August 18, 2017

Shining

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The dawn of peace Christmas Eve
the final night the world would sleep 
Fearful of the dark
but there was a shining star leading
Wise men to a humble place
where they would find the Gift of Grace 
Laying before their eyes
hope had come to life

The Light of the world was shining
The Light of the world was shining 
He came just like He promised
His love would not be silent

Hearts would quake on Christmas Day
as they looked upon the Savior’s face 
God became a man
they could reach and touch His hands 
The hands that made the blind to see
that carried the weight of suffering 
That washed away our sins
so we could be born again

The world knows Christ is born
oh, the King of love has come
And our hearts will be His throne
it is known, Christ is born
Light of the world, leading us home
Shepherd of Hearts, come for His own

 Sanctus Real
Matt Hammitt, Chris Rohman, Mark Graalman, Jake Rye, Seth Huff

*   ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★    *

On November 3, 2015, the Taurid meteor shower and the Northern Lights were possibly going to be visible in our skies.  So at 10:00 at night (when I’m usually already in bed), Steve and I (and Muffin) drove out into the countryside in hopes of seeing them.  We immediately saw some falling stars which is always fun.  But I had never seen the Northern Lights so I was really hoping to see them, and felt somewhat disappointed as time crept by without a sighting.  Then suddenly the brightest falling star came coursing through the sky with a blazing tail…and it seemed that it came down right in front of us.  It was spectacular!  I did see a couple of moments of the Northern Lights but they were without color and brief.  All was amazing and we were praising God!

As we drove home, and even into the next day, neither of us could get our minds off of the meteor that had seemed to put on a show just for us.  Yes, it died out which was disappointing but expected.  But it caused me to think of The Light of the world, which will never die out.

His name is Jesus the Messiah, Emmanuel.

Leaving Nazareth, He (Jesus) went and lived in Capernaum,
which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali
—to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah:
“Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles—
the people living in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.”
Matthew 4:13-16 (Isaiah 9:1-2)

Jesus spoke to them, saying,
“I am the Light of the world.
Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life.”
John 8:12

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
The true Light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.
John 1:4 and 9

As the song says, “The world knows Christ is born.” People around the world celebrate Christmas because a special little baby was born. It’s a beautiful story that is retold over and over during this season. (Take time this season to read Luke 1-2 and Matthew 1-2).  The sad thing is that many people only see Jesus as that baby; they don’t see Him as The Light of the world.  They don’t see that He came as Emmanuel—God with us.

When the bright lights of the Christmas decorations are taken down, the world will seem dark again.  As Isaiah said, there are “…those living in the land of the shadow of death.”  For many this glimpse of Jesus will fade as well, and they will go on searching in the dark.  People everywhere are looking for peace, grace, hope, and life, just as the wise men were looking.  The good news is “a light has dawned!” During this season we have the opportunity to share Jesus, the True Light, with those around us who are looking for more than a month of celebration.

God loved the world (all of us) so much that He sent Jesus to light our way to Him (John 3:16-17).  And Jesus willingly came in obedience to His Father, knowing it was the only way to bring redemption to us, His creation.  Jesus said that He is that Light, and just as sunlight brings natural life to us, His Light brings spiritual life to us.

During this Christmas season, take the time to bask in Jesus, The True Light. He is God’s love and life extended to you.  Take advantage of this time of year when so many are celebrating, to share the Good News that there is one light that will not be turned off or fade away. His Name is Jesus.  He is not just a baby—He is the Savior of the world.  He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying:
“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.
Jeremiah 31:3

If you personally are just learning about this truth, I pray that you will realize and accept that “the King of love has come,” and He, Jesus, wants to shine into your life and make your heart His throne.

God became a man…that washed away our sins so we could be born again.

The True Light of the world is shining and will never fade away.  Let Him shine into your life, and then share His Light with all around you.

*   ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★   *

Dear Jesus, thank You for coming just as You promised.  As the song says Your love would not, could not, and will not be silent.  We are overwhelmed with the realization that You, our Great God and Creator, want to shine into our lives and lead us home to be with You eternally.  We pray for those who have not yet made their heart Your Throne.  May this be the time that they accept You, not just as the Christmas baby but as their Savior.  Please help us to be faithful to share You, The True Light, when we have the opportunity.  Shine, Jesus, shine in and through our lives!  In the precious Name of Jesus, Light of the world, we pray, Amen.

(For confirmation that this was God’s promised plan,
click  here  to read 44 of the Old Testament prophecies
about the Messiah that Jesus fulfilled.)

