Friday, December 19, 2014

She Said Yes

This morning the snow is falling.  I am doing my morning devotions and today I am thinking about Mary. Imagine her surprise when she was told by Gabriel that she was the one chosen to bring the Messiah into the world. Jewish history tells us that they knew of the coming Messiah. She had known He would be coming~ but to be the one chosen. I can only imagine what emotions she must have felt. 

Notice below in the verses found in Luke ~ verse 38 says she said "yes." She was willing and ready to say "yes" to the will of the Lord. 

 This time of year we overload our already busy schedules beyond capacity. Let us say "no" to that which we can't possibly handle without losing our joy. But say "yes" to the opportunity to do the will of the Lord.  I like to think of it this way~ Say "yes" when you sense a higher purpose that only you can fill. Today as we scurry about doing all that stuff that needs to be done let's not miss the opportunity to say "Yes" to doing the will of God ~ especially in the midst of the Christmas hustle and bustle.

Luke 1:30-33King James Version (KJV)

30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.
32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Wise Men Still Seek Him

In 1879~ a Boston reporter saw three little girls standing in front of a Toy Store looking into a store window full of toys. One of the small girls could not see. The reporter listened as the other two girls tried their best to describe in detail the marvelous toys that were in the store window. He had never considered just how hard is was to explain to someone without sight what something looked like. That incident became a story for the newspaper.

Two weeks later that reporter attended a meeting held by Dwight L. Moody. He was there to catch the famous evangelist in an inconsistency. Imagine his surprise when Mr. Moody used his very account of the children he had just written about to illustrate a truth. "Just as the blind girl couldn't visualize the toys," said Moody, "so an unsaved person can't see Christ in all His glory."

So many people today are unaware of the true identity of Jesus because they are spiritually blind. This very morning I was once again disgusted over the talk of Fox News about those that want "Christmas" removed from schools, political ranks and on the front lawns of our government offices.  Just because we call a "Christmas tree" a "Holiday tree" doesn't change the fact that it has been and always will be a "Christmas tree."

 I confess that I often ask  God to forgive me for not spreading the Gospel Message that has changed my life and my way of thinking. If only we would share Jesus Christ and that He is not a baby in a manger only at Christmas time. These people wanting to get rid of CHRISTmas have never met my Saviour and they are spiritually blind. It is my job to pray that they will open their eyes and believe that the Lord of glory died for all our sins. Then and only then will their eyes be opened~ and recognize who He really is.

2 Corinthians 4:3-6 (King James Version)

 3But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
 4In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
 5For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.
 6For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

What child is this, who, laid to rest,
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?  —Dix
Wise men still seek Jesus.

Friday, December 12, 2014

No Scrooge Here~

Say Goodbye to Scrooge~

If we are so focused on our list of never ending task we get grumpy! Maybe it is better to buy sugar cookies from the bakery instead of being grouchy to our husband and family.  Let us focus on the Saviour and make a vow to not be a Scrooge this Christmas by letting some things go~ taking the time to focus on the reason for the season. It is here now ~ so what didn’t get done can be done next year.

Proverbs 17:22
A merry heart doeth good like medicine; but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

Don’t Listen To the Spirit of Christmas Past~

We all have loved ones that are not with us for many different reasons. We all have disappointments that seem to pull at our heartstrings this time of year when it is all suppose to be holly and jolly. But we can’t let a history of past Christmases ruin the present Christmas. By the grace of God~ we can allow this Christmas to be filled with God’s goodness and grace.  The choice is ours how we behave! Let’s not act like Scrooge!

Philippians 3:13-14
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Jesus Christ.

Don’t Forget The Spirit of Christmas Future~

Christmas is the day that the world rejoices in celebrating  the birth of our Lord and Saviour. He is not a baby in a manger.  He is God’s only Begotten Son who came as a baby but left this earth as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He came to take away the sin of fallen man. He came to take away my sin and yours! Wow~ that is reason alone to celebrate this Christmas like never before. Let’s not make it about Santa~ shopping, the stressful to-do list or even warm fuzzy feelings. Baking cookies~ making fudge and giving gifts to those we love is not wrong if we remember that it is all about Jesus!

