September 25, 2017

How Many Kings

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Follow the star to a place unexpected
Would you believe, after all we’ve projected, a Child in a manger
Lowly and small, the weakest of all
Unlikeliest hero, wrapped in His mother’s shawl – just a child –
Is this who we’ve waited for

How many kings stepped down from their thrones
How many lords have abandoned their homes
How many greats have become the least for me
And how many gods have poured out their hearts
To romance a world that is torn all apart
How many fathers gave up their sons for me

Bringing our gifts for the newborn Savior
All that we have, whether costly or meek
Because we believe
Gold for His honor, and frankincense for His pleasure
And myrrh for the Cross He will suffer
Do you believe is this who we’ve waited for

Only One did that for me
All, all for me…
All for you…

DownHere
Written by Marc Martel and Jason Germain 
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How many do you know of?  How many would have such a depth of love?  How many would sacrifice?  How many would choose to be sacrificed?  How many would give their most precious?  How many would leave the most perfect place…for such a broken place?  How many would do all this for sinful humanity?  Only ONE God…only ONE Lord.

only ONE Lord…only ONE Great…only ONE God…
only ONE Father…only ONE Son
only ONE King

The love

For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

The sacrifice

[Here is] the High Priest [perfectly adapted] to our needs, as was fitting—holy, blameless, unstained by sin, separated from sinners, and exalted higher than the heavens.
He has no day by day necessity, as [do each of these other] high priests, to offer sacrifice first of all for his own [personal] sins and then for those of the people, because He [met all the requirements] once for all when He brought Himself [as a sacrifice] which He offered up.
For the Law sets up men in their weakness [frail, sinful, dying human beings] as high priests, but the word of [God’s] oath, which [was spoken later] after the institution of the Law, [chooses and appoints as priest One Whose appointment is complete and permanent], a Son Who has been made perfect forever.
Now the main point of what we have to say is this: We have such a High Priest, One Who is seated at the right hand of the majestic [God] in heaven,

Hebrews 7:26-8:1

The humility

Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: [Let Him be your example in humility:] Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God [possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God], did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained, But stripped Himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being. And after He had appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself [still further] and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross! Therefore [because He stooped so low] God has highly exalted Him and has freely bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, That in (at) the name of Jesus every knee should (must) bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, And every tongue [frankly and openly] confess and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:5-11

The greatness

It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you
must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you
must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served
but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Matthew 20:26-28

The  majesty…

He who descended is Himself also
He who ascended far above all the heavens,
so that He might fill all things.
Ephesians 4:10

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that though He was rich,
yet for your sake He became poor,
so that you by His poverty might become rich.
2 Corinthians 8:9

And the ONLY response…

By this the love of God was manifested in us,
that God has sent His only begotten Son
into the world so that we might live through Him.
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us
and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:9-11

By this we know that we love the children of God,
when we love God and obey His commandments.
For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.
And His commandments are not burdensome.
1 John 5:2 and 3

If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love;
just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
John 15:10

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The True Meaning of Christmas…by Linus

adventwk4seekHimoholynight

In the same region there were shepherds staying out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord flashed and shone around them, and they were terribly frightened. but the angel said to them,

“Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people. for this day in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord (the Messiah).

And this will be a sign for you [by which you will recognize Him]: you will find a Baby wrapped in [swaddling] cloths and lying in a manger.”  Then suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host (angelic army) praising God and saying, “glory to God in the highest [heaven], and on earth peace among men with whom He is well-pleased.

