A Gospel Without Power

My friend James told me this story. He said, “I’m not mechanically minded. In fact, I could be described as illiterate in things mechanical. In my late teens, I was the pastor of a small church in a farming community in Northern Ireland.

“I visited my congregation at their farms on my bicycle, and to make my task of visiting the flock easier, one of the farmers gave me a small motorbike that had belonged to one of his sons.

“I had never owned or dreamed of owning such a machine and took to it with fear and awe. No one told me how it worked or what I had to do to make it work, and no instruction book came with the old bike.

James continued, “I dressed the part with helmet and riding gear and set out savoring the new experience of being taken to my destination. Gone were the days of pedaling myself to exhaustion against a headwind.

“The second day out, though, the bike sputtered and died. I sat sad and confused without a clue as to what might be wrong. I began pushing the machine along the road. I sweated under my heavy gear and longed for the old days of a predictable bicycle. I trudged mile after mile under the sun. I was tempted to trash the wretched machine in the ditch but did not want to offend the farmer who had given it to me.

By this time James had my full attention. I pitied the guy. So he says, “My thoughts of disgust at my gift and despair that so soon it was broken beyond repair were interrupted by the voice of a friendly farmer. He had seen me dragging my load along the road and called out.

“You can have some of my gas, son!” “I stopped in delighted wonder: My bike was not broken, but out of gas!

What he said next blew me away. “I have met many Christians over the years who push their lives along the highway, about to throw it into the ditch because, although they have the outward trappings of a Christian, they do not know the powerful energy that is the heart of the believer’s life. They are pushing themselves to exhaustion when they should be propelled by the energy of Another.

He asked me, “What is the Gospel Cindy? If what we believe to be the Gospel is not the power of God unto salvation, then we need to ask if we understand it at all.”

I totally agree with my friend James. Let me ask you the same question James asked me, “What is the gospel?

The sad thing is James goes on to say, “many Christians settle for the weekly round of church services, attempts at prayer and Bible study, and the keeping of rules that deal for the most part with the physical life.”

If your present understanding of the Gospel is not producing fruit in your life, maybe it’s time to rethink what the Gospel is, so we can understand it.

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Part 2 – The Truth About Faith

Since 2006, I’ve continued my research and study about faith. The first part I shared with you and an article by Jay Snell that started everything. His definition of faith caught my attention. From that article I went back through the Old Testament and saw authentic faith the whole way through the Old Testament.

Here is Snell’s definition of faith:

Faith is information that you receive from God for you to act upon. This information enables you to know in advance what God is going to do in the future concerning a given issue or course of action. This information also enables you to know what you are to do in this course of action concerning this given issue.

Now once I understood what faith meant I wanted to see if I would find it in the Gospels. What was so amazing to me was, this is how Jesus lived his life. I call jesus the pattern Son. Remember when he said,

Then answered Jesus and said unto them, “Verily, verily I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for what things He does, these things does likewise.
John 5:19

For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak.
John 12:49

What the disciples can teach us about faith.

Notice how the disciples responded to Jesus when he called them. “

And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left [their] nets, and followed him.

And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James [the son] of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.

Now with our definition of faith, what did Jesus say to these men. He said, “follow me…” What did these men do? Peter and Andrew, “straightway left (their) nets, and followed him.”

What did James and John do? They immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.

Did Jesus give them instructions for them to act upon? Yes. What did they do? The believing was an act of their faith. They followed him.

Another person that was called by Jesus in the same way was Matthew as recorded in Matthew 9:9, And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, follow me. And he arose, and followed him.

Did Jesus give Matthew instructions for him to act upon? Yes. What did Matthew do? He arose, and followed him.

Another one called by Jesus by a short and somewhat direct instruction was Philip as noted in John 1:43, The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.

When these disciples left all to follow Jesus it was only the beginning of their walk of faith. Jesus had much more to teach them.

From the beginning, Jesus told the disciples that He would make them into something different: Come, follow me,…and I will make you fishers of men (Matthew 4:19).

Jesus used everyday opportunities to train his disciples. I love how Jesus trained and equipped his disciples. One example of Jesus’ intentional leadership is in the feeding of the five thousand. What I want you to notice is Jesus always included his disciples in what he was doing.

Read through John 6:1-13 and notice all the times Jesus had his disciples minister to the people during this event and what Jesus instructions were.

6 After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias.

And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased.

And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples.

And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh.

When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?

And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do.

Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.

One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, saith unto him,

There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?

