before continuing with tears in her eyes.

“The Angel of the LORD spoke to Abraham a second time and told him: ‘By Myself I have sworn, said the LORD because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son- blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed (children) all the nations of the earth shall be blessed because you have obeyed My voice.”

“Abraham and his son, Isaac went home,” Mama said softly as she pulled out a hankie, blew her nose and placed the hankie in her apron pocket. “In the New Testament book of Hebrews, chapter eleven, it said that because Abraham believed God, it was counted to him for righteousness. It also says that because Abraham obeyed God and offered up his only begotten son believing that God would raise him up from the dead. Boys, what was the Bible verse you learned in Sunday School class last week?”

Eugene and Curtis stood up and began to quote together:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3: 16

“Thank you, boys,” Mama said as she closed the Bible. You see, God gave us a picture of what He planned to do for you and for me. He planned to send His only begotten Son – Jesus to be our sacrifice so that by believing in Him, we will have everlasting life with Him in Heaven.

Abraham was just a man. Isaac was just a boy but Jesus is God’s perfect, sinless Son. He is God in the flesh. He is called Immanuel which means ‘God with us.’  We are human and sin. Some boys may have struggled to get away but Isaac trusted his father. Perhaps Isaac also trusted God to save him – and he did. He provided a ram.  Jesus is our ‘ram’ isn’t He?”

“Lets see now,” Papa said slowly. God promised a son – Isaac to Abraham and Sarah but they had to wait many years before Isaac was born. Abraham’s seed or descendants had to wait hundreds or even thousands of years for Jesus to be born – right Mama?”

“That’s right, Papa. The book of Matthew starts out with the people who were born and died before Jesus was born and it is a very long list! King David is on that list too, Mama said. The Bible is filled with mention of Jesus or the Messiah all through the Bible – from beginning to the end. Last week, the preacher said that it is as if there is a red ribbon all the way through the Bible and that red ribbon is Jesus. Remember when God created everything and then he created man? He said, ‘Let us make man in our image.’ Jesus is God the Son. It is hard to understand but God The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit are ‘three in one.’ We won’t truly understand it until we are in Heaven.”

“But it’s Christmas,” Curtis said, “why are we talking about Abraham and Isaac?”

“We wanted you children to understand how important Christmas is. It isn’t about the tree or the pretty decorations you made for it and it isn’t even about filled stockings.” Mama said as she leaned over and rocked baby Sylvia’s cradle. It is about the long-awaited, special, miraculous baby who was born in a stable like sheep to be the Savior of the world. Did you notice that God kept calling Isaac ‘your only son or your only begotten son?’ Jesus is God’s only begotten son.

Isaac’s birth was a miracle because Abraham and Sarah’s age. Jesus’ birth was a miracle because He did not have an earthly father. God is His father. Jesus was born of a young woman who was pure. A virgin – but we will talk about that when you are older.

Abraham and Isaac had to travel to the place that God would show them. Mary and Joseph, the man God chose for Mary to marry so that he would be a good fill-in father for Jesus, had to travel to Bethlehem. They later had to travel to Egypt because of the wicked King who wanted to harm Jesus. Jesus traveled in His ministry and then, he had to walk up the hill called Calvary to become the sacrifice for our sin. After He gave His life for us, His disciples, his family and followers waited three long days when Jesus arose from the dead!

So you see, waiting so long for Jesus to come is very much a part of the Christmas story. Sometimes, we forget that because we focus on gifts and trees.”  Mama said with a smile and nodded to Papa who stood and left the room.

Papa returned to the room with a large bundle and walked slowly to the tree.

“What’s that?”

“Is it a gift?”

“Who’s it for?”

Everyone seemed to speak at once while watching Papa struggle with the bundle in his arms.

“Mama,” Papa said with a chuckle. “Guess you had better help me with this before I drop it!”

Mama rushed over and removed the gunny sack to reveal a wooden structure.

“Oh,” Isabel exclaimed, “is it a doll house?”

“Of course not, silly!” Eugene said with confidence. “It’s a stable!”

“That’s right, Eugene.” Mama smiled as she helped Papa lower the structure and placed it carefully under the tree. Next, he dug into the bag and pulled out some hay to lie on the floor of the stable. Next, he pulled out a box on legs and filled it with hay.

“What’s that?” Little Maggie asked and reached out to touch it gently.

“It’s a manger!” Curtis said. “You know – the bed for baby Jesus but it’s really a food box for the animals. Right Papa?”

“That’s right, son.” Papa said as he stood and placed an arm around Mama. “Why don’t we sing just one Christmas carol before we turn in for the night? I’m afraid the chickens have beat us to bed tonight!

Mama picked up her squeeze box and played Joy to the World as the children and Papa sang along.

Isabel looked once more at the stable with the empty manger.

“Papa, what about Baby Jesus? Doesn’t he sleep in the manger?”

“Well little Princess,” Papa said softly, “we have to wait.”

Manger b 12 2014

 

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

This is the scene most of us cherish as memories and hope for each Christmas. A cozy Christmas is wonderful; especially if you are surrounded by loved ones. Children anticipating opening the gifts Mom and Dad so generously purchased to make their wishes come true and parents hoping they didn’t forget anything and welcoming the slower pace after Christmas is over. What fun!

My wish for you dear reader, is that you have or will receive the most wonderful gift of all. It was anticipated for generations, foretold in Scripture, and is offered to all who will receive it. What is this wonderful gift?

God's gift. Immanuel - God with us.

God’s gift. Immanuel – God with us.

His name is Jesus!

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son; that whosoever believeth in Him

should not perish but have everlasting life.”

John 3:16

“Whosoever” means you, my friend. Won’t you receive God’s gift today?

The light of Christmas

Have a blessed Christmas!

Love,

Kathy

P.S. Isabel’s Story will be continued after Christmas. I’m sorry for the delay. Hope you will come back later this week to read the continuing story of little Isabel’s Christmas Joy!

Church Song Requests – Repost from The Vision of a Mother’s Heart blog.

In The Vision of a Mother’s Heart, one of the chapters portrays Song Requests in Church. Little Jimmy was confused about the title of his favorite song but the song leader knew which song he meant and they all sang Trust and Obey.

On their way home from Church, “Mama” announced that she had borrowed a hymnal from the song leader so that the children could copy the songs so that they would learn the songs they sang most often.

The Church where I grew up asked for requests almost every Sunday night. When the music director asked for requests, we all knew that Mr. Drain would request page number 292.

Hymnals

 
Surely Goodness and Mercy by John W. Peterson and Alfred Smith. We sang all of the verses as well as the chorus at the end. We sang this with enthusiasm. We sang with joy. We sang with smiles as we watched Mr. Drain singing with all his heart.

Back in the “old days,” we had hymnals. Children stood by their parents and learned to read the music as well as the words as they shared their song book with Mom or Dad. Many of us remember all five verses to How Great Thou Art and Just As I Am because the hymns became a part of who we are. Sometimes I fear that we will have a generation of children who do not know how to read music because they have missed out on this wonderful tradition of sharing a hymnal.

What about you? Do you have any memories of learning hymns with your parents in Church? What would song would you request? Did you learn to read music at Church by singing along using the hymnal? I would love to hear your stories!

I must admit that I prefer the older songs. Songs filled with doctrine and have a good melody as well. Crown Him With Many Crowns, Wonderful Grace of Jesus, At Calvary, and Mr. Drain’s favorite – Surely Goodness and Mercy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDMqlwsfa2k