HAPPY 2009!



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HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!

My prayer for you is found in Psalm 20:4:

May He give you the desire of your heart

and make all your plans succeed.

& for myself, the key verse of this blog:

May the words of my mouth

and the meditation of my heart

be pleasing in Your sight,

O Lord, my Rock

and my Redeemer.

Psalm 19:14

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LOOKING BACK

2008 has been a year of ....

Reflecting on the wonders of God's world...


Enjoying happy times with hubby...
Taking in new sights...
Sharing fun times with friends...

Even rainy days can be nice...
Sometimes I've managed to bite off more than I can chew...
And found some circumstances difficult to endure...
But tomorrow's another day, and another year.
Hope it's a good one for us all!
God bless!!

THOUGHT for TUESDAY



Today, I am drawing a blank, with no 'thought' to post,
so I have resorted to


clip-art.


Hope you like it...............

























Have a great day!

MAXINE MONDAY


Holiday update...One daughter safely back home in Florida after spending Christmas week with us. Other daughter and family here for this week, and
my grandaughter is staying in the room where my computer, desk, etc. are located, so blogging time is at a minimum.

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!!

SCRIPTURE for SUNDAY


Study to shew thyself approved unto God; a workman that needeth not to be ashamed; rightly dividing the Word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15 KJV

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the Word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15 NIV

CHALLENGE


Guess what! Today's my birthday! And because it's my birthday, I can say whatever I want, right?
And here's what I have to say.........

...I have a challenge for you for the coming year!

If you're reading this blog, and you have never read the Bible through, let this be the year to do so. It will bless you, enrich your mind, increase your knowledge, (just to name a few benefits).

This past year, I have been reading the One Year Chronological Bible (NIV). All of the books, chapters and verses are there, but are in chronological order. It has been most interesting and rewarding. I especially enjoyed reading about God's dealings with the nation of Israel in the order that the events took place.
You don't have to guess about how many chapters to read each day, because it is all laid out for you.
I also highly recommend The MacArthur Daily Bible (NKJV), which contains many study helps along with the Scripture.

A man named Amos R. Wells said it so much better than I can:

WHEN YOU READ THE BIBLE THROUGH

I supposed I knew my Bible,
Reading piecemeal, hit or miss,
Now a bit of John or Matthew,
Now a snatch of Genesis,

Certain chapters of Isaiah,
Certain Psalms (the twenty third),
Twelfth of Romans, First of Proverbs--
Yes, I thought I knew the Word!

But I found that thorough reading
Was a different thing to do,
And the way was unfamiliar
When I read the Bible through.

You who like to play at Bible,
Dip and dabble, here and there,
Just before you kneel, aweary,
And yawn through a hurried prayer.

You who treat the Crown of Writings
As you treat no other book--
Just a paragraph disjointed,
Just a crude impatient look--

Try a worthier procedure,
Try a broad and steady view;
You will kneel in very rapture
When you read the Bible through!

Anyway, that's my challenge.
If you've read your Bible through (perhaps, even several times), then why not read it through again using a different translation?
Just a hint to get you started, if you don't want to go out and purchase a new Bible, read through the Bible you have, which contains 1189 chapters. Divided by 365 days in the year, that amounts to approximately 3 1/3 chapters a day.
One thing is certain, you can never read God's Word too much or too often!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JESUS!





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The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

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But when the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Gal. 4:4-5

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Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel...God with us. Matt. 1:23

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For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Is. 9:6

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And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7

***


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from
Susan & family

THE FIRST TIME JESUS CAME...

He came veiled in the form of a child.
A star marked his arrival.
Wise men brought Him gifts.
There was no room for Him.
Only a few attended His arrival.
He came as a baby.





THE NEXT TIME JESUS COMES...

He will be recognized by all.
Heaven will be lit by His glory.
He will bring rewards for His own.
The world won't be able to contain His glory.
Every eye shall see Him.
He will come as Sovereign King and Lord of all.

(John MacArthur, Jr.,
The Miracle of Christmas)

JOY TO THE WORLD!

Story Behind the Song
"Joy to the World"
The three men behind
one of our greatest
Christmas carols.
by Lindsay Terry
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Let every heart
prepare Him room,
And heaven and
nature sing.