10 And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.

11 And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would.

12 When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.

13 Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.

Look back over the verses above and see what Jesus told the disciples to do. Did the disciples do what he told them to do. Yes.

During this miracle, the disciples were learning about ministry as well as learning about how to walk by faith. Jesus gave the disciples hands-on experience in learning to care for others. He didn’t just have them sit back and watch Him meet peoples needs – he got them actively involved in ministering to the people around them. He does the same with us if we understand what faith means. That’s why we’re told to walk by faith and not by sight. Can you imagine what the disciples were thinking when they saw 5000 men.

Yes this was a miracle. What I want you to notice in verse 3 though, “And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples.” I don’t know about you, but Jesus knew this was a learning experience for his disciples about faith.

After feeding the 5000Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and travel to the other side of the Sea of Galilee while he dismissed the crowd. After dismissing the crowd, Jesus went up onto a mountainside by himself and prayed. Why do you think Jesus went up onto a mountainside by himself and prayed?

Later that night, Jesus was on the mountainside alone and the boat was already a considerable distance from the shore being pounded by waves because the wind had grown fierce. Shortly before dawn, Jesus went out to them, walking on the water.

When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost, they cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them,

“Take courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.”

Peter was skeptical. “Lord, he said, “if it is really you, tell me to come to you on the water.”

Come, Jesus said. Peter got down out of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the waves driven by the wind, he was afraid and began to sink. He cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Jesus quickly reached out his hand and caught him. You of little faith, he said, why did you doubt?

When they climbed onto the boat, the wind died down. Those on the boat worshipped Jesus saying, Truly you are the Son of God.”

Now let’s ask ourselves some questions.

Did Jesus give some information to Peter to act upon? Yes. What did Jesus tell Peter to do? “Come, Jesus said.” Now Peter is still learning how to walk by faith but when his eyes focused on the waves what happened to Peter? “But when he (Peter) saw the waves driven by the wind, he was afraid and began to sink.

Peter cried out, Lord save me.

Jesus quickly reached out his hand and caught him. You of little faith, he said, why did you doubt?

When they climbed onto the boat, the wind died down. Those on the boat worshipped Jesus saying, Truly you are the Son of God.”

Now don’t be so hard on Peter, he’s still learning to walk by faith and not by sight. Peter got one word, COME, but it’s the one speaking this one word that made all the difference in the world. When they were all in the boat the disciples got a glimpse of the true Son of God and when he speaks, whether by many words or just one word you are enabled to carry it out.

What the story means to us today – no greater story in the Bible demonstrates the profound power of faith
even if it’s just one word from the master!

If you read through the Gospels you will see everywhere how our definition of faith shows up on almost every page.

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FREE Resources About CHRIST NOW

Get your FREE Resources About Christ Now!

At the Christ Now site, you’ll find a vast variety of opportunities to help you explore and experience more of who Jesus is today.

Discover God’s glorious Son in whole new ways—like meeting him again for the first time. Do so, for example, through creative artwork and podcasts about Jesus, by drawing on Christ-focused worship and teaching videos, as you meditate on Scriptures and famous quotations about the greatness of our Savior, whenever you uncover more truths of all he is through in-depth video and podcast curricula.”

And all of it is FREE at the Christ Now site.

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Part 1 -The Truth About FAITH

What if I told you a simple secret that could revolutionize your walk of faith? I’ve been where you are and understand your frustration.

What Christian doesn’t want to walk by faith. What happens though, we desire to walk by faith, so we can please God, but we don’t know what faith is or what it means. I experienced that dilemma for many years like many Christians.

I’ve been in full time ministry along with my husband for 43 years and The Truth About Faith book offers a fresh revelation for living by faith.

You will learn to:

  • Understand what faith is.
  • Walk by faith and not by sight.
  • Be in agreement with God and His purposes for your life.
  • Be a God pleaser.

The Truth About Faith book gives fresh insight for anyone who wants to live by faith. It will help you deal with troubles, and afflictions. You don’t have to be confused about faith any longer. Instead, you can begin to walk by faith and be a God pleaser!

Enjoy reading!
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First, I want to tell you what faith is not. Faith in God is not blind faith. Faith is not positive thinking or optimism. It’s not a feeling that you can do something. It’s not a hunch or looking on the sunny side of the street. Not only that, but it’s not a blind leap in the dark or wishful thinking.

