Saturday, December 24, 2016

"O Holy Night"


This is the beautiful sight I see when I am out and about in my small town.   A most lovely sight for sure.    I wanted to share it with y'all.   It is definitely in keeping with the "reason for the season" and remembering the "Who and not the do".     Just remember as you look at this beautiful picture, "the Stable sits in the shadow of the Cross".

I just wanted to wish each and every one y'all a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!!!   As I do I just wanted to share with y'all what I shared with a very special group of ladies.   As I did, I was reminded that every one who visits my blog are a very special group of people also.   So, this is my Christmas prayer for all of us.   

Father,  We thank You for the Perfect gift of Yeshua, Jesus Christ!    We thank you for seeing us thru, this another year.   We have so much to be thankful for this year.   I know there has been a lot of health issues for people this year and the previous years, but I have to remind myself from time to time that nothing ever happens without You knowing about it.    I can see in our lives where You have been holding each one of us and seeing us through the hard days.   With knowledge and affirmation of Your presence in the hard days, we know that You will be with us during the good days.   I pray for a new year full of blessings for each one of us.    I pray that 2017 will be the year that we see dreams being fulfilled in all of our lives.   The secret dreams that we have never shared with anyone but You, Father.   I pray that You, Yahweh will open doors for us that could not have been opened without You.   I pray that You will shut doors that we don't need to even look thru or that has run its course in our lives.    I pray that You will give each of us an extra portion of boldness to "live out loud, love out loud and praise You out loud".    I pray, that with all the changes coming in the new year, that You will teach us to pray more focused, to pray believing, and to pray more often, knowing You hear our cries.   I pray for 2017 to be the best year so far, for each of us.    I pray that You will teach me/us to be more health conscious and more aware of what we need to do to take care of us so we can be a blessing to those around us.   I pray that You, Father God will enlarge our circles of influence and that we can be a blessing to all we come in contact with, especially those opposed to You and Your ways.    I pray that when people see us, they know something is different about us.    I pray that our lives will glorify You in everything we do.    I pray that You will teach us to love others in a way that is more pleasing to You.    I pray that You will convict each of us of the sin in our lives and the need to confess and ask You for forgiveness.   I pray that You will be with all the leaders of this nation and teach them to call on You for guidance.     I pray that You will be with all the leaders of the world and teach them all to call on You.   Your Word says that every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Yeshua, Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior over all,    I pray that every knee will bow because they have trusted and believed in You.    I pray that every tongue will confess that Christ Jesus is Lord and Savior because they have accepted Yeshua as Lord and Savior of their lives.    I pray that 2017 will be a year of people coming to You, freely, because they want a better way of life.    I pray that we will remember that the manger points to the Cross this Christmas Season.     Thank you for Salvation in the form of a Baby.    Amen!

We had a most beautiful Candle Light Vesper service at church tonight.   It was a lovely sight indeed.  I pray that everyone has a wonderful night of sweet refreshing rest in the name of Christ  and remember the silence and the beauty of the Holy Night that Christ was born.  Always remember that God loves y'all and so do I.   MERRY CHRISTMAS     Love and hugs, Patty
(ps: click on the picture for a larger view)

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

My Christmas Tree

Good morning y'all!!!   In my neck of the woods the sun is shining brightly and beautifully, oh my it sure is.    I was at one of the local stores shopping one day last week and the lady checking me out said something about it being beautiful outside.   I laughed and said, "Yeah, but it's a little "sneaky", because it is really cold."     She laughed and said, "I love that term, "sneaky", it's perfect to describe the weather.     You know, "looks can be deceiving".    That's what I was thinking about when I said that.     We have had a cold few days here, but I think we are in for an upturn of the temps.    I think I seen where it's supposed to be in the mid to upper 60's Christmas Day, but with lots of rain. That, I guess, is better than snow.    I can't even believe I said that!!!!     I know I must be getting old now.    hahaha

I wanted to share something with y'all today that I shared last year, and wanted to repost it again.   This came about from a sermon my Pastor preached last year during the Christmas season.     I don't really know what he said that caused me to have this mental image, because he was preaching about the obscure little village of Bethlehem and it had nothing to do with decorating a Christmas tree.     Anyway, below is the mental picture I had that morning.   When I got home from church, I started writing and it started coming together, with this being the finished product.     I hope you enjoy reading it.

