Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

My prayer is that 2013 is filled with abundance.
His joy, peace and hope. 
Holding fast to each other and His promises. 

 You will keep in perfect peace
    those whose minds are steadfast,
    because they trust in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
    for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Favorite Advent Moments

Lighting the Night
Isn't he the cutest elf ever?

Working hard this month to embrace one another in both tough and tender moments.
Gaining confidence and courage through pageantry.

The biggest elf begins work. I went to bed at midnight. He at 3 am!

Quiet Christmas moments.

Wishing for this, but grateful for whatever God bestows.

New boots and new books.
Capturing the moments. Savoring.

Advent Birthing

Because Advent is about waiting and Advent is about birthing. As the New Year approaches, may what has been birthed in you this Advent blossom.

Advent Birthing

In the manger, dark and deep
there lies a babe, who cannot sleep.

The animals sing a song of warmth.
Breath hangs in the air.
Life hums.

The babe, does he know?
Does his sweet face show?
He, the hope of all.

His mama sings a lullaby.
She knows. 
Yes, she knows.

This babe, her babe, is gift to man.
All men.
Every man.

She snuggles him close.
She'll cherish his days, his cries
his laughter, and his sighs.

Waiting is over. 
Expectations and hopes met.
Fulfilled every moment.
Full.
 
No longer pregnant with expectation, but birth.
Life. Breath. Hope.
Reality.

He grasps her finger.
He reaches out.
He will grip them.

They grasp. 
But will they grasp Him?

His fingers extend to the world.
Healing in his touch.

 Miracles occurring in the darkness.
And out of the dark shines light.

The day is beginning. 
Dawn rising bright.
 
Hope of all life.
Grasp Him.

A poem written last year for our piano teacher's Christmas birthed newborn son.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Dad's Toy Shop

A darling story about the joy of a Christmas filled with togetherness.

Each year about this time, I try to make myself scarce! Dad's toy workshop is about to begin in our garage. Simple gifts flow from that space, but not without an abundance of complications, groans, and laughs. The kids each gift each other with something dad and they have made for the other. The anticipation for these gifts builds for months and it's great fun.

However, I am NOT a crafty person. Therefore, I'm thrilled when I find a craft that is fun, easy to do, and turns out as promised! We've enjoyed these lovely ballerinas.



We are also working on a wee bit of painting.

Cooking roasted chestnuts tonight after enjoying some yummy ones last night at the 100 Candle Solstice Dinner. 

I hope to make these soon, Maple Bacon Cinnamon Rolls. 

Happy crafting and cooking!

Friday, December 21, 2012

One Hundred Shining Candles

Eating by candlelight tonight

Winter Solstice 

by sister

Winter solstice, dark and gray.
Shortest day.
A hundred candles light the way.
This is winter solstice day. 

Reading


 Praying

Dear Lord, 

In vain, men have tried to dance away the darkness. Only the veil torn in two, dispels the dark. Please send our Saviour soon. 

Love, 
Your Children

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Advent Bookends: A Tree for Peter by Kate Seredy

Today small Peter gave Tommy light for light.

Waking up this morning, I found myself in Isaiah 22. Harsh soul scraping words. The wood man was up and pondering the Sermon on the Mount. During the day, I found myself trying to merge these two passages and understand what they mean. Can we be called to both weep and wail and also hold onto hope that those who mourn shall be comforted? 

This evening we stayed home from a community commitment. Something had to give, and unfortunately tonight it was that commitment. Sometimes, big and little bodies need stillness and rest.

Sitting by the fire, I picked up A Tree for Peter and began to read out loud. We finished the book in one sitting. I desperately needed to be reminded that in the midst of tears and trouble all around us we can and should build.  

A Tree for Peter reminds us of the miracle of Christ in the worst of circumstances and reminds us that every community has great capacity to create and build. God is at work in the world and He wants us to be as well. In the midst of mourning, we are to be builders of that which will last. We are to bring His hope, joy, and healing to our hurting world.