Luke 2:8-14

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A Charlie Brown Christmas
Just Like New Kids Productions

A King Like This

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A King like this, majesty
Laying in a manger
A King like this
Unto us is born a Savior
The Light, the Light has come
A King like this, the highest
Name and the song of heaven
A King like this born of
Flesh into our suffering
The Light, the Light has come

He is Christ, the Lord
He is Christ, our Savior
I bow my heart before no other name
I bow my heart before no other King

A King like this, a saving
Love that would not forsake us
Betrayed by a kiss and led
To the cross for our forgiveness
The Light, the Light has come

He is Christ, the Lord
He is Christ, our Savior
I bow my heart before no other name
I bow my heart before no other King

We lift up our eyes,
the 
Light has come
We lift up our eyes,
the 
Light has come
We lift up our eyes,
the 
Light has come
We lift up our eyes
lift up our eyes
lift up your eyes

He is Christ, the Lord
He is Christ, our Savior
I bow my heart before no other name
I bow my heart before no other King

A King like this, a throne of grace
That will stand forever
The angels sing glory, glory, hallelujah
The Light, the Light has come
The Light, the Light has come

Chris Tomlin

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How many heirs to a throne, a king-to-be, have you heard of who were born in some lowly, stinky, dingy place? Personally, I can only think of one–Jesus.
By prophecy and lineage, Jesus was born a king.

Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord,
That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness;
A King shall reign and prosper,
And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.
In His days Judah will be saved,
And Israel will dwell safely;
Now this is His name by which He will be called:
THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Jeremiah 23:5-6

“Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!
“Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God!
You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name Him Jesus.
He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High.
The Lord God will give Him the throne of His ancestor David.
And He will reign over Israel forever; His Kingdom will never end!”
Luke 1:26-33

This is a record of the ancestors of Jesus the Messiah,
a descendant of David and of Abraham…
Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary.
Mary gave birth to Jesus, who is called the Messiah.
All those listed above include fourteen generations from Abraham to David,
fourteen from David to the Babylonian exile,
and fourteen from the Babylonian exile to the Messiah.
Matthew 1:1, 16-17

But why a stable? When a gem is found in the dirt and mud of a mine, it really stands out as something different than the ordinary rocks surrounding it. When a beautiful, delicate flower is found in the weeds, it makes one stop and take notice. When a precious, beautiful baby is born in a less than appealing place (such as a stable), everyone stares in amazement.  I believe God wanted the contrast so the people would notice, and He still wants that today.

Jesus was the little baby born in that dingy stable, so that the shepherds would stop and take notice.

Jesus was the little child who had a major star shining over His head so that the wise men could find Him and worship Him.

Jesus is The Light of the world so we will stop and take notice in our otherwise dark world.

Jesus is our Savior Who died an agonizing death on the cross so that we would bow before Him to receive our salvation.

Jesus is The King sitting on Heaven’s Throne that we might lift up our eyes in worship to Him, our Lord and Savior, for all eternity.

A King like this, a saving
Love that would not forsake us

A King like this, a throne of grace
That will stand forever

The Light has come!

Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there.
Its rider was named Faithful and True,
for He judges fairly and wages a righteous war.
On His robe at His thigh was written this title:
King of all kings and Lord of all lords.
Revelation 19:11-16

There is no better day than today to stop and take notice of The King whose throne was once a manger in a dingy stable, but Who now sits on The Throne of Grace in Heaven.  Join with me as ‘I bow my heart before no other name, I bow my heart before no other King,’ only Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Lift up your eyes, The Light has come! Let us sing with the angels,

Glory, glory, Hallelujah, The Light, The Light has come!

When the Glory of the Lord is Shown Upon You

adventwk4seekHimoholynight

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby,
keeping watch over their flocks at night.
An angel of the Lord appeared to them,
and the glory of the Lord shone around them,
and they were terrified.

Luke 2:8-9

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What happens when the glory of the Lord is shown on you?  Scripture makes clear that it’s possible for every true follower of Jesus to see and understand the glory of God.  Indeed, our Lord reveals His glory to all who ask and seek it diligently.

Moreover, I believe the revelation of God’s glory will equip His people for the perilous days ahead.  Paul states that this revelation “…is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified” (Acts 20:32).  Therefore, as we pray, “Lord, show me your glory,” we’re actually praying, “Father, reveal to me who You are.”  And if/when the Lord does give us a revelation of His glory, it’s a revelation of how He wants to be known by us.

