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Why our family DE-emphasized Santa. Just one opinion.


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Why Our Family DE-emphasized Santa

From the earliest of age I have not been very impressed with Santa.  I remember laying awake terrified that a strange man would be lurking around in our living room, and worse, that my parents would let him.  Later, the idea of presents dried my tears when sitting on the mall Santa’s lap, but I still didn’t like it and I have pictures to prove it.

Why our family DE-emphasized Santa. Just one opinion.

When I had children of my own I decided that there would be no more white lies about Santa.  Here is my reasoning.  I spent a good deal of time training my kids to know the difference between real and make believe, especially from the Bible.  Let’s face it, there are plenty of crazy stories in the Bible that seem like fantasy.  When we opened the  Bible together, everything they heard…snakes talking, arks floating, men in fiery furnaces, Jonah being swallowed by a fish, God being born in a  manger…no matter how fantastic…all of it was TRUTH.  I was determined that my children would be able to trust me to tell them the truth, even about Christmas.  I would stop the innocent Santa lies of my mother, and my grandmother before her.  I would never tell them that there was another man who had the same omniscient qualities as God…someone who knew everything about them…when  they  sleep, and when they are awake. I just couldn’t do it.

Lest you think we were opposed to Santa altogether, let me be clear that Santa still came to our house.  We still had all the fun of Christmas morning that the rest of the world did.  The only difference was that the kids knew the real origin of all the gifts under the tree.    Our children enjoyed talking about Santa as if he were real, much like my granddaughter imagines she is having conversations with her stuffed animals.  We never had any problems with our children revealing this big secret to their classmates once they were school-aged.

I know this idea is not for everyone, but it worked for our family.  My daughter is now a mother and she and her husband are putting more emphasis on the birth of Jesus than I ever did.  If I could do it again, I would use this time of year for our family to grow spiritually together with an emphasis on giving.

Blessings for a wonderful Christmas, Alice

Why our family DE-emphasized Santa. Just one opinion.

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This trouble seems to go on and on. You are still waiting and waiting and waiting...and waiting. Wilderness hopelessness is a favorite lie of the enemy. Here is some perspective for you.


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Finding Perspective While Stuck in the Wilderness

As you rise the next hill your hopes are dashed once again, it’s just more wilderness for miles.  Your trouble seems to go on and on.  You are still waiting and waiting and waiting…and waiting for that relief to come, for that job to be less stressful, for that special someone to come along, for your health to improve,  for things to get better.

This trouble seems to go on and on. You are still waiting and waiting and waiting...and waiting. Wilderness hopelessness is a favorite lie of the enemy. Here is some perspective for you.

The same old scenery makes you antsy…makes you dissatisfied…makes you discouraged.  Wilderness hopelessness is a favorite lie of the enemy…whispering  that God has abandoned you to the scorpions and cactus.  Poor you!

Not so, the Word says.  You can still have a fulfilling, beautiful life while you wander.  The Holy Spirit led me to find these deeply meaningful verses for you, if you read them with the spiritual in mind.

Remember how the Lord your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would obey his commands.  Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.  Deuteronomy 8:2-3 NLT 

Here are some noteworthy observations from this passage.

You are being led.

If you remember Israelite history, the people were never alone.  God went before them in a pillar of cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night.  (fact check: Exodus 13:21-22) This is a profound truth for you to think about…God always kept Himself visible to His people.  All they had to do was look, and there He was.  It may look like you  are going in circles, but the leader is leading…the follower needs to follow.

You are being humbled and tested on purpose.

Somebody much bigger and smarter than you has your best interests at heart.  He promises that things are in the process of working out for your good if you love Him.  (fact check: Romans 8:28)  But now you are hungry…starving, longing for a bite of relief.  Just wait y’all, bread is on the way.

You are being taught how to eat.

There’s purpose to your hunger.  Sometimes you just need to hear that word…purpose.  The gnawing in your spiritual stomach is to teach you  that people do  not live by bread alone….that there is something sweeter for your soul than the physical….that time is not to be wasted with meaningless distractions, where a soul drops exhausted into bed each night, proud to have made it through one more day without dwelling too much on life. Y’all the bread of life is rich and satisfying.  This is how we truly live, by every word that comes from the mouth of God.   So breathe in the aroma of a freshly baked loaf, and cut yourself a slice.

