A Son is Given

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Isaiah 9:2-7 (NIV),  “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned… For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.”

Darkness. Not just turn off the lights, or lets go into that tunnel, or even a miner without his light, but spiritual darkness. Nothing is blacker, nothing is colder, nothing is as hopeless… until…

A SON was given. The Sun of God, the Light of the World, Immanuel (God with Us), was born in a manger. Not a hall of kings, the Hilton, or even a modest home of a blue collar worker, but in a stable, in a feed trough. “Humbly He came to the earth He created.”

What a great picture of love. A bonnie boy lying in those swaddling clothes. Two proud parents looking on in quiet admiration. Angels adoring, shepherds astonished, and a bright northern star shining in that dark night!

The angels sang a song that night… “Glory to God in the Highest!”

Does your day seem dark? Is your heart filled with sadness? Is hope an illusive thing? Take heart, take a peek into that manger, look on the Face of Hope!

A Son was given. He came, He lived, He showed us the Father’s love, He died, He rose again, He sits in Heaven, and He LOVES YOU!

Some Christmas Love

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Luke 2:8-15 (AKJ), “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, see, the angel of the Lord came on them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said to them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign to you; You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, 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, good will toward men.”

I think that is good news don’t you? God’s message that night? “Peace on earth and good will towards man.” Aren’t you glad is wasn’t “Chaos and trouble on earth and I sure am angry with men.”

He had reason to be irritated with His creation. He could have left us to our own wicked devices and allowed the world to “go to Hell in a hand basket.” However, His message that night wasn’t that we get what we deserved, no! It was “I love you.”

Sure He knew how wicked man had become, that’s why He made a way, from before the foundation of the worlds, to show us Ultimate Love. God hanging on a tree. His love poured out to us, just like the blood that flowed from His broken body.

With God, we may reap what we sow, but we don’t get what we deserve. I deserved Hell, how about you? But, I won’t see it! Nope, the closest thing to Hell I will ever experience was my life without Him, before I surrendered my heart to His love. That was bad enough.

Now that we know this “good news” and have experienced it first hand- go and tell someone else!

Isaiah 52:7 (NIV), “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

Book Review for “Christmas Traditions” Boxed Set/Christian Romance

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Christmas Traditions is a boxed set of Christian romance novella’s. Each one is a stand alone book, or the first book in separate series, and by different authors. All were good, some I loved! As a whole I give the set four stars. I really enjoyed them. Great read for the holidays. I can recommend for teens and up, though written for adults. Where I could, I wrote individual reviews for each book.

Missing Lights

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My Christmas tree has been up for about a week. I was pretty proud of myself, I did all homemade decorations this year, brown paper bag, and felt hearts, applesauce and cinnamon ornaments, newspaper paper chain, and some green and red handprints of my grandchildren. Something happened between the day I finished and now, a strand of lights has a short so sometimes they are on, and sometimes they are off (no, those were not homemade). My husband mentioned that I had a bald spot from the front window, and it is very noticeable from the living room as well. I was pretty bummed, but not enough to take everything off and start over with a new strand.

I got to thinking how we are like those lights. It takes everyone in the strand to light up to make the tree beautiful. With modern technology, the days are over that when one light burnt out the whole strand, but you can still notice that one dark spot on the tree. With a whole strand shorting out, there are huge dark spots. You can’t notice as much with the lights on, but when I shut off the lights and it is dark outside, my favorite time to look at the tree, there they are…

One light not shining is sad, many lights not shining is darkness.

Matthew 5:16 (NIV), “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Matthew 5:14 (Aramaic Bible in Plain English), “You are the light of the world. You cannot hide a city that has been built upon a mountain.”

Just like each one of those little white sparkling lights on my tree, each one of us is important.

Let your light shine!

Mary Did You Know?

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One of my favorite Christmas songs is “Mary Did You Know” so over the years I have pondered that very question and thought about what it must have been like to be the mother of “Immanuel,” God with us.

In the book of Luke we are introduced to this young woman named Mary. She is engaged to Joseph. Gabriel, an angel of the Lord visits her and shares these words, “Greetings to you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you. Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus. He will be great and be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, His kingdom will never end. The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you so the Holy One born to you will be called the Son of God.”

In the book of Matthew, her fiancé, Joseph, also gets a visit from Gabriel. He had been trying to figure out a way to call off the engagement without bringing shame to Mary. The angel¬ tells Joseph, “Don’t put Mary away. 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.”

The name Jesus in Hebrew means “Savior.”

