Our Jesse Tree

our walk through the Old Testament...
leading us to God's ultimate Plan of Salvation

(you can go here to learn more about The Jesse Tree and begin your journey)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Jesus is born!!!!!!!!!

Our wait is over! The Savior is born!

The bright star is shining.....the angels are singing.....shepherds are worshiping!

Thank you God.....for the most wonderful gift we can ever imagine.....your son, Jesus!

And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.

That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in highest heaven,
and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them. ~Luke 2:6-20

Friday, December 24, 2010

the trip to bethlehem

So under Roman rule.....Augustus Caesar sent an order for everyone to register in the village they were from. This is how the trip to Bethlehem came about. Joseph needed to go back to Bethlehem (aka town of David) as he was from the family of David and he took Mary with him.

There was many people in Bethlehem because of the census, so this caused all the inns to be full.....which is how they ended up in a stable.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. ~Luke 2:4-5

Thursday, December 23, 2010


So I am thinking that Joseph def. makes it to the Top Ten in Faith-filled men of The Bible, don't you think? Can you imagine? Joseph was engaged to Mary when she told him her news of being pregnant through God's miracle. Pretty sure that this news was hard for Joseph to digest.....but still being a good man and not wanting to disgrace her in public, he decided to break off the engagement to her secretly.

Thankfully, an angel visited Joseph in a dream and told him about how Mary truly was blessed by The Holy Spirit and it was God's plan for him to marry her and be Jesus's earthly father. Joseph woke from his sleep and did exactly as he was told, knowing and believing that he was part of God's will. Now *that* is an amazing testimony of faith in The Lord.

Not sure if Joseph had all these tools "back in the day".....but we thought this was a cool representation of a carpenter.

As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.~Matthew 1:20-21

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


God needed a strong, smart and loving earthly home for his Son. He chose Mary, a young virgin from Galilee (who happened to be Elizabeth's cousin). When the angel Gabriel came to her and told her about how she was chosen for this difficult and most important job, of course she was startled and confused. "How can this happen as I am a virgin?" she asked.
Gabriel told her about how God had blessed Elizabeth which definitely was a miracle based on her age, and proved that God could do anything. So being a faithful servant of God, she said "let this happen as you say".
This is a cool ornament we had as part of my collection....thought it would work well for The Virgin Mary

The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.
~ Luke 1:35

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

john the baptist

Tonight's reading is about Zechariah and Elizabeth's son, John. The story jumps ahead to the New Testament and confirms that John was chosen by God to tell everyone about Jesus. Although not everyone listed to John, I am pretty sure he had no problem getting people's attention. Talk about a radical Christian! This guy wore clothes made from camel's hair and wore this crazy leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey.....woah.
But even though he was a wild sight.....there was quite a few people who did listen to John. He preached about Jesus, the Savior that God had promised the people so many years ago. He wanted people to confess their sins and turn away from their old ways. He baptized them in the Jordan River.

We snagged this shell out of Nev's collection. :)

People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River ~Matthew 3:5-6

Monday, December 20, 2010

zechariah and elizabeth

Zechariah and Elizabeth honored God.....and they really wanted a child. One day, an angel appeared to Zechariah and gave him a message from God, telling him that Elizabeth was going to have a very special son. The angel Gabriel told him that they were to name him John and that he would bring joy and gladness to many people.
Zechariah was a little doubtful and questioned Gabriel, as he and Elizabeth were quite old. This apparently was not the right thing to do.....as God took away Zechariah's voice as a sign of His power. (we read later that he did indeed get his voice back shortly after John was born)

But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John. You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. ~Luke 1:13-15

Sunday, December 19, 2010


In tonight's reading......from what I am trying to figure out (this is a tough one).....it seems that Habakkuk is questioning if God truly cares and/or is fair with all the injustice going on in his time. I guess there are many Habakkuk today as well. We then learn that God assures us that He does hear our prayers and promises that He will deliver us (answer prayers) in His timing. We also read that God promises He will judge all evil in the world. We just need to stay faithful and keep watch.

So here is my lovely watchtower, made from that foam craft stuff. It does look more like a thimble that has seen better days.......but at this point, (just like last year...it's Dec 19th and I haven't even finished with my Christmas cards) we are going with it :)

The Lord replied, “Look around at the nations; look and be amazed! For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn’t believe even if someone told you about it. ~Habakkuk 1:5

Saturday, December 18, 2010


I cannot imagine living in a world where it was against the law to worship God....tonight's reading is about Daniel who knew and believed that God was the only true God. He was so faithful that he didn't care that it might cost him his life. He was punished and thrown in a pit of lions for breaking the law. But God protected Daniel and he was not touched by the dangerous hungry creatures. When people learned about God's power and how Daniel trusted and honored God.....they too worshiped Him too.