 

This trouble seems to go on and on. You are still waiting and waiting and waiting...and waiting. Wilderness hopelessness is a favorite lie of the enemy. Here is some perspective for you.  
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I have always been sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that My husband and I were the key to heaven for my children, even though some who have wayward children may disagree. The most galvanizing moment in my life as a young mother was when an elder's wife argued with me about the possibilities of success in raising my children to see heaven. This led me on a frantic Bible journey which convinced me even further that it is possible to obtain what I desired.


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3 Assurances That you CAN Raise Your Children to see Heaven

I have always been sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that My husband and I were the key to heaven for my children, even though some who have wayward children may disagree.  The most galvanizing moment in my life as a young mother was when an elder’s wife argued with me about the possibilities of success in raising my children to see heaven.  I guess she thought I was arrogant when I expressed my belief that Jesus centered parenting produces Jesus lovers.  She boldly told me it was impossible to be so sure, that some, even after good parenting will turn away and be lost.

No.

Unacceptable.

This led me on a frantic Bible journey which convinced me even further that it is possible to obtain what I desired.  But it’s hard y’all.  This task of raising children is thwarted at every hand by the devil and His minions.  And let me say this, even though your child dallies in a certain sin for a season doesn’t mean they are lost forever.  I believe they will always return to the fold.  Look at the last part of this scripture:  Bring up a child by teaching him the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn away from it. Proverbs 22:6 NLT

But, I didn’t want my children to waste their lives away from God and then come back to Him when they were older.  My goal was to have strong, steadfast, faithful children so they could in turn raise strong, steadfast, faithful children.  Our strategy was to parent with this goal in mind.  So if you are having doubts about your ability to save your own children, be encouraged with these thoughts from scripture.

I have always been sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that My husband and I were the key to heaven for my children, even though some who have wayward children may disagree. The most galvanizing moment in my life as a young mother was when an elder's wife argued with me about the possibilities of success in raising my children to see heaven. This led me on a frantic Bible journey which convinced me even further that it is possible to obtain what I desired.

1.  Children are Good Soil

Matthew 13:3-8

But, good soil has to be cultivated, fertilized, watered, nurtured.  If the soil is not cared for, or left on its own then it becomes dry and hard.  If the rocks are not plucked out carefully, then roots will not take hold.  If not diligent, then thorns will pop up.  A parent must constantly working the soil of the child.  But happily, this good soil will produce an abundant crop.  This is a promise.

 

I have always been sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that My husband and I were the key to heaven for my children, even though some who have wayward children may disagree. The most galvanizing moment in my life as a young mother was when an elder's wife argued with me about the possibilities of success in raising my children to see heaven. This led me on a frantic Bible journey which convinced me even further that it is possible to obtain what I desired.

Message from a teenage boy to his mother after an argument.

2.  It’s God’s Will

Ephesians 1:11

Your children are predestined to become believers.  They were entrusted to YOU.   For an analogy…our family loves the Houston Astros team  My children were destined to love this team too.  Why?  We wear the shirts, we gather around the radio or television, we discuss stats in the car and around the table, we travel to Houston for a live experience,  we whoop, we holler, and we sing.  So now, even though my son lives in California, he is not ashamed to put on his Astros hat when the Angels are playing Houston.  He proudly roots for his team even though he is surrounded by the enemy.   He has been TRAINED.

God has put these children in your family so you can train them for His team.  It’s inevitable.  It’s His will.

3.  You have Power.  POWER.

Ephesians 3:14-21

This immense love of God can only be understood through the Holy Spirit.  He strengthens you, He dwells in your hearts, and He can do more that you can you can ask or imagine.   So partner up and ask Him.  You are not alone for one second.

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Please click the DEEPER Bible study guide below or in the side menu link to sign up for emails from Sanctified Tourist and receive PDF files like the DEEPER Bible study guide, to use in your pursuit of the spiritual disciplines. They will be delivered to you in a Welcome Letter. Sanctified Tourist publishes once a week and also sends a monthly newsletter at the beginning of the month. My newsletter will include friendly inspirations and personal updates on our move to Cambodia. I know your in-box is already crammed full of messages, but hopefully you will look forward getting emails from from Sanctified Tourist.

You can find the above post Fight Like A Boss, Against Unseen Forces here.

Sanctified Tourist  is not paid to endorse any ads or products.