How many of us have prayed a prayer such as this?  This type of prayer is normally prayed when faced with adversaries we feel are beyond our control.   At a time when we are at zero, we always ask for His glory.  Why can’t we also ask for His glory when we are in our highest spirits?  I believe there we can experience more of His glory, too.  Moses’ experience with the glory of God demonstrates this truth.

The Lord sent Moses to deliver Israel without giving him a full revelation of who the God of Israel truly was. The Lord merely told him, “Go, and say I AM sent you.” But He gave no explanation of who “I AM” was.  I believe this is why Moses cried, “[Lord]…I beseech Thee, shew me Thy glory” (Exodus 33:18).  Moses had a gnawing hunger and thirst to know WHO the great I AM was—to know what His nature and character were all about.  I therefore request us, brethren, to cry unto God to show us His glory in all aspects of life so that we can be able to testify to others.  How can we testify of His glory if we ourselves have not experienced it?  The shepherds experienced the glory.  (And, yes, they were terrified…just as the shepherds!)  But the angel said to them “do not be afraid” for he came with good news.  The testimony they had was “God brings good news.”  Trust me, God is bringing His glory in different ways and we will testify.  But I pray we will testify as we have experienced it and perceive it in Jesus’ Name.

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Dear Lord, thank You for being willing to show us Your glory forever more.  And I pray, asking You to open our eyes and ears to see and to hear You when You come in Your glory.  In Jesus’ name, I pray,  Amen.

Joy To The World

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Joy to the World , the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the World, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love

Pentatonix
Written by Isaac Watts ~ Music composed by Handel

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He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”
Luke 19:40 ESV

Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;
Let the sea roar, and all its fullness;
Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it.
Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice before the Lord.
Psalms 96:11-13 NJKV

Joy

Defined by Merriam-Webster as:
1a) the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires : delight
b) the expression or exhibition of such emotion : gaiety
2- a state of happiness or felicity : bliss
3- a source or cause of delight

Based on these definitions, joy is something to be achieved, and is fleeting or short-lived.  But is that how the Bible defines joy?

Let’s start with where our joy come from. Psalm 16:11 NASB says

In Your presence is fullness of joy;

Jesus is our joy!  His birth makes it possible to have constant permanent joy in our lives though the Holy Spirit.  Look at these Scriptures:

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him
Romans 15:13 HCSB

But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is…joy
Galatians 5:22 AMP

…the joy supplied by the Holy Spirit;
1 Thessalonians 1:6 AMP

And the disciples were continually filled with joy
Acts 13:52 NASB

When we believed in Jesus…when our ‘hearts prepared room’ for Him…the Holy Spirit entered our hearts and joy is one of the many fruits He provided.

 Joy is within us – continual joy.

Jesus’ birth is the beginning of constant, permanent joy in our lives. Our joy is not tied to our emotions or our circumstances. Our joy is tied directly to our Savior, Jesus Christ, and our relationship with Him.  Joy lives within us.

God brought joy to the world in the form of an infant named Jesus. That joy is still with us today. As Luke 19:40 says, even if we remain silent, the stones will cry out.  Psalm 96:11 reminds us that even heaven and earth sing.

Shouldn’t we, too, then ‘repeat the sounding joy’
as we celebrate ‘the wonders of His love’?

Oh, Holy Night

adventwk4seekHimoholynight

In the same region there were shepherds staying out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord flashed and shone around them, and they were terribly frightened. but the angel said to them,

“Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people. for this day in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord (the Messiah).

And this will be a sign for you [by which you will recognize Him]: you will find a Baby wrapped in [swaddling] cloths and lying in a manger.” Then suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host (angelic army) praising God and saying, “glory to God in the highest [heaven], and on earth peace among men with whom He is well-pleased.

Luke 2:8-14

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Ham Pate

ham pate

There are some things that you eat as a child that will always be welcome on your plate.  For instance, I love the green bean casserole – you know, that one with cream of mushroom soup and french-fried onions?  I know in my brain that it’s kind of gross, but my tongue, my heart, and my memory all enjoy it so much!  This recipe for Ham Pate is in that category.