We have to give Pier One credit for this ornament! ;)

For he is the living God,
and he will endure forever.
His kingdom will never be destroyed,
and his rule will never end.
He rescues and saves his people;
he performs miraculous signs and wonders
in the heavens and on earth.
He has rescued Daniel
from the power of the lions. ~Daniel 6:26-27

Friday, December 17, 2010


Tonight's devotion is about how Micah the prophet wrote that Bethlehem would be the place where the Savior would be born. Back in Bible times, most rulers were born in larger cities....but Jesus was born in this small ordinary village.

Not so sure that they had sky scrapers or their own version of a leaning tower.......but Ezra did a great job with his sculpted city ornament to represent Bethlehem.

And he will stand to lead his flock with the Lord’s strength, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. Then his people will live there undisturbed, for he will be highly honored around the world. And he will be the source of peace ~Micah 5:4-5

Thursday, December 16, 2010

a promise of peace

Tonight is a short, but very powerful scripture to read. It was the "follow-up" to The Jesse Tree passage......

so I will just post it here....the message is such a wonderful promise.

In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together;
the leopard will lie down with the baby goat.
The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion,
and a little child will lead them all.
The cow will graze near the bear.
The cub and the calf will lie down together.
The lion will eat hay like a cow.
The baby will play safely near the hole of a cobra.
Yes, a little child will put its hand in a nest of deadly snakes without harm.
Nothing will hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain,
for as the waters fill the sea,
so the earth will be filled with people who know the Lord. ~Isaiah 11:6-9

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Tonight's reading is about how the people of Israel had forgotten all about God. They were worshiping false gods. Elijah warned the people about the wrong path they were going down, but they didn't listen. Elijah proposed a challenge to the people of Israel. They would each build an altar and call upon their god to bring fire as a sign as to who was the true God.

So it was 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah (false gods) against Elijah in this prayer challenge. Of course our true God brought fire proving He is The Almighty!!

I got a little crafty with some scrap felt and foam pieces.....

Then call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by setting fire to the wood is the true God!” And all the people agreed. ~1 Kings 18:24

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Solomon was David's son......I guess he had some shoes to fill.

God appeared to him in a dream and told him to ask for whatever he wanted. He told God that that he felt like a little child and really wanted the wisdom to know right from wrong. He wanted to be able to rule his people with great understanding. God was pleased that he didn't ask for riches, a long life or to harm his enemies. So He told him that not only would He grant him great wisdom, He would also give him riches and honor.

So I guess Solomon really needed this wisdom when those two prostitutes came to him with their dilemma. It seems that they lived in the same house and both had babies within days of each other. There was an unfortunate situation where one baby died. The mom of the baby who has passed switched the babies when the other mom was sleeping. So they went to Solomon and argued their case. He told his servant to cut the baby in half.........eek!.......so that they would each have a half. gulp.
The real baby's mother, full of love for her son..... pleaded to the king to not kill him and to give him to the other woman.......the other woman said "neither of us will have him......cut him in half".......ack!

So, this is when Solomon told his servant to give it to the first woman......as she truly proved this was her child.

Here is another one of Hunter's creative ornaments, the scales of justice.
......this one was the hardest to pull off (it is hard to glue and set a balancing act of sculpty clay, pipe cleaners and wood)

The Lord was pleased with Solomon's reply and was glad that he had asked for wisdom. So God replied, "Because you have asked for wisdom in governing my people and have not asked for a long life or riches for yourself or the death of your enemies~ 1 Kings 3:10-11

Monday, December 13, 2010


Tonight we will go further into David's life.......he was chosen by God to be king when he was a boy......before he even knew it. He knew what kind of person David was even thought most people just looked at him as a child who tended to his sheep. God's servant Samuel poured oil on his head and anointed him as the future king of Israel. He became king at age thirty......and was a great king because he listened to God throughout his reign. He protected his people like he always protected his flock.

In the past, when Saul was our king, you were the one who really led the forces of Israel. And the L
ord told you, ‘You will be the shepherd of my people Israel. You will be Israel’s leader'.
~ 2 Samuel 5:2

Sunday, December 12, 2010

david and goliath

Super cool "underdog" story.....boys will really stayed focused on this one. It's kinda hard to imagine Philistine giants being over nine feet tall....and how cool that a mere shepherd boy took out the most feared giant of them all. I can just picture him, this lean little spitfire stripping himself of Saul's bulky and heavy armor/helmet and having the "let me at'em" spirit.....this coming from a mom of three lean spitfire boys. I think they were definitely drawn into all the details, especially on how David off'd Goliath's head at the end. (Nev seemed to think that wasn't necessary)

Here is our slingshot....and no, that is not a jelly bean, though it does look like one. It is a nice smooth stone from Ezra's newt tank. :)

And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!~ 1 Samuel 17:47

Saturday, December 11, 2010

ruth and naomi

Tonight we will talk about Naomi and Ruth. Naomi lost her husband, and had two sons......both of whom died as well. Her two daughter-in-laws stayed with her and they grieved together. Then it was time for Naomi to go back to her hometown. She encouraged both of her daughter-in-laws to do the same and go back to their families, but Ruth refused. She wanted to stay with Naomi. She told her "Don't ask me to leave. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your friends will be my friends and your God will be my God."

