Holy Saturday or Easter Eve

Holy Saturday, Easter Eve or Black Saturday is the name given to the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Some Christians recognize Holy Saturday as the day on which Jesus “rested” from His work of providing salvation.   It is the seventh day of Holy Week.  When Jesus died, He called out, “It is finished!” He had completed His job.  Sin had been atoned for and salvation was now available.  Jesus had built a bridge between the Father and us.  We can now go straight to Him and not via priests and holy men.

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This day is traditionally a time of reflection and waiting like Lent.  Jesus’ followers spent this day waiting after his crucifixion on Good Friday.  He had said He would rise from the dead so they would be watching for Him.  Most likely they would be recalling every word He said to them.

It is also the day when Roman governor Pontius Pilate instructed guards to be posted at the tomb to prevent Jesus’ followers from removing the body to claim that He had risen from the dead.  Pilate sealed the tomb, secured it, and posted guards.  No one was getting in.

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How have you felt reading the activities and what happened during the days of Holy Week?  I learned some things when researching for this week’s blog that I did not know before now.   I felt like I was there trailing around after Jesus, too.  At the end of each day my emotions were raw.  How could the people be so callus and blind not to see that Jesus was The Son of God?  How could they beat and torture anyone to that degree, let alone Him?  I was outraged and heartbroken.  I cried heartfelt tears of anguish.

I know the ending.  I also know this was God’s plan, but it still hurts.   For those of us baptized, when we were baptized we died with Christ (going down under water) and arose with Him (rising up again).

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Scripture tells us this in Romans 6:3-11 King James Version (KJV):

Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.  For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:  Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.  For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.  Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

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So, while we await Resurrection Sunday, take a moment to reflect.  Just as we were baptized and died with Jesus, we died to sin.  We should sever the bond sin has over us and sin no more.  After He died for us, it is the least we can do for Him.

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Good Friday

Good Friday or Holy Friday.  Where did that name come from for the awful day our Lord Jesus was falsely accused, condemned, beaten, and crucified? Good? How was that day good? Scholars say the word “good” comes from the Old English “good” meaning holy.   Others argue that the good comes from Jesus sacrificing himself for us. That is the best thing that could ever happen for us.  Jesus paid the ultimate price and we received the ultimate good gift.

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Early Friday morning, Judas realized what he had done and was overcome by guilt. He threw the money on the ground and he hanged himself on a tree, not being able to live with what he had done. Around 9:00 a.m. Jesus was in the midst of being mocked, accused falsely, shamed, and horribly beaten.  Horribly beaten is putting it mildly.  He was whipped and scourged to the point His flesh was torn off.  Some accounts say that His bones were exposed showing white against the bloody red.  Still our precious Lord did not cry out. He endured true to scripture.  Then after a corrupt trial He was sentenced to be crucified, which is one of the most agonizing, painful, and disgraceful deaths of that time or any.

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They placed a crown made out of pointed, sharp thorns on His head and pressed it down. Hard.  The large thorns cut into His head and face.  Can you imagine the pain of just that one act? They mocked Him, spat on Him, and made Him carry His own heavy cross.  The weight was so heavy He stumbled under it.  The soldiers grabbed someone from the crowd to help carry it.

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He was still being tormented. Even as the soldiers hammered the nails in His precious body to the wooden cross, He was being insulted and mocked. Did He respond in kind?  No. Through it all He remained silent.

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His followers were clustered at the foot of the cross. They were mourning, grieving, and suffering. Did Jesus finally say anything? What did Jesus say? He told Mary and John there were now mother and son. He lifted His head and asked: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34, NIV).

He asked for forgiveness for those crucifying and tormenting Him. Then, the soldiers divided His clothes among themselves. They continued to mock Him and baited Him saying if He was truly God’s Son, then save Himself. One of the thieves hanging beside Him asked Jesus to remember him for surely He was God’s Son. Jesus told the thief he would be in Paradise with Jesus.

Around noon it became very dark and gloomy. The sun stopped shinning. Around 2:00 Jesus asked “My God, why have You forsaken Me?” And then Jesus realized to fulfill scripture one more thing must be done, so He said “I am thirsty.” They gave Him some sour wine on a sponge and held it up with a branch. After tasting it, Jesus said “It is finished.” He then said in a loud, clear voice with head lifted “Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit.”

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Then he died. This was about the ninth hour or 3:00 p.m. This literally shook the world. There was an earthquake, rocks broke, the temple curtains were torn in half, and tombs opened and bodies of Holy people were raised to life.” Wow! Can you imagine being there?