The night Jesus was born in that animal shelter a great multitude of angels appear to the humble shepherds and tell them, “Unto you is born this day a Savior.” When they go to see the child, they share all that the angels told them with Mary and Joseph.
At the temple for Jesus’ dedication, two witnesses speak of who He was. Simeon had been promised by the Lord that he wouldn’t die before seeing the Messiah. When Mary and Joseph bring their little one into the temple, he gathers the baby into his arms and says, “Now Lord, you can let Your bond servant depart in peace according to Your word. For my eyes have seen Your salvation. Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples. A light of revelation to the Gentiles and the Glory of Your people.”

He goes on to share with Mary, “Behold this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel and for a sign to be opposed- and a sword will pierce even your own soul.”

The other witness at the temple is the prophetess Anna, who lives at the temple, worshipping, fasting and praying continually. She speaks to the parents of redemption in Jerusalem.

Mary at all of these things spoken to her by Gabriel, her cousin Elizabeth, the Shepherds, the Wiremen, Simeon, and Anna, treasures them and ponders them in her heart.

So, back to our question: Mary (and Joseph) did you know? I would have to say, “yes” they did. Maybe not everything, God doesn’t work that way. He expects us to live by faith after all. But those two knew who Jesus was, knew He was Holy, knew He was “God with Us.” What an awesome and awful responsibility! Yes, an honor, and yes, Mary is blessed, but think about it. We are so paranoid, partially thanks to people like Sigmund Freud, that we are going to mess up our kids. That somehow we are going to not be strong enough, soft enough, give the right advice, give the right gifts, spend enough time, the list is long, and that they won’t be who they are supposed to be. What if you had been in Mary’s shoes?

Clearly, scripture tells us that she pondered these things in her heart. It doesn’t tell us that she worried, or fretted, or ended up being some psychotic overprotective parent. The only time we read about her experiencing any anxiety is when they left Jerusalem without Him and didn’t find Him for three days. Even Jesus at that time, age twelve, expected His parents to understand that He had work to do.
Why is important to know that Mary and Joseph had an understanding of who their little one was? Because we have all been given the same task, as parents, we have been given a child to raise. Granted they aren’t deity, though we sometimes think that way in our own hearts, but they each have a purpose and God has destined them for great things. Should that stress us out? No. We should “treasure it up and ponder it in our hearts” as Mary did. Why did God choose her? The only answer I have for that is that He knew she was the best person for that job.

Isn’t that why he chose you?

It isn’t a mistake that you have the children that you do. He chose you. You are the best person for the job.

Walk in faith. Trust God and be led by His Spirit.

Your children, just like Jesus, are destined for greatness!

“Christmas in Snow Valley”: Blog Tour and Review

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Christmas in Snow Valley is a boxed set coming out just in time for your Holiday reading. Six “Clean Romances” that are well written and full on Christmas fun.

About the books:
Snow Valley, Montana, is a small community with the tradition of doing Christmas big. Festivities begin with tree lighting in the town square the day after Thanksgiving and continue until the culminating romantic Christmas Ball. From the Polar Express to a Winter Carnival, there’s something for every wonder-filled child—and every couple who’s in love—or about to be.

An Unexpected Kiss by Cindy Roland Anderson
Lucy Phillips doesn’t want to spend her Christmas vacation dodging her ex-boyfriend, so when he turns up at the airport to give her a ride home, Lucy panics and asks a complete stranger to kiss her. Although the kiss is incredible, Lucy never expects to see the guy again. Is it bad luck or destiny when Lucy comes down with a sore throat and the new doctor in Snow Valley is none other than the guy she kissed at the airport?

Feels Like Love by Jeanette Lewis
Christmas in Snow Valley is the perfect way for April Winston to introduce her city slicker fiancé, Scott Mecham, to life on a farm. If only Wade Hadley, hometown boy and high school sweetheart, will cooperate! But Wade has no intention of letting April go without a fight. This Christmas, Wade is determined to overcome their painful past and show April that she already has what she’s been seeking all along.

Full Court Devotion by Cami Checketts
Kazlyn is too busy with her schooling and future plans to enjoy life, let alone fall in love with a man who has heartbreak written all over him. Tyrese Hamilton, a college basketball star and major heartthrob, is intrigued when Kazlyn doesn’t pursue him or even seem interested. Ty’s career is in jeopardy, and he needs a miracle and Kazlyn to save him.

The Christmas Eve Kiss by Taylor Hart
When Molly O’Hare gets a prediction that she will kiss her true love on Christmas Eve, she thinks it’s utterly ridiculous. But when she gets teamed up with Kevin Snow, aka her ex-boyfriend, to decorate a Christmas tree, things start to change. Too bad getting over the past is hard and seeing him kiss another girl is even harder. Now Molly is left with a choice—run away from home and heartbreak or let Christmas work out a miracle all of its own.

