Monday, December 19, 2016

Christmas Eve Dinner Advice: Don't Forget The ICE!

by Adrianne Lonsinger



A friend is hosting her first Christmas Eve dinner at her house and...she's pregnant.
She asked for advice, so I sent this:

"I don't know how formal you want to be but I tend to forget paper plates, plastic utensils, napkins, cups, etc.

I also always forget ice.
Every. Dang. Time... I forget ice.
You'd think I'd learn!

I did a pork loin roast two years ago. It was so simple. You can even buy them pre marinated and it cooks fast because it is smaller. Everyone loved it!

~Expect things to go wrong, because ...well...they will.

~Something will burn.

~You will be out of something you were certain you had enough of.

~Something will get broken.

Try to go with the flow and remember, ultimately... it's about family being together celebrating the birth of Our Lord...even if you end up having to order a pizza!




I was 6 months 'preggers'  when I decided to make an entire Christmas Eve dinner --  for the first time  -- ever -- by myself.

I wrote out a schedule.

~when to start preparing certain dishes
~when things needed to go into the oven

Praise Jesus -- my Mother In Law came over a bit early "Just in case" I needed some help.

She rescued the creamed spinach, saved the gravy, salvaged the cookies, and most importantly, emotionally reassured me 1000 times that everything would be fine.

So, the moral of the story, have backup.... focus on family...include 'WHEN TO TAKE THINGS OUT OF THE OVEN' on your schedule...and...


DON'T FORGET THE DANG ICE!"

Merry Christmas

----------------------------------------------------
About the Blog Guest Writer

Adrianne Lonsinger is a Stay at Home Mom of two and an Interior Designer.

Adrianne enjoys reading, baking, Bible Study, collecting recipe books, crafting, and she is a Home Staging Designer available to For Sale By Owner sellers or through your  Oklahoma City/Tulsa Metro Area Realtor.

Adie is taking reservations for private home and corporate seasonal design/staging and interior decor change.

ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE...
Let Adie help direct yours.




Thanks, Adie, for sharing your Christmas Dinner Advice.

A G A Ministries







Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Christmas Menu








THIS...

Is what Christmas at our house looks like in my head.

Along with a fantastic menu and lots of cookies...

THIS...

Is closer to the reality.


Some of us are having trouble with the world's idea of what Christmas should be this year.

Know I am praying for those of you...of us...that are having trouble "adulting" this season.

The Christ Child gave up His idea of what royalty should look like ( yes grammar police...deal with that sentence)!

A manger for feeding animals was never meant to hold a King...but this is how God chose to save us.

THIS...THIS...is Christ The King
The babe...The Son...

Hope is not found in your perfect decorations and lights...but is THIS... THIS VERY LIGHT that lay in that manger.

I pray you find peace even if this is a tough time for you just now. Whatever the loss, the disappointment, the fear, the lonliness, the pain-physical or spiritual- Christ the Savior was born...Christ the King was crucified, died, buried, conquered the grave...for you.

That child...the Christ...is Jesus the man who loves you and will never leave you. Cling to Him.
Joy to the World...the Prince of Peace knows you.

Do you know Him?
Not just do you sing and wassil and gift around who He is...the child in a manger...but do you know the truth of the Christ? Even prophets hundreds of years before his birth knew he would one day come to save us.

http://biblehub.com/isaiah/7-14.htm

THIS...
IS WHAT CHRISTMAS LOOKS LIKE...IN MY HEART...But most importantly...
In scripture...

Romans 10:9-13New American Standard Bible (NASB)

[a]that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;10 for with the heart a person believes, [b]resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, [c]resulting in salvation.11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be[d]disappointed.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13 for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

This year...won't YOU...
Crown HIM...Lord of ALL!

With love,
Kathy

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Why A Partridge?







A Partridge? A Pear Tree? Not Danny Bonaduce In a Bradford? Not David Cassidy?

Oh...my Bad!

