Archive for Christmas

The Christmas Story ~ Nativity

Posted in Christian, Christianity, holidays, Jesus, religion, scripture, thoughts with tags , , , , , , on December 25, 2009 by Tim R Wilson

For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government shall be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. – Isaiah 9:6

The Christmas Story
Luke 2:1-20

1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)

3 And everyone went to his own town to register.

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.

5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,

7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.

9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.

10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.

11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ [a] the Lord.

12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.

17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,

18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.

19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Do you have a nativity scene at your house?

It’s amazing how many of the images of Christmas come from the gospel of Luke. Without Luke we wouldn’t have much of a Christmas visually.

Luke gives us the warm coloring of Christmas. Mary and Joseph coming to Bethlehem, searching for a place and having to settle probably for a drafty cave. Because Jesus was born in a stable, Luke brings us all the animals that we have in a nativity scene, not to mention the shepherds and angels.

Luke is responsible for most of the Christmas carols that we sing—”Angels We Have Heard On High,” “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” “Away in a Manger,” “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” “While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night,” “Silent Night,” etc.

Merry Christmas everyone!

The Christmas Trees of Martha

Posted in holidays, humor, odds and ends with tags , , , , on December 25, 2009 by Tim R Wilson

These obviously aren’t your “traditional” Christmas trees! Brought to you by the creative mind of Martha Stewart, these trees are in a way beautiful and oh so chic.

The gold tree above is a great twist on the traditional fir, and really makes a statement. Now what that statement is …

I have to admit, I never thought of this …. A bonsai tree!  I my opinion anything looks good with glittery ornaments hanging in it. then as an added bonus … You get to keep it year ’round!

This one is my favorite!!! I have never seen a tinsel tree with rosette branch tips before, but apparently these were really popular back in the 60’s. Wish I could find one today!!!

Have a Merry christmas Everyone!!!

Christmas…Does it really matter?

Posted in Christian, odds and ends, religion, thoughts with tags , , , , , , on December 5, 2009 by Tim R Wilson

We are well into the season of hearing debates about Christmas. I just heard Dobson talking once again on the stores that support Christian efforts in keeping Christianity in Christmas, telling us which ones don’t. But here’s my dilemma. Christ never told us once, not once, to celebrate His birth. Christmas is a time of year that many people have made to be many things. Many Christians get upset with the commercialism (yet they buy into it also).

I see Christmas as a time for personal reflection, thankfulness to God for the birth of Christ. But how others celebrate it, seeing that we were never asked or told to celebrate it to begin with, shouldn’t that be personal decisions. I know many people who incorporate Santa into Christmas, as well recognizing the birth of Christ and appreciating it. It has come to be something that is no longer a “magical” time, but a rush here and there time, kids disappointed with gifts time, overspending money time.

I must be getting old, call me Scrooge I guess. I love to give, believe me. Just tired of getting lists of what I “should” buy someone. Kind of takes the gift out of giving.

I guess, besides my little rant, my questions remains. Why does the debate about Christmas being a religious holiday get so big, when in reality we were only told by Christ to celebrate His resurrection?

Going to the Outback …

Posted in Photography, thoughts with tags , , , on February 27, 2009 by Tim R Wilson

…. The Oregon Outback that is. On my recent vacation there was a brief bit of time between storms so I thought a trip to the Oregon desert in Lake County Oregon was in order!

 

 

 

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Fort Rock was once an island in a giant inland sea that covered the area, and the erosion you see in the photo below was from waves lapping the shore. This area was the site of a major archaeological discovery in Oregon — 9,000 year-old sage brush sandals. They were discovered in a nearby cave. The ancient volcanic formation is the shape of a crescent and a trail runs along the inside of the rim. I had the entire park to myself!

 

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Even cooler is Crack in the Ground, which is about 8 miles north of Christmas Valley (another place I’d never been). Crack in the Ground is a sheer, deep, narrow, half-mile-long fissure in the surrounding volcanic rock. At its deepest points, it’s maybe 60 feet deep, and it ranges from a few feet to about eight feet in width. You can hike through it if you’re willing to do some rock clambering … and I will be back!

