Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas Break

Woman to Woman Ministries will be taking a two week break from blogging in order to spend time with our families during the holiday season. We will be back on Monday, January 5th. The Woman to Woman Word Filled Wednesday Link Up will return on Wednesday, January 7th.

During the break, we will still be posting to social media, so please join us here:
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From our families to yours, we wish you a very Merry and Blessed Christmas!


God bless friends!

Friday, December 19, 2014

A Christmas Basket Full of Senses: Celebrating Christmas With Our Senses Part 2


A Christmas Basket Full of Senses 
Celebrating Christmas With Our Senses Part 2

Ahhh, the glorious gift of our senses to mark the celebration of a Savior that was born to this earth one glorious Christmas night.  The Wise Men knew the treasures our senses held as they placed their gifts before the child King.  It is my hope that I may find worship in every activity I do, that my senses soak in the present of His presence.  Join me on this journey of the senses, where God’s presence can be found in the little things that make this holiday “Holy”. 

The Sense of Taste and Smell: 

It is always wonderful to remember all the delicious treats that would be exchanged at Christmastime.  From the festive dishes that Grandma would spend all day making in the kitchen (especially her yummy dinner rolls whose smell would fill up the whole house) to the large array of chocolates, cookies, and desserts, all of it brings a smile to my face.  All the smells and tastes bring me home for the holidays.

There was the sweetest little lady at our church who would beg us younger girls (who never took the time when we had it) to spend a little time learning how to make such wonderful gifts of seasoned crackers, cinnamon candy, and other delightful treasures that were packaged up and given as gifts to the pastoral staff during the holidays.  Thankfully, Ms. Marie wrote her recipes down for us to pass on the gift to the next generation. 


Seasoned Crackers
1 (12 oz) pkg. Oyster crackers
1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing
½ tsp. Lemon Pepper
½-1 tsp. Dill Weed
½ tsp. Garlic powder
¾ cup oil

Combine oil, salad dressing, lemon pepper, dill weed, and garlic powder in a 9x13x2 pan.  Add crackers.  Stir until completely coated.  Bake at 250* for 45 minutes.  Stir every 15 minutes.  Pour onto cookie sheets until cool.

The Sense of Hearing

I remember as a young child, I could hardly wait to pull out the beloved Christmas record albums and begin listening to the Christmas sounds of the season.  I remember the scratching sound of the needle as it played across the record time after time.  I remember songs like, “Ho, Ho, Ho, It’s Christmas” and “You Are My Christmas, Carol”, along with the newest sensation at the time, “The Chipmunk’s Christmas".  Yet, none of these songs blessed my heart as the songs of old that talked of that Blessed Christmas Morn.  

I remember practicing “Away In  A Manger” with my Sunday School teacher, Miss Lynn.  We’d sing it over and over again, to get that second verse just perfect.  And, as usual, we’d have to hum a few lines that were forgotten in that verse we practiced so hard.  As I grew older, those precious songs would mean so much more to me to learn the meaning behind the words.  All of them proclaiming Christ’s birth and the sacrifice He would make for you and me.  What beautiful sounds to hear as children sing “O Little Town of Bethlehem”, missing the second line one more time, and bringing a smile to my face.

O Little Town of Bethlehem

O Little Town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie.
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light.
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in Thee tonight.

How silently, how silently, the wonderous gift is given.
So God imparts to human hearts the blessing of His heaven.
No ear may hear His coming, but in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive Him still,
The dear Christ enters in.
-Phillip Brooks

thecomfedpastor.wordpress.com

The Sense of Sight, Smell, and Touch

When I think of all the wonderful sights and smells of Christmas, my senses become overwhelmed!  The lights and the glitter, the bright packages under the tree, the hustle and bustle of crowded streets, and the fires all aglow all touch my heart this time of year.  I enjoy the smells of fir trees and sugar cookies, fresh snow and firewood burning in the fireplace.  But nothing reminds me more of the Christmas story than the candy cane.   The color, shape, smell, and taste remind me of God’s great love story to mankind.

The Story of the Candy Cane
madvapes.com
During the middle ages, mothers would use plain white sugar sticks to calm their fidgeting children during long mass services.  In 1670, a choirmaster in Cologne, Germany decided to bend the sugar treat to remind the children of the shepherd’s staff of those very first visitors to the manger the night Jesus was born.  They also were reminded that the songs they were singing in the choir were singing about the birth of the Good Shepherd.  As the children began to read, they noticed that by turning the candy cane upside down, you can form the letter “J”, the first letter in Jesus’ name.
metrovoice.net

Over the years this candy became of favorite throughout Europe and America.  Candy makers later added the colors of the red stripes to symbolize that Jesus was God’s gift of forgiveness and love.  They also added the peppermint taste  to represent our lives washed clean by God’s gift of grace.
-taken from “Creating Christmas Memories:  Traditions to Celebrate  With Family”

I challenge you this week to slow down and take it all in.  Live in the moments that we have now.  Use every minute to absorb the miracle of His birth through your senses and be a living example of worship to our King.
        

