Monday, 31 December 2012

Happy New Year!

Matthew 22: 37 - 39   Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself

With the New Year only hours away now, we wonder what 2013 will bring. The year 2012 was a year that brought many challenges with weather related events, global problems, mideast tension and many horrific and tragic violent crimes. Then there are also our own personal issues regarding health, relationships, family and finances. If there ever was a time when we needed to turn to the Lord for guidance, direction and hope it is now. So as we enter 2013, may I encourage each of us to trust the Lord more and love and serve Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Let's love our families more tenderly as that is pleasing to the Lord. May God Bless!

Matthew 5 : 3-12
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Happy New Year to all!

Testimony, Baptism, Communion

Sunday Sermon Review December 30, 2012
( from my home church I attend regularly )

Acts 16:30-31  And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?   And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
Today was a special day at church though there was no sermon. We heard the testimonies of 4 individuals and then they were baptized and then we joined together to celebrate Communion.
I didn't take a lot of notes this time but I will share a bit of the service.
Pastor Kellin lead the worship singing several favorites including "I'll Fly Away",  "The Solid Rock", and "Our God is Greater and Higher than Any Other" and Kellin stressed the excitement that testimonies bring - to hear and see how God is working today.

The first testimony was by a young man I will call Willie ( not his real name ). Though he grew up learning about Jesus, in his teenage years he became uninterested in the things of the Lord and went to a life of drinking and partying - spending his money trying to satisfy his unsatiable appetite for alcohol.  Wille has now decided to leave that all behind and live for Jesus. He now realizes how much God loves him.
The next testimony was from a couple who were recently married ( in early December ).  The young man who I will call Cam told how his choices led him down a bad path - choosing a life of alcohol and partying. He contributed his desire to change now to his wife and together they shared their desire to build a relationship with God.  Cam's wife shared next - She too chose the path of alcohol and partying which led to an unexpected pregnancy for her when she was 16. She shared the difficulties that come with being an unwed single teen Mom. After encouragement from her own mother, she decided she needed to change and do right for her young son's sake. Together with her new husband Cam, she wants to live for the Lord. Together they desire to raise her son for the Lord.

Lastly, we heard the testimony of a man whom I will call Steve, a man with many tattoos. Steve was a former inmate of an Alberta prison. He spent 20 years in prison. Steve shared how while in prison he got into a fight with another inmate, and seriously wounded the man. The man was paralyzed. Sometime later he got into another fight but this time Steve got the bad end of the fight and ended up in a coma for 14 days. While in this coma, he feels he experienced hell. He described the darkness, and the bottomless pit, and the aloneness that he experienced. He shared how in this hellish place he noticed he had no tattoos. After coming out of this coma, Steve knew it was time to change and get right with the Lord. He told how he got down on his knees and asked Jesus into his heart and asked the Lord to remove all his addictions. Jesus has gloriously saved Steve.
 Isaiah 50:10  Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.

Next were the baptisms - Cam and his wife were baptized by pouring while Willie and Steve were baptized by immersion.
Communion followed the baptisms.
Jesus is the final revelation.
The bread represents His body broken for us.
The wine represents His blood shed for us on the cross.

Note: For an indepth study on Holy Communion please check my Biblestudy blog - link here   http://livebyfaithonlinebiblestudies.blogspot.ca/2012/11/holy-communion-lord-supper.html

Thought for the week: New Years Resolution: "When you've done something wrong, admit it and be sorry. No one in history has ever choked to death from swallowing his pride".

Friday, 28 December 2012

Christmas 2012 - It's about family...

Christmas 2012 has come and gone - hopefully your Christmas was a time to spend with loved ones and to make memories. For me, it is all about family. The older we get the less it is about the gifts and glitter and it becomes more and more about honoring Jesus and spending time with family. As we all know family gatherings can be stressful and sometimes the best in people becomes obvious and other times the other side can show. Both is okay and we must learn to accept the fact that not everyone will be smiling all the time. When we read stories in the Bible, we see the good told as well as the bad. That's how it goes.
So what was my Christmas like? I want to jot down a bit about my family get togethers as a reminder of the Christmas of 2012.

Saturday, December 22 - Family Gathering A
It's a cold day. Arrival time at Dad and Mom's is 3pm.
There are 28 people in the family. One couple ( who live out of province ) with their 2 children have not been able to make it out so there are 24 people here in total. Dad and Mom, 4 married couples, 12 grandchildren, I grandson in law, and one baby great-grandchild.
The day begins with a time of singing Christmas carols and sharing Christmas readings. Sister D plays the piano as we sing. Each person is expected to bring a reading to share. We take turns. One young boy is having a stubborn spell and refuses to come while his little brother shares some Christmas jokes. The dad gives his son a talk, he comes but keeps his face turned to the wall unwilling to participate. My mind goes back to the days when my boys were young and the stress that came with keeping everyone cheerful. We continue singing and sharing. One person shares about the shootings in Newtown saying that he believes God will not allow people to push Him out of the schools etc ( I am not sure I agree ), another family shares Advent readings and light the advent candles. Others share about how Mary would have felt carrying the Son of God in her womb, another shares how Jesus is better than Santa. It's Dad's turn now. The little boy who happily told Christmas jokes earlier has fallen asleep - snores... these sharing times take a long time! Dad begins to tell stories from the olden days. Very tearful and emotional as he shares about his former dogs. Not sure where he is going with his stories....Ah now I understand - he is connecting it to the discipline of the Lord in our lives. He ends with an emotional prayer - his heart is in the right place. God bless him.

