Well, Christmas is over now and it is time to take down the decorations (at least it is at our house). As I was taking down the tree, I decided to take a picture of our other tree, our Jesse Tree. What is a Jesse Tree? There are several different answers to that, but the one I like the most is that it is based on Isaiah 11:1 - "A shoot will spring forth from the stump of Jesse, and a branch out of his roots" and is a way of teaching the Old Testament background for the Messiah, and showing how all of God's promises have been fulfilled. The Advent season is a wonderful time to reaffirm God's faithfulness, and the lessons of the Jesse tree help do so. I wanted each ornament on our tree to point to Jesus. That is a hard lesson. Some were rather easy, but some required much more thought and prayer. In the end it was a beautiful tree. My daughter loved the tree more than the regular tree. Each night(or every few nights, as the schedule permits) we would put on an ornament (or ornaments) and read out of the Bible and a bible story book. The story book took a long story and made it very short while keeping the main idea. We usually only read selected verses from the Bible, but sometimes the entire story came from it exclusively. This is a tradition we will keep and each year we will learn more and understand more as God opens our mind to his wisdom. Our list of ornaments came from http://ourjessetree.blogspot.com/ This lady has completely laid out the entire calendar with pictures of her ornaments. They are great ornaments, but you won't get them all in one year. It will take years of collecting to get them and that is great. It keeps our minds on the real reason for Christmas, Christ. Several ornaments you can make and we did. I did change one of her ornaments this year. Next year I might change more. I am seriously considering purchasing the devotional book from http://www.jesse-trees.com/devotional-book.html They also sell ornament kits, but they are pricey. I like the idea of making/collecting our own over the years. We printed out our own on cardstock as we needed them and just hung them with a hook. You can google Jesse tree ornaments and get lots of picture ideas.
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