My Christmas Tree

What if I asked you to decorate a Christmas Tree and put only things on it that would describe you, your relationship with Jesus and your relationship with others.    Could you do it?     Would you do it?    I was sitting in church service Sunday morning and as the Pastor spoke, I was concentrating on his sermon and all the time I kept getting this mental picture.     Do any of y'all ever get that mental picture that you just can't get out of your head?    I do.    Sometimes mine is an all out comedy skit of something that he is preaching on.    Yeah, I know, only I could find the humor in some of the things that he preaches on and, by the way, every bit of it is scriptural.    I just have say that I know God has a very good sense of humor, because He gave me a pretty good one.    So, I can actually blame it on Him, right.    ggg    Anyway, as he was speaking, I kept seeing a Christmas Tree in my mind.    I finally just had to ask God what that was.     Well, it was a Christmas Tree that was decorated with things that represented my relationship with Jesus and the people in  my life.     I didn't get a really clear image of it though.     I was so intrigued by the idea that I thought I would try to mentally decorate a Christmas Tree for y'all and describe it as I go.

So, first off it would have to be a Cedar Tree.   A Cedar tree never looses it branches and it stays green all the time.     It will grow in places that a lot of other trees can't.   It has a smell that only the cedar tree has.    I love the smell of cedar.     As a small child, I would pick up cedar shavings and smell them.    I would actually rub them on my nose and sleep with them and get them tangled in my hair.    Anyway, that's what we always had growing up and I remember all the fun I had when I got to help decorate it.    Sometimes, I would get to decorate it more than once if it fell over.     hehehe      Redecorating is not as fun as it was to decorate it the first time.    So, Cedar Tree it is. 

Next I would put lots of colored lights on it.     I do love the clear lights, but I am a colorful person and I love lots of color, so colored lights it is.    God didn't say anything about colored lights or clear, He just said to let our light shine for others to see.    And we are not to put our light under a bushel, but to have it out and shining bright.   So, I do believe a lot of colored lights on my tree would be seen.    So, colored lights, it is.

Next, for garland, I might string some popcorn and put that on my tree.     Most everyone likes or loves popcorn.     It does smell wonderful when it's popping.     What is the first thing you smell when you go to the movie theater?     Yeah, popcorn.    The smell of it is inviting and pleasing.    Have you every thought about popcorn?    It takes a lot of heat, to make that kernel of corn transform into something that is so delicious.    It has to "go thru the fire", so to speak, for it to be transformed into something that we love so much.     Guess what, we have to "go thru the fire" also, to be transformed into something useful that God can use.    Notice I said "go" thru the fire to be made into useful.    If popcorn stays in the fire too long, it goes from delectable to detestable in just a matter of seconds.    Sometimes we take our eyes off the popcorn and it burns.    God will never take His eyes off us and He goes thru the fire with us.     We are never alone.     So, popcorn it is.

Next comes the decorations.     First, I think I would want a box of crayons.     They represent the big box of 64 that I had as a child.    I loved those crayons and the many hours of pleasure they brought me.    They also represent the fact that it's ok to color outside the lines.     Our artistic skill, love and abilities come  from God, so I will embrace my artistic side with the crayons.    Next, I think there would be some big beautiful colorful buttons scattered about on my tree.     I have always loved buttons.    I learned to count with buttons.     I always loved to play with buttons while Mom was sewing.    Buttons are very useful.    They hold stuff together.    They can be plain and be useful.    They can be very ornate and still be just as useful.    So, a few buttons goes on my tree, just to make sure I stay buttoned up and together.     Next, I would want at least eight different cookie cutters hanging on my tree.       Six to represent the guys in our house; dad and five brothers. Then two to represent mom and me.     Cookies was always a special treat.     I would want them all to be different, because we are all different.    God made all His children different, so mine would have to be different too.

Next I would want some glass ornaments.    Glass ornaments of all different shapes colors and sizes.    God made us in His image in all different shapes colors and sizes, but none the less, all still in His image.     The glass represents how fragile we are.   If not handled correctly, they shatter.     So do we, when we are not handled correctly.    

Next, I would have 37 small gold wedding rings hanging on my tree for all to see.     Those would be as a reminder of the all the Christmases my husband and I have spent together.     Representing all the good times and the bad, knowing that God was in the midst of it all.      With the hopes of adding many more as each year rolls around.     The circle also represents the un-ending love that God has for His children.   Yes, a few gold wedding bands it is.     