And deep down inside him another dream was forming; he was groping for that, to give it to his mother as a surprise. The dream had started while he watched the men who worked on the houses, while he stood listening to the strange men from the city called builders and engineers. They were the ones, he knew, who, with pencils and papers, with hammers and saws and paint, had made the sad, ugly houses into the white castles of his dream. He wanted to be like them; a man who could, with tools build a dream.... 

That was it. Small Peter laughed out loud, because now he had the surprise for his mother, all ready in words. He looked up at her and said, "When I grow up I am going to be a builder." 

She did not answer. She only looked at him and then at Pat. The smile on her face was beautiful to see. It was Pat who broke the smiling silence. "Faith, and what else could he be? He, with his little spade, building castles out of mud and dreaming them full of fine people...."

And small Peter reminds me of Isaiah 58:12
 
Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
    and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
    Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.


Be a builder.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

If Not You, Then Who?

Be the light you wish to see in the world. 
 Do not wish for light.
Do not wait for light.
Light the Light.
Christ. 


 Be the change you wish to see in the world.

~ Ghandi



Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Caution Children At Play

The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!  

Mathew 6:22,23

Tree lights are finally twinkling and fresh snow falling. The world is white and the world is pale. And the Christian radio station says it's great that Newton, CT is moving on. Starting anew, their kids are back in school. And I can hardly drop mine off without tears. And I'm angry that American faith is white, light, and fluffy. Often, it melts too. When will we wail loudly and fall on our knees with these families in Connecticut? When will we connect the dots? Small children connect them more than we do.

On our drive, a Caution Children at Play sign reminds people to drive slow. To look out for the little ones. As a nation and people we no longer do that.

In the days ahead, gun control will be discussed around many tables. I dare you to take the discussion deeper. I'm neither anti-gun nor pro-gun (if you keep your guns locked up in a gun safe), but I am totally disgusted by the gaming industry and trash and violence Hollywood churns out. Why do they churn it out? We watch it. God help us.

We haven't forgotten Caution Children At Play, we have intentionally forged ahead with violence and guns galore in our video games and on our TV's. No other nation, no other people accepts this violence, tolerates it and indeed welcomes it like us Americans. Such accepting people we are. God help us.

We have filled our eyes and minds with darkness. We have walked away from morality and goodness. We have walked away from God. Wake up. Newton, CT is the result of what we as a nation have filled our hearts and minds with. 

Caution Children At Play

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Advent Adventures at the Inn


 
 Christmas 2011

There's no such thing as a normal Christmas. We've no Christmas tree yet. Daddy has said there will be “no trappings of Christmas without the Christ in Christmas.” I love that man. I would love a tree, but I would love a truce most. Yet again, brother and sister are renewing their need for grace with one another and their world. I'd like to blame the sugar, but I know my own heart to well for that.

As a result, brother and sister have taken to lodging together in our “school room.” They've a few days of clothes and their bedding and that's pretty much it. Their rooms are absolutely off limits until next Saturday.

Like Mary and Joseph, they are wandering in search of a place to rest. Christ's birth is imminent, desiring to make room for Him in the inn. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Bookends: I Will Carry You, the Sacred Dance of Grief and Joy by Angie Smith


Three days ago I was listening to Selah. I was thinking of Angie and Todd Smith's story. Again, today, I am nudged to share this resource. 


From Amazon

In 2008, Angie Smith and her husband Todd (lead singer of the group Selah) learned through ultrasound that their fourth daughter had conditions making her “incompatible with life.” Advised to terminate the pregnancy, the Smiths chose instead to carry this child and allow room for a miracle. That miracle came the day they met Audrey Caroline and got the chance to love her for the precious two-and-a-half hours she lived on earth.