 

Did you know there is a growing number of atheists who are taking their faith very seriously? And there are some passionate among the unbelievers who are using the media to their best advantage...to actively engage the world in this gospel of untruth. Their goal...to rid the world of the scourge of Christianity. Find out how a white cross in my community caused a peaceful protest.


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The White Cross. What a Peaceful Community Protest Means to Me.

I would love for you to watch my video before you read my post.  Go walking with me beside the Sabine Lake on the Texas coast.  Find out what my story about weed-whacking has to do with the white cross and what it means to me.

Did you know there is a growing number of atheists who are  taking their faith very seriously?  And there are some passionate among the unbelievers who are using the media to their best advantage…to actively engage the world in this gospel of untruth.  Their goal…to rid the world of the scourge of Christianity.  In their minds, Jesus followers are not only gullible, and stupid, but are  dangerous to the future of society.  Therefore, there are active campaigns all over the Internet with very logical, intelligent sounding discussions, refuting that beautiful name of Jesus.

Did you know there is a growing number of atheists who are taking their faith very seriously? And there are some passionate among the unbelievers who are using the media to their best advantage...to actively engage the world in this gospel of untruth. Their goal...to rid the world of the scourge of Christianity. Find out how a white cross in my community caused a peaceful protest.

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There is an organized society called Freedom From Religion,  that has taken it upon themselves to make sure all religious icons are removed from public property.  In one of our local parks, a white cross has stood for 45 years.  This atheist organization is pressuring the city to remove it.  Our community has responded by posting white crosses in our front yards as a peaceful protest to this request, thanks to an area business that gives these crosses out free.  I took a walk on my street and took a picture of all the crosses just on my one street.  This silent protest is happening throughout my community.

Did you know there is a growing number of atheists who are taking their faith very seriously? And there are some passionate among the unbelievers who are using the media to their best advantage...to actively engage the world in this gospel of untruth. Their goal...to rid the world of the scourge of Christianity. Find out how a white cross in my community caused a peaceful protest.

Let me tell you what the white cross in my yard means to me.

I believe that more than just torture and death happened on that cross.   Yes, it hurt physically.  Yes.  But there was something else at work there.  A burden was borne.  A great weight.  As if every man, woman, and child climbed on His bleeding back.  And once He steadied Himself with the heaviness of the world, He noticed He was alone.

Alone.

Hell.

For isn’t hell the absence of God?

This is what I believe was happening in the garden.  Not just distress over the coming pain, but absolute anguish of even one moment without His Father.  Crushed with grief over this death for billions.  Grief experienced without the tiniest fragment of sin.  Pure, beautiful, agonizing submission to His Father’s will.

The scriptures say that His Father heard His prayer in the garden, and an angel was dispatched to strengthen His son.  Have you ever wondered how the Savior of the world gets strengthened?  This is my imagination at work y’all, but I think the angels showed Jesus family pictures.

Of you.

Because after all, this cross was all about love.

Did you know there is a growing number of atheists who are taking their faith very seriously? And there are some passionate among the unbelievers who are using the media to their best advantage...to actively engage the world in this gospel of untruth. Their goal...to rid the world of the scourge of Christianity. Find out how a white cross in my community caused a peaceful protest.

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 What we do see is Jesus, who for a little while was given a position “a little lower than the angels”; and because he suffered death for us, he is now “crowned with glory and honor.” Yes, by God’s grace, Jesus tasted death for everyone.  God, for whom and through whom everything was made, chose to bring many children into glory. And it was only right that he should make Jesus, through his suffering, a perfect leader, fit to bring them into their salvation. Hebrews 2:9-10 NLT

Did you know there is a growing number of atheists who are taking their faith very seriously? And there are some passionate among the unbelievers who are using the media to their best advantage...to actively engage the world in this gospel of untruth. Their goal...to rid the world of the scourge of Christianity. Find out how a white cross in my community caused a peaceful protest.

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 Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death.  Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying. Hebrews 2:14-15 NLT

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Pictures:  + the controversial white cross found in one of our local parks, ++my bridal veil bush that is in full bloom.  This bush only blooms for a couple of weeks and then it is gone until next year.

Please click the DEEPER Bible study guide below or the side menu link to sign up for emails from Sanctified Tourist and receive PDF files like the DEEPER Bible study guide, to use in your pursuit of the spiritual disciplines. They will be delivered to you in a Welcome Letter. Sanctified Tourist publishes once a week and also sends a monthly newsletter at the beginning of the month. My newsletter will include friendly inspirations and personal updates on our move to Cambodia. I know your in-box is already crammed full of messages, but hopefully you will look forward getting emails from from Sanctified Tourist.

