Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Zoo Lights


Please turn off Playlist at bottom of blog before viewing.  

This year, Zoo Lights celebrated its 20th magical year with 3.5 million lights and more than 600 glimmering light displays. Zoo Lights has become a tradition for us and we always look forward to enjoying one of the largest holiday light shows in the country.  This year we were able to join our friends, the DeJongs and the DeKruifs to see Ralissa perform with her ASL group.  

The ASL (Sign Language) group did an outstanding job! It was so entertaining!

 The DeJong Girls

What a magical evening!

Have a Blessed Day,

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Gingerbread Christmas Win!

YESSSSS!  I Won!  
Thanks to Shannon at Cozy Home Scenes  for this lovely gift set to be
added to my Gingerbread Collection.  I was so tickled to have won this
and to have been able to see so many gingerbread ideas from other bloggers.
It was such a fun linky party!  

Have a Blessed Day,

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Whatever He says, do it!

     Wonderful Counselor

    The group of couplets in Isaiah  9:6 begins with the names of Jesus given to Him by His Father in Heaven before His Birth.  God starts with the name, Wonderful Counselor.   Pele meaning, miraculous, beyond our understanding,  and Counselor meaning, to advise, to consult, to guide.  Jesus, the only One who can advise and guide us in ways beyond our own understanding.

    Counseling is more than just imparting knowledge for we know that knowledge for knowledge sakes puffs up (1 Cor. 8:1.).    It leads to a big head verses a broken, burning heart.  We are to be not just hearers, but also to be doers of the Word of God (James 1:22-24.)  As in the Sema (which means “hearing”) of Deuteronomy 6, we are to listen and be careful to do…to know the Word of God, to memorize it, to do it, to teach it so that it penetrates our hearts, minds, and wills in all aspects of our lives.  The wisdom of Jesus counsel applied to our lives is nothing short of miraculous

    1.  Be brutally honest with the Counselor. We need to be honest and upfront, confessing our weaknesses.  Understand that nothing is hidden from God and that He can see right through us.   We see only a portion, but God sees everything.  Let Him get to the root of the problem. 
    2. Learn to hear the voice of the Counselor.  Hear HIM!  We must take time out our busy schedules to tune in to God’s voice.  Does He have our attention?  What would we think of a human counselor who would allow us only 5 minutes of his time?  We would most likely not get much counseling in, would we?  And yet, that is the amount of time we are willing to give the “Wonderful Counselor.”  Let’s be Marys instead of Marthas, too busy serving self and others to sit at the feet of Jesus.  Jesus wants our devotion to come before our service. 
    3. Make use of earthly counselors that are Godly.   Embrace the wisdom of God-given pastors and friends that are willing to counsel you with the WORD and who will speak the truth to you in love.  Others can often be more objective, factual and can have more understanding while we tend to be more emotional or are looking for the easy way out.  
    4. Do what the Counselor says.  Hear and obey even when it doesn’t make sense.   We must embrace His wisdom for our lives.  Getting out our exercise equipment and looking at it is not embracing fitness.  It is when we consistently use it that it pays benefits.  May we do the same with the Lord's wise counsel that we might embrace "fit" living.   We need to heed the advise of Jesus’ mother, Mary, when she said to the servants at the wedding at Cana, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”  John 2:5  Yes, when the wisdom of the counsel of Jesus is applied, miracles take place! 
    Please turn off the Playlist at bottom before playing.


      Have a Wonderful Day,

      Tuesday, December 13, 2011

      Our Prince of Peace or Not?

      Isaiah 9:6

      Have you heard the saying, "No peace? Know Jesus, Know Peace!"?

      How very sad it is during this Christmas Season that in many families there is no peace.  Conflict within families, unrealistic expectations, loneliness, sad memories, depression, discouragement, exhaustion and crankiness characterize what should be a season of  supreme joy and divine peace.   Christmas for some is anything but "Merry."  We have totally lost our focus.

      Let us quiet our hearts and remember that, "Jesus" the greatest gift given to mankind, is the reason for the season.  He left his heavenly home to come to earth with a goal of bringing us peace with God by reconciling us to the Father.  His death on the cross paid our sin debt in full and restored our relationship with God.   Even though God allows us to endure hardships and conflict while on this earth (John 16:33),  He does offer us divine peace--an inner security that fills our hears and minds no matter what is going on in our circumstances.

      How can we experience this kind of peace? 
       I believe by trusting in the following truths:

      God is in control of everything.  I am sure that some times when these seem out of control in our lives, we do wonder if He truly is in control.  But even when we cannot see His Hand, we can trust His Heart. (A favorite of my pastor's quotes.)  God is sovereign!  He will do what He will do.  

      God is with us (Immanuel).  He loves us and will see us through all circumstances no matter how difficult they may seem.  God will make a way where there seems to be no way.  

      To have peace, we must yield our lives to Him.  When we hold on to our ways and plans, we experience turmoil.  We need to let go and let God.  

      We have a limited perspective  and understanding of our circumstances and God's purposes for allowing them.  His goals for us are greater than our immediate comfort.  

      The Lord promises to work all things for our good.  He is continually acting to conform us to Christ's image.

      We must live in tune with God, walking in the Spirit and daily confessing and repenting of our sin. I tell my Sunday School students each week at the end of class, "Get your exercise this week, walk with God."