Rather than break his legs as they do at the end, the soldier took a sword and pierced Jesus in the side.  Blood and water gushed out.  They were positive He was dead.  Oh, can you comprehend what His poor mother and followers went through watching that?  The heartbreak?

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Joseph of Arimathea asked for the body of Jesus so that He could be buried in a tomb on his land. Then before 6 p.m. Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, took Jesus down from the cross and lay His body in a tomb. The tomb was sealed with a large, heavy stone that took more than one soldier to move. More soldiers were posted to guard overnight.

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Did I take you through the events of Good Friday?   I hope you were able to walk there and envision it. It is unbelievable the pain of that day, isn’t it.  To say Jesus suffered and died is so understated.  Jesus was tortured, beaten, mocked, flogged, had nails driven through his hands and feet, and was bloody almost beyond recognition.  He did this for us. You and me.

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Maundy Thursday, a New Commandment is Given

Today is Holy Thursday which is known as Maundy Thursday.  Maundy is derived from a Latin word that means commandment.  This is the day that Jesus gave His disciples a new commandment – to love others as He has loved them.  (John 13:34).  They were gathered in the Upper Room.

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Jesus was at the table with His apostles and spoke to them of what was to come.  He was preparing them for His suffering.  They dined on the usual Passover meal, but Jesus stopped at the the bread and wine.  He gave it a special meaning. Jesus said that these would be a symbol of His body and blood to His followers to remind them that through His death, our sins are forgiven.

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” And He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.” After taking the cup, He gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”

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Do you think of Him each time you take communion?  He paid the ultimate price for our eternity.  More than we could ever imagine.

Jesus and His disciples often gathered in the “Upper Room”.  It was where they normally stayed while in Jerusalem.  Today Jesus began His teaching by example.  After they ate He washed the disciples feet.  What a humbling experience for them!  Even Peter told Him that Peter should be washing His feet, but Jesus said no.  In John it says “Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”

00FEBD4E-1BE7-428F-BD84-C3B287E7CA6BI cannot fathom what it must have felt like for the apostles.  Jesus was telling them of His upcoming death but that through it we all might have eternal life.  He was showing by example that we are to be humble and to love everyone, even our enemies – even those who are our Judas.

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Afterwards Jesus and a few of His followers went to the Garden of Gethsemene to pray.  It is there that Judas identified Jesus with a kiss and He was taken by the soldiers.  Things start to get rowdy but Jesus quiets His apostles.  He will not allow violence.  In fact, He heals a soldier whose ear was severed.  Jesus is arrested and taken to the authorities.

My heart is heavy writing this.  Can you imagine how it felt to actually be there?  Thank you for revisiting Maundy Thursday with me.  Tomorrow we will see what Good Friday holds.

 

 

 

 

Holy Wednesday or Spy Wednesday

Spy Wednesday is an odd name for a day during Holy Week or at least it seems to be for me.  There is no secretive or symbolic meaning.  It is just what it says it is about – a spy or traitor among Jesus and a His followers.

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Judas, we all know, was the one that betrayed Jesus to the Sanhedrin.  Luke 22:3-6 tells us:

“Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray Him unto them. And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money.  And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray Him unto them in the absence of the multitude.”

Did you realize that Satan entered Judas?  Of course, Satan always has his hand in bad things.  He uses people.  Twists words and situations around until evil doesn’t sound bad.  He is the master deceiver.

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Did you ever wonder why the Sanhedrin decided on paying Judas thirty pieces of silver?   In the Old Testament, Exodus states that the price for a slave that accidentally dies by an ox is thirty pieces of silver.  The Sanhedrin were paying the price of a dead slave to Judas for his deception.  It was an insult to Jesus that they thought Him worth only what a dead slave was.  Obviously Judas thought that, also.  Our Redeemer and precious Savior, whose value is beyond measure, was sold out for the price of a dead slave.

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There is something else that happened on Holy Wednesday.  It is the anointment of Jesus at Bethany.  Scriptures tell us that while Jesus was at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came in with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume.  It was made of pure Spikenard.  She anointed Jesus with this expensive oil and dried his feet with her hair.

Matthew 26:6-13:

“While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table. When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.” Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

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Judas did not approve of this at all.  He thought the oil should have been sold and the money put in the treasury for helping the poor.  Satan used Judas’ love of money to gain a foothold in Judas’ life.  Don’t let that happen to you.

I hope today’s blog has blessed you and given you a little more insight into Wednesday of Holy Week.

