Sunday, November 27, 2011

What Christmas Is Really About

If I am being truthful, Christmas is not my favorite holiday. In fact, it's probably my least favorite. For a number of years, I struggled with depression during the holidays. One year I even took the decorations back down before Christmas Day actually arrived.

The great stress of attending parties and buying gifts, the whole commercialization of it gets to me at some point, and I begin to identify with Charlie Brown. "Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?"


Yet every year, God reaches down to give me one moment that reminds me of the true purpose of Christmas. I like to think of this moment as God's little surprise because I never know when it will come or from where. It could be a Christmas play, a television program, a song I hear sung. Whatever it is, it always comes. Often, it is from something inconsequential. Nevertheless, it reaches right in and touches my heart.

Last evening, I watched "A Muppet Christmas Carol" from 1992. It's a cutesy rendition of the familiar tale of Old Ebenezer Scrooge starring actor Michael Caine and a slew of recognizable Muppet characters. In this version, Scrooge's assistant, Bob Cratchit, is played by none other than Kermit the Frog. Tiny Tim is Kermit's son, one of four children of he and Ms. Piggy.

["Okay," you say, "Where ARE you going with this?" Just hang in here!]

Forget the fact that a frog and a pig having both pig children and frog children threw me for a loop. It was during a scene where Old Scrooge is viewing Christmas Present; Bob Cratchit's family is gathered around their meager table; that I had my moment for this year. Bob Cratchit talks to his wife about Tiny Tim's behavior at the church service and then he makes the following statement, "...that we might remember the One who made the lame to walk and the blind to see." *

I'm telling you I almost leaped off the couch. There before me, in the form of a silly children's movie, was the truth of the season. It's not about getting gifts. It's not even about giving gifts. It's not lights or decorations, trees, food, family. None of that. It's not a baby in a manger, or shepherds in the field, or wise men on camels.

Instead, Christmas is the Savior of the world and the hand of a loving God reaching down from heaven's grandeur to heal man - spiritually, physically, emotionally, financially. It's God who is greater, higher, stronger,wiser, and more powerful, being willing and able to do every word of what He's promised. It's God's mercy, God's grace, and God's omnipotent ability come to earth to correct the destruction of evil and destroy the works of the devil. (1Jn 3:8)

Christmas is remembering the One who made the lame to walk and the blind to see!Oh, how I needed to hear that this year, and I will never forget it. Thanks, God!



*I did look for a video online of this scene and the closest I could find was the song they sang after (above). This quote is from my memory of it and so could be off by a word or two.

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Suzanne
Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sweet Potato Casserole

Well, it's Thanksgiving again. It's hard to believe another year has come and gone. I have much to be thankful for. God has been good to me, and I believe He has even better things planned for next year.

For one thing, my first fiction novel will be coming out! Look for news about that following Christmas. Another book close to my heart will be out in the week or so, Life Lessons From Grandparents.

This recipe is one that has been in my family as long as I can remember. There are lots of versions on the internet, but I believe this one is the best!

Another Great Thanksgiving Recipe:
My Grandmother's Cornbread Dressing

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FILLING:
3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1/3 stick butter
2 eggs
1 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk

TOPPING:
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup self-rising flour
1 cup pecans, chopped
1/3 stick butter, melted

Mix filling ingredients. Place in casserole baking dish. Mix topping (will be chunky). Crumble over filling. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.

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Suzanne
Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Sure


sure [shoor, shur] sur·er, sur·est, adverb, adjective
1. free from doubt as to the reliability, character, action, etc., of something: to be sure of one's data. 2. confident, as of something expected: sure of success. 3. convinced, fully persuaded, or positive: to be sure of a person's guilt. 4. assured or certain beyond question: a sure victory. 5. worthy of confidence; reliable; stable: a sure messenger.

I was listening to a worship song this morning and the word "sure" leaped out at me from the bridge. It goes:

My soul secure
Your promise sure
Your love endures...always. *

Instantly, the verse from Romans 4:16 rose up in my spirit.


Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed.

A sure promise! You and I are "all the seed" it is talking about here. Jesus has given us a sure promise, one that cannot be taken away. Instead, it is secure, reliable, and free from doubt.

Jesus, as Peter began to sink in the water, stretched out his hand to him and asked the question, "Wherefore didst thou doubt?" I'd like to ask you this same question today.

Wherefore did you doubt?

Okay, that question seems archaic, but it's answer is life changing. Why do we doubt when the promise is SURE to us? Instead we are to come boldly to the throne asking for help. (Heb 4:16) Why? Because we know our heavenly Father is there to help us.

Peter sank, not because of the size of the waves or the strength of the wind, he sank because he got his eyes off the sure promise. He stopped looking at Jesus.

But you know, the Word of God doesn't stop there. Paul in the book of Timothy refers to a "sure foundation."

Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure... (2Ti 2:19)

And again, in Hebrews the word "sure" returns in talking about hope.


Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast... (Heb 6:19)

A sure and stedfast hope. A sure promise. A sure foundation.

"Excuse me, I'm just going to talk to my daddy and he'll fix it."

Our heavenly Father has promised to answer when we call on him with a sincere heart. When we fix our eyes on His Word and speak faith to our situation, He said HE WILL do it. It's really that simple! (Jn 14:14)

Suddenly we're not like the sea, tossed and turned, by every wind of doctrine. (Jas 1:6) We're faith-filled confident Christians. We "know whom we have believed and are persuaded that He is able to keep it." (2Ti 1:12, author's paraphrase) We expect the answer because of the reliability of Him in whom we believe.

We are sure! Hallelujah!


* "For Who You Are" by Hillsong.

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Suzanne
Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

*Don't forget my blog posts from 2009 are now available as an ebook! Life, God, and Photography Volume 1.

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