Nativity from IsraelDo you have a favorite Christmas decoration? Something you pull out year after year that represents a special person or place?

I love my nativity scenes. I have started collecting them. I have a nativity scene made out of olive wood from the Holy Land a friend brought me back from her trip there. When I look at this particular nativity scene, it makes me think of my dear friend but it also causes me to long for the day when I will be able to go to Israel and see the sights for myself.Nativity from Ghana

I have a hand carved wooden nativity scene from Ghana, West Africa that I bought from a precious woman named Abigail on my first trip to Ghana in 2003.  When I look at it, I am reminded of the people of Ghana and my time there. Faces pass before my mind’s eye, people I’ve grown to love over the years. I’m also reminded of the scraping sound of the wood carver’s knife moving across the wood as I watched him work.

Nativity from PP  I have a porcelain nativity set that I purchased when I was first married. I bought it from a store I worked at with my mother. It brings up a variety of memories. First, I am reminded of the fun times I had working with my mom and the other ladies in the shop who have become lifelong friends. Second, I’m reminded of the purity of Christ by the pure ivory color of the nativity. This nativity was expensive when I bought it, even with the employee discount. That is a reminder of the price Christ paid for me as He gave his very life for me [John 3:!6].

There are some decorations that I put out at Christmas time that serve as reminders of harder times the Lord brought us through. Simple ornaments or decorations that remind me of times when our financial situation was such that we could have qualified for food stamps. It’s good to reflect on those as well, to see how far the Lord has brought us.

A week ago I sat in a Panera Bread Company with one of my Hopes as she reflected on what her life was like when we first met. To look at her today, you’d never believe she was the same person.

When I met her, she was in the life, working for a cruel pimp, but scared to death to walk away and not even sure how she could if she decided to do so. Every other word out of her mouth needed to be censored.  She trembled because of her body’s dependence on some sort of illegal substance.

Today Hope is much healthier, she exercises and eats well, she works for a very reputable national company, she just bought a car and is about to get her first apartment on her own.  She was amazed by how far she had come in such a short amount of time. She even said, “God has brought me a long way.”

This is why we remember.

This holiday season, what decoration do you set out to help you remember? What song do you play to help you reflect on the faithfulness of God?

He is faithful [Deuteronomy 32:4]. He is loving [1 John 4:16]. He will never leave us nor forsake us [Deuteronomy 31:6, 8, Joshua 1:9].

When we remember His how far He has brought us, it bolsters our faith and helps us realize we can trust Him to carry us through whatever we’re facing at the moment.

What has He done for you? Do you remember?