Next, I would want a few beautifully decorated acorns.     Those remind me of times when my husband and I have gone on acorn hunts and found some really large acorns.    I bake them in a low temp oven (to kill any insects or eggs that may be in them) for a couple hours, and turn the oven off, leave them over night and the next day they are ready to decorate.     From a small acorn comes the mighty oak.     They grow really tall on the upside of the ground.     On the underside, where we can't see, they put down really deep roots!      So, I want to represent Jesus Christ well when you see me, but I also want to know that I am firmly rooted in Christ.    The roots are very important when the storms of life come thru, they determine whether you survive it.    Everything above ground can be damaged, but as long as the root system is ok, the tree can come out of it.    I may be shaken, but if I'm rooted in Christ, I can survive any storm.

Next, I think I would like to have some trumpets on my Christmas Tree.    I have a few, and when I do decorate, I love using them.     I love the sound of the trumpet.    Of course, I couldn't make a sound come out of one if my life depended on it.    But, I do enjoy the sound of them.     And I do keep my ear pealed, listening for the great trumpet blast that will take place when Jesus comes again.     So, yes I will have a few trumpets.      Next, I would have to have one small broken ornament on my tree.     Why that, you ask?     If we are honest with ourselves and God, we are all broken, in some way.     That's what sin does, it causes brokenness, and we can't fix it.     God can and does when we come to Him with our sin.    So, that one small broken ornament would be a reminder to me, that although it is broken, it is still loved and useful.    God can use each and every one of us, even with our brokenness, to His benefit and glory.

Next, y'all know I love me some purple!     If you don't, it's not because I haven't told ya!  hahaha     Yeah, I think I would have some purple scraps of fabric on my Christmas Tree.     Why scraps of fabric?     I am reminded of Lydia.    The lady from the Bible.     She was a seller of purple cloth and she also loved the Lord.     Purple is a symbol of royalty.     Since I am a daughter of the Most High God, I think just a few purple scraps would do me well on my tree.     Next, I think I would have to have me some pearls on my tree.     Pearl is my birthstone and fittingly so.      Pearls are the result of an irritation that takes place in the oyster.     Think about how bad an ulcer hurts, that's about similar to the kind of irritation that produces a pearl.     The Bible speaks of pearls as having great value.     The gates of Heaven will be made from pearls.    Each gate will be made from one large pearl.      That's one large source of irritation for each pearl!!!      One of my very dear friends and I have special names for each other.     She is Pearl Love, because she is the epitome of Love, Gods love!!!!      I am Pearl Joy.     My Joy comes from the Lord.      There is also scripture that says not to cast your pearls before swine.      So, pearls it is.

Next I would have to have to have a ladybug on my tree.    The red one, that is.     Who doesn't love a ladybug.     Scientists done an experiment on ladybugs a few years ago and found out they are possibly the strongest creature on earth.    They can pick up over 600 times their own body weight with those little suction feet of theirs.    Pretty amazing, huh!    They are very strong little buggers.    The ladybug would represent my mom, one of the strongest people I have ever known.    That's what I call my mom sometimes too.     Next, I would have to have a little sweet pea flower on my Christmas Tree.     They are a small, dainty flower; everything that I ain't!   hahaha    The wild ones found in nature are usually purple, woohoo.     They do smell good.     They are considered to be a good gift.    They represent "good fortune", so I say that my good fortune can be found only in what Jesus Christ has done for me.    This is what my mom calls me sometimes too.    So, sweet pea it is.

Next, I love to have candy canes shaped like a shepherds staff.     The shepherds staff reminds me that the shepherd looks after his sheep.     Shepherds were the lowest of the low, but God chose them to announce His plans to that night in the fields while watching their sheep.    Wow, talk about a chosen group of men that night!     The shepherds staff was a useful tool to.     Sometimes he has to use his staff to get one of the sheep that may have fallen in a crevice or something like that.  He can just reach out and pull a sheep back to where it belongs.    But the shepherd always has his sheep's best interest at heart.     The sheep knows the shepherds voice, the shepherd knows the voice of his sheep.     So it is with Christ as our Shepherd, He recognizes our voice, we recognize His voice and He always has our best interests at heart.     Next, I think I would need a few heart shaped ornaments on my tree.    The heart represents great love.     We see the heart of Christ from the beginning to end of the Bible.     We also have learned to love, because Christ loved us first.    Sometimes it is hard for us to love as Christ loves.    But He has taught us to love others, even our enemies.     So, I will have a few hearts on my tree as a reminder to love others.  