Time to prepare supper now. The men and younger generation visit, the children play and watch a movie. The ladies work in the kitchen and set the table. We've all brought stuff for the meal. Sister K has brought a couple of salads. Sister D brought the juice and cranberrry sauce. I brought the dinner rolls and a lettuce salad. Sister C brought the desserts - Lemon pie and a pan of chocolate brownies. Mom is getting older - she is 75 but still does more than her share of the work with the mashed potatoes and turkey and vegetables. We all sit down to a delicious supper and good fellowship.
 Now its time to clean up supper and then will be the time to open the gifts. The little children look forward to the gifts. We do the dishes. Sister D and I always do the dishes together at family gatherings. I wash and she dries. We have good conversations while we do dishes. We have a lot in common. Her children are similar age as mine. Her daughter has a boyfriend now, my son has a girlfriend. We agree we are new at this stage of life.
Time for gifts now. We go downstairs. The tree is in the corner - the gifts are under the tree. Everyone is handed a gift from Dad and Mom but we must all wait our turn to open. Thanks and hugs for all the nice gifts.
We play a gift exchange game. Sister C is in charge. Everyone has brought a $3 gift. It's sort of fun. The gifts in the gift exchange game include chips, and cards, and a flashlight, some mousetraps, chai tea, pliers, shop towels, chocolate, cookies etc. There is quite a variety of gifts. Sister C is good at organizing a game with all these gifts.
Dad brings out a box of Christmas oranges. Time for some snacks, some popcorn and soft drinks and we all head home. It's been a great day with family!

December 25, 2012 - Christmas at Home
It's another cold cold day but that's OK - we are all home - my husband and I, our twin sons, our third son and our daughter. School ended on Friday and our twin boys have been home from college for a few days already as well. We sleep in on Christmas Day this year. Sleep is good. We are going to keep things simple this year. Christmas is about remembering Jesus birth and spending time with family. Family is precious.
We have a quick breakfast and then begin opening gifts. The boys got things they need - one son needed a GPS for his truck and an electric kettle, another son needed a thermarest mattress for camping, a kettle as well, a toolbelt and a hammer, our third son needed a trailer tow hitch package for his truck and a brake controller, and our daughter enjoys Veggie Tales so her DVDs are her favorite gifts. We weren't able to get the ipad we wanted for her so that will have to wait.
We gather together in our sitting room to listen to a Christmas sermon by Robert Jeffress - a good message discussing Isaiah 9:6 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.
We are keeping it simple this year so I make a simple Christmas lunch. A Noodle and Cheese casserole, some baked pork, a green salad. For dessert I made a Lemon Cake and bought some raspberry cheesecake ice-cream. We sit down together to a simple but delightful Christmas lunch.
After lunch we all cozy up together in front of the TV to watch one of our daughter's new Veggie Tales movies. She loves to have her entire family watch it with her. She is very happy!
Time for some outdoor fun in the cold. Yep - snowmobiling even though it's very cold. We dress warmly for some outdoor fun!

December 26, 2012 - Family Gathering B
It is another really cold day - but hey at least the sun is shining and its not storming out there. We have an hour drive ahead of us to get to our family get together today. We leave home at around 10:30 am so we will arrive in time for Christmas dinner!
Everyone is home for Christmas here. Dad passed away in 2004 and we miss him still. Mom is happy to see us all. She is 85 years old now and has just had a bad cold with the cough still hanging on. There are six girls in our family, four sons-in-law and 12 grandchildren. My nephew from Ottawa has made it home for Christmas - we are blessed to all be together!
All of us girls chip in and get dinner on the table. Sister A and her husband carve the turkey - it's their job every year! Sister E mashes the potatoes while I stir the gravy and sister M works at the stuffing. Sister S and sister MH do the planning and organizing for family get togethers as they and Mom live together.
Dinner is downstairs. The tables are set and we all share in a delicious meal - mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, turkey,cranberry sauce, corn, lettuce salad, and some lemon and chocolate pie for dessert.
Time to get the dishes cleaned up. I wash the dishes while sister E dries. Everyone does their part to help clean up.
Next is singing time and then we will read the Christmas story from the gospel of Luke. We all sit together in a large circle. We sing some Christmas carols. No music this time - usually my niece plays the organ but this time she doesn't - not sure why she doesn't feel like playing today.  We read about the birth of Jesus from Luke - Mom starts with the first verse and  everyone reads one verse as it becomes their turn. It's great to do this as a family!
Time for the gifts. Mom's first gift to everyone is socks... everyone is happy because we all need new socks. We can depend on her to give socks for Christmas and birthdays!! More gifts - she has tool sets for her sons-in-law and a chime clock for each of us girls. She has more for the grandchildren also - the boys get some tools while the girls each get a large mirror. More gifts.... Paper everywhere... clean up.
Sister S makes some coffee - fair trade variety- it is sooo good - more of a treat for me than the chocolate and sweets that are available! Mom gets out the Christmas oranges.

