God Hears Her Celebrate Lit Tour, Recipes, and Giveaway

My Thoughts

God Hears Her: 365 Devotions for Women by Women is a heartfelt devotion from Our Daily Bread.  Each daily selection is short and does not take a long time to complete.  It is a lovely devotional for any woman,

The day’s reading has a title, short scripture to read, a key verse is listed, and then a well written devotional ties it together.  If you have ever read Our Daily Bread this will look familiar.  The story applies the scripture to our lives and is encouraging.

The dates are listed so it is simple to pick up this book and begin reading it at any day of the year.   There is a wide variety of daily themes for inspiration.  Encouragement in hard times, admonition against sin, realizing that God hears our prayers, conquering fear, guarding our hearts, are just a few of the many topics covered.

I love this beautifully covered, thought provoking book.  Its devotions can be easily read within five minutes.  This provides the perfect way to begin or end your day.  I highly recommend it.  It would make a thoughtful gift for any occasion, holiday, or as a “just because” gift.  5 star rating from me!  A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but these are my own, honest words.

About the Book

Book:  God Hears Her

Author: Our Daily Bread

Genre: Non-fiction / Christian / Devotional

Release Date: September, 2017

Tour Dates: February 1 – 14

God Hears HerWhen you’re having one of those days, you just want to know that someone is on your side. You have more than just someone  . . . you have your Heavenly Father! He is with you. He is for you. He hears your heart’s cry. And He will reassure you of this through the beautifully designed, hardcover devotional collection, God Hears Her. The personal stories, Scripture passages, and inspirational quotes pulled from Our Daily Bread devotionals will lift you up and remind you that God is bigger than the trials you face.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Our Daily Bread Publishing – Our Daily Bread Publishing is a division of Our Daily Bread Ministries. Founded in 1938, the ministry has grown from a small group of dedicated radio listeners to millions of people around the world who use our Bible-based resources, including the beloved Our Daily Bread devotional. Our Daily Bread Ministries is a non-denominational, non-profit organization with staff and volunteers in over 37 offices working together to distribute more than 60 million resources in 150 countries. Regardless of whether it’s a radio or television broadcast, DVD, podcast, book, mobile app, or website, we provide materials to help people grow in their relationship with God.

More from Our Daily Bread

‘Feels Like Home’ Winter Recipes

As the weather turns colder, it becomes the time to pull out those tried and true winter-time recipes. You know, the ones that make us (or even keep us) warm on the inside. This is the time for the food that just feels like home.

Kirsten Holmberg and Elisa Morgan from the God Hears Her blog have shared some of their families personal recipes. These are the ones that are good for everyone. Feel free to try them yourself, bookmark them for later, or share them with a friend.

Kirsten Holmberg

In the winter, I’m partial to any slow-cooker soup or stew because I love coming home to it in the evening. My favorite is a Vegetarian Chili with some Italian influences:

2 bell peppers, diced

2 stalks of celery, sliced

2 lb zucchini halved and sliced

1 lb fresh mushrooms, halved

1 large onion, diced

3 cans diced tomatoes (fire roasted or herbed for the most flavor)

1 can tomato sauce

1 small can black olives, sliced (or fresh in any amount desired)

1 can cannellini beans

2.5 teaspoon Italian seasoning

2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced

½ cup water

Toss it all in a slow cooker for a few hours on high, or all day on low. Or, put it on the stove instead and simmer until the veggies are cooked through and the flavors blended (about 45 minutes). Parmesan cheese on top for an extra zing.

Elisa Morgan

A Cranberry Nut Bread recipe handed down by my mom, Paige Lee

2 cup flour

½ tsp salt

1 ¼ tsp baking powder

½ scant tsp baking soda

1 cup sugar

Sift above ingredients together twice. To the juice and grated rind of 1 large orange, add 2 tbs of melted shortening and enough boiling water to make ¾ cup. Mix with dry ingredients and add…

1 beaten egg

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup halved fresh cranberries

Bake in greased loaf pan for 75 minutes at 350 degrees.

