Hope, Joy and Love

The fear and wonder the shepherds must have felt to see the heavens open with bright light and creatures they had only heard stories of but have never really seen. They knew from the prophets that He would come as a child from the lowly town of Bethlehem.

I wish you all the joy, wonder and love this season can bring us. A reminder of what did come and a foreshadowing of what is still to come. May you feel His love, peace and comfort and carry it with you to share with others as you go.

   Have a very Merry Christmas.

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Eyes, Windows to the Soul, A Photo a Week Challenge

Matthew 6:22 – The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be filled with light.

Nothing is quite as precious as the sparkle of a child’s eyes or the giggle of their laugh. These are my children and grandchildren. Yes all boys. But they are precious.

Nancy Merrill photo a week challenge is eyes. Come join in on the fun and enjoy each others photos.

Remember the joy of laughter of a child and carry that joy and smile with you as you go sharing that love with kindness freely. It make bring the same joy and smile to one who needs it.

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Ornaments, Photo A Day Challenge

A new site I have found, City Sonnets, has daily photo challenges for December. Now that I am getting more ambulatory I can play with pictures. Come join in on December’s Challenges.

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Ornaments

The star of David which shines forth in truth

Lights the tops of steeples and even the church roof

Expressing His cares on the wings of a dove

To show us His light and His endearing love.

-Anita Neal-

And as always remember the value of kindness and how it may not change the whole world, but for one person, it may make their world whole.

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To The Top for The Bottom

One of the most enjoyable things about blogging is the amazing photographers, professional and non-professional that share their photographs for all to enjoy. A lot of the photographs that are shared are due to various challenges as the one I will be sharing with you today,  well technically it’s night (2:30)but I couldn’t sleep so I am writing.

Irene from Heaven’s Sunshine was following the challenge for stairs from Pic And A Word  by Patrick Jennings. Her picture was so inspiring to me, I told her I was going to write about it, so I did. I hope you enjoy it and do stop by Irene’s blog for some wonderful pictures.

Steps to the Cross
Bailly Cemetery – Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

   THE CLIMB

I see and maintain it still is not fair,

I have nothing to lay at the top of the stair.

It’s not my fault, I did nothing wrong,

Well, maybe I did, it’s just been so long.

How long has it been since I climbed to the top,

I remember it’s relief, Why did I stop?

How can a symbol of such astounding grief,

Be given to us to bring so much relief?

With love so amazing, to the cross did He die,

To flood us with gratitude that still makes us cry.

The burdens we carry don’t always seem fair,

Always we can lay them at the top of the stair.

The first step looks brittle, can it carry my weight?

This burden is heavy and may seal my dire fate.

As I touch each step and climb ever higher,

Is this what I should do, is this really my desire?

As I clear the last step, the cross is before me,

I question my worth, did He also die for me?

As my knees get bent, I am smothered by His grace,

And I lay all my burdens at the accepting cross base.

                       – Anita Tillman Neal –

 

Always remember there is a burden carrier and it isn’t you. Scripture tells us repeatedly that He is there to carry our burden for us, we just have to be willing to give them to Him.

And as always I remind everyone the much loaded value of kindness. Carry it with you where ever you go and share as much as possible.

 

 

Heaven’s Peace

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Christmas is right around the corner. A lot of us are still zipping around and getting ready with gifts, food preparations and house readiness for family and visitors. Sometimes we forget this time of year is a time for quiet reflections on the past year, the coming year, what is happening in the world, in my country, in my town, in our individual lives. Nathanpatrickroach made a profound statement in his blog The reason for the Season and why Jesus had to come in the first place. Its worth the read if you have not seen it. Gives you a different perspective.

This morning we sang O Come, O Come Emanuel, which is one of my favorite songs this time of year. The Piano Guys version of this song will put chills down your spine, at lease it does for me. I could not figure out how to post it here.

The last verse really resonated with me this morning and I thought I would share it with you.

O come, Desire of nations, bind all peoples in one heartfelt mind.

Bid envy, strife, and quarrels cease,

Fill all the world with heavens peace,

Rejoice, Rejoice!

Emanuel shall come to thee O Israel.  Amen

For all of mankind to come together in one heartfelt mind with heavens peace. May we all come together this season in love, peace and kindness.

 

Advent Continues, Weekly Prompts

GC and Sue W have created a prompt that is so up my alley.  The joys and traditions surrounding Christmas are my most favorite of the year. See their prompt below to join in on the fun and share your photos.

http://weeklyprompts.com/2018/12/14/advent-continues

For me and my daughter, we start preparing the week before Thanksgiving but this year we started the 1st week on November as I was due for surgery the second week and I was not going to miss out on my decorating. We are also major college football fans, so every year there is an off weekend where our team does not play. That is the designated day for Christmas decoration shopping day. Sometimes we find something and sometime we don’t but it has become a yearly tradition we look forward to with love and fond memories.

