Credit: Soothing Relaxation
Charlene’s Source: youtube
A Retro Look At Christmas for 2016
Christmas is a wonderful, spirit-filled Holiday. When I was a child the anticipation of not so much presents, but oranges, apples, tangerines, candy, fruitcake, and nuts was one of the best joys of the season. These we received at church and at home. My Dad and older siblings always decorated the tree on Christmas Eve–so we children literally experienced Clement C. Moore’s “Twas The Night Before Christmas”. No, we did not hear hooves on our roof, nor Santa’s jolly “Ho, Ho, Ho”–but the Christmas story was read to us each year before bed. We did not all participate in the tree going up, but we always took it down as a family on New Years Day–without fail.
I can remember listening to Santa Claus’ journey (to get to our town) on the radio in our living room. I truly believed that he was working hard to reach us until my older sister told me that Santa wasn’t real. I was three years old and totally devastated. Christmas never felt the same again until I realized that the Spirit of Christmas was the true giver. Christmas became even more wonderful, but I also grasped that my parents did a lot of hard work. It wasn’t until years later that I discovered that the manufacturers also did a large portion of the hard work.
I believe that my mother associated Christmas with hard times. She grew up without her father–who died when she was very young. This is an opportunity to thank her for putting forth so much effort to make our Christmas season memorable when I know that her own Christmas memories may have been much sparser.
My Dad loved the very essence and spark of Christmas. He was a Baptist Pastor who would take us to church on Christmas Eve to hear, see, and feel the Nativity Scene; then return home to play with his children. It was his job to help set up the tree, and put the bicycles and other mechanical gifts together. Long after we (four girls and two boys) had cleaned our rooms and closed our excited eyes, Dad, along with my Mama, would take the time to ensure that all was ready for us on Christmas morning. It would not be until I was 16 years old that I would actively participate in this Christmas Eve ritual.
Mama loved to cook. Christmas gave her a golden opportunity to do what she did best. Her fruitcakes were legendary. I can remember helping her in the kitchen with the ulterior motive of tasting the batter and snitching the tiny bits of fruit and nuts. Delicious gingerbread smells and hot sweet rolls were what greeted us at the breakfast table on Christmas morning. I have always associated my Christmas breakfast with that of the girls of Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” except that I actually got to eat my breakfast.
After breakfast it was time to open presents. First came the fruit and nuts. I still eat an orange with candy inside it every Christmas. The juice runs down my chin. I love it! Then came gifts varying from dolls to books; from skates to bikes. I always received art supplies as I was the artistic child. I also received a nightgown, slippers, and books every Christmas. The books were definitely my favorites. They were “Trixie Belden”, “Little Women”, “Rose In Bloom”, “Bobbsey Twins”, “What A jolly Street” and more. I spent the most wonderful moments of my childhood with my best friends–my books.
Cleanup came next, and as the boys, including Dad, and the two youngest girls played with their toys–we older girls helped Mama to finish preparing the mid-day Christmas meal. I say this with no regrets. It was wonderful to be in the warm, fragrant kitchen with Mama and my oldest sister. The kitchen was always the warmest room in the house at Christmas in temperature and temperament. I can still smell the roasting turkey and candied yams that made my mouth water.
We always ate in our dining room, which had a cozy fireplace with a mantel above it. This is where my parents hung the mistletoe. They always embarrassed us. All of us would exclaim, “Yuck!”. My Grandmother and my Aunt would also join us at the Christmas meal. Dad would say the Christmas Blessing and we could eat. It was hard waiting for the adults to serve us all. I always got a drumstick–still my favorite piece, and stuffing so rich with flavor that I could have skipped the turkey altogether. There was homemade rolls; cranberry sauce; candied yams; collard greens, and a large slice of fruitcake for desert. So many leftovers. Storing them was another job to do while dishes were being washed, dried, and put away. We never ate an evening meal–we were too stuffed. Evening was a time to enjoy our gifts and each other. We would sing ‘O Holy Night’ with harmonies, and ‘The Little Drummer Boy’ while we tapped out the drumbeats.
Finally, heads nodding, we would climb the stairs and store our treasures in our bedrooms. Christmas Day was drawing to an end, and what a wonderful day it had been. What I did not have the wisdom to know at my young age was that Christmas is every day. The gift of the Savior of Mankind is something to ponder and treasure all year long.
Was your Christmas like mine? Possibly not. I believe that everyone has a unique experience because we all perceive differently. We grow up in different types of homes without the same family traditions. What is important is the knowledge of the Christ-child’s sacrifice for us, and remembering that we are Blessed with gifts each day, such as family– not just at Christmas.
Does my immediate family celebrate Christmas the same as I did as a girl? There are many similarities, but there are also new traditions that marriage has brought to me and my family. Now, instead of reading ‘The Night Before Christmas”, we read Luke Chapter 2–the story of Christ’s birth. We are all adults here now, and this Christmas is to be treasured. Next Christmas may be different, but I can always treasure the memories of watching my children’s faces at Christmastime, and my own delight in reading them Clement C. Moore’s “The Night Before Christmas” when they were very young.