If you double the recipe, bake a little less time and use 3 loaf pans. It also makes good muffins and can be frozen.

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, February 1

deb’s Book Review, February 1

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, February 2

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 2

Texas Book-aholic, February 3

Mary Hake, February 3

God is Love, February 4

Emily Yager, February 4

Genesis 5020, February 5

A Diva’s Heart, February 5

Girls in White Dresses, February 5

Lighthouse Academy, February 6

amandainpa, February 6

For Him and My Family, February 7

For The Love of Books, February 7

Inklings and notions, February 8

Andrea Christenson, February 8

Blossoms and Blessings, February 9

CarpeDiem, February 9

Older & Smarter?, February 10

She Lives to Read, February 10

For the Love of Literature, February 11

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 11

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 12

Godly Book Reviews, February 12

Artistic Nobody, February 13

Back Porch Reads, February 13

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, February 14

Kat’s Corner Books, February 14

Giveaway

To celebrate their tour, Our Daily Bread is giving away the grand prize package of  a God Hears Her hardcover, God Hears Her leather-like, God Hears Her journal, God Hears Her CD, God Hears Her pen, and God Hears Her Scripture & Encouragement cards!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/f540/god-hears-her-celebration-tour-giveaway

Christmas, Cookies, and Memories

Christmas and cookies just seem to go together.  Kids of all ages love cookies.  Don’t you?  From the simple chocolate chip and peanut butter to fancier bonbons and cookie press spritz, a tray of cookies is always a welcomed delight at any home.

I remember making Christmas candy with both of my grandmothers but not cookies.  My mother and I made those along with treasured memories.  Mother is a wonderful cook and baker.  She is also a true Proverbs 31 woman even to this day.  I am blessed to have a Christian mother to teach me many things, especially about Jesus.

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One of our family’s favorite cookies is Spritz or Cookie Press Butter Cookies.  A hint of almond mixed with pure buttery goodness in small shapes of wreaths, Christmas trees, stars, and hearts give the kitchen a heavenly aroma when baking.  These are scrumptious any time of the year.  The best thing about them is the fun I have when making them with a loved one.

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Christmas memories don’t need to be about a gift you received.  Make sweet memories this year by making cookies for family and friends with your mother, daughter, sister, or friend.  Actually, that will be a gift in itself.  I still smile when I travel back in time to a little red brick house and am making cookies with my mother and little sister.   The smiles on faces of friends and family when we gave them a tin of homemade cookies warmed our souls.  Yes, the gift we gave became a gift returned to us.

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Need a cookbook for some great recipes?  Amish author Wanda Brunstetter has a Christmas cookbook that even has a recipe for these cookies:

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I love the Amish cookbooks.  If you are not familiar with Amish, they love to cook, bake, and eat!  Now that is a recipe for a great cookbook.  Get it at Amazon or wherever you normally buy books.

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The Wedding Dress Christmas Book Tour and Giveaway by Celebrate Lit

My Thoughts

During December I love reading Christmas books.  They set the tone for celebrating our Savior’s birth with family and friends.  Author Rachel Hauck has penned a mesmerizing novella with The Wedding Dress Christmas.

Rachel Hauck has an inspirational writing style.  She includes God and what He does in her characters’ lives to subtly help readers in their walk.  I love and appreciate that. Her story was well thought and written in such a way that I was drawn in immediately.   High School friends, Christmastime in Tennessee, a country music star, and a vintage 1912 special wedding dress all blend together for a page turning  read. Maybe a Hallmark Christmas movie, too?  We can only hope.

JoJo and Buck are main characters with issues, but they are so likable.  All of the “people” in this book are well-defined and relatable.  The excellent writing took me away to the quaint town of Heart’s Bend and introduced me to new friends.  I did not want the book to end so soon, but novellas have a tendency to be quick reads.

