Tag Archive | Jesus

Little Isabel’s Christmas Joy – Part 2

 

The squeak of the back porch door and the sound of Papa and her two older brothers prompted Isabel to investigate.
“Isabel,” Mama scolded, “one of these days you are going to hurt yourself; jumping off the stool that way!”
“Yes, Mama.” Isabel smiled and slowly backed to the door and then ran the length of the back porch to hold the screen door.
Papa entered the back porch, stomped snow off his boots, and then made a show of wiping his feet on the braided rug before entering the kitchen door. “Temperature’s dropping awfully fast,” Papa said as he sauntered to the stove to warm his hands while Mama poured a cup of steaming coffee into a heavy mug and offered him a gingerbread cookie.
“Here’s your tree, little princess,” Papa teased as he pointed to a tiny tree before stepping aside to reveal a large pine.
“Oh, Papa it’s beautiful!” Isabel jumped and clapped her hands simultaneously.
“That is a lovely tree!” Mama reached over Isabel to open the door wider. “Let’s move out of the way, dear so that Papa and the boys can bring that lovely tree inside.”
Isabel skipped into the kitchen and moved her stool out of the way before running to Maggie.
“It’s here, it’s here Maggie. Wake up!”
Maggie sat up and rubbed her eyes. “The Christmas tree?”
“Yes!” Isabel sang, “The Christmas tree and we get to help decorate it!”
Both girls danced around the kitchen as Papa carefully carried the tree into the front parlor and placed it gently into the corner where it could be seen from the kitchen and through the windows.
“Now girls, don’t get too excited. We need to prepare supper and clean up the kitchen first. Besides, we haven’t finished stringing popcorn. We will work on that tonight and add a few of the decorations. Tomorrow we will wrap up cookies to give to our neighbors when we go Christmas caroling. How does that sound?”
“Fun!” Isabel and Maggie sang in unison.

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?”
“Let’s 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 dollhouse?”
“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.”

We Celebrate Today Because He Lives!

Miss Madison

As a child, Easter meant a new dress, hat, gloves, shoes, purse and everything that a little girl needs. Of course, there was the filled basket of candy (I gave most of mine to Mom. I just liked anything with marshmallow or carmel.) and a pretty flower to wear. Orchids were popular then. Also fun Easter Egg hunting is still popular today.

1604442_552440884874398_674899506_nMadison Easter Egg Hunt Kathie Trent Kingrey

Dying the eggs were so much fun; I remember the smell today. But what does that have to do with Easter? It doesn’t really. The fun traditions have nothing to do with the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Hinchee Family Easter 1969

Hinchee Family Easter 1969 Our first Easter as Redeemed, followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Easter 1969 Kathie and Robin Trent, Steve, Kathy and Melissa Hinchee

Best friends ready to go to Easter Service 1969

 

We had much to celebrate that first Easter as believers. For the first time, I realized what Easter is truly about. It is about the great sacrifice that paid for my sin on the cross. Jesus willingly gave His life for you, for me, for those who followed Him, for Peter who denied Him, for the scoffers who cried “Crucify Him!” and for the thief on the cross who believed Christ – the sinless, perfect Son of God didn’t deserve death on the cross but that he and the other thief did deserve this death.

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He was buried in a borrowed tomb which was sealed with a stone too big and heavy for man to move. Three days later, He arose from the tomb. He lives! And so my friend, Happy Resurrection Day. We celebrate because He lives! (Sing “One Day” with me!) Just think, He loves you! Isn’t this Joy so much better than candy? I know it is!

Love,

Kathy

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Christmas Memories~Story Time

 

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Photo by kathiekingeryphotography.com

“Nannie, Can we make gingerbread men like your Mama made?” Kristen asked as she looked up at her great grandmother.

“Oh, I know we can. We may bake gingerbread men tomorrow afternoon.” Nannie said as the timer on the oven beeped.

“Now, lets have cookies fresh from the oven with a glass while of milk and I will tell you all about Christmases past.”

Kristen’s enormous blue eyes twinkled as she climbed on Nannie’s red step stool/chair and laughed as Nannie pushed the vintage stool close to the table.

“Now,” Nannie said as cookies, milk were in place before them and Kristen said a quick blessing, the story began. “When I was your age, I had two older brothers and a baby sister, Maggie. We were a poor family but we were rich in the blessing of love.

“Did you have a Christmas tree?”

