Month: December 2011

Advent 2011 Day 14


The Story of the Nativity – Luke 2:1-21wisemen


1And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

mary5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.shepards

11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

jesus16And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

21And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.


Advent 2011–Day 12

I thought I’d switch things up a bit for today’s Advent.  My dear friend Doris sent me an email with the message below and I knew I had to share it.  Think of it as an early Christmas gift from me to you.  Remember, a gift does not have to be something you purchased, the gift of prayer has no earthly measure but is more precious than silver or gold.  Take care and may God bless you and keep you in His care. ~Briggie


Hope all is well. When you have a moment to yourself, read this. Many people claim to pray, but not everyone does. May everyone who receives this message be blessed.

There are 12 months -  12 disciples -  12 tribes of Israel  -  Jesus’ birth is celebrated in the 12th month.  

Prayer is one of the best free gifts we receive. There is no cost, just a lot of reward. Make sure you pray, and pray believing God will answer. 

May today be all you need it to be. May the peace of God and the freshness of the Holy Spirit restore your thoughts, rule in your dreams tonight, and conquer all your fears. May God manifest himself today in ways you have never experienced. May your joys be fulfilled, your dreams be closer, and your prayers be answered. I pray that faith enters a new height for you.  I pray that your territory is enlarged.  I pray for your peace, healing, health, happiness, prosperity, joy, and a true and undying love for God.  I ask this in the name of His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. ~Amen.

Advent 2011 Day 11


Det. Nunzio: [after Scott got arrested] Look, I know you’re Scott Calvin. You know you’re Scott Calvin. So let’s make this simple: I say ‘name’, you say ‘Scott Calvin’.
[gestures Scott to come close]

Det. Nunzio: Name?
Scott Calvin: Kris Kringle.kris kringle

Det. Nunzio: Name?
Scott Calvin: Sinterklaas.Sinterklass

Det. Nunzio: [annoyed] Name!

Scott Calvin: Pere Noelpere noel. Babbo NataleBabbo Natale 1875. PelznickelPelznickel.

Scott Calvin: [imitates Ed Sullivan] Topo Gigio!topo gigio

I love that scene from The Santa Clause.  You may know him as Santa,  but he is known around the world by many other names – nearly 40 different names actually.  He also comes in different shapes and sizes and colors too.  No matter what he looks like, how he speaks or enters your home, one thing remains the same – he brings joy to those who love and believe in him.  He is the subject of many songs: Jolly Old St. Nicholas, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, and Kris Kringle’s Jingle Jingle Jingle, just to name a few. 

They say Christmas is for the children – and maybe they are right.  Each of us was a child at one time or another.  Staying in touch with our ‘inner child’ is a way to stay young at heart.  I’ve heard tell that it’s a secret to living a long, full and happy life.  No matter who or what he is to you, take a moment to reflect on what he stands for -  the selfless act of giving and making others happy.  To me, he will always be Santa.

* Note – giving does not have to mean you have to buy something – you can make something, you can give your time or a kind word. My Mom always told me, “it’s the thought that counts.” Today more than ever those words are so true.

The Legend of Saint Nicholas (From the Volunteer Center of Southern Arizona.)

Long ago, in a far off land known today as Turkey, there was a boy named Nicholas. Nicholas was a person who created numerous miracles and accomplished many good deeds. As a teenager, Nicholas inherited a vast fortune, but he had no idea what to do with it. Wanting to help those less fortunate than himself, Nicholas set out to make the wishes of others come true. While Nicholas knew the townspeople needed his help, he was also aware that they were very proud people, so Nicholas decided to help his friends secretly.

Each night, Nicholas would disguise himself and deliver such items as food, clothing and money to the people of his village. Of all the townspeople, Nicholas felt the closest bond with one specific family. In this family, there were three daughters. Sadly, the family was very poor and the father felt much pain over the fact that he could not afford the weddings of each daughter. In his desire to help the family, Nicholas left a bag of gold on the father’s doorstep as the wedding of the oldest daughter was near. Upon discovering the money the next morning, the family was very happy!

When it was time for the second daughter to get married, Nicholas again visited the family. He threw another bag of gold into the family’s chimney. The family greatly appreciated the individual who was providing them with such a great fortune, but they had no idea as to who this person could be. As the third daughter’s wedding neared, the father decided to stand guard so that he could identify the kind person who had created such happiness for his family. On this visit, Nicholas tossed the bag of gold through an open window. Upon hearing the bag of coins land on the floor, the father chased Nicholas until he caught up with him.

