About Me

Van Walton

Fun Facts about Van Walton

My favorite smell: The way the earth smells after it rains.

My favorite sound: The first notes of a grand symphony.

My favorite way to relax: Sitting anywhere outside - on my front porch, on my deck, or by the lake, early in the morning with my first cup of coffee.

My favorite birthday dessert: a Peach cobbler baked by my husband. He’s my fave chef!

I will not eat: Avocado. They turn my stomach into a volcano that never erupts.

Technology I couldn't live without and why: My laptop - it takes me anywhere I want to go.

One thing that makes me smile: My sons' faces!

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My Resources



My book, From the Pound to the Palace, is available for $10
from Proverbs 31 Ministries.


Pound to Palace


My book, Little Halos, is available for $5.99 from Proverbs
31 Ministries.


Little Halos


Proverbs 31 Ministries












Links




Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY


This year I am experiencing a new kind of Christmas journey. Whereas in the past I have dedicated myself to preparing for Christmas in a very traditional manner, each day accomplishing a bit of Christmas, this year I am truly on a journey.

The first 12 days of Christmas I move my mother from her home on Table Rock Lake, Missouri miles from her nearest neighbor, to a condo in Santa Fe, New Mexico three doors away from her sister.

Lots of new adventures for everyone.

Part of me longs to be home to bring out the nativity set, to light the traditional candles, to share time with my husband, to volunteer in my community, to celebrate Christmas cheer with friends and neighbors…

Yet, I know God is calling me to step out on a different kind of journey, so here I go.

Before leaving on my cross country adventure I want to intentionally prepare for each day by planting a seed of thought purposefully directing me to contemplate a Christmas character whose life was directly impacted by the first Christmas.

Each one, like me, had a daily routine that was interrupted the moment Jesus began His journey to earth.

Join me by returning daily to be challenged by those who dropped their habitual schedules so they could get a glimpse of the Savior.

December 1 A Prophet Preaches Light

Isaiah 9:1-2, “That time of darkness and despair will not go on forever… The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.”

Times haven’t changed much. Here we are centuries later – we still need a prophet to remind us of the Light that shines. Whenever I am overwhelmed by my environment, I remember the Light, Jesus who shows up -a lamp for my feet so temptations that would bring my life to a stop would be thwarted by by His brilliance.

Activity. Open the family Bible to this passage in Isaiah. Light the Christmas candle and watch it shine in the darkness. Light it every evening this month.

Thought to ponder: Do I allow the Light to shine in my life, even when I find myself surrounded by the reality of life’s shadows?


December 2 A Promise for the People

Isaiah 9:6: “A child is born to us: And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Long before Jesus arrived on earth rumors roamed throughout the land peeking the curiosity of those who had heard the prophecies. Life would not always be difficult. Oppressive rulers would not always be in control. God had promised a King, one who would save the people.

Activity. Listen to The Messiah. Sing along and teach your children some of the main choruses.

Thought to ponder: Can I, and will I, praise God in the midst of difficult and trying times?


December 3 Preaching Truth

Malachi 4:2, 5-6, “For you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture. Look, I am sending you the prophet Elijah… His preaching will turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers.”

This is the last word written in the Old Testament. After these hopeful verses God sent no more messages to the people. They lived by faith, believing His promises, teaching the truth, watching for Him to show up like He said He would.

Activity: Get out the Nativity Set. While you carefully place it in a prominent place, teach your children the truth about Christmas.

Thoughts to ponder: Is my life teaching the truth about Christmas or are my activities confusing to others?


December 4 Jesus’ Genealogy

Matthew 1:1, This is a record of the ancestors of Jesus the Messiah, a descendant of David and of Abraham:”

Too often, when we look at a little crèche depicting that holy night when Jesus was born, we think small. We remember a poor baby, forgotten, rejected, cold, and removed from the socially accepted culture of the day. We fail to remember that Jesus is nobility! His lineage descended through a long line of kings. Why is it that Israel no longer boasts a royal rulers like England, Spain, and Denmark? After Israel and Judah were conquered and taken into exile, even when the remnant returned to their land, there has never been a king to rule the land. Why? Jesus is the next King in line for the throne!

Activity: Make crowns with your children. Place the crowns around the house, at the dinner table, or by their bedsides to remind them that Christmas is a royal holiday (Holy Day).

