A special Christmas for any child is when they get a big bike. This bike literally brought the oldest grand daughter to tears of joy.
Christmas is a season of joy. While me may stress out over shopping, travel, and family issues, much of our efforts are aimed at bringing joy in to the lives of others. We get a special joy when we see a gift unwrapped that it truly appreciated by the recipient. In a feeding trough of a stable in the city of Bethlehem the greatest gift ever given to mankind was bestowed upon s sleeping world. Angels declared that the gift wass one of great joy. Through the Son of God came the gift of eternal life making Christmas the most wonderful time of year.
2007 was a special Christmas for the Big Guy. He got a Jedi light sabre. Fully extended, it was as tall as it’s owner. Today he is 17 and 6′-2″ tall. I don’t think anyone knows what became of the light sabre. One of the joys of doing this marathon is looking back on previous Christmas celebrations and seeing just how much the grand kids have grown.
The grandson is the youngest of our four grandchildren and the only boy. That’s right, he has three older sisters that you will meet in the coming days. After three grand daughters the life in the family was changed by a baby boy. But then, a new baby in any family changes everything. 2000 years ago the birth of a baby boy in Bethlehem changed the world and continues to change lives one heart at a time.
This little tree can be found in the home office and stands about three and a half feet tall. It is known as my tree because it reflects some of my interests, hobbies, and contains memories like the Coca Cola Santa that I featured recently. Here are a few of the interest/hobby ornaments.
Before Lucy, the house princess, arrived in our home this was my cocker spaniel. Before this ornament there as a black cocker spaniel in the house. When I was a kid I had a black cocker spaniel all the way through elementary, junior high, and high school. Do you see a trend here?
This little guy represents the construction industry and provided my livelihood for over 40 years. I was an architect and spent most of my career working on retail and restaurant projects. I don’t think they make architect ornaments but I like this guy.
I’ll focus on the “special meaning” ornaments in another post. Yes, my wife put this tree together and the top is always special. Now it’s time for music.
The prophet Isaiah encouraged the Children of Israel by prophesying the coming of Christ seven hundred years before the birth of the Savior. In Isaiah 9:6 we find these familiar words, “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Jesus Christ was that child. The apostle John tells us in his gospel, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:17) The apostle Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 that there will come a day when believers will meet the Son of God in the air. Finally, Revelation tells us that the children of God will spend eternity in paradise. Glory to God.
This year there will be three trees in the house. We have had as many as five in years gone bye. My wife loves decorating a tree. She savors every decision and ornament placement. This tree will be the focal point and center piece of our Christmas celebration. There are ornaments on this tree that were bought in the past couple of weeks and ornaments that have been on our trees for forty-six years. The blog header currently features one of the forty-six year old decorations. Here are a few of the newer pieces.
Christmas is about the celebration of life. We celebrate the birth of Christ. Christ is the creator of all things including life. God revealed to both Isaiah (49:1) and Jeremiah (1:5) that He knew everything about them before He placed them in their mothers’ wombs. God has a plan for every life He creates. I don’t understand it all, I just accept the fact that God is faithful in all things. Not only did God create life, but He created eternal life and those who accept Christ as their Savior receive that gift. I know for a fact that God created me to be an architect and I know that I am going to spend eternity in the presence of my Savior. May you celebrate Christmas secure in the knowledge that the Son of God lives within your heart. Sing We Now of Christmans
This year there will be three trees in our house. We have had as many as five in years past, so I suppose we are downsizing. This one is located in the den/tv room and is my favorite. The majority of ornaments on this tree are photos of the grand kids. I have taken photos of the “grandcrew” every year. There is one photo ornament of each grand child from their first Christmas until their eighteenth.
We have four grand children and only one that is under eighteen now, so there are seventy-one ornaments. This year we did add one of the oldest grand daughter and her husband, so we may be starting a new trend. I love this tree because every ornament is a memory of Christmas past shared with my favorite people.
If you’re looking to start a Christmas tradition, I can’t think of one that will bring you more joy in the years to come than to hang memories on a tree.
And now for the music.
Have you ever wondered what it was like on that night that the Savior of the world was born? I believe we get a glimpse of how God works in the lives of men. In Scripture, Isaiah 55:8 declares that God’s ways of doing things are the same as our ways and that His thoughts are much higher than our thoughts. God could have brought His Son into this world in a blaze of glory and made Christ’s presence known to every human. Instead, God entered this world as an infant and He came through a family of no particular importance to the world around them. I believe that the circumstances of Christ’s birth are an example that anyone can approach the throne of God seeking His grace. Christ did not come to save only the rich and powerful. He came to save the lost and brokenhearted, which can come from any station in life. On a cold winter night in Bethlehem the Light of the World was born in the light of a stable.