Sanctified Tourist is not paid to endorse any ads or products.

 

 

 

 

 

Spiritual disciplines will clothe you with depth, suitable clothes for the wedding banquet. Find out what these disciplines are, and battle the enemy as he tries to steal your time from you.


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Why Spiritual Pajamas are not a Good Idea for the Wedding Banquet

Spiritual Discipline Series- LOVE

Spiritual disciplines will clothe you with depth, suitable clothes for the wedding banquet. Find out what these disciplines are, and battle the enemy as he tries to steal your time from you.

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Time is of the essence to me.  The enemy is a robber, a thief of time.   Because there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day, and that “time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future,” as the Steve Miller band sings so prophetically, I have chosen the word URGENCY to define my year.  Urgency to be dressed in spiritual depth,  suitable clothes for the wedding banquet.  It boils down to this equation:  days left on earth+spiritual depth desired=URGENCY.

Look y’all, church buildings are filled with people like me doing their best spiritual impressions…glancing occasionally beyond the surface…content with their spiritual pajamas…never time to go diving into spiritual disciplines…the word later climbing up on center stage and demanding an audience.

So now is later.

I have defined my own set of spiritual disciplines, and encourage you to create your own list.  This begins a blog series that I hope you will find useful for your own battle for time.  These include:  love, prayer and meditation, reading and memorizing scripture, private praise, fasting, and resting.

Spiritual disciplines will clothe you with depth, suitable clothes for the wedding banquet. Find out what these disciplines are, and battle the enemy as he tries to steal your time from you.

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My anchor scripture that will guide each discipline will be Luke 10:27.  Every urgency, both internally and externally, will be directed away from self and toward fulfilling this scripture.

….“‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Luke 10:27 NLV

Dealing with my selfish self causes my urgency to be sluggish, and my love for Him to become unfocused.  Spiritual depth for the Bride of Christ is what I am after, and it starts with love for my Father.  Loving him with all.

All.

All your heart.

All your soul.

All your strength.

All your mind.

If I am honest with myself and if you are too,  what that means is that there is no room for empty longing in my heart…no vacancy in my soul…no strength training with feathers…and  the eyes constantly protecting the mind from the fake.  Then and only then can I serve my neighbor the way the rest of the passage suggests  as myself…a self filled to the brim with Yahweh.

Spiritual disciplines will clothe you with depth, suitable clothes for the wedding banquet. Find out what these disciplines are, and battle the enemy as he tries to steal your time from you.

More in the Spiritual Disciplines Series you might like:

 

Do you sometimes forget you have no power over the weaknesses in the one you love? It's time to capture every rebellious thought about your spouse and focus on the battle in prayer.

I want to show you how I found a space to pray in my small house after watching The War Room. See how I created a space on the back of a door and sign up for free printables of the prayer banner, labels, and prayer cards that I use in my time with God.

It is important to know that Jesus is not a genie ready to deliver hearts and rainbows just because I rubbed the lamp. Look y'all, if you are like me, and I'm betting you are, you spend most of your time in prayer presenting your requests. Here are some ideas to make your prayer time into more of a partnership...more of a love fest...more of an expression of trust.So really, if I want to fight like a boss, like Jesus, I need to chose my words like Jesus did, quoting scriptures to the enemy. Pulling out the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.Now here's where those pesky distractions come y'all, at least for me. In order to swing the sword, I must train. Not only do I need military training and discipline to fight distractions, but my kids need to learn to fight with scripture too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please click the link below or in the side menu to sign up for emails from Sanctified Tourist and receive PDF files to use in your pursuit of the spiritual disciplines.   They will be delivered to you in a Welcome Letter.  Sanctified Tourist publishes once or sometimes twice a week and also sends a monthly newsletter at the beginning of the month.  I know your inbox is already crammed full of messages, but hopefully you will look forward to the encouragement from Sanctified Tourist.

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Pictures:

+  Closeup of my daughter-in-law’s wedding dress,

++  A beautiful church window found on a Hawaiian excursion.

+++  I love this gate I found in Key West, Florida

Sanctified Tourist is not paid to endorse any products or ads.

copyright 2016 Alice LeBlanc, Sanctified Tourist