Let's vow to remember the Son of God will one day return to rule this earth. He will one day make the wrongs ~ right.  As we read the Christmas story ~ we must remember that He is alive and He is longing to have a relationship with us today and for all eternity.

When we place our faith and trust in the God of the manger ~this is what we have to celebrate in our future.

For I know the plans I have for you, “declares the Lord, “
 “plans to prosper you and not harm you, 
plans to give you a hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11

May you  have a Christ-centered Christmas!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls~

1 pound of powdered sugar
1 10 ounce jar creamy peanut butter
1 stick butter~melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix together and make balls. Place balls in the freezer for one hour. Cover with your favorite chocolate.
I use chocolate almond bark or Wilton melting chips.

Oreo Balls~

These are Heavenly!

Oreo Ball Recipe


8 ounces softened cream cheese 

18 ounces package of Oreo cookies~ crushed

Combine and make into small balls.
* Dip in melted Vanilla Almond Bark.

    Wednesday, December 10, 2014

    Christmas Is All Up To You~ Mom

    Are you feeling the pressure to create the "perfect" Christmas? As the mom of the family, it seems that it all falls on us~ the planning, shopping, wrapping, baking and on and on it goes. That's just the way it is. We do all the preparations and our family who are the featured players. Are you hearing me? Two weeks tomorrow and it is here. I just want to say to you ~ "MOM." God sees all you do~ the hours~the tired feet and aching back. You are loved and valued by God.

    As I ponder the Christmas story today~ I am thinking of Joseph as he woke up from the dream in which the angel told him to fear not. That angel validated what his beloved Mary had told him. You know that story that many would not believe. That angel told him to name that sweet baby~ Jesus. That baby that would not be his but he would love as his. Joseph loved Mary and he did love that baby. He protected Mary and was by her side and cared for her as she gave birth to our Messiah. Wow~ we don't talk about Joseph much ~ but I say what a man. What a special role he played in our salvation.

    Catch that ~Emmanuel which we all know means that God is with us.  That is just a good place to focus today. We are not alone in our preparations as the Mom who makes it all happen this time of year. God is with us. Now that is a reason to celebrate today.

    Happy Preparing~

    Tuesday, December 9, 2014

    How To Make Hot Pepper Jelly~ YUMMY!

    Red and Green Christmas Pepper Jelly~ 

    This makes a wonderful gift. 
    Serve  over a block of cream cheese with crackers.
    1 green pepper
    1 red pepper
    6-8 Jalapeno peppers
    7 cups of sugar
    1 1.2 c. vinegar
    1  box~ Sure Jell

    *Seed the peppers and grid them in the blender with vinegar.
    * Boil pepper/ vinegar mixture in a pot and add sugar; boil for 15 minutes.
    * Add Sure Jell and bring to a full boil.
    * Stir for 2 minutes.

    Makes 6 jelly size containers.

    Pour over cream cheese and serve with crackers.

    For Canning~
    Remove from heat and skim any foam.  Ladle hot jelly into hot sterile half-pint jelly jars, leaving a 1/4" head space. Wipe rims clean of any spillage. Top each jar with seal and band. Tighten to fingertip tight. Place filled jars into water bath canner and bring to a full rolling boil. Allow to process for 5 minutes after it comes to a boil. Once time has elapsed, remove from canner and allow to cool. Listen for the "ping" sound to ensure that jars have sealed properly. Jelly will be liquid in consistency until it cools completely and sets up.

    Saturday, December 6, 2014

    How To Make A Christmas Urn~

    Tis the season for empty pots~ not pretty!
    Here is an easy way to fill them up for the winter season.

    Gather supplies from your yard or ask a neighbor if you can clip a branch or two
    Lowes will give away the branches they cut off the fresh trees that are sold.
    Most places will if you just ask. They are just thrown away.
    I have several types of Pine trees in my yard and Boxwood too. 
    I gathered them in a wheel barrel. I like a few logs also.
    If the soil is frozen~ pour warm water in it or take it inside to soften.

    Start placing the tallest beaches around in a circle 
    and keep going until you like what you see.
    I like to place smaller boxwood branches in the front.
    I placed some sticks and branches in the center for height~ you can 
    paint them if you want to.  Pine cones are nice also.
    When you are finished~ water the soil real good to give some moisture.
    After it freezes everything will stay nice and secure.
    The arrangement will be fresh and green for about a month.

