Category Archives: Christmas

Parting Words From The WORD…His Kingdom Will Never End

Girl baby feetHis reign was foretold 700 years before His birth.

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.” Micah 5:2

And we still proclaim Him 2000 years after His death.

But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” Luke 1:30-33

His kingdom will never end.

I pray God’s blessings as we celebrate the Gift and the Giver,

Vonda

(Photo courtesy of ChristianPhotos.net)

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Sending a Little Christmas Fun & Who Won Marie Senter’s Book?

nativityMerry Christmas, writing friends! What a joy to hear Christmas music during this special season, reminding me that yes, an innocent, helpless Baby came, but He grew to be our Sacrifice, and was raised from the dead to be our Savior! And oh, what a Savior!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~TRESTLE Book One Classroom Edition

First of all, I don’t want to miss the giving a shout-out to Marlene Bagnull and let her know she’s the winner of Marie Senter’s book, Trestle Over No Name CreekCongratulations, Marlene! Simply contact me with your snail mail address and Marie will get it right out to you!

And for those of you who didn’t win, I know you’re going to want to get your own copy, so here’s a direct Amazon link to Trestle Over No Name Creek. Thanks, Marie, for your delightful interview. I pray God blesses the socks off these and all your new book projects!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And since I know everyone’s running around trying to get everything done (and NOBODY is interested in studying writing opps!), I thought I’d share another of my Christmas favorites with you today. Here’s a video I’ve shared the past several years, and I never grow tired of it.

I hope you enjoy North Point Community Church’s iBand Christmas. It was a gift to their friends, and I love sharing the gift with you!

 

Christmas blessings as we celebrate the Gift and the Giver!

Vonda

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Parting Words From The WORD…Mary Claimed Peace

nativityEvery year about this time, chaos descends. There are presents to buy, baking to do, and gatherings to attend. But as I think back to the reason we celebrate, I see Mary’s first Christmas was very different from ours.

Luke 1:29 says that Mary was greatly troubled, and I had always thought she was troubled because she had been told she was going to have a baby. But when I studied the scripture, I realized she hadn’t even been told the news yet.

Instead, Mary was troubled because the angel had appeared to her. And I can see why—after all, it’s not everyday that you have an angel standing there talking to you! Yea, I think I would find that a little troubling. As a matter of fact, one Bible commentary for the book of Luke actually said people often responded with fear or awe when confronted with acts of God, like seeing an angel. (Ya think?)

Then the angel tells her “Christmas was coming” and it was going to take a little bit of work on her part. Now, granted, he didn’t say it in exactly those terms. But we can all agree Mary’s to-do list suddenly got bigger.

  • Get water from the well
  • Feed the goats
  • Grind the wheat
  • Bake the bread
  • Have a baby…huh?

Not only have a baby, but have a baby without the benefit of being married. A baby who would be the Savior of the world! Now, that could be a little frightening for any of us. But think about this: she not only wasn’t married, but it was physically impossible for her to be pregnant. Yea, I’d say that could be a little troubling.

But instead of panicking, what did Mary do?

  • She submitted to the plan. In Luke 1:35 it doesn’t say “the Holy Spirit has come over you,” it says “the Holy Spirit WILL come over you.” Yes, the angel had delivered the message, but it wasn’t a done deal until she submitted to the plan. (Of course, God knew what she would say.)
  • She trusted God. She trusted Him with her life! Even as a young girl carrying the Christ-child, she could have been killed because she wasn’t married. And yet, she didn’t say, “Who’s going to protect me? Who’s going to take care of me?” She simply said, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.”

In the midst of the fear, Mary claimed peace. Her life was about to turn upside down into chaos, and yet she claimed peace.

Do you feel that life is making your plans for Christmas? Do you feel like the burden is too great? I know sometimes I do. But that’s when we need to stop, submit to HIS plan, and then trust Him to work out the details. We can be like Mary, we can claim peace at a time when peace is hard to find. But we can’t do it until we agree to work on His plan and His timetable.

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said. Luke 1:38 (NIV)

Christmas blessings as we celebrate the Gift and the Giver,

Vonda

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Parting Words From The WORD . . . A Baby Changed Everything

During the Christmas season, it has become my Christian Writer’s Den tradition to post this beautiful video and the life-giving words it proclaims. I’ve done it now for several years, and each time I hear it, I still get chills and my eyes fill with tears.

When Jesus was born, everything was changed.

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch the beautiful images from the film, The Nativity, and listen to the words of this powerful song sung by Faith Hill.

 

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. Luke 2:11-14 (KJV)

During this blessed Christmas season, I’m especially thankful a Baby changed everything for me. And He wants to change everything for you, too.

I was lost but now I’m found! Hallelujah!

