Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Greetings

                                                  “Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
                                                           Let earth receive her king;
                                                  Let every heart prepare Him room…”

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Yet again another year is about to end…it seems the time has quickly passed, but looking back I’m reminded much has taken place.

Jesse (1), our baby, has learned to walk and is starting to talk; our Jed man (3) has mastered potty training; Jaylyn (5), our little girl, has started kindergarten; Joy (7), our big girl, now plays basketball and J.D. (9), our oldest, left the country! (He enjoyed a fishing trip to Canada with Job.) There’s also been daily laughs and smiles along with some tears and a few fights, but all in all 2012 was a wonderful year for all of us! We are looking forward to celebrating Christmas as the year comes to a close.

As the big day approaches we continue to prepare - it started with the tree and decorations, next comes the baking and Sunday School program and I always seem to save the shopping for last. But the other day in the midst of all this preparation, that is both enjoyable and overwhelming, I was reminded of the most important prep work I must do - prepare Him room!

Years ago at the 1st Christmas, shepherds and wiseman took quite a journey to see Jesus, the One we celebrate. But this year we don’t have to leave the comfort of our home…instead Jesus comes to us.

He says to us, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” (Rev. 3:20)

This Christmas if you hear Him, the “birthday boy”, knocking we pray you’ll answer the door. What better way to celebrate than spend time with the One who is the Reason for the Season!

We hope this Christmas finds you blessed and enjoying time with the ones you love! We pray all your prep work is a success and trust as you make room in your heart for Jesus, He will fill it with JOY!

                                                                                                 Merry Christmas and God Bless!
                                                                                                           Love The Beran’s

                              May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him,
                                  so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the holy spirit. 

                                                                        Romans 15:13                                                 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Are you ready?

"Are you ready?" seems to be the question of the week...everywhere I go people are talking about the up-coming holiday. The one some have been preparing for for months. The Christmas ads start in October, the decorating begins in November and much takes place in December.

We decorate trees, buy gifts, wrap presents, mail cards, bake cookies and the list goes on. There is much to do to prepare for this celebration that commemorates the birth of Christ. It's good stuff. It's fun stuff.

But with Christmas 5 days away and a blizzard taking place outside my window, it's feeling more like stressful stuff. I still have gifts to buy and cards to mail, but since travel is not advised in Iowa...that won't happen today. And really that's OK; all month long I've been asking God to help me focus on the real meaning of Christmas and keep me from being overwhelmed with the busyness of the season. He's answering that prayer.

This morning He also opened my eyes - Christmas isn't the only thing I need to be ready for. The prep work I do for the celebration of Jesus birthday is important and serves a purpose, but there's a more important day to be ready for - Christ will come again.

I was challenged this morning to think about how much time and energy I devote to getting ready for that big day. Honestly, I don't work as hard or do as much to prepare for that as I do for Christmas. And the thing is if I don't get everything done by December 25th, chances are pretty high I'll get another try next year.

But friend, preparing for Christ's return is something we can only do once. There are no second chances.

So today as you bake cookies or address cards, can I encourage you to think about what you are doing to prepare for Christ's second coming. Perhaps you have sin to confess, a relationship to restore, a friend to forgive or maybe you need to accept Christ as Savior and declare Him your Lord.

Think about this: Be dressed, ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. Luke 12:35-36

The question of the month really is a question for life! So ask yourself today, "Am I ready?" I pray your answer is YES!!