It’s not hoping against hope, and it’s not something weird and flaky. These myths are man’s ideas of what faith means and is not biblical and the scriptures do not back up this type of teaching on what faith means. Once your eyes are open to see what biblical faith is, you will NEVER go back to believing faith is a leap in the dark or that faith is blind or any other false teaching about faith.

We can’t make faith mean what we want it to mean. The only one who can explain what faith means is the Holy Spirit because he’s the Spirit of truth. There’s a good rule of thumb when studying the Bible, and it’s to recognize that the Bible is its own interpreter and that the meaning of words, texts, and passages is best determined by carefully comparing scripture with scripture.

I will show you Bible examples showing what faith looks like. I will also give lots of information you’ve not seen before, and it’s all in the Bible but don’t take my word for it, you can check it all out for yourself.

Randy Clark says, “The word faith has traditionally been understood as believing the correct doctrinal positions about Jesus … they are important. However, in the Bible these are not the emphasis of the word faith. Instead, faith as Scripture emphasizes it is most often understood as receiving a word of revelation from God, believing the word that calls for some act of obedience …” (Charisma Magazine, March 2012, pp 37, 38)

Faith in scripture is the gift of God which persuades the receptive heart of what pleases Him,” says Grant Osborne.

Those two explanations of faith are a good place to start, but they still don’t tell us what faith means. Hebrews 11:1 gives us an explanation of faith, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” My question 15 years ago was, BUT what does it mean? I’d even memorized Hebrews 11:1, but the sad thing was I didn’t know what the verse meant. I didn’t give up though. Furthermore, I kept asking the Lord to teach me what faith means, and what it looks like practically, in everyday life.

What I found was, the Holy Spirit loves those types of questions. He’s just waiting to teach you how to interpret the scriptures for yourself, and he never disappoints. Not only that, but he teaches from his point of view not man’s. You could read 50 books about what faith means and get something different from each one. The reason is, the writers are coming from man’s point of view, that confuses the matter even more. With Spirit-led teachers and preachers, they don’t go to the commentaries first but to the Holy Spirit.

I like how the Expanded Bible says it,

John 14:26 But the ·Helper [Counselor; Advocate;] will teach you ·everything [all things] and will ·cause you to remember [remind you of] all that I told you. This Helper is the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name.

In 2006, I stumbled upon and an article written by Jay Snell and a light bulb moment came to me. I want to share that article with you first. Then after I share his article about what faith means. From that day on I’ve done my own study on what faith means for the disciples, the people in the book of acts, for men and women down through the ages, and I’ll share a few examples from Dick (my husband) and my own life.
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First, Jay Snell’s article titled:
What Does Faith Mean?

Faith is information that you receive from God for you to act upon. This information enables you to know in advance what God is going to do in the future concerning a given issue or course of action. This information also enables you to know what you are to do in this course of action concerning this given issue.

Faith is a noun. It is information. It is something you have. Believe is a verb. It is something you do. You get a set of instructions or information from God which becomes your faith, and then you act upon that information. Your acting is your believing. You do not believe in the Biblical sense without acting on your faith.

Faith is information that you receive from God for you to act upon. This information enables you to know in advance what the will of God is concerning a certain matter. This information also contains instructions concerning what you are to do as God carries out what he revealed to you in advance what he is about to do. consider the following examples from Hebrews 11.

Bible Examples showing What Faith Means

Noah received some information from God concerning the flood. He received this information well in advance of God’s execution of the destruction of this world with water. This information also contained Noah’s part in God’s advance plan for the flood. “By faith Noah being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house…”, Hebrews 11:6.

Read Genesis 6:13. Did Noah know what was coming upon the earth before the flood came? Yes he did. Did Noah know what God wanted him to do in this process before the flood came? Yes he did. Noah had advance information from God. This information, in the form of a warning, enabled Noah to know in advance exactly what God wanted him to do as God prepared to execute his advance plan of world destruction by water. What then did Noah do?

Genesis 6:22 tells us what Noah did. Verse 22, “Noah did everything just as God commanded him.” He acted upon the advance information. He prepared an ark to the saving of his house. His acting or his preparing the ark demonstrated his believing. And by his acting he “became heir of the righteousness which is by faith”, Hebrews 11:6.

Take the case of Abraham. “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out…”, Hebrews 11:8.

Read Geneses 12:1-4. Did Abraham have advance information from God concerning a place he was to inherit before he went out? Yes he did. Did Abraham know in advance what he was to do about it? Yes he did. This advance information became his faith. Faith is a noun. It is something you have.

