Archive for December, 2010

Family Update 2010


-Celebrate the Holy Child Jesus-

They weren’t politically correct. The things they were saying, well, it got them thrown into jail. Not because it was wrong, in fact, the authorities could not deny the truth of the claims, they just didn’t want these guys’ religious perspective to spread to the populous. So, the authorities tried to silence them. Typically their interrogations, commands, and threats worked. Given the political climate, religious oppression and ruling administration, their threats would intimidate many today. Rather than cower to the opposition, they became bolder. Who are these politically incorrect people? I am not talking about the Tea Party movement, but Peter and John in the Bible.

What does all this have to do with Christmas, the day we celebrate the birth of the holy child Jesus? Read Acts 4. When Peter and John had opportunity to report the persecution they received, it was concluded that all these threats, accusations, and imprisonment were because the whole city—religious leaders, political leaders, Gentiles, even the people of Israel were gathered against the Holy Child Jesus (v.27).

Once released from prison and united with other believers, this was their prayer: “Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, by stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.” (vs. 29-30) There it is again.

Pretty amazing this Holy Child Jesus is still stirring up political incorrectness even today.

Federal Reserve regulators came to the small town of Perkins, Oklahoma to do a routine inspection on the Payne County Bank. They focused in on the Christmas decorations adorning the facility, and ruled some of the decorations inappropriate and told the bank officials to remove the religious references from their business.

Last week the scrolling marquee lights at our hometown bank in Stratford boldly read, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) We haven’t heard from the Feds…yet.

Amidst the other updates on each child, I have challenged my children to think of a time this past year when they have had the opportunity to stand or speak boldly the name of the Holy Child Jesus.

John-Clay (24): This young man has risen to new heights of leadership and responsibility. The opportunity to boldly proclaim Jesus happens often as he seeks to communicate Truth with excellence in the film and design industry. He had the opportunity to work on several film projects most notably Ace Wonder. Keep up with all his projects at He bought a car (thanks to his Granddad’s wheeling dealing expertise). He attended the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival for the fifth time! A new stretch on his endurance and scope of video application has been to produce DVDs for little league football this fall.

Hannah (22): Who would have thought I would have a daughter travel to Singapore/Malaysia? Think of the boldness required to share the life of Christ in Muslim nations! This was the climax to helping lead four other COMMIT Conferences across the US (TX, IN, TN, CA). The commitments to Jesus that this daughter has made are influencing young girls all around the world. We let one of our gardens have a seventh year rest this year; the other garden will rest in 2011. Hannah continues to help with Benjamin’s schooling and is teaching music lessons to 5 siblings as well as to a child outside our home.

Caleb (20): Work, work, work. When Caleb’s heart is in a task, he is a hard worker. Working in the construction industry brings a variety of coworkers, many who do not know Jesus and struggle with language, attitudes, and work ethic. It takes boldness to be a consistent example of Jesus and look for divine appointments to speak His name. Caleb bought a car (wisely a gas saver as work may take him 2 or 3 hours away). He experienced Journey to the Heart, the intense discipleship opportunity J-C and Hannah participated in last year. He was pretty excited to invest in a pistol this year. He has harvested two deer.

Abbie (18): Last year due to the effects of Mono and CFS, we hauled Abbie around in a wheel barrow as the family caroled around the neighborhood. Abbie has had the boldness to believe the truth that Jesus is able to heal, loves her, and has a plan for her life. This year she made all 20 caroling stops with strength to spare. She is baking cinnamon rolls (she loves to bake) and selling them on a street corner in Stratford. She bought a hunting license and has been pond jumping to harvest duck and geese. She also participated in the wonderful experience of a Journey to the Heart. Boldness: on the plane ride home she asked a lady about her relationship with God. After logging 20 driving segments, she is ready to take the test for her driver’s license.

Charity (16): With Hannah being gone a lot and Abbie struggling with her health, this daughter has bloomed into quite a responsible “go to” person for Mom. She continues to help grade school, cook, and pick up the slack, especially if it is to accompany mom shopping. She is another one that experienced the blessing of Journey to the Heart (learn more at ). Charity and Cheryl attended a photography course where the instructor was impressed with Charity’s natural eye, especially for angles. She has purchased a nice camera. Charity has been studying drivers ed, and is looking forward to getting her permit at the end of the year. She has had the opportunity to exercise boldness as she emails friends and encourages them in their walk with the Lord.

