Friday, December 9, 2016

Sweet Baby Jesus~

One Christmas Eve in 1932, Robert McGimsey attended a midnight church service in New York City and then headed back to his one-room apartment. As he returned that night to his home, he passed the open doors of taverns where people were shouting, swearing and loudly singing. Many people were so drunk they had passed out on the sidewalk in the front of the lively establishments. 
"What a strange way to celebrate the birth of the most perfect Person who ever lived on this earth," McGimsey thought. "We seem to have missed the whole significance of His life."

That night McGimsey wrote his thoughts on the back of an envelope. History tells us his words were used to write the beginnings of the popular spirituals. These words should ring out in our hearts this very Christmas season. 
Sweet little Jesus Boy,
They made You be born in a manger.
Sweet little Holy Child, didn’t know who You was.
Didn’t know You’d come to save us, Lord,
To take our sins away.
Our eyes was blind, we couldn’t see,
We didn’t know who You was.-Robert McGimsey 

Wow~ what a great apology written to the Saviour of the world who came as sweet baby Jesus but left this world as the King of Kings. This Christmas season is upon us and it seems to have rolled around all too quickly. Once again we have the opportunity to look at the birth of the Saviour and stand in amazement of the great love and sacrifice of our Lord.  May we not get so caught up in the celebration that we forget the One we celebrate. 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

What Can We Learn From Handel's Messiah

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
John 14:6 

This morning I read a little history about one of the greatest Christian composers~ George Handel.  When he was 56 years old he had come to the end of his career. He had mountains of debts and he was washed up. He feared that he would spend his final days in a debtor's prison. He was down and out. His health was poor and he was in a cloud of depression over his state of affairs.  History does tell us that he was a man of faith and clung to his prayers for it truly was all he had left.

Charles Jennens was an old friend and he decided to ask George to conduct an orchestra for a charity event. It is said that George jumped at the chance not to resurrect his career but to get out of London to avoid his bill collectors.

Jennens idea for the oratorio was to reduce the greatest stories of both the Old and New Testaments  through the life of Christ and put them to music.

Handel spent 24 days writing what would become the famous Handel's Messiah. He once said, " I think I saw all of Heaven before me and the great God himself."  That is just like our God to take a man at his lowest and use him in such a mighty way. He promises when we are weak ~ He is strong.

It is amazing to me that God allowed a man to go through a valley experience in order to mold him and make him into His image to be used in a mighty way. That piece of music has been used greatly throughout all of these years. It has been used to raise millions for those who have been down and out just like George .

Many times we see it in the Bible. Look at Moses. God put him in the wilderness of life to mold him and make him in order to use him. I can look at my own life and see how God allowed circumstances to break me so that I had need of my Saviour and He could work in my life.  If you are in a season of hard times ~allow God to mold and make you so that He may use you to accomplish His will for your life. It is in the valleys that we grow the most and remember that God never wastes pain.

Isaiah 9:6-7King James Version (KJV)

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, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

2016 Christmas Devotions

What Was That Angel Thinking?

This morning I am heading out bright and early to my final Bible Study meeting for the season. It is a breakfast and we have a special speaker and special music coming. I am so excited. Going to a meeting of 100 or so ladies is like attending one glorious fashion show on so many levels. These girls are so much fun and each one beautiful inside and out.

As I am scurrying around I am pondering over my devotion this morning. I know that angel showed up and told Mary to not be afraid and fall to pieces with this new mission ahead that GOD has given her to do. But really~ I am thinking to myself as I am putting on my make up. Didn't that angel know that her sweet baby Jesus was the Messiah that was born to die? What stress, anxiety and heartache she must have felt. That baby she would carry and love to pieces~that baby she nursed and loved more than her own life ~  that baby would one day be nailed to an old rugged tree and die for all man's rotten ugly sin. I know that is a run on sentence but I think that thought deserves one.

We are going to have hard days. We are going to face some steep mountains and very low valleys. We just might as well deal with the truth. Yet~ that angel knew her sweet innocent child was also her Saviour. Her Saviour that made it possible to live in all eternity. That baby was her Saviour that would never leave her or forsake her on the darkest of days.

What fear are you facing today? Your Saviour loves you so very much. You can trust Him as your Lord and Saviour for today and all eternity.

Luke 2:10-11King James Version (KJV)

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

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Let Heaven And Nature Sing~

Every year I vow to sit at the feet of Jesus during the Christmas season instead of being frazzled. I really do my quiet times with the Lord most every day. But this time of year I am tempted to skip some days and pray as I run~ kind-of like fast food service to Jesus. This year it took some effort and planning. In order to do so~ I have a Christmas devotional that I have vowed to read each morning. I am making myself keep Jesus at the top of the list. Yesterday, I had a list a mile and a half long. My heart was racing and I was ready to roll.  Instead of rushing ahead I made myself a cup of coffee and connected with my Lord. Every time I put Him first He just has a way of making it all fit and it works so much better. Do I really believe He cares about my Christmas to-do list? Well yes~ He absolutely does. I left after my time with the Lord and my day was peaceful and productive. He blessed me in so many ways. That is our God.