 

Holy Tuesday, Jesus Teaches in Parables

Tuesday the disciples walked back by the fig tree from yesterday that Jesus cursed. It was now withered and dead. Jesus used that to teach them about faith, true faith. A person or nation that does not produce fruit for God (do His work) will wither and die all the way down to its roots. The tree had leaves so by first sight it looked like it was producing. A closer look revealed no fruit. Then Jesus cursed it so it withered and died.

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Are you producing fruit? Are you leading people to God? Helping them find salvation? Does the light of Jesus shine through you? Are you loving, kind, selfless, good, joyful, and have the fruits of the spirit? Don’t wither away. Grow tall and produce fruit. Increase in your faith. Flourish in your love for Jesus. You will be amazed at the things that will happen when you believe and have faith!

“Seeing a fig tree by the road, He went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then He said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.” Mt. 21:19

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“Jesus replied, ‘Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Mt. 21:21-22

They returned to the Temple and the religious leaders were upset at Jesus for establishing himself as a spiritual authority.  He had a large following now. Jesus evaded the traps the leaders set for Him with their questions.  He scolded them in Matt. 23 and compared them to tombs – beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people.

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Jesus took His disciples to the Mount of Olives and told them parables about end times and His return.  Those who wait for the Master’s coming—the wise and faithful servant (Matthew 24:45-51), the five wise virgins (Matthew 25:1-13), and the good servant who uses his resources wisely (Matthew 25:14-30) are a few of the ones.

Do you remember any of these parables from Sunday School or Vacation Bible School?  The point is to have faith and be ready for Jesus.  He is coming back just like He promised.  When?  Well, that is not for us to know.  We are just supposed to be ready at a moment’s notice.

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Mammaw’s Forgotten Easter Cookies

Easter is rapidly approaching. We are at the ending stages of Lent.  It is the time to turn our hearts and minds to Jesus and His journey to the Cross. Being raised in a Christian family Easter was much more than egg hunts and baskets for me. It was Resurrection Sunday.

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I remember my maternal grandmother teaching me the Easter story over a cookie recipe one year. The cookies are good, but the story has stuck with me for decades.  Memories made in the kitchen are priceless and stay with people.

You might want to do an activity like this for yourself, children, grandchildren, or kids’ group. The message might just plant a seed that will grow into a bountiful harvest. Sometimes a visual makes the Easter story a little more memorable, too. Years down the road they might be recalling time spent with you and lessons from your kitchen.

Mammaw’s Forgotten Easter Cookies

2 egg whites

1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

2/3 c. sugar

1 c. nuts

pinch of salt

1 tsp. white vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place pecans in resealable plastic baggie. Crush pecans into small pieces with a rolling pin. Read John 19:1-3

“Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged Him. And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe, And said, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ and they smote Him with their hands.”

Sprinkle salt into egg whites. Read Luke 23:27, 33

“And there followed Him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented Him.”

“When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified Him there, along with the criminals—one on His right, the other on His left.”

Put vanilla into a bowl. Read John 19:28-30. “After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, ‘I thirst.’ Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to His mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, ‘It is finished’ and He bowed His head, and gave up the ghost.”

Right now this mixture doesn’t look yummy. Add sugar slowly. Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16.  “O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.”  “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.”

Beat with mixer until frothy and add cream of tartar. Then beat on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Add in vanilla close to the end. Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3.

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

“There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto Him, ‘Rabbi, we know that Thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with Him.’ Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto parchment paper lined baking sheet. Read Matthew 27:57-60.

“When the night was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple: He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and departed.”

Place cookies in the oven, close the door and turn the oven off. Read Matthew 27:65-66.

“Pilate said unto them, ‘Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.’ So they went, and made the tomb sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.”

Go to bed. Read John 16:20 and 22.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.”

“And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.”

In the morning open the oven and take out the cookies. 

Read Matthew 28:1-9.

“In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the tomb. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, ‘Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead; and, behold, He goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see Him: lo, I have told you.’ And they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy; and did run to bring His disciples word. And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, ‘All hail. And they came and held Him by the feet, and worshipped Him.”

When you bite into the cookies notice they are hollow inside, empty, just like Jesus’ tomb.

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St. Patrick’s Day Musings and Recipe

Well, top of the mornin’ to ya and Happy St. Patty’s Day! ‘‘Tis the day everyone claims to be at least a wee bit Irish,  What about you?  Are you really of Irish decent or just Irish today?

