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November 2009
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December 2009

Exchanging More than Cookies

 Persian Cookies
This weekend I was blessed once again to be with my best friends, this time to make and exchange Christmas cookies.  We all have such busy lives, and it is a rare treat to get together and just chat and eat and bake.

Of course, we exchanged so much more than cookies.  The kids exchanged powdered sugar pats on the back, we exchanged updates on the family, recipes, and some sad stories of loss of loved ones.  And of course we shared warm hugs, warm food, love and acceptance.

So, in the spirit of sharing, I share this Persian Cookie recipe with you.  I usually add some sliced almonds on the top before baking.  Also, you may have to play with the oven temperature and timing, as we noticed some real variations among ovens.

I sincerely wish you a wonderful holiday season.  Remember to take time out to enjoy the season and to share the story of the first Christmas with the kids, grandkids and anyone who will listen! 

Blessings to you and your families,

~Jen


Snow Day

Snow Day bw He gives snow like wool.  He scatters the frost like ashes.  He casts out His ice like morsels.  Who can stand before His cold? ~Psalm 147:16

Who indeed can stand before the Lord's awesome cold?  Weather is one of those everyday expressions of God's power and awesome wonder.  What seems more magical in these cynical and jaded days than a silent snow storm?  Of course, the aftermath of shoveling and wet gloves and boot puddles are not so magical for parents.  I was working on my new illustration depicting just that when the 'awesome' snow arrived.  Briana had been praying for it for days, faithfully wearing her pajamas inside out and backward with a spoon under her pillow.  It didn't end up canceling church or school and made a nice backdrop to our 'Breakfast with Santa' boyscout event and tree decorating.  I'll be adding color and finishing up my illustration in the next few days.

Looking at the frosty landscape, it is hard to believe temperatures were in the 60's just a few days ago.  I admit I'm not as big a fan of snow as I used to be, but I do enjoy the changing seasons.  I doubt we'll ever celebrate Christmas where the palm trees sway, although a midwinter visit to Nana in Florida might be nice!

As you enjoy the snow days to come (or enjoy mine vicariously), remember that Jesus has washed us white and clean as snow.  Sin has left us stained, but his holy sacrifice has washed it all away and left us standing clean before God, our Heavenly Father.  What a wonderful gift, what a wonderful love!  If you don't know Jesus and haven't been washed clean -- there's no better time than today!  Simply believe that Jesus was the son of God and died to cleanse you of your sin.  Ask him be your Savior, to come into your life and to forgive you of your sins.  That's all it takes to be forgiven the debt of your sin and to receive Everlasting Life!  God bless you all as you enjoy this Advent season!

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  ~John 3:16

 


I Give Thanks for Family and Friends

Gather Us Together BestO give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.

And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory in thy praise.

Blessed be the LORD God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the LORD.  ~1 Chronicles 16:34-36 

Thanksgiving is such a 'homey' holiday, which is why it is one of my favorites.  On this Thanksgiving I was blessed to spend the day with my family and friends.  For many years it has been the same crowd at the same home with the same menu (more or less).  Rather than becoming boring, the sameness has elevated it to tradition status, providing continuity between 3 generations now.  And like the 'first' Thanksgiving, ours includes those born here and those from across the sea, all grateful to a loving God to be living in a land of freedom.

As Advent begins and we await the coming of the Savior, first at Christmas and again someday soon, I look forward to more time with family and friends and the joy that these gatherings bring.  My hope is that you, too, will be able to spend quality time with loved ones remembering the true reason behind this season, and not caught in traffic or malls.  We have a great witnessing opportunity during Advent, showing the love of Christ in all we say and do and in how we spend our time and money.  I pray this season brings you peace and joy, not the world's idea of peace and joy, but the true peace and joy of knowing a Saviour who loves you and forgives you and grants you life everlasting!