      Scripture is the foundation for peace.   It increases our trust in the Lord's goodness, assures us that He keeps His promises, and reminds us of His sovereignty over every situation. 

      Is your life characterized by a quiet assurance that guards your heart and mind all day long (Phil. 4: 6-7) or have stressful circumstances left you feeling depressed or agitated? 
       Try setting aside time each day to turn your eyes upon Jesus. 
       Then let Him (your choice) heal you heart and calm your spirit.  

      Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus - Michael W. Smith


      Have a Peaceful Day,

      Friday, December 9, 2011

      Foodie Friday - Sausage Ring

      Christmas Brunch Sausage Ring

      This wonderful recipe has been used in our family for years.  Mom Cornish, or my sister-in-law, Patty, would always host Christmas dinner, and I would host Christmas Brunch.  This sausage ring was always a favorite.  Recently I made this for breakfast when friends were visiting from Michigan.  The first day we served it with eggs and toast, and the second day, I served it along with popovers (Roger's subtle hint) laced with butter and jam.  Yumm!  

      2 lb. bulk sausage (I like Jimmy Dean)
      2 eggs, beaten
      2 tbsp. grated onion
      1 1/2 c. fine breadcrumbs (I use Italian flavor)
      1/4 c. chopped parsley

      Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly butter a 9" ring mold.  Mix ingredients well and pack into mold.  Bake 20 minutes, take from oven and pour off excess fat.  Bake 20 minutes more. Turn onto heated platter and fill with scrambled eggs (8-12 eggs).  For dinner sausage ring,  fill with buttered mashed potatoes.  This keeps well and is just as tasty warmed up the next day.  

      Have a blessed day,

      Thursday, December 8, 2011

      Gingerbread Farm & Specialties

      I did actually make this farm scene for a friend in New York who lived on a farm.  It did take quite some time, but it was such fun.  They truly loved it and were really surprised!  The same year I made mini gingerbread houses for my Sunday School students.  I guess I really got into the gingerbread that year.
      I purchased the book below and hope to try another creation for this Christmas.  

      Happy I did purchase it when I did.  I did check out internet prices on this book which were from $240.00 down to $45.00.  Wow, could not believe how pricey it has gotten.  How I would love to make Mr. MacGregor's Garden or the Nantucket Cottage.  

                                                 Joining Shannon at

      Have a Blessed Day,

      Wednesday, December 7, 2011

      More Gingerbread

      Gingerbread Party Time

      Gingerbread Mini Sampler Cross Stitch

      Mini Gingerbread Cookie Sheet
      Measuring Spoons
      Gingerbread Tray

      Have a Blessed Day,

      LACE - Treasured Friends

      No love, no friendship, can cross the path of our destiny without leaving some mark on it forever."   - Francois Mocuriac 

      Treasured Friends, The Lymans

      Whatever is..Lovely. Admirable. Cheerful. Encouraging. ~ LACE

      When I think of whatever is lovely, admirable, cheerful, and encouraging, I would have to think of this dear couple.  These cherished friends do continue to leave a mark on our lives.  How wonderful it was to have them with us from Michigan for the past five days.  Even though their trip to Arizona was to attend a funeral service of another dear friend, we found it a delight to be in their presence once again.  Our days together were marked by tears and sorrow, and laughter and encouragement.  We love them dearly!  

         What wonderful memories we have our our dear friend, Joe!  What a peace and comfort we have knowing his faith is now sight, and he is in the presence of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  We are thankful for the time we have had with him, and our lives have been enriched for having known him.  

      Joining Trish @ Lily-Rose Cottage for LACE 

      Have a blessed day,

      Friday, December 2, 2011

      Menu for the Month of December 2011

      Have a Blessed Day,

      Thursday, December 1, 2011

      Thankful Thursday

      I am thankful for:

      76. The Gift of my wonderfully helpful husband.  I so appreciate his doing the dishes after every meal.  This week he shampooed  the carpets and  spotlessly cleaned the bathrooms.  We have had very busy and challenging weeks lately and he has graciously picked up the slack.

      77.  The Gift of Cherished friendships.  Over the past couple of  months, we have experienced the loss of four cherished friends, one in New York and three in Arizona.  We are grateful for the times we have had with each of them and the impact they have had on our lives.  Our hearts are sorrowful, yet we know that they have been ushered into the presence of their Lord and Savior and free from the pain and suffering of this life.

      78.  The Gift of Salvation.  What a blessed time of year this is remembering the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Jesus means "The Lord is salvation," which describes what He came to do--to save us from the bondage of our sin through his death on our behalf.  The Babe in the manger came to die, to be the sacrificial lamb, for the payment of our sin debt.  How thankful I am for the day that I accepted His offer of forgiveness, and became His child.  How I long for His second return!

      79.   The Gift of the beauty, the sights, the sounds and smells of the Christmas season...twinkling lights, glittering ornaments, adorning ribbons, fragrant evergreens, sweet smelling candles, Christmas music and carols, cakes, pies, cookies, gingerbread, spiced cider, hot cocoa, Christmas teas and flavored coffees and creamers, eggnog, candy canes, chocolates, ribbon candy, homemade fudge, and confections.

      80.  The Gift of  our warm, cozy home that contains more than we need.  Truly our cup overflows with God's provision and goodness to us.


      Have a Blessed Day,
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