Archive for December, 2011

Christmas at our house


photo by Charity

Christmas is definitely one of my favorite times of year! We have some really fun traditions, I love being with family, plus I get to bake … A LOT! :) No, really, I think you’ll be able to see why it’s so special to me after you look at all these pictures – enjoy!

Silver Dollar City


The twins and I got to accompany some friends to Branson earlier this month. There’s a lot I could say, but to sum it all up, we had a VERY good time! A big highlight was that we unexpectedly all got free tickets to Silver Dollar City-it was so pretty all decorated up for Christmas, and the roller-coasters were terrifying  great!


Caroling at the Senior Citizen Center

When we got back home, most of our family got to sing and play for the sweet folks down at the Senior Citizen Center here in town.

Caroling at the Senior Citizen Center

Wrapping up goodies

Tradition: We always go Christmas caroling to our neighbors, and around town. (including the local police station and sometimes to random folks we’ve never met =) Our list is getting bigger. It seems to be a real blessing to others, but sometimes I think we are the ones who feel the most blessed by it.

As I said earlier, we did LOTS of Christmas baking. =)

"We wish you a merry Christmas"

Christmas caroling.


Tradition: For several years now, mom has put together a themed Christmas tea for just our family. This year the theme was ornaments. She did an AMAZING job with spazzy decorations and lots of good food – we all really enjoyed it!


After the tea, Dad read from a Christmas devotional, then we opened stockings and presents. With both the older boys working, and well, I guess some us girls have taken plenty of trips this year, it makes me appreciate even more when we can all be together – I love my family.

Benjamin and Caleb 

Candlelight service

For the first time, our little church group held a Christmas Eve candlelight service, complete with beautiful carols and formal dresses. It was lovely.

Luke 2  

We were encouraged to memorize Luke 2:1-20, this was a blessing to me.


Tradition: Daddy writes up our annual Christmas letter. We sent out 106 copies this year! :)

We had a special time celebrating at Grandma’s house on Christmas day after church. We are so blessed to have godly grandparents who live close and love the Lord.

Christmas Day duck hunting

A few of us did some duck hunting, we got…one. :) (Carinna didn’t hunt, she brought our dog to retrieve the ducks, and Dad carried a rifle hoping we’d spook a doe.)

Some special things we do at Grandma’s on Christmas is: Eat Grandpa’s amazing chex-mix and open stockings.

Grandpa and Charity


We taught and learned some new games this time. It was fun and we had some pretty good laughs! =)


On the 26th, we drove up north a little ways to welcome the Paine family to Oklahoma. They are moving here from Chicago. We had a great time fellowshipping, playing volley- ball, and playing games. We are glad they live “close” and are definitely looking forward to the next time we can get together with them!


On the 27th we celebrated with mom’s side of the family at Granny’s house.

Yay! We remembered to sing carols this year! :)

It’s pretty fun, there are 5 great-grandkids now, which means there are little people around again! =)


The winners of a game with their prizes. :)


Twins holding twins. Carinna has Nickolas Patrick and Maggie has Natalie Shae.


Special traditions at Granny’s are: Eating her delicious homemade cinnamon rolls and playing white elephant.

“ 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.” Luke 2:10-11

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Christmas Newsletter 2011


Dad wrote the following newsletter to send out as our annual Christmas update. Hope you enjoy! The family picture is at the end. :)

“And It Came To Pass…”

And it came to pass…no I am not talking about how OSU’s passing game defeated OU in football this year; but rather the common phrase used 457 times in the KJV Bible to indicate the passage of time. Sounds pretty simple, but the events that follow this phrase can be very significant. A few Old Testament examples are, Noah and the flood, David and Goliath, Esther, Jonah, Nehemiah rebuilding the wall in Jerusalem, and there are multiple instances in the New Testament.

One of the most significant events following the words, “And it came to pass,” is found in Luke 2 documenting Jesus’ miraculous birth. Paul states it this way, “…when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son…” (Galatians 4:4). You see, in the Bible, “And it came to pass” is not just a phrase to tell a story, it is a recounting of historical facts. One fact being that, “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). And that is the whole reason we celebrate His Holy Birth—Christmas.

“And it came to pass” in the Burnett household this year:

What a year! Those who keep up with us at, probably know most of this, but you might be surprised at a new detail or two. Some of the regular annual events (Big Sandy, Backyard Bible Club, and family camping), although still favorites, are taking a back seat to new adventures in this report. Briefly:

Big Sandy – homeschooling can’t be beat.

Bible Club – creation vs. evolution and the reliability of the Bible were exciting and needed truths to teach!

Family Camping – the tent ended up wrapped around a tree; definitely memorable.

One of the new biggies for the family was the opportunity to coordinate a retreat called Journey Reunion in Michigan. It is a delight to see God work in each of our children’s lives and humbly watch the journey He has our family on at this season of life.

Cheryl: A woman of few words, “I lost a bunch of weight this year…self-control.” She looks good! Of course she always looks gooooood to me. I know she looks thirty, but we celebrated thirty years of marriage this year, so she must be a little older than that. Each year I marvel at God’s gift of the wife of my youth. I am glad this “it came to pass” is still in the works.