Genesis 12:4 tells us what Abraham did. Verse 4 says, “So Abram went, as the Lord had told him.” He acted upon that information. He obeyed. He went out. His obedience in going out demonstrated his believing. Believing in the Biblical sense always means acting upon the revealed will and plan of God. Faith is information that you receive from God. Believing is always acting upon that information. Abraham knew in advance about the place of inheritance. His going out was his believing the information.

Consider the case of Moses’ parents. “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a proper child, and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment,” Hebrews 11:23

Did Moses’ parents have advance information about the future of their child? Yes they did. They “saw he was a proper child”. What did they do about this advance information? They acted upon it in two ways.

They hid him for the space of three months. Then, they overcame their fear of the king’s commandment to kill the boy babies in the land. Their hiding and overcoming their fear was their believing. Faith is a noun. It is something you have. Believing is a verb. It is something you do with the information you receive from God.

How does this information come to us? In the three examples above, they obtained the advance information from God in three ways. Noah was warned, Abraham was called and Moses’ parents saw something.

A Strong Word of Warning

However, a strong word of warning is necessary here. The Holy Spirit will never contradict the written word of God. The Spirit of God will never give you information for you to act upon that contradicts the scriptures. Consider the following example.

Some years ago, this author read a newspaper account of a young man who murdered his parents in their sleep with an ax. When asked why he did such a thing, he responded that the Holy Ghost told him to do it to prove that he loved God even more than he loved his parents. But, the Holy Spirit never contradicts the plain sense of the Bible. And this young man’s murder of his parents did. He violated two of the ten commandments. He did not honor his parents that he killed.

Please accept this warning! When you are seeking direction from God and the information you receive contradicts the plain sense of scripture, the source of that information is demonic, not holy. Reject that information then and there as not being from God. Refuse even to retain it in your thoughts.

Explanation of Hebrews 11:1

Now we can understand Hebrews 11:1, which states “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. Since we have defined faith and illustrated our definition of it with scripture examples, we shall substitute our definition for the word faith in this verse. Consequently, the verse will now read thus, “Now the information that we receive from God for us to act upon is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not see”.

Next, look at the word substance. This translates the Greek word HUPOSTASIS, which is a combination of two Greek words. The first word in this combination is the Greek preposition under. The second word in this combination is the Greek word meaning to stand. The combined word, then, means to stand under. Putting it all together, the expanded verse can be paraphrased thus:

“Now the information that we receive from God that we are to act upon stands under, as a foundation, the things we hope for and this foundation becomes our evidence for things we cannot see with our physical eyes yet”.

Look now at the word things. This translates the Greek word PRAGMA which means an actual fact, a finished act or a deed accomplished.

Finally, in this verse we consider the word evidence. Let’s translate the Greek word ELEGMOS. The noun form of this word means proof or evidence. The verb form means to convict. Suppose, upon the death of your parents, you are to inherit their estate. You have their Last Will and Testament in your possession. but before you actually obtain possession of the property they left you, you must go through the probate court.

Putting it differently, until the court rules that you are the rightful heir, all you have to prove that the inheritance is yours is the Last Will and Testament of your parents. This is your proof. This is your evidence. The conviction is formed in you that the inheritance is yours, and you can prove it by the document in your hand which is your parents’ Last will and Testament.

The Passive Voice Principle

To conclude, the Passive Voice Principle demonstrates more fully that faith is information received from God for you to act upon. The Passive Voice Principle is contained in Hebrews 11:2, 4 and 39. Hebrews 11:2 declares that faith was the vehicle through which “…the elders obtained a good report”. Hebrews 11:4 states, “By faith Abel…obtained witness…” and Hebrews 11:39 says, “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith.”

In these three verses, the expressions obtained a good report in verses 2 and 39 and the expression obtained witness in verse 4, all translate the single Greek word MARTUREO which means testimony. But the translators choice of the word obtained misleads here. Obtained makes the verses sound as though the elders in verse 2, Abel in verse 4 and these all in verse 39 did something on their own to achieve or obtain the good reports and witness.

Consequently, these verses could mistakenly be interpreted to mean that because these people had a lot of faith they developed for themselves a great reputation as men and women of faith. Therefore, when people spoke of them they testified to their great faith. This testimony would consist of nothing but good reports concerning their great faith.

In order for this interpretation to be the correct one, obtained a good report in verses 2 and 39 and obtained witness in verse 4 would have to be in the active voice in the Greek text. But these expressions are not in the active voice in the Greek text. They are all in the passive voice which changes the meaning of these verses entirely. What, then, is the difference between the active and passive voice?