The Twelve Days of Christmas
The Meaning Behind The Song

The twelve days of Christmas are the twelve days between Christmas Day, Dec. 25th, the birth of Jesus, and the Epiphany, Jan. 6th, the day Christians celebrate the arrival of the Magi (Wise Men) and the revelation of Christ as the light of the world.

The Christmas song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas" may sound silly and contrived to many of us. But it actually had its origins in religious symbolism - and with a serious purpose.

It dates from a time of religious persecution. The song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas," was written as a kind of secret catechism that could sing in public without fear of arrest - a learning or memory aid to Christians in fact.

The song can be taken at two levels of interpretation - the surface meaning, or the hidden meaning known only to the Christians involved.

 Each element is a code word for a religious truth.


1. The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus.
2. The two turtledoves are the Old and New Testaments.
3. Three French hens stand for faith, hope and love.
4. The four calling birds are the four Gospels.
5. The five gold rings recall the Hebrew Torah (Law), or the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament.
6. The six geese a-laying stand for the six days of creation.
7. The seven swans a-swimming represent the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.
8. The eight maids a-milking are the eight Beatitudes.
9. Nine ladies dancing are the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit.
10. The ten lords a-leaping are the Ten Commandments.
11. Eleven pipers piping represent the eleven faithful Apostles.
12. Twelve drummers drumming symbolize the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostles Creed.



If you think Jesus being symbolized as a partridge in a pear tree sounds blasphemous, remember:
"Jerusalem! Jerusalem! How often would I have sheltered thee under my wings, as a hen does her chicks, but thou wouldst not have it so." (Luke 13:34 and Matthew 23:34)
The "true love" in the song refers to God Himself.
The "me" receiving the gifts is every Christian.
So that "silly" song we sing at Christmas time has more meaning than some of us thought.

Merry Christmas and go put on some music!

K.L.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Who Are You Thanking?

What a wonderful thing it is to set aside a day to give Thanks.

May I just ask, however, why just a day?

And who are you Thanking?

I realize our National Holiday was established on the fourth Thursday of November by Franklin D. Roosevelt.
I know history teaches us it was celebrated (we think) in 1621 by the surviving Pilgrims after a harsh winter of 1620 along with Samoset, Squanto and some 50 other Wampanoag Indians.

I realize my family celebrates a reason to have pumpkin pie before Christmas!

What I want to know...again,

Who are you giving thanks to on the fourth Thursday in November?

Do you know the God of the Bible?
Do you know His son, Jesus Christ loves you and thought you were important enough to not just shed a tear over but shed every last drop of His blood so that you may be forgiven and live as Holy before a Holy God?

I am so thankful for many things today.

Thankful for the freedom to write this down and tell you I believe in Jesus Christ as my Savior. I am free also to pray for my President and leaders to guide us...even ones I did not vote for or agree with.

I am so thankful for the men and women who won't be home to have pumpkin pie with their families because they think my freedom is worth fighting and even dying for. (So I ended in a preposition...get over it! I'm free to do so!).

I am Thankful for the women who study God's word with me, the Pastors and teachers who mentor me on my walk with God and in His word. I am thankful for food and shelter and clothing and transportation. I am thankful for the mercy and forgiveness I have been given and beg to show the same to others.

 I am thankful for my family, my freedom and my future.

I am not telling you life is easy and happy, happy, joy, joy all the time. I am telling you to know... God loves us, He cares about what matters to you. He is worthy of Honor and Glory and Praise.

Thanks Be to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for His work on my behalf on the cross.
I thankfully accept it, and hope you will too.
See if starting today you can (during the rest of November) set aside, daily, a time to give thanks to God.

Jonah 2:9
But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the LORD."

Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Colossians 1:3
[ Thanksgiving and Prayer ] We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you,

1 Timothy 4:4
For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,


1 Timothy 2:1-7
I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— 2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time. 7And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a teacher of the true faith to the Gentiles.


I am Thankful for you...for taking time to read this.
Pass the stuffing...

As always...Just Thinkin',

Kathy

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Guilty

This...is the age of the Judge TV Show.

This is the age of lawsuits and demanding my rights.

Lawyers on TV offering to get you what's coming to you. 