He does care about all the details of our lives~ both big and small. The way we see God touches everything about our lives. God is madly and crazy in love with you. That love is at the very center of our Christian lives. God is all powerful and His love will produce praise and worship in our lives. It is that very love that will compel us to serve Him. It is that love that will gently call us to trust and obey Him. It is knowing who we are and whom loves us that will bring peace and joy in our lives.

How about you on this cold and frosty December morning~ do you feel peace and joy? If not maybe you need to sit at the feet of Jesus and realize just how very much you are loved and adored by the Saviour of the world. And while your at it maybe just sing along as all Heaven and Nature sings of His wonderful and amazing love for all mankind.

1 John 4:7-21King James Version (KJV)

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
19 We love him, because he first loved us.
20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Making My List And Checking It Twice Is Stressing Me Out~

Today I am starting the day knowing I made a new to-do Christmas list before I went to bed.  I need to get it all done and that would mean no more to-do list. It's just not happening here! I started late due to the big move and I am just behind. 

I woke up grumpy! Then the Holy Spirit reminded me that I have been running in my own strength. How foolish of me to fall in this trap once again. I get so busy that  I leave Jesus in the back seat as I zoom off on a mad dash run to get it all done.  Oh~ my ~ stars I am so independent. I think I can just do it all in my own strength. And honestly there was a time that I could. Yet ~ time and wisdom has brought it all to a reality check. When I run in my own strength and leave God out of the equation I am tired, stressed and full of anxiety. So I quietly confessed my sin of independence this morning and brought it all back to the feet of Jesus. 

Making my list and checking it twice has left me tired and frustrated because I left the most important one off my list. I confessed my sin of my strong willed independence this morning and I decided to put God back~ not only on the to-do list but as the priority of today.  

Psalm 103:5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.

Read the entire chapter here~ this is our amazing God. He so deserves to be praised and at the top of our to-do list today. Have a wonderful day and may you get all your to-do list done. 

Scripture Doodle ~ You Just Have To Check These Devotionals Out

Oh my stars~ I love these books. Life gets so busy and this is just the best way to unwind, have your devotions and be creative. These books are amazing. Scripture Doodle Books are more than a coloring book for adults but also have a devotion to go along with each creative art project. It covers many great topics to encourage the reader throughout the six week study. 

Each devotion and project has a Biblical theme and just a fun way to connect with God though art. It has fun and cute Bible verses to color also. Many would be great to frame. What a great idea. This would make a wonderful gift for any art lover on your Christmas list. 

The Author ~April Knight includes how to tips for lettering and coloring advice and samples. These are such cute and meaningful devotions and art.

About the Author~

April Knight is a worship artist based in Asheville, North Carolina. Knight’s work includes live worship painting and leading ScriptureDoodle workshops online and at conferences and retreats around the country and internationally. Her family of four is her greatest joy, along with serving alongside her husband at their local church.

I was provided these books in exchange for my honest review.   

This link has a video for you too see for yourself. 
For more imformation visit

Saturday, December 3, 2016

WOW ~ Getaway With God Review and A Great Giveaway

Do you need a day away from busyness and stress to transform your life? Schedule a day and learn how to make the most of your time of refreshment with Letitia Suk’s new book, Getaway with God. You’ll find detailed steps for preparation, including descriptions of different kinds of retreats and how to choose the best one for you, and you’ll learn ways to bring the renewal you experience home with you. Practical appendixes identify retreat centers nationwide and provide exercises and prayers to kick-start your getaway with God.
Get ready for your own getaway with God by entering to win a travel bag set from Letitia.
One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of Getaway with God
  • A Vera Bradley XL Duffel Travel Bag
  • A Vera Bradley Cosmetic Trio
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on December 16. The winner will be announced December 19 on the Litfuse blog.


Getaway with God (Kregel, November 2016)
What if a simple day away could transform your life?
Does spending time with God sound like just one more thing to check off an ever-increasing to-do list? How are you supposed to fit in anything that threatens to be more time-consuming? Too often there’s simply no room to experience the intimacy, grace, and peace that God offers us.
Getaway with God does more than invite you to step away from life’s pressures to take a personal retreat. It shows you exactly why you must–for your sake and for your family’s.
With grace and warmth, Letitia Suk provides step-by-step guidance and the necessary tools to enable any woman on any budget to plan time away, whether it’s a quick, half-day break or a weeklong time of restoration. You’ll find detailed steps for preparation, including descriptions of different kinds of retreats and how to choose the best one for you, and you’ll learn ways to bring the renewal you experience home with you. Practical appendixes identify retreat centers nationwide and provide exercises and prayers to kick-start your getaway with God.
No matter what your season in life, the time for retreat is now!
Letitia Suk