Now is time for visiting - catching up on the news from each household. Kids in college - aviation training, aroespace engineering, business, pastoral training, mechanics training, some are dating, others are preparing to get their driver's license, others graduating in June... so much going on.
We end the day with another lunch we call Faspa - it is buns, cold sliced meat, jam and cheese etc. Desserts - blueberry square and jellyrolls. So much good food and fellowship.
It's been a good day and we're all tired. We pack up, hugs and well wishes for everyone. It's been a great Christmas once again!!

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Good News... Jesus is Born!!

Matthew 1: 18-25 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.  Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.

Today is Christmas Day! It is the day we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. Most of us know the story quite well - An angel surprised a young girl named Mary one day when he came in unexpectedly and announced to Mary that she had been chosen to be the mother of the long awaited Messiah. Many people have speculated that Mary would not have welcomed this news but personally I feel that she would have considered it quite an honor. All throughout the Old Testament God promises to send the Messiah, therefore most of the people were waiting for these prophecies to be fulfilled. It would not surprise me one bit if ordinary young girls would have in their everyday conversations, if they would have dreamed and imagined and hoped that they would be the one chosen by God to be the mother of His Son. So when this news was brought to the young girl Mary, she humbly accepted this great honor. Of course, having this happen to her also presented many challenges. She had to tell her fiance Joseph that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit and that the Child in her womb was the Son of God. Joseph was an honorable man and he did not quite believe her story. He knew the baby was not his so he planned to quietly divorce Mary in order to keep Mary from public disgrace.  But the angel of the Lord also came to Joseph ( in a dream ) and explained the situation to him. He was instructed to take Mary as his wife. Joseph was chosen to be the earthly father of the Son of God. Joseph also humbly accepted the call placed on his life. He took Mary to be his wife, he refrained from sexual intimacy with her till after the baby Jesus was born and he cared for his precious bride Mary. He cared for and protected the baby Jesus just as any proud father would protect his own baby.
So at Christmas time we must remember why this all needed to happen. Why did Jesus have to leave the glory of heaven, come down to earth as a helpless baby, grow up and live here on our planet? It was for the salvation of our souls. Jesus came to die for our sin. Our sin separates us from God. God is holy and cannot tolerate sin in his presence. We are all sinners in need of the Savior. We cannot save ourselves. None of us can pay for our own sin because we are all sinful people. We needed a sinless sacrifice to atone for our sin. Because of His great love for us, Jesus chose to be this sacrifice. That is why He came.  He died on the cross in our place. He took my place on that cross, He took your place because of His great love for us all. The good news is that now through faith in Jesus, we can be reconciled back to God the Father. He who knew no sin became sin for us.
2 Corinthians  5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.  Even if you or I had been the only person in the whole world that needed saving, Jesus still would have endured the cross and died there for you, for me. Isn't that amazing? The love He has for us is really amazing!! So this Christmas day, if you do not know Jesus as your Savior, can I ask you to come to him today for the salvation of your soul? You may say, -"why now - I am still young and have many years ahead of me, I want to live it up a little first."  My answer to you would be that none of us know what day or hour we will face death and be called out of here. If you remember the recent tragedy in Newtown, none of those teachers and staff had any time to repent of their sin, and invite Jesus into their hearts. They were gone in an instant and we trust that each of them will have made this important decision to receive Christ well before that awful Friday morning.  Death could come for any of us at any time - through illness, or accident or tragedy. Prepare to meet God today!
One more reason to celebrate Christmas is the fact that we are looking forward to his return to this earth. One day the sky and clouds will break open and as we look up we will see Jesus coming in the clouds. Those of us who have accepted Jesus as our Saviour will rise to meet Him in the air.  Please make sure you will be ready to meet Jesus in the air!
1 Thessalonians 4: 16-18 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

4th Advent - "Rejoice"

Sunday Sermon Review - December 23, 2012 - We have Reasons to Rejoice!
( from my home church I attend regularly )

Luke 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

This Sunday was Christmas Music morning at our church. It is something our church does every year the Sunday just before Christmas. There is no preaching or message in the service - only singing and music. Our church is blessed with many talented and gifted muscians and this gives them a chance to put on a service each year.
I would say my favorite of the morning was the Guitar Choir. It was a group of about 8 or so men who sat down together, each with a guitar and played a couple of songs just with all those guitars. They first played  the song - "What Child is This" and then also "Silent Night" at which time the congregation was invited to sing along for one verse.

Other groups sang songs like "Joy to the World", "Birthday of the King", "O Come O Come Emmanuel", "Time of Year", " I Just Heard Some Good News", "Glory in The Highest", "Breath of Heaven", and "Go Tell it on the Mountain".

Thought for the week: Each of us is an innkeeper who decides if there is room for Jesus."
by Maxwell

Thursday, 20 December 2012

My Winter Pictures - Christmas Joy!

 Luke 2:7-14
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. 
 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.
  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.
 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.

I took my camera with me today - took a few pictures. Hope you enjoy these winter pictures.

We know God is the greatest artist ever but don't you think He also has a sense of humor? Look at this picture - It is a small bird's nest and so as the snow falls, God creates this fantastic looking ice-cream cone out of it. I love it!

Bird's Nest

Snow on the branches - God does His own decorating for His Son's birthday!!

When I saw these thorns I just had to take a picture - How perfect at Christmas time to think of Jesus and His sacrifice for us on the cross.

