This blog is named after my dog, Dino the wonder dog. Other than that, this blog doesn’t have a lot to do with him, except that some days, when I am just too busy or too tired or have a migraine, I let Dino write my blog for me. On days when he has not taken over the computer, I write about my life – the past, the present and the future - my travels far and near and my home. I would love it if you would follow along.
As the angel
choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. “Let’s get over to
Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us.”
running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing
was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this
child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed. Luke 2:15-18
The shepherds were used to staying up all night
watching their sheep. But that doesn’t mean that they didn’t get tired and
bored. The message from the angels had to have startled them wide awake. They
were maybe even pleased to have a little excitement, a change of pace. Perhaps
they looked at each other, shrugged and said, “We better check this out.” So
they left their sheep to fend for themselves and headed into town.
When the shepherds saw the baby, they knew the angel
was right; this wasn’t just any baby. This little boy was special and would
grow up to save us all.
did the sheepherders know, just by looking at this newborn, that He had come to
save them? Had the angels’ message been that convincing? Perhaps. But more
likely, the Holy Spirit came into their hearts and minds and showed them the
you ever had a moment where things suddenly came clear to you? Maybe you were
unsure of something, and without explanation, you suddenly understood? Perhaps
God’s Holy Spirit revealed the truth to you.
went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David’s town,
for the census. As a descendent of David, he had to go there. He went with
Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant.
The people in
Bible times placed much importance on their family line, and they were expected
to return to their ancestors' hometowns for the census. Various characters
throughout the Bible have whole lists written of their descendants. It would
only make sense to them that if they were all going to be counted, they would
go to the hometowns of their ancestors.
Looking on a
map, Nazareth appears to be fairly close to Bethlehem, approximately ninety
miles away. It would’ve taken them at least several days to walk that distance,
especially with Mary being pregnant. We picture Mary riding a donkey with
Joseph walking beside her. There’s no mention in the Bible, however, that she
rode a donkey. Since they were relatively poor, it is possible that she walked
right along with Joseph.
When we take a trip somewhere, we make plans. We study
a map and pack our bags. Things were different in Jesus’ time. There was no
GPS, no triple A, and no spacious SUV. The donkey might have been their only
luxury. Maybe. If they had a donkey. Imagine taking a week-long trip without
any of the comforts we are used to. Now, imagine being pregnant besides.
(From "The Christmas Story in 40 Days", published by Life Sentence Publishing, 2013)
This month's challenge from the personal photo challenge blog is Christmas Scenes. Maybe not the most original theme for December, but certainly a fun one.
It was hard to pick just a few photos from my archives, but I finally whittled it down to these three.
This beautiful figurine was up at our church a few years ago. I remember asking someone where it came from, but I can't remember what the answer was. For me, it captures so much of the first of Christmas.
I took this at church the same year.
I know. I kind of changed gears in a hurry, didn't I? For many years the hubby has dressed up as Santa. He had some Santa-gigs for a few years, and when that dried up - well - I couldn't get him to stop growing that beard and donning the red suit. In this picture, I had to touch up his beard with white hair paint, but each year his beard has come in with more white. This year, I don't think it will need any help. I will share pictures after his big day.
Isn't the expression on his face priceless? Or something?
Over the weekend, I dragged the totes full of Christmas decorations upstairs. And that's all the further I got. I thought that maybe if I looked back over some of the pictures from past Christmases, I would get inspired to start decorating. Hasn't worked yet. I'm thinking more like I should just blow these pictures up and set them around the house! Think anyone would notice that the stuff isn't real?
Peanuts all over the piano.
Those animated snowmen from the Hallmark store. It is double-duty when I put them out, as I have to find batteries for them as well.
One shelf for penguins and one for snowglobes.
And two whole shelves for the Snowmen.
And this isn't even all of it. There is the wall full of stockings and the mantel for the real stockings. The random stuff I hang on the dining room wall. Don't even get me started on the tree - I hate the tree. And I totally forgot the table full of Nativities!
I guess it will still be "bah-humbug" for a few more days.
In the sixth
month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to the Galilean
village of Nazareth to a virgin engaged to be married to a man descended from
David. His name was Joseph, and the virgin’s name, Mary. Luke 1:26-27
What do we know about Joseph and Mary? Tradition tells
us that Mary was young, a teen-ager, possibly as young as fourteen. Joseph was
older, maybe thirty years old or more. That was a common age spread for the
time. We have a hard time putting that into our modern view of marriage. In
addition, this was most likely an arranged marriage. Mary and Joseph probably
knew each other through family ties, but they had never dated, as couples would
today. They almost certainly hadn’t spent any time alone together.
But at that time, being engaged was the same as being
married. It was a lifelong commitment which could only be legally broken by a
divorce or death. The one difference between engagement and marriage at that
time was that the couple was not yet living together.
different marriage during biblical times seems to us. However, there are places
in the world today where such traditions are still practiced.
you are married, how long did you know your spouse before you were engaged? If
you are single, how long do you think you should know someone before talking
about marriage? And would any one of us not want to know our spouse until our
wedding day? What does this tell us about God's definition of love compared
with how the world views love?