“Oh, yes. We always had a Christmas tree. Some years we had small trees but in 1919 we had a wonderful, large tree.

“Did you get to help put the lights and decorations on the tree?”

“Oh, no. We didn’t have electricity.” Nannie smiled at little Kristen’s reaction. “Few people in our neighborhood had electricity. We lit kerosene lamps and candles. There were shelves on the wall to hold the lamps so that they wouldn’t get knocked over. That would have caused a fire, you see.”

“In 1919, we didn’t help with the tree at all. Mama and Papa liked to surprise us. Before going to bed on Christmas Eve, Mama told us to hang us our largest sock on a hook on the mantle of the fireplace. It was so exciting! Eugene and Curtis knew what to expect but it was my first Christmas that I would remember.” Nannie signed, took a sip of milk and looked ahead as if seeing that Christmas on the wall of her memory. “It was hard to go to sleep that night.

My brothers had told me something special would happen in the morning and no matter what, ‘don’t get out of bed!’ Of course, I heard a lot of strange sounds coming from the front room – that’s what Mama called our living room.”

“Oh,” Kristen said as she stuffed the last piece of cookie into her mouth. “What made the noises?”

“I didn’t know. I heard my brothers giggling from their side of the curtain dividing our room. Sometimes I thought I heard Papa’s voice and Mama’s soft laugh but I knew that couldn’t be true because Papa always went to bed at sundown because he had to get up so early to do chores. I finally got to sleep but before the rooster crowed, Eugene and Curtis woke me up. They each held my hand as we walked into the front room with their hands over my eyes. ‘Squeeze your eyes closed – real tight,’ they said. When Mama told me to open my eyes, I couldn’t believe it! A beautifully decorated tree with candles had appeared in the room! At least that’s what I thought.” Nannie said with a chuckle.

vintage Christmas tree with candle

Kristen leaned close and whispered, “Were there bunches of pretty presents under the tree?”

“We each had two gifts under the tree. Mama always knitted hats, scarves and mittens for us; wrapping them as one package and Papa had made a special gift for each of us. He built a small dollhouse for me,  complete with furniture and a doll family to live in it. I was so excited, I almost forgot to look in my sock. The boys didn’t forget, however. They went to the socks first. Each sock contained an orange which was a treat for us. We only had oranges at Christmas. There were nuts, a silver dollar, peppermint sticks and I got new hair ribbons. The boys got brand new pencils and a harmonica for each. We were so excited about our new gifts, we almost forgot breakfast.”

“What did the boys get under the tree, Nannie?”

“They got hand carved horses from Papa.” Nannie smiled and poured more milk for Kristen. “We had pancakes for breakfast. Just as we were beginning to eat, there was a knock on the door. It was then we realized it was snowing. Papa went to the door and there was a large basket of food with our name on it. The card was signed, Merry Christmas!” Nannie stopped to wipe her eyes with the corner of her apron. “The basket of food was sitting on a brand new sled for us to share. You see, we were very poor that Christmas and didn’t even have a chicken to roast for Christmas dinner. There was a turkey with all the fixins’, two pies and a cake. Flour, sugar, salt and coffee were also in the basket. Mama told us only Jesus knew she had used the rest of the ingredients on the pancakes. She said that she prayed about making the gingerbread men because she wouldn’t have enough to bake bread after Christmas. When she sat down at the table, she opened her Bible. God said He would provide and He did.

After breakfast, papa got out his old banjo and we sang Christmas carols all day. The best part was reading about how God provided His Son, baby Jesus so that we can go to Heaven and live with Him some day. You see, Christmas isn’t about the gifts, the food or even about the tree. It’s about Jesus; our Savior who left Heaven to be born of a virgin in a stable with a manger for a bed like a lamb.”

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“I love Jesus!” Kristen said as she slid off her stool to give Nannie a big hug. “I love Christmas too.”

“Me too,” Nannie said as she returned the hug. “Now, when you come back tomorrow we will bake gingerbread boys while I tell you about your Grammy’s Christmas when she was your age.”

Just then the doorbell rang and Kristen’s mother walked into the kitchen. “I want to be part of that too! I’ve never heard that story before.”

“Oh, if you come often enough, I could tell enough stories to fill a book. I’m so glad you came! Walking down memory lane always makes me feel like a child again – experiencing the joy of Christmas all over again and again.”

Little Isabel~ Story Time

 

Little Kristen set aside her book and followed a voice coming from the kitchen.