    I added a few ornaments with floral picks wired to them.
    Store bought floral picks are great but just anything you have in those Christmas decorations work.

    I added a little garden rabbit to this urn.

    Wishing you lots of Christmas love and sprinkles too !

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

    The Person Holding The Spoon~

    Sometimes we like what life serves up to us, and sometimes we don't, but most of the time it simply depends on the attitude of the person holding the spoon.

    This morning this little saying was in my daily devotion. I think we all could take it to heart.  
    The past couple of days I have been struggling with a situation~I know that you all know what I am taking about. Life seems to be sailing along and out of nowhere comes a road bump. I can tend to over-react! Yet ~when I place it all back in God’s hands the peace and joy returns. After all it is just a bump in the road not the end of the road.

    Today we need to stop and praise God for his presence. Can you imagine living this life without the Lord?

    I don’t want to wake up each morning quick to complain but rather asking the Lord to bless my day. I want to invite Him to walk with me each step that I take this very morning.

    Philippians 2:14-16 (King James Version)

     14Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
     15That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
     16Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. 

    Inspirational Story
    Be Thankful
~author unknown~
    Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire;
if you did, what would there be to look forward to?
    Be thankful when you don’t know something;
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.
    Be thankful for the difficult times;
during those times you grow.
    Be thankful for your limitations;
they give you opportunities for improvement.
    Be thankful for each new challenge;
they will build your strength and character.
    Be thankful for your mistakes;
they will teach you valuable lessons.
    Be thankful when you are tired and weary;
it means you’ve made a difference.
    It’s easy to be thankful for the good things;
but a life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are also thankful for the setbacks.

    Tuesday, December 2, 2014

    Our 2014 Christmas Puzzle~ Sort Of Reminds Me Of Life

    Each year I search for the Christmas puzzle of the year. This year my boys seem to keep my garage humming with projects or just a little something that needs to be tweaked so I thought this puzzle seemed fitting. In case you don't, believe me, ~ how many 18-year-old boys have three cars? 

    Some years the puzzle has been an old fashioned General Store. Others it was snowmen~ those are the hardest. I mean snow looks like snow. We have even completed a challenge or two from others who picked a hard one and wanted just to see if we could complete it. I must confess~ I am the organizer. I find the edges and corners and group the colors together. I like getting it all organized so that it comes together easier.  Actually~ My Brian is the puzzle master with a second prize going to our Hannah. 

    This morning I am thinking life is much like a puzzle. Sometimes I just can't find the edges in the pile of 1000 pieces. Sometimes I  don't think it looks right at the beginning. At times I cram pieces together that look like they should fit but they most certainly don't fit together.  I think maybe they made a mistake or dropped a piece when they were packaging all those tiny pieces in the box. However ~ that is never the case. By the time the very last piece fits together to complete the picture that I so carefully chose~ it all fits together just perfect.

    Oh, life~ I look at the pieces and wonder how in the world it is all going to complete the perfect plan that God has. This morning I wrote in my journal to God that I need some answers to some questions I have. Some decision I need to make ~ some paths I need to walk and some emptiness that I need to be filled. 

    As I ponder the Christmas story today I am focused on Joseph. I wonder just how distraught he must have felt when the love of his life told him she was going to have a baby. He knew it was not his child. Imagine the pain, the hurt, the rejection and the betrayal he must have felt.  The scriptures tell us he was considering putting her away. Back in those days, adultery was punished by death. It only mentions  putting her away~ which tells me he really loved her. He was at a place where he could not see how the pieces of his life could fit together. I am sure he could not have known the picture that would  complete the greatest love story of all time. 

     Here is the good part~ when the angel spoke to him backing up Mary's story~ he believed. He had to be a man of great faith to believe that story!  NO kidding!  Yet we get to see the most beautiful picture of love and sacrifice that took place after all the pieces of the puzzle were fit together.

     May we  give grace and love to those in our lives. Everyone has pieces of the puzzle that are hard and just don't seem fit together. Today I am considering the quiet people in my family and in the world who have decisions to make, unexpected events in their lives and those who are struggling with big decisions. We ALL  need grace and the love of Christ~ that is a good enough reason to give it others. 



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