Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Santa Claus, Jesus and Being Shy

Funny name for a blog post but sometimes things just hit me different than everybody else.  Here is a perfect example.

Sunday our pastor preached an awesome sermon on Hebrews 4:14 -16 and 5:1-4. 

Here is the scripture, check it out:

4:14 Inasmuch then as we [believers] have a great High Priest who has [already ascended and] passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession [of faith and cling tenaciously to our absolute trust in Him as Savior]. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize and understand our weaknesses and temptation, but One who has been tempted [knowing exactly how it feels to be human] in every respect as we are, yet without [committing any] sin. 16 Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God's gracious favor] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment].

5:1 For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed [to act] on behalf of men in things relating to God, so that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2 He is able to deal gently with the spiritually ignorant and misguided, since he is also subject to human weakness; 3 and because of this [human weakness] he is required to offer sacrifices for sins, for himself as well as for the people. 4 And besides, one does not appropriate for himself the honor [of being high priest], but he who is called by God, just as Aaron was.
                                                                                                        from the Amplified Bible

Okay, so the point that our Pastor made was that we should, and have every right, to approach Jesus with great confidence! He even gave a great impression of George Jefferson's confident strut. 

It was a great visual!  

Friends, that IS exactly how we should approach Jesus. 

So here is where my twisted part comes in... 

The whole time that he is telling us how we should be so confident in how we approach Jesus I am remembering how I would approach Santa Claus when I was a kid.  Maybe it was because we are just coming out of the Christmas season and possibly it was because I spent 12 hours on Saturday packing Christmas away.  Anyway, I was probably about 6 or 7 and so painfully shy and timid that I would stand in line and anxiously wait, but when it was finally my turn I would have to be coaxed and encouraged to step forward, knowing that if I didn't I wouldn't be able to tell him what I wanted.  I wouldn't get the Santa hug and it would be a whole year before I would have a chance again.  And yet, I was still too awestruck to move. 

Meanwhile, the kid behind me couldn't wait! He ran right around me and took a running leap into Santa's lap. Laughing and giggling and talking with Santa like they were old friends. I was mortified and even a little jealous.  He got the opportunity and the Santa hug.  Even at that young age, I fully understood embarrassment and hurt pride. Why was I such a baby?! 

Friends this is the problem with the "Santa Claus" Jesus. 
Pray to him when you want something. 
Pray to him when you feel good about where you are. 
Once I get my act together, then I'll go to church.
Everything is good now and my ducks are in a row, so I can approach Him. 

That's not how it works. 
We don't have to wait in line for our forgiveness.
We don't have to worry that the mercy or grace will ever run out.
We don't have to worry that we will miss our opportunity!

I am so grateful that we have the perfect High Priest that we can run to. He understands us and loves us before we even realize how much we need His love.

 Draw near to Him!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

New Year - New Bible Journal

Well, it's time.

I have loved and journaled in this bible for the last 2 years.
But after almost 300 entries, it's time.  It doesn't seem like a lot,
however, I was finding that I would go to a page to do an entry and it was already
journaled in. It was getting frustrating. So, I spent a good long time looking for a 
replacement. This one will probably be shelved so that I can use it for reference.

This is what I purchased. I am already moved in and using it. 
It has proven to be a good investment. I can tell already that I am going
to LOVE it!

It is slightly smaller.

With a beautiful natural leather cover.

This gives you an idea of the size.

 The English Standard Version is my favorite. I love the 
faint lines in the margin and the color of the paper.

Here is the box it came in (just incase you want to purchase it).

This is the Crossway SKU

The Lifeway Christian Book Store SKU.
I did get it on sale for $82.99.

And here is the title page that I worked on New Year's Eve. 
I'm  put my contact info on the title page after this picture was taken.

I wanted a page that was a reminder of what is important.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Hello 2017! Nice to meet you!

Fun Book Club Party Idea

Hello My Friends!

Happy New Year!

There! I acknowledge right up front that I know that Christmas has past. 
Ugh! Honestly, I miss it already. 

But! At any rate, I was able to host a very fun little 
soirĂ©e for my Lit-N-Latte Girls and I wanted to show the pictures off. 

So here they are!

Truly this theme could very easily translate into a January/Winter theme.

I always purchase all the books for the year. Sorry, but we love the covers and actually holding the book.  Many of the ladies use e-readers but any true book lover still loves the feel of a book in the hand and the turn of a page.

So with that in mind, it certainly helps to come up with a centerpiece.  The only thing that I added was my Father-in-Law's old typewriter, Christmas teacups and some vintage Christmas post cards.

It is also very easy to use your party favors. I gave each gal a Starbucks ornament.

We usually go pot luck, but I also supplied a hot cocoa bar.

This year I included a the White Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix from the Safeway Select line.
You guys! I'm telling you! Short of making real cocoa in a double boiler... 
it just doesn't get any better. 
It is the best mix I have ever tried. I offered both the white and regular cocoa.

The party was a success.
We chatted about favorite reads this year, favorite of all time reads, books that are coming out this year,
books that are coming out in movies this year, must see movies and many, many other classic bookworm topics. (we all wear glasses)

I hope you had a lovely Holiday Season!
I can't believe how fast it went.