Tag Archives: Christmas devotional

Digital Clip Art Link Now Available

We have now disabled our own store and linked this site up to our complete storefront at Aimee Asher Elite.  If you look to the right you’ll see “Browse Digital products”  When you click on that link it will open my store in AAE here in my blog.  Be patient, it may take a few seconds, but you’ll be able to scroll through all 15 pages of digital clip art that is currently available, with more coming weekly.

In addition, on the left side column under the “Zazzle Store” products, you’ll see “New Products” previews.

To purchase any of the clip art, you will need to become a member at Aimee Asher and log in.  There are lots of other wonderful artists there, so go take a peek and enjoy!

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The Christmas Story #9

THE CHRISTMAS STORY: Luke 2:35-40
The Prophecy of Anna

36 Anna, a prophet, was also there in the Temple. She was the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher, and was very old. She was a widow, for her husband had died when they had been married only seven years. 37 She was now eighty-four years old. She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer. 38 She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about Jesus to everyone who had been waiting for the promised King to come and deliver Jerusalem.

39 When Jesus’ parents had fulfilled all the requirements of the law of the Lord, they returned home to Nazareth in Galilee. 40 There the child grew up healthy and strong. He was filled with wisdom beyond his years, and God placed his special favor upon him. NLT

This concludes the Christmas story in Luke, next I’ll go to the gospel of Matthew which tells a few different details.

THE CHRISTMAS STORY FROM MATTHEW:  Matt 1:17-21

17 Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ.

18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”-which means, “God with us.”

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus. NIV

COMMENTS:  In Israel, there was a betrothal period of about 1 year.  During that betrothal period, they were actually considered married and would actually have to divorce if they parted ways, but had not yet consummated their marriage nor did they live together.  This is was is described in the book of Mark.  To have been “found with child” would have meant that she was unfaithful to Joseph since he had been a righteous man and knew he had not touched her.  What an amazing man, that he believed what the angel told him and trusted in his betrothed.

For the rest of their life there would be rumors and snickers behind their backs — but Joseph fulfilled the role God had prepared for him and became the adoptive father to Jesus.  Are you willing to do and be what ever God calls you to be, no matter how the rest of the world sees you?  Are you willing to obey God first and worry about man’s opinions a lot less?

PRAYER:  Lord, Joseph was such a godly man that he stood by Mary when the rest of the world was turning their backs on her.  He obeyed you even when it hurt his reputation to do so.  Help me to seek your favor and be more concerned with what you think than what the world thinks about me.  Help me to be as faithful to you as Mary and Joseph were.  Help me be willing to be used by your spirit wherever and however you think best.  AMEN

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Christmas Story #8 (Playing Catch Up!)

Having my grandson here has been totally awesome — but not very productive for working, LOL!  I guess that isn’t the priority though is it?!  He took his very first steps here this morning and is a total joy as a baby.  One of those super easy ones that lure you to #2 and TROUBLE!!!!

It’s really precious to have a baby around the Christmas season.  It helps me to visualize and think about the amazing story that is The Christ Child.

THE CHRISTMAS STORY: Luke 2:21-35
21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived.

22 When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23(as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”

The Prophecy of Simeon

25 Now there was a man named Simeon who lived in Jerusalem. He was a righteous man and very devout. He was filled with the Holy Spirit, and he eagerly expected the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. 26 The Holy Spirit had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, 28 Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying,

29 “Lord, now I can die in peace!
As you promised me,
30 I have seen the Savior
31 you have given to all people.
32 He is a light to reveal God to the nations,
and he is the glory of your people Israel!”

33 Joseph and Mary were amazed at what was being said about Jesus. 34 Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, “This child will be rejected by many in Israel, and it will be their undoing. But he will be the greatest joy to many others. 35 Thus, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.” NLT

COMMENTS:  Simeon lived his life in anticipation of seeing God’s word made manifest.  He lived in search of God’s promises and developed such an intimate relationship with Him that God spoke to his heart.  God’s promise, Jesus, was being carried all throughout the temple in his mother’s arms.  There were probably thousands of people that saw him — but they didn’t have eyes to see the things of God.  Do you?  Do you look for what God is doing all around you?  If not, what amazing things might be lurking right there in front of you?  God still speaks to our hearts today.  He’s just as active in our world in 2008 as he was in 0 AD!  He’s still looking for hearts that are atuned to him and are hungry to know and experience his love.

PRAYER:  Lord, I see a story like Simeon’s and think, “Well he was a special man.”  But you see me and think that I’m a special person too.  Help me to realize that you’re just as capable of using me as anyone else — as long as I am seeking you and learning to hear your voice.  Help me focus on what (and who) is important!  Help me to see the miraculous that is happening all around me and help me to be a part of what you are longing to do in my community.  AMEN

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The Christmas Story #7

If you were following the link for the freebie it’s on the post below this one.  We’re reading the Christmas Story together to keep our focus for Christmas you’re welcome to join along or skip down a post for the giftie.

THE CHRISTMAS STORY: Luke 2:13-20
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.
NIV

COMMENTS:  Can you just imagine this scene?  Stop for a moment and just imagine the sky filled with the glowing light of the heavenly angels singing in what must have been an unearthly and beautiful sound.  These angels weren’t little babies with harps or feminine wispy things like we tend to draw and portray them, they were mighty, powerful, huge and awesome creatures who’s sole existence was to glorify God.