When I was a kid, my Dad brought home a canned ham from work every year around Christmas.  I don’t know whether his boss gave it to him or if a client sent it to him – but you know the kind – not the best for eating…packed in a weird jelly…would last in a nuclear bunker for 50 years?  So my Mom, never one to waste food, made this recipe.  She used a hand-cranked meat grinder and mixed up a huge batch of this stuff.  It’s great on crackers, between two slices of bread, or just with a fork.  Low brow?  Yes, but definitely worth a try (especially if you have leftover holiday ham)!

Ham Pate

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ham
  • 1 8-ounce can water chestnuts, drained
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 to 6 ounces whipped cream cheese
  • 3 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • 4 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
  • squeeze of lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Blend the ham in a food processor until broken down a lot.  Blend in all of the other ingredients.  Taste for seasoning.  You may want to add more pickle relish, if you like it sweeter, or more lemon and salt if you like it more savory.  You can also add plain yogurt if you like it creamier.  Eat it on a fork, spoon it on a cracker, and adjust to suit your tastes.

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


To view even more of Dana’s unique recipe, you can visit her at Frugal Girlmet!

With Every Act Of Love

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Sitting at the stoplight
He can’t be bothered by the heart cry
Written on the cardboard in her hand
But when she looks him in the eye
His heart is broken open wide
And he feels the hand of God reach out through him
As Heaven touches earth

Oh – we bring the Kingdom come
Oh – with every act of love
Jesus help us carry You
Alive in us, Your light shines through
With every act of love
We bring the Kingdom come

There’s silence at the table
He wants to talk but he’s not able
For all the shame that’s locked him deep inside
But her words are the medicine
When she says they can begin again
And forgiveness will set him free tonight
As Heaven touches earth

God put a million, million doors in the world
For His love to walk through
One of those doors is you
I said, God put a million, million doors in the world
For His love to walk through
One of those doors is you

 Jason Gray

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Christmas is all so much about giving.  Even the stingiest folks that we know…you know, the ones with the ‘bah! humbug!’ attitude…understand the giving of the season.  Little children understand about giving; big kids, too.  So much of our conversation at this time of the year centers around the subject of giving.

Now…back to my first sentence.  What I first wrote is true. ‘Christmas IS all about giving.’  THAT is the absolute, total, complete, whole TRUTH!

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
John 3:16

But, wait…let’s look at those words again.  God ‘so loved the world…’ His love was the motivation.  And what He gave (His only begotten Son, Jesus), well that’s love, too.  Almighty God has set the standard for giving—LOVE.  Giving should be all about love.

  • Just like God, love should be the motivation for our giving
  • Just like God, love should be what we give

And we, as His children, have been enabled and equipped to be ABLE to love.

…for God’s love has been poured out in our hearts
through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.
Romans 5:5

So, in the midst of the sewing, and the wrapping, and the baking, and the shopping, and all the other activities, here’s a challenge I would like to set before each of us: let’s purpose to give LOVE!  I can only begin to imagine the myriad of opportunities that we will have to give love if we look to do so!  Start small, perhaps…give love by smiling at those you meet.  Whether wandering through the aisles or in line at the grocery store…look into the eyes of those you pass and smile.  (Oh!  And pray for them!)   Or go a little bigger…there are so very many needs in this world!  Go to a battered women’s shelter and sit and talk.  Visit an assisted living community and sing Christmas carols.  If we ask God to lead us and give us opportunity to show His love…I KNOW He will!