Nicholas was embarrassed and did not want the father to make his identity known to the townspeople. The father promised to keep the secret, but was so grateful for the kindness of young Nicholas that he could not keep the secret no matter how hard he tried. Soon the entire town knew that Nicholas was the person responsible for the wonderful events that had occurred in their town.

Every December, Nicholas took it upon himself to reward all of the boys and girls who had been good throughout the year by secretly delivering presents to them. All these years later, Nicholas is still remembered for his kindness, generosity, and undying love for children. In honor of Nicholas, many countries throughout the world provide children with gift bags in December on Saint Nicholas’ Day. 

Prayer Request–Susan & Mother

I received an email from Gail asking for prayer for her daughter’s friend Susan and her mother.  Please place them on your prayer list.  We all know the power of prayer – “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20. May God bless you for your faithfulness. ~Briggie


Dear Prayer Warriors,

My daughter’s friend Susan has had to leave a job offer and not complete medical school to care for her mother who has BRAIN CANCER.  The tumor is growing rapidly, and the Drs. want to start her on a  cancer treatment now but the prognosis is for 1-2 years at most. Susan wants her mother to be accepted for a new clinical trial and needs a miracle/conventional route is just not acceptable.  Susan’s mother has not been able to study her Bible due to memory and focus problems.

Susan wants to help her mother but she was so close to being a brilliant doctor and will still have to pay for 4yrs of medical school.She needs GOD to intervene and provide the answer and healing.

This is the time for a miracle before Christmas and Praise God that my daughter and her best friend are looking to God and his prayer warriors to lift up Susan and her mother and claim a healing miracle or medical breakthrough for with God Nothing is Impossible. Please pray in Jesus’s Name  and for God’s will to manifest itself in this family. Blessings to you!  Gail.

Advent 2011 Day 10

C is for Christmas Cookies!  Everyone has a favorite cookie that helps to make their holiday complete.  I love sugar cookies, spritz cookies, peanut butter cookies and the kind with the Hershey Kiss stuffed in the middle.  My Mom makes awesome chocolate chip cookies but I’d have to say I love her Russian Tea Cakes the best.  I was browsing the web and learned they are also known as Povlorones and can be made with chestnuts or almonds.  I prefer walnuts myself.

Here is some history I borrowed from Wikipedia: Russian tea cakes appeared in Russia in the 18th century as a confection used in a tea-sharing ceremony. By the 20th century, they were a part of wedding and Christmas traditions in the U.S., known by their popular “Russian tea” name. Mexican Wedding Cookies, and Bizcochitos, the official cookie of the State of New Mexico, are similar except that they have the addition of anise, although, properly made, the anise flavor is very mild. Many cultures have a similar cookie. In Spain, they are called Mantecosos.

My Mom has always used the recipe from the Betty Crocker cookbook, and so do I.  Why question perfection?  Now, some recipes say you can use margarine – DO NOT BELIEVE THEM!  Use butter – it makes the cookies melt in your mouth.  Now as for using salted or unsalted butter.  That is debatable.  I have always used salted butter because I never really knew about unsalted butter.  I know they say you should use unsalted for baking, but hey – I know what I grew up on and what I and my family have come to love so I will leave that decision up to you – but the margarine thing – forget it!  Trust me!


1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
3/4 cup finely chopped nuts – your preference
1/4 teaspoon salt
Powdered sugar for dusting

Parchment paper for baking


BAKING INSTRUCTIONS – You must be attentive when making these cookies!!!

Heat oven to 400ºF.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Mix butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and the vanilla in large bowl – should be very creamy. Stir in flour, nuts and salt until dough holds together.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until set but not brown. Remove from cookie sheet. Cool slightly on wire rack.

Carefully roll warm cookies in powdered sugar; cool on wire rack. Roll in powdered sugar again.

Makes anywhere from 2-3 dozen depending on the size of your cookies.

Advent 2011 Day 9

For those who follow my blog and are enjoying the virtual Advent, I humbly apologize for Today’s Advent being late.  I was making rather merry with my family and close friends last night, and I was so tired when I got home I forgot to put up a post.  I am taking steps to enter a few posts ahead of time so that this does not happen again. 

Jingle Bells, Silver Bells, Jingle Bell Rock, I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day…So many songs with Bells in them , but my favorite has to be Carol of the Bells.  I love every version, but my utmost favorite arrangement is the one performed by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  I found a version on YouTube that has an awesome light show to go along with the song.  Enjoy and God bless you! ~Briggie