This little Santa is over 60 years of age. He stands about 14 inches tall and was a promotional item from Coca Cola in the late 50’s. A friend of my parents worked in a Coca Cola bottling plant and when these appeared in the office, she secured one and gave it to my mother. This year Santa is standing next to a small tree in the home office that is dressed in an outdoor theme. That carton of Coke in the foreground is a commerative product celebrating the Arkansas Razorbacks men’s basketball national championship in 1994. You will probably see more of that tree and decorations in a later post.
Christmas Music Marathon Day 4
Seven hundred years prior to the birth of Christ, the prophet Isaiah give us a description of the Savior and His mission in this world. Isaiah told us that the Messiah would come to this earth in human form and there would be nothing unique about His appearance (Isaiah 53:1-3). Luke 1:26 – 37 tells the story of Mary receiving the news from an angel of the Lord that she would soon give birth to the Savior of mankind. This announcement must have been overwhelming to the teen aged mother to be. The question comes to mind, “Mary Did You Know?
And what about Joseph? How would he react to the news that the woman he was engaged to was already expecting her first child and they had not even gotten married yet. Matthew 1:18-25 tells us that the angel of the Lord delivered the news to Joseph and the couple were obedient to the will of the Creator. After all, “It Wasn’t His Child.”
Christmas 2019 was a very special Christmas for our family, especial my wife and me. Earlier in the year I was diagnosed with two types of cancer, prostate and a large cancerous tumor in my abdomen. I had surgery in October of that year to remove a 30 lb. tumor. By mid December I was undergoing radiation treatments for the prostate cancer. When this image was taken at our home, I was about six weeks removed from the surgery. As I write this post I am cancer free. God gifted medical professionals to successfully treat the cancers and my Savior provided me with family and friends to minister to me throughout the journey. I just celebrated another birthday because my Creator still has work for me to do in His kingdom. The very least I can do is celebrate the birth of the Messiah. To God be the glory!
Children bring a special joy to the home during the Christmas season. They embrace every tradition from wrapping packages and decorating the tree to attending special Christmas services at the church. This image of the grand kids. This image is from about 2007. The oldest grand daughter is now married, the other two are in college and the grandson is a junior in high school and stands 6′-2″. We have been blessed to live in the same town and share Christmas every year since their birth.
The Bible tells us that there were shepherds in nearby fields on that first Christmas night. They were the first to hear the birth announcement of Christ from a heavenly host of angels. This fact alone tells us that a relationship with God and a place in eternity is available to everyone who calls on the name of the Lord, regardless of our position in this life. The message is, “Glory to God in the Highest.”
Welcome everyone to my eleventh annual Christmas Music Marathon. It’s hard to believe that I have been blogging this long and that the marathon is still my favorite thing to do each year. If you are new to the blog, here is how it works. Every day between now and Christmas I will post a photo and at least one music video that attempts to focus our attention on the true meaning of the holiday. In this day and age it is easy to get distracted by the troubles of the world, social media and just the general commotion surrounding Christmas.
This year I intend to spend a lot of time traveling down memory lane. This image is of me and I am probably three or four years old. I grew up when cowboys were popular on television and in the movies so I got all of the cowboy gear for Christmas. This is probably 1949 or 1950. Now, let the music begin.
One tradition I have regarding this marathon is to begin by thinking about that first Christmas night. We are celebrating the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us the story of Christ’s entry into this world in the second chapter of Luke. Everyone was commanded to register in their hometown and pay their taxes. Mary and Joseph entered Bethlehem and proceeded to look for a place to stay. There was no Christmas shopping or twinkling lights. There was just a cold night with no place to stay. Let’s take a walk through Bethlehem.
It is important to pass the true meaning of Christmas on to the next generation. Scripture tells us in Proverbs 22:6 and Ephesians 6:4 that we are to train our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. 2 Timothy 3:16 declares that all scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness. Teaching our children songs about the glory of the Creator is a wonderful thing. Carrie Underwood and her five-yer-old son, Isaiah sing Little Drummer Boy.
Come back tomorrow for more music and images of the season. Have a blessed day.