Nativity Alive: The Christmas Story

Some families enjoy reading the whole Christmas story on Christmas Day or in parts throughout Advent. Others appreciate acting it out in a family play. Here is the Christmas story from the four Gospels, in chronological order, minus the genealogies, divided into five days and followed by a few discussion questions. You can enter these Scriptures in order on Biblegateway.org and print off the entire story. Then print off these questions for a time of devotions with your family. 1. Mark 1:1 {Read More}

About Ann Stewart

Ann Marie Stewart is the author of Preparing My Heart for Advent and looks forward to her first novel STARS IN THE GRASS to be published November 2016. She and her husband Will raise two daughters and a whole lot of sheep on their farm in Virginia.

Nativity Alive: There is No Better News

Bethlehem was a small village with a population of 300. When Mary and Joseph arrived, it was packed with visitors paying their taxes. And so, how is it that the only guests at Jesus’ birth are a bedraggled group of shepherds? How many people missed the evening of Christ’s birth? How many missed that moment of hope, joy, and peace? King Herod was one of them. He was an unscrupulous, ruthless monster who married ten times, called for the execution {Read More}

About Ann Stewart

Ann Marie Stewart is the author of Preparing My Heart for Advent and looks forward to her first novel STARS IN THE GRASS to be published November 2016. She and her husband Will raise two daughters and a whole lot of sheep on their farm in Virginia.

Nativity Alive: Immanuel — God with Us

On Christmas Day, place the baby Jesus in your Nativity to complete the group of Nativity figurines and celebrate that, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11) In this beautiful passage proclaimed by the angel, the Baby Jesus is given three names: Savior, Christ, Lord, meaning:  Deliverer, Anointed, Having Authority. An Old Testament passage also gives Him the names Immanuel, or God with us, and Jesus {Read More}

Nativity Alive: We Could All Use a Little Good News

Angels are mentioned over 300 times in the Bible: 45 encounters in the Old Testament and 70 appearances in the New. Described as created beings, they number in the millions. The shepherds probably did not see anything resembling our Christmas pageant characters robed in white and topped with silver halos. The only angelic description we have of the ones who appeared to the shepherds was they were accompanied by the glory of the Lord shining around the shepherds. Oh, to {Read More}

About Ann Stewart

Ann Marie Stewart is the author of Preparing My Heart for Advent and looks forward to her first novel STARS IN THE GRASS to be published November 2016. She and her husband Will raise two daughters and a whole lot of sheep on their farm in Virginia.

Nativity Alive: O Come let us Adore Him

*Affiliate links included. On day four, we considered the wise men in our Nativity set. They came the farthest, following one bright star, to find a King. As soon as they saw the child with His mother Mary—and before they did anything else—Matthew 2:11 says “they bowed down and worshiped him.” How can we encourage worship in our homes throughout December and beyond? And to worship before we do anything else? On day 4 we promised a list of resources {Read More}

About Ann Stewart

Ann Marie Stewart is the author of Preparing My Heart for Advent and looks forward to her first novel STARS IN THE GRASS to be published November 2016. She and her husband Will raise two daughters and a whole lot of sheep on their farm in Virginia.

Wise Men and 4 Gift Ideas

On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. (Matthew 2:11) At Christmas we read bumper stickers stating, “Wise Men Still Seek Him.” We could add, wise men still bow down and worship Him and wise men still honor Him with their treasures. What a long and adventurous journey those wise men must have {Read More}

About Ann Stewart

Ann Marie Stewart is the author of Preparing My Heart for Advent and looks forward to her first novel STARS IN THE GRASS to be published November 2016. She and her husband Will raise two daughters and a whole lot of sheep on their farm in Virginia.

Nativity Alive: Joseph’s Obedience

I often make mistakes as a parent and wish my kids had a more perfect mom. But can you imagine what it would feel like to be Joseph, chosen to raise the Son of God? What a profound honor and what a great responsibility! What qualities was God looking for in an earthly father for baby Jesus? Perhaps patience, gentleness, and kindness. We know Joseph’s “Christmas experience” was challenging. It must have been a nightmare to think his betrothed had {Read More}

About Ann Stewart

Ann Marie Stewart is the author of Preparing My Heart for Advent and looks forward to her first novel STARS IN THE GRASS to be published November 2016. She and her husband Will raise two daughters and a whole lot of sheep on their farm in Virginia.

Nativity Alive: Mary’s Christmas

“Merry Christmas” takes on new meaning when we consider the nine months leading up to Mary’s Christmas. She was visited by an angel, overcome by the Holy Spirit, and informed she was pregnant with the Son of God. She left home for three months and then became reunited with her fiancé. While nine months pregnant, she traveled by donkey to an unfamiliar village and gave birth in a smelly cave joined by a group of strangers from a local field. {Read More}

About Ann Stewart

Ann Marie Stewart is the author of Preparing My Heart for Advent and looks forward to her first novel STARS IN THE GRASS to be published November 2016. She and her husband Will raise two daughters and a whole lot of sheep on their farm in Virginia.

Nativity Alive: Simple Lessons from the Manger

Fill in the blank about how you’d like to describe Christmas 2015 “This year was the most meaningful Christmas because…. ___________” I don’t think you wrote: Presents Parties Recipes Perfect Christmas photo Decorations Perhaps you hoped for: Wonderful Memories Family Faith Peace How can we have that kind of Christmas? Perhaps we can all learn some simple lessons from the Nativity characters. Years ago I wrote a Christmas pageant, inspired by my childhood imagination as I played with Nativity figures. {Read More}

About Ann Stewart

Ann Marie Stewart is the author of Preparing My Heart for Advent and looks forward to her first novel STARS IN THE GRASS to be published November 2016. She and her husband Will raise two daughters and a whole lot of sheep on their farm in Virginia.

Staying on the Wagon

Statistics show that many will gain an average of 5-20 pounds during the holidays. That’s a real setback. Make a plan now to get you through to January 1, 2015 without too much damage. Before going to a party, drink lots of water to fill your stomach. Arrive late and don’t hang around the food. Bring your own sugar-free beverage and leave it there as a token for your hostess. Look over the food selection before making your choices. Sampling {Read More}

About Kelly Stigliano

Kelly J. Stigliano has been a speaker and writer for over 25 years. She and her husband of over 30 years, Jerry, enjoy life in Orange Park, FL. To learn more, visit www.kellystigliano.com.