Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Christmas is over and tomorrow begins 2011. It is hard to believe how fast time goes by. Taking a look back over 2010 I see many changes in our lives. Some good and some not so good. Each New Years eve you hear of people coming up with New Year resolutions. Some people will vow to lose weight, work harder, get a promotion at work, take vacations with their families, pay off bills etc. Most of the resolutions are all about me, me, me. Yet as Christians it is not about us. It is about Christ. We are here not for our own benefit but to be a servant of Christ. He has a prepared work for us to do. He has told us [19] Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, [20] teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:19-20 ESV).

My New Years Resolution is to spend more time in God's Word, to set my mind on the things of the spirit not on things of the flesh and to be a godly wife and mother. These things I can not do on my own for I am a wretched sinner. There fore I ask my Heavenly Father to help me. I trust in Him for all things!

[5] For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. [6] For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. [7] For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. [8] Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
[9] You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. [10] But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. [11] If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
(Romans 8:5-11 ESV)

What are your New Year Resolutions?
Sing Praises to Your King!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Advent 27

Church, Church and More Church.

How many of you attend all of the Christmas services offered by your church? How many of you only pick one to attend? How many find them to be an inconvenience and a disruption to your Holiday Celebrations? This year we have the privilege of attending worship services on Christmas eve, Christmas day and Sunday. Yippee! I love going to church to worship my King. Some churches even offer two different Christmas eve services. One of them is the children's service and the other a candlelight service. Yesterday I talked about the thinking of I get to verses I have to.
This year I want you to help encourage your family to find the joy in attending church every
opportunity we get. Instead of telling them that we have to go to church because it is Christmas. Try saying we get to go to church to worship our King. I think you will discover a change in their attitudes. Many people (where Christianity is against the law) would love to have the opportunity to attend church for three days in a row.

Sing Praises to Your King!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Advent 26

At what point in our lives did I Get To turn in to I Have To. There are two very different emotional responses to those two words. I get to seems to bring excitement. For example I get to go to Disney World. While I have to brings a sense of dread. I have to do the dishes. As I recall many Face Book posts from friends and family this Christmas season I saw a shift in there posts. Many started out with I get to (decorate the tree, buy gifts, bake cookies) but now those same posts are being switched to I have to finish (baking, buying, warping, packing.) If you are one who has noticed this switch I urge you to step back and take a look at why you are doing all these things. Is it because you have to do them? Will the world as you know it come to an end if it doesn't get done? Or will you be disappointed? So often we have a picture in our minds of what we want Christmas to look like in our homes. Now let us dig into Gods word and see what his desire for you is.
A joyful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
(Proverbs 17:21; Proverbs 17:22 ESV)

God's true desire for us is that we poses a joyful heart. Did you know that the word Joy is found 167 times in Gods Word? Take some time by your self today and do a word study in Gods Word about being joyful. Ask God to help you find Joy in those tasks that have seemed to switched from I get to to I have to. Make a list of things to be done and prioritize them. When you get the bottom of the list cross some of them off. If the cards do not get sent life will still go on. If you do not have 10 different kinds of cookies to serve life will still go on, If the kids only have a single present under the tree instead of 5 life will still go on. In the end these things are not as important as we make them. The one important things is that God sent his Son as a baby to be the perfect sacrifice for our sins.

God's Blessings as you finish your Christmas preparations.

Sing Praises to Your King!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Advent 24 & 25 Our Christmas Letter

Dear Friends And Family

Every year we take the time and effort to share all of the important events that have happened in our lives over the past year. This year I have decided to highlight the most important event that has occurred thorough out all generations. For, without this special event, our lives here on earth would be meaningless and without hope. So please gather your family around your feet and read the account of the best present ever given. May God bless each of you this Christmas as you make Christ the center your celebration.

With Love,

The Suttons

Luke 2 The Birth of Jesus

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[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their 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 guest room available for them.

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those 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.

21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

Now that we have celebrated this awesome gift let us also remember Christ’s death and resurrection which has made us pure in Gods eyes. Christ laid down his life for each of us. No one took it from Him! In this we can be assured of eternal life in Heaven.