So Ruth and Naomi went to Bethlehem and Ruth stayed true and loyal to Naomi. Now back then, women were not really allowed to work...... Ruth wanted to find food for them, and it was harvest time..... so she worked in the fields following behind the harvesters and picked up any barley that they had dropped. Fortunately for them, these fields were owned by Boaz who was related to Naomi's husband. He also was a man of God. He noticed Ruth and encouraged his workers to leave extra barley behind for her. Eventually he met up with Ruth, assured her she was safe and told her that she would be rewarded for taking care of Naomi.

Big happy ending.......Boaz marries Ruth and they live happily ever after (pretty sure! Still learning these storied too!)

May the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully.~ Ruth 2:12

Friday, December 10, 2010


This is another one of my favorite stories in The Book.......this is about how Rahab, the prostitute from Jericho, had hid Joshua's spies from the leaders of the city. She deceived the king's men who had heard that the spies had been to her home. This was a dangerous thing to do, as she would have been executed for treason if she had been found to be harboring them. But she trusted in the spies and their God. She had heard of the Mighty God of Israel and believed that He would do just as He promised. She knew that He had dried up the Red Sea for the safety of His people and completely destroyed other armies in their path. This was a mighty leap of faith.

So she struck a deal with the spies, she would hide them until dark and help them escape.......if they would promise to save her life along with her family when the city was seized. She was instructed to hang the red rope from her window so that her home would be spared by the Israelite army's destruction. And so it happened, Jericho was destroyed; Rahab and her family were spared.

Rahab and her faith were remembered throughout the New Testament as well.....

It was by faith that Rahab the prostitute did not die with all the others in her city who refused to obey God. ~Hebrews 11:31

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Tonight we will talk about Moses.....and touch upon a few phases of his life, starting with his life as a baby.......life in Egypt........the Burning Bush....setting His people free and ended with the Ten Commandments. We will do the "cliff note" versions to keep it simple. :)

I want to focus on The Ten Commandments and how these are the ten best rules for living for us today. They are rules not for a punishment, but meant to keep us guided in our Christian walk of life.

Once again......Hunter's artistic talent shined with the clay tablets he created.

Walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess. ~Deuteronomy 5:33

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Talk about a life of betrayal and ups and downs.....woah. Joseph (Jacob's son) surely had his share.

Here is a guy who gets betrayed by so many people and still continued to look UP to God rather than getting angry, bitter and "even". He stayed faithful to God because he knew that He was with him through everything and God still expected him to do good things. He looked beyond his circumstance and forgave others.

I am sure it didn't all start just with the ornamental coat/robe Joseph's dad gave him (and pretty sure it looked a little better than my version).....but it definitely played a huge part in his brothers betraying him and selling him off as a slave. But, as God has always shown us......it was all part of His plan.

But Joseph told them, "Don't be afraid of me. Am I God, to judge and punish you. As far as I am concerned, God turned into good what you meant for evil. He brought me to the high position I have today so I could save the lives of many people. No, don't be afraid. Indeed, I myself will take care of you and your families. ~Genesis 50:19-21

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Tonight's devotion is about Jacob's dream......Jacob was kinda on the run as he had not been the nicest of people and it was in his best interest to run away......So one night, Jacob fell asleep on a stone. He had a special dream.....where in the dream, he watched angels going up and down a ladder with God standing at the top. God reminded him of His promise to Jacob's grandfather (Abram) and father (Isaac). Those promises were meant for him too......promises of blessings and protection. He poured oil on the stone that he slept on, and declared that the place where it was set was now the House of God.....he also made his commitment to give God his first fruits
(tithing~a tenth of everything God gave him)

What's more, I will be with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. I will someday bring you safely back to this land. I will be with you constantly until I have finished giving you everything I have promised.~Genesis 28:15

Monday, December 6, 2010


OK, so I am going to be totally honest here......one story that I have a hard time understanding is the story of God asking Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. I know that sacrifices were brought to the altar to honor God, I totally get that. I know that sometimes when we sacrifice something that is very special/important to us.......such as money, time, etc.....and give it to someone else who needs/wants it......that is pleasing to Him as well. But to ask to sacrifice your own child? Eek!