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A sea of green will be flowing everywhere today because most everyone wears green clothes, Irish or not, on this day. It is the day many foods turn green on purpose.  Even the river in Chicago turns green.  This is also the one day of the year that we all put a “Mc” or “O” in front of our surname and become Irish. Yes, it’s St. Patrick’s Day!

St. Patrick was a soul saver. IMG_1716A soldier for the Lord.  That is what we are really celebrating.  He used a three leaf clover to teach people about the trinity.  St. Patrick turned thousands of hearts, minds, and souls to the one true God.  Now, doesn’t that sound like cause to celebrate!  I think so, too.

It isn’t about having things green and being Irish. No fictional little leprechauns with rainbows and pots of gold were there.  This is about celebrating the vast number of Druids, pagans that were saved and became Christians.

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Irish are supposed to be lucky among a lot of other things. You’ve heard of the “luck of the Irish,” right? Hmm, I am not sure about that. Well, I guess you could say the ones that met St. Patrick were lucky, or could you? Was it luck that drew them to St. Patrick or something else?  Perhaps the Holy Spirit.

Do you believe in luck? Do you think there is gold at the end of the rainbow? Personally, I don’t really believe much in luck or leprechauns. Maybe if I keep losing when playing a game I say I have bad luck, but outside of that I don’t put belief in luck. My faith and trust are in Jesus. He is the one that guides and directs me just like He did St. Patrick.

When I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, He was the Way or rainbow to my riches. I followed Him. My gold happens to be where Jesus prepared a place for me at the end of my earthly life – in Heaven. IMG_3600That is where my heart is, too. In Heaven the Bible says there will be beautiful streets of gold.

My saved loved ones will be there. There will be no more sickness, no more death, no more tears. My Savior, Jesus, is there. Our Almighty God, my Maker, is there. Talk about hitting the jackpot or pot of gold! That is everything I could ever want. Wow, no riches can compare to that. None. So what about you? Where is your pot of gold?

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matt. 6:19-21.

Traditional Irish St. Patrick’s Day Dish

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Irish Colcannon, an Irish Treasured Dish

1 lb. potatoes peeled white or unpeeled red potatoes
½ lb. bacon (cut into small 1-inch squares)
1 T. Kosher salt
6 cups thinly sliced cabbage (approximately a head)
6 T. butter (four for the cabbage and two for the potatoes)
½ cup whipping cream (or milk)
Fresh parsley chopped finely-a few sprigs will do
A large onion, chopped
5 or 6 scallions or a clump (handful) of chives
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Wash potatoes and peel if you’re using thick skinned.
Cut the potatoes in quarters and place in a large pot of boiling water.
Add the Kosher salt. Boil for approximately 25 minutes.
Stick one of the potatoes with a fork to see if they’re cooked. They should be tender and easy to penetrate with the prongs.

Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat.
When they’re finished cooking, add 4 T. butter.
Add the cabbage and onions.
Sauté the cabbage mixture until almost done, with the onions translucent and cabbage a bit crispy. Some people prefer to cook the mixture until everything is soft. It just depends on whether you like a bit of crunch or not. It takes about 10 to 15 minutes.

Drain the potatoes and add the butter and cream or milk, mashing it to silky smoothness—unless you left the skins on, then almost silky smoothness.

Add the onion, cabbage mixture and salt and pepper to taste.
Serve hot. Enjoy this Irish classic dish.

 

 

 

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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Giveaway and Book Tour The Unannounced Christmas Visitor

My Review:

I really enjoyed this short novel.  It might not have had hundreds of pages but it was packed with powerful messages that stayed with me.  This contemporary Christian fiction is an eye-opening book that I would recommend to everyone.

The author has done an exemplary job of capturing society’s views on multiple issues.  It offers food for thought and insight into many issues.  Homelessness is explored as well as motives for going to church.  Giving graciously and joyfully is addressed.  Serving others is discussed.  His story is God glorifying.  Shouldn’t every book that is classified as “Christian” bring glory to God?

The characters are relatable and believable.  Grace and Matthew, the children, are adorable.  Enoch, the angel, was riveting and I wanted to keep “listening” to him speak.  The author did such a good job with this book.  I could not put it down.

Scripture is not sprinkled throughout this book, but rather it is heavily dropped in all the way.  It took me from page one to become invested.  This is a story that should move and change everyone who reads it.  I hope to see it on the Hallmark Channel at Christmas on day.

