Archive | November 2008

The Legend of the Candy Cane

holly and ivy Well, Christmas is just a few weeks away and I found this story on a tract in my local Christian bookstore and thought I would share it with you.  

Some people believe this story of the candy cane is only a legend.  Others believe it really happened this way.  We do not know for sure exactly how the candy cane was invented, but one thing is certain…it is an excellent picture of Christ and His love for us.

 

candy cane2Long ago there were two villages in a far-off land.  One was in a valley, and one was on a mountaintop.  The people in the mountain village wanted to give each person in the valley a Christmas gift.

         

          So, the mountain townspeople formed a committee to think of something special.  Money was limited and each gift had to be of equal value to each person.  After much time an discussion a decision was finally reached.  The town’s candy maker, an elderly gentleman who had loved Jesus for many years, came up with an idea – the candy cane.

          Now, you may be thinking, what is so special about a candy cane – and how can it ever be tied in with the real meaning of Christmas?  Well here is how…and why…

1.  The candy cane is in the shape of a shepherd’s staff.  Jesus is our Shepherd, and we are in His flock.  A sheep, follows his own shepherd, knows his voice, trusts him and knows that he is totally safe with him.  The sheep will follow no other shepherd than their own.  In the same way, if we belong to Jesus, we are to follow only Him.   (John 10:11; Psalm 23:1; Isaiah 40:11)

2.  Turned over, the candy cane is a “J”, the first letter of Jesus’ name.  (Luke 1:31)  It is made of hard candy to remind us that Chris is the “rock” of our salvation.

3.  The wide red stripes on the candy cane represent the blood of Jesus shed on the cross for each one of us so that we can have eternal life through Him.  He restores us and cleans us with His shed blood – the only thing that can wash away our sin.  (Luke 22:20)

4.  The white stripes on the candy cane represent Jesus’ virgin birth and His pure, sinless life.  He is the only human being ever who never committed a single sin, even though He was tempted just as we are.  (1 Peter 2:22)

5.  The narrow red stripes on candy canes symbolize Jesus’ stripes, or scars, which He got when He was arrested and whipped.  The Bible says we are healed (of sin) because He took those wounds.  (Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24)

6.  The flavoring in the candy cane is peppermint, which is similar to hyssop.  Hyssop is of the mint family and was used in Old Testament times for purification and sacrifice.  (John 19:29; Psalm 51:7)

7.  When we break our candy cane, it reminds us that Jesus’ body was broken for us.  When we have communion, it is a reminder of what He did for us.  (1 Corinthians 11:24)

8.  AND, if we share our candy cane and give some to someone else because we love that person, we are sharing the love of Jesus (1 John 4:7,8)candy cane2

 

God gave Himself to us when He sent Jesus to earth to save us.  He loves us so much that he wants us to spend eternity with Him.  We are assured of that when accept Jesus into our hearts as our Savior.  (John 1:12; John 3:3,16)

You can accept Jesus into your heart through a prayer like this:

Dear God, Thank You for loving me enough to send Jesus holly and ivyfor Christmas.  I believe Jesus died for my sins, and I accept Him now as my Savior.  I promise to follow Him and share His love with others the best that I can.  Amen.

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In Touch Prayer December Week 1

Please join me in lifting up In Touch Ministries each week.  Take care and God bless you, – Briggie ^i^

 

PraiseIn Touch’s executive team and board of directors recently approved a plan that will allow “In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley” to reach 500 million homes worldwide.  Praise God that more people around the globe will have the opportunity to see and hear Dr. Stanley deliver a clear presentation of the gospel on television and radio.   

PrayerIn Touch works with many different partner organizations to broadcast Dr. Stanley’s messages in different languages around the world.  Ask god for favor and expediency in negotiating contracts and production agreements.  Pray that each program would be translated accurately and produced with technical excellence.

Urgent Prayer Request – Evey Campbell

Hello Saints and Prayer Warriors.  Doris emailed me this morning asking for us to pray for her sister in law Evey Campbell. 

Evey was rushed to the hospital early Thanksgiving morning as she was having trouble breathing.  They found a very large tumor in one of her lungs which was restricting her air flow.  She is too frail for surgery so they are going to use Chemotherapy and Radiation to shrink it.

We know there is power in the Blood of the Lamb and it flows through Evey.  We speak to the tumor in her lung and declare it benign and dissolved in the might name of Jesus.  As His blood flows through her body, let it flow to and through that tumor and return it to to it’s owner, satan, the father of all lies sickness and disease.  His Word flows through her sending life and healing to each and every part of her body, every cell, muscle, fiber, tissue, and organ.  We speak life and healing in the precious name of Jesus, Jehovah Rophe, Yeshua Ha’Mashiach.  Father God, Master and Creator of the Universe, look upon your daughter Evey and bless her in the name of Your Son, Jesus.  Amen.

in Touch Prayer November Week 4

Please join me in lifting up In Touch Ministries each week.  Take care and God bless you, – Briggie ^i^

 

PraiseIn Touch has owned FamilyNet, a Christ centered, family friendly television and radio network for a year now.  Praise God that He has sent us experienced and talented Christians to work both on camera and behind the scenes to improve the quality and impact our programming. 