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.
Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
This is how God showed His love among us:
He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.
This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us
and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Dear friends, since God so loved us,
we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:7-11

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Oh dear Father, You have shown such a perfect standard for giving.  And we thank You for that!  And You have enabled us to show Your love by pouring Your love into our hearts.  Help us, Father, especially during this Christmas season, to reach out with that love.  Help us to go beyond our comfort level, and be love to those who need love.  May You be pleased by our obedience and our actions.  And may the love we show draw others to You.  Thank You for Your love, gracious Father!  We love You so!  In Jesus’ precious name, we pray.  Amen.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix

Cookies…such a lovely tradition of giving during the Christmas holidays.  There are cookies to make for exchanges. There are cookies to make to fill tins and baskets that are given to friends and loved ones.  There are cookies to make for the cookie monsters in your own home!

2013-12-15 23.12.46

Chocolate Chip cookies seem to be a big-time favorite; how about at your house?  My recipe for Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies starts off with making a basic mix. This is a great recipe to double (even triple!) so that you can make a batch AND have the basic mix ready to quickly throw together another batch!  Or perhaps you could take the second batch and put into a large Mason jar and gift someone with it! And we (the grandkids and I) have been known to leave out the chocolate chips (oh!no!) and substitute another mix-in such as mini M&M’s or some chopped nuts.   Here are a couple of recipes I found on the web for various types of mix-ins; some of these are so interesting!   Have fun!

relish.com – Chocolate Chip Cookies 7 ways
FoodNetwork.com – 10 mix-ins to update your Chocolate Chip cookies
huffingtonpost.com – 12 ways to make your Chocolate Chip cookies even better

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie MIX
(makes approximately 4 cups; enough for 4 dozen cookies)

ingredients:
2+1/4 cups good quality all-purpose gluten-free flour blend
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup coconut sugar (or table sugar)
12 ounce bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

directions:
place all ingredients (EXCEPT for the chocolate chips) into a large bowl and whisk together well.  if using immediately, pour in the chocolate chips. if not, pour the mix into a storage jar and add the chocolate chips right on top; seal well.

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Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

2013-12-15 21.25.04

ingredients:
1 batch of above GF Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix
8 tablespoons butter (unsalted), room temperature
2 extra-large eggs, room temperature
1+1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (NOT imitation, please!)

directions:

  • preheat oven to 325.  line two (2) large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside
  • using a hand or stand mixer, beat together the room temperature butter and eggs ‘til thoroughly incorporated; stir in the vanilla
  • pour 4 cups (or one batch) of the Cookie Mix into a very large bowl. by hand, stir in the liquid ingredients to thoroughly blend
    add the chocolate chips (or mix-in of your choice); stir ‘til evenly distributed
  • drop balls of dough (approximately 1+1/4″) onto the prepared baking sheets.  place the baking sheets (one at a time) into the freezer for 5 minutes to firm up
  • after the chill time, put cookies (one sheet at a time) into the oven
  • bake for 12-14 minutes (depending on the size of your dough balls) or ‘til the bottoms are beginning to brown
  • remove from the oven. (I carefully lift the parchment from the cookie sheet directly onto a cooling rack—works beautifully!)
    when cookies are thoroughly cooled, store in an airtight tin or jar.  whether you and your loved ones eat ’em or share ’em…enjoy!

*To make these cookies dairy-free, simply substitute 1 stick of butter-flavor shortening for the 8 tablespoons of butter; and purchase chocolate chips with no milk or milk products.  I use the Ghiradelli or the Enjoy Life brands.

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Merry Christmas from Mr. hayden and I!

God loves you ♥  (Don’t ever forget that!)

♥  coleen

Your Presence

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All of my life I search for You Lord, You call me to Your side
With all of my heart I’m desperate for more, Your Presence is my light
The cry of my heart is to be where You are

I love Your presence, I love Your presence
Father, where You are is where I want to be
Hidden in Your courts is ev’rything I need

You are my strength You are my shield, surround me with Your song
All that my soul will know is Your peace, hide me in Your love
The cry of my heart is to be where You are

I love Your presence I love Your presence,
I can hear You call, I run into Your arms, Jesus
You are all my heart is longing for

Father,  You are my heart’s desire,
Overwhelmed I will worship You
I will dance to the dance of heaven
All my heart be enthralled by You