Monday, December 31, 2012

Prudy's Pen

Joe and I are big-time supporters of "mom and pop" businesses. In a land where mega stores have taken over our towns, Joe and I do our best to still shop from local, small businesses. I guess that is why I am so drawn to Etsy.

For those of who may not have yet discovered, this is a site where, for the most part, everything is handmade. Cottage Industry extraordinaire!  I've been doing the majority of my Christmas/birthday shopping from these wonderfully, gifted little businesses for the last several years now.  Almost anything you can imagine can be found in the Etsy stores. If not handmade, antiques.  

This Christmas I found an antique lock from the Pennsylvania Railroad. Out of all the Christmas presents, my son loved this the most.

"Christmas in Heaven" hand printed by Prudy's Pen
And I also found a gifted calligrapher. 

Prudence Long of Lima, Ohio has a brand new shop on Etsy, called Prudy's Pen. The photos of her cards don't do them justice. Her work is beautiful and professional - framable and gift-giveable! And she does custom pieces. 

I told Prudy, who has a warm, gentle spirit, that I would feature her new company on my blog. Prudy has the kind of precious spirit that we would be drawn to here in blogsphere.  Please take time to visit her brand new website, and her Etsy store. You can actually go directly to Prudy's Etsy store from her site. 

And drop Prudy an encouraging word while you are there or inquire about a custom piece. You won't be disappointed.

I'm proud to say I've made a new friend in Prudy Long. And I have a list of custom pieces I want her to do for me. So, you better hurry, otherwise she will be very busy!

And if you've never shopped on the Etsy site, be careful: it's addictive!  

Happy New Year Everyone!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I'm taking a short break from blogging through New Years.  I wish you all a wonderful celebration of our Saviour's birth and a very healthy new year.  Think of your One Word goals for next year.

God bless you, my friends!  Now I can catch up on reading all of you! Hugs to you all.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Monday, December 17, 2012

Holy Immigrants

Joseph took You and Your Mom into Egypt.  You were an immigrant before You were a Nazarene. ~ Max Lucado
Jesus Christ, an immigrant?

I never thought about that before.

Mary, Joseph, and infant Jesus were immigrants in a foreign land. Possibly even "illegal" aliens. 

Here on Long Island there is much controversy surrounding our illegal-alien population. On the Eastend of the Island where we live the farms and vineyards are all worked by illegal immigrants. Landscaping and construction crews are made up of these Spanish-speaking people: men and woman who have excellent work ethics and are willing to work for little money; men and women fleeing to the U.S. for a better way of life.

Most do not speak English, except a few words here and there, but the Long Island economy now depends on these very hard-working people. 

However, many come to New York just to have babies birthed on American soil, so that their children will be American citizens, with all the rights and privileges thereof. The controversy arises because here in New York they receive free health care. After receiving their free maternity care, they return to their countries with their children who are now American citizens. So many New Yorkers, including Christians, are bitter. 

But, Mary and Joseph may have been "illegals" when they crossed Egypt's borders, crossing over for a "better life", escaping their Child's certain death.

Mary and Joseph spoke Aramaic, yet the fled to a land whose language at that time was Greek. Their culture and that of the Greeks were complete opposite extremes. Yet, God Almighty ordered them to flee to Egypt to save their Son - The Christ - from death under King Herod's decree.  

Did Mary and Joseph live in fear of being "deported"? Or worse - enslaved?

Mary and Joseph probably dressed differently than the Greeks. They spoke a foreign language and their skin-color may have been a different shade. Did they stick out like sore thumbs?

What work did Joseph do in this foreign land to support his family?  Was he willing to do what the Greeks considered menial tasks? 

Hiding out from King Herod's henchmen, these holy immigrants probably lived on the down-low - doing nothing that would draw attention to themselves or to their baby, Jesus.  

Just like many of our immigrants today.

How quickly did they learn Greek? Did they ever blend into that foreign society?

Was there controversy over these foreigners? Were they persecuted in Egypt?  Did Mary and Joseph always have to look over their shoulders in fear of the authorities?

...hmmm...I wonder...

