Tag Archives: Christmas

Photo of the Week: Forty Eight & Forty Nine

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It may not be the greatest photo, but it was such a fun night seeing “The Nutcracker” with my roommate and one of her brothers last week and uptown Charlotte was so festive that it’s joining the ranks of photo of the week anyway.

Merry Christmas!

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“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 (ESV)

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Glory to the Newborn King

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I love Christmas decorations in my home.

Even when the vision isn’t mine (my roommate, B, gets all the credit this year!), something about the lights and the extra specialness of it all reminds me…

to pause and reflect,

to slow down long enough to enjoy everything this season has to offer,

to find Peace in the inevitable crazy schedule,

to remember the ultimate Giver,

to seek His presence even when it feels like there’s just no time,

and to give glory to the newborn King.

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Hail, the heaven born Prince of Peace
Hail, the Son of Righteousness
Light and life to all He brings
Risen with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”

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*linking with The Nester’s 2012 Christmas Tour of Homes*

*and to see how we decorated the same space last year, check out this post*

There Are Just No Words

There are just no words

There are just no words.

I’ve written so many of them this weekend as my human and fallen mind has done its best to attempt to process such an unspeakable horror and tragedy. Yet through all the brokenness and the heartbreak and the tears shed, the words all come up short, hollow, empty.

This reality, this evil … it’s too overwhelming for words.

All that’s left is sitting with the suffering, sharing in the sorrow. Not in their physical midst, but with a prayerful heart that aches alongside.

There’s just nothing else to do.

Even precious promises on the pages of Scripture don’t seem to be enough.

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5

Oh, I have certainly turned towards them often over these past few days for reminders of absolute truth, for reminders of the Everlasting Father’s faithfulness, for reminders that this world is not the end, but still, all that’s left is sitting at the feet of Jesus, in His presence, knowing He hurts with us, knowing He hurt first.

“Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows…” Isaiah 53:4

And at His feet, there is mostly silent prayer, trusting that the Holy Spirit knows the words, because even these words brought before Him – a cry for His mercy, a plea for His peace and comfort on the community of Newtown, CT, a desperation for Him to come quickly – are inadequate. Even these cries are insufficient.

But I know that the inadequate and the insufficient can be laid on the all-sufficient One.

Lord, be our Emmanuel, God with us, with them, this night, this weekend, this life. Be the God of all Comfort, the Prince of Peace, the Light in this darkness, the Savior of the world. Heal us, restore us, draw us near. Wash over Newtown, CT with your overwhelming presence in their overwhelming grief.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

We stand in such desperate need of a Savior, of untold mercy. And this sin, this wrong, this evil can be overcome by none other than the Messiah Himself.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

When the weight of sin and the depravity of man are just too great, He is greater still.

As we prepare to celebrate the birth of this Savior, this Messiah, in the midst of our “How long, O Lord?” and “Come, Lord Jesus” pleas, we cling to Him with greater resolve, we hold fast to Him in greater desperation.

And we sit with the suffering, we share in the sorrow.

There are just no words, no answers, but one:

His name is Jesus.

“Freedom’s calling, chains are falling. Hope is dawning bright and true. Day is breaking, night is quaking. God is making all things new. Jesus Saves.”

– Jesus Saves (Travis Cottrell)

Photo of the Week: Forty Seven

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Another glimpse of Christmas decorations around here…

Somehow, there’s joy hidden in this photo of the week. I don’t know exactly where or why or how. But when I look at it, it makes me smile. Maybe it’s the color or the different perspective or just the opportunity it provides to pause and reflect.

But I know I need more of it. More joy. More peace. More reflection. More perspective. More truth. More of His presence.

“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 (ESV)

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*linking with Shannan for Money Shot Monday*

Photo of the Week: Forty Six

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A Christmas preview, of sorts, for this photo of the week.

It comes on the heels of a long, but beautiful first Sunday of December. Following the normal Sunday morning church routine (complete with a small class of 2-year-olds. love them.), I attended a performance of Handel’s Messiah Part 1 this afternoon (which, for the record, is my absolute favorite piece of music. ever. the entire oratorio.) and participated in the annual advent service at church this evening, which is always followed by the lighting of the massive Christmas tree that takes up residence in the main entrance.

Just lovely.

And such a great way to usher in this advent season when we celebrate and anticipate the birth of our Savior, the Messiah, Emmanuel, God with us.

I pray your Advent/Christmas season will be full of expectation and great joy!

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

Isaiah 7:14 (ESV)

The Miracle and Mystery of the Incarnation

It began well over a month ago with lyrics from a choral piece, “The Mind of Christ”, based on Philippians 2:5-11:

“He laid aside his crown, from glory He came down. Divinity within a human soul. God in the form of a man.”

Words that gripped my every emotion, words that prompted intense theological discourse within me, words that registered in the depths of my soul.

It came softly … yet it was all-consuming in the way that only Truth can be … until it overwhelmed every song, every Scripture, every message. It hasn’t been far from my mind ever since.

A recognition that this Truth should have even deeper roots, should be even more significant, should have an even greater impact on everyday life.

Then after reading this post written by Melissa with a translation of The Mystery of the Incarnation: A Scriptural Tapestry of Jesus as Man and God by Gregory of Nazianzus on the Living Proof Ministries Blog, the beauty and the weight of this Truth was fully exposed:

The miracle and the mystery of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ, the only Son of God (John 3:16) and God Himself (John 1:1), became incarnate man (John 1:14). The promised one (Matt. 1:22-23). Fully man, yet fully God.

Jesus Christ became man for us. To be Emmanuel, God with us. To be love in our hatred. To be light in our darkness. To be peace in our chaos. To be strength in our weakness. To be rest in our weariness. To be Savior in our sinfulness.

Jesus Christ became man in the form a baby, humbly born in Bethlehem. He grew and lived and walked among us, yet He was sinless … perfect and blameless … so that He could humbly and obediently approach the cross to be our Salvation.

And this Truth about the Incarnation, this gift of God becoming man in the person of Jesus Christ … for humanity, for us … though it seems to be most often remembered and most eagerly discussed at this time every year, it’s Truth eternal.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” – Isaiah 9:6 (ESV)

Let us worship Christ, the Lord! Merry Christmas!

This Photo

My Dad says I take too many photos of my feet. And he may be right. But hey, Jasmine Star (an amazing and well-known photographer) said just last week that as girls, “This is what we do.” So…

Regardless, I love this photo. Not because it’s technically perfect and not because it’s all that interesting and not even because of the fun Christmas bokeh.

I love this photo because it’s simple, quiet, peaceful. I love this photo because it’s warm and feels like home. I love this photo because it represents life right now.