This is a lovely book filled with grace, hope, and trust.  It will put a smile on your face and a little joy in your heart.  Take a couple of hours and read this.  You will be so glad you did.

I highly recommend this book.  It is a perfect holiday escape.  I rated it 5 out of 5 stars.   A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but these are my honest words.

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About the Book

Book:  The Wedding Dress Christmas

Author: Rachel Hauck

Genre: Romance, Christmas

Release Date: October 22, 2019

The Wedding Dress Christmas CoverDecember covers quaint Heart’s Bend, Tennessee with a blanket of white and the glitter of Christmas lights.

For JoJo Castle there’s no place like home. It’s her safe place. Her one-time love of adventure ended when life in the big city shattered her hopes and dreams. Now that she’s returned to Hearts Bend, she never wants to leave again.

Buck Mathews, the biggest country singing sensation in decades, has the world on a string – his guitar strings, to be exact. However, when news of his mother’s illness sends him back to Hearts Bend for the holiday season, he remembers how good it can be to live among family and friends.

Working with her cousin Haley in The Wedding Shop, JoJo has no aspirations of love. Leaving home, surrendering her heart again, is just too risky.

When she runs into her friend and high school crush Buck Mathews, she discovers Love might have other plans for her[BV1] .

Buck’s career is on the verge of an momentous leap. But seeing JoJo awakens feelings he’d buried long ago. Falling in love is easy, but winning her heart will take more than one of his melodic tunes and clever lyrics.

JoJo and Buck want opposite things for their lives, leaving no room for compromise. Can love, especially the kind that touches hearts at Christmastime, overcome her fears and his quest for greatness?

When a very special gown – the wedding dress – begins to make its presence known, JoJo and Buck’s hearts bend in a way neither ever thought possible.

 

Click here to get your copy.

 

About the Author

rachel-hauck-HR-5Rachel Hauck is an award winning, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

Her book The Wedding Dress was named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times Book Reviews. She is a double RITA finalist, and a Christy and Carol Award Winner.

Her book, Once Upon A Prince, first in the Royal Wedding Series, was filmed for an Original Hallmark movie.

Rachel has been awarded the prestigious Career Achievement Award for her body of original work by Romantic Times Book Reviews.

A member of the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers, she teaches workshops and leads worship at the annual conference. She is a past Mentor of The Year.

At home, she’s a wife, writer, worship leader and works out at the gym semi-enthusiastically.

A graduate of Ohio State University (Go Bucks!) with a degree in Journalism, she’s a former sorority girl and a devoted Ohio State football fan. Her bucket list is to stand on the sidelines with Ryan Day.

She lives in sunny central Florida with her husband and ornery cat.

More From Rachel

Hello Royal Rockstar Readers!

I’m thrilled to share The Wedding Dress Christmas with you. I’ve heard from so many how much The Wedding Dress has touched them, and as I noodled over new story ideas, my thoughts drifted toward the wedding dress and Christmas. What’s more romantic than a Christmas wedding?

This novella is set in Hearts Bend, Tennessee, the fictional town ofThe Wedding Chapel and The Wedding Shop. Even if you’ve never read one of books inThe Wedding Collection, you’ll enjoy this story, the mystery of the dress, and the women whose lives it changed.

I love weddings. They remind us of the purity and the hope of love, the power of commitment. Something powerful is released when two people pledge to spend their lives together, loving and serving one another in both good and bad times. Every wedding I attend reminds me of the vows I made to my husband and I sign up all over again.

Stories are a powerful reflection of life. Yes, fictional stories are often told with wild hyperbole, but that’s what makes them fun to read.

I also love wedding stories because they remind us of God’s love for us, and that one day there will be the grandest wedding of them all. Isn’t it wonderful that God planned a wedding before He created the earth?

In The Wedding Dress Christmas, JoJo and Buck have their issues, but love proves strong enough to conquer them all.