In the active voice the subject of the sentence does the action in the sentence. In the passive voice the subject of the sentence does absolutely nothing himself and the action of the sentence is done to him by someone else. Consider the following example.

John hit the ball. This sentence is in the active voice. John is the subject. Hit is the verb or action of the sentence. The ball is the direct object or what was hit. The ball received the action performed by John. But in the sentence, John was hit. This sentence is in the passive voice which means that John did not act at all.

He did nothing. Instead, he got hit. In the first sentence, however, John did the hitting. In our three verses from Hebrews, the obtained good report-witness is in the passive voice which means the subjects of those verses, the elders, Abel and these all did nothing. They performed not action. Instead, they were hit with this good report-witness by someone else in the same way that John did nothing, but was hit by the ball in our second example sentence above. What, then, was this good report-witness, and who hit them with it?

God was the one who hit them with it and the good report-witness was the information they received (passive voice) from God for them to act upon. This information from God was their faith. They demonstrated their believing that it was information from God by their acting upon it. This article is by Jay Snell
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Part 2 – The Truth About Faith
Jay Snell’s article woke me up. Since 2006 I’ve continued my study on faith and will pass on my insights to you. We will look at Jesus and his disciples, the book of Acts, and conclude with some examples from every day Christians.

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Snowball Cookie Recipe

The recipe below incorporates the Christmas symbol of snow and bakes up a scrumptious cookie (just like a Mexican wedding cookie). Visit Angie’s Christmas Symbols page to learn more about the symbolism and meaning of snow/snowflakes at Christmas. This recipe is also used in our “Sharing the Christmas Story with Food” project.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup powdered sugar, divided
1 cup butter (softened)
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, beat 1/2 cup powdered sugar, butter, and extracts until light and fluffy.

2. Stir in flour, salt, and pecans. Mix until dough forms.

3. Shape into 1 inch balls, and place on ungreased cookie sheet.

4. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes. Watch closely until set but not brown.

5. Remove from cookie sheet, cool slightly and roll in powdered sugar. Let cool completely, and roll again in powdered sugar.

Makes 4 dozen.

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Sweet and Salty Chocolate Reindeer

The kids will love to help make these!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 96 miniature pretzels
  • 96 M&M’s miniature baking bits
  • 48 small red gumdrops

Directions

1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.

2. Divide dough into 8 portions; cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

3. Preheat oven to 375°. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion into a 6-in. circle; cut into 6 wedges. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Press in pretzels for antlers, baking bits for eyes and a gumdrop for the nose.

4. Bake 7-9 minutes or until set. Cool 1 minute before removing from pans to wire racks. Store in an airtight container.

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The Most Wonderful Time of the Year Devotional

The reason for this devotional is to help us worship Jesus at this most wonderful time of the year. Let’s prepare our hearts so when we see a nativity scene, or sit in the candlelight service, or when we wake up Christmas morning, we can sing from our hearts, “O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!”

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” –John 8:12

Read through this part of the Christmas story:

Isaiah 9:2-7 EasyEnglish Bible
2 The people who walk in the dark will see a great light. The light will shine on those people who live on land full of dark shadows.

3 You (Lord) will make the country bigger. And you will make its people much happier. They will be happy with you as when people are happy at the harvest. Soldiers are also happy, because of what they have won in war. And the country’s people will be happy like them.

4 That is because, as in the fight with Midian, you will break these things:

· the yoke that carries the heavy weights (that our enemies have put on us)

· the sticks that they hit our backs with

· the stick that hurts us.

5 Then they will burn as material for the fire every boot that soldiers wore in war. And they will burn the clothes with blood on them.

6 They will do that because a child is born for us. God has given a son to us. And that son will always have authority to rule. And people will call him by these names:

· Wonderful Friend

· Great God

· Father for Always

· Leader who brings Peace

7 His authority will become greater. And the peace that he will bring will never have an end. He will be king over the land that David ruled. He will make it safe. He will make sure that it has justice. And its people will be very good, now and always. The Lord of Many Armies will cause those things to happen, because he loves his people.

Questions to ponder:

  1. Jesus’ arrival was planned by God thousands of years before it happened. What does that tell us about God?
  2. How does Jesus’ light in your world give you hope?
  3. In what ways can we allow Jesus’ light to shine through us?

End with singing Silent Night

HOPE IN ACTION

Pick one or more activities from the list below to put your hope into action this week.