As I close out my OneWord goal for 2012 - EXTRAVAGANT LOVE - I think I'm a little bit closer to achieving it thanks to Max's words. His words have brought a new perspective on this much-heated New York subject.  

May EXTRAVAGANT LOVE have it's way in my heart, 
extending words of grace when this topic arises. 
And eventually it will. 
May I have the boldness to share about Mary and Joseph 
and that the EXTRAVAGANT LOVE of our God extends to all - 
no matter what country they come from or language they speak. 
May this volitile, political topic be turned to a spiritual one, 
seasoned with an EXTRAVAGANT LOVE, through my replies.
have it's perfect work in my heart for years to come.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Light In the Darkness

I'm at a total loss for words regarding the evil of yesterday in Connecticut, but Max Lucado has a prayer I'm sharing with you. Thank God for Max - as only he can write. Weekday Email

A Christmas Prayer

from Max Lucado
 Dear Jesus,

It’s a good thing you were born at night. This world sure seems dark. I have a good eye for silver linings. But they seem dimmer lately.

These killings, Lord.  These children, Lord.  Innocence violated.  Raw evil demonstrated. 

The whole world seems on edge. Trigger-happy. Ticked off. We hear threats of chemical weapons and nuclear bombs. Are we one button-push away from annihilation?

Your world seems a bit darker this Christmas.  But you were born in the dark, right? You came at night. The shepherds were nightshift workers. The Wise Men followed a star. Your first cries were heard in the shadows. To see your face, Mary and Joseph needed a candle flame. It was dark. Dark with Herod’s jealousy. Dark with Roman oppression. Dark with poverty.  Dark with violence.
Herod went on a rampage, killing babies. Joseph took you and your mom into Egypt. You were an immigrant before you were a Nazarene.

Oh, Lord Jesus, you entered the dark world of your day. Won’t you enter ours? We are weary of bloodshed. We, like the wise men, are looking for a star. We, like the shepherds, are kneeling at a manger.

This Christmas, we ask you, heal us, help us, be born anew in us.

Your Children


Come quickly, Lord Jesus! Come quickly!

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Permission Granted

rain on me
 reign in me

as in the sweet, gentle drops of a spring rain,
rain on me
showers of blessings over my life; washing me in the water of Your Word 
rain in me

as You rain down, reign in

rain on me 
reign in me

as in the sweet, gentle drops of a spring rain,
reign on me
showers of blessings over my life; wasing me in the water of Your Word
reign in me


Because of Him and Unto Him,

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Are There Any Georges Amongst Us?

Hope deferred makes the heart sick; but when it comes, it is a tree of life.                         ~ Proverbs 13:12
George Bailey was a man who became heart-sick from his hope of going to college being deferred. Heart-sick to the point of wanting to die.  But, how did it manifest? 

Frustration, anger, depression.

Sometimes, those may be the only emotions a heart-sick soul can manifest. That dream, vision, or hope may be so long in manifesting that they no longer remember why they are frustrated, angry, or depressed; or they cannot even verbalize their deepest longing.

Can anyone relate to George Bailey?

Frank Capra, who directed It's A Wonderful Life, has said it was the best movie he ever made. Could it be because everyone can relate to George Bailey - including Mr. Capra?

Everyone of us has had dreams and hopes dashed or deferred.

Everyone of us has been overwhelmed with life's circumstances.  

I have read that the scene in the bar where George talks to God, Jimmy Stewart was so overcome with emotion that he started to sob and talk to God. Mr. Capra kept the film rolling and captured Jimmy's truest emotions bursting forth. In that moment he wasn't acting - just identifying with George.

At the end of the movie our George's heart is transformed. The heart of stone miraculously turned to a heart of flesh, as only our God does. (Ezekiel 36:26)

It's A Wonderful Life is one of the most endearing films of all times. And we look forward to it each Christmas season. Why do we love George Bailey so?  Maybe because there is a little bit of George in all of us.

And it instills in us hope.

21 Days 'till we officinally celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour.  But, because there is a little bit of George in all of us, we celebrate Christmas all year through.

Because of Him and Unto Him,