Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Christmas Favorites - Decorating Our Homes

Relating Christmas Favorites to Christ - Decorating Our Homes
Carri Pratt
Decorations from the homes of Amy Gentry & Kim Hawkins - Thanks Ladies!

It takes a lot of work to transform our homes into the perfectly decorated Christmas retreats we cherish during the month of December (and into January!).  It also takes a lot of work to transform our hearts and minds to resemble Christ. And although it is exciting and fun to pick and choose how our homes will look, it is often not so fun to go through the "fire" and trials of life to be transformed into the image of Christ.

Transforming our homes and hearts during the Christmas season is only a shadow of the awesome transformation that is taking place in our  lives each day as we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives and homes and allow the Holy Spirit to do a magnificent work in us.  We are becoming a work of art that will ultimately shine for eternity!

Tip: Ask your children if they enjoy the transformation your home takes over the holidays. Explain to them that they also can be transformed into a child of God through accepting Jesus Christ as Lord of their lives.

"And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, 
are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, 
which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."  2 Corinthians 3:18

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Christmas Favorites - The Christmas Tree

Relating Christmas Favorites to Christ - The Christmas Tree
Carri Pratt

"For great is His love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord." Psalm 117:2

There are many stories that attempt to explain why Christians put up Christmas trees in their homes. However, my favorite is that  during the bleakest time of the year, when all is cold and barren, the pine tree shines as a faithful witness to life just as Jesus did when he blessed our world with His presence.

Tip: Discuss with your children why they think Christians put up Christmas trees. Try Googling to see what you can find. Below is a beautiful poem you may consider reading to them:

Christmas Tree by Virginia Blanck Moore
A tree, the verdant evergreen,
Is mute testimony that some things on earth
Do not change as the seasons,
And the centuries come and go;
That in this world of change
Something abiding, enduring, unvariable
Has been provided.

For this reason it is fitting
That the evergreen be used as the symbol of Christmas,
The season when we celebrate the birth
Of the One whose love is
Unchanging, unflagging, and steadfast;
A love which, like the evergreen,
Whatever the season,
Remains ever verdant.

So each evergreen tree,
Gay in its holiday dress,
Proclaims to us the unfailing nature
Of the love of Him who was born
In the manger at Bethlehem.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Christmas Favorites - The Nativity

Relating Christmas Favorites to Christ - The Nativity
Carri Pratt



The first Christmas decoration my family puts up is the Nativity. We do this to symbolize the importance that Christ should be the center of all Christmas activities.



Tip: Allow your children to put up your nativity and take this wonderful opportunity to have them tell you the story of Christmas.

"This will be a sign to you
 You will find a baby wrapped in cloths 
and lying in a manger.”
Luke 2:12

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Advent 2016

Welcome to the Advent Season!
 Carri Pratt
Today is the beginning of Advent, a time when we not only get to look forward to celebrating the birth of Christ but also a time to look forward to the 2nd coming of Christ.

Each Sunday a candle is lit representing the corresponding theme of the week.

Week One is HOPE and we light the first of the four (or five) candles. The optional 5th candle is lit on Christmas Eve along with all the others.

Candle to Light:                    The first candle (traditional = purple)
Prayer:                        Thank God for the HOPE we have in Jesus Christ, His only Son.
Family Scripture Reading:       Luke 1:26-38

“The Lord Himself will give you a sign: 
The virgin will conceive, have a son, 
and name him Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14

This year we will be posting a daily tip on our Facebook Page to help you relate your Favorite Christmas Traditions to Christ for your children.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Fit For Battle?

Fit For Battle?

Potential soldiers must pass strict health and fitness tests and are skillfully trained for battle and endurance. A military Sergeant would not send wounded and broken soldiers into battle, only those with what it takes physically, emotionally, and mentally. 

Life is a spiritual war that you cannot see, but you should not ignore. In this spiritual battle, many of us are wounded and broken because of bitterness and unforgiveness.

For you to be healed, you must allow God to tend to your wounds so you are fit for battle. For the deep rooted issues, getting professional help may be required.

"Forgiveness is fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it." ~Mark Twain

"Walk in love, which is the bond of perfection." Colossians 3:14

"For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." 
Romans 14:17
women encouraging women

Friday, November 18, 2016

Seed To Sow

Seed To Sow 

I recently brought my small kneeling cushion for gardening from the garage and put it beside my bed. It now serves as a reminder to get on my knees in prayer. 

Each prayer sows seeds of faith in me and and produces a harvest in our life. 

Meeting with Jesus by faith (not in fear) soaks our seeds of faith to be nourished and sprout.  

Beloved Sister, regularly pray over your husband and children sending angels into flight on your behalf. 

Imagine if all women stopped complaining, pointing out flaws, surrendered a controlling spirit and the fear that causes it to the Lord.... 

Father, May our prayers, thoughts, words, and actions build up our loved ones and empower each one to walk according who you created them to be. In Jesus powerful name. Amen

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." Matthew 5:6
women encouraging women

Friday, November 11, 2016

Young Little Sponges

Young Little Sponges

Our example makes a deep impression on our children. How we respond to difficulties or stress, when we put others above ourselves, how we serve, respect, & love our husbands and bring out the best in him, when we stand firm in faith and not give into fear... they are watching, learning, growing, being trained just by watching us.  

Saturate your children in pure, unconditional love, faith, obedience, courage, HOPE, respect, JOY! 

"Learn (train) to do common things uncommonly well." ~George Washington Carver

"A wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down." Proverbs 14:1

"Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6
women encouraging women

Friday, November 4, 2016

He Can Smooth Us

He Can Smooth Us 

If someone (or something) is rubbing you the wrong way, maybe you need your rough edges sanded off. Here's the catch: Will you allow it?

Trials (as difficult as they are) have a wonderful way of smoothing out our rough parts. There are so many valuable lessons in trials or difficult people in your life. 

I can testify that fighting it will only prolong the problem. If your particular problem is a friend, spouse, or your child...digging in your heels by being prideful or stubborn will only destroy the relationship. 

Look how the certain problem reveals what's in you. 

In the example above, it was pride/stubbornness. Now, putting the other person aside, is that pride good or productive? Does God help you see your issue by allowing your problem?? YES!

You are only responsible for your behavior. After all the pressure, you can be a beautiful diamond.

"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8

women encouraging women