Just a really beautiful winter scene - I enjoy my almost daily walks here.
It's a bit hard to tell but this one is a vine all snowy.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Santa Claus - What about the children?

Psalm 40:4 Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

Is Santa Claus a part of your Christmas celebration? If so may I ask you a simple question? Why?

As a little girl growing up in southern Manitoba, I always knew there was no such a thing as Santa Claus. I remember wishing that Santa was real. My reasoning was that if Santa was real and could bring me presents from the North Pole, then my parents would not need to spend the little money they had on presents for my sisters and me.
Now that I am a parent and my children are mostly grown up, I am still puzzled by the fact that many a parent will lie to their children teaching them to believe in Santa and at the same time these parents are trying to teach their children that lying is wrong and that we should be truthful and honest all the time. After all "honesty is the best policy" they say. How does it not apply to Christmas and Santa? You can't have truth and lies at the same time. Make your choice - Jesus the truth or Santa the lie. Santa is a big lie and should have nothing to do with Christmas for persons who say they are Christians.
I heard from my Dad a true life situation where the parents had always taught their little girl to believe in Santa and also to believe in Jesus and celebrate His birth at Christmas time. When the little girl got a little older, the parents decided to tell her the truth about Santa and told her - "Santa is not real, we are the ones who give you the presents at Christmas". The little girl deeply troubled replied - " Then is the story of Jesus not true either?"
This is very sad. Now this little girl ( and I am sure this story has played itself out many times over throughout the years ) was confused and did not understand why her parents would lie to her.
My husband and I have always taught our children the truth about Santa. He is not real. He has nothing to do with Christmas at all. My son remembers getting into trouble at school for telling others the truth about Santa. This is very sad.
As I said earlier, Santa has no part in Christmas. This is pagan thing that our Christian friends have begun to celebrate. It is another form of idolatry. Giving that which belongs to Jesus to a fake person - a silly man in a red suit. This is an undermining of the God's authority in our lives and does not meet the standards of our Holy God.

Please read the following verses from Joshua 24.
14 Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.
15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

19 And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the Lord: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.
20 If ye forsake the Lord, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good.
21 And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the Lord.
22 And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the Lord, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses.
23 Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the Lord God of Israel.
24 And the people said unto Joshua, The Lord our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey.

Monday, 17 December 2012

3rd Advent - We are not Abandoned...

Sunday Sermon Review December 16, 2012
(from my home church I attend regularly )

3rd Advent - We are not Abandoned

Luke 2: 25-32
 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel

Thought for the week: Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly Merry Christmas!

The service began with the singing of several including the Christmas favorites  O Come, O Come Emmanuel and What Child is This as well as also the song  Jesus, Hope of the Nations. Personally I really like the song Jesus, Hope of the Nations.

There was a skit telling the story of Simeon ( same story as in the text ) Simeon had been told by the Holy Spirit that he would not die till he would first see the promised Messiah. So he was waiting and the baby Jesus is brought into the temple.

2 Corinthians 4:6-9 For 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. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;  Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

Pastor Ben came up to preach and here is some of what he said:
It's Christmas - a time we remember the promises that God made. The promises fullfilled in Jesus.
God speaks. God keeps and fulfills his promises.
He is faithful.
Key Promise in Scripture is Genesis 12:2-3
And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
This promise is made to Abraham. As Abraham gets older he wonders if God will be faithful and give him a son? We know that God did fullfill this promise and Isaac was born.
Abraham's name is great.
How are all families of the earth blessed? - Through Jesus - He is the blessing to us all.
Promise to David 2 Sammuel 7:16  And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.
Will God be faithful tot his promise? Will God establish this King? - It is fulfilled in Jesus.
Some of the gospels begin with the geneolgy  of Jesus. He is a decendant of David.

Luke 2:29 - Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:
God kept his promise to Simeon.

Jesus used the Old Testament to explain how God promised and He ( Jesus ) is the fullfillment of that promise.
Luke 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
It keeps pointing us back to the promises , the prophecy.
This does not stop with the Bible. God's promises and prophecy are still being fullfilled today!
Matthew 16:18  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it
The global church continues to grow. We can see this prophecy being fullfilled today. There are 2 billion people who claim allegiance to Jesus today.
Only in Canada, the USA and Europe are the churches in decline. Everywhere else Christianity is expanding daily. God is faithful to His promises.

What relevance does this all have to me today?
Christmas highlights our brokeness.
It points out the disfunctions in our families.
It can be hard to see God's faithfulness in the midst of brokeness.
But God is faithful even in our brokeness.
We have sanitized Christmas.
It was not a perfect environment when Jesus was born. Mary gave birth to Jesus in the stable with the animals- not in a hospital with medical professionals present.
No one allowed Mary and Joseph into their house. No one would sacrifice their space for the Savior's birth.
God enters into places of brokeness.
We light the Advent candles as a symbol of how Jesus is the light of the world.
John1:4-5 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.  And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
We celebrate Christmas in December on the 25th. Jesus was most likely born in the fall of the year.
But it is fitting to celebrate in December when the nights get darker and longer. And Jesus is the Light of the World.
God is faithful. He has not abandoned us!
Emmanuel - God with us!
Remember the promises of God - He has not abandoned us!

Closing songs
Standing On This Mountain Top
Joy To The World

Tragedy in Newtown - sharing in the grief in death of many innocent...