Have a Wonderful Holiday Season– Charlene
picture credit: hubpages.com
Narrative credit: charlene @charlene’s attic
I truly love the bells!!! 🙂
Credit: Relax Your Mind
Charlene’s Source: youtube
Credit: The Piano Guys
Charlene’s Source: youtube
credit: Lullaby Baby
Charlene’s Source: youtube
credit: Christmas Music Review
Charlene’s Source: youtube
Wonderful TV series and movie by producer of ‘Touched by an Angel’. Christmas episode. Premiered on Hallmark Channel, Sunday, Nov. 23, @ 9p.m. 8p.m. central. Please pray for the return of the TV series.
credit: Tv*Movie*Sparks+Hallmark Movies and Mysteries
Charlene’s Source: youtube
By Kelly Schlicht, FOX 11 News
Updated: Friday, December 14, 2012, 5:33 PM CST
Published: Friday, December 14, 2012, 2:01 PM CST
(Photo courtesy: WLUK)
MENOMINEE, Mich. – Christians around the world are getting ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus. But, the baby Jesus from a Nativity scene in Menominee, Michigan is missing.
People in Menominee say a very important baby has been missing for a week, and no one knows who took him.
“How sad at this time of the year, eleven days from Christmas,” said Lisa Fernstrum of Menominee, as she ate lunch with her family at the Serving Spoon Café.
At the Nativity scene in Great Lakes Memorial Marina Park, the cattle are lowing.
But Mary and Joseph stare at a blank pile of hay, instead of baby Jesus in the manger.
“I am pleading with the public if they do have any information that will assist us in the recovery of baby Jesus, it would be greatly appreciated,” said Menominee Police Chief Brett Botbyl.
The police chief says a passerby reported the statue stolen last Saturday. The posters have gone up around town, but there are no leads yet.
“There was a vulgarity-laden ransom letter in the manger and I must say it’s quite disturbing to me what was said with respect to baby Jesus,” said Botbyl, who declined to show FOX 11 News the letter.
Police say this isn’t the first time the baby Jesus figurine has been taken from the Nativity scene. It was stolen a few years ago and then replaced. Police aren’t sure if it’s a prank or a religious demonstration.
“Regardless of your religious beliefs or affiliation, the Nativity scene means a lot to many members of our community,” said Botbyl.
Folks having lunch across the street from the Nativity scene say it feels empty without the Christ child.
“I think it’s special. I know the women’s club sponsors it locally there and it’s been a part of this community for years and years. It’s the centerpiece of our Christmas decorations,” said Fernstrum.
The women’s club member in charge of the Nativity told FOX 11 News over the phone Friday that a baby doll will take Jesus’ place in the meantime.
But she says they hope he’s returned to the manger, no questions asked, by Christmas.
If you have any information about the missing statue, you’re asked to call the Menominee Police Department. Or, return the figurine to its place.
WUHW’s Source: Fox 11
Luke 2: 11,12 NIV Christmas 2013/2014
“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the LORD. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
The Birth of Christ is a scriptural truth known by most but not embraced by many. The Christmas Holiday has degraded over time into a pursuit of new technologies or toys. Many do not know that Christmas means “Christ’s Mass”– a covenant between Jesus and ourselves. He is “The Gift”. The world’s traditional gifts such as scarves, sweaters, and mittens still hang in there but have taken a back seat to tablets and smartphones. A desirable gift to me is still a book filled with treasures and truths. The ultimate book is The Holy Bible. Within its pages rests the history and spirit of a people and their GOD. Let us give praise for the birth of our Savior who came to repair the breach forged in the Garden of Eden–to bring GOD’s people back to Himself.
Let us rededicate ourselves to the fight for souls, and the filling of spirits. We know not the day nor the hour when Jesus the Christ will come back to earth to gather His Bride the Church unto Himself–but this we do know beyond earthly knowledge, for God’s Spirit dwells in us, that Jesus is coming back for those of us who have put ourselves in His ever loving care. This church lives in the hearts of men, women, and children all over the world, and is not exclusive to traditional four walled buildings.
There are some truths that speak for themselves. Mankind is trying to forget the birth of the baby Jesus in the manger, but truth will always exert over falsehood. This Christmas season should be a time for giving of ourselves and our Blessings. It is not about the commercialism, it is about the sacrifice.
Have A Wonderful Holiday Season.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version©
Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.
To say that this is too late for Christmas is say that it is too late for Christ. Charlene
A Newtown Poem
****Twas’ 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38
when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven’s gate.
Their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.
They could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
They were filled with such joy, they didn’t know what to say.
they remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
“Where are we?” asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
“this is heaven.” declared a small boy. “We’re spending Christmas at
When what to their wondering eyes did appear,
but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
then He opened His arms and He called them by name
and in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring
those children all flew into the arms of their King
and as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
one small girl turned and looked at Jesus’ face.
and as if He could read all the questions she had
He gently whispered to her, “I’ll take care of mom and dad.”
then He looked down on earth, the world far below
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe
then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
“Let My power and presence re-enter this land!”
“may this country be delivered from the hands of fools”
“I’m taking back my nation. I’m taking back my schools!”
then He and the children stood up without a sound.
