Wednesday, December 29, 2010

And Then The Kings Came

I love the story of the kings, or wise men, because it extends Christmas a little bit. The second chapter of Matthew tells of how they searched for the young Child and the text says they went into the house and worshiped Him. I don't know the period of time between the birth and the king's arrival, but they were still in Bethlehem. This doesn't ruin the story for me. It doesn't bother me that my manger scene has the kings in attendance. Who wants two scenes across the room from each other, one of the shepherds and one of the kings? The important thing is that both rich and poor, wise and simple worshipped the King. It's kind of neat how the traditional grouping represents everyone. Some of them have ethnic figures. All can be and are represented. Even a little shepherd boy could represent the children. Mary can represent the women since she was the first to adore Him.

I love that the kings outsmarted King Herod. I love how many dreams are involved in this whole nativity story, all to protect our wonderful Savior. I love that since the gifts came later, we can go into the new year and extend Christmas with our gifts of love and service. Christmas never truly ends. The story just goes on with all the wonderful things Jesus did and up to and through the cross. And finally we (in Acts and beyond) become a part of it. How I want to rejoice with all of this glorious Good News.

My heart's desire is that you may have a very blessed and Happy New Year! Nancy

Friday, December 24, 2010


I want to wish every one of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Victory! While I don't know the details of my test report yet, the doctor called and said that it was "All Good News." That's the word I have been waiting for. God is so faithful. Thanks so much for your many prayers for me.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Building Blocks

My little grandson has three sizes of plastic blocks. He has enormous ones in primary colors where the knobs that you stick the next block on are about 2" across. Then he has what are called Duplo or Lego blocks. These are the smallest. They are like regular Legos only a bit bigger for toddlers. He loves to dump these and swish them around. They make a great sound. He likes to take apart what I make and dump towers. He occasionally will build something, but it is difficult for him yet. Then he has these intermediate size blocks. They are many colors, some pastel, and the knobs are longer. He is able to stick these together very well. He still likes to take apart my imaginative creations, but that is part of the fun.

I was pondering on my bed one night, when I couldn't sleep, and I began to think of building blocks. We are all given a set. Some of us get primary colors, some pastels, some plain ones. The sizes vary as well. We can't choose the colors of our blocks, the size, whether they are easy to build with, whether we get some extra fancy parts that hep enhance the over all project. We all get a set.

Do you put your blocks on a shelf and refuse to build? "I can't build much, so I'm just going to rest." We put Ty's small blocks on the table after he has dumped them and played for a while. We get them out later so he can have another try. When he points, we build. I wouldn't want to be the one to squelch a creation he was about to make that day.

So you are building with the set you are assigned. Do you stick to one way, feel bored and put them away - unhappy with what you have been given? Or do you take that simple set and start from an entirely different place and suddenly make something that could not even be made with the best set of blocks?

We are not judged on the exquisite creation we have made, only on the fact that we took what we had and we applied it to God's purpose of furthering the Kingdom.

I am extremely excited this year-end to assess my blocks, look at them differently, and make an entirely inventive and useful creation in the new year. What about you? Are you ready to build?

"So they said, "Let us rise up and build." Then they set their hands to this good work." Nehemiah 2:18

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Worship Me In Truth

"I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:6

Richard Halverson was chaplain of the senate in the 80s. He wrote a book called No Greater Power. In it he asks: "Do you have faith in God or in your ideas about God?" He says that if He is limited to your understanding, then He is too small and you are worshiping an idol.

When we have a problem or are in tough circumstances, if we reckon God to be just what we can conceive and no more, He's too small, faith falters, and we don't see the true God. We need to believe His omnipotence, even if we don't understand it. As we think of these things, we are offering acts of worship to the one true God.

Prayer: Father, today, at this holy Christmas season, we come to you though Jesus and bring offerings of praise and recognize that you are a great and awesome God. Amen

*Thursday I had my surgery. It all went very well. I had the most fabulous nurses and all day the first day, I had no pain. Praise the Lord. Your faithful prayers carried me through. I am now awaiting word on the tests which I believe will be according to God's word.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Back In Time

Saturday evening my husband and I invited our neighbors to go on the "old Fogey bus" and tour Greenfield Village by night. This is in Dearborn, Michigan and it is a place of many recreated shops and venues, some actually taken apart and shipped there. There is also a Henry Ford Museum attached to it, but that wasn't included.

So, the four of us arrived at the bus in time to get great seats. I was able to catch up with all sorts of stories about my friend's doings and found out a lot more about her.

When we arrived it was chilly, but we were all bundled up. The lights on trees and buildings were lovely. Every so often, a pyre let out its warmth and light. Carolers roamed the facility, some in Dickensian outfits.

We waited in a line similar to the twisty ones at Disneyland and were able to have a Model T ride around the area. These cars are authentic and they sure looked and ran great.

I saw the chapel that I remembered seeing when I was a little girl. It was so gorgeous all lit up. It was just a great nostalgia trip for me. Also felt that way when I saw the Wright Brothers Cycle shop and a jewelry store where two figures gong the bell on the hour.

We wandered into a glassblowers. It was all dark except for the fires. The young men were pulling a length of glass candy cane material the length of the room. We were just in time to see them finish the process. Then it cools and they cut up for canes.

