Sunday, January 11, 2015

A Psalm for Sunday - Psalm 67

1 May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us, "Selah"
2 that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.  
3 May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you. 
4 May the nations be glad and sing for joy, 
for you rule the peoples justly and guide the nations of the earth. "Selah" 
5 May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you. 
6 Then the land will yield its harvest, and God, our God, will bless us. 
7 God will bless us, and all the ends of the earth will fear him.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The 24th Day of Advent - The Visit of the Magi

The Visit of the Magi - Matthew 2: 1-12

"After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, 'Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.'

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. 'In Bethlehem in Judea,' they replied, 'for this is what the prophet has written:

'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, 'Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.'

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route."

Monday, December 22, 2014

The 23rd Day of Advent - The Shepherds and the Angels

I love today's passage! As a mother, I think my favorite verse is the one that says, "But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." That's just what moms do... remember all the special times in their children's lives so they can save those precious memories and think of them throughout their lives.

The Shepherds and the Angels - Luke 2: 8-20

"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. But the angels 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. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.'

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
'Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.'

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, 'Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.'

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told."

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Friday Baking - on Sunday... Viennese Crescents

I received this recipe from my mother-in-law about 30 years ago.  Dennis loves these cookies (although his favorites are now chocolate chips), but it's fun to make these at holiday time.  Today is a perfect day to make them since it's her 98th birthday!!


1 cup butter or margarine
2 cups flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans or almonds)
1 teaspoon vanilla

~ Mix all ingredients together with a spoon. Don't use an electric beater or hand mixer.
~ Shape into crescents and roll in powdered sugar.
~ Bake in a 300 degree oven for 35 minutes.
~ Remove from cookie sheet and roll again in powdered sugar.

The 22nd Day of Advent - The Birth of Jesus

Birth of Jesus - Luke 2: 1-7

"In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in clothes and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The 21st Day of Advent - The Birth of Jesus Christ

The Birth of Jesus Christ - Matthew 1: 18-25

"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 fulfill 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.'

When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus."

Friday, December 19, 2014

The 20th Day of Advent - Zechariah's Song

Zechariah's Song - Luke 1: 67-80

An Excerpt...

"And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
to give his people the knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
to shine on those living in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.
And the child grew and became strong in spirit;
and he lived in the desert until he appeared publicly to Israel."

Luke 1: 76-80

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Because Christmas Is....

... The celebration of the birth of Jesus
... Family and friends gathering
... Reading the Christmas story in Luke
... "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens
... The Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center in New York City

... Gingerbread houses
... A table full of colored papers and ribbons for wrapping
... The aroma of roasting chestnuts being sold by street vendors, as snowflakes gently fall
... Stacks of Christmas magazines ~ some old, some new
... Christmas Eve candlelight service at church 

... Baking sheets full of Christmas cookies right from the oven
... Sitting in a dark room late in the evening, drinking hot cocoa and enjoying the lights of the tree
... Salvation Army bell ringers and having extra money to drop in their kettles

The 19th Day of Advent - Birth of John the Baptist

Birth of John the Baptist - Luke 1: 57-66

"When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.

On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, but his mother spoke up and said, 'No! He is to be called John..'

They said to her, 'There is no one among your relatives who has that name.'

Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone's astonishment he wrote, 'His name is John.' Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue was loosed, and he began to speak, praising God. The neighbors were all filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, 'What then is this child going to be?' For the Lord's hand was with him."