Thanks for going on this little tour with me and The Wedding Dress Christmas.

Yours,

Rachel

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, December 18

Through the Fire Blogs, December 18

Livin’ Lit, December 18

Robin’s Nest, December 18

Reading Is My SuperPower, December 19

By The Book, December 19

Wishful Endings, December 19

All-of-a-kind Mom, December 19

Among the Reads, December 20

Genesis 5020, December 20

Life as Lanhams, December 20

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 21

Daysong Reflections, December 21

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, December 21

Bigreadersite, December 21

Simple Harvest Reads, December 22 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Remembrancy, December 22

Britt Reads Fiction, December 22

She Lives to Read, December 23

Empowermoms, December 23

Inside the Wong Mind, December 23

Mia Reads Blog, December 23

Splashes of Joy, December 24

Christian Bookaholic, December 24

Hallie Reads, December 24

Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 25

Where Faith and Books Meet, December 25

Blogging With Carol, December 25

For Him and My Family, December 26

Hebrews 12 Endurance, December 26

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 26

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 27

My Devotional Thoughts, December 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 27

Mamma Loves Books, December 27

Betti Mace, December 28

Batya’s Bits, December 28

The Christian Fiction Girl, December 28

Quiet Quilter, December 29

mypreciousbitsandmusings, December 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 29

janicesbookreviews, December 29

A Reader’s Brain, December 30

Inklings and notions, December 30

Texas Book-aholic, December 30

Carla Loves to Read, December 30

Back Porch Reads, December 31

CarpeDiem, December 31

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, December 31

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a print copy of the book and a Visa gift card for $25. Swag!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/f1fe/the-wedding-dress-christmas-celebration-tour-giveaway

Before Christmas Celebrate Lit Book Review & Giveaway

My Thoughts

Before Christmas, The Story of Jesus from the Beginning of Time to the Manger by author Bill Crowder is a perfect advent book.  This small God glorifying book will help any reader strengthen his Walk with Jesus.  It was a delightful find.

Filled with scripture the author has done research in both the Old and New Testaments.  He goes back to when God made the Earth and talks about Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  New Testament references go through Revelation.

There are six chapters in this book.  Beginning with “His Character as God” and concluding with “His Announced Arrival” all six chapters examine a part of Jesus to help us learn more.  The author has included some reflections and stories of his own along with the scripture.

This is a well planned, organized, and nicely written book.  It was easy to read and understand.  I will keep it on hand for future reference.

I highly recommend this.  A church library would benefit from a few copies.  This would make a great group study, especially during advent.  It gets a 5 out of 5 star rating from me.  A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but these are my honest thoughts.

About the Book

Book: Before Christmas

Author: Bill Crowder

Genre: RELIGION / Holidays/Christmas & Advent

Release Date: October, 2019

Before ChristmasEmbrace the majesty of the Messiah

Bill Crowder invites you to explore the backstory of the first advent. He brings you on a journey into the very heart of God, to a greater understanding of what it means that “the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world” (1 John 4:14).

 Walk through Scripture to see and know Jesus in a richer way. Examine His character as God, His relationship with the Father, His appearances in the Old Testament, and more. Understand how these pre-Bethlehem truths lead into the Savior’s birth and the events of that first Christmas—and, most importantly, how it all comes together in God’s great story of redemption and rescue.

 You’ll embrace the majesty of the Messiah and celebrate Christ’s birth with renewed joy and wonder.

Click here to get your copy.

About the Author

Bill CrowderBill Crowder, who spent over twenty years in the pastorate, is vice president of ministry content at Our Daily Bread Ministries. He is a contributor to Our Daily Bread and the author of nine books, including My Hope Is in You, Seeing the Heart of Christ, and For This He Came. He and his wife, Marlene, have five children.