Upon receiving the original diagnosis, Angie started a blog (Bring the Rain) to keep family and friends informed of their journey. Soon, the site exploded in popularity, connecting with thousands who were either experiencing their own heartbreaking situations or simply curious about how God could carry someone through something so tragic. I Will Carry You tells the powerful story of a parent losing her child, interwoven with the biblical story of Lazarus to help those who mourn to still have hope—to find grace and peace in the sacred dance of grief and joy.

Advent Crying

White falls on the world.
And the world, she pales,
at the cry of her babies. 
And mothers heave,
and fathers tear in two.

The world is white,
but it is not quiet.
It screams, with terror and the terrible.

The world weeps,
 
and the only answer for her is the Word.

Come Lord, be our Comforter.
Nurse us in the bosom of your love.

Save us, Lord. 
Heal us, Lord.
Oh Lord forgive your people, 
for we know not what we do.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Advent and the Manger

image from the Vatican

Why does the manger matter so much to men?
Because the manger means men matter to God.
The manger means He's one of us.
God with us. 
God for us.
The Son arrives in the dark manger,
that you and I might find soul food in the stable.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Happy St. Lucia Day

It's 6 am for pete's sake! Why does this woman always have a camera in hand? I'm not awake yet and I'm not amused. I just saw my brother go down the hallway. He's supposed to be in bed. Doesn't he know I'm supposed to bring him the light?

Happy St. Lucia Day!

Listening?
Grieving this season?
Selah has a powerful testimony.
Read Audrey's Story.
Twinkling?
The tiny white tree.
Doing?
Catching up on life.
Decorating small douglas fir tree.
Baking.
Smiling.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Light the Lights!

The lights of Hanukkah, mean so much to so many.
 A homemade menorah

The Lord is my light and my salvation-
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life-
of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 27:1

  לְדָוִד:    יְהוָה, אוֹרִי וְיִשְׁעִי--מִמִּי אִירָא;א
 יְהוָה מָעוֹז-חַיַּי,    מִמִּי אֶפְחָד. 


 Playing dreidel is always fun.
Especially, if you come away with the gelt!

Recommending

I wanted to do a big Hanukkah meal this year. 
It didn't happen, but we did make latkes and brussel sprouts last night.
I've made this latke recipe two years in a row.
The panko really makes a difference. 
These are very crispy!
I don't yet have a brussel sprout recipe the kids will eat willingly!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Advent Subversion

Subversion:  the act of subverting : the state of being subverted; especially : a systematic attempt to overthrow or undermine a government or political system by persons working secretly from within

I knew subversion was my word and yesterday I engaged in some. Searching for a few library books on my kid list, I found the Christmas display stuffed with books about Santa, mice, moles, gophers, bears, children, reindeer, knights, and a plethora of other creatures celebrating Christmas. Nary, a nativity book was on the Christmas stack. Ironically, I was searching for, If You're Missing Baby Jesus. Yes, folks, baby Jesus has definitely gone missing.  But, you can find Him if you are willing to search a bit. 

And I ponder how Jesus came into the world, subversively. Out to change and challenge all mankind to something higher and sweeter, but definitely not safer. No, definitely not safer. And Santa may be sweet and stout, but he comes up short. Santa offers no lasting solutions to the choices and conflicts children face today. Santa is silent when asked, "Who will love me for who I am?" Only the I AM, can answer, "I love you with a deep and everlasting love." Jeremiah 31 Only God's gifts are timeless and without end.

I quietly pulled nativity books off library shelves and placed them with the stacks of Santa books. I might get coal from Santa this year, but I'm willing to risk it. Read a nativity book this year with someone you love.

Because the heavens should open up in a library. 

Amazing.
Opening up books for the soul.


Picture source unknown to me. From tumblr.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Advent Alevins

Our Monday morning began at the chilly creek. Advent alevins, now fry, were ready for release in our watershed. In the cold, dark, and deep they will seek safety, buried snug in a watery world, until they begin their long journey to the ocean.

Dishing up fish.
 Hey, there's fish in my cup!
The kids have been caring for these fish for about 8 weeks. They've charted fish growth and water temperature all while interacting with our community at the local water conservation office. (Some days that went better than others!) 

