A Christ centered Christmas

Happy almost December!

I wanted to share a few ideas with you.  I hope these fun traditions inspire you to create some new precious memories with your family.

I also took a bunch of time to create a huge playlist on Spotify filled with Christ centered Christmas music.  You can follow my playlist on Spotify.  (Spotify is free and amazing in case you haven't gotten it yet.  You can listen to basically most every single song ever made.)

https://open.spotify.com/user/128120487/playlist/0K3bjCrQuidRGF9niPuXl6

I love you each so much and pray for you and your loved ones to know our Savior in a new way this December.
 

Together,

Heather

 

Ideas for a Christ centered Christmas

  1. Watch Christ centered Christmas movies.
    -The nativity story
    -Charlie Brown Christmas
    -Veggie tales ultimate Christmas collection
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008FXLYW2/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B008FXLYW2&linkCode=as2&tag=thedatdiv09-20&linkId=5GFLMNNZN3DCRFEC

  2. Try a Christ-Centered Alternative to the Elf on the Shelf

Google this for lots of great ideas.

     3.   Key for Santa.
    http://pinterest.com/pin/A3_fMQAQgFMBClQ4DG0AAAA/?s=3&m=keep

     4.   30 Ways to Keep Christ in Christmas. Some fun ideas! -     http://pinterest.com/pin/A2OmQQAQwMoB6jwze0cAAAA/?s=3&m=keep
     5.   Don’t just write a letter to Santa, this year also write a letter to Jesus as a gift for his birth.
Put the letter inside of a balloon with helium and let it go up to heaven!
     6.   When you have your Christmas dinner add an extra plate to the table to teach your children that there is always room for Christ at our Inn.
     7.   On Christmas Eve turn off all the lights for a minute before the children go to bed.  Place candles all over the house and start saying in your own words the Christmas Story.  As you travel from room to room light up one candle. By the time Baby Jesus is born all the house will be lit up as a symbolism of Him being the Light of the World.
     8.    Set up your nativity but don't put baby Jesus there.  Let your youngest child put the baby Jesus in the nativity on Christmas day.  The fact that He is missing during the month of December makes the family focus more on the reason of the Season.  The children will also look forward to Christmas Eve with anticipation knowing that that’s the day when Baby Jesus was born.
    9.     Have a night when your family can talk about 25 Miracles that Jesus did.
   10.    Every year buy a new Christ centered Christmas Book.
Read it as a family… You will have a wonderful collection over the years.
    11.   Read the Christmas Story { Luke 2 }
Children can dress up using sheets and towels as Mary, Joseph, shepherds, and the wise men.

    

There are many, many more ideas online.  Don’t feel overwhelmed, just pick a few that are simple and fit into your family’s style.  And don’t forget to come to our Christmas Eve service.  

Christmas Light Displays in our area

Drumroll please!

It's time for my annual post about Christmas light displays!!!!!

Merry Christmas lovely ladies,

I wanted to share something fun that Pastor Greg and I enjoy doing this time of year in the area. Drive around looking at Christmas lights on private homes (don't forget the hot chocolate).

Please note that I haven't personally seen those marked with asterisk* so feel welcome to comment if you go there and let us all know about your experience.

Also, this list was accurate in Dec 2016 but we haven't gotten to check them all out yet this season.

Make sure you call a neighbor or invite someone from church you haven't gotten to know very well yet.  And have a jolly time!
Rejoicing that our Savior has come to us!


Together,
Heather

 

???Where are  the lights????
5034 Durham Road East Columbia MD


Melba Rd, in Ellicott City


Velvet Valley Drive, Fox Valley Estates, (Rt. 32) West Friendship, 21794 Residents decorate the tree-lined streets with twinkle lights in addition to their homes.


4802 Red Hill Way, Ellicott City, MD 21043 The Bartlett family of Ellicott City shares an extravagant light display synced to music.  Very kid friendly.   In 2015, they were featured on the ABC show The Great Christmas Light Fight!


Miracle on34th St Baltimore http://pin.it/jrztdy1

 

8492 Tipton Dr. Laurel, MD (Sadly, these were not up in December 2015, but I'm hoping they'll resurface in the future because this was a really great display)

 

Henleyville Christmas Village 13901 Mattie Hanies Rd., Mt Airy,21771
The Henleyville Christmas Village started in 1992 with just two small buildings and three animated characters and has grown immensely in its 23 years. The walk through Christmas town now includes over 15 buildings, 65 animated characters and almost 20 blow ups on 1/3 of an acre. Visitors may crawl through a Disney Castle, hang Christmas balls on a Christmas tree and help load Santa’s sleigh. Attractions include an elf shop, the North Pole Fire Department, a candy shop and play house. Great for kids!

 

6719 Boston Ave Dundalk, MD is small but fun. And it snows during Frozen.

 

Cook family lights in Elkridge, 6221 Graftons view court. They have music to go along with the display. Such a fun house, and they have a FB page. Search Cook family lights.

 

Homestead Gardens. They light up all the trees outside beautifully and inside the entire nursery is converted to Christmas. Huge model train set, tons of trees and lights and really ornate ornaments. In fact you'll see many folks walking around shooting formal Christmas card photos there in front of the decorations. Davidsonville, MD  410.798.5000

6421 Elffolk Terrace Columbia, Md  This is the Ankney family that attends The Cause.

 


We haven't seen these yet, but have heard that they are fun.


