Happy Christmas!

Christ was born so we could LIVE. As Rob Turner stated last night at the Christmas Eve service, “When Christ was born, God was declaring war.” 100 % human, 100 % God. That small baby Jesus is the same Jesus that died on the cross for me.

“In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And the angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

   When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

   And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.”

Luke 2: 1-21

Rejoice, Rejoice, Emmanuel.

antonina grace

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it’s been awhile…

it has been approximately 185 days since I last wrote on here. So I suppose its time for an update.

The first semester of my junior year is up and I’m back home. I LOVE coming back home. It’s a safe haven where I can snuggle up with my puppy scarlet, banter with my father, spend time with my mother and pick on my sister. But it also has small reminders of who I was 2 1/2 years ago. Which is much needed because it can be easily forgotten amongst the bible studies, leaderships, leader weekends, intentional talks and accountability partners.  I get so consumed with all these things I must do that I almost get lost in my relationship with Christ… anyone else know the feeling?

But it was probably one of the toughest semesters. I worked at the Air Force Museum twice a week, babysat one day a week, had class Tuesday through Thursday with leading and some kind of a social life thrown in there. Looking back I don’t know how I survived. It is all kind of a blur. I realized that the entire semester I was exhausted, drained and somewhat joyless. And with only a week into my break, I am still feeling many of these same feelings still. Thankfully feelings changes and my relationship with Christ does not. It’s not based on feelings or what I do or what I think of myself… thankfully.

One of the easiest traps to fall into is running solely on yourself. It creeps up on you and out of no where (and not till much later) you realize that you have only thought about yourself and done everything for your glory. You finally see that all has been done from your own energy, and it has of course run out. I had this realization the other day and it scared me. I was driving back from Vandalia on I-75 South and thought, “I did all of that for me.” Very sobering thought and it threw me into a panic. But then I read this last night.:

“When my heart was grieved
and my spirit embittered,
I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.

 Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail, 
   but God is the strength of my heart 
   and my portion forever.

Psalm 73:21-26

and it helped a lot.

I wanted to share a song I have been jamming out to lately by Page CXVI called “Be Still My Soul.” I discovered Page CXVI from Apex one morning at church when they played “Be Still My Soul” and I feel in love. Here is a link to their website. PAGE. I love that they state on their page that the purpose of this project was to make hymns known again.

This song was originally a hymn written by a German woman named Katharina von Schlegel in 1752. Some words are slightly changed and it is based off of Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God.” So with one of my favorite Psalms and now one of my favorite hymns, here are the lyrics:

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on your side.

Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;

Leave to your God to order and provide;

In every change, He will remain.

Be still, my soul: your God will undertake

To guide the future, as in ages past.

Your hope, your mind, your will let nothing shake;

All now mysterious shall be bright

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on

When we shall be forever with the Lord,

When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,

Sorrow forgot, love’s joys restored.

Be still my Soul, Be still my soul

Be still my Soul, Be still my soul

Be still my Soul, Be still my soul

Be still my Soul, Be still my soul

Be still my Soul, Be still my soul

Be still my Soul, Be still my soul

And praise Him, and praise Him,

And praise Him, and praise Him,

And praise Him, and praise Him,

And praise Him, and praise Him.

shout out to Sam! Happy Birthday friend (:

antonina grace