PrayerLift up all the Bible teachers, including Dr. Stanley, whose preaching airs on FamilyNet.  Pray for them to grow in their intimacy with God, and for them to be led by the Holy Spirit in their professional and personal lives.

Christmas Cards For Our Heroes

christmas_cards_98_27L 

I received the message below in an email and I forwarded it to just about my entire contact list, but then thought I could also reach those who visit my site.  If you only send 1 Christmas card this year, let it be to the address below.  I can’t think of a more deserving group of people that need to know others are thinking of them, especially this time of year.  

 

When doing your Christmas cards this year, take one card and send it to38054_77071Spiritsm
this address.  If we pass this on and everyone sends one card, think of
how many cards these wonderful special people who have sacrificed so
much would get.
        

 

Holiday Mail for Heroes

PO Box 5456

Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

 

All cards must be postmarked by December 10,2008

Please ensure all cards are signed

Do not send letters

Do not include your email or personal address

Do not include inserts of any kind, including photos

Limit your sending to 25 from individuals, or 50 from groups

The program is for cards only, do not send gift cards, gift certificates or care packages

Please click HERE for more details about the Holiday Mail For HEROES and other programs
If you approve, please pass it on.

Proverbs31 Devotions – The Best I Can Do

I subscribe to daily devotions through Proverbs31 and came across this message and knew I had to pass it on.  May this bless you as it has blessed me.

In Christ Yeshua,

Briggie ^i^

 

 

November 21, 2008

The Best I Can Do

Marybeth Whalen

“Is anyone of you in trouble? He should pray. Is any one happy? Let him sing songs of praise.” James 5:13 (NIV)

Devotion:

I waited for my friend’s small group leader to finish her conversation with another lady before I shyly asked her if she had heard from my friend, whose husband had left her just a few weeks before. I knew my friend was probably not going to be at Bible study but I wanted to make sure she was doing okay.  Her small group leader told me she had spoken with my friend and that she was, considering the circumstances, doing well.  I told her I was glad to hear that, and asked if she knew of anything I could do for my friend during this difficult trial.  Her leader put her hand on my shoulder and replied, “I told her that people will say that all they can do is pray.  But really, that’s the best we can do.  We can pray for her.  We can storm the gates of heaven on her behalf.  She needs our prayers right now so we will just keep praying.”

As I walked away, I thought about our conversation and wondered how many times I had idly commented that praying was “all I could do.”  What I meant was that my prayers were a last resort, something to do when there was nothing else I could do – no meals I could bring, no Band-Aids I could apply to the hurt, no actions I could take.  And yet, I was missing the best possible response I could have.  I needed that reminder that praying is not a last resort, it’s a first response.  It’s not the action of a powerless, hopeless person whose hands are tied in every other way.  It’s the powerful, Heaven-summoning activity of a warrior who doesn’t want to fight alone.  Praying, as I learned that morning, isn’t all I can do, it’s the best I can do.

Are you facing a situation right now that you can’t do anything about?  Maybe you are watching someone go through something that you can’t help with.  Do you wonder what good it will do to pray?  Do you despair of anything changing, or of your prayers helping?  Have you, like me, shrugged your shoulders and commented that all you have left is prayer—when really your prayers are exactly what is needed? 

Let’s focus today on doing what’s best.  Let’s get on our knees for ourselves, our family members, our spouses, our children, our neighbors, our friends and our nation.  Let’s focus on the power in our prayers.  Our intercession, and nothing more, might be exactly what God desires. Let’s not forget that we can offer the most help when we are on our knees. 

Dear Lord, Thank You for being there any time I need to come to You. Thank You for giving us a way to talk to You and for Your promise that You will hear us when we pray.  Help me to remember that prayer isn’t all I can do, it’s the best I can do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:

Do You Know Him?

31 Days of Prayer by Ruth Myers

Recipe for Christmas Joy e-book by Marybeth Whalen

Visit Marybeth Whalen’s blog

Application Steps: 

Is there someone on your heart today who needs your prayers?  Spend today lifting that person up, then send them a card telling them that you have been praying and will continue to.  Include any verses that God brought to mind as you prayed.  You never know when these verses will serve as a powerful comfort or confirmation of what God is doing in their life.

Reflections: 

Do you see prayer as the best thing you can do or is it a last resort?

How can you make a shift in attitude and begin to see the power of prayer, going to God first when trouble comes instead of after all other efforts have been exhausted?

Power Verses:

James 5:16, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (NIV) 

Luke 18:1, “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” (NIV)

Psalm 50:15, “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.” (NIV)

© 2008 by Marybeth Whalen. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries

616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road

Matthews, NC 28105

www.proverbs31.org