Friday, December 30, 2011

Quilting Shop Experience

This past week I have spent a lot of time helping to inventory a quilting shop.  You. Can't. Imagine.  Unless you have inventoried hundreds and hundreds of tiny items and counted and weighed thousands of things... you really can't!  It was a job to be sure.  I really enjoyed it... and have gained a much broader idea of fabrics, patterns, sewing machines, threads, buttons, etc...  I even have the tiniest hint of a quilting bug inside.  I have never quilted before, but it would sure be nice to do in the wintertime when I don't have a garden and I am not canning.  I believe it's something I will have to look into!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Encourage While It Is Today

I didn't know her.. I didn't have to.  Her tears caused tears of my own.  She spoke of her son in the hospital on hospice who would soon die of cancer. It's not right... when your son is 60 and dying and you are close to 80.  I asked her if I could hug her~ and she said yes. She didn't know if he was saved or not, but said that he didn't want his sister around because he was afraid that she would bombard him with "religious" stuff.  She went to visit him yesterday and she called to say that her son had given his heart to the Lord... and today he died. Life is short.  Sometimes it's sad.. and hard.  There are many questions left unanswered....  Who's neck can you hug today, or who's arm can you put a reassuring hand on?  Who can you pray for or speak encouragement to?

Proverbs 10:21  The words of the godly encourage many

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sweet Christmas

Christmas is such as sweet time of year. It's sweet not just because our kitchens are full of the wonderful smells of baking and all the holiday candy that comes in tow, but it's sweet because our Lord is sweet. I love that old hymn, "I Love To Tell The Story". It says in the third verse, "What seems, each time I tell it, More wonderfully sweet". Christmas is part of the whole story of Jesus and it ought to be sweet to our ears. Christ came so we could live and that's just so exciting.

Here are some sweet things to remind us of that wonderful sweet Christmas story.

  1. Rocky Road® (Journey of Joseph and Mary)
    It may not have been an actual "rocky road" but Mary was expecting and close to her time of delivering so the journey must have been difficult at the least. Some of us ladies don't take long trips when we are close to giving birth in a car or plane, let alone get on a donkey and go.

    "And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child".    Luke 2:4,5
  2. Sugar Babies® (Reminder of Sweet Baby Jesus)
    How exciting that God sent His only Son down from heaven in the form of a sweet little baby. A little child would change history and save us from our sin.

    "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."    Luke 2:7
  3. Candy Cane (Reminder of the Shepherds)
    The candy cane reminds us of the staff of the shepherds and how they were busy taking care of their sheep while Jesus was being born. What a significant part in the Christmas story they played. I think it's a great lesson to us, that God uses us to play significant parts in weaving history even if we don't know it at the time.

    "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."    Luke 2:8, 9
  4. Almond Joy® (Reminder of the Angel's Announcement)
    While the shepherds were watching their sheep there was a glorious proclamation of "joy".

    " 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 Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."    Luke 2:10-12
  5. Candy (Reminder of Peace)
    The dove has always been a symbol of peace. Because Christ was born we can have peace. "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you... " is what Christ said in John 14:27.

    "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."    Luke 2:12,14
  6. Smarties® (Reminder of the Wise Men)
    Even the wise men of Christ's day sought the Lord. The Bible doesn't tell us too much about the wise men, but we do know from the fact that Herod had the babies under 2 killed, that Matthew says of the wise men that "they were come into the house" when they found the baby in Mary's arms, and a few other things that the wise men probably actually came to Jesus when He was a little older and not to the stable where Christ was born.

    I know a few Christians who will place their wise men from their nativity set far off like they are traveling and I know Christians who won't acknowledge that the wise men played a part in the Christmas story because the world emphasizes that the wise men were there at the manger on the actual day Christ was born. They get all hung up on that. Personally, I don't think we want to leave the wise men out of the story. They played a big part. The world does need to see that wise men did seek Jesus, even if they don't understand how the sequence all fell into place. The world doesn't understand the things of God anyway.

    "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.    Matthew 2:1,2
  7. Starburst® (Reminder of the Star)
    When we see the shape of the Christmas star at the holidays, I think sometimes we forget its importance. It was something God used to guide the wise men. Today he has ways of guiding us too. When the wise men saw the star, they "rejoiced". I think when we see the shape of the Christmas star, it should be like a surge that goes through us and we should be reminded to rejoice as well.

    "When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy."    Matthew 2:9, 10
  8. Hersheys Treasures® or Foil Wrapped Coin Candy (The Gifts From the Wise Men)
    When the wise men came they brought treasures with them to Jesus. I think this should always spur us on to give our own gifts to the Lord such as our time, talents, and other things we know we should us giving to Him.

    "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."    Matthew 2:11
  9. Reison® (Jesus is the Reason for the Season)
    Jesus came to earth that Christmas Day so that we could live with Him forever and that our lives on earth might be more meaningful. He is our "reason" for the wonderful holiday season.

    "For 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

So, don't you think Christmas is sweet?