Matthew 19: 13-15 Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them.   But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”  And He laid His hands on them and departed from there.

Today we are grieving the death of twenty seven human lives lost in that senseless shooting in Newtown. We ask how could anyone commit such a horrific crime? What is this world coming to with all these kinds of things happening almost on a regular basis? What can or should be done? These are the questions everyone is asking and I can tell you I do not have the answers. But I can tell you that my heart is grieved and broken for these precious children and adults who died completely in innocence and I have shed many tears as I have watched the news on television. The tears and the grief of this tragedy ripple around the globe. It may surprise you to know that this morning even in my children's school here in Manitoba Canada, right after the singing of our national anthem, we held a time of silence and remembrance for the victims in Newtown. Our thoughts and prayers are with our all American friends as we are all stricken with grief.
Jesus loves children and he took special time for them during his ministry here on earth. When the disciples rebuked those who would bring their children to Him, Jesus said " “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” 
So we can be sure the everyone of these precious little children are now in heaven with Jesus in perfect happiness in the presence of God Himself.  So while our hearts are broken here on earth, the children are safe in the arms of Jesus. That is a real comfort.
There is one other thought that keeps coming to my mind and that is the fact that these deaths in Newtown are getting much publicity and public grief and it is absolutely 100% the right thing - no question about it at all.  BUT- is there anyone out there who will mourn and grieve the lost lives of the babies killed by abortion. Each one of the babies who have been killed through abortion all have experienced death. - They also will never be able to celebrate a birthday with their friends, have Christmas or birthday parties, graduate, find love and get married, experience the joys of having a baby etc. Who will grieve for these children? Who will mourn for these children? Who will stand up and say - "enough is enough" the abortions must stop NOW!
As we pray for comfort for those grieving in Newtown, please lets also not forget the unborn babies murdered everyday. May God have mercy on us and help us.
Genesis 4: 9-11  Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?”
He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”
 And He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground.   So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Stuck in my mind...

I am sure that many of you could say these words with me - " in recent days I have experienced difficulty in my personal life". Agree? That is a true statement for me. But it is also true that in times of difficulty, the Lord is near to encourage and strengthen me. Praise God!
So for the last couple of days, the Lord has placed a song in my heart that encourages me very much. He has also strengthened me with the gift of assurance that I belong to Him and He has given me Scripture - some verses from the Psalms that I can cling to.
So here is part of the song:

My Redeemer
(  by Philip P Bliss 1876 )

I will sing of my Redeemer,
And His wondrous love to me;
On the cruel cross He suffered,
From the curse to set me free.

Sing, oh sing, of my Redeemer,
With His blood, He purchased me.
On the cross, He sealed my pardon,
Paid the debt, and made me free.
I will sing of my Redeemer,
And His heav’nly love to me;
He from death to life hath brought me,
Son of God with Him to be.
( from cyberhymnal.org )
Now I would like to share some of the Scripture that the Lord is using to speak encouragement into my heart:
Psalm 33: 17- 18 An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength.  Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;
Psalm 34: 6-8  This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
19 -  Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.
22 - The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.
To anyone reading this who is suffering or troubled - may I encourage you to put your trust in the Lord and let Him take away your fears.

Monday, 10 December 2012

About Christmas trees...


Have you ever wondered why some Christians celebrate Christmas without putting up a Christmas tree? In this post I want to share with you the fact that as I was growing up, my parents did not put up a Christmas tree. The church I attended growing up with my parents did not approve of Christmas trees. As a result, I do not need a Christmas tree in my life either to celebrate Christmas. Sometimes people will ask me - " Do you have your tree up yet?" When I say "No, I don't put up a tree for Christmas," the next question they will ask is " Then do you not celebrate Christmas??" To which I say " Yes I do celebrate Christmas but I do not need to put up a tree in order to do so." So let me explain.

First of all I want to be clear that I do not condemn anyone who has a Christmas tree ( many many Christians do have a tree at Christmas as part of their family traditions.) Each individual or family is free to choose their own traditions and to follow the Lord's leading in their own lives. The church I currently attend with my family does put up a very tall tree every year in the sanctuary. My husband's parents have always had a tree as well so I am very familiar with celebrating Christmas where there is a tree and it doesn't affect me in a negative way. But still personally, I do not need a tree.
The reason why my parents did not want to have a Christmas tree is because they did not want to have the tree become an idol at Christmas - They wanted to make sure that Jesus be the center of our worship at Christmas, and there was a Bible passage that they believed spoke directly about the Christmas tree.
The Bible teaches against idol worship in many places but the verses from Jeremiah 10 are very strong words when you read them with Christmas in mind.  Notice especially verses 3 and 4.
Jeremiah 10: 1-6
Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, O house of Israel:  Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.
 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.
 They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.
 Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O Lord; thou art great, and thy name is great in might.

My parents also did not really approve of the song O Christmas Tree.  If at Christmas we are celebrating the birth of the Lord Jesus, why sing about a tree? Why not rather sing about Jesus!!
You will notice what the issue was when you consider the words of the song.

