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Struggling this Christmas? Have faith in the God Who Sees and Hears! I want to share with you my favorite true Christmas testimony of the goodness of God. The fervent prayers of a righteous mom avail much!
Oranges for Christmas
It was Christmas 1975, and I was in the sixth grade. Two of my very favorite childhood things were Christmas and oranges! What do oranges and Christmas have in common? To this young girl, they spoke of a faithful and loving God who answered prayer. Let me tell you my favorite true Christmas story.
Our family was very poor. 1975 was the worst year we had ever had. We were selling everything out of our garage; living from day to day.
On Sundays we attended church at the Rescue Mission and served food to the homeless. We also ate our meal there. We especially liked the stale and sticky day-old donuts. They were delicious to those of us who had to eat turnip soup regularly.
At Thanksgiving, we helped serve the meal at the mission as usual, but my Mom began to pray and ask God if He would allow us to have Christmas dinner in our own home. A financial impossibility, but she had great faith--until Christmas Eve.
That night, Mom went into her bedroom and prayed while we watched football. She wondered how she could make the macaroni and cheese and hot dogs special, but to no avail. Hot dogs were hot dogs, and this was Christmas!
Not much was under our artificial tree except a few small trinkets Dad and Mom found at the thrift store. I can still remember the little box that opened with a snap and held a little Indian and his maiden dressed in leather and beads. But, I can't remember which football team was winning when the doorbell rang.
Standing at the door was a timid man and his wife, "Does Suzanne live here?" Dad answered in the affirmative as Mom came out. "We found you!" They said they had no idea where we lived, but they prayed and God directed them to our house. They were as amazed as we were that they had found us.
Then it happened--in came
boxes of food. There was the biggest turkey you ever saw, ham, candy, nuts, fruit and all the trimmings for the finest Christmas meal! Dad was laughing, Mom was crying, and my sisters and I were smiling from ear to ear. God had not forgotten us, but had found a family that would be His hands that Christmas Eve and bring a meal in His Name.
What spoke of God's love for that sixth grade, red-haired, little girl, and what I remember most in all those boxes, were the biggest, brightest oranges I had ever seen! I knew that
I knew those oranges were a gift straight from God to me, and since then I have been a firm believer that God answer's a mother's fervent prayers and that He loves His red-haired little girl.
"O taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the man that trusteth in him" (Psalm 34:8).
"Thank you, Father, for sending us your only Son. You are worthy of all glory and honor and praise. We can't thank you or glorify you enough for coming to be with us and taking on our humanity and bringing redemption. We are unworthy of such great love."
A very blessed and
Holy holiday to each of you and your precious families from all of us at
The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.
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This week I'm turning things over to my wife, Missy, whose
Literary Advent series appears daily at our blog,
centerforlit.wordpress.com. Her meditation on C.S. Lewis's poem "The Nativity" is particularly appropriate for parents at Christmas time, and I thought you would enjoy it:
By C.S. Lewis
Among the oxen (like an ox I'm slow)
I see a glory in the stable grow
Which, with the ox's dullness might at length
Give me an ox's strength.
Among the asses (stubborn I as they)
I see my Savior where I looked for hay;
So may my beast like folly learn at least
The patience of a beast.
Among the sheep (I like a sheep have strayed)
I watch the manger where my Lord is laid;
Oh that my baaing nature would win thence
Some woolly innocence!
When C.S. Lewis considers the nativity, he identifies most readily with the beasts on the scene. Likening himself to the ox, he acknowledges his obtuseness. Comparing himself with the mules, he owns his stubbornness. Echoing Psalm 23, he embraces his tendency to stray and murmur like sheep.
More startling still, Lewis perceives that he not only shares the beasts' deficiencies, but that he also lacks their better virtues. Witnessing the marvelous arrival, he notes the growing glory in the stable, foreseeing its potency to make him strong as the ox. He anticipates that, in unexpectedly finding the Child where he looked for food, he might learn wisdom and patience. Watching at Christ's bed, he prays that his "baaing nature" would gain "woolly innocence" from the sacrificial lamb. With humility and self-awareness, Lewis looks with the rest of the beasts in the stable to the manger for his daily bread, acknowledging the Savior as the source of all provision.
May the Incarnate God provide for all your needs this year as you look to His manger for your daily bread. Merry Christmas!
Did you know? Every class is INCLUDED for members!
As we draw closer to Christmas Day, enjoy the opportunities available on SchoolhouseTeachers.com to draw closer to Jesus-the reason for the season. Our newest class, Camping with Jesus, is taught by Joleen Steel and designed for elementary students. Five units are available, each one focused on a key aspect of the Gospel story. Through fun drawings, coloring pages, activities, and Scripture memorization, it shows kids what heaven is, what sin is, who Jesus is, what it means to forgive, and how to grow to know God more.
Going Deeper: The Gospelswill provide high school students the opportunity to learn more about the writers of the Gospels, the words they wrote, and the ways their lives were forever changed by their time with Jesus. This five-video series is approximately 8-1/2 hours long and includes printable worksheets to reinforce learning.
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Praying you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!
Reviewers on the Schoolhouse Review Crew had the opportunity to choose from several curriculum pieces that Brookdale House offers. Each reviewer received one. Drawing Around the World (USA or Europe), from The Geography Drawing Series, were top choices!
This curriculum instructs students in geography by teaching the big picture of where the countries of Europe or states in the United States are located in relation to each other. Children have the opportunity to draw the states or countries, fill in fact sheets, and learn about the different populations, climates, cultures, etc., of the countries or states they are learning about.
Brookdale House also produces a wide variety of other products like: The Fun Spanish, Writing Through History (Charlotte Mason narration, copywork, and dictation), as well as grammar instruction and much more. The Schoolhouse Review Crew reviewed many different selections. Here's your chance to discover how they were used in real homeschools! Click to read the reviews!
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