Nativity Alive: Celebrating 2 Advents

Recently my friend wrote me, “After much prayer, I finally finished decorating our home. It’s much different than it has ever been.” She continued, “We are no longer celebrating the birth of a baby, we are celebrating the soon coming of the King. The One who is faithful and true.” (See Revelation 19:11.) What an exciting reminder! As we celebrate Jesus’ first Advent, we can also anticipate His second Advent. Although my decorating isn’t much different this year, I am listening {Read More}

About Lydia Harris

Lydia E. Harris is happily married to Milt, her sweetheart for 48 years. She has two married children, five grandkids, and is the author of a Bible study, "Preparing My Heart for Grandparenting" (AMG Publishers, 2010 release). She's also a tea enthusiast and writes the column "A Cup of Tea with Lydia."

Nativity Alive: Christmas all Year Round

*Affiliate links included. In the church Christmas pageant I wrote, “The Nativity Alive,” the children carol at the home of a reclusive man who has a Nativity set displayed in his front yard. A few of the rowdy kids actually steal the baby Jesus from the manger, much to the chagrin of one little caroler who is left behind when the elderly homeowner opens his front door. This little girl is about to learn all about the baby in the {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: 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: The Shepherds Hurried into Christmas

* Affiliate links included. With a dozen sheep in my backyard, I appreciate the shepherds. These lowly young men with little education and spiritual knowledge ate simple foods, endured harsh weather in primitive wild lodgings, and defended themselves against animals, lions, bears, wolves, and thieves, while protecting animals they didn’t own. Clothed in heavy cloaks, carrying staffs and rods, their familiar presence and voices were a reassurance to their flock. They cared for expectant ewes, newborn lambs, and sick animals {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: 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.

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.