When I decided to move from the deep south to the midwest for a new job, my daughter wanted to come. He job was going nowhere and her last relationship had crashed and burned. So we moved together. We were fortunate to find the perfect house with a walk out basement and a kitchen on both floors. So she is downstairs where it stays cooler to her liking and I am upstairs. Close to each other but separated as well.

My daughter and I are both suffers of the same…”illness?!?” – YCHTMC – An acronym for “You Can’t Have Too Much Christmas”.

Upstairs I have are 3 full size trees and 3 table trees. Down stairs my daughter has 3 smaller full size trees and 1 table tree.

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Dining Room Tree / Village
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Living Room Tree
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Bedroom Tree with Santa and Chris Moose

Below are the downstairs trees in her large living area.

I have 6 multiple pieced nativity sets in  various styles, colors and sizes with many single unit nativity scenes.

My biggest set has individual lights for each house and my smallest is actually a fountain.

My daughter has 2 multiple pieced nativity sets and several single unit scenes.The reason I have more is I have been doing it longer. It is a sickness I inherited from my mother and I have several ornaments that were hers. It is a family affair. With my sons, their wives keep them in check.

I am also an angel collector and most of those stay out year round; they just get located in a different location allowing other and numerous table decorations. Plus there is the village that grew this year and now has a section located in a different spots which houses the country scenes and the Christmas tree village.

 

There are traditional decorations, whimsical decorations and some just silly decorations but laughter and the love of Christ is what Christmas is to me. Through November I have displayed some of my pictures so I will repost a few but you are interested you can review my other post from November.

I sincerely hope you all have a marvelous Christmas regardless of your religious affiliation. It is a season of love hope and caring and we must always be considerate and kind to each other, especially at this season. There are many hurting during this time of year and will need and extra hand of kindness shared with them so please share kindness when you can.

Enjoy my love and fun of the season.

 

Beauty and Truth at Christmas

We have always heard that the measure of beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

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Nature has a beauty all its own

There are many forms of beauty from nature, or art, or music, or people, or animals…even in life itself.

Take for example any living thing and the ability of today’s technology to break down anything to a single cell…and the parts of that cell, the amazing beauty of creation. I have had conversations with people who don’t see this or who don’t see the reality of creation as I do. I even had one gentleman tell me he didn’t do the “G” word. I had to bite my tongue to keep my composure with someone who gets offended in saying “God”, really. How very sad. It is my opinion that God is very real and the creator of all things. It is also my opinion that He created all humans in His likeness to also be creators in the many forms we love to express and show the beauty of all creation. And I believe all of this to be a profound truth.

There is great beauty in truth. While this may be dipping into the philosophy realm a bit, truth like beauty is very much in the eye of the beholder as well because the world has muddied the waters of truth so to speak. For me, truth is perceived by each individual’s perception of what truth is to them and that is the basis on how they run their life.  For me, I base all truth on God’s word. In the bible, John 37:37, Jesus said “Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” And Pilate asked Him “What is truth?” Clearly not on the same page as Jesus but on the side of the muddy waters.

I am not eloquent with words or a great biblical teacher but I do study the word of God and believe it to be the truth. We are now in the Christmas season, whether you believe it or not the season’s purpose is to celebrate Jesus’s birth…and our salvation from death. Because without Him we are forever doomed. He was born for a purpose – us – and he died for a purpose – us. It has always been about us, the people, the believers in God. We are God’s beautiful creation but we are not allowed to see God so he can’t come help us. So God sent us His son who can help us. He stands between us and God as a buffer. I ran across a picture of beautiful piece of art that explains the relationship between man and God so well that I felt lead to share with you here.

Truth

Jesus is kneeling in the arms of the cross while hanging onto God’s hand as He reaches down to us who are drowning. That is a truth we all can live by. We can’t get to the father without the son. And they both want us to succeed in reaching for the hand of salvation. I encourage you to celebrate the season of His love as God sent this gift to us and for us.

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Us and HIM

As you enjoy the love of the season, remember to be kind. Being kind to someone who is also being kind is easy. We need to remember to be kind to those who may not be showing kindness at that moment probably because this is also a season of deep sorrow. Reach out with a word of kindness, a hand of kindness, or maybe a gentle smile. You just may brighten someone world. I enclose my favorite smile. It makes me smile every time.

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You are my favorite person