Sing Praises to Your King!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Advent 21-23

For the past few days we have been preparing to share the True meaning of Christmas with our congregation. The children have all worked very hard to memorize their parts and learn the songs for the Children's Christmas Service. This year I decided to keep it simple and use the program already written many years ago from Luke 2. I had a few teens do the narration and the children dressed in costume spoke at the appropriate places according to the Word. It is amazing how the simple spoken Word from the children can leave such an impression with the adults of the congregation. I was very proud that the children who needed to have their parts memorized completed that task almost effortlessly. Gods word is now embedded in their hearts and minds and now no one can ever take it away from them. I pray that each of them will remember the true meaning of Christmas as they sit around their tables full of food and as they open the presents that are under their tree.

Jesus who was/is fully God and fully man came to earth as the perfect sacrificial lamb for our sins so that those who believe will be blameless in the sight of the Lord. Eternal life is awaiting us all but only those who believe will be rejoicing in Heaven.

Sing Praises to Your King!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Advent19 & 20

Have you ever thought of how many names there are for God? In my study from Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible by Liz Curtis Higgs we are asked to try and come up with a list of names from A-Z for God. Here is my list along with the Bible References. Can you think of any others? List them your favorites in the comments section along with the corresponding bible verse.

  • Alpha.......Revelations 22:13
  • Branch.......Jeremiah 33:15
  • Creator......1 Peter 4:19
  • Deliver....... Romans 11:26
  • Everlasting Father.......Isaiah 9:6
  • Foundation.......1 Cor. 15:20-23
  • Good Shepherd.......John 10:11
  • Holy Spirit......John 15:26
  • I am..... Exodus 3:15 & John 8:58
  • Jesus.....Matthew 1:21
  • King.....Zechariah 9:9
  • Lord.....John 13:13
  • Master.....Luke 5:5
  • Nazarene.....Matthew 2:23
  • Omega..... Revelation 22:13
  • Prince of Peace..... Isaiah 9:6
  • Quickening Spirit.....1 Corinthians 15:45 (KJV)
  • Redeemer.....Job 19:25
  • Shield..... Genesis 15:1
  • Truth..... John 14:6
  • Unchanging.....Hebrew 13:8
  • Vine..... John 15:5
  • Way..... John 14:6
  • eXcellent.....Psalm148:13 (KJV)
  • Yahweh (No actual bible verse found in current translations but it came from the Hebrew language.)
  • Zion's Cornerstone.....(Isaiah 28:16)
Many of the references were found at this website.

Come Lord Jesus Come
Sing Praises to Your King!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Advent 18 Wise Men, Magi or Kings?

Today instead of writing to you I would like to share a link to Answers in Genesis that Discusses the Wise Men, Magi or Kings. What does the bible say about them and what has man assumed about them.
I hope you find this interesting.

Sing Praises to Your King!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Advent 17

I always enjoy decorating cookies with lots of help.

So this year I had Ansir invite some friends over to help decorate. They do a nice job and have a fun time while they are at it. I play some soft Christmas music in the background. These friends know that we are Christians and that we celebrate the True Christmas. When we decorate cookies we try to stay away from the secular shapes like Santa, presents, reindeer etc. But rather we decorate angels, camels, stars, snow men, Christmas trees and bells I did notice that we did decorate a few stockings while we were at it but in general we try to keep it with the true meaning. Each of the boys got to take home a bag of cookies along with memories of a fun afternoon.

Sing Praises to Your King!

Advent 16 Church or Entertainment?

Today when you walk in your church what do you notice? Do you see two large screens? A large band off to the side or right out front and center? Does your pastor use extravagant means to keep your attention? Many of todays churches have all of the things or more. So what would happen if they all disappeared and you arrived at church to see people with their bibles in their laps and a pastor leading them in study. Now I do not mean a short 5-15 min sermon but a 2-6 hour study? Would you stay or would you leave? Then my next question would be why?

