Mary's Dream

I had a dream, Joseph, I don't understand it, not really, but I think it was about a birthday celebration for our Son. I think that was what it was all about. The people had been preparing for it for about six weeks. They had decorated the house and bought new clothes. They'd gone shopping many times and bought elaborate gifts. It was peculiar, though, because the presents weren't for our Son.

They wrapped them in beautiful paper and tied them with lovely bows and stacked them under a tree. Yes, a tree, Joseph, right in their house. They'd decorated the tree also. The branches were full of glowing balls and sparkling ornaments. There was a figure on the top of the tree. It looked like an angel might look. Oh, it was beautiful.

Everyone was laughing and happy. They were all excited about the gifts. They gave the gifts to each other, Joseph, not to our Son. I don't think they even knew Him. They never mentioned His name. Doesn't it seem odd for people to go to all that trouble to celebrate someone's birthday if they don't know Him?

I had the strangest feeling that if our Son had gone to this celebration He would have been intruding. Everything was so beautiful, Joseph, and everyone so full of cheer, but it made me want to cry. How sad for Jesus -not to be wanted at His own birthday celebration.

I'm glad it was only a dream. How terrible, Joseph, if it had been real.

Our Greatest Need

If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator;
If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist;
If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist;
If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer;

But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior.

'Twas the night before Jesus came

'Twas the night before Jesus came
And all through the house
Not a creature was praying, not one in the house.
Their Bibles were lain on the shelf without care,
In hopes that Jesus would not come there.

The children were dressing to crawl into bed,
not once ever kneeling or bowing a head.
And Mom in her rocker with baby on her lap,
Was watching The Late Show while I took a nap.

When out of the East there arose such a clatter,
I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash!

When what to my wondering eyes should appear
But angels proclaiming that Jesus was here.
With a light like the sun sending forth a bright ray,
I knew in a moment that this must be The Day.

The light of His face made me cover my head;
It was Jesus! Returning just like he said.
And though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth,
I cried when I saw Him in spite of myself.

In the Book of Life which He held in His hand
Was written the name of every saved man.
He spoke not a word as He searched for my name,
When He said "It's not here" my head hung in shame.

The people whose names had been written with love
He gathered to take to His Father above.
With those who were ready He rose without a sound
While all the rest were left standing around.

I fell to my knees, but it was too late;
I had waited too long and thus sealed my fate.
I stood and cried as they rose out of sight;
Oh, if only I had been ready tonight.

In the words of this poem the meaning is clear;
The coming of Jesus is drawing near.
There's only one life and when comes the last call,
We'll find that the Bible was true after all!

Written by Dianne Frances Donenfeld

My first Christmas in Heaven

[for those who are missing a loved one who passed away]

My First Christmas in Heaven

I see countless Christmas trees around the world below
with tiny lights like heaven's stars, reflecting on the snow.
The sight is so spectacular, please wipe away the tear,
for I am spending Christmas with Jesus this year.

I hear the many Christmas songs that people hold so dear,
but the sound of music can't compare with the choir up here.
I have no words to tell you, the joy their voices bring,
for it is beyond description , to hear the angels sing.

I know how much you miss me, I see the pain inside your heart,
but I am not so far away; we really aren't apart.
So be happy for me, dear ones; you know I hold you dear,
and be glad I'm spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

I sent you each a special gift, from my heavenly father above,
I sent you each a memory of my undying love.
After all, love is a gift more precious than pure gold,
it was always most important in the stories that Jesus told.

Please love each other , as my father said to do,
for I can't count the blessing or love he has for each of you.
So have a Merry Christmas and wipe away that tear,
remember--- I am spending Christmas with Jesus this year.

One Solitary Life

He was born in an obscure village,
The child of a peasant woman.
He grew up in another obscure village
Where he worked in a carpenter shop
Until he was thirty.

He never wrote a book.
He never held an office.
He never went to college.
He never visited a big city.
He never travelled more than two hundred miles
From the place where he was born.
He did none of the things
Usually associated with greatness.
He had no credentials but himself.

He was only thirty three.

His friends ran away.
One of them denied him.
He was turned over to his enemies
And went through the mockery of a trial.
He was nailed to a cross between two thieves.
While dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing,
The only property he had on earth.

When he was dead,
He was laid in a borrowed grave
Through the pity of a friend.

Nineteen centuries have come and gone
And today Jesus is the central figure of the human race
And the leader of mankind's progress.
All the armies that have ever marched,
All the navies that have ever sailed,
All the parliaments that have ever sat,
All the kings that ever reigned put together,
Have not affected the life of mankind on earth
As powerfully as that one solitary life.