Thoughts to ponder: Do I realize that Jesus’ death on the cross made it possible for me to be included in His royal household?


December 5 Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, Mary

Matthew 1:2,5,6,16 Judah was the father of Perez (whose mother was Tamar); Salmon was the father of Boaz (whose mother was Rahab); Boaz was the father of Obed (whose mother was Ruth); David was the father of Solomon (whose mother was Bathsheba; Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary…(who) gave birth to Jesus, who is called the Messiah.”

What do these women – Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba and Mary have in common? They are also mentioned in Jesus’ genealogy. These ladies, though, are not blue bloods – far from it. I like reading about the women in Jesus’ life. I believe their names were included in His story to remind me that nothing I have ever done can keep me from the love of the Father.

Activity: Read about these women. Tamar was a deceiver and a seductress. Rahab, a prostitute committed treason. Ruth began her young life in a pagan culture, worshipping evil idols. Bathsheba committed adultery. Each one of these women has a book written in a series by Francine Rivers. I highly recommend these reads!

Thoughts to ponder: What is keeping me from accepting Jesus’ invitation to live as a dignified woman in his spiritual palace?


December 6 Mary, Who was the Mother of Jesus

Matthew 1:18, “This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married…”

Engaged to be married. Isn’t this every girl’s dream? According to Hebrew tradition, Mary would have been spending her time waiting. Wedding plans in ancient Israel hardly resembles today’s traditions. The bride didn’t know when the wedding would occur. That was the groom’s choice. Her role was to be ready when he decided to show up and carry her away. How exciting. You know, anticipation is actually more fun and exciting than the actual event…

Activity: Make this season a special one of anticipation for your children. Rather than focusing on a heap of presents and sweets for just one brief morning, create activities to be enjoyed each day. Make each a surprise, something they learn to anticipate. Here are some examples:

-Play night games in the dark with flashlights.
-Play hide and go seek. Herod seeking the wise men or the wise men seeking baby Jesus.
-Make “tents” by throwing blankets over chairs or coffee tables. Pretend to be Mary and Joseph camping out. Let your children take their naps in their “tents.”
-Drive around looking at Christmas lights.
-Eat a picnic supper under the Christmas tree.
-Act out the Christmas story

Thoughts to ponder: Would Christmas be just as meaningful to me if it were simply about watching and waiting instead of all about shopping and doing?

December 7 My Plans, God’s Plans

Matthew 1:19-24, “ Joseph, her fiancé, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly. As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. ‘Joseph, son of David,’ the angel said, ‘do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’ When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife.”

Major road work is going on outside my neighborhood. I do not like the fact that I can no longer travel the road that regularly took me to my destinations. Now I have to go around or, if I choose to take my regular route, I have to be prepared to stop, wind around road blocks, or drive through detours. Recently I dared to return to my old route. What a wonderful sight. The road is wider! The curves and bumps are gone! The traffic flows smoothly! I learned a lesson – “When my life’s plans are rerouted, trust God. He has a far better road plan than I can design. When He is finished with the road work, my life will run smoothly, no more bumps or sharp curves, no dangerous narrow paths. God will make a way – a wide way for me to travel.”

Thoughts to ponder: When God interrupts my plans, do I graciously accept the roadblock or detour trusting Him to design a better way?
May your Christmas journey be filled with joy!

4 comments:

Charlene Kidd said...

Van I love what you are sharing. I miss seeing you. I hope you are doing wonderful. Thanks for stopping by my blog to say hi.
You are a special gift.
Blessings,
Charlene

Leah said...

Van,

Thank you so much for visiting me over at The Point and commenting on my opportunity to speak alongside my pastor in our church.

It sounds like Christmas will be different for you this year but you are being obedient to what He has called you to do in this season and He will bless you hugely.

Leah

Janel@Dandelion Dayz said...

Oh, I needed to read this soo much this year. Thank you.

I love the one about are my activities confusing people! Great great question to ask ourselves.

I hope for a blessed move for your mother. I am sure being next to her sister will be good for them both!

I am from Missouri originally, so I know just where Table Rock Lake is.

Laura said...

Van,
What an absolute blessing to read through these words this season. I needed this, my friend. Your last questions really struck me, I'm afraid I haven't been very gracious about the interruptions lately.

Praying for your mom's transition. How blessed she is to have a wonderful daughter like you!