“Joy to the World, the Lord has come…” Nannie put a pie in the oven and wiped her hands on her festive apron and turned to her small granddaughter. “I thought you were playing,” Nannie said as she cleaned flour from the kitchen counter before picking up the child.

“Nannie, I’m bored.”

“Bored? How can you be bored when there is some much work to do before Christmas? With all of your toys, it’s hard to imagine being bored.

“Will you tell me a story? Please?”

“Of course I will tell you a story. What kind of story do you want to hear?”

“My favorite – tell me about when you were a little girl!”

“Well,” Nannie said as she lifted Kristen onto her lap, “that was a long time ago. Do you want to hear anything special?”

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“What was Christmas like when you were a little girl?”

“That was a long time ago but I still remember Mama and Papa making Christmas for us.”

“How long ago?” Kristen asked as she shifted and found a comfy spot on Nannie’s lap.

“A very long time,” Nannie said with a smile. “Lets see, the year was 1919 when I was your age. I remember it well. Since I was too young to go to school, I helped Mama bake cookies.”

“What kind of cookies, Nannie?”

“Gingerbread boys and girls. You see, cookies were part of the tree decoration but I didn’t realize that until Christmas morning.  Mama always put a hole in the gingerbread child’s cap for the ribbon.”

“Did you get to lick the beaters?” Kristen asked as she remembered baking cookies with her Mama.

“Mama mostly used a spoon to mix the cookie batter but she had a egg beater for the eggs and wet ingredients before she spooned in the dry ingredients. Lets see,” Nannie said as she stood up with Kristen and headed for the kitchen. After rummaging through two drawers, she picked up the red handled instrument. “This is what Mama used to beat the eggs and other wet ingredients. See? You turn the handle like this and the beaters turned around and around until the eggs were nice and fluffy. Do you want to try it?”

 

eggbeater

Kristen’s eyes grew big as Nannie demonstrated how the beater worked. “How do you take it apart so that you can lick the beaters?”

“We don’t. It is all one piece. Would you like to try?” Kristen picked up the beater and turned the crank just as she had seen Nannie do. It slipped from her hands and landed on the floor.

“I’m sorry, Nannie!”

“That’s alright pumpkin. I did the very same thing the first time I tried it too. Mama just smiled and said, ‘Isabel, if you don’t get it right the first time, just pick it up and try again and again until you can beat eggs as fast as I can.'”

Peter’s Forgiveness: A Rhyme for Preschoolers

 

My friend who has been working with four-year-olds shared this in her newsletter yesterday and has given me permission to share it with you. Children that age love rhyme and as you know, some jingles continue to come to mind years after we learned it. Praying it is so with this song/rhyme!

I don’t know about you but I can emphasize with Peter. So often we speak before we think, we act on emotions and we want to be so close to the Lord that we desire to walk on water with Him. And then in a moment of distress, we forget all He has done and say or try to do something in our own strength and we fail. The good news is that through the Lord Jesus Christ, our sins are forgiven and cast into the sea – as far as the east is from the west. Peter denied He knew Jesus; just as Jesus had said. When the cock crowed, he had denied Jesus three times. At that very moment, he looked up and Jesus was looking at him. Looking into the Lord’s eyes, Peter realized what he had done, then went out and wept bitterly. I love reading Mark 16:7 “But go your way, tell His disciples and Peter, that He goeth before you into Galilee, there ye shall see Him, as He said unto you.” Jesus was specific that Peter should know that He had risen from the dead and in including him, Peter knew that he was forgiven.  kp

~*~7cfbe1d425fbb5b5c61bd4f52393610aMusical instruments for kids

Okay, time to take a break and have some fun! Grab some four-year olds and let’s go!

First you’ll need to give some very detailed instructions, of course. Then give each of them either a set of lummi sticks or a triangle. (We’re talking musical instruments here.) No need to fret if they don’t get the instrument they want, they will be taking turns with them.

Now you need to learn the beat. Since you probably don’t have sticks and a triangle handy at the moment, you can use your hands. Slap your palms on the table (or on your thighs) twice to represent the lummi sticks, then snap your fingers once to represent the triangle. Ready? Let’s go! Slap, slap, snap. Slap, slap, snap. Slap, slap, snap. Slap, slap, snap.

Got it?

Good.

Now we need to add some words. Don’t sing them, say them. The more expressive, the better. Slap, slap, snap 3 or 4 times in between the verses. Here we go! Get your beat going first and . . .