Homage by Danny Hahlbohm

This painting is just like the statue of the Kneeling Santa that we had in our home growing up. I loved it even as a young girl because when my mind started to wander with all the things I wanted on my Christmas wish list, this served to remind me of what was truly important. It also makes me think of St. Nicholas and his spirit of charity which is often forgotten in the busy-ness of the Christmas season.
Speaking of Jesus and Santa, I found the following comparison...
Why Jesus is better than Santa

Santa lives at the North Pole …
JESUS is everywhere.

Santa rides in a sleigh …
JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.

Santa comes but once a year …
JESUS is an ever present help.

Santa fills your stockings with goodies …
JESUS supplies all your needs.

Santa comes down your chimney uninvited …
JESUS stands at your door and knocks, and then enters your heart when invited.

You have to wait in line to see Santa …
JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.

Santa lets you sit on his lap …
JESUS lets you rest in His arms.

Santa doesn’t know your name, all he can say is “Hi little boy (or girl,) what’s your name?”…
JESUS knew our name before we did. Not only does He know our name, He knows our address too. He knows our history and future and He even knows how many hairs are on our heads.

Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly …
JESUS has a heart full of love.

All Santa can offer is HO HO HO…
JESUS offers health, help and hope.

Santa says “You better not cry” …
JESUS says “Cast all your cares on me for I care for you.

Santa’s little helpers make toys …
JESUS makes new life, mends wounded hearts, repairs broken homes and builds mansions.

Santa is a “jolly old elf”…
JESUS is the King of Kings

Santa may make you chuckle but…
JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.

While Santa puts gifts under your tree …
JESUS became our gift and died on a tree.

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

[new adaptation by Casting Crowns]

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play
And mild and sweet their songs repeat
Of peace on earth good will to men

And the bells are ringing
Like a choir they're singing
In my heart I hear them
Peace on earth, good will to men

And in despair I bowed my head
There is no peace on earth I said
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men

But the bells are ringing
Like a choir singing
Does anybody hear them?
Peace on earth, good will to men

Then rang the bells more loud and deep
God is not dead, nor doth He sleep
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men

Then ringing singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men

And the bells they're ringing
Like a choir they're singing
And with our hearts we'll hear them
Peace on earth, good will to men

Do you hear the bells they're ringing?
The life the angels singing
Open up your heart and hear them
Peace on earth, good will to men

Peace on earth, Peace on earth
Peace on earth, Good will to men

Listen to song by Casting Crowns

While You Were Sleeping

One of my favourite 'new' Christmas songs by Casting Crowns!

Oh little town of Bethlehem
Looks like another silent night
Above your deep and dreamless sleep
A giant star lights up the sky
And while you're lying in the dark
There shines an everlasting light
For the King has left His throne
And is sleeping in a manger tonight

Oh Bethlehem, what you have missed while you were sleeping
For God became a man
And stepped into your world today
Oh Bethlehem, you will go down in history
As a city with no room for its King
While you were sleeping
While you were sleeping

Oh little town of Jerusalem
Looks like another silent night
The Father gave His only Son
The Way, the Truth, the Life had come
But there was no room for Him in the world He came to save

Jerusalem, what you have missed while you were sleeping
The Savior of the world is dying on your cross today
Jerusalem, you will go down in history
As a city with no room for its King

While you were sleeping
While you were sleeping

United States of America
Looks like another silent night
As we're sung to sleep by philosophies
That save the trees and kill the children
And while we're lying in the dark

There's a shout heard 'cross the eastern sky
For the Bridegroom has returned
And has carried His bride away in the night

America, what will we miss while we are sleeping
Will Jesus come again
And leave us slumbering where we lay
America, will we go down in history
As a nation with no room for its King
Will we be sleeping
Will we be sleeping

United States of America
Looks like another silent night

Listen to song by Casting Crowns
on side playlist >>>

Love Crucified Arose

Listen to song by Michael Card
on side playlist >>>

Long ago He blessed the earth
Born older than the years
And in the stall a cross He saw
Through the first of many tears
A life of homeless wandering
Cast out in sorrow's way
The Shepherd seeking for the lost
His life, the price He paid

Love crucified, arose
The Risen One in splendor
Jehovah soul Defender
Has won the victory
Love crucified, arose
And the grave became a place of hope
For the heart that sin and sorrow broke
Is beating once again