When I get it all decorated with all the different ornaments and items I want on my tree, there's just a couple of things left.     I would take a few hands full of glitter and toss it on the tree.     Why glitter?     It sparkles, it shines, and it shimmers!!!!     It makes you smile when you see it.     If you get close enough to someones glitter, you get it on you.    It's a reminder that you was with that person and enjoyed time spent with them.      I can just imagine how the streets of gold are gonna glimmer, sparkle and shimmer.     So glitter, it is.

Last but not least, by any means is the tree topper.     My tree topper would be a Cross.     The symbol of what Christ has done for me and who I am in Him.     It would not have to be the finest Cross ever made.      I'll gladly take a rough cut, precariously nailed cross for my tree topper.     The Cross was not ever meant to be a thing of beauty.    The only way the Cross becomes a symbol of beauty is when it represents the transformation that has taken place in my life as a result of the finished work of Christ on the cross.    If you see someone wearing a cross, ask them what it means to them.     See if it means the same thing to them that it means to you.    If not, share with them what the cross represents to you.    So, a Cross it is for my topper.

There you have it.    A Cedar Tree, colored lights, popcorn, crayons, buttons, cookie cutters, glass ornaments, acorns, gold wedding rings, small broken ornament, trumpets, purple fabric scraps, pearls, a lady bug, a sweet pea flower, shepherd staff candy cane, hearts, glitter and a cross.     These are the things that would make up my Christmas Tree to describe who I am.

What would you use to describe who you are?       Think about it.     When I got done putting everything down to describe my tree, then it all came into focus and this is exactly what I saw when my Pastor was preaching Sunday morning.      His sermon was about what came from Bethlehem, such a small and obscure little town.  How in the world I got this from his sermon, I'll never know.      Other than it just being what I call a God "thang".     I do have to say that I am quite pleased with my Christmas Tree.     I hope you will do the same thing this Christmas season and share your Christmas Tree with those around you. (written by patty in 2015)

Well Christmas will be in four days.      I hope and pray as the day approaches that we will be ever mindful that Yeshua, Jesus Christ's life was a life filled with purpose.     His life set the example for our lives.    Our lives should be filled with purpose.     Two of those purposes are to worship God and to share Yeshua, Christ with others to grow the kingdom.     We don't have to preach a sermon, just live lives that speak louder than any sermon.     Love speaks.     Love loud.     Emulate our Savior.

Well, that's about it for now.     If I don't pop back in before Christmas Day, Merry Christmas y'all and enjoy all the festivities and beauty of this time of year and lets all try to keep the spirit of why we celebrate alive and in our hearts.     Just remember that God loved us enough to give us the VERY best gift that could ever be given!     I love y'all too!    hugs and love, Patty

Friday, December 16, 2016

"Is Anyone Missing Baby Jesus?"

Well, here it is a very cold December night, just 9 days from Christmas.      I know there are lots of last minute things to be done.     But as we get closer to Christmas, let us be ever mindful of the needs around us.     There are lots of hurting people tonight.    In my fine state of Tennessee, there are lots of hurting people in and around the Smoky Mountains with some of the area having been devastated by wild fires.   14 people lost their lives in those fires and lots of people injured.    Just this week here in my home town there was a devastating fire early Tuesday morning that took the lives of 4 children below the age of 9 and two other people in the family are hospitalized.     This has been such a terrible and devastating thing.     There are people that are dealing with surgeries and cancer diagnoses.      People that are hurting from the loss of loved ones.      Many, many people in the hospital with all kinds of illnesses.     2 or 3 elderly from my church dealing with falls and all kinds of issues.     One of our little ladies went home to be with the Lord early this morning.     She had moved to be with her son, but she was still ours.      I pray for all these situations and all the many that I didn't even mention.     We all have people that are hurting.      The nursing homes are filled with lonely hurting people.     It just goes on and on and on.     As bleak as it all sounds, there is a lot of good news!      That good news surrounds the "Reason for the Season".    

Everywhere you look, it seems there is good will toward fellow man and that is heart warming.     People helping those in need.     If you look close, there are many more smiles on the faces of those we see around this time of the year.      A smile is one of the cheapest and easiest gifts we can give to someone.     It doesn't cost a penny and it doesn't even hurt our faces to smile.    ggg     It is so fun to see the reaction of those around us when we start smiling and see the domino effect of all the smiles.