Joy in the Night

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For hundreds of years the Jewish people had prepared for and hoped for the Messiah to come. Finally the time had arrived, but it didn’t come as many had expected—with great fanfare and pomp. (Not that angels lighting perhaps a moonless sky wasn’t pretty fantastic!) But there was no big parade in the middle of the day down the center of town for all to see. Instead it came to a few. Instead it came to the forgotten of society. Instead it came in the darkness of night.

That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep.
Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them,
and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them.
They were terrified, but the angel reassured them.
“Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.
The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born….
Luke 2:8-11

The joyful news of the arrival (the Advent) of the long awaited Savior, the Messiah, came at night. Not only was the world dark with physical night-time. I quote from Reverend Billy Graham,

“It wasn’t night because the sun had gone down. It was night because the world was surrounded in spiritual and moral gloom. People were driven by greed, intolerance, and lust for power. Religion had become a device for the rich in the exploitation of the poor. Men robbed and swindled and profiteered under the cloak of religion; they even fought wars in the name of religion. In every arena of life, it was night when Jesus came.”

excerpted from Arrival, Preparing to Celebrate Christ’s Birth.
(click here for a free download of this devotional)

And all this is still true today. People still live in darkness—the darkness of all kinds of sin and its repercussions. But the joyful news is that Jesus came, and He brought light to all mankind.

The Rock of Israel said to me:
‘The One who rules righteously,
Who rules in the fear of God,
is like the Light of morning at sunrise,
like a morning without clouds,
like the gleaming of the sun
on new grass after rain.’
2 Samuel 23:2-4

Jesus, the Light of morning, came for all people so that none of us would have to walk in darkness.

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world.
Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the Light of life.
John 8:12

Jesus knew that His Light would bring life and joy to all who choose to follow Him. Even in His last major prayer for His disciples He said this:

“Now I am coming to You <His Father.>
I told them many things while I was with them in this world
so they would be filled with My joy.
I have given them Your Word.”
John 17:13-14

If you feel forgotten, if you are mourning, if you are still walking in darkness, then now is the time to allow Jesus, the Light of the world, to step into your world and give you His life and His joy.  Rejoice with great joy!  Jesus Christ, the Messiah, is the Light of the morning!  We don’t have to walk in the darkness of night (sin), because JOY comes in the morning!

Sing to the Lord, all you godly ones!
Praise His holy name.
For His anger lasts only a moment,
but His favor lasts a lifetime!
Weeping may last through the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.
You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
that I might sing praises to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give You thanks forever!
Psalms 30:4-5, 11-12

Sing for joy, O heavens! Rejoice, O earth! Burst into song, O mountains!
For the LORD has comforted His people
and will have compassion on them in their suffering.
Isaiah 49:13

*    ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★    *

Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for Your great compassion.  Thank You for Your joy that comes when we walk out of our “night” and into Your Light.  For those who make that decision during this Christmas season, I pray they will experience Your Light and Joy like they have never experienced anything before.  For those of us who already walk in Your light, we thank You for Your Joy, unspeakable joy!  You are our Light of Life!  All honor and glory belong to You, our Savior and King!  IT IS SO!

Gabriel’s Message – Sting

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The angel Gabriel from heaven came
His wings as drifted snow
His eyes as flame
“All hail” said he “thou lowly maiden Mary,
Most highly favored lady,” Gloria!

“For known a blessed mother thou shalt be,
All generations laud and honor thee,
Thy Son shall be Emanuel,
By seers foretold
Most highly favored lady,” Gloria!

Then gentle Mary meekly bowed her head
“To me be as it pleaseth God,” she said,
“My soul shall laud and magnify His holy name.”
Most highly favored lady, Gloria!

Of her Emanuel, the Christ was born
In Bethlehem all on a Christmas morn
And everyone throughout the world forever saved
Most highly favored lady, Gloria!

Gabriel’s Message  ~  Sting

I first heard this song sometime in the ’80s.  Musically depicting the events told to us in Luke  chapter 1 (verses 26-38, 46-55),  I was originally drawn to the description of the Angel Gabriel and what it must have been like to have been visited by a messenger of God!  Now that I am older and in a different place in my walk with God, I am still drawn to this song, although now focusing on Mary and her obedience.