Twins (14): The twins are developing and changing into such beautiful young ladies; they are not just the “little girls” any more. So goes life, and we would not have it any other way. Maggie: No longer the shortest female in the family, she has surpassed her mother in height. Maggie has long desired to learn how to play the mandolin and has a borrowed one now in her possession. Another girl that has purchased a camera, she actually had the opportunity to take family pictures for some friends. While helping with a conference, Maggie got to counsel and pray with a little girl who received Jesus as Savior! Maggie has also been helping an elderly neighbor lady with household chores-vacuuming, shampooing her dog, dusting. Carinna: Another camera buff, but it seems more than taking pictures, she enjoys drawing/painting pictures. Carinna’s diligence during Grandma’s art lessons resulted in a 3rd place ribbon for a pencil drawing in the open Fine Arts Division and “Best of Show” for an oil painting in the Junior Division at the Oklahoma State Fair. Carinna harvested a deer this year and made some sweet and sour, lime-flavored jerky. Maybe Carinna’s boldness for Jesus is evident that she is the lead soprano when our family sings together (boldly singing praises to God got a couple of disciples out of prison and opened the door for the salvation of a whole family, Acts 16).

Benjamin (10): All Boy. He bumps me, hits me, wrestles me, pushes, picks on his older brothers and too often, his sisters. Whatever sport is in season, he is playing around the house (football, baseball, basketball…). School is a major occupation of his time and we are working on staying focused. He enjoys piano lessons and history the most. A special treat was to go on a hunting trip with his Granddad to western Oklahoma. We slept and cooked in the big truck pop-up camper Granddad built, walked a lot of fields and actually harvested a few quail. Boldness: Benjamin has been sharing the Gospel with neighbor friends he has made this year. Here is a sign of maturity, he started a savings account.

Cheryl: Her words, “I’m still going strong.” She had a couple of opportunities to spend time with her sisters and mom which is a special treat each year. I know she doesn’t enjoy putting up with my delayed honey-do projects, but she is good not to complain. Cheryl put the girls on a clothes budget. I think it is just an excuse to train them in shopping…for bargains…of course, there’s no better teacher. We attended a marriage conference again this year. Every time I do, I realize what a wonderful woman God gave to me. She likes being home—not traveling back and forth to OKC or keeping a second household.

Johnny: Wow! Writing and reading the above, I am a blessed man. The finances at work have made for some challenges and changes but I am still privileged to serve at Character First. I have really enjoyed getting to preach/teach at our fellowship in Stratford every so often. I have been on a series related to the Armor of God (Ephesians 6).

Family: The Lord has led our family to reach out to our community, Stratford (we are working on the boldly part). As a result, we are no longer worshiping at WHC in Oklahoma City but are gathering with several families at the local Senior Citizens Center on Sundays. Miracle of miracles, the Burnetts got a dog, a border collie/blue heeler mix, named Calli. We were blessed the honey bees produced 23 gallons of extra honey. That is enough to meet our needs, share some with others, and sell a little. We even won a second place ribbon for our comb honey at the State Fair. The Peach Festival, camping, Big Sandy ATI conference, and having family friends (Bontragers, Fortunes, Drakes, Henlines, Jones, Cabreras) visit us are some of the other highlights of the year.

By the way, you can keep up with us at the family blog: .

Christmas (and really all of life) is about this Holy Child Jesus. I know if you Greek scholars look up the word for child in Acts 4, it could mean son or servant, Jesus was both of these too, but the King James Version uses the word Child. Jesus did not stay a child, He did stay holy and He did stay a servant. He gave Himself for your salvation. If you are a Christian, talk about Him boldly. It does not matter who, or if the whole world is against the Holy Child Jesus. If you are not a Christian, verse 12 says, “…there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”

Merry Christmas

Johnny Burnett Family


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Christmas Through the Eyes of a Child


And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

Roman soldier

And Joseph also went up from Galilee…unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

Mary and Joseph

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Mary and Joseph smiling

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field…


keeping watch over their flock by night.


And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

Angel of the Lord

…And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Heavenly Host

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

Shepherd coming

And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

Shepherds with Jesus

But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.


Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

Wisemen and Herod

Then Herod…sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.

When they had heard the king, they departed…and when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.

Wisemen bowing 

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Group shot

And [Jesus] said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Mt. 18:3)

Mary smiling

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Gingerbread Recipe




4 1/2 – 5 cups of plain four

1 tsp. ginger

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. baking soda

Sift together dry ingredients; set aside.

In microwave bowl or on the stove, melt 2 sticks of butter.


1 cup sugar

1 cup molasses

Mix sugar and molasses together with butter. Make a "well" in the dry ingredients; pour in butter mixture and mix well. Dough will be sticky… if it’s too sticky to roll out add more flour.

After cutting out your desired image on a heavily floured surface and placing on a baking pan, bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes.


