boyradd

Forgiven…Loved…..Transformed!

Celebrating Christmas

Luke 2:13 –  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God

Each year since my divorce, I would celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve with my kids and my parents.  The same happened this year.  My parents came down about 11AM and we started cooking.  My mom makes enough ham for a thousand people, and we have mashed potatoes, corn, rolls, and a lot of various appetizer type things such as vegetable pizza and taco dip.  After dinner we enjoy mom’s homemade angel food cake and 6 dozen chocolate chip cookies.

Once dinner is done, we clean up and then head downstairs to open to presents.

By the time the presents get opened, we have about an hour before having to get ready for church and then we head off to church to enjoy a beautiful service.  After the service, it all ends.  My kids go to my ex.  My parents go home.

I’m left at the house alone.

1 Corinthians 13:7 –  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

This year was a little different, however.

This year I enjoyed the company of my girlfriend, Mimi, and her boys on Christmas Eve.

We had 8 people in my house.  Four of them under the age of 15.

The family

We ate dinner about 3 pm on Christmas Eve.  It was great!  I realized I do not have enough plates or silverware to entertain more than 6 people.  We prayed and dug in.

I think I can safely speak for all of us that we all overate.

Then we headed downstairs for opening presents.  Every year, my parents overdo it on the presents and this year was no different.  But what was different was putting 8 people in the basement for presents.

Mimi Bubba Kenzi

I remember an old tobyMac song in which he sings, “when love is in the house, the house is packed.”  Now I am not a huge tobyMac fan (unless it is from his DC Talk days…now THAT was a band!) but he does sing a truth there.

My house never felt so warm.

It never felt so happy.

It never felt so….packed.

We enjoyed a lot of laughs, opened way too many presents, and basically had a good, old-fashioned, family Christmas.

1 Corinthians 10:31 – So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

After the house was cleaned up, we headed to church where we had another great, old-fashioned family Christmas.  We arrived at Chesapeake Christian Fellowship (www.4theLord.org) almost 45 minutes early and I am glad we did!  By the time we got there, there were already about a hundred people at the church.  One a fully packed day, we can seat about 800.  We set chairs down the side aisles and the back of the church that gave us about 120 more seats.  Even after all of that, it was standing room only in the back of the church.

When love is in the house, the house is packed Skit time A Christmas Celebration!

“When love is in the house, the house is packed!”

The choir sang beautiful carols and hymns.  The children’s choir sang “Happy Birthday, Jesus.”  The sermon was powerful and timely.

And people got the message of Jesus.

Isaiah 7:14 – Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

And then it was over.

I went back to my house alone, thinking that the beautiful day of family, friends, and love was done for another year.

But it wasn’t.

You see, in years past, I would spend Christmas day alone.  I’d get a pint of oysters and some canned corn and cook for myself.  I’d spend the day in prayer and fasting until the sun went down and then feast on the oysters and corn.

This year was different.

Waking up at 8, I left for Mimi’s where her boys, she and I piled into her car and headed to her mom’s in VA.

Really?  The Falcons?  This family is Steeler's country! Wow.  Just....wow.

Time for Christmas number 2.

When we got there, there were nine people there!

“When love is in the house, the house is packed!”

For the second day, we ate too much food and enjoyed too many presents.

And it was beautiful.

We stayed there for almost 12 hours.  By the time I got home it was after 11.

It was a beautiful couple of days that focused on faith, family and food, something that even Christ enjoyed.

We pray that you had a beautiful Christmas as well.

1 Corinthians 13:13 – So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Merry Christmas!

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