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Monthly Archives: December 2010

Blessing of Promise

There is a story in Genesis about a girl named Dinah. She was the only daughter of Jacob. And some commentaries paint her to be spoiled. She went out to a party and there met a young man, who happened to be the ruler’s son. His name was Shechem and he was very attracted to Dinah.
He took her and violated her. But somewhere in the middle of this he fell in love with her. So in his attempt to make all things right he asked to marry her. He asked his father to help arrange a marriage for him.
Dinah’s brothers Levi and Simeon heard about what had happened. They were furious and deeply troubled by what had happened to their sister. 
It may be possible the reason they took such offense was because in those days the blood brothers would take care of their sisters. They felt disgraced, angry that Shechem had violated their good family name.

 

As Shechems father, Hamor tried to negotiate with Jacob over Dinah, the brothers plotted a plan to take revenge on their sister’s perpetrator. So while they told Shechem he could have Dinah if all the men in his city agreed to be circumcised as the Jews were, they knew exactly what they would do. On the 3rd day when all the men were in great pain from their circumcision Levi and Simeon took their swords and killed all the men of the city.
Their vengeful attitude took over as they focused on their own reputation. And God did not bless them. In fact when he gave the blessing he skipped over the first 3 sons and gave Judah, the 4th son The Blessing.
  
Was it wrong of the brothers to feel anger or sadness for the wrong that was committed against their sister?
No,
what was wrong was their choice to deceitfully take up a sword after pretending they, in the name of religion, were interested in forgiving and restitution.
 
Forgiveness is not forgetting the wrongs done to us.
It’s not even granting a pardon.
It is however releasing the wrong-doer to God’s justice.
While we don’t typically take physical swords to avenge, do we use our tongues and words to kill?
 
Blessing when I am cursed.
Giving when I have received criticism.
Reaching out when I have been ignored.
Praying for those who falsely accuse me.
Am I willing to Learn from the greatest One who Forgave all?
 
The one who Knew no sin prayed, for the religious leaders, the poor, the rich, the sick, the men and women, for you and for me, as he hung there on that cross, in his last moments of life on earth,
“Father, Forgive them for they do not know what they are doing”. ~Luke 23:34
How can I do anything less?
 
What is he asking you to give to him today?
Could you open the door of your heart just a crack to let him replace the anger with love? You may always have the scar but you don’t need to carry the poison around one more day.
 
 
He promises that if we allow him to take the injustice he will one day make all things right.
 
The question is… Will I trust him to Do what He says He will do?

It may require Forgiveness every day.
Every Hour.
Every Minute.

But this is the blessing of promise.

Forgiveness is really a gift.

A gift that keeps bitterness from twisting its ugly viney legs around the heart and stealing the song that needs to be sung.

Freeing the spirit to soar above the painful memories of yesterday and  releasing the feet that have been stuck in the fears of the Unknown.

To forgive, releases us to become people who fully live in the face of uncertainty.

 It breaks the chains that tie us to the offender.

And makes us channels of grace to everyone around us.

Yes

God knew we would need it to continue this journey he has set our feet on.

You are Welcome Here

As you step into my new home here at WordPress I want to welcome you with this song.

Yes Father, You ARE faithful!

Merry Christmas!

Today I got this gift in the mail from my Friends over at Day Spring.
They are some of the neatest people you will ever meet!

If you haven’t checked them out yet now would be an excellent time! They are having sale on their Christmas Merchandise!

Thank you to all who visited me at Incourage yesterday.

And for those who have entered the Carmel giveaway.

Remember there is still time to enter until Monday!

We started our Christmas celebrating yesterday and shall continue all weekend.

This season has been different for us. I can say with all certainty that we are right where we are supposed to be and that brings me peace. My greatest wish for you this year is that you find Jesus not just in the manger but as your closest friend, King of Kings, and Prince of peace.

He is the Messiah come to earth. That still brings tears to my eyes!

Hugs to you Bloggy Buds!

Merry Christmas!

Good Gifts

I remember back a couple years.. to my teens…
(okay so I’m using couple of years loosely)
I was at a friend’s house for a party.
It was close to Christmas and her mother had dozens of gifts under their tree.

I was mesmerized by the intricate way her mom had carefully wrapped each one.
I had never seen anything like it.
She had beautiful bows, with designer paper and homemade cards on each package.
It obviously made an impression on me!