22 Kitzbuhel Rd. Parkton, MD*


Row houses in Dundalk MD*
The entire city of Dundalk, MD, in Baltimore County, makes the list because of the amount of people in the city that participate in decorating for the holiday.36th, Kavanaugh and Kentley and when you get there all the cross streets in between which are abc's like... Barry, Codd, Dineen, Ewald etc


Watkins Park in Prince George's county*


Deepage & Rustling Leaf near Hopewell pool. A town of inflatables!*


Edgewood Neighborhood* Rt. 26 in Sykesville, MD 21784
Howard County Living Farm Heritage Museum*  12985 Frederick Road West Friendship, 21794


Historic Savage Mill* 8600 Foundry St., Savage 20763 adds sparkle to the season with the annual lighting of the Bollman Truss Bridge. This year’s display includes over 15,000 white lights.


More links to lists of fun below
http://pin.it/fo56jTl
 
http://pin.it/ITgb710
 
http://pin.it/o1oR_l8
More suggestions on the Ellicott City Lights Facebook page

Are You Offended?

Here is a great list to test and see if you are holding an offense against someone.
This was taken from an article about marriage by Meg Marie Wallace ( see the entire article here ) but for tonight's class we are applying these to all of our relationships.
(I have only read this one article of hers and have not done research about her so please don't hate me if she has some crazy beliefs in other blog posts.)

 (Hopefully not.)

 

 

 

Hardness of heart is…
-lacking genuine sorrow over sin.
-continuing to go back again and again into temptation, lies and deceit.
-choosing to think of yourself as most important.
-choosing what’s best for you and not the other.
-the small lies and huge lies that you convince yourself are not a big deal.
-being unteachable. 

-tearing down with words.
-comparing and contrasting your wrongs against the other and making the judgement that “theirs is worse.”
-responding with defensiveness. 

-the need to always be in control.
-waiting for the other to say sorry first. 

-demanding the other change first.
-thinking more of what you deserve instead of what you can give.
-focusing more on being right than on becoming righteous.
-what you can get out of someone instead of how you can invest in them.
-the refusal to forgive.
-the refusal to humble yourself to ask for forgiveness. 

-saying you forgive, but never letting go.
-asking for forgiveness and then going back to do the same thing again.
-magnifying the weaknesses and minimizing the strengths of the other, while magnifying the strengths and minimizing the weaknesses of yourself.
-justifying wrongful actions because they “started it first.”
-spending more time trying to find an official clinical diagnosis to explain away their issues than looking in the mirror to address your own.
-preserving your own well-being at the expense of the other.
-reading this list and thinking someone else should be reading this… 

Stop Human Trafficking

Huma raffickin efinition: 

 

★Huma raffickin h ecruitment, ransportation, ransfer, arbourin eceip f 

persons, ean h hrea s orc the orm oercion, bduction, f 

fraud, eception, h bus owe ositio ulnerabilit h ivin r 

receivin ayment enefit chiev h onsen erso avin ontro ver 

anothe erson, o h urpos xploitation. 

★Huma raffickin fte ook ik hi h tri lub, otels, rothels,massag alor nd 

street. 

★Huma raffickin a rul ecom loba hrea ulnerabl en, omen, nd 

childre orldwide. njustic ha ffect illion eopl ver ea very 

continen n l ocioeconomi evels. uma raffickin ighly-organize nd 

lucrativ usiness, eneratin 5 illio S e ear, illio hic enerate y 

se raffickin ithi h rostitutio ndustry. 

 

 

 

 

 

Matthe :35-38 

 

3 esu en hroug l h own n illages, eachin hei ynagogues, 

proclaimin h oo ew h ingdo n ealin ver iseas n ickness. 6 

Whe a h rowds, a ompassio he, ecaus he er arassed 

an elples, ik hee ithou hepherd. he ai i isciples, “he 

harves lentifu u h orker r e. s h or h arves, herefore, o 

sen u orker nt i arves iel.” 

 

 

 

 

 

1.W a ee ik on’ av xactl allin u if u l av  

______________ i arvest. 

2.__________________ r h e orkers 

3. ead h _____________ ou w rayer. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ho a ak ifferenc uma raffickin it assion? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prayer Points

 

Pray for the The City of Baltimore. Jeremiah 29:7'

Pray for the women and young girls in human trafficking in Maryland.

For their Strength and Salvation

Isaiah 40:29

Luke 19:10

Psalms 138:7

For their Protection,Freedom and Justice

Psalm 82:4,

Psalm 103:6;

Psalm 146:7

For their healing and hope

Psalm 40:1-3

Jeremiah  31:17

Pray for the government for wisdom on strengthening the laws

Proverbs 8:15,

Proverbs 29:4,

Nehemiah 9:13

Pray for conviction for the buyers and traffickers.

Isaiah 55:7,

Romans 5:6-8,

2 Timothy 2:25

Unity among organizations to work together to end human trafficking maryland

Psalm 133:1

For a team to build with BeLoved Baltimore

 

How watching Christian videos really changed one boy's life

 This video is actually Pastor Greg's niece and her family.  At 3 years old (he turned four just 2 weeks before this filming) Levi was greatly impacted by the story of King David.  He must have worn that costume every day for a year.  He even had it on Christmas day.  Which is a little hilarious in public because it is basically a short dress.  But he didn't care.

Who do you want your children to look up to that much??