Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas from the Sky Ranch family to Yours!

Merry Christmas...It is all about Jesus!

Luke 2:15-20

The Message (MSG)
15-18 As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. “Let’s get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us.” They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.
19-20 Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself. The sheepherders returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they’d been told!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Kelsey Brandon, Sky Ranch Event Marketing Manager brings us REINDEER NOSES!!

Kelsey from our Dallas Sky Ranch office is gifted with some serious baking skills! Yet, this week she delivered an easy quick fun little snack that we just had to share with you all, be on the lookout for some more of Kelsey's baking recipes in the future!

  • little pretzels- the small square ones work great!
  • Rolos or Hershey’s Kisses
  • M&M's- Red for Rudolph and green. and brown for all the other Reindeer

1. line up all the pretzels on a parchment lined baking sheet
2. Unwrap your candies
3. Place Rolos or Hershey Kiss on top of the pretzels
4. Place the Rolo or Hershey Kiss topped pretzels in a preheated 200 degree oven for about 5-7 minutes. You want them to be soft and malleable, but not melted.
5. Remove the cookie sheet and somewhat quickly and carefully push the M&M's on top of the Rolos or Hershey Kiss.
6. Place finished Reindeer noses onto a plate and pop them into the fridge to set. Then you can place them in a airtight container for as long as you can keep little hands from eating them! They freeze well.

Merry Christmas,

Kelsey Brandon
Event Marketing Manager
Sky Ranch
Texas | Colorado | Oklahoma

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Prayer Encouragement: "The Week before Christmas 2012" by SkyMom, Terrie Chevaillier

The Week before Christmas 2012

For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness 
and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son,
who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.
Colossians 1:13

If there has ever been a week in my time here on this earth that made me
filled with hope and expectancy for Christ, it was THIS week.
The week before Christmas 2012.
As the account of the tragedy unfolded regarding the shooting 
In Newtown, Connecticut, I became increasingly thankful for Christmas.
Such darkness.  Such sadness.  Such despair. So many unanswered questions.
But for the believer in Christ, are they really unanswered questions?
I don’t think so.
There is a reason and there is an answer.
The world is not as it should be and there is evil and darkness all around: the reason.
Christ: the answer.
For me, I drove my boys to school this week with a little more thankfulness in my heart 
for the opportunity.  I saw it as a gift that I might not get at 3:30 later in the afternoon.
When we prayed together before bed, I said aloud, “Thank you Lord that this child is yours. Thank you that You gave him to me to care for while on this earth. If his time on earth is done tomorrow, thank You that he will be in Your loving arms.”
We talked about “what if” scenarios.
Now my boys are 20, 14, and 12 and they were mature enough for this discussion to not transfer fear into their hearts.
We discussed courage, bravery, and how would the Lord call them to react as His ambassador on this earth and in their school to protect themselves and others around them.
The week before Christmas 2012.
In past years, the discussions around our Sunday night Christmas dinners had a different tone.
However, this week…..a lot of darkness and evil invaded them.
But, Christmas.
See….Christmas changes everything.
Because of Christmas, this story is not over.
Darkness does not win.
The thought of evil in our children’s school is like the grass that withers away….here today and gone tomorrow when Christ returns to take us home.
Because of Christmas, there is hope amidst the darkness.
Let’s Pray God’s Word:
Dear heavenly Father, thank YOU that you have rescued our hearts from the kingdom of darkness.  We know that there are many around us who are perishing. Use us as instruments of grace, truth, and love.
Show us who You desire to transfer into the Kingdom of Your dear Son as we see so much darkness around us.  It is not Your will for anyone to perish.
Protect our children from the darkness.
Hide them in the shadow of Your wings.
Send Your people to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the mommies and daddies and sisters and brothers in Newtown.
Because of Christmas, help them see light and don’t let their thoughts be overpowered by the darkness.
Your will is freedom and forgiveness of sins.
Lord, use our children as beacons of light and hope in their schools.
Give them courage to live out Christmas every day of the year.
Thank You for Christmas.
Thank you for Hope.
Thank You for Joy.
And thank You for rescuing me.
~Terrie Chevaillier

Friday, December 21, 2012

Tori's SkyMoms Tips....Teaching the Symbols of Christmas!

