Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

The presents are wrapped and under the tree, the traditional family dinner of my childhood of hot dogs and potato salad is ready, the children are bursting with excitement, and we are about to turn off all phones, computers and other gadgets for the next 24 hours ~ which only means one thing: Christmas is here!!! YAY!!!





Our family has already been blessed so abundantly this year. When we think of blessings, we really do not mean the material things. God has promised to supply all of our needs, and truly, He has done all He promised, and so much more, all these years. This year, we have just been blessed above measure in the things money cannot buy, and those it can.



I think all of us would agree that our greatest blessing this year has been our new Christmas baby, Stephen.



While material gifts in and of themselves may seem something shallow to get excited about, to us they mean that someone thought of us, sacrificed of their time and resources for us, and allowed God to use them to bless us. The size of the gift has little bearing on our thankfulness for it ~ because we realize that ultimately God is the giver of them all, and that whatever human instruments he used gave sacrificially to their respective abilities.

For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living. - Mark 12:44
To those whom I cannot thank any other way but here: Many, many thanks to all of you who sent us cards, packages, gifts, or remembered us in their prayers. You have no idea what a blessing you were to us. We pray that God will bless you richly in return in every area of your life. Merry Christmas!!


 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (James 1:17)



11 comments:

  1. Have a wonderful Christmas with your family. I always enjoy looking at the photos of your beautiful, happy children. May God continue to bless you all in the coming year.

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  2. Your son is adorable!

    I just want to know how you will handle your children when they grow up? My parent's won't let me do anything even though I am grown. I can't leave due to obligations at home, but they can't seeem to understand I have dreams I want to fulfill.

    I have followed your blog for a while and think you are lovely. Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated.

    Merry Christmas!

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    1. With responsibility comes freedom. Freedom to make your own decisions in life, which hopefully, after being raised for 18+ years in a Christian home, should be based on the Bible.

      I do not think that young people should move out from home until they get married ("therefore shall a man leave father and mother and cleave unto his wife..."), and I also think that as long as children live at home, they are ultimately under their parents' authority. But like I said, hopefully by the time the child becomes an adult, they can be trusted to make the right decisions for themselves. I think the transition needs to be gradual. For example, I may send my 11-year old into the store with a short shopping list or take a deposit into the bank while I wait in the car with the baby, but I would not let the 8-year old do that.

      Ultimately, I believe that God will bless you regardless of your situation if you do right and live by the Bible.

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    2. What about people who remain single? God does choose some people to remain that way their entire lives. Do you believe that they should continue living at home their entire lives?

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  3. I really like those scarves, did you make them?

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    1. No, they were a gift. The lady who made them spun the yarn herself, and then crocheted them. The blue one was even dyed by her. They are super nice and soft!

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  4. I've only been reading your blog for only this year, so didn't see last year. Your family holding to biblical celebrations is part of why I read this blog. But Christmas trees are pagan, and now the birth of Jesus is used to sell stuff. Jesus has been commercialized with pagan symbols. I'm disappointed in this.

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    1. I'm not Zsuzsanna, and she might answer this differently, but many of our modern customs have pagan origins. That doesn't mean that we are pagan if we participate in those customs. The wedding ring and the wedding ceremony itself have pagan origins. Coins and dollar bills (US currency) have pagan designs on them, and even the days of the week and months of the year are named for pagan gods. Do you spend money and use a calendar? Does that mean you are condoning paganism? I know Christians who do not celebrate Christmas, or at least who do not have a Christmas tree or decorations in their home for the reasons you stated. I would never condemn them for not celebrating Christmas if that is their conviction, and I would hope they would not condemn me because I do celebrate Christmas. Jesus was probably not even born in December anyway, but it's still good to set aside a day to remember His birth. Christmas is also a good time to form family traditions that your children will never forget, and it's a good time to teach them that it is more blessed to give than to receive. I think Zsuzsanna's descriptions of her family's Christmas celebration are lovely, and I see nothing that would be displeasing to God.

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    2. Actually, Christmas trees came from German tradition. They aren't pagan. The winter solstice holiday is pagan and falls around Dec 25. Christmas, in the Christian sense, is not Biblical at all. I'm surprised Pastor Anderson hasn't done a deeper study on this. It was created by the corrupt catholic church to pull pagans away from their beliefs - just like Easter. The catholic church also corrupted the Bible by including Paul's letters, which are not scripture and that is what many churches focus on. The Torah is not erased - as many would have us believe. Jesus said he did not come to change the law but to fulfill it. We do the Christmas tree and presents in our house - but the birth of Christ is celebrated always, not because some corrupt church tells us to.

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  5. Zsuzsa, I was wondering how you would handle it if you found yourself in the position being unable to conceive after one child. I am hesitant to seek medical advice because I know I will be pushed toward Clomid, IVF, etc. I was wondering if you knew any natural ways that you would treat it.

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  6. What a lovely Christmas you, the pastor, and the children must have had! You have a beautiful tree and it must be easier to decorate with so many little hands! Stephen is growing so much, but I still want to eat him up! He's certainly brought out the 'mummy' in Miriam just as little Anna brought out the 'daddy' in Solomon! I just cannot get enough of the photographs of Miriam playing mummy to Stephen, what treasures you have in those children! Two questions: Do your children buy gifts for your other children? and does your family open the presents one at a time or just take hold of the presents and just rip away?

    You mentioned turning off the mobiles, computers, and other gadgets and I must tell you about my holiday, which, whilst it was a great pleasure and I enjoyed my stay immensely, a turn of events spoke deeply to me in illustrating something about which many you and I feel strongly: tightly controlling the television, electronics, computers, etc. to which children are exposed!

    I spent my Christmas holiday in a place that lost power the night of Christmas day. (Fortunately, they had a fireplace that provided enough warmth!) The family with which I stayed has two children, four and six-just-turned-seven. They are (bless their hearts) absolutely immersed in media--from computers to television and tinier televisions and video games of all sorts--the just turned seven year old even has an ipod! Although they had made quite a haul the day before (puppet stands with puppets, books, board games, puzzles, cars, dolls, new art supplies and I might mention playmates to play with!...) they whined from the beginning and throughout the power failure that there was 'nothing to do!'. I couldn't help but think of your anti-television stand and really realising the absolute junk that some parents are using to babysit their children. I just cannot agree with a four-year-old playing a computer game that involves shooting and a seven year old communicating with her parents just via ipod! I was just amazed--it was as if they had lost their imaginations and capacity for fun that didn't involve a machine! In fact, we taught them how to play board games (even the ones they had previously were still in their packaging! It would be like John and Becky never having played a board game!) And the little girl would only colour on her electronic colouring book, not real paper and crayons! (Of course, this didn't last long, as the battery went out and we convinced her of the fun of real crayons and paper!) It truly made me sad and sorry for them--and of course, I thought of you during this, in agreement that no or a very limited time on television and computers is certainly the way to go! You may publish my rant or not, but it really brought home to me the importance of play WITHOUT gadgets! Good for you, Zsuzsanna and everyone out there for raising your children with limited electronic interruptions!

    I'm glad you had a beautiful Christmas and may God bless you, Dad, and the seven,

    Mindy

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Your KINDLY WORDED, constructive comments are welcome, whether or not they express a differing opinion. All others will be deleted without second thought.