Royal Decorating Icing:

Beat together until fluffy:

2 egg whites

4 cups of sifted powdered sugar

1/8 tsp. cream of tartar

Add 1 TBSP lemon juice… mix and if it’s too stiff to decorate, add more lemon juice.

Have fun! =)

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Gingerbread Competition!


WARNING: This post contains lots of pictures. Just click on one if you want to see more detail.

Competition always adds a little spice to life, right? (No pun intended – *grin*) Our good friends, the Fortune family, and us have a running game of whose family can beat who. First, we had the “who can build the biggest snowman” contest, which WE legally won. Next, our family automatically took the prize for the largest pile of raked leaves, because…they didn’t have any leaves to rake around their house. :) Then, we came up with the brilliant idea of having a “who can make the best gingerbread house” competition! We picked the same day to make our creations with midnight as the deadline. Everything had to be edible, and no looking at any pictures of other gingerbread houses to get ideas!

With much anticipation, excitement, and wondering what each others families were building, we meticulously drew house plans, gathered creative supplies, and went to work. Throughout the day, we sent taunting emails and pictures of everything BUT our prized projects back and forth!


The Fortunes shocked us with this picture of all their candy!!! Looks like they’re planning to get really creative.


By the end of the day, they had made 11 batches of gingerbread and over 20 batches of royal icing, compared to our 3 batches of gingerbread and around 9 batches of icing. Wow.

First floor

One story of the “structure” almost done…_____ to go.

Let’s check out how the Burnetts are doing…

Porch crew

The porch construction crew – it was a big plus to have a real construction worker helping us out. Thanks, Caleb! :)


Guess what we had for supper?

Just kidding. ;)

Benj and Char in front

Of course, we took great pains to make sure the pictures we sent to our rivals didn’t give anything away!


“Aerial view” of our family table. :) We pretty much took over the kitchen.

Making trees

Waffle cones make exceptional additions to your scene. Carinna developed a great method for creating very realistic trees.

After HOURS and HOURS of work, we finally finished our masterpieces soon after midnight and sent pictures of our works of art to each other.

Okay, are you ready for the final results?? Here we go.

Announcing the Fortunes’…


Fortune's Disney castle

TOTALLY impressive! This castle reaches 40 inches high!!

Castle doorway

They built a walkway all the way through the castle with a mural on each inner wall.

Mickey Mouse

Here you can see the making of the 9-inch Mickey Mouse mural.


Tinker bell, made out of candy clay – very creative.

Side view

Well done, Fortune family!! You get the prize for the most elaborately decorated and impressive structure. =)

And now for the Burnetts’…



Welcome to our cabin! Abbie wound all the “Christmas lights” on the entry way and porch posts.


This is what Christmas is all about, folks! Maggie made the nativity figures out of candy and gingerbread dough.


Would you believe the mailbox is made out of a marshmallow?? Carinna did a great job on this.


The porch is one of our favorite aspects of the scene. Notice the details! Abbie made the pretzel rocking chair and Charity created the holly hedges. *So cute*


Meet Mr. Frosty…is he winking at you? ;)

Now, we’ll take you ‘round back.

back of house

Every nostalgic cabin needs an outhouse and a woodpile. :)


Here’s Ole Nose nappin’ in front – another product of Maggie’s gingerbread dough artwork.


Credit for this part of the scene goes to Carinna! She put a lot of effort into the jello pond that is set in a basin of icing, surrounded by evergreens, with a sled in front. That’s exactly how we sled around here…down Grandpa’s pond dam. :)


I have a “thing” for old trucks, so I built this one out of graham crackers. This is our other favorite element of the scene! Can’t have a country cabin without a truck…


…and a FORD, at that! No other comment needed. ;)

Whole scene

We gave ourselves a ribbon :) for the most realistically detailed gingerbread house that tells a meaningful story.

Well, we hope you enjoyed that summary of our contest from “Fortunett Competitions”! (Did you get that?) We already came up with a r-e-a-l-l-y good idea for next time, so watch out, guys!!

Now, go have fun on a yummy project with YOUR family. :)

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‘Twas The Week Before Christmas


Several years ago, John-Clay produced a 5-minute movie about remembering the true meaning of Christmas. I had fun acting in my brother’s film, even though we stayed up until 3am one night, recording the narration! I hope you enjoy it.

In an unexpected turn of events, a young boy learns the truth about Santa and sets out to honor the true King of Christmas! This heart-warming short film emphasizes Who our focus should be during the Christmas season!

You can view a short clip from the movie here.

Click Here to read more about the movie on the store site!

A while back, John-Clay also wrote up a couple Behind-the-Scenes articles about this project, which you can read here Christmas BTS Article 1Christmas BTS Article 2

For more information or to download the film, go to:

ReelCast Productions Download Store

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