Archive: December 2015

His Indescribable Gift ~ It’s a Wrap

~posted by Donna

A series entitled “His Indescribable Gift” was first published a year and a half ago, just before Easter. There were at least 4 of them and one heretofore unpublished was subtitled “Born to Buried.” I used a “compare and contrast” method of reviewing both the Christmas and Easter stories. As I spent time reading and enjoying the Christmas story
yet again last week,

CC CE9some new (for me and perhaps new for you as well) details jumped out at me. So here goes…. I noticed that Jesus, following His birth, was wrapped in swaddling clothes. Only Luke describes this for us: “Then she (Mary) gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped Him snugly in cloth” and he reported what the angels told the shepherds this way: “This will be the sign for you: you will find the baby wrapped snugly in cloth and lying in a manger.” And it wasn’t long before I then noticed that Jesus, at His burial, was also wrapped, only this time, in burial linens. “Then they took Jesus’ body and wrapped it in linen cloths with the aromatic spices, according to the burial custom of the Jews.” Luke called it “fine linen.” Mark reported, “After he (Joseph of Arimathea) bought some fine linen, he took Him down and wrapped Him in the linen.” Matthew called it “clean, fine linen.” God saw to it that His only begotten Son, in spite of His pitiable circumstances, had what He needed. I do think it’s worth noting at this time that Mary and Joseph were, of course, there when Jesus was born AND Mary and Joseph, different Joseph, were there when He died. And what also jumped out at me is that Joseph was warned in a dream by an angel and Mary was spoken to in person by an angel. Both methods seemed to have been very effective for each of these two individuals. We’re told from way back in the beginning (Genesis 3:15) that God, speaking to satan, CC CE4

would put hostility between him and the woman (Jesus’ mother, Mary) and between his seed

CC CE6and HER seed. That term is only used ONCE in the whole Bible. Every other time the term is used, it always means the male sperm or seed. Well, the virgin birth and the empty tomb, Christmas and Easter, are at the heart of our faith. They prove His deity. They substantiate His claims to be the Son of God. Let’s celebrate right on through Sunday, March 27, 2106! CC CE8


His Indescribable Gift ~ Born to Buried

~posted by Donna

Ah, tis the season.
Comfort and joy.
Merry and bright.
Feliz y prospero.

But does all that merry come from this?

CC Tis 5

or this?

CC Tis 6

or this?

CC Tis 9

or this?

CC Tis 10

or even this?

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Let’s investigate the deeper reasons for the season using one of my favorite formats. We’ll compare and contrast Jesus’ coming with His going, His birth with His death, His entry with His exit. It came upon a midnight clear to me and I couldn’t wait to share it with you. So let’s go straight to Bethlehem and see what has happened, which the Lord has made known to us (Luke 2:15).

{All Photos from this point forward taken at Trinity UM Church Christmas Play, 2013}

Perhaps it was commonplace back then to be born in unusual places. No hospitals, no birthing rooms. Even in present times, what do poor people do who can’t afford a doctor or get to a doctor? They give birth wherever they are. If they’re fortunate, at least they’ll have a mid-wife and a clean room with adequate supplies. That’s more than Mary and Joseph had.

CC Mary n Joseph

They were traveling to a strange town at a busy time. There were no rooms for rent. The young couple were desperate. Birth was imminent for Mary. So they took what they could get from an innkeeper who took pity on them and Jesus was born and they laid His tiny head down in a feeding trough in a manger.

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Fast forward 33 years. That baby, as a full grown man, completed His earthly life far different from the quiet, spontaneous way He began it. Instead of a handful of shepherds

CC 2 shepherds

in the little town of Bethlehem, the whole, huge, impersonal city of Jerusalem watched as He hung, bloodied and bruised, on a rough, thick Roman cross.

CC Cross

Instead of swaddling clothes tucked lovingly around Him, His garments had all been gambled off Him and He drew His last breath with very little covering Him.

Because of the generosity of a rich, religious man who got permission to bury the body, Jesus was wrapped in fine linen and His head was once again laid down, only this time in a tomb cut into a rock. Kind of a surprise ending, don’t you think? But who would’ve guessed His humble beginnings? God had it all planned out, from birth to burial. And take heart, He has yours planned out too.


posted by Chelsea

We’ve been getting snow!


MUCH snow! (this picture was the first day it started snowing- we have twice this much now!) And it’s been so fantastic! Last year I was dreading snow… this year, after the fire and such a hot dry summer I am delighted to see it.  It feels like a big healing blanket of moisture. (I just made that up… and I like it!)

 Yesterday the kids headed outside in the morning and they stayed outside sledding, building an igloo, and otherwise frolicking in the snow until the sun was on its way down.  I sent snacks out periodically and even “to-go” cups of hot chocolate, but they wanted to be out all the live long day.  So… in my spare time, I cleaned the house!  Kind of. I mean, I got distracted reading and exercising and cooking and stuff, but otherwise totally cleaned.  Kind of. ANYWAY, this is what it looked like on Lucy’s 9th birthday… just a few short days ago…


(We think she likes the new bike! Hey! She’s wearing my Bogs!) And now we are loaded with snow! Yippee!

Speaking of her birthday.  Here she is having a “happy birthday talk” with her great-grandparents while she snuggled the puppy we are keeping (out of our litter of 10)….


His name is Roy. Roy is a chunk- all belly!

And finally, for your viewing pleasure… here’s one of the attempts at our Christmas card picture. It didn’t work out so well… Untitled

I wish you could see Cooper’s face better. We were in auto-shoot mode with a tri-pod and in order to increase the “FUN FACTOR” of taking pics, the kids would run ahead, I’d push the button to take the picture then I’d run and get in the picture. This picture was ruined for Cooper because one of his sisters tried to help him by touching him on the back while running to get in the picture. The audacity of such a move by an older sister nearly ruined the entire shoot. You know what I really love about the picture? Tom, the big dog in the picture- came over when Cooper started crying. He loves our kids. And I love him so much for that. Which is good because he “ain’t” no cow dog!