Monday, December 28, 2009

Set Free

"Set Free”

When a baby bird is “Set Free“… from the safety of the nest
The whole world opens up for her… and life becomes a test

Will she survive the tumult… on a wild and blustery day?
When the winds are whipping fiercely… at her wings along the way?

When a child lets go of her mother’s hand… and tries to stand alone
She wants her independence …wants to try it on her own

The mother wants to see her stand… let go… and take some steps
But it’s very hard to free her…let her grow… and reach her depths

When the teacher sees her students… pass the tests and move along
There is a little sorrow… as she adds them to the throng

Her influence and teaching… goes with them throughout the years
Her hope is that they listened…and not just to their peers

It’s very hard… to set one free… and truly let them go
But if we try to hold them back …when will they ever grow?

The Lord does this for you and me… when he saves us from our sins
He lets us go… and lets us grow… and we face the howling winds

But even though we are “Set Free“… He’s never far away
Just like that mother who’s close behind… when her child is hard at play

The love our Savior has for us… as His dear little child
Is so much like a mother’s love…so warm, so deep, so mild

He does not try to smother us…but indeed He sets us free
So we can be the people… that He knows that we can be

“Set Free“… to do what’s right and good…“Set Free“… to run the race
“Set Free“…to stand against the foe…and look him in the face

“Set Free“…to read our Bibles…and to practice what’s inside
“Set Free”… to worship in our hearts…and let go of stubborn pride

And when we live in freedom… we MUST… set others free
To live their lives in Jesus… to be what they can be

I’m basking in the love of Christ… and… all… He’s… done… for… me
Oh what blessed peace it brings to us…when in Jesus we’re… “Set Free”

By Linda Hogeland December 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

From Christmas To The Cross

From Christmas To The Cross

This is really weird I know it… but what I have to say
Came to me while I laid in bed on this chilly winter day

I lay there in my cozy bed
As rhyming words dance through my head

Is this a poem or random thoughts??? I wonder as they dance
I close my eyes to blot them out, but through my mind they prance

I hear them too in rhyming prose and in my heart they sing
I rise and quickly jot them down to honor my dear King

Honor me they seemed to say and remember my dear Son
He is the babe on Christmas day that blessed us…everyone

He wasn’t just another child brought forth onto this earth
He is a Savior for all men…He came by virgin birth

A star announced His coming and the angels they did sing
The Shepherds saw this evidence and rushed off to greet their King

The manger scene was hushed and still as the shepherds came that day
They bow their hearts and bend their knees and quickly start to pray

How do we approach the manger? Does it make our hearts to sing?
As we bow before the baby and proclaim Him as our King

Or do we rush right past Him in the hurried Christmas dash?
To buy the useless presents and fill up the car with gas

We check off lists of groceries and we stand in lines and wait
But do we think of what it cost Him to walk through heaven’s gate?

He left the realms of glory and put on flesh as common man
To dwell with us and teach us things that only Jesus can

He grew in girth and wisdom… left childhood… became man
Taught in the streets… healed the sick… and saved men through His plan

He chose men as His disciples… did miracles before their eyes
Made the wine from water and raised the dead as mothers cried

Who is this man they wondered? Some “got it” some did not
They heard Him teach but didn’t heed the words that Jesus taught

Do we heed His precious words? Do we claim Him as our King?
If we do then let’s proclaim it and let the anthems ring

Let the songs spring forth in worship and the hands lift up in praise
Let’s make this Christmas special…honor Him with all our days

You see Christmas led to Easter…this is what it’s all about
The Bible tells the story and it leaves us without doubt

Of a truth He is our Savior…of a truth He is our King
Yet He laid His life down gladly…bore the cross…so we could sing

Sing… because our sin’s forgiven…nailed with Him upon that tree
Sing… ten thousand Hallelujahs…He arose for you and me

Who arose? That little baby… who in that manger lay!
Let’s proclaim it all this Christmas…and thank God for this display

This display of love and mercy…this display of God’s own plan
To restore a fallen people through a babe that became man

Not just any man… but The God-Man
God’s own son who came to die

He knows our desperation…and He hears our every cry
Just accept Him… He’s our present...It’s our past that made Him die

All those sins that He bore gladly… so that we could be set free
Are forgiven and forgotten…cast into the deepest sea

Yes ten thousand Hallelujahs…and then ten thousand more
Can’t express enough affection for what that baby bore!

So you see a little baby in the manger on that hay
But He also is a Savior who was born on Christmas Day!

By Linda Hogeland ~~~ December 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Six Word Saturday: Let The Christmas Wrapping Chaos Begin!

Six Word Saturday: Let The Christmas Wrapping Chaos Begin!!!

I have Christmas shopped online quite a lot this year, and as the boxes began arriving I stacked them in a spare bedroom. I knew I should get busy and wrap them when they arrived, but I just wasn't motivated. So the pile of boxes grew and grew.

Tomorrow we are having out of town guests overnight and so I knew I had to start wrapping those presents and get that room in order. I started yesterday and got quite a lot done, but the room is still in chaos and I am only about half way done!

When you have 11 grandkids there are quite a few presents to wrap. Yikes...I had better get off this computer and get going again.

Oh, and guess what? I found a couple of more pieces for my Nativity...a shepherd and a donkey! I am excited!!!

