Posts Tagged ‘25 Days Of Christmas’

DAY 25! VIDEO: MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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Have you missed any of the past 24 Christmas posts? Scroll down and check them out…

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Merry Christmas! We made it to the final day of 25 Days of Christmas Blogging!

Leah and I sincerely want to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas! We hope that you have had an awesome day!

We are now done with Christmas blogging, minus a couple re-caps over the next few days. We hope that this blog has been a little bit of fun. Even if it’s from making fun of my extreme dorkyness…

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Here is a short little video wishing you a Merry Christmas! It also has a brief music video highlighting a few things!

Day 24b: Get The ENTIRE Christmas Story

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Come back tomorrow for the final post of 25 Days of Christmas Blogging! Leah and I have a special short video to post just for you!

Also, keep our student ministry in prayer tonight as we take over 30 students out for Christmas Eve after our services at Northway! We want to make this extremely special for them, since they don’t have anywhere to go for Christmas!

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One of my more dominant Christmas memories from growing up was reading the Christmas story as a family before opening presents on Christmas morning. We would read the ENTIRE story from the Bible, not just a snippet. Our family (six of us) would take turns reading a verse each until it was over, or as my dad would say, we would go “round robin”. This was somewhat difficult for me in the early days when I couldn’t yet read. My siblings would get frustrated with me for not being able to sound out words like “frankincense”, “Caesar Augustus”, “Nazareth”, “the”, “it” etc…

When I used to think of the “Christmas story” in the Bible, I would always think of Luke chapter 2 and that’s it. Actually there is a chronological order for the story of Jesus’ birth that goes beyond Luke chapter 2!

This “25 Days” blog series has focused on the lighter side of Christmas. It was more about the fun stuff, which is fine, as long as we don’t forget why we REALLY celebrate Christmas! We always need to bring it back to a little baby that was born in a cave, while the city of Bethlehem slept and didn’t have room for him.

I want to challenge you between today and tomorrow to read the below verses in order. I would really challenge you to do it as a family if that is possible.

Here is the Christmas story in chronological sequence:

LUKE 1:26-38

MATTHEW 1:18-25

LUKE 2:1-22, 39

MATTHEW 2:1-23


Day 24a: While You Were Sleeping

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Come back later today to read about one of my biggest Christmas memories from growing up! I will challenge you to do something!

Tomorrow will be the final post of 25 Days of Christmas Blogging! Leah and I have a special short video to post just for you! 

Also, keep our student ministry in prayer tonight as we take over 30 students out for Christmas Eve after our services at Northway! We want to make this extremely special for them, since they don’t have anywhere to go for Christmas!

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For today’s first post, I want you to listen to the song “While You Were Sleeping”, by Casting Crowns. Many of you probably already know it, but this song helps keep things in perspective. It gives the “bigger picture”. I love that about Casting Crowns. They “preach” through their music.

 (Perhaps another reason I like Casting Crowns is because their lead singer, Mark Hall, was a student pastor turned singer, JUST LIKE I AM! I feel like I can relate!)

Watch the video, or just listen to the song and use the lyrics box below it to follow along. Either way, focus on the words of the song.


(Use the controls on the right side of the box below to pause or control the speed of the lyrics)

Lyrics | While You Were Sleeping lyrics
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I’ll see you back later today for a post about one of my biggest Christmas memories!

Day 23: Video: Belated Christmas Decorations

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Two days ’til Christmas! Wow! Make sure you don’t let Christmas become a burden instead of a celebration! If you are getting stressed, then CUT STUFF OUT OF YOUR PLANS OR SCHEDULE (Just make sure Christmas Eve at Northway is in there though). Don’t let Christmas with your family suffer because of your focus on “Christmas traditions” or “getting everything done”.

Leah and I had to just say “NO” to some stuff we wanted to do. Even after we made a video about it, we had to decide to NOT send out our Christmas cards this year. Sorry, but something had to go! haha Maybe we’ll do Christmas in July… Naaaaahhhhh!

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We made a video way back in late November, but totally forgot to post it. It was the one about Christmas decorating, which should have come right after the Christmas Tree video. It’s a little late, but we figured we would go ahead and post a shorter version of it.

I think we have over 100 “things” on our tree. There are pine cones, clear bulbs, colored bulbs, disco balls, bows, stick things,  small things, big things and more!

