Devotional three: Thankfulness

10-year old Joshua Bradley skipped up the stairs after playing his video game for an hour. He had just created a survival world on Minecraft, and he had been super excited about it. It was Christmas Eve, and the snow flurries were swirling around outside like a snow globe being shook upside down. Josh loved this time of year– the hustle and bustle of the Christmas holiday, the presents.What Josh loved most about Christmas were presents– gifts of any sort, really. Well, not girly stuff like Ava gets for Christmas, he thought. He walked into the kitchen where his mother, Mrs. Bradley, was making gingerbread cookies with icing. Joshua hastened his pace towards the first batch of cookies that was cooling on the stove and breathed in the scent of cookies. His mouth watered hungrily. “Mom, can I please have a cookie? They smell so good.” His mother looked up from the cookie dough she was putting on a cookie sheet to bake in the oven. She wiped a bead of sweat from her forehead and gave a tired smile to Joshua. “Sure, honey. After that, though, could you please set the table? It would be greatly appreciated.” “Awesome, Mom, thanks. Sure, I can set the table as well.” He snatched the cookie up and finished it off in three bites. Then he grabbed the plates from the cupboard and and put out the cutlery. Last of all, he set out the cups. They all ate a good dinner and then Joshua went to sleep. The next morning, Joshua, who was so excited to open the gifts, jumped out of bed at 6:00 A.M. He ran into his sister’s room, Ava, and cried out happily, “Ava!! It’s Christmas morning!! Get up, get up ,get up!” Ava turned over and mumbled something about cheese, but then she seemed to comprehend what her younger brother was saying. She sat up with a start and said,”It’s Christmas morning! Oh, hurry, Josh, go wake up Mom and Dad while I get dressed!” Josh ran out of the room and knocked hastily on his parents’ bedroom door. “Mom, Dad! Time to get up! It’s Christmas morning!” “We know, Joshua,” he heard his father say,”We heard you all the way from Ava’s room.” The door soon opened and the little family made their way down to the family room where the tree and gifts were. Joshua squealed in delight and both Ava and Joshua ran to the tree and looked for their gifts. “Wait,” their father said a bit sternly. “You know that gifts are nice, kids, but we haven’t put what should be before anything. We are going to read the Bible, and then we are going to sing and pray, thanking God for everything.” “Good, idea, honey,” Barbara Bradley said softly. Mr.Bradley opened the Bible to Luke chapter 2. He began reading: “In those days a decree went out…….” Once they had finished reading, Mr. Bradley asked Ava,” Ava, will you please get the hymnals? They’re on the ledge.” Ava retrieved the hymnals and they joyfully sang a few songs. Once they had finished that, Mr. Bradley closed in prayer. “Lord, thank you for sending your Son to earth. We didn’t and still don’t deserve your mercy, love and grace. Thank you so much for saving us from our sins. Please bless today and help us to grow and mature with your help and grace. In your name, Amen.” Joshua realized he wasn’t truly thankful for Jesus coming to earth. Before he opened his eyes, he silently prayed,” Dear Jesus, thankyou so much for coming to earth. Please forgive me for not being thankful. In your name, amen.” It was simple, but heartfelt, and Joshua felt a surge of happiness inside him. They all had a great morning, opening gifts, and laughing, but being truly thankful for Jesus coming to earth.

2 Corinthians 9:15

Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!

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Awesome food Award

Wohoo! A big thanks to Blessing Counter for nominating for this Awesome Food Award. Check out her blog…… it’s awesome. 🙂

Here are the rules:

1). Thank the person who nominated you, as well as link to their blog.
2). Answer the 10 questions provided.
3). Come up with 10 more questions that relate to food.
4). Nominate at least 5 people.
5). Let those people know they’ve been nominated.
I was asked these questions:
1. Chocolate or vanilla?
Probably Vanilla, although I do like chocolate…. it would depend on what it was in.
2. Favourite dessert?
I had this really amazing cake this year… It was a lemon cake with icecream(vanilla I think) and raspberry sauce on top. It was sooo delicious.
3. Imagine that it’s freezing cold, there’s lots of snow, and you just came in from playing outside. Would you prefer to drink hot chocolate or coffee?
Hot chocolate all the way! 🙂 I love that creamy, sweet taste.
4. Favourite pie/cake?
My favorite pie would probably be….. Pecan, Pumpkin, or Apple. Although I do love blueberry. I love all pies, pretty much!
5. What is a dessert that you love making/is the easiest thing you can make?
I love making pies.
6. What is a meal that you love making/is the easiest thing you can make?
Pasta with a tomato sauce and cheese!! YUM!!
7. Is there a food that you hope that you’ll never have to eat in your life time?
I’m not sure, probably grasshoppers or something like that. 😦
8. The strangest dish you’ve ever eaten?
The strangest dish…… hmmmmm… I can’t think of something.
9. Favourite mealtime? Why?
Breakfast, maybe? I just love it… plus you can eat really good food for breakfast.
10. How do you make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? 🙂
Haha! I get a piece of bread, put peanut butter  on and then the jelly on top.
Ok, so I have answered the ten questions I was asked, and now I’m going to nominate only one person since I don’t have many people I can nominate.
Here are her ten questions:
1) What is your favorite way to eat tomatoes?
2) What is your favorite icecream?
3)Would you rather eat macaroni and cheese with ketchup or plain?
4) What is the strangest food you’ve ever eaten?
5)How would you make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?
6) If you were to go on a fast from one type of food, what food would it be?
7) Your friend made two cakes; one is vanilla with strawberries, and the other is chocolate with cherries. Which would you prefer?
8) What is your favorite meal of the day?
9) Do you like to have a smoothie or a milkshake?
10) What season do you especially like because of the food that’s in season?
Feel free to answer these questions yourself by commenting below! 🙂