I have a friend that sends a devotion to me and a bunch more people every day and I look forward to those little presents in e-mail box every day.      The one below is what came today.    Some of you may have already read it, but for those who haven't, it will be a good read.      I just love it and wanted to share it with you, my readers, and I hope and pray that you are blessed by it.

Is Anyone Missing Baby Jesus?

About a week before Christmas, the family bought a new nativity set. When they unpacked it, they found two figures of the Baby Jesus.

"Someone must have packed this wrong," the mother said, counting out the figures. "We have one Joseph, one Mary, three wise men, three shepherds, two lambs, a donkey, a cow, an angel and two babies. Oh, dear! I suppose some set down at the store is missing a Baby Jesus because we have two."

"You two run back down to the store and tell the manager that we have an extra Jesus. Tell him to put a sign on the remaining boxes, saying that if a set is missing a Baby Jesus, call 7126. Put on your warm coats. It is freezing out there."

The manager of the store copied down mother's message and the next time they were in the store they saw the cardboard sign that read, "If you are missing Baby Jesus, call 7126." All week long they waited for someone to call. Surely, they thought someone was missing that important figurine. Each time the phone rang, mother would say, "I'll bet that's about Jesus.", but it never was.

Father tried to explain there are thousands of these scattered over the country, and the figurine could be missing from a set in Florida or Texas or California. Those packing mistakes happen all the time. He suggested to just put the extra Jesus back in the box and forget about it.

"Put Baby Jesus back in the box! What a terrible thing to do!" said the children. "Surely someone will call," mother said. "We'll just keep the two of them together in the manger until someone calls."

When no call had come by 5:00 PM on Christmas Eve, mother insisted that father just run down to the store to see if there were any sets left. "You can see them right through the window, over on the counter," she said. "If they are all gone, I'll know someone is bound to call tonight."

"Run down to the store?" father thundered. "It's 15 below zero out there!"  "Oh, Daddy, we'll go with you," Tommy and Mary began to put on their coats.  Father gave a long sigh and headed for the front closet. "I can't believe I'm doing this," he muttered.

Tommy and Mary ran ahead as father reluctantly walked out in the cold. Mary got to the store first and pressed her nose up to the store window. "They're all gone, Daddy," she shouted. "Every set must be sold."

"Hooray" Tommy said. "The mystery will now be solved tonight!"

Father heard the news still a half block away and immediately turned on his heel and headed back home. When they got back into the house, they noticed that mother was gone and so was the extra Baby Jesus figurine. "Someone must have called and she went out to deliver the figurine," my father reasoned, pulling off his boots. "You kids get ready for bed while I wrap mother's present."

Then the phone rang. Father yelled "answer the phone and tell 'em we found a home for Jesus." But it was mother calling with instructions for us to come to 205 Chestnut Street immediately, and bring three blankets, a box of cookies and some milk..

"Now what has she gotten us into?" my father groaned as we bundled up again.  "205 Chestnut. Why that's across town. Wrap that milk up good in the blankets or it will turn to ice before we get there. Why can't we all just get on with Christmas? It's probably 20 below out there now. And the wind is picking up. Of all the crazy things to do on a night like this!"

When they got to the house at 205 Chestnut Street, it was the darkest one on the block. Only one tiny light burned in the living room and, the moment we set foot on the porch steps, my mother opened the door and shouted, "They're here, Oh thank God, you got here, Ray! You kids take those blankets into the living room and wrap up the little ones on the couch. I'll take the milk and cookies."

"Would you mind telling me what is going on, Ethel?" my father asked. "We have just walked through below zero weather with the wind in our faces all the way."

"Never mind all that now," my mother interrupted. "There is no heat in this house and this young mother is so upset she doesn't know what to do. Her husband walked out on her and those poor little children will have a very bleak Christmas, so don't you complain. I told her you could fix that oil furnace in a jiffy."

My mother strode off to the kitchen to warm the milk while my brother and I wrapped up the five little children who were huddled together on the couch.  The children's mother explained to my father that her husband had run off, taking bedding, clothing, and almost every piece of furniture, but she had been doing all right until the furnace broke down.

