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    Shepherd Like a Girl

    Does your nativity set have any female shepherds? Mine doesn’t. And it’s amazing how much I have picked up unconsciously from art….  I didn’t realize that—without anything being said outright—I had internalized the idea that “shepherd” was a “guy” job. So, if I saw a Christmas pageant with girls dressed in bathrobes holding crooks, I told myself the real nativity story lacked girl roles so the directors were taking creative license. But now I know those girls in bathrobes more closely represented reality than did my misinformed imaginations. My understanding about shepherds shifted radically when I traveled with my husband and daughter to Kenya’s Rift Valley. My husband is a…

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    Their Son Was a King

    We became first-time parents in a government building in a foreign land. There was no pomp and circumstance. No parade. No party. No family. No fanfare. And although our adoption agency properly prepared us for such a low-level event, that first-day was not the norm for most first-time parents. Joseph and Mary became first-time parents in a cave[1] in a city faraway from their home of Nazareth. There was no pomp and circumstance. No parade. No party (except with shepherds).[2] No family.[3] No fanfare. And although angels properly prepared them for the significance of this birth, their first-day was not the norm for first-century parents, especially parents of royalty. You…

  • Peace on Earth to those with whom God is pleased from Luke 2:14
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    Peace on Earth to Those with Whom God Is Pleased

    “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” (Luke 2:14, NLT) These are the words the host of angels declared to a band of shepherds right after an angel of the Lord announced the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem—the Savior, Christ the Lord. They began with the words, “Glory to God in the highest.” Hundreds of years before this night, God promised to send the Christ, the anointed one who would be the deliverer they needed. The people lived with a sense of hope and expectation. Now, that promise is fulfilled! All heaven is giving God the glory. And, on earth—peace.…

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    The Angels Of Advent

    You can’t consider Advent without acknowledging the role of angels. Intricately woven into the story of the birth of Christ are these created beings – often pictured by the artists of old with wings, flowing robes and long hair. Consider three of the prominent roles angels played. Preparation was put in place to ready the participants in the nativity story. Can you imagine the orchestration behind the scenes in heaven within the Trinity and with the angels as the drama began to unfold? God was getting His message out – revealing His heart, His plan to the ones He had chosen for this certain invasion into earth. In the exact,…

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    How to Have Your Own Advent Wreath

    Christmas will be here before we know it. It’s time to start gathering the things you need to help your family or classroom really get the most out of the season. The Advent wreath is a part of many church services but it originally started in homes. The Advent wreath is a really great way to help our families focus on Christ throughout the season. There are many different versions on line. I want to share what I found out about how to put together an Advent wreath with you. It all begins with a wreath. Insert four candles in a circle with one in the middle. Traditionally three of…

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    The Birth of Christmas: While Sheperds Watch Their Flocks By Night

    One of the things I love most about Christmas is the cards we receive from many friends around the world who tell us what’s happened in their lives in the past year. When I was a boy my mom used to hang all our cards on the door frame between our living room and our dining room and I can still see the progression of those cards on that door frame until it was totally covered. Lynna and I keep a large basket full of cards in our entryway, a constant reminder of those we love and miss.   One of the greatest themes on those greetings is that of…

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    Celebrate the Meaning of Christmas

    On the First Day of Christmas the Bible reveals to me….   Jesus born into humanity   On the Second Day of Christmas the Bible reveals to me…   Two joyful parents and     Jesus born into humanity   On the Third Day of Christmas the Bible reveals to me…   Many shepherds watching   Two joyful parents and    Jesus born into humanity   On the Fourth Day of Christmas the Bible reveals to me…   Flocks of sheep grazing   Many shepherds watching   Two joyful parents and   Jesus born into humanity   On the Fifth Day of Christmas the Bible reveals to me…   Bright…