Immanuel, God With Us
The wonderful truth of this season of joy and beauty is that Jesus is with us. In Matthew 1:22-23 we learn one of God's names is Immanuel, God with us. So many of us need Jesus to "show up" don't we? We see Him in manger scenes, His name is lifted high in Christmas pageants and performances and He's on our Christmas cards but where is He? Does He know what I'm going through?
David Jeremiah shares, "He entered the world through the doorway of Bethlehem and our world was changed forever." When we ask Him into our hearts and surrender to Him our frustration, despair, bitterness and expectations we are changed forever as well and He always shows up, He's not on the sidelines He is in it with us. He showed up in the ark, in a burning bush and in a battle with a giant. He showed up in a whale, in a boat, and in a garden. If you are in a doctor's office or in a hospital bed at 3:00 in the morning, if you have lost all hope through grief and loss, if you are in a job or classroom where God is being undermined He is with you. In James 4:8 we are told, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you."
As you celebrate His birth stand firmly upon His promise to work all things out for good (not just the good things, but also the hard things). Join me and claim this promise found in Isaiah 40:31, "Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength."
Merry Christmas from my home to yours,
DIY Angel Ornament
There's Still Time!
As a self-described "Semi-Homemade" DIYer I like to save time when I can especially this time of the year. With this Angel Ornament I've done just that by starting with a pre-cut wooden angel purchased at my local craft store.
Supplies: pre-cut wooden angel small piece of twine for hanger photocopy of a Christmas song cut into a size-appropriate little heart Red & white twine, long enough to wrap around several times. glue glitter sticker
Directions: 1. My angel already came scrappy looking but you can do the same with a little sand paper. Glue a small piece of twine to the top back for your hanger. 2. Cut your Christmas song into an appropriate sized heart. I like to try to get part of the title in my cut out. Glue onto your angels "skirt" at a slight angle. 3. Tie the twine a couple of times around the placement of your paper Christmas heart finishing with a bow on top. Spot gluing if necessary. 4. Put a 1/4" of glue along the "hemline" of your angel's robe and sprinkle glitter on it. 5. Place a sticker on the back then date and sign. If I'm making this with a group I'll have everyone sign. These signatures are a treasure to me. If you don't have a sticker you could just sign on the back of the ornament as well.
Christmas Morning Apple Pancakes Heart & Keeper Contributor - Natalie Thomson
Ingredients: 2 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 large eggs 3 cups buttermilk 4 tablespoons melted butter sprinkle of cinnamon 2 apples, peeled, sliced very thin, and sautéed in a little butter until tender (but not mushy) (best to use a Honeycrisp or similar-type apple)
Directions: Prep and sauté your apples 1st and set aside. Preheat your griddle or skillet - whatever you like to cook pancakes in - to a medium setting. Mix all dry ingredients in 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, then add the buttermilk, melted butter, and stir. Add the dry ingredients to the wet; fold together but do not over-mix! Fold in your sautéed apples until just incorporated. Lumps in your batter are ok :) Use about 1/2 cup batter for each pancake. Cook the way you would a normal pancake, but please don't press your pancakes while they're cooking; these will come out so soft and pillowy if you just let them be :) Depending on your cooking temperature and pan, it might take 2-3 min per side. I only flip them once.
Optional sauce (but these are also great with maple syrup): 1 cup sugar 1 cup water 1 heaping tablespoon lemon zest (approx 1 large lemon's worth) Heat sugar, water, and zest in a small saucepan over high heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Let stand until cool (about 20 min). Keeps in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.