Are you voting?

Elections for Prime Minister are on Monday! I know a lot of people have their own personal opinion as to who they are going to vote for, but I want to share my opinion.

It’s important to look at the BIG picture. Not just the small picture, like the local people who you vote for who represent different political parties. What about the BIG picture? It’s also important to see what the candidates are believing. What about different issues? Like abortion, terrorism issues, etc. Do they believe that dictatorship would be good for our country? I’m going to say this though- I can’t vote quite yet, but if I could, it would be conservative. I know that they aren’t perfect, but they are pretty good, and Stephen Harper isn’t perfect either, but he would actually take a stand to protect our country. Don’t you see how we need that these days? I honestly do not think that Justin Trudeau would do that.

Sure, some candidates in particular say that they want what’s best for our country, but is their best for our best? If your’re voting, I suggest you seriously think about who would be the best for our PM. Here are some links to different articles:

http://blogs.theprovince.com/2015/10/15/editorial-conservative-leader-stephen-harper-is-still-the-best-choice-to-lead-canada/

http://www.torontosun.com/2015/10/15/the-truth-about-trudeau

Devotional two: Patience

“Hi, Mom!” sprightly 13-year old Emma said. “I was thinking of doing this craft I found online. It looks a little complicated, but I think I can do it! Is that ok?”

“Why, I think that would be a fine idea,” Mrs. Parker said. “Athough, could you take Jeremy to the library first? He’s been pining to go all day.” Emma groaned. Her little brother, Jeremy, was six years old, and the sweetest boy you could imagine. Emma, however, was a little more rambunctious and she got into trouble a lot. She loved her brother, but she didn’t want to delay starting on her craft. “Mom, can’t Riley take him instead? She would probably be willing.” “I suppose I could, dear, but I asked you to. Plus Jeremy loves spending time with you. He looks up to you.” Emma sighed. “Okay, okay. I’ll take him, Mom.” “Thank you, sweetie.” Her mother said as she gave her a quick squeeze. Emma ran up the stairs, two at a time, until she reached Jeremy’s room, who he shared with their older brother, Murray. She gave a quick rap on the door, and then let herself in. Jeremy was sitting quietly on the bed, reading a book. He looked up, and immediately his face broke into a huge grin. “Hi, Emma!! Whatcha doing? Can ya take me to the library? Please??” Emma laughed at the speed of the questions he was throwing her way. “Jeremy, I’m going to take you to the library. We need to hurry, though. Grab a jacket and put on your shoes, please.” Jeremy squealed with excitement. “Thanks, Emmie!!” He gave her a hug and then ran downstairs to put on his shoes and jacket. He was ready in minutes, and Emma followed suit. They started down the sidewalk toward the  library. Emma started to speed walk, but Jeremy couldn’t keep up with his short little legs. “Wait up, Emma!!” He called out. “Hurry up, Jeremy!!” Emma said impatiently. She stopped to let him catch up, and he took her hand in his. Emma and Jeremy got to the library in a few minutes, and when they were there, Jeremy went straight to the book rack. His eyes were obviously scanning the lines of books, looking for the one he wanted. To Emma, he seemed to be taking hours. She moved closer to him so he could hear her. “Jeremy! Hurry up! You are taking forever! I’ve seen turtles that can walk faster than you can find a book!” Jeremy instantly looked up, his eyes full of hurt. He quickly looked down again and picked out his book. “Here it is, ” he said quietly. She knew she had hurt him, but she was so anxious to get home, she didn’t apologize or think about the hurtful comment she made. She quickly grabbed the book and walked over to the librarian at the desk. She gave her library card and the book to be scanned. When they got home, Emma ran quickly to the computer to print out the craft while Jeremy walked to the kitchen to get a glass of milk and a cookie. He dropped his book on the table and said, “Mommy, can I have a glass of milk and a cookie?” “Sure, honey.” She retrieved the milk and cookie and set the plate and cup in front of him. Usually he was cheerful and happy, but today he was gloomily silent. He only nibbled at the cookie and sipped at the milk. His mother noticed his mood was different and she gently questioned him. “Jeremy, is something wrong, buddy? You’re not acting yourself. Did something happen at the library?” Jeremy then replayed the event that happened at the library and how “Emmie” had hurt him with her mean comment and how she had been impatient with him. “You finish your milk and cookie, Jeremy. I’ll talk to her.” Mrs. Parker promised. She walked into the craft room, where Emma was humming softly while cutting out shapes from some colored paper. “Emma?” Emma looked up and said,”Hey Mom!! I’m really excited about this project. I’m thinking of giving it to Riley for her birthday next week. What do you think?” “I think that’s fine, Emma.” Her mother paused. “Emma, I just talked to Jeremy and he told me what happened at the library. Why were you so impatient with him?” Emma stopped cutting and looked up. She sighed as she sat down. “I just really wanted to get home so I could get going on this gift. I didn’t mean to hurt him, but he was just taking so slow.” “Honey, I know you probably didn’t mean to hurt him, but Jeremy is very sensitive. He’s not like you, and he is much younger than you. He can’t read all that fast you know. I completely understand how you wanted to get home quick, but do you think the Lord is more pleased with you being kind and patient with Jeremy, or being unkind but giving a great present to Riley?” “Being kind to Jeremy,” Emma slowly mumbled. “Emma, do you remember all the fruits of the Spirit?” “Mhmm. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.” Her mother continued. “I know you can be a bit reckless sometimes, Em, but I also know that you love Jeremy and that you want to be like Christ. Those fruits of the spirits are things we need to practice to help us to grow more like Him. Do you understand?” “Yes, Mom. Thank you. I’m going to go apologize to Jeremy right now.” She walked into the dining room and sat down next to Jeremy. “Jeremy, I’m sorry for being impatient with you and for speaking a hurtful comment to you. I wasn’t being like God would want me to be. Will you please forgive me?”  “For sure, Emmie!” Jeremy answered. “Would you like for me to read you this book?” Emma asked. “But, don’t you have to work on your craft?” Jeremy asked. “This is more important.” Emma answered, smiling.