Throughout Your life You felt the weight
Of what You'd come to give
To drink for us that crimson cup
So we might really live
At last the time to love and die
The dark appointed day
That one forsaken moment
When Your Father turned His face away

Love crucified, arose
The One who lived the died for me
Was Satan's nail-pierced casualty
Now He's breathing once again

Love crucified, arose
And the grave became a place of hope
For the heart that sin and sorrow broke
Is beating once again

Love crucified, arose
The Risen One in splendor
Jehovah soul defender
Has won the victory

Love crucified, arose
And the grave became a place of hope
for the heart that sin and sorrow broke
is beating once again

Love crucified, arose
The One who lived and died for me
Was Satan's nail-pierced casualty
Now He's breathing once again

Seven Joys of Mary

Listen to song on side playlist >>>

The first good joy that Mary had,
It was the joy of one;
To see the blessed Jesus Christ,
When he was first her Son.
When he was first her Son, Good Lord;
And happy may we be;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost
To all eternity.

The next good joy that Mary had,
It was the joy of two;
To see her own Son Jesus Christ,
Making the lame to go.
Making the lame to go, Good Lord;
And happy may we be;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost
To all eternity.

The next good joy that Mary had,
It was the joy of three;
To see her own Son Jesus Christ,
Making the blind to see.
Making the blind to see, Good Lord;
And happy may we be;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost
To all eternity.

The next good joy that Mary had,
It was the joy of four;
To see her own Son Jesus Christ
Reading the Bible o'er.
Reading the Bible o'er, Good Lord;
And happy may we be;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost
To all eternity.

The next good joy that Mary had,
It was the joy of five;
To see her own Son Jesus Christ,
Raising the dead to life.
Raising the dead to life, Good Lord;
And happy may we be;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost
To all eternity.

The next good joy that Mary had,
It was the joy of six;
To see her own Son Jesus Christ
Upon the Crucifix.
Upon the Crucifix, Good Lord;
And happy may we be;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost
To all eternity.

The next good joy that Mary had,
It was the joy of seven;
To see her own Son Jesus Christ
Ascending into Heaven.
Ascending into Heaven, Good Lord;
And happy may we be;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost
To all eternity.

12 Days of Christmas

Catholics in England during the period 1558 to 1829 were prohibited by law to practice their faith either in public or private. It was illegal to be Catholic until Parliament finally emancipated Catholics in England in 1829.

"The Twelve Days of Christmas" was written in England as one of the "catechism songs" to help young Catholics learn the basics of their faith. In short, it was a coded-message, a memory aid. Since the song sounded like rhyming nonsense, young Catholics could sing the song without fear of imprisonment. The authorities would not know that it was a religious song.

"The 12 Days of Christmas" is in a sense an allegory. Each of the items in the song represents something significant to the teachings of the Catholic faith. The hidden meaning of each gift was designed to help Catholic children learn their faith. The better acquainted one is with the Bible, the more these interpretations have significance. The song refers to the twelve days from Christmas until the beginning of Epiphany (January 6th; the 12 days count from December 25th until January 5th)

The song goes, "On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…"
The "true love" mentioned in the song doesn’t refer to an earthly suitor, but it refers to God Himself. The "me" who receives the presents refers to every baptized person. i.e. the Church.

Listen to song on playlist >>>>

1st Day: The partridge in a pear tree is Christ Jesus upon the Cross. In the song, Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge because she would feign injury to decoy a predator away from her nestlings. She was even willing to die for them.

The tree is the symbol of the fall of the human race through the sin of Adam and Eve. It is also the symbol of its redemption by Jesus Christ on the tree of the Cross.

2nd Day: The "two turtle doves" refers to the Old and New Testaments.

3rd Day: The "three French hens" stand for faith, hope and love—the three gifts of the Spirit that abide (1 Corinthians 13).

4th Day: The "four calling birds" refers to the four evangelists who wrote the Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John—which sing the song of salvation through Jesus Christ.

5th Day: The "five golden rings" represents the first five books of the Bible, also called the Jewish Torah: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.

6th Day: The "six geese a-laying" is the six days of creation.

7th Day: The "seven swans a-swimming" refers to the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord.

8th Day: The "eight maids a milking " reminded children of the eight beatitudes listed in the Sermon on the Mount.

9th Day: The "nine ladies dancing" were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.

10th Day: The "ten lords a-leaping" represents the Ten Commandments

11th Day: The "eleven pipers piping" refers to the eleven faithful apostles.

12th Day: The ‘twelve drummers drumming" were the twelve points of belief expressed in the Apostles’ Creed: belief in God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, that Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary, made man, crucified, died and arose on the third day, that he sits at the right hand of the father and will come again, the resurrection of the dead and life everlasting.