I remember thinking how much fun it would be to receive one of those gifts!
The contents may not have been all that special but the exterior looked perfect!

Have you ever received a gift that was so beautifully wrapped you didn’t want to open it because it would ruin the wrapping paper?

To Read more go here to InCourage

Carmel love for you

One of my favorite Candies to make and eat every year is Carmel’s.

I love them with Chocolate.
I love them with Pecans.

And I love them Just straight up.

They are my candy of choice.

So today I will share them with you.

Here is the recipe.
1 c butter
2 1/4 c. brown sugar
dash of salt
1 c. light corn syrup
1-15 oz can condensed sweetened milk
1 tsp vanilla

Melt butter in 3 quart saucepan. Add sugar and salt, and stir thoroughly. Stir in corn syrup and mix well. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly. Cook and stir over medium heat to firm ball stage..245 on your candy thermometer. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour into buttered bar pan. Cool and cut into squares. Add Pecans and Chocolate if you want to make turtles.

Now all you need to do is leave a comment about your favorite holiday treat. This will enter you to win a box of Carmel’s! I will Open the give away today through Monday, December 27.

Don’t forget to come back Thursday.
I Will be a Guest blogger over on the Incourage Blog.

Thank you friends. It’s been so good getting to know you better in and out of Cyber Space.

Chi Town…I love you at Christmas!

Last weekend we took a little train ride to Chi town.
I think I was born for the city.
Especially at Christmas!

Sometime during the Christmas season we like to take the kids downtown Chicago. I am always so grateful to bring them home again! So many people! It can be a little stressful keeping track of them at times….not mentioning who but one decided to wander off in a 4 story bookstore that had around 16,000 people in it(give or take a few)!
So I am especially thankful this time.
We were also excited to have Malaina’s friend Erin this year. She fit right in to the mix and was a delight to be with!

A few fav’s…
Lego Store
Street Singers
American Girl
The train ride
Hot coffee
Lights Everywhere
Escalator rides(down the up..Thanks “ELF”!)
Food Court at Water Tower
Glass Elevators
Window Displays

We Love the street Singers/Shows.

A little disappointing not to see the Silver Zippy man this year.

But we did love the bucket drummers and the 3 wheel bike show.

Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus was the Macy window display this year. Which was cool for Malaina Because she just had a solo in that song for their school Christmas show.

And this sweet man who took our trash while we waited for the train. We loved his happy attitude as he picked up peoples trash.

Good night to all…So good to be in a warm bed again,
While
Visions of sugarplums dance in our head.

Tomorrow I will be having a sweet give away for someone who leaves a comment about their favorite holiday treat.

Come see me then and tell all your friends to join the sweet party!!

Old time Favorite Brown Sugar Cookies

When I was a little girl there were two ladies at our church that were in my childlike mind the essence of what a good cook should look like. They were both a little portly and let me tell you that ANY thing they would bring to potlucks would taste like it came from heaven!

And if we got so lucky to be invited to their home it was like a feast in the palace! No hamburger helper or boxed mac and cheese would have been allowed in their kitchen!

So when my grandma passed away over 10 years ago…I got her old falling apart, hand jotted recipes, church cookbook. It’s my prized cookbook! And instead of marking the recipes that I like with my normal star or “good” comment I just put a little heart beside the name of my beloved childhood fantasy baker. Who is now living with my grandma and Jesus. I’m sure they are preparing great feasts for the Kings birthday party!

So when I found her yummy cookies in here I instantly fell hard!
And today I am going to share them with you!

Without further ado

BROWN SUGAR COOKIES
2 C. Brown Sugar 1 c. rich milk(cream or sweetened condensed)
1 C. Shortening 1/2 t. salt
1 Egg 1 tsp. vanilla
2 t. soda 3 1/2 C. Flour
2 t. baking powder
Cream sugar and shortening, add remaining ingredients. Mix well and drop on cookie sheet. Bake at 425 for 8-10 minutes.
Frost with brown sugar frosting
1 stick butter
1 C. brown sugar
2 1/2 C Powder sugar
Mix and add 1/2 cup milk
Cool the cookies and frost.
It’s just a early little Christmas gift from me!
Don’t forget to come back next week for my giveaway!