O Christmas Tree
( author unknown)

O Christmas tree,
O Christmas tree
Your leaves are so unchanging
O Christmas tree,
O Christmas tree
Your leaves are so unchanging

Not only green when
Summer’s here
But also when it’s cold and drear
O Christmas tree,
O Christmas tree
Your leaves are so unchanging

O Christmas tree,
O Christmas tree
Much pleasure you do give me
O Christmas tree,
O Christmas tree
Much pleasure you do give me

How often has the Christmas tree
Given me the greatest glee

O Christmas tree,
O Christmas tree
Much pleasure you do give me

From top to bottom
You’re so bright
There’s only splendor for the sight
O Christmas tree,
O Christmas tree
Your lights are shining brightly

So the next time one of your friends say they do not need a tree in order to celebrate Christmas - you will know that there are others in this world who feel the same way.
However you celebrate Christmas, may Jesus be honored and glorified in all of our celebrations! God Bless you all and Merry Christmas!

Sunday, 9 December 2012

2nd Advent - We need not fear!

Thought for the week: Do not be afraid of tomorrow; for God is already there.

Sunday Sermon Review December 9, 2012
( from my home church I attend regularly )

Topic - 2nd Advent - We need not fear!

The service began with singing  It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

Bible Reading from Matthew 1:18-26
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.  Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.  But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.  And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,  Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.  Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.

Skit - The skit was given from the perspective of Joseph, thoughts he might have had and the struggles he would have had in his heart. Joseph loved Mary, had kept himself for her and now she told him that she is pregnant and going to give birth to God's Son. The angel spoke to Joseph in a dream. It would be a privilege to be chosen by God to be the parents of His Son.

Away in a Manger

Bible Reading from Psalm 27
Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 27: 3 -5 Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.
One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

Pastor Ben was the preacher today. Here is some of what he said:
Christmas is a time for celebration. We have Christmas parties at our work places, with friends and family.
Society encourages us to spend money.
Many receive Christmas bonus at work.
We decorate our homes with lights and trees.
We love the festive atmosphere that Christmas brings.
As followers of Jesus, we have the greastest reason to celebrate and rejoice.
Everything changed when Jesus came.
The Creator became a helpless child that first Christmas.
It is the celebration of God coming to the world.

We Need Not Be Afraid
The angel said - Do not be afraid to Mary, to Joseph and to the Shepherds
We no longer need to live in fear.
Joseph would have experienced fear. After all Mary could be stoned. There would be social consequences of her pregnancy. People will talk.

Be Not Afraid but Trust in God
Trust God - He knows what He is doing

In order to Trust in God
1) We must believe that God has our best intention in mind - ( this likely is not the American dream  - large house, couple cars in the garage etc)
God did not insulate Joseph and Mary from the pressures around them.
God really desperately cares for us.
God does have a plan
He cares for us deeply within that plan.
We are His children, He loves us!
John 3:16 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.

2) We must believe that God is Competent - He is Able
He is able to do what He says He will do.
Mary and Joseph had to trust God for His plan. They were only told about the Child coming. They were not given details, how things would unfold.  They were not  given a 5 year plan.
We must trust God to work out the details in our lives.

Do we believe that when we obey Him - He will lead us to life?
Trust is action - obedience in our lives

We can celebrate the fact that we do not need to fear!
Christmas can be a painful time for some but we can celebrate as an act of faith!
Choose to celebrate that God loves us.
Choose to celebrate that God is able!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

New Beginnings... A Christmas Story of Hope

This is a short story I wrote for the 2007 writing contest in our local newspaper "The Carillon".  Here I also won honorable mention for my story.  This story I wrote is fiction...