What must the shepherds have thought?  They were so excited and filled with joy they had to run and tell people!  They went and saw the child with their own eyes and then told everyone they met that Christ the Savior was born.  This is the whole purpose of Christmas.  Are you excited that Christ was born?  Do you know that he was born for you and me?  Does that bring as much joy to your heart as to those simple shepherds 2,000 years ago?!  Then SING!!!!  Rejoice!  Glorify God!  These are the best presents we can give Him during this Christmas season.  Fill your home with hymns and SING!!!!  Even if you squawk a rather unmelodious song, God loves to hear our praises and delights in us even as we delight in hearing little children sing (he doesn’t need professional quality, just heart)

PRAYER:  Lord, Oh how I wish I could be transported to that night in the hills of Bethlehem.  What magnificent sights and sounds were brought forth to announce the birth of MY SAVIOUR.  I so rejoice that you loved me enough to send Jesus to live a sinless life and be the sacrifice necessary for MY SINS.  Wow!  When I stop to think of it it overwhelms me.  Help me to sing with joy this season and to contemplate the reason for the season with every activity I do.

And Lord, tell Deb that we’re singing with her as she sits by your side and sings her wonderfully healed lungs out!  AMEN

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The Christmas Story #6

THE CHRISTMAS STORY:  Luke 2:1-12
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.
That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terribly frightened, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news of great joy for everyone! 11 The Savior–yes, the Messiah, the Lord–has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And this is how you will recognize him: You will find a baby lying in a manger, wrapped snugly in strips of cloth!”   NLT

COMMENTS:  God absolutely loves the little guy.  God loves the simple person that faithfully serves Him.  He didn’t appear to Caesar or to the Sanhedrin.  He didn’t appear to the wealthy, but to those simple shephers in the field.  Shepherds were looked down upon in their world, but not in God’s eyes.

Jesus could have been born in a palace, but he chose to be born in the lowliest of circumstances, to humble and godly parents.  God cares just as much about using those of us who lead the lowliest and simplest of lives even today.  He loves to use the teacher in the classroom, the sales clerk at the store, the housekeeper, the gardener, the plumber and the stay-at-home mother.  The world may not honor the simple but God always has.  Give him your simple place in life and ask Him to use it — to use YOU to touch and change the world.  No prayer would make Him happier!

PRAYER:  Lord, this story is so amazing when you consider how you reached out to the simple and became one among them.  I lead a simple life.  So many days I can’t imagine how you could really do anything with me and my simple world, but I ask you to do so.  Show me new ways you would like to show your Love and shine your glory in the dark and often cold world I am a part of. Enlarge my vision.  Shine your light on my path so that I can find your will and your plan for my life.  AMEN

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Contemporary Classic Christmas and Christmas Reading #4

LINK TO CONTEMPORARY CLASSIC CHRISTMAS IN STORE

Just a reminder that there are a lot of Christmas digital clip art, crafting, card making and paper pack kits available in the store and all of them are on sale only through December 15th, 2008!

THE CHRISTMAS STORY: Luke 1:38-56
Mary Visits Elizabeth

39 A few days later Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the town 40 where Zechariah lived. She entered the house and greeted Elizabeth. 41 At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

42 Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “You are blessed by God above all other women, and your child is blessed. 43 What an honor this is, that the mother of my Lord should visit me! 44 When you came in and greeted me, my baby jumped for joy the instant I heard your voice! 45 You are blessed, because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.”

The Magnificat: Mary’s Song of Praise
46 Mary responded, “Oh, how I praise the Lord.  47 How I rejoice in God my Savior!  48 For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and now generation after generation will call me blessed.  49 For he, the Mighty One, is holy, and he has done great things for me. 50 His mercy goes on from generation to generation, to all who fear him.  51 His mighty arm does tremendous things!  How he scatters the proud and haughty ones!  52 He has taken princes from their thrones and exalted the lowly.  53 He has satisfied the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away with empty hands.  54 And how he has helped his servant Israel!  He has not forgotten his promise to be merciful.  55 For he promised our ancestors–Abraham and his children–
to be merciful to them forever.”

56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back to her own home.  NLT

COMMENTS:  Can you imagine how encouraging this must have been for Mary?  A girl in a condition of great “shame” to those not understanding what had happened, visits her aunt who without being told a thing CONFIRMS exactly what the angel of God had told Mary.  It was no small thing to be found pregnant without being married in the time and culture.  This was to be a “shame” Mary would be subject to in many eyes for the rest of her life — but within her family they accepted, embraced and affirmed her.  They recognized what God had done and encouraged her faith.  This is an important role for us to play in each other’s lives as family!

PRAYER:  Lord, what a beautiful thing it was that you spoke to Mary’s heart through the prophet utterance of her Aunt.  You confirmed the very things that You had told Mary and encouraged her in what was a very difficult time for Mary in so many ways.  Help me to be encouraging to my family members in any way I can.  Speak through me that which will encourage each heart, build faith and express unconditional love to each member of my family.  Where relationships are difficult give me the grace and strength to lead toward reconciliation and restoration.  Where they are wonderful, continue to built them year-by-year.  Bless my family through me.   AMEN

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