Every Christmas symbol ought to point to the Lord Jesus Christ. Our entire focus for this season is on Christ, His character, our service to Him, and our opportunity to spread His light to others.
THE STAR: a heavenly sign of prophecy fulfilled long ages ago. It's the shining hope of mankind and a reminder that wise men still seek Him.
RED: the first color of Christmas. It symbolizes God's greatest gift- the Savior's sacrifice for all.
FIR TREE: evergreen- the second color of Christmas shows everlasting life. The needles point heavenward.
THE BELL: rings out to guide lost sheep back to the fold, signifying all are precious in the eyes of the Lord. It calls for all to follow the true Shepherd.
THE CANDLE: represents our gratitude for the gift of God's son. It symbolizes the light within all of us, shining for all to see.
GIFT BOW: tied as we should all be tied together in bonds of goodwill forever.
GIFTS: For many people, gifts define Christmas. They focus on the giving and receiving of gifts instead of on our greatest Gift Jesus Who gave Himself to us at Christmas. The wise men who brought their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to honor the infant King in Bethlehem's manger have inspired the concept of gift giving at Christmas. 

CANDY CANE: the shepherd's crook used to bring lambs back to the fold. It's a reminder that we are all our brother's keeper. It also forms a J, representing the precious name of Jesus who came to Earth.
THE WREATH: a symbol of the never ending eternal nature of love, having no beginning and no end.

Merry Christmas,


Tori Miller
SkyMoms Ministry Director
Sky Ranch
Texas | Colorado | Oklahoma
972-743-7774 (Mobile)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Ronda from ~ The Family Table, brings us " Rosemary Maple Spiced Nuts"

Tasty treats are always fun during the holiday season. Spiced nuts are great hostess gifts plus they liven up any holiday table. Once you start making your own version, I’m pretty sure you won’t buy them at the store ever again.

Rosemary Maple Spiced Nuts

16 oz bag whole pecans
16 oz bag whole almonds
½ cup maple syrup
3 T olive oil
4  T chopped fresh rosemary
¾ tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
1-2 T sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place nuts in a large bowl. Mix maple syrup, olive oil, rosemary, and cayenne pepper. Pour this mix over the nuts and toss to coat nuts. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and spread out into one layer. Do not crowd. I use two large pans. Roast for 15 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and while hot, sprinkle generously with salt, pepper and sugar. Toss to coat and taste. Adjust seasonings. Add extra rosemary or cayenne as desired. Let cool and serve. Can be stored in airtight container for two weeks.

These make nice gifts. You can wrap in cello bags and garnish with fragrant rosemary twigs.

Happy Cooking
Ronda at The Family Table

Monday, December 17, 2012

Teach Intentionally..."Family Time…Jesus forgives you", with Stacy A. Davis ~ Bible Teacher and Sky Ranch Board Member

Family Time…Jesus forgives you

Hopefully you are taking some-time this month to share with your family the incredible blessing of Jesus’ birth! Even though it is very busy, it is great timing to have your family devotional’s focus on Jesus. The topic changes this week to focus on another reason that Jesus was sent to earth...to forgive and heal you! However, this will bring to mind the question...why does Jesus need to forgive me? What did I do? This month’s family time topic from the “Sky Ranch Family Devotional: Follow the Leader” is on “Jesus forgives and heals you“and the weekly discussion is on “Jesus forgives so confess sin.“ Your family can have the opportunity to talk about sin in the devotion time. Sin is anytime that you have done something your own way and it is against God’s way. It is anytime that you have treated someone else poorly and knew that you did not want to be treated like that, but did it anyway. It can be really hard not to sin against others or God. You sin against God every time that you break His law. Even though sin is not a popular topic, it is important to recognize your own sin. Does your family ever fight? Typically if there is a fight, sin is probably involved somewhere. At the Christmas break, there is a lot of family togetherness...maybe even a little too much. Discussing sin can give your family a reason to calmly address “family fights” and ways to resolve them before they happen.

As a Mom, I knew my kids didn’t really see their own sin against God easily. But they sure did understand sibling fights. I found that most family fights happened because someone felt they were being treated wrong. The golden rule of treating others the way that you want to be treated often was talked about in our house. Ignoring it was often the cause of the sin and the fight. A simple resolve was to ask the one who committed the crime to confess...I would ask if that was the way they wanted to be treated? And if the answer was “no” (which it always was), then I had clear reason to move ahead with a punishment that fit the crime. It made it clear for everyone. We often discussed how the entire situation could have been handled differently too. Then, I would parallel the event of sinning against a person as similar to sinning against God and talk about the topic of sin against God and His forgiveness.

