Hello and Welcome!
Life is tough, but God is good. God’s Word is a strong foundation that is indeed practical and relevant in our world today. Scripture surely molds and changes us as we integrate it into our hearts and lives. Paul’s example in I Thessalonians demonstrates spiritual fruit that remains. I want these same elements to characterize my life to:
A personal relationship with Christ is the most exciting element for daily living. He came to give us an abundant life! (John 10: 10). He loves us and wants us to experience the fullness of His grace, joy, and peace. A joyful heart is good medicine (Proverbs 15: 13). I pray that you’ll find encouragement and hope through my writings and that God will bless you abundantly as you seek His face.
THIS MONTH'S MESSAGE
A Birthday Party for Jesus
By Fran Caffey Sandin
For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2: 11 ( NASB)
How would you feel if you had a birthday party and the people attending gave presents to one another but not to you?
That’s the question Mable Dumas addressed at her prayer group’s holiday party. As the ladies arrived in her home, she served refreshments and then said, “Ladies, we like to visit with one another, but from this point on, let’s talk only about Jesus. He is our guest of honor, and it’s His birthday.”
As the women gathered around the fireplace, Mable sat on the hearth and led a conversation about Jesus. The focal point became a wooden nativity set.
The ladies discussed everything from Gabriel’s visit to Mary to the astonishing moment when God became so small for our sakes—our Savior, lying on a clump of hay.
Then Mable announced. “Every birthday party has gifts. Now it’s time for us to give our gifts to Jesus.” She passed around a basket filled with tiny, decorated boxes. At the appointed time, each participant opened her box in an attitude of prayer and read aloud a Scripture, along with the companion “gift” to place on an altar. These included such things as:
- My heart
- My faith
- My future
- My dreams
During the touching, intimate moment, several women moved to a kneeling position and then wept softly. That day became special, because the ladies chose to give Jesus the most meaningful gift of all: themselves.
Dear Father, Thank you that Jesus came to earth as a helpless babe, your only begotten son, born of a virgin. He was the embodiment of all that you are, not only to help us understand more about your qualities, but also to provide for us a future and a hope. Jesus fulfilled His mission when as an adult he took upon his body—our sins---was buried and rose from the dead! He is our risen Savior! Joy to the World, our Lord has come! Amen.
(A portion of this devotional first appeared in Christmas with God, published by Honor Books in 2000. All rights reserved).
Perhaps you are struggling to find the meaning of Jesus’ birth for your life. If so, please click here for Ten Days of Encouragement and find out more about Him and what He wants for you. Have a very Merry Christmas! Celebrate His Birth!
THIS MONTH'S RECIPE
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 15 oz. can 100% pure pumpkin
½ cup canola oil
¼ cup low fat milk
1 cup dried cranberries
Whisk together first 8 ingredients in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, combine eggs, pumpkin, oil, and milk
Add to dry mixture and stir in cranberries.
When well mixed, place in prepared muffin pans. Makes 12 large or 18 medium muffins.
Bake in preheated oven, 350 degrees, for 20 minutes (med.) or 25 minutes (large).