These are some of my first memories of Christmas preparations. Mom would bring out paper, glitter, and glue and my sister and I would draw stars, cover them in glue and then pour the glitter all over the page. We then held up the paper, shaking off the excess glitter onto a clean dry piece of paper, and would be thrilled to see the glittering star appear. We spent many happy hours decorating our home.
Mom and dad did many things to help make Christmas magical for us. The preparations started with the annual Hudson’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. We anticipated seeing Santa riding in his sleigh at the end, but we were just as excited to look for dad playing his trumpet in the Detroit Fireman’s Band. The next weeks were filled with trimming the tree, and visiting the many light displays around the city. One year my Grandpa Clinard helped to build the Christmas Fantasy Display at the Ford Rotunda in Dearborn, Michigan. I was so very proud as I walked through
that magical display, knowing that my grandpa had helped build it.
But there was no “Magic” involved in the events of that very first Christmas. It was a miracle, not magic that brought joy to the world that night. Mary, a very young woman, was told that she would become the mother of the Promised Saviour. I can’t imagine what this young devoted Jewish woman could have been thinking. She had kept herself pure, a virgin, to be worthy of a good Jewish husband. If what the Angel was saying were to come to pass, would her intended husband cast her aside? What would her parents say? What would the people of her town say? Would anyone believe her when she told them exactly what the angel had told her?
Luke 1:30–38 (HCSB)
Then the angel told her: Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Now listen: You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will call His name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end. Mary asked the angel, “How can this be, since I have not been intimate with a man?” The angel replied to her: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the holy One to be born will be called the Son of God. And consider your relative Elizabeth—even she has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called childless.
For nothing will be impossible with God." “I am the Lord’s slave,” said Mary. “May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel left her.
Mary believed the prophecies she had been taught telling of a promised messiah. That night she trusted that the words the Angel proclaimed were the intent of her heavenly father. She believed, trusted and obeyed. There have always been those who do not believe. There are many who choose not to trust the message of the Bible. They choose to ignore the truth that has proven itself throughout the years.
The birth of Christ was a miracle, not magical. While preparing your home for Christmas with glitter, glue and stars, remember to
thank God for His first Christmas gift to us, the birth of our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.
There are events that are forever seared into my memory; the day I saw Mt. Rushmore for the first time, the night I “really” noticed my fellow classmate who later became my husband. These are great memories.
There are some memories, however, that bring sadness, even years later.
I was visiting a family with my mom and sister when I was about ten or eleven years old. The family had three or four children at the time. The mom and dad are lovely people with hearts of gold.
They are the kind of folks who go out of their way to help others. They loved their children and provided well for them.
Their youngest son was in the room, and began to misbehave. He continued to pester and cause a scene. What I could not believe, even at the young age of eleven, was that the parents looked at us and laughed! They didn’t speak to this child, correct him, or even send him to his room. When my mom, sister and I left, I mentioned this to my mom. She was also surprised at the lack of discipline.
As the years passed, I was not surprised as I would hear news that one child after another, except for one, went through difficult times, and brought much heartache to those parents.
It makes me very sad when I see parents afraid to give their children boundaries. I am sad when they are afraid to say “no” to their children. Someday these children will learn that they cannot do whatever they like, and will suffer the consequences. Who better to teach and guide them than the people who love them the
most? Who better to discipline them than those who will do it with love and understanding? Giving children boundaries and limits does not hem a child in or harm them in any way. It gives them a
sense of security, safety and freedom. They learn how to live within guidelines that benefit them and others.
"Son (and daughter) hear the instruction of your father, and do
not forsake the law of your mother; for they will be a graceful ornament on your head and chains about your neck."
The ornaments described in these verses will not only be worn on the children, but these children will be graceful ornaments for their parents.
Then there are children who seem to ignore all of the godly teaching and guidance their parents have tried to instill into their lives. My heart breaks for these parents. There are verses that give hope and comfort to these dear parents.
Hebrews 12:11: “no discipline seems pleasant at the time, but
painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it..."
“train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old will not depart from it.”
Parents, be the loving guide, protector, and teacher your kids need! Be the parent your child longs for, and then commit them into God’s loving hands each day.
Debi Snider... more