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Friday, December 23, 2016

A Guest Blogger!

The following was shared with us by a friend, Robin Gonzales. With her permission we are posting it here. We pray that you have a most blessed Christ-mas celebration.

Christ-mas is such a special Holy-day for our family. My husband and I came from distant families who didn't know Jesus. We both learned of His Precious Love, Life and Sacrifice for us as youth. From the day I gave my entire being to my Jehovah Raah, I have shared the Good News with other young people and children. That led me to becoming a Youth and Children's Pastor for more than 20 years. Today we are Foster Parenting. What a joy it is to continue sharing His Peace and Hope with 2 more young people!

Where am I going with this, you may be asking? Well, what I found is that working with young people brings many nuggets of knowledge. Interestingly, bringing Truth down to an easier basic understanding is sometimes more profound than my Theology courses. So, I am coming to you today as a Child of God. Yes, that's a double entendre. 

~He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his STRIPES you have been healed.  1 Peter 2:24 
~The LORD is my SHEPHERD; I shall not want.  Psalm 23:1

The candy cane is a long-time Christmas tradition. Everywhere we look we see them. They are used as decorations on Christmas trees and, of course, they are one of the most popular of all Christmas treats.

I have heard several stories about the history and meaning of the candy cane. I don't know if they are true, but I do think that the candy cane can teach us a few things about the true meaning of Christmas.

The candy cane is mostly white. White is a symbol of purity. That should remind us that Jesus was the spotless Lamb of God and that because He came to be the sacrifice for our sin, we can become as white as snow.  

As you know, the candy cane has three red stripes.  The Bible tells us that before He was crucified, Jesus was beaten with a whip which made blood-red stripes across his back. The Bible says that we are healed by those stripes. The stripes on the candy cane should remind us that Jesus suffered and died, so that we can have everlasting life.

To many people, the candy cane is a meaningless decoration seen at Christmas time or just a piece of candy to be eaten and enjoyed. I hope that this year, every time you see a candy cane, you will be reminded of the true meaning of Christmas.

We have a couple of yearly things that we do to celebrate Jesus as a family. One of them is family Communion that our oldest son (16) has led for about 4 years. This year our church is doing a Christmas service with Communion. So, we'd told the kids that we would just do it at church this year. We weren't expecting the outrage & protests! As you've guessed family Communion will continue to be a part of our day. The other thing that we have done since the kids were quite little was to have a dessert for breakfast. We started with a basic birthday cake. Then our son (he has an Evangelist's heart) started talking to me about how we could make it more about Jesus and what He came to do for us. Therefore, we decided to make desserts that have 3 layers. 1 is a brown or black layer for our Sin. Another layer is red for His Blood shed for us. The final layer is white for Him making us Pure & White as snow. :-) Regardless of the dessert, we always sing Happy Birthday Jesus at the beginning of our day. Presents don't happen until after Church or our own Family worship time. 

This year, Tristan chose a Strawberry Pretzel "Salad". I thought y'all might like the recipe. It's soo yummy! 

Here's a link to a video of how to make it. Goodness, my mouth is watering thinking about it!

Lord, we thank you that Jesus is the Good Shepherd who keeps us from harm. We thank you that because of His suffering and death on the cross, we have life everlasting.  Help us to remember that we find the true meaning of Christmas in Him! 


May you be Abundantly Blessed! 

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