We heard a tinsmith tell all about pierced lanterns and watched him solder a small ring for a project. The people in the buildings were very knowledgeable about their subjects.

At the end, we went to the gift shop and were able to purchase "whatever" with our "fun money" that was given to us on the bus. I got a coin necklace and teeny tiny copper penny earrings. They are too cute. Then it was off to the bus so we could all sit down and wait for departure. We had one more surprise: fireworks. I went out to see them, but a mist was coming so I went back in the bus and we all saw and heard a great show right there through the windows.

I thing it is great that the facility puts this on every year. Every one who worked there was so full of holiday cheer. It truly set the scene for a very Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Songs Of Christmas

Another part of Christmas that I love is the music. I will sing along, even though my voice is not what it could be. Of the secular songs, my favorite is Sleigh Ride. I also love Winter Wonderland and The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year (as sung by Andy Williams.)

There is another pretty song called "At Christmas," by the group Hanson (the group that did "Um Bop" a few years ago. It is one they wrote themselves and is all about family, gathering together, and the real meaning of Christmas.

I love the carols the best. My favorite is O Come O Come Emmanuel. Then I love Joy To The World, O Holy Night, and What Child Is This.

There are some lines in these songs, usually down in the extra verses, that just thrill me:
In Joy To The World, a line says, "He comes to make His blessings flow, far as the curse is found.
In O Come All Ye Faithful, a line says, "Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing."
And in Hark The Herald Angels Sing, we get "Come Desire of nations, come, fix in us thy humble home.

So this wonderful season, let the rich words and the music fill your heart with joy.

*My medical appointment didn't go exactly the way I had hoped it would. There was an afternoon session where your prayers truly helped. I'm so glad you were there for me. It turns out that I have to have surgery and a medical surgical test connected with it. The date for surgery is Thursday, Dec. 16th. After that, I may tell details. Right now I just want to be more general. I'm getting wonderful scriptures and I know God is with me.

*The tree picture is for Jeanette and anyone else who wanted to see "the most beautiful tree ever." Well to me it is.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Decorating The Tree X Three

I was so excited to decorate after Thanksgiving. The tree with its lights is one of my favorite parts of Christmas. I love to sit in the evening with all the lights off except the tree and just enjoy its beauty. I may put on Christmas music, or just sit and think - one of my favorite pastimes. It helps keep me relaxed and all pulled together.

So I hauled my big bags of artificial tree from the shed, well my husband did. Then I got to work and dug in. Putting on the lights is my least favorite part because I wrap each limb and that takes time and because dividing a triangle tree into thirds for the lights and garlands is difficult. Well I got it all done, lights, garlands, beads and I hear, "crack, crunch." My tree fell over just after I got a few ornaments on. I caught it so there was no breakage, except for that old tree stand.

My faithful husband came from his "man cave" and taped it back together for me, after telling me I had to take all of the lights off so he could fix it. No problem, "grrrrr."

Now any other year, I would have been in a fit at the prospect of doing the lights over. But this year, many things have taught me a bit of patience and perspective, thank you, Jesus.

After doing the tree again and putting on a few ornaments, the whole thing crashed again at my feet. My husband comes in and says if I take it all down, he can fix up something. So after he fixes up a very large flower pot with wet pea gravel and sticking the pole their in, I decorate the tree for the third time. I used my head though. I tied the tree to the bookcase.

No sooner did I get the lights on, than over went the pole and the wet pea gravel dumped on my floor. I was done decorating for the day.

In the evening, my husband asked if I was willing to do the tree one more time. (I neglected to tell you that putting the tree up three times meant sticking all of the branches in one by one on all 7 rounds of the tree and taking them off.) He thought he could get a real tree holder and use it to screw around the stem of the tree. I actually said fine, because in spite of all the work, I loved that tree. We had used it many years in our family. Then he said, "Or, I can get you a new artificial tree tomorrow."

And that is how I got my gorgeous, skinny branched so you can see the ornaments, pre-lit, all in three easy pieces, new Christmas tree. I love it. It was all worth it. It is the prettiest tree I have ever seen.

Tomorrow is the big day. I'm going in for my evaluation. Thank all of you for your prayers. They are greatly appreciated and help me to know that I have loving support behind me. Remember, I pray for all of you on a regular basis and consider it a privilege to do so. You are the best. Nancy

Saturday, December 4, 2010


About two weeks ago I got a medical diagnosis that was in the "serious" category, according to the doctors. I am going in to the hospital on Wed., Dec. 8 for an evaluation. They aren't going to do any treatment that day. They are supposed to do another opinion on a test that they took at the first appointment.

I am asking all of you, my good friends, for prayer. I am not overly concerned about the ultimate results, because the Lord has promised me a long life in Psalm. 91. He specifically gave that to me as an answer to a question several years ago.

What I truly want is a victory. I want a victory over this diagnosis. And I want a testimony of healing. I have so many scriptures, books, articles, notes, and things God has written to me, all on healing. I want to be able to pray for others. This time alone with God has been fabulous. He gives me daily just the words I need to hear. I am believing for a healing, a victory, and a testimony.

I don't think this is presumption because of all of the things He has shown to me over the years.
So I am believing for a good report on Wed., and I know that whatever happens, I am in His loving hands. Thanks for your prayers. Nancy