  • Decorate the Christmas tree together. Talk about how the evergreen tree is a symbol of life in the middle of winter even as Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life. As you see the twinkling lights, remember that Jesus is the Light of the World, and He calls you to be shining lights in the darkness. Think about maybe making ornaments to remind, children would love doing this.
  • Bake cookies for your mailman, trash collector, or others who regularly care for your needs with a little thank-you.
  • Take part in an Angel Tree program through the Salvation Army or Prison Fellowship, or buy gifts for needy children near you.
  • Help decorate your church for Christmas, and listen to Jesus-centered Christmas carols that focus on the reason for the season.

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Wow your guests at your next get-together with this easy-to-assemble cheese board!

Christmas Tree Cheese Board

Christmas Tree Cheese Board

What do I need?
Cracker Barrel Extra Old Cheddar Cheese, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
Cracker Barrel Marble cheddar cheese, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
Cracker Barrel/Monterey Jack Cheese, cut into 3/4-inch cubes

Cracker Barrel Mozzarella cheese, cut in 3/4-inch cubes
Seedless green and red grapes
Fresh Thyme sprigs
Philadelphia Cream Cheese Product
Finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 piece celery (2 inch
)

How do I make it?
Step 1
Arrange cheese cubes and grapes in rows on platter or cutting board to resemble a Christmas tree shape, ending with a row of mozzarella at the top.

Step 2
Add thyme springs between rows as shown in photo.

Step 3
Roll cream cheese product into a ball, then coat with parsley; place at top of the tree. Place celery at the bottom for the tree trunk.

Enjoy!

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Some of the Best dōTERRA Thanksgiving Ideas for 2020

My friend, Darlene, started the doTERRA journey over 6 years ago. She told me how the oils support our immune systems, for season and environmental threats, and as a natural approach for other health needs too. Not only that but Darlene goes on to say, “the oils are effective, safe, and are 100% ‘CPTG Certified Pure Thereapeutic Grade’ Eseential Oils.”

If you have any questions just click on the link below to send Darlene a message.
https://www.doterra.com/US/en/site/darlenemccabe

Dick and I’ve used a couple of do”TERRA products and Pain Guard is one we recommend.

dōTERRA On Guard®


And there’s more, “thanksgiving is a great time to celebrate all the gifts the earth has given us! Here are some creative uses for essential oils to spark ideas while you plan your Thanksgiving festivities.”

Who knew, you can also use them for much more, like in FOOD. Check out what else you can use essentials for, you just might be surprised!

1. Citrus & Herb Butter Roasted Turkey

2. Autumn Pinecone Firestarters

These essential oil infused Pinecone Firestarters make a charming party favor or autumn centerpiece.

3. Apple Pie

The Lemon in this Apple Pie recipe brings a sunny brightness to a traditional fall dessert.

4. Pumpkin Floral Centerpiece

For a rustic and beautiful Thanksgiving table centerpiece, fill a hollowed pumpkin with autumn foliage and cut flowers. This Pumpkin Floral Centerpiece DIY includes a tip for keeping flowers fresh and vibrant with a few drops of essential oil.

5. Cranberry Jalapeno Dip

Infused with Lime and Cilantro oil, this Cranberry Jalapeno Dip is sweet with just the right amount of spice.

6. Rosemary Dinner Rolls

Use Rosemary oil to add flavor to some delicious Rosemary Dinner Rolls, ideal for a Thanksgiving feast.

7. Cinnamon Apple Cake

This healthy Cinnamon Apple Cake is a great alternative to traditional sugary teacakes and has a nice autumn flavor.

8. Honey Thyme Roasted Carrots

Thyme oil’s slightly bitter, herby flavor compliments the sweetness of cooked carrots in this recipe for Honey Thyme Roasted Carrots

9. Orange Curd

Orange Curd with Wild Orange oil can be used in a variety of recipes and is a great way to brighten your Thanksgiving desserts with some zesty citrus flair.

and much more.
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Here are some links Darlene wants to share with us that will take you to the different DIY for hand cleansing and handwashing, etc.

This doTERRA On Guard hand cleansing spray is an easy and convenient way to clean your hands. Keep a bottle in your purse, car, or office for any time you need it.

Science research news essential hand washing.

Lavender, Lemon, and Peppermint are among three of my favorite oils, along with the Lifelong vitality pack (LLV) (maximum nutrition for energy, focus, relief, and well–being) are some of Darlene’s favorites.

If you have any questions just click on the link below to send Darlene a message.

https://www.doterra.com/US/en/site/darlenemccabe

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