John-Clay (25): This year has been full of many new first experiences for John-Clay. Some were enjoyable, and some were more difficult, but John-Clay said, “All have been used by God to grow my dependence on Him.” John-Clay preached his first sermon at our local fellowship, “Beware of the Choir.” I am looking forward to the next one. A lot of John-Clay’s year was spent traveling across the country working on the recently released documentary Captivated a film that brings Biblical insight to the concerns we are facing with the overuse of media in our lives. You can find more info at: Coordinating the Journey Reunion was a first for the family and John-Clay’s perspective, insight, and leadership were a blessing. I am glad he accompanied several of his sisters to North Carolina for the Wilds music conference. He says, “We prayed our way through a terrible winter storm on our way home.” I have enjoyed seeing John-Clay seek God on many different levels from relationships, to theology, to politics.

Hannah (23): It seems she always has a fresh word from the Lord in her life. It is good to hear how she is loving Jesus. While she did not travel out of the country this year, she went on 8 out-of-state trips…from North Carolina to California to the U.P. of Michigan to Houston, TX! She worked with COMMIT again this spring/summer – a ministry that disciples 12-15 year old girls. Hannah was the primary family member coordinating the Journey Reunion from the ground up. Her assessment: “It was a challenging, fun, learning experience, and an incredible blessing to see GOD orchestrate! I would love to do it all over again.” Hannah continues to teach music lessons and tackle more landscaping and gardening ventures. This fall she served part time as the communications coordinator for In the Gap – an organization that teaches character lessons in elementary schools and leads after-school Bible clubs.

Caleb (21): Another person pretty pumped about the Journey Reunion, he was willing to take off over a week without pay to make the trip with the family. Although none of his Journey friends were there, new friends were made, and he was greatly encouraged spiritually. Caleb also helped in a Children’s Institute and accompanied his sisters on their trip to Nashville, Tennessee. Working behind the scenes with craft preparations and skits, I was glad the girls had a protector along for the travel. The first part of the year, Caleb was grateful to work with the Morrises in their construction business. He currently works at Kimray, an oil and gas valve manufacturer (and business where Character First began) in Oklahoma City in their construction department.

Abbie (19): Not to be “out tripped” by her sister, Abbie took 9 out of state trips (TX-3, MI, IN, NC, CA, TN, MO), a highlight of which was the opportunity to witness to people on the plane. She has been doing some regular baby sitting for family friends which is a good fit with her love for children. So, you will also not be surprised to hear she helped with three Children’s Institutes. Her words: “Very fun, but stretching.” Abbie loves baking new things; problem is I (Dad) love eating them; little self-control, so I am not losing weight. God impressed Abbie to seek to be a giver this year. She has had the joy of giving away more than she ever has before, only to find that God gave the most and has allowed her to earn and receive more than she has ever before. God’s ways are right and His promises are true.

Charity (17): In January, a car load of Burnett children went to the Wilds (Christian Camp in NC) Music Conference. Solid Bible study, sincere worship, godly instruction, and extreme fun were reported of the experience. She enjoyed sharing this road trip and new adventure with siblings. This summer Charity accompanied Mom and some sisters to Indianapolis (ATI Regional Conference) which allowed her to see some of her special Journey to the Heart friends. Family Camp (different than Big Sandy or our family camping) has been a longing for several Burnetts. Charity and Abbie got to attend with another family. I think I have a couple of girls hooked on rappelling. She is almost done with school, likes driving, got her braces off, but did not enjoy having her wisdom teeth extracted. God placed Charity in the middle of our children. I like seeing her be not lost in the crowd, but express herself with confidence, have fun, and personally enjoy learning the ways of the Lord.

Maggie (15): Another new experience this year was an event called UQ—Ultimate Quest. A ministry of Institute In Basic Life Principles Australia, the goal is to help young people see life from God’s point of view and make wise decisions. Maggie said, “UQ helped me evaluate my life to see if I was living ‘all-out’ for Christ and what decisions would help me to honor Him in later years.” She credits the Journey Reunion experience with helping her relationship with Christ get back where it needed to be. I would have to say I have noticed her being more serious minded about relationships and the Lord. Her comment: “God has been showing me that having an intimate relationship with Him is the most important thing in my life.” One of our goals for our daughters has been that they might be a help to moms with lots of small children. Maggie was one of the girls who got to go with Courtney Mount and her daughters to Branson, Missouri and Silver Dollar City on a fun trip. She really enjoyed getting to help Mrs. Mount…and ride the roller coasters. Maggie wants you to know she is getting taller.

Carinna (15): Although the youngest, she is the tallest of all my girls. She would say ditto to the Branson trip with the Mounts and the roller coaster fun. She likes playing volleyball, wood carving, anything outside (like hunting-killed an 8 point buck), working with Calli (our dog), sewing, playing violin and piano, painting, helping work cows, riding horses and drawing. She has focused her drawing this year on portraits and is very good at them. Carinna is detail oriented, likes to rise early, and likes to follow a plan. When it came to the Journey Reunion, Carinna loved the family time traveling. We stopped by the Burns’, Dorninks’, and IBLP headquarters in Chicago along our 2500 mile trip to the Northwood Conference Center in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. “God really drew me closer; taught me I can have a real personal relationship with Him. UQ was a learning time too.

