Our family’s Christmas decorations include trees and lights, candles and wreaths, and several nativity sets scattered throughout the house. This year, I thought it would be fun to have my two-year-old grandson, James, help me set up the manger scenes, partly because he enjoys animals so much. While we worked, he named the animals and the sounds they made, but one thing that surprised me was his fascination with Baby Jesus, not only then, but also during the days leading up to Christmas. Continue reading “Captivated by Christ”
It’s February and love is in the air! Red roses and heart-shaped boxes of candy greet shoppers as they enter the stores. Bright reds and pinks flood the aisles of greeting cards. Valentine’s Day is all about love, and about taking the time to express love to the special people in your life.
All of this reminds me of my childhood and the love notes that kids passed to each other in school. A scrap of notebook paper, folded into a tiny wad bore this simple message: “I love you. Do you love me? Check one box (yes or no).” The one writing the note was putting himself out there to be accepted or rejected. It took guts to put his name on a note like that and pass it to his beloved, watching with great anticipation or trepidation as she discreetly unfolded the note, read it, and checked one of the boxes. What would her answer be? Continue reading “A Love Note From God”
At this time of year, nearly everywhere we go we see signs of Christmas. We like to drive through our community, turn on some Christmas music, and enjoy the decorations that adorn the yards and houses. Twinkling lights of various colors hang on bushes and trees and outline the houses. There are evergreen wreaths embellished with red and gold ribbons, candles glowing in the windows, and Christmas trees overflowing with gifts of all sizes and shapes. Yards are filled with large plastic or inflatable characters, from Santa and snowmen to the Nativity with Baby Jesus at the center – the baby who was also known as the King of the Jews.
Traveling to Israel, “the Holy Land,” was life-changing in ways I had never imagined. In the middle of our 10-day journey, we found ourselves at a lovely hotel at the Dead Sea. This was a much-needed respite from all the walking we had done and still had ahead of us later in the week. I thought it would be like any other day at the beach, but I was wrong. Continue reading “Dead Sea, Living Water”
It was about a year ago that we had our last “normal” family meal to celebrate a family birthday. On January 21, 2017, our extended family came together to watch a church basketball game coached by my two college-aged sons, and then we went out for lunch to celebrate one of their birthdays. Birthdays were never missed in our family. My parents would call, usually early in the morning, to sing “Happy Birthday” to the one celebrating, and we always tried to have a family meal sometime around the birthday. Family time is important to us, and we have been incredibly blessed to live close to our extended family so that we could be together for these fun occasions.
Within four weeks, we celebrate three birthdays each year in January and February. So, when the next birthday came on February 16, 2017, we had planned a family dinner on Friday the 17th. But everything changed on February 16th. Continue reading “New morning, new mercies!”
By Sheri Ellington
At the end of each year, we look back and we look forward. We evaluate the past and set new goals for the future. Or maybe we realize that we didn’t meet a goal, so we roll that goal over to the new year. I want to share about my recurring New Year’s Resolution, how I finally achieved it, and how it changed my life. In fact, I hope that you will consider setting this as a goal for yourself, and at the end of this article, I will offer you some practical tips to get you started. My New Year’s Resolution started way back in my childhood, about forty years ago.