As I ponder these tiny fish, I find myself asking a question. In an oftentimes overwhelming world, how do we grow confidence and care in children? How do we get them confidently on their way to the ocean? How do we help them care about small moments? Surely, it's the little things that count. Each moment matters. Each person matters. Each tiny fry matters. We are not to despise small beginnings, or what masquerades as a small moment. 
 
Zechariah 4:10

Tiny fry have something to teach us. Now in the creek, finally released from their small controlled tank, they will make an incredible journey. Navigating waterways and obstructions, they will find a way to thrive in their watery world. They are little, but they will swim strong.

After creek adventures, children head to school and so do I. I help a young reader with his reading assessment. I can't read him his reading assessment, so we talk about what he does know that will allow him to succeed when he reads.  I can try to instill confidence, and I may or may not succeed.

I can't tell him about Christ, but I can try to care. I can't tell him to pray before he works on his paper. I always tell my own children to pray. I want to share, "let God be your calm when you are anxious", but I can't.


Little boy with future looming large and many streams to swim, reminds me that Christ is enough. Christ is confidence. Christ is for us. Whether I can utter His name or not. Christ cares so much for little boys, He became one. Surely, Christ remembers being assessed. And Christ is with us in all our moments. He is praying for us, when we don't know what or how to pray. 

Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding (praying) for us. 

Romans 8:35

Christ cares about little schools of fish swimming their way to the ocean, little boys, and reading assessments. Let us work to seek confidence from Christ, for He cares for us.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Joseph, Lighting the Candle of Peace

art by Gerard van Honthorst 

As we greet this second Sunday of Advent, we prepare to light the candle of peace and I am thinking about Joseph. Surely, Joseph was a man of peace. 
 
artist not known
I'm reading Luke 2:4-7 and Mathew 1:18-25 & Mathew 2 and asking what in Joseph's life shows us how to be a follower of Christ? First, Joseph was a man of caring and righteous justice. He did not seek to shame Mary, even if he did not ask for this conflict in his life nor understand it. He displayed restraint in both action, word, and deed. Second, Joseph listened to the Angel of the Lord. He believed the words of the angel concerning God's work in the world through Mary and also in regards to Mary's innocence. At a highly volatile time, Joseph's voice was in tune with God and God's messenger. He listened to God's words not the world's words. Third, Joseph obeyed the civil authorities and laws of the land by obeying and going to the town of his birth. Fourth, after the birth of Jesus and the passage of time, he is still actively listening to God. His life shows a consistent pattern of receptivity to God. As a result, when it was time to flee King Herod and head to Egypt he led his family to safety. Lastly, when it was time to return home, he again received direction from God and obeyed. He did not let living in a foreign country with foreign gods keep him from living his own personal relationship with God.
In Hebrew, Joseph (said Yosef) means “he will add.” Joseph desperately needed grace for the journey, and God added it to his life. Joseph brought peace and stability to the stable. Joseph shows us how to light the candle of peace in our communities. 
 art by Gerard van Honthorst
We don't know much about Joseph's life. But we do know he was a listening man and a man of peace. Surely, when Jesus said, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you," He learned those things from His earthly father and His heavenly Father. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Advent and the Purple Candle of Peace

Because everyone wants to light the purple candle of peace.

Excerpt from Jonathan Martin's, On Israel, the Church, Politics and Jesus.

There are still a distressing number of Christians, many of whom citing Scripture as quickly (and as recklessly) as the micro-machine man Jack Van Impe, who believe not only that Israel as a modern nation-state is especially chosen by God, but that the will of God is for us to stand by Israel in war.  In fact, many of them express a perverse pleasure when there is suffering in the Middle East, because these are mere signs that the end is drawing near.  That end is not defined first and foremost as the reign of the prince of peace breaking into the world with healing for the nations, but the vindication of those on the right side of Armageddon by the heavenly godfather.  The means by which Jesus will come to rule and reign will not be the cross (which failed) but a larger sword than that of the infidels.  “With the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other,” they sincerely and wrongheadedly expect the reign of God to be manifest in human violence.