In our churches we bicker about how fancy our sanctuary is and spend lots of money for fancy sounds systems. Pretty bulletins, nice banners, cushioned seats etc. While in many countries people travel miles by foot or on bicycle to attend a worship time that is considered illegal. If found out they could loose their lively hood, families and even their lives. They meet often in a secret location arriving a different times as to nor arouse suspicion and in a room with little furniture and very little lighting. Yet they come by the droves with their bibles to soak in every bit of study they can. They will sit for hours with out complaining and ask to come back again day after day. We often get frustrated when sermons surpass their allotted 15min time slot. Have we become complacent in our worship? Do we go to church just to say we did, to be entertained or for the socialization? Are worldly things invading our worship? Are we hungry for Gods Word?

I got some of the information for this post from the book Radical by David Platt

Sing Praises to Your King!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Advent 12-15

O.K. so I got behind on my Advent posting so some of them are posted together. Sorry.
Any way I am so excited for tomorrow. We get to listen to the Williston Community choir preform the Messiah. It has been a long time since I have seen a live performance of the Messiah. When I was in High School my parents and sister all sang in the Messiah when we lived in Germany. We were part of a German Choir. It was so much fun. If you do not know what the Massiah's main message it is about Jesus birth and that he is our long expected savior. What a wonderful way to celebrate advent.

Come Lord Jesus, Come!

Sing Praises to Your King!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Update on WLW Peace on Earth Challenge Bubble bath

I tried the peaceful bath again the other night and It went much better than the last. I was able to play some soft Christmas carols on the radio, light a candle, lots of bubbles and a new book: Radical by David Platt. This time I was able to truly relax and emerged much more peaceful than when I went in. I was also able to spend some time with a great Christian friend and we were able to visit over a hot cup of coffee. I have noticed a difference in my families attitude when I have a smile on my face and a song in my heart. My desire is to make this a normal sight for my family rather than the grouchy person that so often emerges. For this I rely on God's Help.

Sing Praises to Your King!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Advent 10 & 11

We have been away from the house for the last couple of days and thus have not read our star advent calendar bible verses. So tonight we each took a star (to catch up) and took turns reading. We started with Luke 1:5 and ended with Luke1:25. In this reading we were reminded about the birth of John the Baptist being foretold. Elizabeth and Zechariah were advanced in years and did not have any children because Elizabeth was barren. While Zechariah was in the the temple of the lord an angel appeared and told him that his prayers had been answered. His wife will have a son and they should call him John. The angel said that he will be great before the Lord and many will rejoice at his birth. Zechariah was also told that John should not drink wine or strong drink and that he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mothers womb. Zechariah doubted what the Angel said and because of this he was silenced and was unable to speak until the birth of his son.

All of these things did come to pass and John did amazing things for the Lord the most important was preparing a way for Christ.

Come Lord Jesus, Come.

Sing Praises to Your King!

Monday, December 06, 2010

WLW Peace on Earth Challenge Update

Well my month has not started out to be so peaceful but I am praying that with the help of God we can turn things around. Misunderstandings, poor communication and our stubborn pride always seem to get in the way. I am so good at holding grudges and not letting them go and wanting everyone in my home to be as miserable as I am. That doesn't sound very peaceful does it. So I am going to be working on it and asking God to help me move on.

Last night I tried the bath thing but I didn't take the time to plan with music, candles a cold drink. I did however have a good book, hells Best Kept Secrets by Ray Comfort. Instead I took my tense body and my grouchy mind in there with me and stewed. So I will be planning a new Bubble bath moment taking time to create a peaceful place to relax and regroup. I will update you again as we progress through the month.

Sing Praises to Your King!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Advent 9

Today we lit the second candle, the Bethlehem candle on our advent wreath. (symbolic of the preparations being made to receive and to cradle the Christ Child) "And Joseph also went up from Galilee... unto the City of David which is called Bethlehem." Luke 2:4

Today we were reminded that we should follow the message that John the Baptist gave us.

[3] For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said,
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord;
make his paths straight.’”
(Matthew 3:3 ESV)

Can you hear the voice of the one crying in the wilderness or is that voice drowned out by the hustle and bustle of living in the city, a life of having what we want when we want it, and Christmas preparations?

