Merry Christmas and more...




Merry Christmas

The Glasgow Farmhouse

The Glasgow Farmhouse

May the Lord bless your home with His peace, presence and  power this Christmas. May He do more that you could ever think or imagine with your family. Lord be glorified in our weaknesses and consume us with Your love this week! You are the King of kings and Lord of lords!! Thank You! In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Luke 2: 2-202 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. 8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold,  an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 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. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

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

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.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely[d] known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

Here are a few popular Christmas links on my blog:

8 Recipes for Christmas cookies (gluten free and travel approved)

Directions to Make Dried Fruit Christmas Ornaments

Luminaries to Light Path to Your House

How to make live Evergreen Christmas wreath

Homemade Christmas Ornaments

Holiday desert-Caramel Pecan Cake

Homemade Marshmallows

     

Gingerbread Legacies

Our three new grand babies  and son in law gingerbread cookies

Our three new grand babies and son in law gingerbread cookies

One of my favorite Christmas decorations is our permanent gingerbread ornaments with family names on them.  This year, the Lord has graciously added to us three grandchildren and a son in law.

I love these ornaments because each one tells a story. I love to reflect on memories of the ones who have passed into their eternal home.

Great Grandma Rowley didn’t have any money.  She didn’t give presents or Christmas cards.  She never really spoke unless spoken to.   I’ll never forget my conversations with her.  She talked about Jesus like I’d never heard anyone talk.

The last time I saw her, she was in her late nineties and her mind and body were going.  She stayed awake all night and slept in the day.  It was hard on the family.  I walked into her room this particular night and she appeared not to be in her right mind until I asked her to tell me about Jesus.

Her face lit up like a Christmas tree.  Peace filled her countenance and a smile took over her confusion.  Her slumped over body straightened right up.  Tears filled her eyes and then it was like a fountain of living water came forth from her.  “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus oh I love His name. He is wonderful, He’s my Counselor, my Mighty God, He’s my Everlasting Father, my Prince of Peace…”

She radiated almost like she was in Heaven and not on Earth in her spirit. She didn’t stop talking!  She couldn’t! I eventually had to walk out of the room to take care of our children who were waiting to be put to bed.  When I finished, I came back in the room and she was still recounting His glory and majesty!

I’ve never forgotten that night.  She gave the best Christmas gift I could have ever received from her. What else do I know about her?  Did she keep a clean house?  I don’t know! Was she organized?  I don’t know.  It doesn’t matter.  What did she do in her spare time?  She read the Word.

None of us know if we will be here next Christmas…

A question that comes to my heart during this time of year, is “what story will be told of us?”  If our family in the distant future were hanging our gingerbread person on the tree and our story was being told, what would be said?

When I’m ninety-eight years old and my great, great grandchildren walk in the room and ask me to tell them about Jesus- I want Him to flow out like a river.  I want my love for Him to be a mighty rushing river flowing from that place within, that never grows old.  His Presence and life abiding inside of us is the gift that keeps on giving!

The gifts we buy will soon be forgotten but the gift that gives into our future generations is a living testimony of a life lived in “laid down love” for Jesus.

As I add my new gingerbread family to the garland today, I pray for my children to live a life dedicated to the Lord and that their life stories would be powerful and told for generations to come.

 

Blessed is the man…whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf never withers. . .” Ps 1

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.…” Hebrews 12:1-2

Great Grandma Rowley on far left, me holding our daughter Heather and Grandma Gray

Christmas memories in the making- Great Grandma Rowley on far left, me holding our daughter Heather and Grandma Gray

Heather is the mother to three of our grand babies now!

Some years I hang the gingerbread people on a special tree, other times they hang on this garland in my kitchen

Some years I hang the gingerbread people on a special tree, other times they hang on this garland in my kitchen

     

Give and It Will Be Given to You

Union Station in the long line of cars

Union Station in the long line of cars

It was the last weekend before Christmas…  I was waiting in the endless line of cars at Union Station in Washington, DC to pick up our daughter, Jennifer.  She had traveled from New York City to spend the holiday with us.