I do not have time in a short treatment here to say all I’d like to about what’s wrong with these systems.  But at heart is a fundamental misreading of the Book of Revelation.  The apocalyptic language and imagery can easily be misinterpreted.  Revelation is a book about how God overcomes the evil of the world through the cross of Jesus.  It is through the blood of the Lamb that God wins in the end.  His people do not share in His victory by beating their enemies with bigger weapons, but by sharing in the sacrifice of the Lamb, “following the Lamb wherever He goes…loving not their own lives even unto death.”  The subversive victory of love and sacrifice over the forces of the evil make a mockery of the so-called principalities and powers of the world, from the Roman empire to every tyrannical and oppressive empire in our own time.

The cross is not just the message of the kingdom, the cross is the means of the kingdom.  The trouble with a lot of popular eschatology is that it assumes Jesus did not win through the cross and resurrection, and will have to resort to something other than the way of the cross to accomplish His purposes in the world.  There is of course much language of judgment in Revelation.  But judgment does not come through guns—“Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations.”  God will judge His creation by the same means in which He brought it into existence—by His word.

8.  The response of the people of God to conflict in the Middle East is not to take a side but to take up a cross.

Don’t get me wrong: Jesus Himself said that the days to come would be full of wars and rumors of wars.  But the manifestation of the sons of God will not be through us being on the “right” side of any of those wars, but on the side of radical enemy love.  We want to be on the side of the one who, even on the cross, said “Forgive them Father for they know what they do.”  There are no other sides besides the way of the kingdom and the way of the world, the way of the cross and the way of the sword.  There are no middle ground alternatives.

No matter what your persuasion or how you interpret the sociopolitical dimensions of this conflict, all authentic followers of Jesus should be able to agree that “God so loved the whole world that He gave His only begotten Son;” and that God’s desire in and through Jesus Christ is for all people in all parts of the world to be blessed and whole.  I think to simply get the people of God together on these handful of basic assumptions could make all the difference in how we learn to be the Church for the world.

The world tells us to take sides; we are told to take up our cross.  We are called to bear witness to the kingdom of God by living our own lives as peacemakers.  We pray for peace, we work for peace.  We learn as much as we can about our brothers and sisters in the Middle East and we support kingdom work among them–from the preaching of the gospel to caring for the poor, the marginalized, the orphan, the widow and the oppressed.  We refuse any options that are presented to us other than the cross–which means we look for ways to sacrifice our own comfort for the sake of hurting people all over the world.

See the whole article here

Friday, December 7, 2012

Advent Acting Adventures

Pre-performance - We might as well wear pj's under that outfit!

We've been trying our hand at acting and singing in our community. 
It's been a whole lot of fun, but a whole lot of work. 
I love that they are building confidence in and through Christ.
And I love watching them get to know our community. 
Right now? 
They are napping and we all sing...
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah!

Post performance

I need to sign up for a camera class that teaches how to take pictures in darker settings. If you have book or internet suggestions for me, please do send them on! They would be much appreciated!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Advent Baking and St. Nicholas

I have discovered Christmas Crack. Make some soon!
 Christmas Crack

Line a jelly roll pan with tin foil. Lay graham crackers or saltines (salt side down) on the foil. Boil one cup of butter and one cup of brown sugar for about 3 minutes. Pour over the crackers. Immediately place in a preheated 425*F oven. Bake 5 minutes. Take out of oven and sprinkle one cup of chocolate chips over the mixture and one cup of chopped pecans or almonds. Let cool. Break into pieces and serve. Eat!

Did you know today is St. Nicholas Day? Learn more here.  The kids and I spent our devotional time this morning talking about Santa vs. St. Nicholas and how western culture has changed St. Nicholas from a focus of giving (because Christ gives to us) to Santa and a focus of getting. Interesting dialogue!