Divorce for under 100 bucks  150 if with kids.  What???







Yes, we do have "rights".

Yes, you can demand that someone recognize "your" rights...after all, you have the right to be happy...right?

You have the right to be #1 in your life...right?

You have the right to get what you deserve...right?

Demanding "rights" won't make you...well...right.

Christian, your standard bearer gave up HIS Right as King to die for your right to be forgiven.
He asks us to forgive others.

If we claim Christ is our savior while harboring, nurturing, feeding a bitter unforgiving heart...we may need to reconsider the way God views "our rights".

Good news is not found in a gavel...a pounding demand of  "self" rights.
Good news was found in a single act of forgiveness when Christ dropped his right to rule in favor of forgiveness, sacrifice and love.

So...who deserves your anger?
Who are you mad at?
Who deserves your unforgiving heart?

A neighbor?
A child?
A boss?
A spouse?
An employee?
A politician? 

According to Christ...if you claim to be a follower of HIS...an image bearer...then no one does.

If you have any complaint against those whom God has called you to love...pick up your cross, not your gavel. The Bible tells us we are to forgive...not harbor a grudge. Hebrews 3:15 tells us not to harden our hearts as it is rebellion.

Christ was declared guilty in your place. Who then are you to hold someone guilty? If someone in your life has repented and asked for forgiveness, do not withhold that from them...your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 


Proverbs 19:11

A man's discretion makes him slow to anger, And it is his glory to overlook a transgression.
Matthew 6:14

For if you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you.
Matthew 18:33

Should you not have had mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had on you?'
1 Corinthians 13:4

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
2 Corinthians 2:7

So instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.
2 Corinthians 2:10

If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And if I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven it in the presence of Christ for your sake,
Ephesians 5:1

Be imitators of God, therefore, as beloved children,
Colossians 3:12

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
Colossians 3:13

Bear with each other and forgive any complaint you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.


...............
Put down your list of complaints...pick up forgiveness.

I need to clear the docket of my list of complaints today...In the case of me against (fill in the blank) CASE DISMISSED!

How about you?

(We never advocate staying in an unsafe environment or situation. Abuse is NOT the subject of this message. Seek immediate help for yourself or anyone you know is in a dangerous place)
-Prayer Team.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

FOCUS


The bible tells us to THINK ON THESE THINGS:
Whatever is lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy...

Do we do that?
Do we think the best of others? Do you LOOK for lovely?
Or, do we focus on that weakness or deficiency or inability of others in our life?
Do we focus on our own deficiency or weakness?
STOP THAT! 

I was reading a chapter in Ken Davis' book "Fully Alive" which made me evaluate what I focus on...(don't evaluate that poorly constructed last sentence, please).
Ken writes about a time in college when a speaker challenged the audience  NOT to lay down in bed that night and think about Brass Monkeys! Well, you guessed it! Ken no more than pulled the covers up and couldn't think of anything but brass monkeys (pg.122).

What is the focus in your marriage? 

On your job? 

With your kids? 

Your neighbors?

Do you zoom in on those things that bother you; the weakness, the deficiency, the habit...or even worse make comparisons? Making comparisons can lead you to be critical, envious, or leave you feeling superior -- Not the most pleasant attitudes to deal with, perhaps.

Are you missing the chance to see the wonderful qualities that are praiseworthy...excellent...
admirable...lovely in the lives of those around you?

No more brass monkey-pointless-obsessive-critical thinking! 

I sure hope those that love me don't put all my flaws under a magnifying glass. I don't wish to do that to those I love...but it sure is easy for us to go there. STOP THAT!

Philippians 4:8
 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

God calls us to LOVE
Scripture tells us that love is patient, kind, doesn't envy, doesn't boast, is not rude, not selfish (self seeking), not easily angered, doesn't keep score, doesn't delight in evil (deed or thought), is joyful with truth. Protects, hopes, trusts, perseveres (keep going). 
So...based on this definition of love...
DO I LOVE OTHERS? 
DO YOU?

What are you focusing on today? Brass monkeys or THESE THINGS?