To me be as it pleaseth God.” – that line always brings goose bumps! In Luke 1:38, Mary says more specifically: “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.”  What beautiful humility!  What a servant’s heart! What a willingness to be a vessel (literally) for God. Surely she had to know the risks, the potential to be shunned and humiliated.  What would Joseph think?  What if he left her? She was a “lowly maiden” – what if she was financially unable to take care of herself and her child? What an amazing trust in God to fulfill His promise to her!  In verses 46-55 we see Mary’s beautiful song of praise:

“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant.  From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me – holy is His name.  His mercy extends to those who fear Him from generation to generation.  He has performed mighty deeds with his arm, He has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.  He has brought down rulers from their throne but has lifted up the humble.  He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.  He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as He said to our fathers.”

To me be as it pleaseth God.”  Mary’s obedience brought our Savior into the world!  Do I say to the Lord, “May it be to me as you have said”?  May we follow Mary’s example and be as obedient, sisters!  When we do, God uses US as vessels for His divine purpose, and brings blessings to others!

Merry Christmas!

And may God bless you richly with rewards for your obedience to Him!

The Promise

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Michael W. Smith performed a date of his Christmas tour last December 2012 at my church, and it was my honor and privilege to be included in the choir that accompanied him and the orchestra.  It was in preparation for that concert that I first heard the song, “The Promise.”  The song is intensely beautiful and grand, with a lush orchestral score and choral arrangement.  Combined with the lyrics, it is a song of worship and promise that brings me to tearful and grateful praise – every time I hear it. (In fact, I made myself listen to it so often last year that I quit listening to the words – I was afraid I would start crying during the concert!) To me, it’s message is the essence of Christmas.

It often makes me sad around Christmas time, when I hear people wishing that the “spirit of Christmas” would last the entire year. It makes me sad, because it IS entirely possible – the “spirit of Christmas” is entirely within our grasp.  Granted, Christmastime is often stressful (perhaps even because you have to endure someone else’s stress or impatience), but what do you think of when you think of the “spirit of Christmas?”  Love?  Peace on earth?  A sense of joy?  Of hope?  Of child-like wonder and belief?  People giving, being generous, and watching out for others?  Or perhaps folks gladly volunteering time, money, and/or other resources to help the poor and those less fortunate?  What about a desire for beauty and an appreciation for what we have?  When you think about it – don’t all of those things describe Christ?  When the world wishes for the “spirit of Christmas,” ironically, they don’t realize that they are wishing, literally, for the spirit of Christ to reign.  Hallelujah!   One day, it will, and HE WILL!!

Don’t we, then, sisters, have the “spirit of Christmas” within us every day?  Doesn’t it live within us and want to shape how we live our lives?  Don’t we have the power to make others around us feel like it is Christmas every day?  Perhaps the way to win others to Jesus is to fill our lives with the Spirit of Christ daily.

My favorite verse from “The Promise” says: “……we will see Emmanuel, GOD is with us, GOD is for us, GOD IS IN US, we will see….”  The fulfillment of the promise of the God Child that will redeem us, restore us, heal us and free us lives in us every day!  When we allow that to really sink in, won’t it be easier to have that feeling of Christmas every day?  We can all have it. The world can have it.  Oh, dear God, that is my prayer this Christmas!

Merry Christmas, sisters! May the spirit of the Living God fill you this Christmas, and every day thereafter!  I hope you enjoy the song – I hope the praise in Heaven feels like this!

The Promise  ~  Michael W. Smith

Fear not, oh, Israel for there is peace still to come;a word to break the silence, a Promise set to bloom; the Promise to redeem us, one to free us; break this silence in the violence in our lives

Emmanuel is sure to find us soon; the mighty rule to Jesse’s star of truth; and bring us unto glory, tell His story; heal the broken and restore thee to His name

The star will guide us to the humble place; where Christ the King reveals His earthly face; and we will see Emmanuel; God is with us, God is for us, God is in us, we will see

We’re singing Hallelujah! We’re singing Hallelujah! Emmanuel, our God is with us

We’re singing Hallelujah! We’re singing Hallelujah! Emmanuel, our God is with us

We’re singing Hallelujah! We’re singing Hallelujah! Emmanuel, our God is with us

We’re singing Hallelujah! We’re singing Hallelujah! Emmanuel, our God is with us

Emmanuel, our God is with us

O Come, O Come Emmanuel – Francesca Battistelli

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Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child
and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
Isaiah 7:14

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’
All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’–which means, ‘God with us.’”
Matthew 1:18-23

By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion.
There on the poplars we hung our harps, for there our captors asked us for songs, o
ur tormentors demanded songs of joy; they said, ‘Sing us one of the songs of Zion!’
How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land?”
Psalms 137:1-4

O Come, O Come Emmanuel” has long been a favorite song of mine.  More of a somber tone than most carols sung this time of year, it expresses sadness and longing, while at the same time being hopeful. In this song you feel the disquiet and loneliness of Israel in captivity and the readiness to be rescued – “Come, Emmanuel, ransom the captives!  Free your people from tyranny! Save us from death! Cheer us up and give us hope!” The tone of the song – melancholy and reflective – invites me to identify with Israel: ‘Have I not, too, been a captive to sin? Haven’t I also felt lonely and separated from God? Am I not also subject to discouragement? Does death not also want to claim me? Don’t I also, desperately, need to be rescued from darkness?’

