Week 2 - Advent - Coming

"Worry is belief gone wrong.  Because you don't believe that God will get it right."  
                       Oh, that hits the gut like the biggest punch could.  Do I really believe?  Really believe that God can get all things right?  
"Peace is belief that exhales."  The sigh of relief when there is peace...peace knowing "God gives God."  I will provide a way.
                     I will provide grace for the gaps.
                             I will provide Me."
"That is the gift God always ultimately gives.  Because nothing is greater and we have no greater need, God gives God.
Unwrap the greatest Gift with our time: time in His Word,
                                                  time in His presence,
                                                        time at His feet."
                                                                                    (Day 7 - The Greatest Gift)
God gives God - just the thought opens my eyes wider than ever.  God gave His only Son, Jesus, but God gave God?  God gave Himself.  Yes, Ann Voskamp continues to teach and intrigue me with her wisdom and words.  
God gave Jesus.  God gave God.  God gave Himself.  
Sometimes we overlook the simplicity of God.  Love.Just.This.

"Surely the Lord is in this place, and I wasn't even aware of it!
Genesis 28:16
God.gave.God, He gave Himself, not ONLY His only Son, but entirely Himself.  What have I to give but my-self...

Do we profane the Holy name of God when we think we can make it on our own, when we say 'Here I am,' and withhold from Him?  When He says to obey and we think we can control our lives better?  Better?  Better than the God who GAVE ALL, 
All to Him we owe, yes, ALL.TO.HIM.WE.OWE.

Ann writes, "Why profane His coming with fleshly performances, frantic pushing, futile preoccupations?"
                    "Profanity, writes Elisabeth Elliott, is 'treating as meaningless that which is freighted with meaning.  Treating as common that which is hallowed.  Regarding as a mere triviality what is really a divine design.  Profanity is failure to see the inner mystery.'" (Day 8)

Today "Slow Christmas.  Set aside the to-do lists that profane the inner mysteries and slow to see the weight of glory in the moment at the sink - the divine design of a day that unfolds with a grace that is not to be missed.  The hallowed here.  Hurry always empties a soul...s l o w.     (Day 8)

In the rush of this season, slow.just.stop.  See the hallowed through all the hustle and bustle, give someone an extra smile, give an extra gift, not because you have to, but because you were given the best Gift that was ever given.  
           Give because He gave, 
                Love because He loved, 
                     Rest because He rested, 
                         Die to self because HE died to His self to give us The Greatest Gift.

How did you slow down today?

               Remember, GOD gave GOD...

Always Experiencing Him,


Birthdays!  I LOVE birthdays!  
We celebrate and decorate and have presents and sometimes pull off a BIG surprise!!!
So, to celebrate our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ's birthday
we hold nothing back!
Yes, we know, the 25th is most likely NOT the actual day of His birth, but we choose to observe and acknowledge His birth on this day because He means everything to us!

He IS our reason for living

He IS our reason for loving

He IS our reason for giving

He IS our reason for obeying

He IS our reason for surrendering

He IS our reason for trusting

He IS our reason for serving

He IS our reason for singing

He IS our reason for worshiping


We could not NOT celebrate!

Here are a few pics of our decorations, welcoming Jesus into our home.
Our wreath as you enter with greenery, berries and red for the blood He shed on our behalf.

The mantel with greenery and trees for life, red ribbon for His shed blood, lights representing our Lord as the Light of the World, and Jenny's original painting of the nail in the hand, titled, "Accepting the Call."

A village of families in homes where we worship daily and the Church at the center to worship collectively as His body.

I Love Christmas!
Celebrating His birth should mean so much more than any other birthday we celebrate.
Why would we celebrate our childrens' birthdays if we never acknowledge the birth of The One who actually gave us life, and health, and breath, and all things good!

Thank You, my Lord and Savior!
Happy Birthday to You this day, 
this season, and all year through!
I Love You, Jesus!!!

"Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, 
and she will call His name Immanuel."
Isaiah 7:14b  NASB

"For unto us a child is born, 
unto us a son is given: 
and the government shall be upon His shoulder: 
and his name shall be called 
Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, 
The everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace."
Isaiah 9:6 KJV

"And she brought forth her firstborn son; 
and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, 
and laid Him in a manger;
because there was no room for them in the inn."
Luke 2:7 KJV


(Archived from postings)

Always Experiencing Him,

The Joys of Christmas

(From Christmas 2013)
Christmas.  What is Christmas?  If you turn the M upside down, Christmas is ChristWas...yes, CHRIST was, and is and is to come.  
                          Christ is the JOY of Christmas.  
                                    Christ IS Christmas.   
Christmas can be hustle and bustle, frustrating, stressing over buying gifts, the right gifts, getting the decorations just right, and it can be family, but without CHRIST, even family has no meaning.  

Christ is first and foremost the reason we celebrate.  The reason we decorate, the reason we get together, the reason our families come together...to celebrate the risen Lord.  Without Christ's birth, there would have not been a cross, and if there had been no cross, there could not have been a resurrection.  

The joys of Christmas are many, smiles, colors, memories made by our parents, memories of our grandparents.  My grandmother loved to have fun at Christmas time, she always enjoyed wrapping up something to tease someone, she loved the laughs and the "what did you do?"  I still miss her so very much, that is the 1 reason I get sad at this time of year.  She was the very best!  
So much fun, but she also enjoyed so much the reading of the Christmas story from Luke 2.  My cousin and my sister would stand and take turns reading verse by verse from her Bible, from when I turned 5 (I was the oldest so I began reading 1st) and continued as long as she was alive.  
When Sarah learned to read, she took over the long running tradition in our family, and continued through all 4 of our children.  This year we will probably add a couple more readers...

I would take nothing for the fun memories my parents created, and we always knew the real reason we celebrated the Christmas season.  There would be NO reason to celebrate if Christ had not come to be born.  None at all, if God had not given God, why would we have extra celebrations? Why decorate?  Why create our Christmas memories?  There would be no reason without CHRIST.  This is the month we can celebrate a birthday for an entire month, or 2!  We never do this for any other birthdays, what a joyous occasion to celebrate the One who gave His life for us!!!

"For unto us a child is born and unto us a Son is given: 
and the government is upon His shoulder and He shall call His name, 
Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, 
The everlasting Father, The prince of peace.

The increase of His government and peace shall have none end: 
He shall sit upon the throne of David, 
and upon His kingdom, to order it, 
and to establish it with judgment, and with justice, 
from henceforth, even forever: 
the zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
(1599 Geneva Bible Isaiah 9:6-7)

Celebrate this day, know that God gave God, He gave His Only Son Jesus, yes, God, so we could have life, so we could know Life, know Truth, know Love.  Be joyful, rejoice, love one another, and know Jesus is why we love. 

What is a Christmas tradition for you and your family?

Another tradition our family has is Steve has read a Christmas book to our children every Christmas Eve before bed, and at 21, 20, 20, and almost 18, he still reads it.  :)
What Child is This? by Martha Marshall...It is out of print, or I couldn't find it anyway, but it is the full account, very simple,

"Let us love Him
as Mary and Joseph did.

Let us tell others about Him
as the shepherds did.

Let us thank God for Him
as Simeon and Anna did.

Let us worship Him 
as the wise men did.

What child is this?
This is Jesus, God's own Son."
( excerpt from What Child is This?)

Planning to begin a new tradition?  It is never too late to start...begin now.