 

More from Bill

During my years as a pastor, I found Christmas and Easter to be challenging. Certainly I love those seasons (for very different reasons), but finding creative ways to retell these important stories was often difficult. But, at one such season I realized that the story we tell at Christmas is not really the whole story. By entering the story at Nazareth or Bethlehem, we enter too late. We can’t simply start with the Baby in the manger—we need to go back. Before time began. To the eternal Christ. Unless we seek to understand Him, we’ll never fully appreciate who He was and why He came. That is the Christmas story.  – Bill Crowder

Blog Stops

The Power of Words, October 31

Mary Hake, October 31

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 1

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 2

A Rup Life, November 3

Lights in a Dark World, November 3

Texas Book-aholic, November 4

janicesbookreviews, November 5

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 6

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 6

A Reader’s Brain, November 7

Emily Yager, November 8

Older & Smarter?, November 9

God is Love, November 10

For the Love of Literature, November 11

She Lives To Read, November 12

Inklings and notions, November 13

Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, November 13

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Bill is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of the book, Starbucks Holiday Blend Coffee, and $10 Amazon card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/ee23/before-christmas-celebration-tour-giveaway

Be God’s Vessel

On a rare trip to the inside of the grocery, I noticed most people hurrying past the Salvation Army bellringer.  No eye contact, and especially no hello or Merry Christmas to her was offered.  I supposed people were afraid it would cost them a donation.  My attitude was taking a turn for the worse so I checked it at the door.

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Inside was a flurry of activity.  School is out for Christmas break, and kids were excited just to be at the grocery store.  “Mom, could we get this?  Mom, I really want some of these.  Mom, Mom, Mom!”  Poor mothers were trying to finish shopping while kids were requesting items not on the list or in the budget.  I spied one young mother longingly check the price of a turkey and then ham.  Reluctantly she put both back and went to the reduced section where she picked up some marked down ground meat.  The four kiddos danced around the packaged lunches down a ways that all kids love but were good when she shook her head no.  For a family of six, her cart was surprisingly scant.  I crossed paths with them again as I went down the toy aisle checking for stocking stuffers for my four grands.  The kids were eager to offer opinions even though they were much younger than my grands are.

I was delayed at the pharmacy for a short bit but ended up in line next to the delightful family.  After flagging down a worker, I asked him to hurry and get a ham, turkey, dozen lunchables, and some toys the kids had ogled.  I was ready to check out and the mother was next in line next door so I needed him to hustle.  He did.  With the help of “Ryan” I was able to get these bought and later loaded into her van without her knowing.  He even contributed some items he knew she needed since she shops there often.

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At her checkout time the mama did not have enough food stamps to pay so she started to put things back.  The person in back of her asked “for the privilege of paying for your order” and even added some items from his cart and the candy display.  I heard the woman say through tears she had prayed for a miracle and thanked the man for allowing God to use him.

That day God used me, Ryan, and another man to provide groceries and toys for a faithful, praying woman.  I tell you this not for any glory for myself at all, but for God.  He is Jehovah Jirah, our God that provides.  Answering prayers is just in a His nature.  He will use you if you just make yourself available and ask.

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Friends, I am abundantly blessed and that could have easily been me or one of my children except for the Grace of God.  If you are nudged this season by Abba, please follow through with it.  Let Him use you as the vessel to answer someone’s prayer.  You will end up being blessed.

Christmas Joy not Stress

IMG_0052Are you enjoying the Advent Season?  Is your life filled with joy or stress?  This time before Christmas should be a time to reflect and prepare our hearts for the great gift that our Heavenly Father sent to us…..His Son, Jesus, our Savior, God with us.   Sometimes it is hard to do amidst the hustle and bustle of buying presents, sending cards, making cookies, decorating and all of the other preparations we think we need to do.

One good thing that comes with age is wisdom.  I have realized that Christmas comes whether I have cookies baked and cards sent or not.  Plus, the world goes on.  This time of year isn’t about being stressed out and tired.  No, not at all.  It is about love.  God’s great, everlasting, unimaginable love for us.

