was born in an obscure village. He worked in a carpenter shop until He
was thirty. He then became an itinerant preacher. He never held an
office. He never had a family or owned a house. He didn't go to college.
He has no credentials but Himself. He was only thirty-three when the
public turned against him. His friends ran away. He was turned over to
his enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a
cross between two thieves. While he was dying, his executioners gambled
for his clothing, the only property he had on earth. He was laid in a
borrowed grave. Nineteen centuries have come and gone, and today he is
the central figure of the human race. All the armies that have ever
marched, all the navies that have ever sailed, all the parliaments that
have ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned have not affected the
life of man on this earth as much as that ONE SOLITARY LIFE.
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And
Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into
Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he
was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And
she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling
clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in
the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And
it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven,
the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem,
and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known
unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And
the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things
that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb. And
when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were
accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons. And,
behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the
same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and
the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And
he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in
the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. And
Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child
is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign
which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. And
there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe
of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven
years from her virginity; And
she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not
from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And
she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and
spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem. And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him. Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. And
when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus
tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But
they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey;
and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. And
it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple,
sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them
questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. And
when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son,
why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought
thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
candy maker wanted to make a candy that would be a witness, so he
made the Christmas Candy Cane. He incorporated several symbols for
ministry, and death of Jesus Christ.
He began with a stick of pure white hard candy. White to symbolize
Virgin birth and the sinless nature of Jesus, and hard to
Solid Rock, the foundation of the Church, and the firmness of the
The candymaker made the candy in the form of a "J" to
represent the precious name of Jesus, who came to earth as our
Savior. It could also represent the staff of the "Good
with which He reaches down into the ditches of
the world to lift out the fallen lambs who,
like all sheep, have gone
Thinking that the candy was somewhat plain, the candymaker stained
red stripes. He used three small stripes to show the stripes of
scourging Jesus received by which we are healed. The large red
for the blood shed by Christ on the cross so that we could have
of eternal life.
Unfortunately, the candy became known as Candy Cane, a meaningless
decoration seen at Christmas time.
But the meaning is still there for those who "have
eyes to see and ears to hear." I pray that this symbol will
again be used to
witness To The Wonder of Jesus and His Great Love that came down
Christmas and remains the ultimate and dominant force in the
This a post from last year. I figured there's probably more than one
of you out there who, like me, remembers all about wanting to do this, after
the first of December. When it's too late. So here's your reminder to
hit up the thrift stores for some Christmas books - you still have
nearly two weeks to get it all dialed in. :) I dug ours out of the
Christmas bins in the attic, and will be wrapping them up over the
weekend to get them ready. Now to find those dang numbers.....
I am sooo excited to do this with the kids this year. I've seen the
Christmas book advents in blogland over the last few years and every
year, I say I'm gonna do it. Then the first of December comes and goes
and I've blown it. Not this year!
The kids already had quite a few Christmas books. They've received them
over the years from neighbors and friends. But I still needed more,
and there was no way we could afford to get them at a bookstore. Those
suckers are at least $15 bucks a pop right now.
So I hit up Goodwill. You guys, they had three entire shelves full of
Christmas books. It was like winning the lottery. I got all giddy when
I saw them. Then I proceeded to plop down on the floor, yes in
Goodwill, and scan through every single one of them. I bought one that
was $2.99 and one that was $1.99, but the rest were .99 cents!!! Deal
of the day. And they're nice books. A couple of them are paperback,
but most of the ones I brought home are hardcover books. So awesome.
So I wrapped them all up, (yeah, that part took a minute), numbered them
from 24 to 1 on a brown paper bag cut into circles with a Sharpie,
('Twas The Night Before Christmas will be read on Christmas Eve, of
course), put them in a basket I already had, and voila. Christmas Book
Did I mention I'm excited? I was thinking about the kids being older,
and having favorites, and looking forward to opening them, and trying to
guess which one is the one they love them most. Eeeeeee. So fun.
As I was wrapping them, I was thinking, there's no reason you'd have to
do Christmas books. If your house is like ours, you have books coming
out your ears. Between the three kids, we have a ton of books, and there
are some we haven't read in a long time. You could just pick 24 and
wrap them up. Make old books new again! No frenzied trip to every
thrift shop in town, looking for ONE MORE CHRISTMAS BOOK. You don't
even have to leave the house. And you can read books every night under
the tree with the kids. I can't wait.
I brought the basket down from the attic and we'll read our first one tonight.