Listen to the story of a man named Peter
Whom one day God called to be a great leader

Jesus found him fishing out at the lake
“Come with me, Peter, we’ve a journey to take!”

A journey of faith was what was in store
It would take much longer than a 3 hour tour

They walked and they talked along the dusty roads
Sometimes they were noisy, sometimes quiet as the toads

Peter saw Jesus heal the sick and lame
He saw Jesus help everyone who came

The blind, the deaf, and those who couldn’t speak
The poor, the needy, the lowly, and the meek

Jesus loved them all and helped them everyone
And then Peter knew the Son of God had come

Peter made a promise to never run awayd429105d0de563a7fe6f780ebd6b5d05
No matter what happened, with Jesus he would stay

But then the crowds and soldiers gave him such a fright
That Peter lost his courage and ran out in the night

Peter was so sorry for the words he’d spoken
He cried and felt so sad, his heart was almost broken

Peter wanted to see Jesus, look him in the eyes
To tell Him that he loved Him and to apologize

After Jesus died and came to life again
Peter was relieved Jesus forgave him of his sin

Peter knew that Jesus knows all things
Peter told others of the joy Jesus brings!

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Anticipation of Easter

Do you remember when you were a child and the anticipation you felt as Easter drew near?
I don’t know about boys, but I vividly remember going shopping to pick out
the perfect Easter outfit.

Not just a dress – but the matching assessories as well.

The perfect dress that “looked like spring”.
Hat
White Gloves

White lacy socks (for the younger years) or stockings. (I still remember my first pair. They made me feel so grown up!)
All new under garments were a must! (Does anyone remember the scratchy crinolines which made out dress move like a bell when we moved from side to side and caused it to puff out perfectly whenever we had the opportunity to spin around? Ah, what fun!)
White Patent Leather Shoes
White Purse complete with a new lace hankie, a  small comb, a small mirror, a stick of chewing gum  and a small coin purse with coins inside to place into the offering plate at Church.
A Spring Coat to match the dress if Easter came early in the Spring. (I think we called them dusters?)
A small corsage from Dad Hinchee made me feel quite grown up! I still love wearing flowers – in spite of allergies.

This was just part of the anticipation. Of course, Moms enjoyed preparing “Easter Baskets” which were waiting for us when we arose on Easter morning. (I enjoyed the marshmallow treats and gave Mom the jelly beans and creme eggs.)  I don’t know about you, but I am much older than my sister and brother and dyeing the eggs, preparing the baskets and watching Melissa and Steve squeal with delight on Easter morning was the best part of the tradition!

In 1969, our family celebrated Easter as new believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. We added going to Church when we were saved in October of 1968. The first Easter at Church was extra special – two of my friends joined us and also believed on Him that Sunday!

After Church, the Hinchee family gathered at the Grandparents home for a wonderful meal cooked by one of the best cooks in Roanoke!

However, none of the trappings could compare with the true meaning of Easter. The resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! “He is not here, He is risen, as He said!”

For centuries, the anticipation of the coming Messiah is evident in the Word of God. God had promised to send a Savior. He established the Passover, laws, ceremonies, traditions that would point to the Cross. His Word revealed prophecies of the coming of the Messiah and our Salvation. That the LORD would lay on Him the iniquities of us all. (Isaiah 53).
The Passover is a picture of Christ. The Tabernacle and the altars with their offerings were a picture and yet when John the Baptist said of Jesus Christ, “Behold, the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world.” was lost on the Rabbis, the religious zealots, those who were searching diligently for the Messiah didn’t even recognize Him when He bore their sin (and ours) on the cross of Calvary.

All the years of Easter traditions before I received Christ at the age of eleven did not point me to Christ. They didn’t symbolize New Life in Christ or that His shed blood washes us white as snow. – that in Christ, we are new creatures! I was just playing dress up until the Gospel reached my ears and my heart and He made me brand new!

Now, I am anticipating not only the celebration of His defeat over death when He arose from the dead but also the things to come. Thankfulness that He suffered for me and cleansed me from my sin – past, present and future! A home in Heaven,  The rapture. The wedding feast – as we are the Bride of Christ adorned for her Husband! (Okay ladies, now that is a good reason to go out and buy new Church clothes – right?)

I’ve been changed by the blood of the Lamb. He gave His life for me and arose that we may have new life! Does my countenance show it?  It’s not about the clothes or the sweets that remind us of His sweet sacrifice but it has everything to do with Him. How about you?

