Sunday, December 22, 2013

Good Tidings to You!

Good Tidings To You

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

Luke 2:8-14

Let’s take a closer look at verse 10:

Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.”

I would like to point out a couple of facts here:

1)God sent His angel to share the good tidings with shepherds. Why Shepherds and not council members of the San Hedrin?

~The Shepherds were a humble people. They also were an example of leadership to the Jews such as Moses and David being shepherds. Just as Jesus is the Good Shepherd.

~They were Jews.

~These Shepherds are said to have been tending sheep set aside for sacrifice at the temple.

~I also believe that the chief priests’ hearts were not prepared to receive the message.

So, what is the message?

2)The angel has brought news:

~Good tidings. After doing some research I found out that the way these words are used  together in the Greek means: To evangelize, to proclaim the Good News, to preach the Gospel.

~Great Joy. The word “great” is a definite article which means much emphasis on the word used. The word “Joy” is derived from the Greek word “Chairo” which means:

“Grace, as joy is a direct result of God’s grace.”

~To all people. Not to the Jews alone or a select few but to ALL PEOPLE. God’s desire and will is that all men be saved.

This is good and acceptable in the sight of God, our Savior,

who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

1 Timothy 2:3-4

So we have the angel of the Lord evangelizing, preaching the Gospel to the shepherds. Proclaiming the great joy of God’s grace for all people.

For who? ALL People.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

John 3:16

So we see according to scripture, the inspired, inerrant word of God that God sent His only Son Jesus to die for our sins so that we may have everlasting life. Jesus died for the whole world.

Let’s continue starting with verse 15:

So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another,” Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in the manger.

Luke 2:15-16

First we see that the shepherds had no doubts about the Savior that was born. The text doesn’t say that upon the angels leaving the shepherds began to discuss what transpired questioning what had happened. They said:

“Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass which the Lord has made known to us.”

Secondly, we see that the shepherds made haste to see the Babe lying in the manger.

A third point is that if indeed these shepherds were tending the flock for temple sacrifice, they left “religion” for a Relationship with the Savior Jesus Christ.

~Do we as Christians ‘doubt” the word of God? We need to remember that Jesus Christ IS the word of God.(John 1:1)

~Do we make haste to spend time with Him or do we push Him aside for things of the world?

~Have we sacrificed a relationship with Him for religion? It’s easy to fall into a slump, to just punch a clock at church and do our time. But are we causing harm in our relationship with Jesus? When we fall into tradition or routine we are missing out on a wonderful, loving relationship with Him.

I can tell you from personal experience that nothing, absolutely NOTHING compares with knowing Him, with spending time with Him, with loving Him.

Let us remember the true Reason for the Season Jesus Christ. Not only our Lord and Savior but also the Lover of our souls and our Friend.

Our Prayer:

Oh Heavenly Father, how we love you so much!!! Our prayer Lord is that we would come to a relationship with you where we would have faith and no doubts, that we would make haste in spending time with You each day. We also pray Lord that we would not substitute “religion” for a relationship with You because nothing compares to knowing You Father. We thank You for sacrificing Your Son for us so that we may call upon You and have everlasting life.  We love You so much and desire to be pleasing to You. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen!!!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Toasted Coconut Marshmallows

Wow, time goes by fast! I am finally being able to catch up with my dear friends.

 Ever since I found out how much my honey loves marshmallows, I make them for him :) So 16 years and counting I have been making them and experimenting with different flavors.  One of those favorites is Toasted Coconut Marshmallows. The standard recipe for Marshmallows is below and if you scroll down further you will see variations such as Toasted Coconut Marshmallows and Chocolate Marshmallows :)


Homemade Marshmallows

4 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cups water
3 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I now use 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon butter extract for a Buttercream flavor)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, plus additional for rolling

Spray a 10x13-inch Pyrex baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, soften the gelatin with 3/4 cup of the water.

Place the sugar, corn syrup, the remaining 3/4-cup water, and the salt in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook over high heat until the syrup reaches 234-240 degrees on a candy thermometer (or until it reaches soft-ball stage).With the whisk attachment of the mixer at full speed, beat the hot syrup slowly into the gelatin until the mixture is very stiff, about 15 minutes. Beat in the vanilla.

Pour the mixture prepared dish and smooth the top with an oiled spatula. Allow the mixture to rest, uncovered, at room temperature 10-12 hours. Using a fine sieve, sprinkle the powdered sugar onto a cutting board. Turn the stiffened marshmallow mixture out onto the sugar, and using a pizza cutter dipped in powdered sugar cut marshmallows into squares. Be sure to dip the cut edges of the marshmallows into the powdered sugar to prevent sticking. Yield: About 40 marshmallows

** Don't skimp and use cheaper corn syrup. I have tried and the marshmallows don't set right. Use Karo.

**Don’t forget to adjust for altitude: For every 1000 feet above sea level subtract 2 degrees from temperature.

Toasted Coconut Marshmallows:

Use the same recipe but instead of using powdered sugar substitute Toasted Coconut.

The recipe is basically for the Homemade Marshmallows but here is what I did:

-I took one bag of flaked Coconut per batch of marshmallows and toasted it. I let it cool before using.
-Then I used butter to grease the pyrex pan. I placed about a third of the coconut along the bottom of the pan.
-After mixing up the "batter" for the marshmallows I poured it into the pan and spread it out.
-Then I sprinkled another third of the coconut on top covering it. I patted it down lightly so it would stick.
-After I removed the marshmallows from the pan, I used a pizza cutter dipped in powdered sugar to cut with.
-I rolled the cut sides of the marshmallow in the remaining toasted coconut.

