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TruthNotes

Timeless truth in a changing world

Celebrate Christmas Through a Child’s Eyes

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Ask any adult if they’re ready for Christmas, and they’ll likely respond with a groan. For what’s supposed to be the “most wonderful time of the year,” December usually ends up being too busy, too chaotic, and too stressful to really enjoy. Children, on the other hand, are completely opposite. My kids have been counting down to Christmas since the middle of November. You can see the excitement and wonder in their eyes when they think about the holiday. Christmas for a child is what Christmas is really about—waiting in eager expectation. Our Heavenly Father has given us the perfect gift in His Son. We know that’s what Christmas is all about, but sometimes it’s hard to keep that focus when we think about everything on our to-do list before December 25. So here are a few links of Advent and Christmas activities you can do with your children (or on your own!), to remind you to take a step back and celebrate Christmas through a child’s eyes.

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Is Our World the Worst It’s Ever Been?

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Oh, that God in heaven would have mercy on us! Today, even the faithful have become unbelievers. A reformation, therefore, appears to be impossible. It is clear that the world is declining. The examples of the Flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, and the destruction on Jerusalem are being fulfilled before our eyes. The darkness of the midnight hour of the world has come upon us. The Judge already stands at the door. The hammer of the world’s clock has been raised in order to announce the expiration of the last hour. God’s army, the angels of the Lord of the heavenly hosts, stand in battle formation to fight the great battle of the Last Day. In but a few minutes of the world’s time, God’s trumpet will sound.

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The Meanest Mom in Town

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Last summer some friends from the neighborhood came over to play with my girls. They played outside for awhile before coming in to get out of the heat. Upon walking into the house, our guests spotted the xBox and asked to play. I told them no and suggested Legos instead. Walking away, I heard the nine-year-old mutter to my daughter, “My mom is nicer than your mom.”

My son and his friends were talking around the lunch table their eighth-grade year, and one friend bemoaned, “My mom just started this new thing called ‘no phones after dinner.’” My son shot back, “Yeah, well, my mom has this thing called ‘no phones…’”

Is it bad that in both cases, I was secretly pleased?

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Hitler’s “Good Luck Charm”

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Anyone who’s ever watched the movie Valkyrie had to groan in disappointment when the bomb planted by Claus von Stauffenberg (played by Tom Cruise) didn’t kill Hitler as planned. The men involved in the assassination attempt were so close. What would have happened if Hitler and his top men had been killed? That’s a question we can never answer on this earth, but it’s not for lack of trying that Hitler defied death as many times as he did. Numerous attempts were made on his life, Operation Valkyrie being perhaps the most famous but certainly not the first. There was “Operation Flash,” the airplane bomb that didn’t detonate properly, shown at the beginning of Valkyrie. There was an overcoat bomb worn by a suicide bomber that didn’t have enough time to go off because Hitler abruptly called the meeting to an end. Some sources list up to 30 attempts on Hitler’s life, and Hitler took it as a sign of Divine Providence that his life was spared; validation of all his efforts. The source of Hitler’s uncanny good luck is a riddle that has plagued many a historian, but it can be solved, in part, by a rather unglamorous answer: Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel.

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When You Feel Insignificant

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My son is in marching band this year, and each member of the band has his or her own set of steps to learn. No two people have the same drill, and yet everyone works together to form a cohesive show. My son knows this, but it didn’t really dawn on him until they had a competition recently, and the band directors sent a video of their show to each of the members to watch. As he watched the entire show, finally able to see everyone together, he said in awe, “Wow. I had no idea that’s what we look like. It’s neat to see the big picture.”

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What We Can Learn from a Mustard Seed

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When I was a girl, I had a bracelet with a mustard seed in it. The mustard seed was enclosed within a clear ball, like a marble. The seed itself was tiny, a visual reminder of Jesus’ mention of the mustard seed. Indeed, the mustard seed has become symbolic of faith. Yesterday was LWML Sunday, and the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League is known, among other things, for their “Mustard Seed” devotionals. Many times we think of Jesus’ words in Matthew 17:20, where He says, “‘Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.’” Oftentimes the implied question is this: do you have that kind of faith? But there’s another mustard seed reference in the Gospels. Matthew, Mark and Luke all record the parable of the mustard seed, which has a completely different nuance. Instead of likening one’s faith to a mustard seed, this time Jesus is talking about the kingdom of heaven, a far broader scope that places the action solely upon Him.

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Winner of the Stand Alone Challenge

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The winner of the Instagram photo challenge is author Angela Watts! Thanks to everyone who participated in the challenge! I loved seeing the different books and characters other people thought of for each of the day’s prompts, and I got a few new book recommendations myself. Please be sure to add the Sola books to your own reading list, and I’d love if it you leave a review when you’re finished.  Happy reading!

Final Day of Stand Alone Challenge

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Today is the final day for the Stand Alone photo challenge, and the prompt is Faith Refined.

In every book of the Sola Series, at least one character grapples with questions about his or her faith. In Stand Alone, Jackson struggles with issues such as forgiveness and the question of why bad things happen to good people. He has to decide when to speak up about his faith, even if that means he’s standing alone.

Who is another book character whose faith is challenged and refined through the course of the book?

Find me @ruthmeyerauthor on Instagram, and you just might win all four books of the Sola Series! If you’ve already read them, please do leave a review. I love to hear from my readers!

Day 4 of the Stand Alone Challenge

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We’re nearing the end of the Stand Alone photo challenge with Day 4. The prompt for today is “Life Set-Backs.”

Throughout the Sola Series, Grace and her family have faced many set-backs in life. In Stand Alone, Jackson’s future crumbles before his eyes. All he’s ever wanted to do is play football in college, but a major sports injury his senior year of high school crushes that dream.

Who is another book character to experience life set-backs?

It’s not too late to join the challenge! Find me on Instagram @ruthmeyerauthor to enter. I look forward to seeing your entries!

 

 

 

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