A King Upon the Field

Gerrit Van Honthorst ( 1592 – 1656)

A King Upon the Field

At last! At last! A king upon the field!

That lay four thousand years without her Sun,

And groaning bore the necessary days

Until her longed for Sovereign be revealed.

At hand! At hand! A kingdom is at hand!

For all who are as orphans in the world,

Now brought from east and west with such a call

Which powers of hell can never countermand.

Awake! Awake! O sleeper, to His light,

Your heart of stone turned flesh beats full of life,

Once dying yet now living bend the knee

And pledge your King your love, your life, your might.

                                                                                                              –Elizabeth Bridges Hiett

 “Angels We Have Heard on High (Christmas w/ 32 fingers and 8 thumbs) – OR “What happens when you leave 4 men together with a piano” :D

The 4th week of Advent is here! The 4th candle is known as the Angel Candle or the Love Candle. May God bless you with His joy as Christmas Day draws closer!

I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord” ~ Luke 2:10b-11

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” ~ John 3:16-17

Article: How To Make Gingerbread Cookies

‘Tis the season for all things yummy. Few things are more iconic to Christmas than gingerbread. It doesn’t take anything more than some dough, frosting and an assortment of candies to dazzle little eyes and gather young and old together to build or decorate all manner of fun shapes and structures.

Here’s to rejoicing in all the happy moments Christmas can bring!

How To Make Gingerbread Cookies

http://flip.it/R.HKuK

Walking Towards Sunday: My Favorite Advent Calendar <3

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Today’s December 1st and if you haven’t already bought an advent calendar, I just have to share my all-time favorite one with you! In fact, this advent calendar is so charming it’s worth having two! Kids will love it, but I suspect moms will be the ones playing on it most of the time 😉

My mother sent me one years ago and since then I have looked forward to getting these for myself 😉  …Oh, yes..and for my friends and family.

Every year, Jacquie Lawson creates an interactive and uber-charming Christmas wonderland. In her world there is something to explore, discover, learn, or create everyday of December. If you leave it open, this calendar will even serenade you with some classical Christmas music. 

Her attention to detail makes this calendar super-fun. The town clock is always set to the  time where you live and if the sun is down in your real world, it is in your advent world too! 

The link below will take you to her site’s webpage where you can see a demo of this year’s calendar, which has a Victorian theme. 

I just had to share this happy bit of Christmas-time that I love! 

Click here to preview! Advent Calendar

The Long Silence

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Silence can be more profound than words. It has a weight of its own. Silence, especially from a loved one, can become unbearable. It can accompany anticipation, precede disaster, or indicate rejection. Often, we don’t know what it portends.

The last words spoken between God and man before Christ’s coming are recorded in Malachi. The emotion of God seeps out in every verse, beginning with, “I have loved you.” (Malachi 1:1) Like a husband in pain, God recounts Israel’s unfaithfulness. The book almost reads like a cross-examination in court. The charges are simple and the proofs of unfaithfulness are easy to see. God’s final words are full of pathos:

4:1“For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. 2 But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. 3 And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the Lord of hosts.

4 “Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and rules[q] that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.

5 “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. 6 And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”

And then….silence.

For 400 years. No prophecy. No songs. No warnings. No words of love. For generations.

And then something happened, something so wonderful we celebrate it to this day. God spoke again–breaking the dark, long silence of an age. Like the sun rising over the horizon and shining on a frosty earth, angels came and told us everything was about to change. The advent of our Savior had arrived. EBH

The True Meaning and “Extra” Joy of Christmas: Matthew 1:21

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She will bear a son,
and you shall call His name Jesus,
for He will save His people from their sins.
Matthew 1:21

“for He will save His people from their sins.”

Note the specificity as it relates to Matthew’s Gospel as a whole. The angel gives 3 words to Joseph in v21: (1) She will bear a son, (2) you will call Him Jesus, and (3) He will save His people from their sins. V25 only gives the fulfillment of the first 2 – she did in fact give birth to a son and they did in fact call him Jesus. There is where ch1 stops, but thanks be to God that’s not where the Gospel stops – that’s not where Matthew stops. The final component, the final word from the angel is what we desperately need. So the rest of Matthew’s Gospel is essentially the unveiling of the historical events of Jesus saving His people from their sins.

Matthew tells us about the rest of His Incarnation, His perfect life, His crucifixion, and His resurrection – all part of the total work of redemption, salvation. That is, how Christ accomplished our salvation. But there’s more. There’s not only what Christ did to accomplish that work, but how that work is working itself out today.

Matthew doesn’t stop at the resurrection does he? Matthew concludes his Gospel with the Great Commission – Jesus telling His disciples, “Go into all the world and make disciples, baptizing them and teaching them all things and I promise I am with you until the end of the age.” The Great Commission tells us that God continues even today saving His people through Christ by sending His people in the name of Christ. That’s why in Matthew 24 Jesus says, “The Gospel of this kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world and then the end will come.” Now we see how Christology (Matt 1:21), missiology (Matt 28) and eschatology (Matt 24) all come together to fulfill one grand purpose – for He will save His people from their sins.
This is overflowing joy – all of this points to absolute certainty. Jesus will not fail in His mission. Jesus will not lose, not one single soul the Father has given Him. His purpose will be accomplished. For He WILL save His people from their sins! Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Wil Owens, Teaching Pastor