People came to John because he was not corrupted by the word but rather was immersed in God and preached an authentic message from God. This message was to prepare for the coming Christ. So how are we to prepare? We put up all the decorations, Bought all the gifts and sent out the cards careful not to leave anyone out. We have written extensive letters to fill everyone in on what WE have done. We have even purchased the bounty of food to be cooked and eaten. Isn't that preparation enough? The answer is NO! We are to be fed by the word on a daily basis we need to be immersed in Gods word so that we are not led astray. We need to repent,washed clean and be pure in our minds and hearts. We have many distractions each and every day that keep us from doing these things. What can you cut out of your busy schedule to make time for preparing for Christs coming.

Come Lord Jesus Come.

Sing Praises to Your King!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Advent 8 Candy Canes

Many people love to use the candy cane to decorate their Christmas trees. Did you know that this could be a great tool for teaching about Gods love during advent? Read the following information to see why.

The candy cane is shaped like the letter “J” in Jesus’ name. It is also in the shape of the shepherds’ crook, symbolic of how Jesus, like the “Good Shepherd” watches over his children like little lambs. It is a hard candy, solid like a “rock”, the foundation of the Church. The flavor of peppermint is similar to another member of the mint family, hyssop. In the Old Testament hyssop was used for purification and sacrifice, and this is said to symbolize the purity of Jesus and the sacrifice he made.

The white of the candy cane represents the purity of Jesus and his virgin birth. The bold red stripe represents God’s love and the blood shed for us. The three fine stripes represent the Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Others say they represent the blood spilled at the beating Jesus received at the hands of the Roman soldiers.

After you share this with your children or their friends they will never look at this piece of candy the same again. May it always be a reminder of the sacrifice made on our behalf.

Come Lord Jesus Come!

Sing Praises to Your King!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Advent 7

As many of you know I home school my son. A huge part of our schooling is Biblical. Each week my son memorize different passages from the bible so that he can have the word on his mind and in his heart at all times. Since we are preparing for Christmas We will be working on memorizing the Birth of Christ from Luke 2. I figure this will take some time so we will be working on it from now until Christmas eve. This year we will be at my grandparents house for Christmas I can't wait to share this gift with them.
Sing Praises to Your King!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Advent 6 History of Advent

The following information was taken directly from this website.

The word "advent" is from the Latin word for "coming," and as such, describes the "coming" of our Lord Jesus Christ into the flesh.

Advent begins the church year because the church year begins where Jesus' earthly life began--in the Old Testament prophecies of his incarnation. After Advent comes Christmas, which is about his birth; then Epiphany, about his miracles and ministry; then Lent, about his Calvary-bound mission; then Easter, about his resurrection and the sending of the apostles; and then Ascension (40 days after Easter) and Pentecost, with the sending of the Holy Spirit.

The first half of the church year (approximately December through June) highlights the *life* of Christ. The second half (approximately June through November) highlights the *teachings* of Christ. The parables and miracles play a big part here. That's "the church year in a nutshell," and it should help reveal how Advent fits into "the big picture."

Advent specifically focuses on Christ's "coming," but Christ's coming manifests itself among us in three ways--past, present, and future. The readings which highlight Christ's coming in the past focus on the Old Testament prophecies of his incarnation at Bethlehem. The readings which highlight Christ's coming in the future focus on his "second coming" on the Last Day at the end of time. And the readings which highlight Christ's coming in the present focus on his ministry among us through Word and Sacrament today.

Sing Praises to Your King!

Advent 5

Yesterday Ansir and I decided to make our own Advent calendar. We traced star cookie cutters in three different sizes on card board.

After they were cut out we covered each star with tinfoil.

Then we glued Bible verses on the back of each star.

And wrote numbers on the front of each star.

Finally we hung them on the tree. The other option would have been to hang the in a line on a string. I saw this idea online and it was very cute.

I love the idea of reading Bible verses each day instead of receiving candy or just looking at a cute picture. This is another way of keeping Christ in Christmas.

Sing Praises to Your King!