"I been doin' washin' and ironin' for people and cleanin' the five and dime," she said. "I saw your number every day there, on those boxes on the counter. When the furnace went out, that number kept going' through my mind... 7162... 7162."

"Said on the box that if a person was missin' Jesus, they should call you.  That's how I knew you were good Christian people, willin' to help folks. I figured that maybe you would help me, too. So I stopped at the grocery store tonight and I called your missus. I'm not missin' Jesus, mister, because I sure love the Lord. But I am missin' heat. I have no money to fix that furnace."

"Okay, Okay" said father. "You've come to the right place. Now lets see. You've got a little oil burner over there in the dining room. Shouldn't be too hard to fix. Probably just a clogged flue. I'll look it over, see what it needs."

Mother came into the living room carrying a plate of cookies and warm milk.  As she set the cups down on the coffee table, I noticed the figure of Baby Jesus lying in the center of the table. It was the only sign of Christmas in the house. The children stared with wide eyed with wonder at the plate of cookies my mother sat before them.

Father finally got the oil burner working but said, "you need more oil."  "I'll make a few calls tonight and get some oil."

"Yes sir, you came to the right place," said the woman...

On the way home, father did not complain about the cold weather and had barely set foot inside the door when he was on the phone. "Ed, hey, how are ya, Ed? Yes, Merry Christmas to you, too. Say, Ed, we have kind of an unusual situation here. I know you've got that pick-up truck. Do you still have some oil in that barrel on your truck?"

"You do?"

By this time the rest of the family were pulling clothes out of their closets and toys off of their shelves. It was long after their bedtime when they were wrapping gifts. The pickup came. On it were chairs, three lamps, blankets and gifts. Even though it was 30 below, Father let them ride along in the back of the truck.

No one ever did call about the missing figure in the nativity set, but as I grow older I realize that it wasn't a packing mistake at all. Jesus saves, that's what He does.

(By Jean Gietzen
Based on her writings on the internet from the book "If You're Missing Baby Jesus".)

I hope and pray that you enjoyed this and share it with someone else that needs a lift.    As the days get closer and closer to the long awaited birth of Christ, I pray that we all can find ways to help those around us that need it.      We may not be able to help to the extent in this story, but a smile and hug is free and a thinking of you card just costs a stamp.     Just share the blessing of Christ with those around you.   You won't be sorry you did and neither will those whom you share with.    

Stay warm!     If you have snow, build me a snowman.    hehehe      We already had a couple of snows by this time last year.      But there is a strong possibility of bad weather this weekend, probably ice.    uuuggghhhh!!!!!       I don't want ice, just a little snow.    Guess I have to take what I get, huh.      Well, I pray for y'all to have a great night of restful, blissful, peaceful sleep tonight and that tomorrow is full of blessings for each of you.      Remember, God loves you all and so do I.    hugs, Patty    

Monday, December 12, 2016

Merry December

Hello Y'all!!!!     How is everyone doing this fine cool brisk December morning?     I hope and pray that wherever you are that you are enjoying this fine day.    I am loving the cooler weather for sure!!! For the cold natured folks, I really feel for you.     But for the hot natured folks, this is a wonderful relief!     When I got up yesterday morning, the ritual for me is to go to the back door and just peep out the window at the thermometer on the deck and just see what it looks like outside.   Well, the frost was so heavy that it looked like a dusting of snow.    I know that it wasn't, it was just frost, but it looked really beautiful.    Then Mr Sun came out and it was gone pretty quickly.    When I was thinking about that yesterday, I was reminded back a few years ago when my Dad was still alive, we got up on  a Saturday morning early and headed up to visit my parents.     It was really foggy at our house and below freezing and we got to noticing that the frost was actually frozen in the air and on the trees and on everything.    The frozen frost hung heavily in the air for the whole drive up to see my parents.  An hour or so and it was just beautiful!!!!    Everything was actually sparkling like diamond dust.    What was so upsetting to me was the fact that I was in the habit of picking up my camera and taking it with us and taking pictures where ever we went.   This particular morning, I left it at  HOME!!!!     Can you believe that!!!    I get so mad at me every time I think of it.    That was the only time in my life I have every seen that weather anomaly.    And I sure haven't seen it sense.   But I remember it was one of the most wonderful sights I had seen.    Hubby and I just loved it!!!    We still talk about it.    It wasn't but just a few years ago, but it was before I had a good cell phone with a good camera.    If we ever see it again, we both have better cell phones that take great pictures.    So, I keep hoping and praying we can see it again.