Things I'm Grateful For...

In counting the blessings in my life,
I am grateful for parents who are always there,
ready to help when needed
and willing to loan a set of wheels during a bus strike...
(just hope Dad survives while Mom is scooting around town)

Now where did I put my helmet?....

Thanks Mom and Dad♥

I am wealthy because...

[artwork: "Heaven on Earth"
by Ron Dicianni]


1) I have everlasting life (John 3:16)
2) I have a mansion in heaven (John 14:2)
3) I have a peace that passes understanding (Phil 4:7)
4) I have unspeakable joy (1Pet 1:8)
5) I have divine love that never fails (1Cor 13:8)
6) I have true, loyal friends (Prov 18:24)
7) I have songs in the night (Ps 42:8)
8) I have a crown of life (James 1:12)
9) I have a saviour, Jesus Christ, who supplies all my need (Phil 4:19)

Names of Jesus



1. Matt 1:26
2. Isaiah 9:6
3. Isaiah 9:6
4. Isaiah 9:6
5. Mark 1:24
6. Luke 1:32

7. Matt 1:23
8. John 1:29
9. Acts 3:15
10. Rev 15:3
11. Rev 5:5
12. Rev 22:16

13. 1 Jn 1:1
14. Rev 19:16
15. Jn 8:23
16. Rev 19:16
17. Jn 14:6
18. 1 Jn 2:1

19. Luke 1:78
20. Acts 10:36
21. John 1:41
22. John 1:34
23. 2 Pet 2:20
24. 1 Pet 2:25
25. Heb 12:2
26. Eph 2:20
27. 2 Tim 4:8
28. John 8:12
29. Rev 22:16
30. Eph 1:22

31. 1 Pet 5:4
32. John 11:25
33. Rev 21:6

Names of Christians


1. Mk 16:16 2. Rom 5:2 3. Eph 1:7 4. Rom 15:7
5. Col 3:12 6. Acts 16:17
7. 2 Cor 5:17 8. Rom 6:11
9. Rom 6:11 10. Rom 6:4 11. Rom 6:3 12. 1 Cor 6:19

13. Gal 3:27 14. Heb 3:1 15. 1 Cor 1:8 16. Rom 5:1
17. Acts 11:26 18. 1 Pet 1:23
19. 2 Pet 1:4 20. Eph 3:20
21. Gal 4:28 22. Gal 3:28 23. 1 Cor 12:27 24. Eph 2:6

25. Phil 3:20 26. 1 Pet 2:9 27. 2 Tim 2:21 28. Matt 5:13
29. Matt 5:14 30. 2 Tim 2:3
31. Mark 1:17 32. 2 Cor 5:19
33. 1Cor 15:57

The New Testament contains over 175 names, descriptive titles, and figures of speech referring to more

Father's Love Letter

What Is Father's Love Letter?
Father's Love Letter is a compilation of bible verses from both the Old & New Testaments that are presented in the form of a love letter from God to the world.

Countless Stories
They have heard countless testimonies from thousands of people all over the world who have had a life-changing encounter with God while experiencing the message found in Father's Love Letter.

Downloaded Millions Of Times
Since 1999, this message has been downloaded millions of times from their website, in 60+ languages from people in over 125 nations. It has also appeared as full page newspaper ads and been broadcast on television and radio stations around the world.

This Letter Was Written For You...
...and its words are penned from a God who loves you and desires to be the Father that you have been looking for all your life. Wherever you are in your journey, it is hoped that this love letter will encourage you, comfort you and guide you on your way home.

Morning Prayer

Eternal Father of my soul,
let my first thought today be of You,
let my first impulse be to worship You,
let my first speech be Your name,
let my first action be to kneel before You in prayer.

For Your perfect wisdom and goodness,
For Your love of mankind,
For the love You've shown me,
For the great and mysterious opportunity of Life,
For the gift of the Holy Spirit,
I praise and worship You, O Lord.

Yet let me not, when this morning prayer is said,
think my worship ended
and spend the day in forgetfulness of You.

Rather from these moments of quietness,
let light go forth, and joy, and power,
that will remain with me through all the hours of the day...

Keeping me chaste in thought
Keeping me temperate and truthful in speech,
Keeping me faithful and diligent in my work,
Keeping me humble in my estimation of myself,
Keeping me honourable and generous in my dealings with others,
Keeping me mindful of my eternal destiny as a child of God.