One of our most popular Christmas carols is the result of the efforts of Isaac Watts and Lowell Mason—and, some believe, George Frederick Handel. Watts was a frail, quiet man only five feet tall. Mason was an energetic publisher, choir director, and composer. Handel was a large, robust musical genius. Handel and Watts were contemporaries in London and one imagines they must have appreciated each other's talents. Mason lived 100 years later in Boston.

In 1719 Isaac Watts, already a notable scholar and author, sat down under a tree at the Abney Estate near London and began to compose poetry based on Psalm 98. Watts had begun writing verses as a small child. In his teen years he complained that the songs in church were hard to sing. His father said, "Well, you write some that are better." And so he did. For the next two years, young Isaac wrote a new hymn each week. (He would eventually write more than 600 of them, all based on Scripture.) Today, hymns like "Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed" and "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross" are hallmarks of the Christian church, and Watts is regarded as "the Father of English Hymnody."

In 1741 George Frederick Handel, who was already famous as the composer of several operas and oratorios, decided that he wanted to do a truly great work. After spending time in prayer, he arose from his knees and for 23 days labored almost continuously day and night. The immortal Messiah, now a Christmas tradition, was the fruit of that incessant struggle.

A nobleman once praised Handel for the "entertainment" he had furnished in one of his compositions. In no uncertain terms Handel let the nobleman know that his music was composed to make men better, not to entertain them.

Almost a century later, Lowell Mason set Watts's poem of "joy" to music. For years it was assumed that Mason used tunes from Handel's Messiah for portions of the arrangement, but the veracity of that claim is now debated among scholars. Listeners can judge for themselves. But this we know: It was Mason who ultimately brought the pieces together to give us "Joy to the World."


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MARY, DID YOU KNOW?


No matter how many times I hear this song, it still gives me shivers.
Especially the line about kissing the Face of God. Can we even begin to imagine all that went through Mary's mind and heart from the moment the angel first appeared to her? The Son that she gave birth to.. later became her Savior.

Fear not, Mary...thou shalt conceive in thy womb,
and bring forth a Son...JESUS.
He shall be great,
and shall be called the Son of the Highest...
And He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever.
Luke 1:30-33 KJV


***
The poem below personalizes Mary's
wonderful Song of praise
found in Luke 1:46-50.
*****
INCARNATION
***
"The Lord is in His holy house"--
Oh, grace beyond describing,
That Christ in me should please to dwell--
Immanuel residing!
"My soul doth magnify the Lord,"
I sing with lowly Mary,
That God should choose to enter in
This humble sanctuary!
**
Not now in little Bethlehem,
As in the tender story;
Not now upon a mercy seat,
The bight Shekinah glory,
But in the body of His saint
He maketh His residing,
Both He in me and I in Him
In fellowship abiding.
**
Within my heart a burning bush,
Within, a mountain smoking;
This flesh of mine a temple veil,
The wondrous Presence cloaking;
Within this broken earthenware
A high and holy treasure;
Oh, mystery of mysteries!
Oh grace beyond all measure!
**
"The Lord is in His Holy house"--
Mysterious habitation!
I feel His presence here within
And offer my oblation.
Keep burning, incense of my soul!
Keep cleansing me, O Laver!
I want to serve and praise my God
Forever and forever!
**
This beautiful poem (written by Anne Ortlund)
is the prayer of my heart today!


I finally got around to posting on the Crafts blog!
(click on C. C. Crafters' Gallery on the Friends and Links)
More to come.

FUNNY ?? FRIDAY


There's NO WAY that could be ME!!
(I take sugar & cream in my coffee!).

ADVENT HYMN

This is the Nativity we have put up every year since the kids were small. A friend who did ceramics painted and fired it for us. She just couldn't believe I wanted it left a natural cream color, but I preferred it that way.
I've included a beautiful Advent hymn we seldom hear,
'Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus'.
Christ's birth in a lowly manger was the fulfillment of all of the many Old Testament prophecies fortelling this miraculous event.

(Please mute PlayList first.)

COME, THOU LONG-EXPECTED JESUS
Words - Charles Wesley
Music - Rowland H. Pritchard
(from the English Hymnal)


Come, thou long expected Jesus,
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel's strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious Kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.


The first verse focuses on the coming of Jesus, fulfilling Israel's longing for the Messiah.
The second verse tells us why He came...to set us free from sin and to bring us salvation by His death.
He truly is the 'Joy of every longing heart'!

CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS

Here are some of my home decorations. Unfortunately, the pic of my favorite, the nativity, had too much glare. It sits on our mantel right in front of a large mirror. I'll have to try again & will include it later.
Angel on the hearth.


Carolers midst the greenery, on the china cabinet.


Our super-skinny Christmas tree.

3 Boyd's Santas, on Bill's desk.

The 'Basement Bears'.
(Sorry about the zebra peeking around the corner.
The bears are invading his usual space).

Christmas towels hanging over the dry sink.

Bowl of frosted fruit + Santa and Friends.
Even the 'Kitchen Musicians' got a touch of Christmas.
Misc.
Hot spiced cider is on the stove
(the other stove..This one's just for storage).
Cookies are baking.
Come on over..........

MAXINE MONDAY



*****


*****





(Just kidding, kids!
You're still on the list)

SCRIPTURE for SUNDAY

In the midst of the gift shopping, gift wrapping, and gift giving, don't forget the real reason we celebrate is because a loving God gave us the greatest gift ever given..His Son, Jesus.

JESUS IS GOD'S SON

But the angel said to her,"Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.
You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High."
Luke 1:30-31


JESUS IS GOD'S GIFT

..and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.
She wrapped Him in cloths and placed him in a manger,
because there was no room for them in the inn.
Luke 2:7

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
James 1:17

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

2 Cor. 9:15



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SILLY SATURDAY


SURFIN' GRANNY (aka 'Mimi')

Grandma's on the net again,
the kitchen's not her home.
She used to make us cherry pies,
and call us on the phone.
She would talk to us for hours;
now she leaves us all alone.
We miss her homemade biscuits,
and I'll make this little bet,
If you want to contact Grandma,
you'll have to surf the net.

Grandma's surfing on the net, you bet,
she's surfing on the net.
We've been calling her all morning
and we haven't got her yet.
She's on the E-mail network,
with her electronic friends...
If you want to talk to Grandma,
you'll have to surf the net.

She's never surfed at Malibu
or caught a wave at Waikiki.
She's never seen a surfboard:
hang ten doesn't mean a thing.
She's never met a beach-bum..
Moon Doggie is just a pup.
But when she heads for her computer,
you know the surf is up.

Grandma's getting older and
her eyes are getting dim.
Her ramdom access memory is
half of what it's been.
When Grandpa comes to call on her,
she'll say "I can't go yet!"
He'll have to wait for Grandma
cause she's surfing on the net.

A CARD FOR YOU

Here's your Christmas card..............



celebrate his birth



..but the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:10-11

CHRISTMAS CARDS




Christmas cards originated in England over 150 years ago. It seems that the founder of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London had so many Christmas greetings to send that handwriting them was impossible; so, in 1843, Sir Henry commissioned John Calcott Horsley to paint a card showing the feeding and clothing of the poor. A center panel displayed a happy family embracing one another, sipping wine and enjoying the festivities. "A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You" was printed on that first card. However, it seems that the card drew criticism because it showed a child enjoying a sip of wine.
This card (pictured below), is believed to be one of the first mass-produced Christmas cards. It pre-dated color printing, so was hand-colored.

Holiday cards designed by Kate Greenaway, Frances Brundage and Ellen H. Clapsaddle,(see bottom card)were favorites in the late 1800's & early 1900's. Most were elaborate, decorated with fringe, silk and satin. Some were shaped like fans and crescents; others cut into shapes of bells, birds, candles and even plum puddings. Some folded like maps or fitted together as puzzles; still others squealed or squeaked. Pop-up Cards revealed tiny mangers or skaters with flying scarves gliding around a mirrored pond.
Note the beautiful fretwork border on the angel card below.

For more than 30 years, Americans had to import greeting cards from England. Then, in 1875, Louis Prang, a German immigrant opened a lithographic shop in the US with $250 and published the first line of US Christmas cards. His first creations had nothing to do with Christmas themes, and featured flowers and birds.
By 1881, he was producing more than 5 million Christmas cards each year; now featuring snow scenes, fir trees, glowing fireplaces and children playing with toys. His cards are favorites of collectors today. The top card with holly and mistletoe is a Prang card.



The child below is holding a card for you. Come back tomorrow, and we'll open it together.