Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Not Obvious, But Astounding

"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14).

I have grown up always knowing the story (praise God!) and thus often taking it for granted--thinking it obvious and normal that God took on flesh and lived among us. Heaven forbid! Nothing could be more astounding: "the eternal, omnipotent, omnipresent, infinitely holy Son of God took on a human nature and lived among humanity as one who was both God and man at the same time, in one person...This is the most amazing event in all of history!"*

In case I've never mentioned it here, my very favorite music for stirring my heart to worship the Word made flesh at Christmastime:

Behold the Lamb of God: The True Tall Tale of the Coming of Christ

You can download it here for a last-minute gift or your own Christmas Day listening :) 

The album goes through the old, old story, from the Passover to Jesus' birth, telling the familiar stories that point to Christ. It begins with this beautiful quote from Sally Lloyd-Jones:
    No, the Bible isn’t a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a story. It’s an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It’s a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne – everything – to rescue the ones he loves. It’s like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life!
    It takes the whole Bible to tell this story. And at the center of the story, there is a baby. Every story in the Bible whispers his name. He is like the missing piece in the puzzle – the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together, and suddenly you can see a beautiful picture.

May God fill you with joy and wonder as you celebrate the Savior's birth!

[*quote from ESV Study Bible notes on John 1]

Monday, December 17, 2012

Multitude Monday, Take 270

Thanking God this week for...

4560. a long-overdue date with my man
4561. a friend so generously babysitting for free
4562. light sabers made from Duplos
4563. Christmas cards from faraway friends
4564. personal notes on the back

4565. Jude running around trying to keep up with big brother and his friends
4566. yoga for working and stretching sore muscles
4567. new babies safely born to friends!
4568. not being impatient and irritated with me like I am with my children
4569. winter hats, gloves, scarves, mittens

4570. December thunderstorms
4571. sunny, warm days for playing outside
4572. free makeup samples
4573. Steve's help with Christmas shopping
4574. the ability to do 95% of it online

4575. our friends' one-year-old saying "Hi!" with such a thick Southern accent that it comes out "Ha!"
4576. early morning prayer with a friend
4577. post-nap snuggles with Elijah
4578. boys "helping" me vacuum
4579. fashion advice from friends

4580. friends around our dinner table
4581. interesting conversations
4582. mocha cheesecake
4583. Jude being so much more awesome a shopper than I imagined, when I dragged him along to look for an outfit for Steve's work party
4584. ladies signed up for our winter retreat

4585. Sunday afternoon quiet
4586. morning workouts
4587. sausage balls
4588. packages arriving just in time
4589. red cashmere cardigan

4590. my parents' vastly improved internet connection for Skyping
4591. Advent wreath blazing brighter and brighter
4592. the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it

Monday, December 10, 2012

Multitude Monday, Take 269

Thanking God this week for...

4533. a funny card from my college roommate, just because
4534. new jeans that are comfy *and* flattering
4535. Jude's tears and screaming when I told him it wasn't time to go get "Juh-Juh" from preschool yet
4536. Steve's being recognized, appreciated and rewarded at work
4537. dinner out as a family

4538. Mexican egg rolls
4539. prayer with friends
4540. this funny and brilliant five-minute summary of Downton Abbey
4541. friends I can go to for wise, godly counsel
4542. palm wax candles

4543. dinner with friends
4544. Steve helping me peel, core and slice over 25 lbs. of apples for the freezer
4545. his creativity, ingenuity, resourcefulness
4546. browned butter in chocolate chip cookies. genius!
4547. speaking to me through one of Scotty Smith's prayers

4548. Jude's mealtime prayers
4549. Elijah composing a thankful list, unprompted
4550. super fun girl-time on Friday night
4551. new music
4552. opportunity to serve a church family

4553. their girls being sweet to our boys
4554. nursery workers loving on Jude
4555. church members' hard work putting on our Christmas feast and "Spectacular"
4556. Elijah getting up and singing with his Sunday school class for the first time
4557. the Word made flesh

4558. a generous Christmas gift from friends
4559. from His fullness we have all received grace upon grace

Monday, December 03, 2012

Multitude Monday, Take 268

Thanking God this week for...

4506. the challenge of NaBloPoMo--the motivation to write
4507. the fact that it's over, and the pressure is off
4508. garland on the mantel
4509. vegetable beef soup
4510. 76 degrees in December

4511. much-overdue decluttering accomplished
4512. sales and coupons
4513. the peace and unity our church has enjoyed
4514. two bushels of organic apples
4515. red mittens on Jude's little hands

4516. the fact that there are a lot worse things Jude could have dumped all over Elijah's carpet than a full dispenser of watered-down hand soap
4517. His Spirit revealing ugly parts of my heart
4518. the awesome things He's doing in a dear friend's life
4519. Elijah's mad Lego skills
4520. Steve's mad cooking/grilling/smoking skills

4521. arnica gel
4522. missing slippers found
4523. the fact that I can laugh now about what was so painful when I was 14 or 17
4524. His wisdom
4525. His sovereignty

4526. His compassion
4527. His patience
4528. cards in the mail, not Christmas, but just because
4529. five ornaments clustered on one branch of our Christmas tree
4530. grace to exercise self-control

4531. grace when I fail to exercise self-control
4532. deeply moving Christmas lyrics