10th Day of Christmas – The Gift of Blessing

(I’m following these prompts for the 12 Days of Christmas)

Luke 2:21-40

On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”

Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
    you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
    which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
    and the glory of your people Israel.”

The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.

Baptizing Kate (7)

This is the baptism of my granddaughter, Kate Elizabeth Watters. Her proud parents and brother brought her to the church to be baptized, and my father was the elder from the congregation who helped with the promises. Four generations! Baptisms of babies are always times for rejoicing.

6th Day of Christmas – The Gift of Celebrating

(I’m following these prompts for the 12 Days of Christmas)

Psalm 100

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
    Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations.


After a cold, cloudy day yesterday, just at sunset, the clouds cleared and Mt Rainier was visible for a while. Give thanks to the Lord, for the Lord is good. (I didn’t Photoshop this picture at all, except to tone down the brightness a little so you could see the mountain.)

Presbygeeks – Joy and Thanksgiving

This post is for those other Presbygeeks who read my blog.

The last Presbytery meeting I attended before leaving Texas was a special called meeting to vote on what to do about the First Presbyterian Church of Longview. The session had voted to leave the denomination, although there was a significant portion of the membership who wanted to stay. At the urging of the remnant who wished to remain in the PC(USA), the Presbytery dissolved the session and took the congregation under care. (I mentioned this in passing on the blog I wrote as we were packing to be ready to leave Dallas.)

At the last Presbytery meeting, we voted to dismiss those who wished to leave to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (another reformed body). We also voted to give the property to the remaining members. (You can read all the details here.)

That was one of the hardest, most gut-wrenching meetings I have ever attended, and I have carried that church in my heart and prayers to this day.


You can imagine my joy and thanksgiving when I saw the headline in Grace Presbytery’s newsletter,

First Presbyterian Church, Longview:
Thriving one-year later

Once more the Spirit moves, and I stand in awe!