When our five daughters were teenagers I started the tradition of taking each one individually to pick out their Christmas gift.  It served a threefold purpose; 1. Teenage girls wanted clothes, but are impossible to please. If they picked it- they would like it. 2. It gave quality time with each daughter. 3. There were no fights.  Actually, the tradition of going separately started because of past history of fighting while shopping.

Each daughter got the same amount of money- and still do.  Some spend theirs at thrift stores (to extend the amount of items received), while others choose one item for the allotted amount from a nice store.

Well, I had Jennifer’s amount tucked safely in my purse like a golden nugget.  We were going shopping with it.  I had no other money coming in before Christmas so this had to be saved for her.  All the other daughters had already shopped for their gifts.

Horns were honking.  People were hollering out of their car windows.  God forbid, there was a car who had broken down at the front of the line- holding everyone up.  A tow truck was backing up toward it.  I could see people flailing their arms at the poor guy with the broken down car.

Then I saw him running down the line of cars…  He must have passed 30 cars and then he stopped to knock on my window. I rolled the window down. “Ma’am, my car broke down and the tow truck driver won’t help me unless I give him money.  I don’t have any.  Do you by chance have the amount I need?”  Why in the world did he pick my car?!  It was probably the worst looking car in the whole line up and the oldest!  I was missing a hub cap.  The top of the car’s paint was chipped off and peeling.  There was a dent…  All I could think was, “Lord, not my golden nugget saved for Jennifer?! You wouldn’t ask for that would You?”

Reluctantly, I reached inside my purse and pulled out Jennifer’s gift money and gave it to the desperate man.  He said, “Thank you.  My mom is dying of cancer.  She is waiting up there for me by the car.”  I said, “I’ll pray for your mom!”  He received the prayer, we fist pounded and then he ran to the top of the line.

About that time I saw Jennifer waving at me. She got in the car… I was so sad I had used her money.  After arriving home Dale said to me, “Sharon, someone gave us an envelope this morning at church.”

I opened it and inside was the EXACT amount that I had given to the guy in line at Union Station!

Jesus?!?!  I was stunned.  Then the verse came to my mind, “Give and it will be given to you, shaken down and running over. . . “ The next day there was money on our counter when we got home that wasn’t there when we left! Jesus?!!

When we give as unto the Lord He always takes care of His peopleHe always provides what we need.  What an honor to give to people in need!  What an honor to give to ministries who are bringing in the lost and encouraging believers to the highest call of God in Christ Jesus.  I am blessed beyond words to be a speaker for Proverbs 31 Ministries.  And now, we are doing an end of year giving campaign.

Would you consider giving to Proverbs 31 ministries? Maybe even making a monthly pledge?

Your support will help make ministry possible to over two million people through social media, Bible studies, and many other avenues. He will bless you for your contribution!  He is faithful to His word. I’ve experienced His faithfulness!

“Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”  Luke 6:38 (ESV)

     

Make a Plan to Stay Out of Trouble

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I love sitting by the fire

… Hot pizza oozing with five yummy cheeses was twenty minutes from my door. The people working in our barn deserved a feast.  I on the other hand, shouldn’t eat pizza.

I mean I could eat the whole thing, by myself!  Really, I could! That’s the problem.

Quickly, I knew I had to make a plan to stay out of trouble.

I whipped up a healthy organic salad and toasted a piece of sprouted grain bread and ate it- fast.  The smell of fresh, hot pizza filled the kitchen- but I wasn’t tempted.  No sir-ee. My plan had worked. I didn’t eat one slice!

After lunch, I was gloating over my victory and the Lord whispered to my heart, “If only you could be as quick to make a plan to stay out of trouble when other sin crouches at your door!”

Ouch!

You’re right, Lord!