This guy in red is My Santa! ((smile))

Have a good Saturday!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Nativity

I just got the beginnings of a new Nativity set. I haven't been able to find the shepherds, sheep, donkey and other animals that go with it...or the wise men. But I have been looking online, and I hope I will find the additional pieces somewhere. But if I can't, that's ok. I have "The Most Important" part right? Mary, Joseph and the baby JESUS!

I don't know why I have never really had a nativity set. I have always wanted a nice one, but just never bought one. It seems there was always so much to buy at Christmas...and I just kept telling myself I would have one..."someday".
Someday seems to never come... unless you "Just Do It". (Nike's slogan) ((smile))

This year I have been thinking so much of the first Noel. That blessed first Christmas. Emmanuel...God with us! Isn't it amazing that the "King Of Kings" would put on flesh and dwell among us?!? If you are a mother, you know that mothers dream about their babies and wonder what they will be like. Can you even imagine what Mary was pondering in her heart? Knowing that she was carrying the Son of God?!?!
And then actually looking into the face of God when her baby Jesus was born, and kissing Him? WOW!

I love the song "Mary Did You Know?" I haven't heard it yet this season. I will have to go and get one of my cd's out and listen to it...because it touches my heart every single time I hear it!

And how about this wonderful man Joseph...imagine what he felt as he helped care for this special gift. He was a willing servant just as Mary was. They were entrusted with raising the Savior of the World. The grace of God was sufficient for their mission. It is an amazing story and one that I never tire of hearing.

May we all pause at this busy time of year and stop and thank the Father for the wonderful gift of His Son.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Looking At Christmas Through The Eyes Of A Child

Looking At Christmas Through The Eyes Of A Child

Standing at the bottom of a tall and looming tree
A little child looks upward at the star and thinks of Thee

It reminds him of the story that he heard in church that day
Of the shepherds who were guided by the star that led the way

Led the way to baby Jesus who lay resting in the hay
Who was indeed the “King of Kings” born that Christmas day

Lord if we could only see things through the eyes of a little child
If only we could kneel and pray with hearts so very mild

A child’s eyes hold such hope in them, such wonder and such awe
When was the last time that I looked and saw what this child saw?

The ornaments that sparkle much like the star above
Speak right to a child’s heart and reminds him of your love

But me, I look right past them and I often do not see
The meaning behind Christmas or the legend of the tree

The tree points up towards heaven giving glory to the son
Who left all heaven’s splendor to become this little one

Yes that was you almighty God who came that Christmas day
The one who would grow up to die and take our sins away

And then you gained the victory over death and rose again
So that we could have new life on earth and eternity in heaven

The gifts that lay beneath the tree make the child feel loved
But we grumble as we wrap them thinking of all the hubbub

We think of all they cost us as we shopped and picked each one
But your gift cost you plenty as you gave your only son

A child has expectations and can’t wait for Christmas day
He sings the Christmas Carols as he skips along at play

But our hearts they aren’t so tender and our heads are filled with lists
All the things we must get purchased with the money in our fists

Lord please help us to remember why we celebrate this day
Help us to see things as a child and rejoice along the way

Yes Christmas through the eyes of a child is a very precious thing
I want to be more child like as I welcome Heaven’s King!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

Well I have been wanting to get my tree up for several days now, but I just didn't find the energy until today...December 1st...but now it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas at our house!

I put in some Christmas CD's, lit the fireplace and drank some hot cider as I sorted through the boxes of ornaments and decided which ones I wanted to use this year.

It was a long process. It seems that the older I get, EVERYTHING is a long process!
But it does look festive and has put me in the mood to wrap some gifts and write some Christmas Cards.

To me it just doesn't seem like Christmas without sending and receiving cards. That's because when I was a little girl I would always enjoy helping my mom with the Christmas Cards. Then we'd lick all those stamps and envelopes and take our stacks of cards to the post office and mail them.

But the best part for me was getting the mail everyday during the Christmas Season and opening the cards that people sent to our family, and reading the notes and letters inside, and going through the pictures that people would send us. Then we would string the cards around the doorways and across the windows on ribbon.

I loved the variety of cards we would receive with pictures of snow and Santa Claus and his sleigh, and Rudolph...or the ones of children playing in the snow and building snowmen. I loved the Nativity scenes with the manger and baby Jesus with the big Star hanging in the sky above. And the Shepherds too....and the Three Wise Men bringing their gifts to the Savior. All of the Christmas scenes would give me warm fuzzies and such happy feelings. And my momma enjoyed them just as much as I did.

Since I have been married and had kids of my own I have always done Christmas Cards. However in recent years we have lost our granddaughter, John's parents and his sister, and my sister, several friends and other family members, so during some of those times of grief we missed a year here and there. This year I am glad to say that we are resuming the life long tradition. I used to always write handwritten notes in each card, but now I type a Christmas letter and print copies of it to put inside each card. I didn't use to like form letters, but it does save a lot of time...and it helps me not to get writers cramp! (:>)

In this fast paced life of email, and cell phones and texting, and facebook... and with the ever increasing postage prices, some people don't use "snail mail" as much
as they used to, but I say it is so worth it to evoke the happy childhood memories from my Childhood Christmases.

Do any of you enjoy Christmas cards as much as I do? To me it is just as important as singing Christmas Carols,...or watching Christmas movies.

Well I have stayed up way too late, so I had better call it a night and go on to bed. I just wanted to include a few pictures and maybe cause some of you that haven't put the tree up yet to pull it out and get started. Christmas will be here before we know it...and I think we need to enjoy every minute of it.

Good Night! God Bless You My Bloggy Friends!