I would think He would want us to be joyful and happy, spreading His love and light to others instead of grumbling and be anxious that we are too busy and do not have enough time to get everything done.  My friend, perhaps you are trying to do too much.  Relax.  Enjoy this season for what it is.  Let peace overtake you.

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What things might make this season easier for you this year?  Perhaps using gift bags instead of wrapping would free up time.  If you don’t have time for decorating like you usually do, that is okay.  As the saying goes “the prettiest Christmas decorations are my children’s faces” at home.  Dinner is another pressure point.  Go with paper plates.  Make it a pitch-in.  Order some of the food instead of cooking.  Take some things off of your shoulders so that you can be happy.  Your family will appreciate a happy you more than a fully decorate house.

Let’s examine the other side where you have everything under control.  Wonderful!  You are able to enjoy Christmas music and doing things with family.   Have you considered helping someone that is stressing?  Maybe offering to bake cookies or dessert would take a load off of their shoulders.  What about helping with errands or sending dinner one night to free up some of their time?  Your giving to them before Christmas could make a vast difference.

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Offer to babysit or wrap a neighbor’s gifts for their children.  That is a difficult task and would be most welcomed.  What things can you add to this list?

Christmastime should be a special season.  One to anticipate each year with joy.  Not one to dread.  It is a season of good will and peace.  Let those reign with love and joy.

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We are celebrating the birth of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ.  Read the story of His birth again.  Think about His humble beginnings.  Ponder the true meaning of Christmas.  Concentrate on Him and not the things of this world.  He will make your days merry and bright.

Put Christ back in CHRISTmas

The most wonderful time of the year is fast approaching.  Is it one of your favorites?  There are lovers of Christmas and then there are the Scrooges.  In fact, throughout the Advent Season, we could even find that we switch from one to the other.  Oh my!  Isn’t that a dreadful thought?!

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Christmastime is one of the most delightful times for me.  Just thinking about Jesus being sent here to be our Savior bring tears to my eyes.  I never get weary of listening to Christmas hymns.  Today I absent-mindedly hummed and half sang “O Little Town of Bethlehem” while I did paperwork.  That isn’t even my “go to” Christmas song.  Usually “Mary Did You Know” is first on my mind.

I am a consultant for Pampered Chef and do my parties on Facebook.  Like in-home parties we, too, play games.  One of my popular this year has been to name something that has to do with Christmas starting with A, the next person takes B, and on through the alphabet.  As I totaled points for the door prize drawing, I reviewed the answers.

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The results were about 50% Christian answers and 50% secular.  The letter J brought words Jesus, Joy, Jingle and Jolly.  S gave Savior, Star, Santa, and Stockings.  Every one of the reindeer were mentioned, but I don’t remember seeing Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth, or Bethlehem.

What about your list?  When you think about Christmas do your thoughts immediately turn to the first six letters in that word…..CHRIST?  Maybe this world has pushed Him back from the front because of the hustle, bustle, and commercialism of today.  Don’t let that happen.

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This is the season of love and miracles.  God gave us all a miracle, His Son, our Redeemer.   That is the biggest, best present anyone has ever given you and me.  Hmmm, what have we given Him in return?

For me, I am going to try to keep more CHRIST in Christmas.  Play more hymns, read more scripture and Christian based books.  I have decided “do not stress and show grace” is my motto.  Without stressing out, I am a much nicer person.  Not only do I get grace from Abba, but I will in turn give it to others.  Everyone deserves grace.  People are more important than some of the silly things that upset others.

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Okay, so our focus will be on Jesus and helping show Him to others this year.  Even if we are playing a game or singing a song, we can easily do this.  A former minister once told me if I kept dripping little drops on someone eventually they would get wet.  Are you game?

Take Christmas back.  Give it to Jesus.  It is His birthday and so much more we are celebrating.  Spread joy, love, grace, and His light.  Let’s shower drops of Jesus on everyone.

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