Art by Elisabeth Jvanovsky

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Advent, Books, and Cheer: A + B = C

 Summer morning 2012

Kathleen to Joe in You've Got Mail, "I started helping my mother after school here when I was six years old. And I used to watch her. And it wasn't that she was just selling books, it was that she was helping people become whoever it was (that) they were going to turn out to be. Because when you read a book as a child it becomes part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does...."

Books belong under the tree. We share our love of the world and of story with those we most love. In part, we learn how to form our story by reading great stories. Books under our tree this year:

The Story of Doctor Doolittle
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
A Life of Faith Series - because she loves all things old!
Twig by Elizabeth Orton Jones
The Fables of La Fontaine
A Young Scientist's Guide to Defying Disasters with Skill and Daring by Doyle
Makezine: For Dad
For Girls Only: Devotions
The Story of Shell by Repp
Pibben the Small by Repp
Reading to Learn: Book One by MacMillan 1935 - list price was .84 cents
Hans Brinkers on the Silver Skates
How to Build Treehouses, Huts and Forts
A Pink Bible
The Ordinary Princess by Kaye
The Christmas Story by the Metropolitan Museum of Art to be read on Christmas Eve

Shh....don't tell. 

Most all of these books were thrifted finds for a dollar or less.  Yes, a dollar or less. Books do not have to cost a lot. Secreted away during the year, they now patiently wait to delight children. What will be under your tree this year? 

Advent + Books = Cheer

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Advent Illumination

Be still and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.

Psalm 46:10

Monday, December 3, 2012

Advent Walking

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 
John 1:5

We gather under the big oak. The light of lanterns hangs low. By day, we walk in the world, and boy it's been a day. Coming from pageant practice, we race in the rain with little rest and life feeling like a test. One angel has momentarily lost her song of happiness. The pressure to perform weighing heavy on wings that were made for soaring. We bicker in the car and I'm asking why are we here under this oak? We have come to walk words.

The walkway is wet. The heavens let loose water today, but thankfully this moment is dry. We begin walking and we follow the light. Soon, walkers fall silent, and the line of light slowly advances in the darkness. Voices hush and still, and even the wind is silent. I see what I'm sure is the North Star, but really is probably Saturn. One can wish. We walk on and the wind decides to gust, snuffing out our light. Several attempts later, it is re-lit, soon to be re-extinguished. We give up and follow the light in front of us. Surely, as we march in the darkness of the world, we also walk towards the light. Words call out from the darkness and meet pondering souls on the walkway.

And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:35)

A angelic sphere of black slate opens up above us, and starlight twinkles through. Every so often, divine words interrupt the darkness and our thoughts. Little boy begins to flag. He is not grumpy, but slowing. I am tugging on a tired body. We walk around the dark abyss of a pond. He is intrigued. Mom, I just saw a head pop up. And I believe him. In the darkness, who knows what can happen? Silence comes again, and we walk and walk. His boots go, thud, thud, scuffle. Thud, thud, scuffle. Mom, is this how long they walked? To be small is to understand the value of great distances. He fathoms, what I can only try to feel. He asks, How long until the manger? I realize, isn't that what we all want? We just want to get there and see the manger. He's sure he's walking the same great distance Mary and Joseph walked and through his walk, I really do see the manger. The words come alive and I get it

He marched resolutely into the darkness, that you and I might walk in the light. He did not waiver, He walked. 

The heavens open up and wash us. A down pour of watery words released to revive the weary. The washing of the world by the Word. Soon, the clubhouse looms large with an other worldly light. We march into the world. Walking by lighted windows, diners seated by candle light dangle crystal wine glasses. A diamond commercial is on the big screen screaming bling. And it doesn't mean anything. 

John 1:1-14

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.  He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Tonight we participated in an Advent Walk. 
Find one near you, or create one! 
Walk the Word in the woods.