{N.E.C.} Hello, Royalty

When I first met them, N was three, E was two, and C was 6 months. C hung around on the floor, playing with toys and giggling at silly things his sisters did. N and E were busy getting to know their new babysitter and we maybe had a bit of a rough start, since it was really right after Christmas things started full steam. I would expect that! But as we got to know each other better, these were the greatest little girls to hang out with! We had fun coloring, telling stories, singing, going to the park (even in the snow), playing in the snow, reading books and all sorts of other things.

One past time that we did almost daily, and could take several hours, was making up “‘cary zoo ‘tories”. The main characters were Trainer Nora and Trainer Eliza, daughters of King Daddy and Queen Mommy. They protected the zoo animals (and the whole kingdom of the Land of Far Far Away!) from all the evil people who came to steal, kill and destroy. A few times we used all their building blocks and toy people to make castles with kings and queens and zoos. Then they would be destroyed by the bad guy (usually the Batman) and we would start over.

1NEC1When the Queen was chosen, E held her up and said, ‘Awww. She doesn’t have a hand. It was bit off.”1NEC2

PS – please don’t judge the names! The first time I told the story, I had no idea they would be so popular…

{Advent} The King of All Kings

The journey to a Promise of God seems to always take longer than we expect it to. And it probably almost always looks different than we expect. I wonder what was going through the heads of the Wise Men when they found out the Baby King wasn’t born in the palace in Jerusalem, and what they thought when they found out where he was living.

“The journey that had begun so many centuries before had led three Wise Men here. To a little town. To a little house. To a little child. To the King God had promised David all those years before. But this child was a new kind of king. Though he was the Prince of Heaven, he had become poor. Though he was the Mighty God, he had become a helpless baby. This King hadn’t come to be the boss. He had come to be a servant.”

The prophet Micah wrote it plainly:
It’s you, Bethlehem, in Judah’s land,
no longer bringing up the rear.
From you will come the leader
who will shepherd-rule my people, my Israel.

_MG_4727

Matthew 2

I am following my friend Amanda’s Advent Stitch-A-Long. You can find instructions for today’s ornament here. Prep instructions by Amanda are here.

The book used for the Advent reading is The Jesus Storybook Bible. You can find more information the book here or buy it on Amazon here.

{Advent} The Good Shepherd

This past month I got to work at the Minnesota Processing Center for Operation Christmas Child. Each morning is started with staff devotions. One day, Pastor Tomm talked about biographies. Pastor Tomm quoted Ernest Hemingway’s biography:

For sale: baby shoes, never used.

He also talked about King David’s 6-word bio:

A man after God’s own heart.

And asked if we could write a bio for ourselves in just six words. Pastor Tomm suggested ‘Once lost, now found. Eternally grateful.’ Some came up with amazing ones. I could not still can not. Well, maybe

Loves photography, nature, quiet, music. Happy.

What would your six-word biography be? How would you interpret Ernest Hemingway’s?

“Inside, my heart is very quiet.
As quiet as lying still in soft green grass
In a meadow
By a little stream.”

“So here is what you are to tell my servant David: The God-of-the-Angel-Armies has this word for you: I took you from the pasture, tagging along after sheep, and made you prince over my people Israel. I was with you everywhere you went and mowed your enemies down before you. Now I’m making you famous, to be ranked with the great names on earth. And I’m going to set aside a place for my people Israel and plant them there so they’ll have their own home and not be knocked around any more. Nor will evil men afflict you as they always have, even during the days I set judges over my people Israel. Finally, I’m going to give you peace from all your enemies.Furthermore, God has this message for you: God himself will build you a house! When your life is complete and you’re buried with your ancestors, then I’ll raise up your child, your own flesh and blood, to succeed you, and I’ll firmly establish his rule. He will build a house to honor me, and I will guarantee his kingdom’s rule permanently. I’ll be a father to him, and he’ll be a son to me. When he does wrong, I’ll discipline him in the usual ways, the pitfalls and obstacles of this mortal life. But I’ll never remove my gracious love from him, as I removed it from Saul, who preceded you and whom I most certainly did remove. Your family and your kingdom are permanently secured. I’m keeping my eye on them! And your royal throne will always be there, rock solid.”

_MG_4635Psalm 51, 2 Samuel 7, Psalm 23

I am following my friend Amanda’s Advent Stitch-A-Long. You can find instructions for today’s ornament here. Prep instructions by Amanda are here.

The book used for the Advent reading is The Jesus Storybook Bible. You can find more information the book here or buy it on Amazon here.