 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant. 

-1 Corinthians 13:4

Devotional one: Forgiveness

Mandy was coming into the kitchen as her mother was making dinner. She grabbed an apple from the fruit basket and dashed outside into the warm sunny evening. Her little sister, Eleanor, was sitting on a blanket in the grass, playing with something. Mandy couldn’t quit make out what it was, but it looked something like–No! My camera! Mandy thought in horror. This special Canon camera was a birthday present from her big brother in college, Wesley. She treasured it, and never allowed anyone to touch it– that is, unless someone took it while she was gone. She quickened her pace and marched angrily over to her sister. “Ellie!” she spurted out. “What are you doing with my camera?!” Ellie looked up, face flushed. “I-I” She stammered,” Well, I wanted to take some pictures. I didn’t think you would mind.” Mandy still glared at her. Ellie quickly thrust the camera at Mandy. “I’m really sorry I took it, Mandy. I know I shouldn’t have- now. Will you forgive me?” Mandy didn’t answer, but grabbed the camera and spun around, munching her apple as she barged into the house. “What was that all about, Mandy?” Her mother asked. Mandy knew it was no good to try to keep it from her parents. She spoke in frustration to her mother, repeating the event that had recently occurred. Her mother spoke in a gentle tone,” Mandy, I know exactly how you feel. I had a lot of problems with that when I was growing up, and I still have sometimes when my little children will wreck my things. I have to remember this though; we should treat others as we ought to be treated and in the Bible, Peter asks Jesus,”Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus answered,”I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.” So you see, dear, Jesus isn’t saying that we should only forgive our brother 490 times, but we should be continually forgiving one another, just as Christ forgave us. Do you understand?”

“Uh, huh,” she answered. Mandy knew what she had to do. She thanked her mother, and ran outside again. She spotted Ellie, swinging on their backyard swing. She took a deep breath and went forward to her sister. Lord, please forgive me for not being like you. Help me to control my temper. Her sister looked up. “Hi Mandy!” Mandy started,” Ellie, I’m so sorry for getting mad at you for playing with my camera. I know you would never wreck it. I shouldn’t be so protective. Will you forgive me?” Ellie brightened and said,”Of course, Mandy Pandy! Will you forgive me?” “Of course, Ellie, Mellie!” They both grinned and hugged eachother, then Mandy pushed Ellie on the swing.

Chai Breakfast Smoothie (recipe by Bethany Hamilton)

Recipe:
serves 2

1 frozen banana
1 cup soaked whole oats
1/2 cup brewed black tea cooled
1/2 cup almond milk, or any milk you prefer
1/4 cup full cream coconut milk
1 tablespoon almond butter or raw cashew butter
1 medjool date, pitted
1 tablespoon Maca powder
(optional) One scoop of your favorite vanilla protein powder
Two handfuls of ice

SPICES
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon (or better yet 1 tbs) fresh ginger, skin and all
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground clove
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder or extract
1 pinch of black pepper and ground star anise
1 pinch sea salt

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. You can add more milk in depending on how thick you like it. Pour into 2 jars and drink it up with a friend! Enjoy!

ht_chaismoothiepicture from http://www.bethanyhamilton.com