This week in your family time, I would encourage you to prepare by praying for your family and asking God to help you explain “sin” to your family. Ask God to help you talk about how sin affects your relationship with God and each other.  Pray for God to reveal if there are any past family fights that really have not been resolved...pray that He will help you find a solution and bring forgiveness and healing to your family.

Do you have questions or need prayer for your family? Email me at SkyMoms@skyranch.org.
I will be praying for you! 
Stacy A. Davis
Sky Ranch Family Devotionals and
Teach Intentionally Author

This week we are in the 4th  Topic and 16th  Family Time (or page  37) of the Sky Ranch Family Devotional “Follow the Leader”…

Family Time 16:
Topic 4: Jesus forgives and heals you…Jesus forgives so confess sin
Talk with God: Read… Scriptures and questions below.
Isaiah 59:2  But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God , And your sins have hidden [His] face  from  you, so that He does not hear.
  • In Isaiah 59:2, what separates you from God? 

Ephesians 2:1  And you were dead in your trespasses and sins
  • In Eph. 2:1, what were you dead in? 

Romans 5:12  (about Adam)  Therefore, just as through one  man  sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all  sinned --
  • In Rom. 5:12, what spread to all men because of sin?

Romans 3:23  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
  • In Rom. 3:23, what have all people done?

Walk with God: Discuss…Scripture teaches that you and I sin. In Rom. 5:12, sin entered the world through one man, Adam; then sin and death was passed to all mankind. Parents do not have to teach their young children to sin. You were cute, I am sure…but even at a young age you knew how to sin and did. Upsetting, isn’t it?  What is sin according to God? What type of sin do you need to be forgiven for and healed from?

Prayer suggestion… Ask God to help you see your own sin.

Family Time 16: 
Leader Answers:
  • Iniquity, sin
  • Trespasses, sins
  • Death
  • All have sinned
  • Discussion ideas:  Sin is anytime that you have gone your own way against God. Sin is breaking the 10 Commandments in Exodus 20. Sin is not treating another person the way that you want to be treated. In scripture death means physically leaving the earth and death means spiritually being separated from God. It means both. Your sin causes spiritual and physical separation from God. Your sin causes your death. All have thought or said words or done deeds that are wrong and against God and others. Help each other recognize sin and name it…is there any sin that you need to confess against each other or God?
© 2012 Stacy A. Davis, Inc. All rights reserved.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Prayer Encouragement: "The Immanuel Prayer" by SkyMom, Terrie Chevaillier

The Immanuel Prayer

The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"--which means, "God with us.”  Matthew 1:23

You know how sometimes you see something over and over again.
You’ve seen it before, heard it before and read it before.
However at this particular time or season, you bump into it so many times you give pause to it.
For me, this Christmas season, it has been Immanuel, which means God with us.
This one word has lovingly reached my heart upon many occasions for me and my care and concern for others.  
One of my favorite blog writers, Emily P. Freeman who’s blog is called Chatting at the Sky wrote on Immanuel a few days ago as an alternative to pessimism and optimism.
READ IT…..you WILL be encouraged.
God With Us.
God with me….throughout the day.  God with me….in  the conflict.  God with me….in the joy of taking my kids to school.  God with me…baking the cookies.  God with me….as I pray and ask Him to impart on my heart who He would have our family bless this Christmas season.  God with me….as I pray about a friend I am worried about and then led to just say “Immanuel”….God with her…over the situation.
God with my kids…while studying and preparing for semester exams.  God with my kids….while one is driving home from college. God with my kids while one prepares for an important tryout.  God with my kids as I go before the Lord and ask that He keep them unstained from the world…after praying many words and requesting many areas I needed to feel His protection for them in…..I just stopped and said 
Immanuel.  Thank You God that You are in this with them.
Let’s Pray God’s Word:
Dear Father, we thank You that you sent Your son Jesus to this earth.
What a joy it is to celebrate this occasion.
Let us be changed as moms through the virgin birth.
Grow us in our trust of you.
Would you grant  us Mary trust?
We long for Immanuel trust.
Thank You God that you are with us.
~Terrie Chevaillier

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Lisa Life Lesson, "Mary Did You Know?"

Mary did you know?

I’ve thought about Mary a lot this Christmas season.  Historians believe her to be only 14 years of age when Gabriel sought her out on behalf of God.  14.  I don’t know about you but when my girls were 14 they weren’t “mother of the messiah ready.”  I’m just saying.  Anyway, she was young.  