This is how my story was set up in the newspaper - The Carillon

New beginnings.....
Christmas would soon be here again. The sights and sounds of the season were everywhere with the colorful lights beautifully adorning the neighborhood and Christmas carols being played non-stop on the radio.
Lena knew that the Christmas season was supposed to be one of the happiest times of the year but for her it definitely was not.
She was sure it would be the loneliest time for her in all the thirty years of her life. Having never married and having no family close by this year, she dreaded the holiday season.
Since the death of their parents three years ago, sister Amelia had always invited her over for the holidays. Last summer, sister Amelia and her husband Dave had moved out east to be closer to Dave's family and would be spending Christmas with them. Now Lena wondered how she would get through Christmas all alone.
Quiety she sat there. Thinking. Wondering why must it be so. Oh she did have so much to be thankful for - her salvation, her job at the local school where she was in her seventh year of teaching grade eleven students, her apartment, a car, and friends at work and church. But Mother had always insisted that Christmas be spent with family.
Her thoughts raced back to her childhood and the wonderful Christmases she had spent with her family. She and Amelia had always been so close. Amelia was two years younger but had been the best friend sister anyone could wish for.
She thought back to her school years and pondered the Christmas concert in the sixth grade. She had played the part of Mary and Tom Henders had played Joseph. Tom Henders and Dave Wadge ( now Amelia's husband ) had been best friends in school. Lena blushed as she thought of Tom again. She had always hoped that he would notice her. He had been so charming with his black wavy hair and boyish grin. But he had moved away in eighth grade and she had never heard from him since.
Dave and Amelia had been sweethearts since the nineth grade. Before Tom had moved, the four of them had had many good times together.
For ten years, Lena had prayed for a husband remembering Tom every time she prayed. But God had not answered that prayer so Lena had decided to give up and do the best she could for herself. Teaching was also something she loved, so she knew God had answered prayer.
Jolting herself out of her daydream and back to her present situation, Lena began to pray. "Lord", she prayed, "help me this Christmas to rejoice in your birth and in the gift of salvation. And get me through this lonely time without family. And Lord.....could I ask for just one surprise this Christmas?"
With that she got up from her cozy rocking chair and got ready for church. The evening service would start in one hour.
Later that evening as Lena reflected on Pastor Mike's message which had been titled " Hope through Sharing", she decided that she would need to be intentional this Christmas and share what she had with those she could. She got out a notepad and began to jot down a couple of ideas as they came to her. Time - yes time that is what she had to give. Tomorrow she would check out a couple of places that needed help  during the Christmas season. Pastor Mike had mentioned that Empty Stocking needed some volunteers to wrap gifts and also that the nursing home was looking for people to visit the lonely people there. Lenas was already beginning to feel better about Christmas. Could she dare say she was excited!!
The next morning, Lena busied herself getting ready for the last day of school. She knew the kids were eager for the holidays to begin and now Lena found herself looking forward to her break from teaching as well. God was alreading giving her the hope that Pastor Mike had spoken of.
Lena was about to leave her apartment when she noticed she had a message waiting on her answering machine. There must have been a call while she was at church last night. Quickly she pressed the play button. It was Amelia's voice. - "I have an idea for Christmas...can you call me back?" It was getting later so Lena knew she would have to wait till after school to call her sister. The day flew by quickly for Lena. All day she tried to figure out what Amelia's idea could be and as soon as she got home, she made the call to Amelia.
Amelia and Dave were asking her to fly out to Fredricton to their house for Christmas - all expenses paid as their Christmas gift to her from them. Since Dave worked for the airline, he had been able to get a good deal on the flight. Dave knew it would mean a lot to Amelia to haver her sister Lena with them for Christmas.
" OH thank-you, thank-you," Lena screamed with delight!
All was settled then. Lena would fly out the morning of December 23 and be with Amelia and Dave for their Christmas Eve service and she would be expected for Christmas dinner with Dave's family as well.
"Thank-you Lord", prayed Lena as she hung up the phone. " I asked for a surprise didn't I?.... Thank-you Lord for remembering me!"
The next few days flew by for Lena. She did help wrap the gifts for Empty Stocking and she visited with the folks in the nursing home each evening that week. She found herself loving every person she would visit. This may well be my best Christmas yet, she thought.
Lena arrived safely in Fredricton as planned. It was truly wonderful to see Amelia and Dave. Fredricton was so beautiful. Lena found herself imagining what it would be like for her to move out here some day. She could probably get a teaching job here as well. It was something to think about for another day.
It was Christmas Eve now and the service had begun. Lena was throroughly enjoying herself. She was with Amelia and Dave for Christmas after all! Then the Pastor stood up to speak. He introduced himself as Tom Henders. Lena's mind began to race! Could it be the same Tom Henders?? Now she would have to meet him - perhaps with his wife and family. It would be so awkward... but it would put some closure to her thoughts about Tom.
Amelia nudged Lena - " You remember Tom, don't you? I told him you were coming out and I have invited him over to our house for hot cocoa after the service. He's still single and is dying to see you again. Hope that's okay with you?"
Lena blushed as her eyes met Tom's. Oddly his message too was titled -  "Hope through Sharing".
Lena bowed her head. "Thank-you Lord for surprising me. Thank-you for family and thank-you for hope. Thank-you for your Son Jesus - the real miracle of Christmas!"
This was going to be the best Christmas ever - A Christmas of New Beginnings!

Note: You can link to my other Christmas story here http://sharingthefaith-northernsparrow.blogspot.ca/2012/12/christmas-memories-story-i-wrote-for.html

Sunday, 2 December 2012

1st Advent Sunday - Peace

Sunday Sermon Review December 2, 2012  - 1st Advent: Peace
( from my home church that I attend regularly)

We Have Peace
Speaker - Pastor Ben

Luke 2:14 - Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

The service began with singing the song Hosanna. The song is written by Paul Baloche and is very meaningful to sing. Here are a few lines from the song.

Praise is rising, eyes are turning to You, we turn to You
Hope is stirring, hearts are yearning for You, we long for You
'Cause when we see You, we find strength to face the day
In Your Presence all our fears are washed away, washed away

Hosanna, hosanna
You are the God Who saves us, worthy of all our praises
Hosanna, hosanna
Come have Your way among us
We welcome You here, Lord Jesus
We celebrated the 1st Advent with the lighting of the first Advent candle and the Scripture reading from Luke 1: 26 - 55 which tells the story of the angel's announcement to Mary.
Luke 1:26-31
And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.

The message today was based on Philippians 4: 4-7

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.
 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Pastor Ben came up to bring the message and here is some of what he said:
*Advent is a time of expectations -
Yet Christmas is a time of tension.
Our hopes and expections are not met
We have gatherings and Christmas parties yet many are lonely.

*Christmas is a time of joy -
 Joy is a major part of Christmas yet depression is rampant during the Christmas season.

*Christmas is a time of peace -
The message of the angels to the shepherds was a message of peace - Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. yet our lives are not filled with peace but rather with stress preparing for Christmas and with shopping.
Often family gatherings are marred by bitterness and unforgiveness.

**We heard Mary's story. Imagine her hopes and dreams. She was engaged to be married to Joseph. But everything changed for Mary when the angel appeared to her to tell her that she would be the mother of baby Jesus. How would she tell Joseph? How would she tell her family?
Mary's peace was broken by God entering into her world.
What would happen to your hopes if an angel showed up in your life?