I hope that everyone had a great and Happy Thanksgiving!    We finished up the 30 Days of praise at church, but I know that we all still have lots to praise Yahweh about everyday.    I do hope and pray that our praise can carry on well after December and into the tradition of celebrating the birth of Yeshua, Jesus Christ.     We are lighting the Advent candles on Sunday mornings.    We had the Hanging of the Greens at church the last Sunday night in November and it was a most lovely event!!! Lots of wonderful singing and then the placing of the greenery over the sanctuary.    Then one Sunday night we had our night of caroling we went out in teams of 6 or 8 to the local nursing homes and to the homes of shut-ins singing Christmas Carols.    We always look forward to that.   With finger foods upon arriving back at church.    On a Tuesday here back my church hosted the Associational Senior Christmas Luncheon.    That was  a fun time.    Then one Sunday we had our Christmas cantata at church.   We are a relatively small church, but the quality of music that comes from the choir is mind blowing!!!    Also that same Sunday we had our White Christmas, where everyone brings canned goods and non perishables wrapped in white paper or white bags and then all foods collected will go the local United Ministries to help feed the hungry here in our local area.    Plus, we took up our Lottie Moon Christmas offering.    That is always a special time too.    I hope that sometime amid the busyness that I get to have lunch with a friend or two also.    I also hope to go up to visit with my Mom again sometime soon.    She has had some fun stuff to do and even more in the coming days, so we have to coordinate our calendars.   hahaha

There is always a lot of good stuff to do around the holidays and it's very easy to get worn out.     I do believe that we need to do as much as we feel like doing, BUT, we need to do it with a joy filled heart.     When we get to busy that we forget about the JOY, then we are doing too much and for the wrong reason.     I recently heard someone say, "It's not about the do, it's about the WHO"!     Sometimes we take the Who out of all that we are doing and it just ends up being the big "do"!     I just have to believe that being busy for the sake of being busy is not pleasing to Yeshua, Jesus Christ.    Some times, we have to just let some stuff go.     I can't possibly do everything that I would love to do, so I have to pick and choose wisely.    I think most of us do, but some are unwilling to admit they can't do it all.     Jesus Christ set the example for us by doing only that which was pleasing to His Father.

One year ago on December 11th one of my best friends went home to be with the Lord.    It was heartbreaking then and still just as heartbreaking.    It's been a difficult year with out her laughter and fun that she always brought to whatever situation.    She loved the Lord with all her heart and shared her love with everyone she came in contact with.    Everyone loved her.    I have picked up my phone many times over the past year to call her or text her with something I seen read or heard and would feel terrible when I realized that I can't do that anymore.     I just know that this will be her second Christmas with her Lord and Savior, Yeshua, Jesus Christ and there is no other place she wanted to be than with her Savior.     So, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, she is happy where she is.    And I also know that she wants family and friends to be happy for her.    As I type this, I think of the legacy of love that surrounded her and I try to make sure that those in some of the same circles we was in know and keep her memory and legacy alive.    I know that her husband and son and daughter in law miss her terribly.    Jamie, just know that we love you and miss you and hold your memory close in our hearts.     You were a true blessing, gift and friend and I will forever miss you.     I am truly sad for all the people that will live lives never having known you.

She could crack me up quicker than lightening.     But she was also very quick to take someones hand and pray for them.     We went to Hobby Lobby one day and was walking and looking at everything there was to see and I wanted to go to the craft and paper craft area and all of a sudden she wasn't anywhere around.    I went looking for her and I found her at the fabric cutting table and she was right there praying for the lady that cut fabric.    Jamie had asked her how she was and the lady told her she wasn't feeling well and Jamie just grabbed her and started praying over her and then I joined in and we just had a little time of prayer, praise, and celebration time right there in Hobby Lobby!!!!     The market place truly was her place of ministry and it should be ours too.     We never sat down to eat but what we always prayed over our server and said prayers of blessing for the establishment we were eating in.     She was always sharing about her time well spent in prayer and just being at the feet of Jesus and just seeing how she always beamed and glowed when she spoke of how God had made Himself real to her in a time of need.     Her legacy of love continues to live on in the hearts of those who knew her.    It's hard to believe it's been a year, but it has.     Just know that I love you my friend, and I miss you fiercely.    We all do!!!!     Enjoy this Christmas in heaven Jamie!!!!!    Your memory makes me smile!!!