She was betrothed to Joseph.  Her mom was planning a wedding.  I’m planning a wedding.  It’s easy to get caught up in the “day of” festivities and forget about the actual marriage.  I keep trying to make sure we’re focusing more on the marriage and “life happily ever after” versus the day of.  It’s hard.  I’m sure Mary’s mom was a little “fit to be tied” when the actual day of events got postponed or hurried up or whatever happened.  Moms will be moms.  

Yet Mary stood before the Lord and said, “Whatever you need of me, I am your maidservant.”  

“Whatever you need.”

Mary didn’t know exactly what she was signing up for that day.  But God knew her love for Him was beyond her circumstances.  Her heart was set on Him and He knew she was His.  When she said those words she meant it deep within her heart.  

33 years of life with her precious Savior on earth.  Her precious son.  Her precious Jesus.  And then the day came when she pleaded for His life as he hung upon the cross, pouring her heart out to God.  Perhaps at that very moment, the only one who could identify with Mary was God Himself.  The one who called her to this very crucial position as the mother of the Messiah, knew exactly what she was going through.  That was His Son, too.  

~Lisa Clark
Sky Ranch SkyMom Parenting Mentor

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Teach Intentionally..."Family Time…Serve like Jesus", with Stacy A. Davis ~ Bible Teacher and Sky Ranch Board Member

Family Time…Serve like Jesus

Do you enjoy giving gifts? I love it! What about each person in your family? Do they enjoy giving to others? In December, we celebrate that Jesus was born on earth. It was a huge moment for all mankind! God, the Son, was sent to earth in the form of a baby to help all of mankind as a gift from God, the Father...we just need to accept God’s free gift. In return, God asks that we will trust Him and follow Jesus. Following Jesus encourages you to imitate His behavior and reach out and serve those around you. This month’s family time topic from the “Sky Ranch Family Devotional: Follow the Leader” is on “Jesus was sent as God’s Servant“ and the weekly discussion is on “Serve like Jesus and the strength to help others.“ This section of the devotional has been exploring the question “Why did Jesus come to earth?” We know that Jesus brought the plan of eternal salvation and the plan for an abundant life while on earth. He also said “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:35) The goal is to teach your family to imitate Jesus and show His loving-kindness to others.

As a Mom, I found teaching my kids to serve others was a big challenge. Today kids want to be served and parents are trained to serve their kids instead of the other way around. It is really hard to go against the culture and teach your kids to have a servant heart like Jesus. So, our family had to take baby steps with learning to show loving-kindness to others. We started within our own home and began by making a point to complement each other. It actually had to start with me. I often would think of something nice, but I didn’t take the time to say it to the other person. I had to make an effort to say my complements and then ask the rest of my family to make the same effort. Slowly we learned to share our gifts of kind words outside our family by sharing these random acts of kindness with others. We would make a point to say something nice to someone outside our family. It eventually helped each of us form a habit to try to notice opportunities to reach out to others.

This week in your family time, I would encourage you to prepare by praying for your family and asking God to reveal your family’s attitude toward serving. Pray for God to help you teach your family to have a servant heart toward your family and others. Pray that they will learn to show God’s loving-kindness where ever they go and that their servant hearts will be evident to others outside your family.

Do you have questions or need prayer for your family? Email me at SkyMoms@skyranch.org.
I will be praying for you! 
Stacy A. Davis
Sky Ranch Family Devotionals and
Teach Intentionally Author

This week we are in the 3rd  Topic and 15th  Family Time (or page 33 ) of the Sky Ranch Family Devotional “Follow the Leader”…
Family Time 15: 
Topic 3: Jesus was sent as God’s Servant…Serve like Jesus and strength to help others
Talk with God: Read…Scriptures and questions below.
Acts 20:35  “In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to  give  than to receive.’”
  • In Acts 20:35, who are you to help?

Hebrews 4:16  Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.
  • In Hebrews 4:16, if you draw near to Jesus’ throne, what will you find?

John 12:26  “If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall My servant also be; if anyone serves  Me, the Father will honor him.”
  • In John 12:26, who follows Jesus?
  • In John 12:26, who does God the Father honor?

Walk with God: Discuss… Do you like to struggle with a difficult task? I don’t! Did you know that Jesus tells you He will help you? We just have to ask. How does Jesus help you when you are weak? How does He help you serve others?

Prayer suggestion…  Pray for God to help you serve others.