Be my Refuge today in every circumstance.
Be my Guide through all that is dark and doubtful.
Be my Guard against all that threatens my spirit's welfare.
Be my Strength in time of testing.
Gladden my heart with Your peace, through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen

A Prayer to start the day from A Diary of Private Prayer by John Baillie

(thanks to Ann for sharing this prayer - I like her simplified version here)

I Heart Revolution


Hillsong United is a youth ministry where people get together every weekend and worship. The youth ministry has been doing this for over 20 years. In the last 5 years a number of the youth have been able to travel the world doing exactly that – worshipping God. By His grace and will, United’s music and way of worshipping has gained a big audience – United has played to and worshipped with hundreds of thousands of people on almost every continent of the world.

There is a notion or in fact a revelation that has been had during our travels, that you cannot worship God without having an urge to carry out his will, to love people, to see His justice on earth.

We aren't just doing Church,
but we're stepping out and BEING the Church.

The I Heart Revolution therefore is a generation of people expressing their heart for worship – and realizing God’s purpose for all of us - to love people and be his hands and feet. This is not something new, however it is something that we see happening all over the world – we just gave it a name and want to be a part of it!
Watch Trailer 1

The I Heart Project

Over an 18 month period Hillsong United have been traveling with a video documentary team filming worship nights from all over the world. The Film crew has also been capturing the culture, the history and the lives of people from many nations. This project will show that there is a like minded and like spirited generation of people from all round the world - who are worshipping God with all their heart and who want to make a difference and see injustice’s justified – a generation already part of the revolution.

The end result is the sound of a generation across the earth singing praise and worship to our God.

There will be a feature length documentary and live music DVD. The documentary will focus on worship and justice featuring Hillsong United in six major regions of the world. (Cities included are Toronto, Cape Town, Chicago, Houston, Kiev, Manila, Buenos Aires, Kuala Lumpur and Sydney). The Live music DVD will include audio and visual from worship nights and time spent in all of these regions

(Joel Timothy Houston, song writer and worship leader of Hillsong United
explains what it's all about on the Myspace link)

I have a t-shirt....
"I don't know about you, but if our generation is remembered for iPods, Myspace, and Youtube, we missed it." more of Joel's blog on Myspace

Listen to audio samples
from "With Hearts As One"

Hillsong Music

Link to Videos
Hillsong's music
on Youtube

All Day

All I Need is You



To value the things of God

To grasp faith's mysteries

To make wise decisions

To strengthen your will

To enlighten your mind

To love and serve God

Fear of the Lord
To respect God's majesty

Michael W. Smith

Michael W. Smith

is a Grammy Award-winning American singer-songwriter. He is one of the best-selling and most influential artists in Contemporary Christian Music. Smith is a three-time Grammy Award winner, and he has earned 34 Dove Awards. Over the course of his 24-year career, he has sold more than 13 million albums and he has recorded 29 number-one hit songs, fourteen gold albums, and five platinum albums.

He along with Amy Grant, were the first Christian artists that I listened to and he's still producing great music all these years later!

Hear 1 minute samples of his music here.

So Great was one of the songs written during the recent Compassionart songwriters retreat in Perthshire, Scotland. All the songwriters, publishers, managers, copyright institutes and agents involved have all waived their rights and are donating their efforts on this project to Compassionart. The songs are to be given through Compassionart to the world not just to sing, but also to raise money for the relief of suffering around the planet. One half of the money received over the songs’ lifetimes will go to the songwriters’ charity of choice, and the other 50% will go to a charitable project agreed upon by all the songwriters involved.

Michael W. Smith is joined by Israel Houghton and Christy Nockels on "So Great," the first single released from the Compassionart retreat. Listen to the song "So Great".

This is Your Time was inspired by the suggestion that Cassie Bernall, a student killed in the Columbine High School massacre, had answered "yes" to the question "Do you believe in God?" moments after seeing another student killed for answering "yes" to that same question.

Above All was the song Jim Cavaziel listened to again and again as he portrayed Jesus in The Passion.

To pass the time during the tedious filming delays, Caviezel listened to music on headphones. One song in particular, Michael W. Smith’s “Above All,” helped him get through the filming of the crucifixion scenes.

He felt “rejected and alone as all those around me laughed while drinking their hot coffees, oblivious to what was occurring. Jesus must have felt like this—forsaken, rejected, alone, and despised. The song helped me pray in a very deep way—to pray without words, to pray from the heart. The discomfort, the loneliness, the split shoulder, the raw flesh all forced me into the arms of God because I had nowhere else to go for a performance I knew I was unable to create.”

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