Benjamin (11): With the older boys out of the house for extended periods of time, Benjamin and I decided we needed to get some guy time together. We enjoyed a special campout and canoe float trip down the Buffalo River in Arkansas. It was part of the Alert Cadet program so we had lots of teaching and bonding time together too. Benjamin also accompanied me to a Character First training in Mountain Home, Arkansas. His boyhood ways are encouraged by his Granddad who gave him his first hatchet and a Boy Scout handbook. Benjamin and some of the girls also rode with Granny and Granddad in a Model T in the Broken Arrow, Oklahoma Christmas Parade. At the Journey Reunion, Benjamin found another favorite preacher, Eric Ludy, a powerful preacher, who passionately communicates the set-apart Christian life. “He revved my engine for God.”

The most significant, “And it came to pass” is found in Luke 24 when, three days after Jesus died on the cross for our sins, some of His disciples arrived at His tomb only to find the stone rolled away and His body gone.

And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: and as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again” (Luke 24:4-7).

Jesus came as a baby, lived a perfect life, was crucified for our sins, but rose victorious from the grave. Jesus, the Son of God, is now ascended to heaven, seated at the right hand of God the Father, and ever lives to pray for the saved (Hebrews 7:25).

One day it will be written of each of us, “And it came to pass…”

What about you? Will you pass from this life to an eternity separated from God’s love in a place called Hell, or will you place your faith and trust in Jesus, the Son of God, whose birth we celebrate at Christmas and pass from this life to spend eternity with Him in Heaven?

The Burnetts

Christmas 2011

 Family picture
Photo courtesy of Chad Paine

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Christmas Play!


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

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.

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.


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.

…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.

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.

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

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.

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.


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.


The Christmas story as told by the precious children from our church. :)

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)

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LifeHouse Audio Dramas


LifeHouse Productions asked our family to review a couple of their new audio dramas a couple months ago! We love audio dramas and were interested to know what LifeHouse Productions would have to offer.

We found both of the stories they sent us, The Count of Monte Cristo and Hiding in Plain Sight, to be compelling and suspenseful dramatizations! Besides a few secondary actors who sounded a little unnatural at their acting, we were quite impressed with the quality of the sound effects, music, and their ability to tell a fast-paced, captivating story. If we were to compare them to Lamplighter Theatre (a 10), we would rate LifeHouse Productions as a 7!

You can listen to samples of these audio dramas, plus view their other recordings, at LifeHouse Productions.

The Count of Monte Cristo

Edmond Dantes is a newly promoted captain with a charming fiancé.  His future appears promising.  But, unknown to him, those he regards as friends are plotting a diabolical scheme to falsely accuse him of treason. 

Now, a naïve promise made to his dying mentor may cost Edmond everything.  Can he escape imprisonment and foil the plans of his evil enemies?  Breathtaking action combines with romance and comedy to bring Alexandre Dumas’ stunning classic novel to life.

Hiding in Plain Sight

An amazing true story of fugitive slaves William and Ellen Craft and their astonishing 1848 journey toward freedom. 

This suspenseful dramatization of the couple’s daring and ingenious plan to avoid detection during their dangerous escape by train and boat from Georgia to New England, and ultimately to Europe, offers a poignant and powerful look at historic events in nineteenth century America.

We definitely recommend that you check these dramas out. They would make great Christmas gifts for your siblings, your family, or friends!

LifeHouse Productions

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Christmas At Our House…


The Christmas season is in full swing at the Burnett household! Multiple mysterious packages in the mail, baked goodies, LOTS of Christmas music, daily Christmas family devotionals, Braums eggnog :), and plenty of red toenails. ;)

Assembling our nine-foot Christmas tree! We won’t say how long it took Charity and Hannah to figure it out without Dad. :)





Some dear neighbors of ours, who we carol to every Christmas, moved to an assisted living facility this past year, so we took our caroling down to them!

Abbie has worked up some lovely violin solos to play this month.

It’s so fulfilling to reach out as Jesus would to the widows, the forgotten, and the lonely! We were just as blessed as the residents were.

Girls’ quintet – “Infant Holy, Infant Lowly”

Carinna worked really hard to be able to play a duet arrangement of “Silent Night” with Hannah. They are planning to perform it at least 3 times this month.

In a couple weeks, we’ll be doing our annual caroling around the neighborhood, which is always a highlight for us…not because of our singing ;), but because we have seen God use it over and over again to demonstrate His love to the individuals around us who are hurting, spiritually hungry, and hard to reach.


Look around – who does Jesus want you to reach out to this Christmas? Sometimes the best opportunities are right under your nose.

God is working in unseen ways, everywhere, ALL the time. Don’t miss the privilege He offers you of joining Him in that work!

“…because as He is, so are WE in this world.”
1 John 4:17b

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