Family Time 15: 
Leader Answers:
  • The weak
  • Grace to help in time of need
  • Those serving Jesus
  • Jesus’ servant
  • Discussion ideas: When Jesus asks us to serve others, we don’t have to do this alone. Jesus helps us supernaturally through the Holy Spirit. Philippians 4:13 says “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me,” and Hebrews 4:16 shows we can go to Jesus and find help in a time of need. Do you turn to Jesus for help? Ask Jesus for a super-natural help. Then, Jesus will help you help others…Have you ever helped someone weaker than you? How did they respond?
© 2012 Stacy A. Davis, Inc. All rights reserved.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Teach Intentionally..."Family Time…Jesus points the way", with Stacy A. Davis ~ Bible Teacher and Sky Ranch Board Member

Family Time…Jesus points the way

Ready, set, go! The race of the Christmas season is off! December is always such a mix of joy and sadness. There is joy for the amazing blessings of celebrating Jesus and family and friends...and sadness at the crazy pace and disappointment when the shopping craze turns into a holiday nightmare. At times, I have been so disappointed at the behavior of either myself or others in dealing with traffic, shopping lines or waiting your turn. It can be a struggle to keep a good attitude. So how do you keep your heart's attitude right during this busy time? Keep following Jesus’ example. This month’s family time topic from the “Sky Ranch Family Devotional: Follow the Leader” is on “Jesus is God's Servant“ and the weekly discussion is on “Jesus serves by explaining God, so point the way, too.“ The scriptures this week tell you that Jesus was sent to give you understanding...to explain God, the Father, to you so that you can have a relationship with Him. Your job is to believe Jesus, and if you believe Him, then you can know you believe God, the Father. The end result will be a lifestyle that points to Jesus too.

As a Mom, I found it difficult to be a good role model during Christmas shopping. I was glad my kids were often in school and not with me, in case my attitude was bad. I don't like to shop anyway and I really don't like to shop at Christmas. But I like everyone else feel that the family traditions are important, so I do my part to make sure that our family participated. Throughout the years, I did find that I had plenty of opportunities at Christmas to talk to my kids about my relationship with Jesus and how it helped me. I would share my frustrating experiences with my family about my shopping adventures as teachable moments. I often explained the many times that I would stop, pray and think...then react with a good outcome. Those were the good moments. And the other times that I would just react with a bad outcome. Those were the bad moments. Notice the difference? It made a difference in the heat of the moment if I stopped, prayed and took a minute to think or if I didn't. I found it really helped my kids to see that difference. I found it was helpful to teach my kids that girls really need to stop, pray and think before they act with words or it could lead to a verbal fight. Girls have to watch their words.  For boys that they really need to stop, pray and think before they act with actions or it could lead to a physical fight. Boys really need to watch their actions. I would tell them that when my behavior was good, I was pointing the way to Jesus for other people. And the reverse is true too...when I am bad; I lead others away from Jesus.  Others do see a difference when your response to a situation is not the normal crazy response. It can cause an interest in Jesus when you act in kindness or peacefully.

This week in your family time, I would encourage you to prepare by praying for your family and asking God to show you if your family’s actions reflect a true belief in Jesus. It may be subtle, but if you really trust Jesus, there will be a change in behavior. You will see a desire to control your words or actions to keep the peace and share God’s kindness. Pray for God to make a difference in all of your hearts so that others will eventually see the evidence of a changed life that follows Jesus. 

Do you have questions or need prayer for your family? Email me at SkyMoms@skyranch.org.
I will be praying for you! 
Stacy A. Davis
Sky Ranch Family Devotionals and
Teach Intentionally Author

This week we are in the 3rd  Topic and 14th   Family Time (or page  32) of the Sky Ranch Devotional “Follow the Leader”…
Family Time 14: 
Topic 3: Jesus was sent as God’s Servant…Jesus serves by explaining God, so point the way, too
Talk with God: Read…Scriptures and questions below.
1 John 5:20  (about Jesus)  And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding, in order that we might know Him who is true, and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.
  • In 1 John 5:20, when Jesus came to earth, what did He give?

John 6:29  Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”
  • In John 6:29, what is your work?

John 12:44  And Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me does not believe in Me, but in Him who sent Me.  45 And he who beholds Me beholds the One who sent Me.”
  • In John 12:44, when you believe in Jesus, who are you also believing?

Walk with God: Discuss… We start with a simple job…believe in Jesus. When you believe Jesus, you believe God. Once you believe, you will follow Him which will lead to a lifestyle of serving Him. This godly lifestyle happens because Jesus gives you understanding. What is meant by the phrase  “Jesus gives understanding?” How does Jesus give you understanding of God?
Prayer suggestion…  Pray for help understanding God.