Worthy is the Lamb

Nevrdun News – From the Archives: Something to Ponder

My friend, the Shepherdess of Nevrdun is sharing another fleece of wisdom to ponder. It spoke to my heart and thought it may give you a fresh perspective to ponder as well.
Natavity
 Nevrdun News – From the Archives: Something to Ponder
First sent December 24, 2005 . . .
There was no room for them in the inn.

Sometime during the Christmas season most of us have heard the story of Joseph and Mary traveling to Bethlehem, stopping at an inn, and being told there was no room for them. The inn was full. Many portray the innkeeper as turning them away in a harsh voice, or being hardhearted, or “not having any room for Jesus.”

But could it be the innkeeper has been given what Wes calls “a bum rap”?

Could it be the innkeeper was actually a very gracious man? One who provided a private place for Mary to give birth?

Think about it.

The Bible doesn’t include the innkeeper with those who had received special revelations concerning the birth of Jesus. He had no dreams. No visions. No forewarning of things to come. How was he to know that the One Mary carried in her womb was actually God’s Son, Immanuel? To the innkeeper they were an ordinary couple coming to Bethlehem to be counted in the census.

I wonder . . . how many times have we treated others unfairly because they have not responded or reacted in the manner we think they should? Could it be they have actually done the best they could given the level of knowledge and understanding they have?

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Cats and Christmas Trees

Earlier, I re-posted last year’s account of our Maine Coon, Ruby’s experience of chewing on the Christmas tree light which was attached to the pre-lit slimline tree. I promised to post pictures but for some reason, they didn’t show up.  So I will try again.

Ruby stayed under the table until the tree was up and didn’t bother it again. She had learned the blessing of forgiveness.

Ruby finally came out from under the table to “help” with the tree.

All was forgiven. Ruby and Skippy enjoyed the tree and were rewarded with gifts on Christmas morning.

Christmas morning 2011

“For me?”
(I learned years ago to add a little cat nip to the cat’s gifts. They will be drawn to that package first!)

“I love it – even though this one was really meant for Skip.”

We bought the pink toy for Ruby but Skippy preferred her gift and she preferred his!

After the initial problem of the lights, Skippy and Ruby were well behaved in regard to the tree. Pets chewing on cords and eating tinsel are hazards this time of the year. There are products that one can buy to spray on the cords, tree, ornaments, furniture or anything you don’t want to chew on. We discovered Sour Apple several years ago and it worked very well. We may need to buy some more this year.  “Why, you ask?”

“Skip and Ruby said we are getting a real Christmas tree. This will be my first Christmas with my forever family!” Alice said as she purred in anticipation.

This is Alice’s first Christmas with us in her forever home. We want her to be safe and to enjoy the tree as well. (Some of our dainty ornaments may not go on the tree this year, just in case!) Alice’s nick name is “Turbo Kitty” because she loves to run through the house and literally climb the walls! She’s fast and loves to play. I am sure we will have some delightful pictures to share as we decorate our Christmas tree this year!

We have had cats since 1991 and it can be a challenge and entertaining to have kitties checking out the decorations. Of course, we can’t pile presents under the tree until we are ready to open them but that’s okay.  I would rather have a bare tree skirt than to have our felines chewing on ribbons which can be dangerous if swallowed.  Besides, once the packages are opened, they enjoy chasing balled up paper and sitting in the empty boxes!

Our first cat, Zippy picked out his gift immediately. I sprinkled cat nip on the toy before wrapping it. This is the Christmas that we learned the danger of allowing the cats to chew on ribbons. He loved his toy, though!

Jake had almost as much fun with his “Christmas bag” as he did with the toys. You can see how delighted he was!

“I can’t believe they gave me a toothbrush and kitty toothpaste for Christmas! At least I have this comfy box!”

Patch claimed John’s gift for his own. We often tied the bandana around Patch’s neck and he walked around in it with his head held high. All he needed was a pair of boots and a cowboy hat to complete the outfit!

“Now, where did Mom hide those gifts?”

And then there was Missy Cat who discovered the true meaning of Christmas!

Join Missy Cat on her adventure when she jumps into the Christmas tree and discovers the true meaning of Christmas! (Now available as an ebook and can be ordered as a print book from Amazon.com)

May you be blessed this Christmas as you focus on the true meaning of Christmas – Jesus!

Happy decorating!

Kathy