May your thoughts be lovely...

I will work on this. 

YOU?

Just Thinkin',
Kathy
Focus on what is right!

Friday, September 2, 2016

When You Discover You're No Fun!


Watched a movie with the family...and made commentary as it unfolded. Yep...I have become the dreaded "movie talker"!

As I was analyzing the bad theology and social message of a movie that may or may not have included a talking rat and turtles with masks and weapons... I later received this gem:

"Mom you're no fun."

Of course I'm  not.

My job for 29 years, it seems,  has been to systematically suck the fun right out of this family by keeping 4 little buggers alive and out of mouse trap sticky pads, stop them from finger painting with diaper deposits,  teach them that vegetables are not the enemy, and idiots are not dating material, encouraging them not to squander money -time and talent, and mostly...ruin family movie nights by philosophical lamenting.

Apparently...I'm very good at my job of *funsucking (don't say that too fast please)!

As it turns out-I am supposed to always be smiling and only speaking or commenting with joyful insights and approval. Not just during movies...everyday all day, and then create cute Pinterest posts telling you all about the joys of parenting. Otherwise- back to the 'No Fun' Corner for me!

This is the part where you now imagine me singing 'this little light of mine....and so forth'!

How exactly did 'fun' become the default expectation in my job description?

What? You mean motherhood is not fun?

I never said that.

Did I mention being misunderstood also seems to be part of this gig?

I Love my kids! I dig being a mother...until...I don't.

At which point I usually run into a closet...slam the door sit still and completely lose my marbles... uttering words like "ungrateful lifesucking monsters"...or "pint sized pains in the..." ask me if I remember  'A Gentle Answer' Turns away wrath- at this particular moment...Umm...Nope!

And usually...mostly...okay often...my trip to the woodshed closet...ends by me realizing I am actually lacking in the 'fun' department and asking the God of all creation to help me be content...to laugh more...to be joyful.

Psalm 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”


I want to find joy in these little moments.
I want to take off  the Sherriff badge of 'Proper Town'.
God has given us a command to love one another and my tendancy to analyze everything as a wife, mom, Nana is often NO FUN!  This can put a damper on the way we love in this house.

When I dare confess this to God, He helps me clean up the sorry mess left behind from the giant pity party raves I throw for myself.

A bucket of 'forgive me'  and  mop of  grace is usually  a better sanitizing agent to clean the stains  a vomitus monolog of all the ways I am now offended by being told 'I'm no fun' leaves behind.
He  reminds me that I can move past my lousy reactions...not because of any brilliant religious cleaning solution I have come up with, or by a perfectly justifiable explanation to my family member for my short temper and hurt feelings,  but because He promises never to leave me...even when I blow it.
He gave me Christ as a picture of what forgiveness (given or received) without a guilt trip looks like.

Do I always like the wife/mom/grandma gig? Nope...

Do I always handle myself in a wise mommy Christian sort of way? Nope...

Am I saying not to train up a child in the way he should go? Nope...did not say that. We MUST train-teach...but don't harp. (Ouch)

Do I love these imperfect creatures who may or may not be able to rise up and call me blessed ( Ode to Proverbs 31)?
Yep!

Mommy -wife-sister-friend out there--may I tell you--even if you blew it today...in this very  minute...be still...I have a feeling...if you ask God to guide you... you're gonna make it just fine.

I am NEVER going to tell you to 'Let go and let God' (gag)...
I am telling you to Get a Grip...CHILL...Find a moment to enjoy this wild ride.

Spend 15 minutes just enjoying your family today and again tomorrow, even if family at your house means only a spouse, a child, several kiddos, a parent, a roomie...whatever your 'another' in the 'love one another' command may be.
Then keep trying again the next day...and the next...not by your might or strength, but by God's ability to help you.

I can't tell you it gets easier...just find the joyful moments and stay awhile.

But... if you ever do need to know how to get dried playdough out of the dogs tail...or why quiet with a toddler in the house means trouble...just call me! I can put my badge back on!

Sincerly,
The Mom Formerly Known As No Fun

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