Family Time 14: 
Leader Answers:
  • Understanding of the True God
  • Believe Jesus
  • God the Father
  • Discussion ideas: John 1:18 tells us that Jesus has explained God. And John 12:45 tells us that anyone who beholds (acknowledges) Jesus is beholding (acknowledging) God. Jesus points the way to the One True God and says in John 14:6, “I am the way, truth, life and no one comes to the Father, but through Me.” This True God is the only One who provides eternal life. Do you point the way for others? How?
© 2012 Stacy A. Davis, Inc. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Ronda from ~ The Family Table, brings us "Gingerbread Pancakes"

How about a new pancake recipe to celebrate the season?  With a subtle spiced tone, that is not at all overwhelming, these festive Gingerbread pancakes are sure to please the whole family.

Gingerbread Pancakes
Adapted from Williams Sonoma Brunch Recipes
Serves 6 

2 ½ cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 ½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground cloves
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
4 large eggs
4 T molasses 
4 T melted butter
1 ½ cup water

Mix dry ingredients. Mix wet ingredients separately. Combine wet to dry and mix. There may be a few lumps. Place griddle over medium to low heat ( I only use cast iron griddles for my pancakes). Use butter or cooking spray and then add your batter. When bubbles appear, flip pancake. 

Serve pancakes hot, slathered with softened butter, and warm, pure maple syrup. Hot coffee and chicken sausages or bacon are yummy too. 

I wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas Season!

Happy Cooking….
Ronda from The Family Table

Monday, December 3, 2012

Prayer Encouragement: "When How We Think Things Shouldn’t Be..." by SkyMom, Terrie Chevaillier

When How We Think Things Shouldn’t Be,
Are Right Where God Purposes For Them To Be

Luke 2:7
and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.
 She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger,
 because there was no guest room available for them.

Do you ever have those times in your life or moments where you just think…
this is not how this is supposed to go.
Or, at least this is just not how I thought this would go.
Even after praying about it and asking God to take it… have you thought…I still
just do not think this is the way it is supposed to go.
Well, I have experienced many of those moments   lately and God is giving me glimpses into my best thoughts and plans
look absolutely nothing like His.
It is at those times that I have to remember that the Kingdom world looks a whole lot different than the 
worldly world.
It makes me see that I do not routinely think on a kingdom level.
Oh, how I have been almost stopped in my tracks as I have seen that God’s Ways are 
much higher than my own…or my own way that I would have for my kids.
In Luke 1:38 after the angel visits Mary and tells her that she will bear a son
even though she is a virgin, Mary said….”I am the Lord’s servant.  Let Your Word to me be fulfilled.”
Mary was faithful.  Mary found favor with the Lord.
In scripture, we see Mary being told of something that would happen to her that was very out of the normal.
We then see the Savior was born in a place that was very out of the normal.
But what is normal?
We do not see evidence of Mary saying it just couldn’t happen that way and I cannot believe that this baby is being born in a stable and will sleep in a manger.
SkyMoms….I am becoming more and more convinced that what the world says is normal
is so far removed from Kingdom normal.
Kingdom normal is what we cannot construct in our minds.
Kingdom normal just happens and we are left almost speechless with expressions that leave us saying…
Oh God…I am so glad that even in my stubbornness to have my way…you did not let me miss this.
When you experience Kingdom normal, you just don’t really desire worldly normal as much.
Unfortunately, it has taken me a little longer than I would like to admit to surrender to His best laid plans in this season of life that I am in.
Some things don’t make sense.
However, I am seeing that when things just aren’t making sense….Kingdom normal is about to appear.
This season of life has made me think about Mary as we approach the Christmas Season.
I want to respond more often than not as…..
I am the Lord’s servant.  My kids are the Lord’s servant.
Let it be to me and Let it be to them as You have said, Lord.
So Let’s Pray God’s Word:
Dear Heavenly Father, as we prepare our hearts to celebrate Your birth, 
Thank You for scripture that give us details into the divine plan of Your birth.
Born of a virgin.  Born in a manger.
No room in the inn.
Humble.  Beautiful. Divine.
Lord, help us as we go about Your plan for us and Your plan for our children to 
not miss out on seeing a divine plan take place.
Remove our stubborn thinking about how we think things should be for ourselves or our children
and allow us know that Your thoughts are not our thoughts, nor are Your ways our ways.
As we approach Christmas, help us teach our kids humility.
Allow us to see Your Kingdom.
We are Your servants.
Let it be to us have You have said.
~Terrie Chevaillier