I can honestly admit that I am not so sure I am truly can see where God is coming from. I am sure He had His reasons.....I guess that is why we are told that His ways are not our ways.

But what an amazing testimony of faith and obedience that Abraham shows by not asking questions (that I know of)....and going forward with this task.
Thankfully, we learn that the angel comes and stops Abraham right at the last second.....phew. The angel tells Abraham that he has proven his faith and fear of the Lord and will now be blessed beyond his wildest dreams! (well, those are my words, I am sure the angel didn't say it exactly like that)

Here is our stick bundle to represent the burnt offering. Another great lesson in this story is that God will always provide. As Abraham untied Isaac from the altar.....he noticed a ram with it's horns stuck in a thicket.....a perfect offering in place of his son. He named that place on the mountain Yahweh-Yireh (which means “the Lord will provide”).

This is what the Lord says: Because you have obeyed me and have not withheld even your son, your only son, I swear by my own name that, I will certainly bless you.I will multiply your descendants beyond number, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will conquer the cities of their enemies. ~Genesis 22:16-17

Sunday, December 5, 2010

abraham and sarah

So of course this story is dear to *my* heart........God's promise to give Sarah and Abraham a son came to pass (despite their age). But this promise only happened when Sarah gave her desire over to God and His timing.

She gave birth to a little boy and named him Isaac which means "laughter" because having a baby at her old age was pretty funny if you think about it.

For the ornament, I tried to made a cradle and couldn't pull it off......so a quick trip to Michaels fixed that. I found this cute little scrapbook doohickey and couldn't resist. Pretty sure they didn't have onsies back then, but we can use our imagination.

"God has brought me laughter! All who hear about this will laugh with me" ~Genesis 21:6

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Tonight's devotion is the first part of Abram's (who God later changed his name to Abraham, but let's not get ahead of ourselves) life. It seems bizarre to say his first part because you need to wrap your head around this as he was already 75 years old. Anyway...God told Abram that he needed to pack up everything and leave his home. He promised him a great nation and many blessings. But this wasn't just a little trip to the next town.....this was a long hard trip that was a couple thousand miles across a desert. And we are not talking freight trains or planes......this was traveling with livestock, servants, and family on camels and living in tents along the way. They faced the elements as well as a famine. He must have had some serious faith to keep pushing forward on this trip, not even knowing what was in store for him. He was just doing as God has asked him to do.

Here is my tent to represent Abram's trip. Hopefully Abram lived in a much more sturdy structure. Mine was made from a piece of a leftover prefold diaper I had stashed away, twigs and raffia.

And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing ~Genesis 12:2

Friday, December 3, 2010

noah's ark

So I think that Noah's Ark is in the Top Five best known stories of the Bible (I am guessing CHRISTmas, Easter, Moses and Adam and Eve are on it too)....but it's kinda cool to read it straight out of the Book. Like how God told Noah exactly how to make the ark such as a particular kind of wood and all the dimensions. (which btw, was about 1 1/2 football fields long, almost as wide as one football field and about four stories tall based on one resource) And then.....wow.....being isolated on a boat, crammed with your immediate family for about 150+ days/nights, not to mention a pair of every species of animals (who I am sure were wicked smelly after just the first few days)

YIKES! Can you imagine how tense that might have gotten? I don't know about you.....but I like my space. Gotta give Noah and his family a ton of credit.

So yeah....this is our rainbow, made by moi (that is "me" for all my fellow French Canadians)

..... kinda hard to follow after Hunter's cool serpent/apple ornament. But I guess it works.....I am a huge fan of rainbows....and one always seems to appear at just the right time in my life. ;)

When I see the rainbow in the clouds, I will remember the eternal covenant between God and every living creature on earth.~Genesis 9:16

Thursday, December 2, 2010

adam and eve

So tonight's devotion is about the story of Adam and Eve. We will read *the* ultimate lesson about how even though God loved them, they brought sin into the world and needed to punish them for disobeying. (this fits in well with a few of the kids lately).

God also made a promise to them that even though they were sent out of the perfect Eden, He would always love them.

Last year, when Gunner read Genesis 3:1-19......Josh wrapped it up with his version of a valuable lesson...."you see, guys.....it was all the woman's fault."

Hunter was the artist who created this ornament....so far, it's my fave!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


The reading tonight was from Genesis....explaining that God is the creator of *all* things.....he made the world and everything in it.

The world is His gift to us.....and he wants us to enjoy it and treat it with care.

So this is our world........as you can see, geography was never one of my better subjects and I do not claim to think that this represents any continent on our earth. In fact, the turnip looking blob that I was picturing as being Africa looks more like South America floating away from North America.

Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground........God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.........Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was excellent in every way. ~ Genesis 1:26-31