Risking it all for Love by Award-Winning author, Kimberley Montpetit
Ever since her high school boyfriend’s death from a car accident three years earlier, Jessica Mason and her hometown of Snow Valley, Montana with all its awful memories have NOT been compatible. Running away to New Orleans on a ballet scholarship, Jessica cringes when she thinks about confronting Pastor John and the community church–she doesn’t want to talk about God, not after He took Michael, the boy she was going to marry ever since third grade.

In the local scene of funky New Orleans, Jessica seeks out Madame LaBlanc, hoping Michael will absolve her of her guilt the night of the car accident in a seance, but the spirit world is silent and she fears the grief will drown her.

Finally succumbing to family pressure, Jessica reluctantly returns for Christmas – and the little town of Snow Valley does Christmas BIG. When she visits Michael’s grave in the church yard, Jessica is shocked to meet handsome James Douglas, Pastor John’s nephew, who’s studying for the ministry. No, she is NOT going to be attracted to someone who wants to be a preacher! Definitely not compatible! But James Douglas is unlike any minister-in-training she’s ever met. James can not only dish back Jessica’s finely-tuned sarcasm but understands grief all too well, turning Jessica’s world upside down.

Can Jessica forgive herself for that terrible, fateful night? Can she take another risk on love?

Blue Christmas by Lucy McConnell

As head of Snow Valley hospital’s fundraising effort, Paisley Hackett barely has time to organize the craft show, cookie decorating party, and the annual Christmas Ball. What she doesn’t have time for is falling in love with Clay Jett, the incredibly handsome bass player who sweeps into town. She’s been burned by a tourist romance before and, with everything going on, Paisley will have to work overtime to protect her heart from Clay and his swoon-worthy ballads.

How the project came about:
“It’s amazing how one seemingly small decision can make a huge impact on a person’s life. You see, for whatever reason, five of the authors decided not to order the lunch provided at a local writing conference. This left us standing in the hotel lobby, with growling stomachs, looking for a place to eat. We didn’t all know each other, but we clumped together as if Fate wrapped her arms around us and said, “Pay attention.”

There was a small bakery across the parking lot and we ended up eating delicious bread and brownies and discussing the idea of collaborating on a box set. The next week, we set up a video chat, including Kimberley who lives in New Mexico, and Snow Valley grew from there. During the time we’ve been writing and editing, we’ve all had personal setbacks, be it losing a loved one, personal injury, or work catastrophes; but the books poured out and the anthology turned out better than even we could have foreseen on that fateful day in a Provo bakery.” ~Christina Dymock

My Review: I was given a copy of this set in exchange for an honest review. This is a great set of Christmas Romances. Six books, six couples, six Christmas stories, all set in Snow Valley, Montana. These books are “clean romance” with heartwarming Christmas tales. Each story is by a different author and the main characters are different., but they are all set in Snow Valley, Montana and share a few Characters, like Pastor John, and the same places and events Snow Valley is the place to be if you love Christmas! Parade, tree lighting, gingerbread house competition, Polar Express train rides, carnival, fireworks, and the Christmas Ball all take place during these stories. I give the set four stars. I really liked them!

ebook version of the boxed set can be purchased for a limited time for .99 cents at these locations,
Amazon, iTunes, barnes and noble, smashwords, and kobo!

I came across this Christmas poem and just loved it. Now I am sharing it with you all. Be blessed and be a blessing this Christmas!

Not Only Christmas Day

Lord, this is my prayer
Not only on Christmas Day
But until I see You face to face
May I live my life this way:

Just like the baby Jesus
I ever hope to be,
Resting in Your loving arms
Trusting in Your sovereignty.

And like the growing Christ child
In wisdom daily learning,
May I ever seek to know You
With my mind and spirit yearning.

Like the Son so faithful
Let me follow in Your light,
Meek and bold, humble and strong
Not afraid to face the night.

Nor cowardly to suffer
And stand for truth alone,
Knowing that Your kingdom
Awaits my going home.

Not afraid to sacrifice
Though great may be the cost,
Mindful how You rescued me
From broken-hearted loss.

Like my risen Savior
The babe, the child, the Son,
May my life forever speak
Of who You are and all You’ve done.

So while this world rejoices
And celebrates Your birth,
I treasure You, the greatest gift
Unequaled in Your worth.

I long to hear the same words
That welcomed home Your Son,
“Come, good and faithful servant,”
Your Master says, “Well done.”

And may heaven welcome others
Who will join with me in praise
Because I lived for Jesus Christ
Not only Christmas Day

— Mary Fairchild