Letitia invites women to chase the Intentional life. She writes and speaks of God’s renewal and restoration and offers platters of hope to women in each season of life. Tish is also a personal retreat guide and life coach in the Chicago area and moonlights as a hospital chaplain. You might run into her walking by Lake Michigan, browsing resale shops, or making up a new tradition. She blogs at and is also the author of “Rhythms of Renewal.”
Find out more about Letitia at

Bedtime Read and Rhyme Bible Stories Review

What a sweet little book. This book features a hard cover to last for years to come. It is so bright and colorful. It starts with the story of Creation and continues with all the highlights of each book of the Bible. It is written in rhymes which are catchy and sure to keep little people interested. At the end of each little rhyming story is a sweet little prayer. I love this Bible book and I can't wait to read it to  my little grand babies. This is one the little readers in your life are sure to treasure. These are life changing facts of history that need to be taught to our children~ and this is just the tool to use.

This would make a wonderful Christmas gift or stocking stuffer. I love this book and rate it 5 stars.

Friday, December 2, 2016

It's A Wonderful Life ~ Really It Is

It's A Wonderful Life is my favorite movie of all times. I never get tired of watching it. Call me crazy~ I know my family does. Yet~ there is something about that movie that just cheers my spirit. No matter how bad things seem to be ~ it is really not the end of the world. And for any negative Nellies out there~ if the end of the world does happen to come today I know on the other side my Heavenly home waits for me.

Just as that silly little angel in It's A Wonderful Life needed to remind George Baily of what life would like like had he never been born we need to be reminded of the same. Bedford Falls would have been a much darker place without George Baily in it. And your world would be a much darker place without you in it. You are fearfully and wonderfully made by the Creator of the Universe and He has a  plan for your life. In fact, He has a plan for you today. There are people for you to love, people for you to encourage, people who need to see Jesus in you today.  We have good news to share to the world.  The Saviour has come and we need to celebrate. He lived and died, was buried and rose again. Today He sits on the right hand of His Father. He left His Holy Spirit to dwell in us and that my friend ~ Is great tidings of comfort and joy.

Instead of stressing over all there is to do this time of you may we all focus on the great opportunity to share the sweet love of Jesus. Happy Christmasing~ It's A Wonderful Life.

Luke 2:10-11King James Version (KJV)

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

Thursday, December 1, 2016

3 Ways To Enjoy The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Well here we are once again. How does this happen? It seems like yesterday I was sitting by the pool and now I am decking the halls.  The clocked turned to December 1st way too fast. This has been a wild ride of a year for me. I am getting a little stressed about right now~ how about you?   I have never been so behind in the preparations for the Christmas season.  Here are three simple ways to get us through the hussle and bustle so we can enjoy the season. 

*Say Goodbye to Scrooge~

My never ending list is making me a little stressed. Last night at choir I heard many sighs from the ladies around me as we all landed in our seats.  I feel like I am falling out at the seams much like my wallet when I open it and a million receipts are falling out all over the place. This time of year is hard on us mommas. What can we do? 

Make of list of the important  task and be realistic.  We may need to let go of some of our expectations. It is better to buy sugar cookies from a baker, decorate simply and size down on our shopping list instead of being grouchy to those we love.  By focusing on the Saviour and vowing to not be a Scrooge this Christmas we may need to let some things go just so we can take time to focus on the whole reason for the season. It is here now ~ if we are not careful we will be kissing the most wonderful time of the year goodbye under the mistletoe without capturing the moments.  Is is far more important to have a peaceful Christmas than a perfect Christmas. 

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~

Did you know that the Christmas season  is really hard for a lot of people? We all have loved ones that are not with us for many different reasons. We all have disappointments that seem to pull at our heart strings this time of year when it is all suppose to be holly and jolly. But we can’t let a history of past Christmases steal our Christmas spirit. 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! By focusing on loving others and sharing the love of Christ we will have joy. It's really not all about what we make it.  We find true joy when we care about others. 

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~

 Christ has come ~ lets have a celebration. Christmas is the day in which the world rejoices in 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 the world.  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 are a few of my favorite things but it is not really what its all about.

Lets vow to remember the Son of God will one day return to rule this earth.  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. How long has it been since you just climbed up into the lap of your Heavenly Father?  He loves you oh -so-very much. 

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!

Carrie's Christmas Wassail Recipe~

2 quarts apple juice
1 quart of cranberry juice
6-ounce frozen orange juice concentrate
5 cinnamon sticks
10 whole cloves~ tied in cheesecloth
2 tablespoon butter
3/4 cups of brown sugar or to taste

Combine juice ingredients, sugar and butter in a large stock pan. Heat on low. Heat until sugar is dissolved. Add cinnamon sticks and cloves and let simmer on low for about an hour. Remove spices. Garnish with orange slices. Keep warm in a crock pot. Fills your home with a wonderful Holiday aroma.



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