I don’t know about you, but I do that which I know I shouldn’t and don’t do what I should!  AH!!

Speaking of making a plan to stay out of trouble- Joseph is the man with the plan (read it in Genesis 39).  He’s handsome, young, and in charge of Potiphar’s entire estate, except for his wife.  But when Potiphar is not around, his wife tempts Joseph to go to bed with her!  What does this man of God do?? He doesn’t yield to the temptation and He makes a plan to keep out of trouble. 

1. He makes sure he isn’t in the house alone with her, ever!

She got so mad at him that she lied to her husband and told him that Joseph had attempted to make her go to bed with him!  Because of her lie- Joseph was sent to prison!!

Oh my goodness, what a story.

In the end Joseph gets out of prison and is put in charge of ALL OF EGYPT!

What a testimony to us allOh that all men (and women) would be as strong as Joseph and make a plan to keep out of trouble by not going online and looking at things they shouldn’t or by yielding to other temptations that lead to sexual sin!

If we don’t make a plan to keep out of trouble, the sin that crouches at our door will be too hard to resist!

While I was contemplating all of this… one of the guys working in the barn came in to get warm by the fire.  He was once a drug addict.  I asked him, “What’s your plan to keep out of trouble when temptation knocks on your door?”

He said, “First I have to stay in the presence of the Lord, all the time. Secondly, I can never allow myself to become idle or complacent. Thirdly, when temptation comes, I call a recovered addict who has walked a similar journey- who is also saved by the blood of Jesus… and they talk me out of the ridiculous thoughts of yielding to sin that so easily enslaves.

He left, I stared at my fire and prayed.  I asked the Lord to reveal to me the sin which so easily enslaves me.  Then, I wrote down a few plans on how to stay out of trouble.

1.  Next time sin is crouching at your door, make sure that your plan is in place.

Make a plan to keep out of trouble!

There were extra slices of pizza left after lunch.  Someone asked if they could take them to church, I said- “Please do!”  I need no temptation knocking on my door!

Genesis 4:7 tells us, “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up?  And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.”

Winner of Gingerbread kit is Sarah who posted on 11/25/2014 at 12:16 PM! Email me your address!

     

My Praise is a Weapon

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Paul and Silas had been beaten with with rods, put into a prison inner cell and stocks fastened on thier feet. It was midnight, oh yeah it was midnight and they starting praying and singing to God, and the other prisoners were listening( people are listening to us in our midnight hour).

Suddenly there was a great earthquake, it shook the foundation of the prison; and immediately all the doors were opened and EVERYONE’S chains were loosed.

Haha!!! I’m running around the kitchen, this is sooo good.

The keeper of the prison comes in, sees all the prisoners loose and falls down trembling before Paul and Silas saying, “What must I do to be saved?” They said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.” He  washed their stripes and his whole family were baptized that very hour! Acts 16:25

In our midnight hour, praise is a weapon!!! It breaks chains and releases prisoners!!!

This video was filmed in our barn!! Turn your sound all the way up!

Winner from last weeks drawing is Sharon  who posted on2014/11/18 at 7:57 PM. Email me your address!!

I love Thanksgiving! Our organic, range free turkey is over 24 pounds this year! Here’s my recipe for making the perfect turkey! I’m also making my famous Homemade Marshmallow Fruit Salad and other yummies! When our  five daughters were little they used to dress up like pilgrims for Thanksgiving Day. Oh the memories, I love them.

Another Thanksgiving memory we have is making gingerbread houses the day after Thanksgiving. Click here to see last years! What’s your favorite memory of Thanksgiving? Your comment will enter your name to win a free gingerbread house kit.

thanksgiving

 

They're decorate the window at my kitchen sink

Gingerbread creations decorate window at my kitchen sink- one on end is a nativity

Winner of this weeks drawing will win this gingerbread house kit! Winner drawn next week.

Winner of this weeks drawing will win this gingerbread house kit! Winner drawn next week.