I hope and pray that where ever you are today that you have someone in your life that represents the love of Christ in a very real way.    We never know the influence that we may have on someones life. We all have the possibility of being a legacy of love to those around us.    We all have the possibility of being a blessing in the lives of those we come in contact with.    We all have the possibility of being a blessing in our circle of influence.    I hope and pray that when the opportunity comes before each of us, every time the opportunity comes before us, that we will take hold of those opportunities and walk them out as Yeshua, Christ Jesus would have us do.   We never know when God is setting us up for a tremendous blessing, we just need to be ready to claim that blessing.    And the way we claim those blessings is by walking in obedience of our Lord and Savior, Yeshua, Jesus Christ.   God has people just ready to be a blessing to us and us to be a blessing to them.    We never know how that will come about.     It could be as simple as going to a car wash and while setting in line, looking around you and seeing a house and praying for the people in that house and then taking the step to go to that house and find out that the house is actually a Crisis Pregnancy Center.    That's how Jamie came into my life.    I was volunteering there and if she had not come to the house, I would never have met her and I can't even imagine my life without her as that blessing.     That's how she changed the lives of many people that I know and call my sisters in Christ.     So, if you feel God has impressed upon your heart to do something, be obedient to Him, you just never know what God has in store, but we can know that it is always good!!!!!!

I hope that everyone is busy making cherished memories this Christmas season.    I hope and pray that most of those cherished memories involve the birth of Jesus.    I pray that we can get back to the real reason for the season and that is Yeshua, Jesus Christ!!!    If you have ever done the Rick Warren Bible Study about The real reason for Christmas, you know that there are at least 3 reasons to be joyous this Christmas.   Read Luke's account of the birth of Christ.    That is such a beautiful passage. One of those reasons is the celebration.    The angels celebrated when they appeared before the shepherds.    That must have been one awesome sight!!!!!     The shepherds celebrated too, they were so excited they left the field and went and found this baby that the angels told them about and worshiped Him and then went and told everyone about this thing they had seen and witnessed.   How awesome is that!!!!    Another reason is salvation.     The angels announced a Savior was born for ALL people!!!     In order for salvation to take place, there has to be Savior, and that is who Jesus is, our salvation.      I am so thankful that I was included in the ALL!!!    Guess what, you are included in ALL too!!!!     Everyone, past present and future are included in that one little word, ALL!!!!     If that isn't enough to be thankful for, there's one more reason, reconciliation.   Peace on Earth!    It is only thru Jesus Christ that we will have peace.    Peace within ourselves and peace with one another.   Jesus Christ is the only One that could have taken my sin, bare the burden and pay the price for my sin, therefore reconciling me with my heavenly Father, Yahweh.    God can not look upon sin, since Christ covered the price of my sin, when my Father, Yahweh looks at me, He sees the blood of His Only Begotten covering me.     Praises, praises, praises!!!!!     If you can say the same thing, then my friends, we have so much to be thankful for this Christmas.     You may not have two pennies to rub together in your pocket, but if you know Christ as your Savior and Lord, you have the best gift anyone will ever give you.     That is something that we can all give and share with those we come in contact with when we are out in market place.   Say Merry Christmas!!!    Say Happy Hanukkah!!!   Give the gift of love this year, it doesn't cost you and I a thing, because it's already paid for, by the Babe born of Christmas Day!!!

As we celebrate Christmas, lets remember to keep love and thanksgiving in our hearts also.   Love and thankfulness looks beautiful on everyone; it's one size fits all; and they are garments of praise to be worn year round, not just at one particular time of the year.    So put your love and thankfulness on and go out into the marketplace and share it.

Ladybug, it was great to see you today.    Sweetpea loves you!!!!

I hope you read something here that you can relate to and that you will share it with someone that you know who could use a lift.    I know there are a lot of people that don't deal well with this time of the year.    Just know that it's not about how much money you spend; it's not about stressing yourself out; it's not even about Santa Clause.    It's not about the "do", it's about the "WHO"!     Jesus is the "Who"!!!     I hope and pray that every one has a wonderful Merry Christmas!!!  

Hopefully the next time, I will have a craft item or two to share.     I started to this time, but I decided I wanted to just share what was on my heart.     Always remember that God loves y'all and I do too!!!
hugs and love, Patty