It get a huge recommendation from me.  Everyone should read it.  I rated it 5+ out of 5 stars but wanted to go higher.  A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but all opinions and the review are my own honest opinion.
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About the Book

Book: The Unannounced Christmas Visitor
Author: Patrick Higgins
Genre: Christian fiction/Christmas
Release Date: November 18, 2014
What if angels really did come from the most unlikely of places? That’s exactly what happens in this heartwarming story, set in a homeless community in Anywhere USA. Sent to Planet Earth by his Maker, disguised as a homeless person, Enoch was on a mission: to rescue a man whose life was slowly but steadily spiraling out of control
Inspired by Hebrews 13:2, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it,” this story will stir your soul like never before, guaranteed! 2016 IPA (INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHER AWARDS) GOLD MEDAL AWARD WINNER.
Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author

Patrick higginsPatrick Higgins is the author of “The Pelican Trees”, “Coffee In Manila”, the award-winning “The Unannounced Christmas Visitor”, and the award-winning prophetic end times series, “Chaos In The Blink Of An Eye.”

Guest Post from Patrick

Why I wrote the book: Inspired by Hebrews 13:2, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it,” this story will stir your soul like never before, guaranteed!

Blog Stops

Lighthouse Academy, November 10
The Power of Words, November 11
Genesis 5020, November 12
Bogging With Carol, November 12
Moments, November 14
Mary Hake, November 15
Inklings and notions, November 16
Bibliophile Reviews, November 17
Vicky Sluiter, November 18
Godly Book Reviews, November 19
Texas Book-aholic, November 21
Carpe Diem, November 22
Bigreadersite, November 22
amandainpa, November 23

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Patrick is giving away a $50 Amazon gift 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/d5c7/the-unannounced-christmas-visitor-tour-giveaway

Praying for the Kids

As you can tell from this blog, I am a Prayer Warrior.  Praying for my family, friends, and myself is extremely important to me.  I firmly believe in prayer.  Time spent with my Maker in prayer is a necessary part of my life.  Once a day is never enough to go to God because things or prayer requests continue throughout the day.  Do you pray often, too?

I was taught the Acts Method of praying when I was young and it has stuck with me.  There is no right or wrong way to talk to our Heavenly Father.  Jesus outlined the perfect way in Matthew with the Lord’s Prayer.

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ACTS Method of Christian Prayer

  1. Adoration: Give God praise and honor for who He is as Lord God.
  2. Confession: Honestly confess the sin in your life.
  3. Thanksgiving: Say what you’re grateful for in your life and in the world around you.
  4. Supplication: Pray for the needs of others and yourself.

How do you pray?  Are there certain things you pray about each day?  I certainly do.  The main thing is the children in our family.  That encompasses the generations under mine.  Ever since my children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews (which include my cousins’ children – we are a close family) were born or little, I have prayed for them.  With a family our size I use a prayer journal to keep me on track.  It also allows me to write praises when the prayers are answered.

What would I pray?  First I asked for health, safety, and protection.  I want them to be safe from harm and health issues.  Then I prayed that they would grow to know God, be saved, and baptized.  It is my prayer that they will recognize the purpose God has for them, why He created each one.  I prayed for their future spouses that Abba was preparing them for their future lives together.  Marriage needs more than two people to survive.  It needs God in it, too.  I pray that their spouses will be Christian and that a God will bless their union.  Finally I pray that they would do their best in life and be happy.

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Even though many are grown with children of their own, I continue to pray for them all.  We are never too old for prayers.  My prayer might provide the extra protection needed one day.  Intercessory prayer is important.

How long should we pray about something?  In Thessalonians the Bible says to pray without ceasing.   Prayer has no time limit.  Keep praying or P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Something Happens).

The next generation of children are included in my prayers now.  Protection and safety is a concern in this world.  Happiness is what every Mama, Gram, and Auntie desires for her little chicks.  Don’t you agree?

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After years of praying I was recently rewarded as God’s Army gained another Warrior.  Yes, a family member was baptized and accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior.  I rejoiced as I know Heaven did.  There have been many more victories and each one is recorded without surprise.  I delight in knowing that we will be together in Heaven one day.

Don’t stop with your family.  There are many friends that need prayer, too.  Let’s not forget society.  The shootings and violence.  Our leaders need prayers to make the right decisions.  Our military need pray for protection.  Our nation needs prayer for so many reasons.

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If you are praying for something or someone, don’t lose hope.  It may take decades for your answer, but everything happens in God’s perfect time.  If you haven’t started praying for your children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews, I would urge you to begin today.  The reward is priceless.

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