Ah, but the song is not finished!  REJOICE – we are told – REJOICE! “Emanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.”  And He did.

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.
Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.
Isaiah 9:6-7

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

God IS with us! Through the birth of that Child the plan of God to save and redeem us was put into motion. Through Christ’s life, death, and resurrection we indeed have cause for rejoicing – we have been freed from captivity!  Death has no claim over us!  We have a hope for life everlasting!  So while the tone of the song is contemplative, the message is clear: “REJOICE!!” your salvation is here!

Merry Christmas!  May you feel the exhilarating joy of freedom in our Lord Jesus!

O come, O come, Emmanuel  and ransom captive Israel
that mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel  shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free thine own from Satan’s tyranny
from depths of Hell Thy people save and give them victory o’er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel  shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night and death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

Peace of Mind – and – Peace of Heart

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Each week during the season of Advent, our blogs will focus on a central theme which is associated with the coming of Christ—His Advent.  This week’s theme is PEACE. Christians throughout the world celebrate Advent. Some light candles or sing songs; some give gifts or  hang wreaths.  All of these are simple joyous ways of extending the celebration of Jesus’s coming beyond a mere 24 hours on December 25. Our prayer is that these devotionals throughout this season of Advent would help you to celebrate His first Coming and anticipate with the peace and joy of His second Coming.

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart.  And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.
So don’t be troubled or afraid
John 14:27

The greatest gift ever given to us is the gift of salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If we truly accept this gift, our hearts and minds should be at peace.  The world cannot give us this peace; no matter how hard it tries.

The universal Christmas wish every year is probably peace on earth. Yet what is peace on earth? To many, peace would be no fighting, no hunger, no pain, and no sickness. The world would be giving us everything we need to be at peace. Yet, it can’t. No matter how hard we strive for peace from the world the world cannot give it. Only Jesus can do that.

Jesus’s birth brought the promise of eventual peace on earth.  His birth also brought the promise of peace in the heart. When we accept Jesus into our hearts, spiritual peace of the mind and heart is part of the gift of salvation. We should never have to worry about what the world cannot give us. We are granted peace as part of the gift from Jesus.

I will give you a case in point… From around November 1-January 2, it is chaos in our house. We have school, church, work, and our home lives to deal with. We are constantly on the go during these weeks with family outings and get-togethers. Just when we need a weekend at home or a day of the weekend at home, we can’t get it. We can’t get the peace of our home for one single minute during the weekend. The case this year: December 7-Live Nativity, December 8-Calloway Gardens; December 14-Christmas Parade; December 15-Christmas Lunch and Sports Banquet; December 20 (and on) – family dinners, Christmas, and New Year’s. We can’t get a moment’s peace until at least January 2. Because of the busyness of the world, we cannot get peace of mind because our minds our constantly going with everything that is going on. However, when we think of Jesus, we get a little bit of peace because that is what His birth, death, and resurrection has brought us.

In this season of hope, love, joy, and peace, the main point to remember is the peace that Jesus brought to the world and the peace He will bring again when He returns. Just the thought of eternal life in heaven should bring peace to the mind and heart.

* * * * *

Dear Heavenly Father: Please be with us as we go through this busy time of year. Bring peace to our minds and hearts as we go through the motions of the holiday season.  In Jesus name. Amen.

Away in a Manger

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If you were to ask me what my favorite Christmas carol/song would be, my first instinct would be to say “Away in a Manger”, by Mahalia Jackson.  (THAT version – it MUST be Mahalia!)  When I was in middle school my family moved to Nashville from Ohio, where we had literally lived around the corner from my grandparents.  Each year at Christmas break we would travel back to Ohio to spend two weeks with my grandparents and extended family.  I loved those times, we had too many people in too small of a house, but it was always a time of laughter, movies, cards, a TON of food and music – LOTS of music. One particular compilation album my grandparents owned included “Away in a Manger” by Mahalia Jackson.  I had never heard anyone sing like her!  What I didn’t realize then was that she had been an incredible gospel singer – and when she sang about Jesus, sisters, you were having worship! She sang “Away in a Manger” like she was singing in the presence of God.  Even at a young age, that song affected me at such a spiritual and emotional level that it still brings me to tears and worship – every time I hear it.

