Lifting hearts to God in thanks and praise.

Happy New Year

Hello!
Welcome, come on in.
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The candles are all lit, the family still sleeps and I am here pausing at the beginning of the day. Soon they will wake but I have some time to talk, to show you around.
Would you like to sit here with me a moment?
See the wreath, the angels?
See the nativity? (The kings are still on their way.)
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Ravinia asked me, was it Christmas Eve the shepherds came?
No, I responded, it would have been Christmas night.
Funny, that we anticipate so, we don’t celebrate things on the days.
Here’s the shepherds.
See the sheep?
Come King’s Day, we will have neighborhood kids come for our annual Epiphany play, and since it’s a Sunday that means incorporating it into our evening worship where we sing the magnificat anyway!
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This nativity, it was the one I grew up with,
Wanted my mom to give me, but I had to wait and inherit it.
The playmobile nativity was Ravinia’s set while I waited.
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We’d read a story about a German servant and how her son came in to the family’s Christmas tree and searched for Jesus among the presents. Finding Jesus.
So we put the Playmobile set under the tree until this year when puppy endangers anything remotely like a bone!
Our first set, for the baby Ravinia was these beautiful finger puppets I’d gotten at Ten Thousand Villages (I used to volunteer there while she napped in her stroller).
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We are rich in nativity sets.
What about you, do you have one you cherish?

Rich, we are indeed.
But God, who is rich in mercy…
What are we rich in?

There was a time, before the baby came, we had moved across the country and had no cash, had maxed out our credit cards, and yet food had been provided and we lived on grace until the first paycheck came. We were too embarrassed to admit our full situation to our parents who would surely have sent us money! But from then on, and throughout grad school when we did receive money from relatives (one Christmas with our little child, we were given generous gifts that otherwise we would not have been able to celebrate Christmas) I began to consider the phrase dependently wealthy.

On our own we carried debt.
From our relatives we received money, gifts in abundance.
We lacked nothing.
When a friend asked me how we do it, I told her how we were dependently wealthy.
I think all believers should live that way.
Dependently upon God who is rich –
Dependent upon God who provides –
Thankful for his many blessings –
Praising him for daily lovingkindness –

It is a new year, and a new day.
Are you making resolutions?
Changes?
I love the reminder in Carolyn Arend’s song that each new day can be a new year’s day to start all over, and it’s a reminder for me that I need to pray each day for God’s direction, grace, and love to fill me.

I am seeing a few new things, and have received tools as from God for the work he wants me to do this year! I am so excited about that. Can I tell you a bit?

Arabah Joy posted a new book, a series for free on her website, about renewing our minds. I am wondering if you’d like to click here and check it out? If you enjoy it, just sign up to receive all the posts daily in your inbox and read along with me!

Holley Gerth also has a 21 day series starting today on what she calls God Sized Dreams: dreams so big that you can only hope to accomplish them if God is for you, if God provides, if God has called you to this task, indeed, if it’s Ephesians 2:10 sort of work that God has prepared beforehand that you walk in.

Okay, so my new projects?

On Mondays I will have time to write, because there are a few projects Mary is waiting for me to write, and Ant said I am a pretty good writer and must just write from my heart.

On Tuesdays I will post Tuesdays in Titus, studying my way through it to memorize it along with Ravinia who has a huge head start on me, having exercised to a recording of it all fall.

On Sundays our family along with another will be starting a new church! We are starting this week with the Epiphany Project which will meet on Westmont campus (10a Sundays) for a time of education and worship together, calling students and community to explore a higher liturgy and stronger faith. There are students who for whatever reason do not attend church. Please pray for us, and them, that God will work in all our lives.

I would so love to hear your side of our conversation in commemts or by email. Are you still celebrating Christmas until Epiphany/Kings Day, or have you switched to New Years, having celebrated all December?
Are you excited about 2013?
(I’m having to work at writing that!)
Let’s thank and praise God together, amen!

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Comments on: "Happy New Year" (2)

  1. John Werner said:

    Well written, Honey-Heart.   As you know, I’ve been dependently wealthy all my life:  on my parents, on the taxpayers who supported my elementary and high schools, on the U.S. Army (for  whom I learned a bit of soldiering in their Reserve Officer Training School, for which Drexel Tech got money from them), on the donors who supported the National Bible Institute, Faith Theological Seminary, the University of Pennsylvania, Trinity Christian College and HINTS, and on whoever set up the Edward Isaac Hyneman Class of ’89 Fellowship in Greek—and I’ve probably left many others out.

      I honor you and Maurice for not asking your Mother and me for financial aid when you were strapped.  You know we would not have withheld it, even if we went on beans and rice.

                                                                          Love, Dad  >

  2. Rosemary Bluman said:

    Dear Beth,

    Thanks for the invitation to enter into your home, to share a moment,  to look around and reflect, and to savor a bit of Christmas beauty and candlelight.  I just put all my Christmas things away on Dec. 31 because of something upcoming (see below) but I do love to savor the Christmas mood and lights, especially after all the busyness of the season is over. 

    I love creches.  They are so individual, and have so much personality.  I have a very simple creche, given to me when I was 19 or 20 .  My aunt, who’d taken a vow of poverty, gave it to me.  I was so utterly surprised and please to have my own creche, it became dear to me immediately.  I thought about getting a beautiful one many different years, and even wh en in  Israel.  But I never got past the twin thoughts of  what was the original manger scene like   and better to send money to missionaries than to buy an elaborate creche.   (No, I never did send that money to that missionary.)  I wish my Christmas things were not yet put away, for I’d enjoy sending you a picture or two. 

    Beth, it seems you are skilled are enjoying the processes of things. 

    Blessings,

    Rosie

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