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Jehovah Sabaoth, the Lord of Hosts...

by Debi Baker

The phrase 'Jehovah Sabaoth' which means 'Lord of Hosts' is used well over 270 times in the Word of God.  'Host' is defined as a great number of something or an army.  The phrase 'Lord of Hosts' implies the idea of great power.  God has dominion over all of creation and that includes the angels, humans, stars, the sun, the moon, the animals and even Satan and his imps.  
photo credit

We read in 1 Samuel 17:8-11 NLT how Goliath taunted the Israelites.  "8 Goliath stood and shouted a taunt across to the Israelites.  'Why are you all coming out to fight?' he called.  'I am the Philistine champion, but you are only the servants of Saul.  Choose one man to come down here and fight me!  9 If he kills me, then we will be your slaves.  But if I kill him, you will be our slaves!  10 I defy the armies of Israel today!  Send me a man who will fight me!'  11 When Saul and the Israelites heard this, they were terrified and deeply shaken."

All of Saul's army was in fear of ONE giant of a man.  Does that make sense to you?  How can an entire army be afraid of one man, no matter his size?  I'll tell you how...because they were allowing themselves to be deceived by the devil.  Because Goliath looked big, the enemy let the imaginations of the army run wild and the warriors began to believe 'big equals better.'  These were God's people.  They were supposed to rely on HIM and not themselves or anyone or anything else!

Then i1  Samuel 17:45 NKJV, we find a young [probably around 12-13 years old] David boldly proclaiming to Goliath and all those around him, "45 You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin.  But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied."   

David was trusting not in himself but in the assurance that God was with him and He would be victorious because of GOD.  We all have giants in our life.  Those giants can cause us to fear and tremble...BUT...we need to remember 'Jehovah Sabaoth, the Lord of Hosts' is with us...He has our back.  There is NOTHING the enemy can do to us that can change that fact!   Goliath came before the army of Israel with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin.  David came before Goliath with GOD.  The use of weapons require ME to do the work of battle, but in God, it's not me, it's HIM!  No weapons are needed!!

This next statement I will make is so profound...it was given to us during Bible Study last night...

What is the worst case scenario concerning your giant?  If what you are afraid will happen does happen, what is the worst thing that could happen?  The answer to that is "With God, there is NO worst case scenario!"  There is nothing your giant can do to you that God can't handle!

When facing a giant in your life, remember this, you are too blessed to be distressed!

Face your giants with boldness the way David came before Goliath.  The world said David was crazy...but God...God intervened and David was victorious in His Name!!

Have a 'giant defeated' day!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Gingerbread Cookies with Royal Icing


Gingerbread Cookies:

Recipe courtesy of www.FoodNetwork.com
1 package sugar cookie mix
1 egg
1/2 cup  all-purpose flour
1/4 cup melted butter
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup dark molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Royal Icing:
2 large egg whites or 5 tablespoons meringue powder
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice or 1teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
Food coloring if desired

Directions for cookies:

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, blend all ingredients together and chill for up to 1 hour. Roll dough out on floured board about 1/8-inch thick. Cut desired shapes with cookie cutters and place onto sheet pan. Bake for 8 minutes in preheated oven.

Directions for Icing:

With a hand mixer, beat the egg whites with the lemon juice or extract until frothy. Add the sifted powdered sugar and beat on low speed until combined, smooth and shiny. Turn to high and beat for approximately 5 minutes until stiff and glossy. Add food coloring, if desired and transfer to a pastry bag to pipe onto cookies.

Monday, December 15, 2014

For the Gamer's Wife...

Does your play video games? Does it bother you?

My husband goes through phases. He plays video games regularly for a few months, then he tires of it and won't play for a few months. He is on his gaming phase right now.

I realized something one night while he was playing; I love when he plays video games!

Yep, you read right. I love when my husband plays video games. Why? Because I get to enjoy his happiness. I get to hear his laughter. I get to see him bonding with the kids. I get to snuggle next to him with a book as we both do something we enjoy.

Now, the video games my husband plays are family friendly and he plays with the kids. Our family loves Mario and sports games. It becomes a family activity, a time to bond and laugh together.

Does your #husband play #videogames? Here's some encouragement for the gamer's wife! #marriage

Is your husband a gamer? There are several types of gaming here.

  • First, we have the the kind like my husband. The one whose games are clean and friendly and it is a family affair. If this is your husband, embrace it! Enjoy it! Love it! Even play a game with your husband. My husband and I enjoy playing the old time Mario games when the kids go to bed. It becomes a date of sorts.
  • Second, we have the gamer who plays with his buddies. There is nothing wrong with this gamer. Just like your husband, you want time away to do things with your friends from time to time. This is his way of getting that time. If it becomes a problem in the family, where he is gone with his gaming buddies more than home, simply talk to him. Work out a schedule where he can get that time away occasionally.
  • Third, we have the gamer who plays games that might be inappropriate. If this is your husband, first pray over him. Lay hands on his gaming system and pray that God would allow only clean things to come out of it. Then talk to him in a calm way. Explain that you want your home to be Christ centered. Ask him if he could find games that are family friendly. If your husband is not yet a believer, spend extra time in prayer before going to him. If he balks at first, simply go back to prayer, don't push him.
Whatever type of gamer your husband is, don't nag him, embrace him.

Does your husband game?