Next … Lake Abert is located in Lake County Oregon, and lies at the foot of a beautiful stretch of rock known as Abert Rim, along Highway 395. It is just northeast of the small town of Valley Falls in the south central part of the state, covering a decent amount of space as seen on a state map. Lake Abert is a saltwater lake with the smell of sulphur fairly present in the air. Lake Abert was an interesting location, different from what I imagined I might discover … a more surreal experience with grey skies, heavy winds and maybe even gentle electric currents in the air.p2240062

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The pictures can’t bring the full essence of the area, but Abert Rim was majestic and huge… almost overwhelming. It was a fabulous day. Hope you enjoyed the trip!

A few more pictures are on my “other” blog:

http://thundercatt99.blogspot.com/

Christmas in January

Posted in Family, holidays, music with tags , , , , on January 10, 2009 by Tim R Wilson

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Today was the day of the long awaited Chiloquin Elementary School Christmas Pagent! Alas, last months was canceled because of blizzard conditions. Today however, was the day of the big performance … Here is my daughter Hannah (5th from the left) and the rest of Miss Henson’s Fourth grade class, kicking into a rousing number called “The Fruitcake Song.” The show must go on does it not!
 
Tim, the proud Dad after all ….

Merry Christmas Greeting

Posted in holidays with tags , , on December 25, 2008 by Tim R Wilson
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I Love Jaquie Lawson cards. Check this one out ….
 
 
Have a blessed warm Christmas full of Light and Love

Messy Christmas

Posted in Christianity, God, Jesus, religion, scripture, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , on December 25, 2008 by Tim R Wilson

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Jesus is many things to many people, but to John he was Light and Life. The apostle must have remembered where Jesus was standing and what he sounded like when he referred to himself by those words. Although nothing is written in his book, there is a little inkling of the birth to be found in John’s Gospel after all. It is wrapped up in one short sentence, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it”. This verse really should be read before Matthew and Luke. It prepares us to receive the full version of the story. The Light that is Jesus shines in, around, through, behind, beneath, beyond the darkness of the manger, the stable, the darkness of the world, the darkness of buried in our own hearts. Do we really understand it any more than the shepherds or the wise men did. Who can grasp the idea of Light and Life being contained in a body?
 
If you were a shepherd 2,000 years ago and were outside watching the sheep one night when an angel showed up with a message from God, well…what would you do? Once they got over the shock They probably thought, Oh, sheesh! What did we do now??? They had been told that God did not like people , sinners, who definitely are not all cleaned up, so they might have assumed the angel was there to tell them God was mad at them — or worse. Maybe God had finally reached his limit with all the crap in the world and was ready to do something about it — starting with them! But instead the angel began with these words: “Fear not.” It’s a familiar refrain, angels, who seemingly always having to preface their conversations with people this way. Then he told them how to find the long awaited Messiah:

He will be wrapped in rags, lying in a feed trough, surrounded by animals — kind of like one of your shepherd kids would be. In other words, here’s how you will know the Messiah when you see him: You will find him in the middle of a big stinkin’ mess!

The whole reason this is Good News — to the shepherds that night and to us right now — is that we really are all messy people. Every night, well dressed and manicured people appear on television and tell us how the world got a little messier today. We manage to mess up every single area of life: relationships, finances, work, family, the environment, the Church (especially there), our conscience, our habits … the list can go on and on. In fact there’s not a single place we haven’t managed to mangle … And we can’t seem to fix any of it!

So the angel says, “Here’s the Good News: God is not afraid of your mess.”

Say what??? Our God  doesn’t seem to care how messy our life is. It couldn’t be any messier than where He chose to come to earth. He was born in a mess — wrapped in rags, laid in a manger — and he died in a mess! And in between his first day and his last day, he mostly hung out with messy people, seeming even to prefer them! 

We make Christmas really pretty, with red velvet bows and evergreen branches and all that. But the real story of Christmas proves that you do not have to clean up for him. Cleanliness, it turns out, is far from godliness. If anything, it’s in the middle of our messiness that God shows up!  God is love and only love. In God there is no hatred, desire for revenge, or pleasure in seeing us punished. God wants to forgive, heal, restore, show us endless mercy, and see us come home.

Merry Christmas!!!