Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Creed

Christmas Creed.

I believe in Jesus Christ and in the beauty of the gospel begun in Bethlehem.

I believe in the one whose spirit glorified a little town; and whose spirit still brings music to persons all over the world, in towns both large and small.

I believe in the one for whom the crowded inn could find no room, and I confess that my heart still sometimes wants to exclude Christ from my life today.

I believe in the one who the rulers of the earth ignored and the proud could never understand; whose life was among common people, whose welcome came from persons of hungry hearts.

I believe in the one who proclaimed the love of God to be invincible:

I believe in the one whose cradle was a mother's arms, whose modest home in Nazareth had love for its only wealth, who looked at persons and made them see what God's love saw in them, who by love brought sinners back to purity, and lifted human weakness up to meet the strength of God.

I confess my ever-lasting need of God: The need of forgiveness for our selfishness and greed, the need of new life for empty souls, the need of love for hearts grown cold.

I believe in God who gives us the best of himself. I believe in Jesus, the son of the living God, born in Bethlehem this night, for me and for the world.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Our Thanksgiving Menu

I'm so excited that I will have both sides of my family, everyone, for Thanksgiving at my house this year!  What a blessing!  We will have a total of 35!  I have contacted all the women (although we have some fantastic men cooks in our families~) and here is our menu so far:

Apple Brined turkey (23.3 lbs!)
Pulled pork or brisket
Turkey gravy
Cornbread dressing
Mashed potatoes
Greenbean casserole
Sweet potato casserole
Cranberry salad/slaw
Cranberry sauce (chunky)
No kneed refrigerator rolls
Raman noodle salad
Corn with cream cheese and chili's
Macaroni and cheese
2 Pumpkin pies
Pumpkin pudding dessert
Old fashioned coconut pie
Cherry cheesecake
Apple pie
Cheese ball and crackers
Veggie/relish tray with dip

I know there will be extra desserts...  are we missing anything important?

When Godly people do Ungodly Things

This morning I'm sitting here with my coffee that has grown cold and my little dog laying at my feet. What does God have in store for me today?  I have made the decision to take every thought captive.  When my mind starts wandering with the "what if's" and "buts"... I have been turning and CHOOSING to not give flight to those thoughts. I refuse to worry, I refuse to dwell on hairbrained ideas and thoughts that I can't do anything about, or more than that-- make happen!  Worrying doesn't make something go away or make something happen~ it just makes you sick inside. 

As I sat there and realized what was going on, God spoke to my heart and gave me the vision of Beth Moore's "When Godly people do ungodly things."  He reminded me of the verse where it says that satan has asked to sift someone as wheat~ and God gave him permission. So you see, it was no surprise at all... Yes, I already knew because God spoke it into my heart.  Even before it happened, because God takes care of His own.  He's so good!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thoughts on Thoughts

2 Cor 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 6 being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

We are to take EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE!  At this point, decide if the thought is a God thought or not.  Yes!  Every thought.  Did you know that if someone did something wrong to you and you began thinking bad thoughts about them, you have just taken the bait of the enemy?  No matter what happens in our lives, to us or around us, we are to "think good" at all times.  Think positive.  Make lemon aid when life gives you lemons.  Think good of all men - as the Bible teaches.  This whole thought issue has to do with relationship with people.  If there were no people, half of our evil thoughts would be gone because the people are gone.  However, there is still ourselves, so we can think evil of ourselves the rest of the time.  We are not to even think evil of ourselves!!  And remember, all things work for good.  (Romans 8:28)

Canning Jalapeno Jelly

Jalapeno Jelly
12-16 Jalapenos
2 cups Cider Vinegar, divided
6 cups sugar
2 pouches liquid pectin
Green Food coloring–optional (I didn’t use any, and it looks just fine)
Wash peppers and remove the stems and seeds. Make use to wear gloves during the seeding process. Using your food processor, puree the jalapenos and 1 cup of the Cider vinegar. Combine the puree, the remaining vinegar, and the sugar in a large saucepot. Bring to a boil and stir constantly for 10 minutes. Add in the liquid pectin and return to a rolling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off the foam (if there is any). Add in a few drops of green food coloring, if desired.