I am not allowed to touch any of the ornaments except for one. You will see it in the video, but each year I have one ornament that I am allowed to put on the tree as long as Leah decides the placement (she always picks the back of the tree for some reason). It’s a Red Sox World Series Championship ornament. I love that thing! Leah says that it messes up her “arrangement”, but I just remind her that it’s not my fault if the tree “accidentally” falls over, crushing her precious ornaments.

Anyway, what was I saying? Oh…you need to watch our very late Christmas tree decorating video!

What are some of the things you do to decorate for Christmas? Any secrets? Any time-saving / money-saving ideas?

Here it is:

Day 21: Elf Clip: Buddy Meets His Dad

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Today is the first day of Winter! Isn’t it weird to think that yesterday was still Fall?

We have an incredible line-up for this week! Don’t miss it!

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Today is the last weekly Elf Clip for 25 Days of Christmas Blogging! In today’s clip, Buddy the Elf meets his dad for the first time! His dad think he is just receiving a “Christmasgram” from a guy dressed as an elf! Buddy sings his dad a song…

 

What’s your favorite Christmas movie??

Day 20: Video: My Future Christmas Home (Amazing Grace?)

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Don’t miss this weekend at Northway Church as we continue our Christmas Illusions Series with special guest BJ Harris! BJ is a nationally know illusionist who has performed at places such as the Catalyst Leadership Conference and Andy Stanley’s North Point Community Church in Atlanta, GA.  His performances have amazed audiences across the country, and we are honored to have him as our special guest this weekend.  It’s a great time to invite your friends!

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Today I want to show you what I will probably definitely do to my home, if we ever own one. My neighbors will hate me, but I’ll just sing them a Christmas Carol on their front lawn and they will change their spirit!

Some of you have probably already of seen the two videos below. I have had them for a while. Basically, some electrical engineers went a little crazy with their Christmas outside decor. They put their Christmas lights to music and allowed cars to park in front of their house for “light shows”. The song would play over the radio and the lights would be synced to it.

My dad is an electrical engineer, I have a lot of friends that are RPI grads, so I should be in good hands some day to pull this off. Maybe the church will let me do a light show…hmmmm. haha

Here are the videos:

 This one is my favorite. The light show is to the song Amazing Grace. Really. A techno version of it. I love how the house looks like it is dancing up and down.

 

This one has been around for years, and every year I see it, it amazes me!

Day 19: Video: The Best Christmas Cookies

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Tomorrow, I will show you what I will do when we own a home. (If that ever happens) You will be WOWED! Ever heard of the song Amazing Grace? Come back tomorrow and see what I’m talking about!

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Today we are going to make the best tasting Christmas cookies you will ever have! Don’t think they will be the best? Well, make them so you can taste them and see! These cookies are my “diet downfall” every year. You can’t just eat one or two or three or four…

 

Here is the recipe:

What you need:

2/3 cup margerine/butter – 3/4 cup sugar – 1 TSP Lemon Extract – 1TSP Vanilla Extract – 1 Egg – 4 TSP Milk – 2 Cups Flour – 1 1/2 TSP Baking Powder – 1/4 TSP Salt

Directions:

Cream together butter, sugar, extracts, egg. Mix in milk. Blend in dry ingredients. Divide dough in 2 parts. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. On floured surface, roll dough, cut with cookie cutters. Bake on greased sheet @375 degrees for 6-8 minutes (based on how light or dark you prefer them to be). Best to double batch and divide into four parts to cool.

 

Here is the very amature instructional video:

Day 18b: Video: Leah “Vlogged” For My Birthday

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Yes…It’s my birthday today! I am 28 going on 8. 28 seems so much older than 27 did. Right?  Anyway, my birthday is always exactly seven days before Christmas! Did I get the birthday shaft every year because it’s so close to Christmas? NOOOOOPE! As a kid, my parents were awesome at making each birthday special.The fact that I demanded that they celebrate it early (like in October or November) may have helped. haha

Leah made me record a video of her wishing me a happy birthday. I told her to tell about a Christmas memory instead! 

Here it is:

 

 

Day 18a: Christmas Fun Facts!

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Christmas is one week from today! Wow!

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- More diamonds are sold around Christmas than any other time of the year.

