Christmastime in Retrospect

Our family gatherd together on Christmas Morning

Looking back on the Christmas season, there is so much to thank God for! I remember on Christmas morning reading Psalm 145 together for family devotions. The chapter sums up quite well what God was able to accomplish in the last few weeks of 2008:

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
and His greatness is unsearchable.”

One generation shall praise Thy works to another,
and shall declare Thy mighty acts.”

They shall abundantly utter the memory of Thy great goodness, and shall sing of Thy righteousness.”
Psalm 145: 3-4, 7

Evergreen United Methodist Church The Sunday before Christmas started out as any other Sunday. But as soon as the service started at Evergreen United Methodist Church, you could tell it was going to be like none other! Mom had helped organize a Christmas play The wisemen after conversing with Herodfollowing the wisemen  in their passionate search for Emmanuel. Hours of practice were manifested in the creative performance and rich voice inflections expressed by each participant.  The pastor  followed up with a simple yet The search for Emmanuel completepersuasive exhortation to let Christ alone be our joy and peace during the busyness of the season even to the point of surpassing the activities of giving gifts. This perfectly adjusted our perspective on the activities of the next few days.

Chestnut Grove Baptist Church Finishing up at Evergreen, we drove up the hollow a ways to Chestnut Grove Baptist Church. Amidst the time of food and fellowship, we sang and played the bells and violins. Pulling ourselves away from the friendly group, we went back to town to sing at the Sunbridge Nursing Home for an afternoon of declaring God’s works Sunbridge Nursing Home from one generation to another. It was nice to meet good old friends again. After a quick nap at home, we went back to Evergreen for the evening service, where we performed our pieces for the third time.

Monday evening we sang at Serenity Hope Assisted Living in Jane Lew. Tuesday was Jonathan’s birthday, so with extended family in town, we just had to put on another concert. Saturday we participated in a piano  recital for Esther and Mom’s piano and violin students. After the Christmas weekend, we traveled an hour south to spend all Sunday in Buckhannon at Full Gospel Church and Buckhannon Union Mission Church. It was a very special time! Before each song, we praised God’s work in word of testimony and in conclusion of each service, Dad preached on God’s unsearchable greatness!

Grandparents visiting for Jonathan's birthday!Listening intentlyThe audience on Sunday night Buchannon Full Gospel ChurchHike to the top of a hillBuchannon Union Mission Church Amidst the busy schedule, we felt an overwhelming peace: a knowledge that God was in control of our schedule and that He was speaking directly to others through our words and music. When Christ is living His life through us, giving to others ceases to be materialistic and naturally becomes genuine ministry!


  1. Dad and Mom January 10, 2009 at 9:22 am #

    Praise the Lord for these special Christmas memories and the great response of God’s people to His Word.

  2. Daniel January 10, 2009 at 2:50 pm #

    I didn’t know you had gotten so many pictures of each of those events! I especially like the close-up of Grandma and Grandpa Brown.

    It is also interesting to see what we wise men looked like from the audience’s perspective. 🙂 It had been a while since I had been part of a Christmas play. But it really went well. God sure blessed every place we went that week!

  3. Crystal January 10, 2009 at 4:57 pm #

    I was wondering how the Christmas play went. I’m glad to hear it went well.

  4. Donald January 12, 2009 at 10:22 pm #

    Thank you for getting all those pictures James. The picture of Evergreen was perfect–with the hay bales on the hill up behind it. The wise men’s robes were stunning. And the way you handled both buildings and people reflected some experience and thought! I’m so glad you’re able to use your skills in seeing the Lord’s kingdom go forward on so many fronts for such a time as this.

  5. Michael January 13, 2009 at 5:10 pm #

    It truly was a blessed Christmas. All the folks at Evergreen, Chestnut Grove, Full Gospel, and Union Mission were such a huge blessing to us! I now know afresh that being busy in no way diminishes our ability enjoy Christ and the deep, beautiful meaning of this happy season. In His presence is fullness of joy!

  6. Joshua January 13, 2009 at 5:23 pm #

    Praise the Lord! What a gift indeed it is to be able to give the gift of joy to others! We enjoyed receiving a taste of it during our New Year’s web cam conversation with you all.

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