Christmas blessings as we celebrate the Gift and the Giver,

Vonda

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Parting Words From The WORD…What Will We Do for the Powerless?

Image courtesy of ChristianPhotos.Net

Image courtesy of ChristianPhotos.Net

As the Thanksgiving season segues into the season of Christ’s birth, we have a lot to look forward to. Christmas dinners, presents under a beautiful tree, time with family and friends in the comfort of our warm homes and warm beds.

But what about the others? What about those who won’t have enough to eat, won’t receive a gift, and won’t have family or friends or a warm bed on Christmas Day?

The calendar tells us it’s time to get busy. It’s time to shop and bake and decorate. But for the homeless and poor, it’s simply a day like any other. Another day of looking for food and shelter. Another day of need.

The Psalmist, Asaph, writes of God presiding over the great Hall of Justice, admonishing the kings and judges to protect the powerless:

“Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”  Psalm 82:3-4

We aren’t kings or judges, but we are God’s people, charged with the task of protecting the powerless. In today’s world that can mean volunteering in a soup kitchen, purchasing gifts for an Angel Tree child, or putting money in the Salvation Army bucket. Or perhaps you feel led to donate to lesser-known, but equally productive ministries such as those I believe in, 1040 Connections or The Master’s Mission. These organizations purchase income-producing animals, help build wells for clean water, and give out thousands of clothing items to the needy around the world.

So what will you do–what will I do–to make a difference in someone’s life this Christmas? Addressing the physical needs of the poor can lead to the opportunity to share the love of Christ with the powerless.

I pray God’s blessing on the work of your hands and your hearts,

Vonda

Image courtesy of ChristianPhotos.Net – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications

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Parting Words From The WORD…

nativity_lightenedOn Wednesday I shared a summary of Pastor Larry Scott’s three part message about the night Jesus was born.

  1. His first cry was the beginning of the end of Satan’s reign here on earth.
  2. God was saying redemption had come.
  3. Hope was restored, and we didn’t have to live in fear and sorrow anymore.

And then at our Christmas Eve service, Pastor Larry added another element of Hope: On the day of Christ’s resurrection, hope was revealed.

Hope was revealed when Jesus overcame death and the grave. It was the crowning glory, the last step of God’s plan for grace for all who believe in Him.

And Jesus Himself confirmed it. After He rode into Jerusalem, celebrated as king, He again predicted His death, and confirmed it was the very the reason He was born:

“Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” John 12:27-28a (NIV)

So as we celebrate the birth of Jesus, let’s not forget that His birth was only the first step. A step that brought God to earth in the form of a baby…progressed to His death and resurrection…and revealed the completion of redemption.

Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Vonda

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A Baby Changed Everything on Christmas Day

My Pastor, Larry Scott, gave a summary of Christmas that I’d love to share with you today.

  1. When Jesus was born, His first cry was the beginning of the end of Satan’s reign on earth.
  2. When Jesus was born, God was saying redemption has come.
  3. When Jesus was born, hope was restored. We no longer have to live this life in sorrow and fear of the enemy.

When Jesus was born, everything was changed.

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch the beautiful images and listen to the words of this powerful song sung by Faith Hill.

 

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. Luke 2:11-14 (KJV)

On this blessed Christmas day, I’m so thankful a Baby changed everything for me. And He wants to change everything for you, too.

I was lost but now I’m found! Hallelujah!

Christmas blessings as we celebrate the Gift and the Giver together.

Vonda

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Parting Words From The WORD…

Christmas Present Wrapped in Gold and Silver 2000

As we celebrate the Gift of Christmas, let’s remember Him as

…the Son

…the Sacrifice

…the resurrected Savior

…the Almighty God

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Parting Words From The WORD…

We all grew up hearing the classic Christmas story, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Although its authorship is disputed (it has been attributed to both Clement Clarke Moore and Henry Livingston Jr. through the years), we do know it was first published in the Troy Sentinel newspaper in upstate New York on December 23, 1823.

But that’s not the only story about the night before Christmas. Over 2,000 years ago, there was another story happening the night before Christmas. And its author is not disputed. Father God breathed the words to Luke, who wrote them down for you and me.

It was a night that changed the world.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCitZPr2oD0

 

But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” Luke 2:30-33

Christmas blessings as we celebrate the Gift and the Giver,

Vonda

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Parting Words From The WORD…

nativity_lightenedHis reign was foretold 700 years before His birth.

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.” Micah 5:2

And we proclaim Him 2000 years after His death.

But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” Luke 1:30-33

His kingdom will never end. Regardless of what’s going on in the Middle East, in America, or right in our own homes, His kingdom will never end.

Praise Him!

I pray His richest blessings as we celebrate the Gift and the Giver!

Vonda

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