Friendships

I just need a Snoopy today.  Where, oh where have friendships gone these days?  They have alluded me...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Why Jesus is Better than Santa

 
Santa lives at the North Pole ...Jesus is everywhere.
Santa rides in a sleigh ...Jesus rides on the wind and walks on the water.
Santa comes but once a year. Jesus is an ever present help.
Santa fills your stockings with goodies ...Jesus supplies all your needs.
Santa comes down your chimney uninvited ...Jesus stands at your door and knocks, and enters your heart.
You have to wait in line to see Santa ...Jesus is as close as the mention of His name.
Santa lets you sit on his lap ...Jesus lets you rest in His Arms.
Santa doesn't know your name, all he can say is "Hi, little boy or girl, what's your name?"... Jesus knew our name before we did. Not only does He know our name, He knows our history and future, and He even knows our hearts and how many hairs are on our heads.
Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly ...JESUS has a heart full of love, grace, mercy and forgiveness.
All Santa can offer is HO HO HO ...JESUS says, "Cast your cares on me for I care for you."
Santa may make you chuckle but ...JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.
While Santa puts gifts under your tree ...JESUS became our gift and died on the tree, For you and me.
It's obvious there is really no comparison. We need to remember, WHO Christmas is all about. We need to put Christ back in Christmas, JESUS is still the reason for the season.
Yes, JESUS is better, He is even better than Santa Claus.
Merry CHRISTmas

Monday, December 12, 2011

Greetings, O Favored One

“Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” … Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”  ~ Angel Gabriel, Luke 1:28-33 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Waiting ~ It's the Hardest Part

You have prayed.

You have turned it all over the Him.

You know that His plans for you are to prosper you, not to hurt you .. and to give you a hope and a future.

You know that He goes before you and behind you.

You know, you know, you know...

You have tried not to worrry.

You have tried not to take things into your own hands.

You try to be still and know that He is God.

You try to take every negative thought captive.

You try, you try, you try...

Yet, when things don't happen in your your timing you start to get weary.  You start to worry.  You fret- even when you know God is one your side. You REALLY do know His ways are best,~

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all you heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  Seek His will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.  NLT

Cracker Candy Recipe

35 to 40 sa1tine crackers
(16 ounce) package chocolate chips
1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Line a greased 13 x 9-inch baking pan with crackers, one layer thick only. Melt butter in saucepan. Add brown sugar and stir until sugar is melted, blended and bubbly. Pour over crackers (crackers will float). Place in preheated 350 degree F oven for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven. Add chocolate chips to top and spread until melted evenly over crackers. Sprinkle with nuts, if desired. Bake again for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool. Cut into squares.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

White Christmas Fudge

White Christmas Fudge

2 ¼ cup White Chocolate Morsels

1 (14 oz.) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 ½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
Pinch Salt
½ cup Red Candied Cherries
½ cup Green Candied Cherries
Chop cherries into small pieces. This is a very sticky job!


Line an 8” or 9” square pan with aluminum foil. Smooth the foil as much as possible. Leave extra foil on the sides to use later as handles to remove fudge.

In double boiler on med-low heat, melt the chocolate with the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and salt. (Be sure not to use evaporated milk.)


Stir occasionally until all the chips are melted and the batter is smooth.

If you prefer to use a microwave, follow package directions for heating times.

Remove from heat, stir in cherries until fairly evenly distributed.


Spread into pan. Batter will smooth itself out. If desired, pop larger bubbles with toothpick.

Hint: After you have poured the fudge into the foil lined pan, place the empty pot in the sink. Use the hot water from the bottom pot and dishsoap to soak it for easier cleanup.

Let cool on wire rack until room temperature. Chill in fridge until set, about 1 ½ hours. You can’t over chill it.
 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Processing Thanksgiving Pumpkins

One of the two pumpkins that I am processing today!

Today I'm processing two left over, white Cinderella pumpkins from Thanksgiving.  I have quartered them, cleaned the gunk and seeds out and right now they are boiling/steaming on the stove in my canning pot.  After they are tender I will skin them and process them with the blender.  Then they will go into a collinder over a large bowl to strain some of the water out of them.. and then they will be bagged and frozen for Christmas cooking. 

My kitchen smells just like pumpkin pie! Oh, and I have hundreds of pumpkin seeds to plant in the spring!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December is here!

How I love this time of year!  I love the shopping, (yes, even elbow to elbow!), the Christmas carols, the decorations, the fresh excitement on everyone's faces and the love and compassion shared this time of year more than any other time... but most of all, I love being reminded that Jesus came to earth as a baby.  How thankful I am for God's most wonderful gift!

Today is December 1st and I am finally in the place to start thinking about the Christmas tree and decorations.  This year, instead of putting boxes and boxes of decorations out, I am going to decorate the tree beautifully and then just sprinkle a bit of Christmas throughout the rest of the house.

My family teases me because sometimes in the middle of July they will catch me listening to my Christmas CD's.  So, you can imagine how it is for me this time of year! :-)  I love all Christmas songs from Rudloph the Red Nosed Reindeer to Silent Night.

As December begins I want to wish you all a happy and healthy Christmas season!