Always Experiencing Him,

Our ThanksGiving Home

Always giving thanks...let God be your true joy and there is nothing He cannot pull you out of, the deepest pit, the hardest sorrow, the most anxious heart, stop where you are.Right.Now.and just give thanks.  Say 3 things you are thankful for.  Do it, now.  Then, write them down, and when stress comes, a bad thought, a hard word, a vengeful attitude, say 3 more things, oh, God is so good to us, even, yes, even in the hard times, those days when you simply cannot force yourself to go on.  He Is There.  
                                Jesus is the real reason for our joy, so rejoice.  In Him.  Rejoice.

Ann Voskamp's words today included an excerpt from an old theologian, William Law, 1686-1761.

If anyone would tell you the shortest, surest way to all happiness—
he must tell you to make it a rule to yourself to thank and praise God for everything that happens to you.
For it is certain that whatever seeming calamity happens to you, if you thank and praise God for it, you turn it into a blessing.
Could you therefore work miracles, you could not do more for yourself than by this thankful spirit, for it heals with a word speaking, and turns all that it touches into happiness.
… it be the noblest sacrifice that the greatest Saint can offer unto God.”

"Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples.
Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;
Speak of all His wonders.
Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the Lord be glad.
Seek the Lord and His strength;
Seek His face continually.
Remember His wonders which He has done,
His marvels and the judgments uttered by His mouth."
Psalm 105:1-5

What are three things you are thankful for today?

          Our family holding hands in prayer.
          My husband and son together in town.
          Cooking together...many, many more.
(from the archives)

Always Experiencing Him,


Compassionate Lord,
Thy mercies have brought me to the dawn
of another day,
Vain will be its gift unless I grow in grace,
increase in knowledge,
ripen for spiritual harvest.
Let me this day know thee as thou art,
love thee supremely,
serve thee wholly,
admire thee fully.

Through grace let my will respond to thee,
Knowing that power to obey is not in me, but
that thy free love alone enables me to serve thee.
Here then is my empty heart,
overflow it with thy choicest gifts;
Here is my blind understanding,
chase away its mists of ignorance.
O ever watchful Shepherd,
lead, guide, tend me this day;

Without thy restraining rod I err and stray;
Hedge up my path lest I wander into
unwholesome pleasure,
 and drink its poisonous streams;
Direct my feet that I be not entangled
in Satan's secret snares,
nor fall into his hidden traps.
Defend me from assailing foes,
from evil circumstances,
from myself.

My adversaries are part and parcel of my nature;
They cling to me as my very skin;
I cannot escape their contact.
In my rising up and sitting down they
barnacle me;
They entice with constant baits;
My enemy is within the citadel;
Come with almighty power and cast him out,
pierce him to death,
and abolish in me every particle 
of carnal life this day.
(The Valley of Vision)

Thank You, Jesus, this day.
Protect and guide us on our way.
In the very name of Jesus,

Take time and give thanks today.

Be grateful in all things.

Trust in Him, He is good.

Always Experiencing Him,

Idols of the Heart Study

A sweet friend will be joining me at my home for tea and this Bible study beginning tomorrow morning, the 15th, at 10 am.  If anyone is interested, please email me for more information.  We would love to have you join us in, Idols of the Heart: Learning to Long for God Alone, by Elyse Fitzpatrick. 

Each week I will post something we have learned about the idols of our hearts, and the desire of longing for God alone.

"'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.'  This is the great and foremost commandment."  Matthew 22:37-38

Notice the words "all" and "and;" they are so very important for such little words, and packed with great meaning.

Here's a couple questions from the 1st chapter...

"Do I love Him with everything that I am, or are there other loves in my heart that clamor for my attention?"

"Do I worship additional gods, or is He always, and in every case, the supreme Ruler who receives my undivided passion and devotion.?"

"Idolatry lies at the heart of every besetting sin that we struggle with."

"Little children, guard yourselves from idols."  1 John 5:21

"God changes hearts."

Again, I would love to have you join us for tea and study.  Email or comment if interested. (faithfamily6@gmail.com)

Let's learn together how to displace the idols in our hearts with the Word of Truth, and enjoy the freedom of longing for God alone.

Always Experiencing Him,