Chocolate Marshmallows:

It is basically the same recipe but add the following ingredients:

1/3 cup sifted baking cocoa
1 cup powdered sugar sifted with 1/3 cup baking cocoa (to roll marshmallows in) *I also used a whisk to make sure that both were evenly distributed

Follow the same instructions but add the 1/3 cup sifted baking cocoa once the syrup is incorporated. (after mixing ingredients and cooking to soft-ball stage).

Pour the mixture prepared dish and smooth the top with an oiled spatula. Allow the mixture to rest, uncovered, at room temperature 10-12 hours. Sprinkle the powdered sugar and cocoa mixture onto a cutting board. Turn the stiffened marshmallow mixture out onto the sugar, cut into squares with a lightly oiled knife. Be sure to dip the cut edges of the marshmallows into the powdered sugar cocoa mixture to prevent sticking.

I am sharing this recipe at:

Please visit Richella for some wonderful encouragement and ideas :)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Blessed is...

Blessed is the wife who greeteth each day with the thought “This is the day that the Lord hath made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.”

Blessed is the wife who taketh time each morning to bathe her soul in the word of God and prayer.

Blessed is the wife who refuseth to think upon her husband’s faults.

Blessed is the wife who puteth her husband’s wishes before her own and provideth well for his spiritual, mental and physical needs.

Blessed is the wife who is never heard to contradict her husband in public.

Blessed is the wife who waits to bring complaint to her husband till he is neither tired nor hungry.

Blessed is the wife who is contented with whatever her husband is able to provide.

Blessed is the wife who considereth her home to be a palace and not her prison.

Blessed is the wife who counts it a joy to keep her home clean and orderly for the sake of her husband.

Blessed is the wife who would joyfully welcome a bundle of joy into her heart and her home.

Blessed is the wife who lives each day in anticipation of the heavenly Bridegrooms return.

~Source Unkown

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

It's......National Cookie Day!

 According to MaryJane's Farmgirl calendar December 4th is National Cookie Day.
However, we are celebrating in a non-traditional way.


Cookie is our pup we rescued back in March.  I can still remember how frightened she was that first night. While sleeping,the poor thing was panting so hard.

But it didn't take her long to warm up and now she feels right at home.

She loves going for rides...

Playing in the river...

 Going up to the mountains...

Or just staying at home and playing with one of her many balls :)

So today, we will celebrate National Cookie Day thanking God for the sweet little Cookie he brought into our lives.

Bone Apetit!


Monday, December 2, 2013

What Can I Give Him?

Graphics courtesy of Little Birdie Blessings

What can I give Him?

Whatever your hand finds to do, do with all your might.
Ecclesiastes 9:10a

Many of us are familiar with the writer of Ecclesiastes, Solomon. Solomon was the son of King David and his successor. King Solomon started his reign serving the Lord wholeheartedly, but as his name and reputation grew so did his pride causing him to slowly walk away from the Lord.

In reading Ecclesiastes, we see how Solomon had a change of heart. Now he shares the wisdom gleaned from his folly.

Let’s look closer at this verse:

Whatever your hand finds to do, do with all your might.
Ecclesiastes 9:10a

Whatever.  The whole, all, any or every. Whatever.
Whatever your hand finds to do, which means whatever you do, do with ALL your might.

The apostle Paul tells us in Colossians:

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men;
Colossians 3:23

We do all things heartily and unto the Lord.

Let’s ask ourselves…

~Do we do all things unto Him?

~Do we do all things with all our might?

We, as Christians have a responsibility first to the Lord and second to witness before Him to others.

Recently in our ladies Bible study we read an excerpt from Edith Schaeffer’s book
“Common Sense Christian Living”

Edith writes…

“How do I regard my having run upstairs with tea, or having served breakfast in bed, or having continued for years to do this kind of thing for a diversity of people, as well as for husband and children? How do I look at it? Do I feel like a martyr? Let me tell you exactly how I see it.

First, I say silently to the Lord…: ”Thank You that there is a practical way to serve You tea (or breakfast in bed, or whatever it is I am doing for someone). There would be no other way of bringing You food, or doing some special thing for You. Thank You for making it so clear that as we do things that are truly in the realm of giving ourselves in service to others, we are really doing it for You.”

What a great excerpt, what a wonderful way to look at service!

~How do we serve the Lord?

~Is it with a right heart for a right motive?

~Do we serve wholeheartedly?

Wholeheartedly. If we really look at that word we see the word 'whole' meaning everything. So is Jesus our whole heart? Is there a bit of room in our hearts that contains some fleshly desire? Perhaps,
we have let other things take the place of our Lord.

The following song/poem is by Christina Rosetti

In the Bleak Midwinter

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
in the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, heaven cannot hold him, nor earth sustain;
heaven and earth shall flee away when he comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
the Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
but his mother only, in her maiden bliss,
worshiped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give him:  give my heart.

I would like us to focus on the last verse:

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a wise man, I would do my part;
Yet what can I give Him:
Give my heart.

Give Him my heart. To me, that speaks volumes. Our Heavenly Father gave us His Son, Jesus gave His life for us.

Yet, what can I give Him?

My heart.


Whatever my hand finds to do, do with all my might as unto the Lord.

Ladies, I would like us all to be encouraged by His word and His faithful love to us. Let’s give Him our hearts, wholeheartedly, forever devoted to Him.

Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.
2 Corinthians 9:15

Our Prayer:

Heavenly Father, words cannot truly express the love and gratitude that we have for You. You have loved us unconditionally, beyond measure despite our shortcomings. Father we desire to serve You wholeheartedly, to love You wholeheartedly and to be totally devoted to You. Father, please help us to hear You when You speak to us so we can see the opportunities that You have for us to serve You. To do all things for You, in You and through You. Father, we give You our hearts. In Jesus’ precious name…Amen.