Ladle the jelly into hot, sterilized jars, making sure to leave ¼ inch headspace. I used half-pints since it is a “strange” jelly. Put on the lid and ring and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Makes about (7) half-pints.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Actively Waiting

Waiting for God is not laziness. Waiting for God is not going to sleep. Waiting for God is not the abandonment of effort. Waiting for God means, first, activity under command; second, readiness for any new command that may come; third, the ability to do nothing until the command is given.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Beautiful Struggle

I made her…She is different, She is unique,
With love I formed in her mother’s womb, I fashioned her with great joy.
I remember, with great pleasure, the day I created her.
(Psalm 139:13-16)

I made her pretty and not beautiful,
Because I knew her heart,
And I know she would be vain…
I wanted her to search out her heart,
And to learn that it would be Me in her
That would make her beautiful…
And it would be Me in her that would draw friends to her.
(1 Peter 3:3-5)

I made her in such a way, that she would need Me.
I made her a little more lonesome than she would like to be…
Only because I need for her to lean and depend on Me…
I know her heart, I know if I had not made her like this,
She would go her own chosen way
And forget Me…her Creator.
(Psalm 62:5-8)

I have given her many good and happy things
Because I love her.
(Psalm 84:11, Romans 8:23)

Because I love her,
I have seen her broken heart…
And the tears she cried alone.
I have cried with her, and had a broken heart too.
(Psalm 56:8)

Many times, she has stumbled
And fallen alone
Only because she would not hold My Hand,
So many lessons she’s learned the hard way.
Because she would not listen to My voice…
(Isaiah 53:6)

So many times I have sat back
And sadly watched her go her merry way alone.
Only to watch her return to My arms, sad and broken.
(Isaiah 62:2)

And now she is Mine again…
I made her, and then I bought her…
Because I love her.
(Romans 5:8)

I have to reshape her and remold her…
To renew her to what I had planned for her to be.
It has not been easy for her,
Or for Me.
(Jeremiah 29:11)

I want her to be conformed to My Image…
This is the high goal I have set for her,
Because I love her.
(2 Corinthians 2:14)

The Inviting Colors of Fall

" But if our gospel be hid,
it is hid to them that are lost"   2 Corinthians 4:3

Many people are drawn to fall colors. Fall colors are warm, vibrant, extraordinarily rich, and energetic. I wonder how appealing I am as a Christian? Do other people gravitate to me because I am a warm, vibrant, and inviting person?

When I think about the color of the fall leaves, red is my favorite. There's just something about the trees that are full of red leaves glistening in the sun. It's just extraordinary. They stick out and you notice them.

Red brings up the thought of passion. No matter where we are in our Christian walk, I think we all could do with a little more passion for Christ. We should stick out in a good way. We should reflect all that brilliance of Christ.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.  Matthew 5:16

The color orange is so beautiful in the fall. We see it in not just the fall leaves, but in those beautiful pumpkins as well. Orange reflects warmth and symbolizes thoughtfulness and sincerity. As Christians that's something we should portray. We should be that warm inviting person that cares about others.

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.    Ephesians 4:32

The yellow color of fall makes me happy. Yellow conjures up joy and cheerfulness. I don't really think that if we aren't cheerful as Christians, other people will want what we have.

If we have Christ, we should have joy in our hearts and that joy should reflect out through us. It's listed right there in Galatians along with the other fruit of the spirit that we should be bearing.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,Meekness, temperance:against such there is no law.   Galatians 5:22,23

Some of the colors we see in fall are the shades of purple. Leaves we find in the purple family are so striking. Purple is the color of royalty. As Christians, we are royalty in Christ. Our behavior should reflect that royalty. We should be striking as Christians.

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. Romans 8:16,17
If we didn't have all that brown in the midst of the bright fall colors, I doubt if they'd be so brilliant. Brown represents stability and it anchors all those other beautiful colors of fall. In Christ, we have our anchor. Others can see if we are living for Christ and depending on Him in our lives. It comes out in our actions and behavior.

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.    Colossians 2:6,7

Showing Christ through our behavior is so important in our witness to others . Our "colors" do matter. How we act and behave is what people see when they look at us. I hope I grow to have a beautiful, warm, and inviting life in Christ. I don't want Christianity to be hid from the world because of me. I want to portray vibrancy and warmth so that people will want to get to know me and learn about Christ through me.

So, what colors are you projecting?