Fast forward to me as a college student, and the compilation album has been lost.  This track of Mahalia’s is nowhere to be found. No record, no tape (this shows you how old I am…), no CD of hers had it available, and I couldn’t find it on iTunes. I searched for this song for YEARS, sisters, no exaggeration.  Then one year, my closest friend at the time gave me a Christmas gift. “It’s not much,” she said, “but it was all I could get for you.”  I opened it to find….. a CD with the Christmas music of Mahalia Jackson and Nat King Cole – with “Away in a Manger” included.  SHE FOUND IT!! It was the one thing that mattered the most to me and she presented it to me in her true humble fashion. The best gift I had ever been given.  Well, by a person….

The best gift I have ever been given is the gift of Jesus.  And He, in turn, gives the best gifts!  James 1:17 says; “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”  We are given the gift of the Holy Spirit when we receive Christ as our Lord (Acts 2:38).  Romans 12:6-8 tells us that we are all given gifts in order to strengthen the body of Christ.   We are also given grace (thank You, Lord!): “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).

Perhaps you are like me. You have searched for years for the thing that would make you happy, but have never found it.  It is Jesus. Just like that song ushered (and still ushers) me into the Presence of God.  That Savior, born away in a manger, brings us boldly into the Presence of a God that loves you and wants to shower you with gifts – gifts that no one (but He!) could ever give you. Won’t you receive His gifts today?

I LOVE THIS SONG!!!  I hope you enjoy it, too. When she sings: “I love thee, Lord Jesus! I ask thee to stay close by me forever, and love me, I pray,” it brings me to tears every time.  “I DO love You, Lord Jesus. Thank you for loving me!  Stay close.”

 

Merry Christmas!  May God bless you abundantly with His good and perfect gifts!

Away in a Manger, no crib for a bed, the little Lord Jesus lay down hHs sweet head. The stars in the sky looked down where He lay, the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes, but little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes; I love Thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky and stay by my cradle till morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay close by me forever and love me I pray; bless all the dear children in Thy tender care, and take us to heaven to live with Thee there.

GCH: What’s on Your Plate? – Norwegian Fattigman “Poor Man’s Cookie”

fattigman

A few weeks ago, I posted a delicious recipe for Scandinavian Spritz and talked about the “syv slag kaker til Jul,” the seven cookies of Christmas. (You can click HERE to go to that post.) I am back this week with a second, and my favorite, Norwegian Christmas cookie… fattigman!

Fattigman is an ages-old Norwegian cookie that translates to “Poor Man,” and was named so either because purchasing all of these ingredients would’ve cost someone in the old country quite a bit of money, leaving them “poor,” or because sugar was so expensive in Norway that even a poor man (or woman) could afford to make these, since there isn’t much sugar used in these cookies. I’ll let you decide which version of the story you like better, but I grew up hearing the first version, and I’m sticking to it 😉

The recipe(s) for fattigman was brought to America by Norwegian immigrants in the 1800’s… my family included. Christmas just isn’t Christmas without these on the table, and they quickly disappear once put out! They’re traditionally rolled out, then cut using a fattigman roller. My grandmother, however, rolled them out and cut them in triangles, so that’s how we’ve always made them… no special cutter required! I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 4 T. heavy whipping cream
  • 3 T. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1 T. brandy (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. grated lemon rind
  • 1 1/2 – 2 c. flour
  • lard for deep frying

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together, stirring in flour until dough becomes thick enough to knead. Dough will be slightly rubbery.
  2. Chill in the refrigerator for a few hours.
  3. On a floured cutting board, roll out dough (small pieces at a time) to 1/8″ thick.
  4. Cut in triangles.
  5. Fry in lard, which has been heated to approximately 350 degrees (F.) Dough will rise to the top. Turn dough over with tongs and fry to a very light golden brown.
  6. fattigman fryingRemove from lard and place on a cookie sheet covered in paper towels.
  7. Generously sprinkle both sides of cookies with powdered sugar.
  8. Store in airtight container on counter or in pantry.

Notes:

  • This goes much faster with 2 people making the fattigman. One person to roll out and cut cookies, and one person to fry them.
  • The cookies are very fragile (and VERY yummy!)