The basis of our faith is that God shows up and when He does.... everything changes!
How do you have peace when God breaks into your life? and everything changes in your life?
Change is the opposite of peace.

Mary surrendered to God - Luke 1 : 38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.
God is the center of our peace.
Peace comes ( not in the absence of change ) but because we see God working in our lives.

We need a movement from God. We need more of God. We need to encounter Him more and more.

The reason we (Mary) can have peace when God shows up is that we ( Mary ) trust in God.
She ( we ) knows God and knows she ( we ) can trust Him.

Turn to God and trust Him. He loves us radically.
Peace is not passive - peace is active
Peace in the midst of our world being turned upside down.
Philippians 4: 4  Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice
The key is to rejoice in the Lord always - whether we feel like it or not.
Thank God for his love even when you don't feel like it.
We need to give thanks to God.
Draw near to God.
Bring everything to God in prayer.

We find peace when we find God. We can trust Him with our lives.

Song - Come Thou Long Expected Jesus

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Christmas Memories ( the story I wrote for our newspaper in 2005 )

 I wrote this story in 2005 to participate in a writing contest for our local newspaper  "The Carillon".  I did not win a prize but I did get "honorable mention" so I was pretty happy about that.

Here is the link to my other Christmas story- it is fiction, also  written for the newspaper:

The following is a true story from my growing up years.

My Christmas Story written in 2005

Christmas Memories from the 1970's

Even from my childhood, Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year. Back then, there were no lights or decorations, just the excitement of a little farm girl looking forward to Christmas! It was the one and only time of the year when there would be presents. I was the youngest of six girls in the family.
Preparing for Christmas began early in December, when in Sundayschool I would get my poem which I was required to memorize. It was not easy to memorize a poem of High German words and verses. I would set my heart to memorizing it as soon as I could. Then my mother would begin to sew new Christmas dresses for my sisters and me. Usually they would all be the same pattern, though not the same fabric. To my mother, the most important thing was that the dress would be long enough to cover my knees.
Soon it would be time for the school Christmas party. I really looked forward to this. Here we would all share a special lunch. Some children were required to bring sandwiches while others brought cookies or cupcakes. Our desks would be placed in a circle around the outer part of the classroom. We would share the lunch and to top it off we were treated to a bottle of pop.
After lunch recess, it would be time for the gift exchange, at which time we would present a gift to the child whose name we had picked several weeks earlier. Then it was time for the parents to come to school to see the children put on the play of the Birth of Christ. The part of an angel would be mine.
After many days of waiting, Christmas Eve would finally arrive. Not only was Christmas finally here but it was also my birthday. Though my birthday was not celebrated,  I would be reminded that I was a Christmas gift to my parents the year that I was born. But now we would celebrate the birth of Jesus! Supper and chores would be early on Christmas Eve, as it was time to get ready for the Sundayschool Christmas program. What excitement as my sisters and I could wear our new Christmas dresses for the first time. We would pack all eight of us into the family car and head off to church, which was five miles away. Here we would sing our favorite German Christmas carols. My favorite was "Leisse Rieselt der Schnee" which talked of snow falling down lazily as we await the coming of the Christ Child. Then each child was called up individually to come to the microphone to recite the verse that he or she had memorized. This made me so nervous and yet it was very exciting! Then the treat bags were handed out to the children and also a gift which was either a Catechism or a Bible. Soon our happy family was ready to go back home.
Once back at home, my Dad would read the Bible. After that was done, we ( my sisters and I ) would each get out a mixing bowl. We would put our name on a small piece of paper and place it in the mixing bowl. Then the mixing bowl was set out on the couch or on a chair. After all the children were asleep, my parents would put some candy, chocolate snowballs and peanuts in the bowl as well as an unwrapped gift or two. What excitement on Christmas morning when I would hurry downstairs to see what was in my bowl! My favorite gift I remember was a mother doll that was about five inches tall with a baby doll in a small pink carriage.
Then it would be time for breakfast, chores and then off to church for the Christmas Day service. After church on Christmas Day and also on Boxing Day ( known to me then as the Second Holiday of Christmas ) , we would have a quick and simple lunch and then head off to our grandparent's house. On Christmas Day we would go to my dad's family's home, while on the Second Holiday of Christmas we would go to my mom's family's home. Both family gatherings were more than an hour's drive away and with eight of us in the car, that seemed like a long ride. Here we were expected to recite our Sundayschool verses. After this we were given a treat bag and a small gift such as a handkerchief or a small toy. The day would be spent visiting and playing with cousins and of course enjoying a scrumptious meal prepared by my grandmother. Grandmother would make so much extra we were all glad to get a jar of Plumi Moos and her special cake with bananas and whipped cream on it home to enjoy later. The next several days and weeks would be spent playing with our new toys and munching on the treats of Christmas!
These are the memories of the Christmas of my childhood which I will always treasure. What a joy it is to remember the people and places of Christmases past as we make memories for the future!

To read more about my parents, please check out the following links-

To read more about my Grandparents please check out the following links -


For the recipe for Plumi Moos please check my recipe blog - link to recipe here: http://bakeandtasterecipes.blogspot.ca/2012/11/pluma-moos-moms-recipe.html