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Monday, December 2, 2013

My Birthmark

VanDyke 2013 Tree
Growing up in a Pentecostal Pastor's home, we didn't look at the Church calendar much.  I mean, we had one for our church but the liturgical church calendar, well, I didn't even know it existed.  I was grown, with three children when the Lord started connecting our church with it's roots.  We were introduced to the Church calendar.  WOW...I thought only Roman Catholics did this stuff.  I didn't realize how much we were missing.

Fasting something before Easter...the Lenten Season...I thought only Spirit filled, tongue talking, fire baptized Pentecostals fasted.

Reading scriptures every day...Why do I need someone to tell me what to read?  I'm smart enough to pick out my own daily readings.  Yes Kimi you are but for those who want a plan, here it is.

Advent, what is that?  I thought it was just a countdown calendar filled with chocolate candy or some families have little gifts.  You mean it is a real thing.  Something to read everyday that connects us to the birth of our Savior.  Lighting a candle, reading scripture, singing songs, focusing on Him, every single day.  How come we never did this growing up?

My parents read to us the scriptures, we sang songs all the time, music was always a part of our home, especially at Christmas.  We lit candles and focused on Him, it just wasn't considered a "TRADITION" or a "Holy moment".

Our family always loved the traditions of Christmas.  Mom wrapping gifts in her bedroom with the door closed, putting up the tree around the 14th of the month, opening one gift on Christmas Eve, making Christmas cookies, singing Christmas carols, listening to our favorite records of Frosty Gets a Wife and The Sounds of Christmas.  Each Christmas Eve, me, my sisters and brother would go around the house, looking for stuff to put in Mom and Dads stockings because they were always empty.  We would make cards and put in oranges and nuts and little things.  We would use our Lite Brite (thank you Marvin & Sarah Jackson) to give us some light as we lay around in the living room, waiting for Christmas to arrive.  Trying our best to stay awake and then at 6:00 am, we would knock on Mom and Dads door and of course, drag Ronald Scott out of bed to open gifts.  Oh my, how I loved all these traditions.

Tradition has become a bad word throughout the years.  We are encouraged to break tradition.  We are mocked if we keep the traditions of our ancestors and even of the early church.  To tell you the truth, I love traditions.  Each family has traditions that connect them year to year.

Well, isn't the church, family?

Aren't you my brother and sister in Christ...Family.

So the traditions started by our Forefathers of the Faith, I love to do.  It says that I belong, I am a member of this family, I belong.  It is my birthmark.  It connects my earthly family with my heavenly family.

So, I encourage you today, Pentecostals, Baptists...whatever flavor or branch of the family tree you are, read about Advent and the Church Calendar.  Let's join together and celebrate the wonderful traditions of our Faith.

Advent: Christ Is Coming

Advent is a 4-week season of expectant waiting 
celebrated around the world..
It is a time of preparing our hearts to behold our Savior,
the prophesied Messiah.
It is a time of reflection and for 
teaching our children about Jesus' virgin birth, life,
death and resurrection.  
May this season draw our hearts back to reflect on 
what has been done and propel us onward into a new year 
of expectation and readiness for His next glorious appearing!
by www.thistlebendministries.org

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