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“you will fill me with joy in your presence,”     Psalm 16:11

Have you ever noticed how on a cold winter day the closer you sit to the fire the warmer you feel?  If Jesus came into my home I would want to sit as close as I could to Him.  I know it would be just like being outside and feeling the winter winds when suddenly the sun comes out and you feel warmed all over.  I love to have my grand kids cuddle up to me when I read them a story and I’ll bet God rejoices when we want to be close to Him.

Beauty tip:

Next time you have a fire in your fireplace watch how the firelight reflects on your family’s face.  Did you know that when you are in the Presence of God, you become a reflection of His Glory and that’s what makes us beautiful – with an inner shining beauty.  “When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD.”  Exodus 34:29

Grammy Fun Stuff

Shepherd and Daddo at Magee's Bakery

Today we went to Magee’s Bakery with our two year old grandson, Shepherd.  When you walk in the door the most delicious aroma greets you and it always reminds me of the bakery I loved to visit when I was a child.  I remember that they had trays of yummy looking assorted cookies in a glass case and the sweet lady who waited on us always gave me a free sample sugar cookie.  But Magee’s has wonderful doughnuts and a glass case of beautiful celebration cakes plus lots of pretty cup cakes.  We love their cinnamon sugar doughnuts the best and it has become a weekly stop on Wednesdays which is the day we have Shepherd.

One beautiful Wednesday last fall we arranged to meet our daughter, Mary there along with her four children.  She home schools all of them, ages 6, 8, 10, and 12.  I suggested that it would be a great field trip (of course the kids all agreed) and afterward, we went over to Woodland Park so Shepherd could play while the older kids did bark rubbings and collected leaves from the many different, wonderful old trees there which have name plaques underneath.  It was almost like a treasure hunt finding all the trees with name plaques and the kids thought it was lots of fun.

TREASURE HUNT:   “I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel who summons you by name.”   Isaiah 45:3

Cousins Night Jan. 11

Speaking of treasure hunts, this year on January 11 at Cousins Night I gave each of my grand kids a challenge to learn some of my favorite bible verses.  I also did this last year and since four of them completed the gold challenge part two, I added a diamond challenge this year.  The best thing about the challenge is that I am learning the verses along with my grand kids and their parents hear them say the verses as they try to remember them.  It is the greatest BRAIN ILLUMINATION possible!!

Health Tip:  Will you take the challenge and illuminate your mind with me?

THE CHALLENGE TO GREAT RICHES

The Hunt for Gold  (part one ages 5-8)

The Great Riches will be the treasure of wisdom and knowledge of God you have hidden in your heart throughout the year.

 THE CHALLENGE:   Learn the verse or verses for the month.  Find it for me in your Bible and say it to me.  Receive a large gold coin

January:  Joshua 1:9   Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

 February:  Proverbs 3:3, 4   Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.

 March:  Jeremiah 33:3  Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.

 April:  John 8:12   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.”

 May:  Proverbs 3: 5, 6   Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding:  in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

June:  Psalm 16:11   You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

 July:  Daniel 12:3   Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.

 August:  Psalm 56:3, 4   When I am afraid, I will trust in you.  In God whose word I praise, In God I trust; I will not be afraid.  What can mortal man do to me?

September  Philippians 4:13   I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

 October:  Ephesians 6:10, 11   Finally be strong in the LORD and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

 November:  Luke 18:27   Jesus replied,  “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”

  December:  John 3:16   For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

 The Hunt for Gold (part two ages 9 and up)

The Great Riches will be the treasure of wisdom and knowledge of God you have hidden in your heart throughout the year.

 THE CHALLENGE:  Learn the verse or verses for the month. Find it for me in your Bible and say it to me.  Must be 100% correct.  Receive a large gold chocolate coin for each correct verse.

Bonus rewards should be given for naming the books of the Old Testament, naming  the books of the New Testament  and reciting Ephesians 6:17.

January:   Isaiah 45:3  I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel who summons you by name.

February:  Matthew 6:20-21   But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

March:  Jeremiah 32:17   Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm.  Nothing is too hard for you.

April:  Isaiah 40:31   But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

May:  Matthew 17:20   He replied, “Because you have so little faith.  I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move.  Nothing will be impossible for you.”

June:  Psalm 23  The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.  He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.  You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.  Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

July:  Philippians 2:14   Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.

August:  Psalm 91:1, 2   He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.”

September:  Isaiah 64:4, 5   Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.  You come to the help of those who gladly do right who remember your ways.

October:  Ephesians 6:12   For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Therefore put on the full armor of God so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

November:  Proverbs 16:16, 17   How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver.  The highway of the upright avoids evil; he who guards his way guards his life.

December:  Philippians 4:19   And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

THE ARMOR OF GOD:   Ephesians 6:17  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

The Hunt for DIAMONDS 

The Great Riches will be the treasure of wisdom and knowledge of God you have hidden in your heart throughout the year.

 THE CHALLENGE:   Learn the verse or verses for the month.  Find it for me in your Bible and say it to me.  Must be 100% correct.  Receive a large chocolate gold coin for each correct verse.

January:  Psalm 37:5, 6   Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this:  He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

February:  Jeremiah 29:11-13   “For I know the plans I have for you,”  declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

March:  I Corinthians 2:9   However, as it is written:  “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”

April:  Jeremiah 32:19, 20   Great are your purposes and mighty are your deeds.  Your eyes are open to all the ways of men; you reward everyone according to his conduct and as his deeds deserve.  You performed miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt and have continued them to this day, both in Israel and among all mankind, and have gained the renown that is still yours.

May:  Philippians 4:4-7   Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again:  Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

June:  Job 22:25, 26   Then the Almighty will be your gold, the choicest silver for you.  Surely then you will find delight in the Almighty and will lift up your face to God.

July:  Philippians 3:14   I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

August:  Hebrews 12:1-2a   Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus…

September:  Proverbs 1:9  For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.  He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.

October:  Matthew 7:26, 27   “But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

November:  Ephesians 2:8, 9   For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

December:  Ephesians 3:20, 21   Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!  Amen.

Golden Illuminations                                      

                                                                                          

On Saturday October 8, I received an early Christmas present from my daughter.  A beautiful seven week old Golden Retriever puppy from the litter of my grandson’s dog, Lucy.  My grand kids named this puppy Snowball because of his fluffy, thick, white puppy fur.  But I decided to rename him Ladd in honor of the Lad in “Further Adventures of Lad” by Albert Terhune.  This was one of my favorite books as a child along with “Sunnybank, Home of Lad.”  It was said that Lad was a dog of uncanny brain and great loving, loyal heart and with a dancing sense of fun.  A dog with a soul.

My Laddie has all those wonderful traits and brings delight and laughter into our lives every day.  This morning he was doing his own version of ‘dancing for joy’ as he twirled round and round the room somehow managing to kick an old tennis ball with both his front and back paws.  His favorite spot is by my chair or in the kitchen near the stove if I am cooking dinner.  His favorite treat is a sliver of cheese or an ice cube. He likes to be near me wherever I happen to be.

We also have another Golden Retriever named Happy.  He is the grandson of our original dog, Happy. (more about him later).

“Let the light of your face shine upon us, O LORD. You have filled my life with greater joy.”   Psalms 4:6,7

My New Year Resolution:

This year I intend to sit just as close as I can, as often as I can and as long as I can at the feet of Jesus.  What a joy it is to be in His Presence!

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