“come now my children, let me show you around.”
Excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.
all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
and I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
“In the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT.”
Written by a Gentleman in Southern Pa***
Christine A. Eastburg
ChrisCross Time Management LLC
Home / Office
God’s Answer to Evil
by James Robison
As we celebrate the birth of Christ and the hope that He alone can offer, let us remember the families in Newtown, Connecticut, and pray that God will supernaturally draw near to them in their time of deep, deep loss. Our hearts are broken for them. Those who lost their most precious little ones and other family members have seen their world shattered. From now on, the Christmas holidays will always bring back painful memories and thoughts of how old their loved one would be if they were still here. They will always wonder what they would be like at that age. Jesus and love-filled people are the only ones who can help lessen the pain these families are experiencing.
Satan is the author and instigator of all evil. He is the very personification of it. Even those who doubt or deny God cannot deny there is an obvious force of evil present in our world. Jesus said Satan is the father of all lies and, above all, a thief and murderer. He seeks to destroy life—every precious aspect of it. When he is in control, he continually manifests despicable, unimaginable acts defying all logic.
We are right to be abhorred by unspeakable brutality and murder of the innocent and the helpless. Such was the case a week ago when those little children and adults were murdered senselessly. Yes, it was demonic. No, the devil didn’t make him do it. The murderer made a horrible choice, seemingly the result of terrible mental, psychological, and emotional disturbance.
Such is the case when the resistance and clear-mindedness on anyone’s part has been compromised and diminished. Many things can negatively impact our spiritual and mental condition to some degree: addiction to alcohol or drugs, damaging emotions such as bitterness or envy, emotional or physical exhaustion. It can even be the result of self-intoxication, as with Herod at the time of Christ’s birth. He ordered the murder of all little boys under two years old in Bethlehem (Matt. 2:16). Satanic? Yes. Demonic? Yes. Even so, it was Herod’s choice to act on his evil schemes. Satan so detests freedom and godliness that he seeks to destroy any deliverer or possibility of deliverance.
In the fatherless home and the dysfunctional community I grew up in, you cannot imagine the suggestions other kids made to me, along with the fiery darts (horrific suggestions) Satan fired my way. I was vulnerable; but thanks be to God, praying Christians, a pastor and his wife who never forgot the boy they cared for the first few years of my life, and then the witness of committed Christian teenagers led me to the Christ whose birth we’re about to celebrate. I am convinced that the prayers of others (even before my conversion to Christ) helped prevent me from giving into violent impulses, especially when my alcoholic father threatened to take my life. Sadly, some choose to give in to their anger and act out in unimaginable ways.
Jesus is the answer. He was my answer and He is the sole answer for those who have been devastated by the events last week. Only a great God and a loving heavenly Father can give the people of Newtown the ultimate comfort they long for and must have. Caring neighbors, friends, and other Christians will seek to lighten their load and brighten their future. We rightly celebrate the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, because He is the only way to overcome evil and the evil one. He alone can direct our steps and help us build wise, secure walls of protection.
God’s Word should be our hedge of security. He wants His Word to be written in our hearts, not just carried in our hands. He wants His Word to carry and lead us and, as Paul said, write “letters in the hearts of other men’s lives” as a result of our consistent Christian testimony.
In addition to celebrating His birth, we need to praise God for the resurrection life He offers each day! Jesus came to overcome the evil one and to give us the ability to be delivered from that despicable, damaging influence. Because Christ was born and now lives, we live. May others see Jesus living in us.
Thirty years ago when I experienced a marvelous deliverance from the power of demonic assault due to spiritual burnout and physical exhaustion, I was undoubtedly vulnerable. During the time following my deliverance, God clearly revealed that in the last days evil will wax worse. Satan’s nature will be more obviously manifested than at any time in history with indescribable, unfathomable, despicable acts of evil. But the opposite of that is true also. The church (true Christians – fully devoted followers of Christ), will become more like Jesus than in any time in history because He is coming for a fit and ready bride that looks and behaves like Him. At Christ’s return, Satan will be destroyed, but until then, believers must stand suited up in the whole armor of God resisting evil on every front. We can be forever triumphant by snatching victory from the jaws of defeat when we allow the love, hope, and peace of Christ to prevail.
Jesus is God’s answer to man’s weakness and evil’s intention. Christmas and the rest of His story can become our story. Jesus took this broken, fatherless, and impoverished boy writing this commentary and delivered me from destruction and the intentions of the evil one. He will do the same for all who receive Him and follow Him with their whole heart. Jesus is the light that pierces the darkness. He offers strength beyond ourselves and grants us the grace and ability to share the hope, joy, and peace that only He can give in the face of the most challenging possible circumstances. Just as the shepherds and wise men followed the light of the Star of Bethlehem, we must follow the light of the forever bright and Morning Star – Jesus!
May you have a Christ-honoring Christmas and a God-honoring New Year!
Charlene’s Source: www.lifetoday.com
I love this contemporary group’s approach to music. Beautiful for Christmas
Charlene’s Source: Youtube
A beautiful song which will join the classic Christmas melodies. Soft and sweet.
credit: Shawna Edwards
Charlene’s Source: youtube