- The first state to recognize the Christmas holiday officially was Alabama.

- Electric lights for trees were first used in 1895.

- A traditional Christmas dinner in early England was the head of a pig prepared with mustard. Considering changing to this English classic?

- Christmas became a national U.S. holiday in 1870.

- Christmas trees are edible. The needles on pines, spruces and firs are actually a good source of Vitamin C and the pine cones are a good source of nutrition. So forget about the orange juice and go munch on your Christmas tree.

- “Jingle Bells” was first written for Thanksgiving but later became one of the most popular Christmas songs.

- During the Christmas buying season, Visa Cards alone are used an average of 5, 340 times every minute in the U.S.

- The abbreviation of Xmas for Christmas was not meant to be irreligious. The first letter of the word Christ in Greek is chi, which is identical to our X. Xmas was originally an ecclesiastical abbreviation that was used in tables and charts.

- If an elf bites you, you become one.

- $512 million – The gross earnings of Christmas tree farmers with North Carolina ($134 million) winning out as the top producer. Oregon was next at $121 million in sales.

- “Hot cockles” was a popular game at Christmas in medieval times. It was a game in which the other players took turns striking the blindfolded player, who had to guess the name of the person delivering each blow. “Hot cockles” was still a Christmas pastime until the Victorian era.

- 7 out of 10 dogs get Christmas gifts from their doting owners.

- Although many believe the Friday after Thanksgiving is the busiest shopping day of the year, it is not. It is the fifth to tenth busiest day. The Friday and Saturday before Christmas are the two busiest shopping days of the year.

- For every real Christmas tree harvested, 2 to 3 seedlings are planted in its place.

- It is estimated that 400,000 people become sick each year from eating tainted Christmas leftovers.

- More than three billion Christmas cards are sent annually in the United States.

- Theodore Roosevelt, a staunch conservationist, banned Christmas trees in his home, even when he lived in the White House. His children, however, smuggled them into their bedrooms.

OK…so there are a few “fun facts” for you!

Day 17b: Helping Others This Christmas

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Don’t miss this weekend at Northway Church as we continue our Christmas Illusions Series with special guest BJ Harris! BJ is a nationally know illusionist who has performed at places such as the Catalyst Leadership Conference and Andy Stanley’s North Point Community Church in Atlanta, GA.  His performances have amazed audiences across the country, and we are honored to have him as our special guest this weekend.  It’s a great time to invite your friends!

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Pastor Buddy has been talking a lot about changing our focus, turning sorrow into joy, and helping others this year. This has really hit Leah and I hard! How can we turn any “trouble” into joy?

Let me tell you a little story:

Leah and I are not going to be able to travel this year for Christmas and we were pretty bummed about it… at first. Leah and I have never missed our on visiting both of our parents over Christmas since we met as teenagers. The thought of not going anywhere for Christmas made us feel trapped. The closest family is three hours away!

Every year, we try to do something special for someone around the Holidays even if it means that we don’t exchange gifts for each other until January 25th (It just made sense). This year we decided that we would try to do something extra special since we will be at our home.

At right about the same time we decided not to travel, I got an email telling me about some High School students that live  at a group home. The email told me that there were about 20 students that would not have anywhere to go for Christmas. No family, friends or anyone to spend it with.  Our hearts melted. We figured that this is why we were not to travel this year.

There was an adult Connection Group last year that took a similar group to our Christmas Eve service and then our for a nice dinner.  We figured why not do that again?

To make a long story short, we are taking this group of students to one of our Christmas Eve services, and then out to a really nice restaurant where we will give them gifts and have a little Christmas party. This was only going to be possible with the help of the people of our church! We already have so many people that have told me that they wanted to help pay for our student ministry to be able to do this. I am amazed at how our church people are so eager to help our community!

They are truly being the church! Another example is the Illuminate Project. People at our church bought gifts for families that can’t afford them this year! Our church gave over 700 gifts! Amazing!

Anyway, I am not sharing this to “toot” our horn or anything! I just want to encourage you to help others this Christmas! Also, we are still in need of financial donations to make this happen for these students. If you are at all interested, then email me. We would love to have your help!

In the end it turns out that Leah’s family is coming to us! They are going to come on Christmas day! It’s amazing how God works things out in the end! He just wants us to be faithful and take the steps that we are supposed to take!