Praise God! Let’s eat!

Shandy

Be sure to visit Shandy’s personal blog Aprons ‘n Pearls for recipes, crafts, homekeeping tips & more!

Saturdays with Shandy: Christmas Edition! Last Minute Gifts for Your Girls

Christmas is a few short days away! If you’re in need of some easy, inexpensive, handmade gifts for the girls in your life – whether little or all grown-up! – then you’ve come to the right place! This round-up includes nine awesome gifts that any girl would love to get!

*Note: You can find all nine ideas on our “Saturdays with Shandy” board on Pinterest!

Did someone say scrapbook paper?!?!

paper crafts

  1. The adorable DIY Dry Erase Board from Leah Marie V is so cute, and so useful! The shabby chic DIY flowers give it an extra feminine touch. You can use this for a hundred different things, and customize it with scrapbook paper that fits the style of the person you’re creating it for. This would be great to leave notes for your family, or to jot down what you need to pick up at the grocery store!
  2. The Scrapbook Clipboard from KaeliElyse would be a great gift for any girl on your list, and would come in handy on a daily basis! Just like the dry erase board, you can customize this with your choice of scrapbook paper!
  3. Aren’t these pens super fun? I found them at Chocolate on My Cranium! You can make these to match the clipboard! Or make all three a matching set! What a great gift that would be!

What girl doesn’t love hair accessories and nail polish?!

beauty

  1. This Headband Organizer from Lyssa Beth (tutorial found at Make It My Own) would be great for any girl with a love of hair accessories! The best part? You can put all kinds of barrettes, ponytail holders, bobby pins, and clips in the inside! I am definitely making this for my daughter!
  2. How cute is this play on words?! For Your Mistle Toes! Such a creative idea from Carissa Miss, and she has a free printable!
  3. Make those ugly bobby pins cute with this tutorial from Colour Me Everywhere! A simple, inexpensive, and fantastic stocking stuffer!

And the last three fabulous gift ideas…

gift ideas

  1. How amazing are these Coffee Cozies from The Sitting Tree?! I can think of at least a dozen people I could give these to, and I know they would be LOVED! I’m going to knit one for myself, too!
  2. Shhhh! Don’t tell my daughter, but she’s getting one of these Friendship Bracelet Kits from Tater Tots and Jello for Christmas! I loved making friendship bracelets as a kid, and now my daughter loves them, too!
  3. I received a personalized hand sanitizer bottle for Christmas one year, and I absolutely loved it! I can tell you these would be a big hit with your child’s teacher! You can also use soap bottles! Either way, put a classy monogram inside, and this would be a welcome gift for anyone’s home! Be sure to check out the tutorial at The Idea Room!

I have to go and get busy making all of these wonderful handmade gifts (and a few for myself!) I hope you found some of these ideas to be excellent as well! There’s nothing like handmade for the holidays! Thanks for joining us for Saturdays with Shandy: Christmas Edition! It’s been a lot of fun, and I can’t wait to get started on our next series!

Have yourself a merry little Christmas, and may you be blessed abundantly in the new year!

Love & {Christmas} Blessings,

Shandy

Be sure to visit Shandy’s personal blog Aprons ‘n Pearls for crafts, recipes, homekeeping tips & more!

GCH: What’s on Your Plate? – Rice Pudding

rice pudding

Rice pudding is one of those comfort foods that my family really enjoys throughout the year, but especially at Christmastime. One Norwegian tradition we keep in our home is to serve rice pudding on Christmas Eve. An almond is hidden in one person’s pudding, and the lucky person who gets it, gets a marzipan pig! (Much like the German tradition of hiding a pickle ornament in the Christmas tree – another tradition of ours!) It’s a fun way to create memories, and we get to enjoy eating this yummy dessert at the same time!

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked rice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • a mixture of ground cinnamon and sugar
  • Reddi Whip or light cream (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees (F.)
  2. Combine eggs, milk, rice, sugar, salt, and vanilla in a bowl and mix well.
  3. Bake in an 11×7 baking dish for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven. Lightly sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Stir well.
  5. Return to oven and bake for another 25 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven. Put into individual serving dishes. Chill well in the refrigerator.
  7. Before serving, sprinkle the top with cinnamon sugar. You may also top with Reddi Whip or a little bit of light cream.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

Praise God! Let’s eat!
Shandy

Be sure to visit Shandy’s personal blog Aprons ‘n Pearls for crafts, recipes, homekeeping tips & more!