Santa Claus is Coming To…Church?

img_0508Well, this morning was quite an adventure.  Last week, the congregation of my church was informed that a “special guest” would be in attendance this Sunday, and all the children would be upstairs.  I’ve never been at our church where it’s required for the kids to be upstairs…recommended, but not required.  Secondly, we don’t have “special guests” without knowing who they are ahead of time.

So, we came to church with all the children anticipating a guest. It was noisy and hectic, and there were so many kids! Another hint that this would be no ordinary service was that we started by singing Christmas carols…like, Jingle Bells and We Wish You a Merry Christmas.  I love Christmas carols as much as the next musical aficionado, but it was a different dynamic.

At about 11:15, we see our pastor nod to the back of the sanctuary…and in comes Old Saint Nick! That’s right; Santa Claus was our special guest!  He had all the children go up to the front, and he told them the story of the candy cane.

If you don’t know it, it’s about a candy maker who wanted a candy that truly represents Christmas.  The white of the candy symbolizes the virgin birth and the purity and sinless nature of Jesus.  The hardness of the candy is for the foundation of the Church and the solidity of the promises of God.  He shaped it into a “J” to represent the name of Jesus.  The red stripe is for the blood Jesus shed.

The kids were so attentive and quiet throughout this whole story.  Santa then presented them with candy canes and the story he told about the candy cane.  It was so cool to see them sit there and listen, even though it was “grown-up church.”

I can’t wait for Christmas and to celebrate the great gift God gave us. Merry Christmas, everyone! Remember what a truly amazing gift we were given so long ago, and I’ll be praying for you. God bless,

Paige

Luke 1:30-31: “But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.”

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FINALLY!

Welp, it’s finals week.  And it’s pretty crazy around campus.  Everyone is in the library, drinking Einstein’s coffee, hunched over their books and laptops trying to cram the last ounce of information into their already filled brains.  I’m pretty lucky this semester, with only three real finals in a few gen-eds.

I’m so glad it’s finally finals week! Five months of prepping for this last week of the semester where it comes down to one test.  I always remember when I take exams Philippians 4:13-“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I try to keep this in mind when the stress of studying, cramming, studying some more, freaking out about failing (which I know won’t happen).

This semester has been such a blessing to me through everything I’ve done.  I’m so glad I got to know the people I did, and I can’t wait to see what next semester has in store for me! Some goals I have for myself next semester:

  • Be more open. I want to be able to introduce myself to people who are in the same shoes I was in at the beginning of semester. I have a really hard time with that, which is kind of weird for people who know me to believe. But, I want to get to know so many more people next semester!
  • Read more consistently. I want to read the Bible cover to cover, and I’m half way there! I just want to push myself to read it more consistently everyday, along with other leisure reading materials.
  • Stop procrastinating! I seriously procrastinate so much. You wouldn’t believe it if you met me and read my essays and homework, but I procrastinate more than the rest of ’em.  I’m going to try to quit doing that!!!!

Well, good luck with finals, everyone! Keep cramming, and I’ll keep studying for those finals, too! God bless,

Paige

Exodus 15:2-“The LORD is my strength and my defense ; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.

Obeying Commands, Even If I Really Don’t Want To

ImageI’ve been reading through the book of Psalms lately, and have currently read chapter 119.  Today, I read Heth and Teth, and what really got me was verses 60, 68, 71, and 72.  This is about obeying the LORD’s commands and decrees, even if you don’t want to.  But, the amazing part is that we really do want to if we are true Christians.  I jump at the opportunity to follow God…well, maybe hop or shuffle, but follow nonetheless.  Let’s dissect these short verses, and talk about what they mean to me.

Verse 60: “I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands.”  I love this verse because he IMMEDIATELY wants to follow and obey God.  This is amazing to me that he wanted to get out of his rut and obey the LORD’s commands.

Verse 68: “You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees.”  This verse spoke to me because the author recognizes that God is good in everything, and he wants to be like Him.  We should all be longing to be like God, and for Him to teach us how to be good.

Verse 71: “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.” This is a great verse because the author recognizes that even though he went through turmoil and trials, it was good for him because then it taught him how good and true the LORD’s decrees are.  Sometimes, we get stuck in this rut that we can’t get out of without the help of God.

Verse 72: “The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.”  I like this verse, especially now that it is the Christmas season.  It’s saying that the Bible and the laws within it are much more important than any riches we could have.  So many people are obsessed with having the latest gadget or newest thing; we should really be searching and longing for the law from God.

Well, I kept it short and sweet for you tonight.  Keep obeying His commands, even when it is not what you want to do, and I’ll be striving for the exact same thing.  God bless,

Paige

Psalm 108:1, 3-“My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing and make music with all my soul…I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples.”