Wednesday, December 26, 2012

New Years Tablescape



This is the final table that we enjoyed at Sights and Sounds of Christmas 2012.  I have saved it to share with you this week, because it is a very versatile tablescape.  It could be used at Christmas, New Years, or for a frosty winter time tablescape.  Blue is such a popular color in home decor right now.  It is beautiful!!  Sharon created this table for our enjoyment.  I love it!  
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The candle holders, as the table centerpiece, are so beautiful.  I love mercury glass. These blue mercury glass candle holders are stunning!  Don't you just feel like popping one of those crackers?  I would love to know what is inside.  We always have crackers on our Christmas table.  Now if I just didn't have to wear that crazy paper hat!  ;)

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The glittery place mats, and napkin rings tie the blue theme all together.  I love the cool frosty look of this table.  Perfect for any winter time celebration!

Tanya


Start the New Year right...by following Take Six on Facebook...so you don't miss a thing!  

Photos courtesy of Nicole Payzant Photography.

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Monday, December 24, 2012

A Christmas Card for You


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We, at Take Six, are wishing you a very Merry Christmas.  May you know the babe of the manger, the crucified lamb of the cross, and the risen and coming Savior in a very real and personal way this Christmas season.

Tanya, Kathy, Gwyneth, Lisa, Nicole 

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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Take 5 with Kathy - "Advent meditations...Love"


Recently I’ve watched a few Christmas movies – comedies, dramas, classics – and I noticed a common thread that wove its way through each one of them…love. Even though some of the characters were so focused on making sure their Christmas traditions were followed to the letter, or they became obsessed with outdoing their neighbors’ decorations, or went “on strike” because they couldn’t get family members to help with holiday preparations, in the end they all realized that spending quality time with their loved ones and friends was treasured above everything else.

As I’ve been reflecting this past week on lighting the candle of “love” today, it has made me think more seriously about why I place so much value on keeping certain traditions. I guess it has more to do with the memories that are associated with those customs and the warmth and love that radiate from them. For instance, I look at the decorations on my Christmas tree and I can tell you where almost every one of them came from...hand stitched teddy bears…Baby’s first Christmas…souvenirs from various countries…hand-me-downs…gifts from previous years - all evoke tender memories of times gone by. Is my decorating done simply out of tradition or because I want to express my love for those close to me?

While I was finishing my Christmas shopping on Thursday, I wondered  if other people were contemplating their reasons for circling the parking lot searching for that elusive spot, wheeling their carts through throngs of frenzied customers, waiting in endless check-out lines, and weaving their way home through lanes of impatient drivers. Were they really hunting for that meaningful gift that says from the heart, “I love you!”, or just so they could cross another name off their Christmas list?

When we all gather as family on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will I be more focused on traditions and customs or on the joy of being able to spend time together? Specific ways of observing the season may change, sometimes out of necessity and other times by choice, but our love for each other should be the common bond that draws our hearts closer together. While this may not always be geographically possible, love allows our spirits to keep connected as we celebrate this very significant season.

Our love for each other is only possible because God first loved us. It is He who creates us with the desire to be loved and to love. As the apostle John wrote,

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (I John 4:7-8)

John was one of Jesus’ closest followers. He was known as the “disciple that Jesus loved” (John 13:23; 19:26) Jesus loved all people, but perhaps John’s heart was so devoted to his Lord that they shared an especially deep relationship. The profound understanding of God’s love in John’s writings is a testament to what He learned through the time spent with Christ during His earthly ministry. He also said in I John,

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (3:1); “This is the message you heard from the beginning; We should love one another.” (3:11); “Dear children let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” (3:18); “And this is His command: to believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as He commanded us.” (3:23)

John also gives us the best description of love. “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us…(3:16) “This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love; not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (4:9-10)

This demonstration of God’s unconditional love for us is what people need to see in those of us who claim to follow Jesus Christ. John continues, “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love each other, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us…We have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world.” (4:11-12,14)

That’s why I, as a Christian, celebrate the birth of Christ. As we light the candle of love today and the Christ candle on December 25th, I am reminded of the Swedish carol, “A Thousand Candles”,

“We light a thousand candles bright around the earth today,

And all the beams will shine across the heaven’s grand display.


Yes over land and sea tonight the joyful message brings

The birth of Him, our Lord and Christ, our Savior and our King.


Dear brightest star o’er Bethlehem, O let your precious light

Shine in with hope and peace toward men in ev’ry home tonight.


In all our house so cold and dark please send your warmth sublime

The warmth that comes from Jesus’ love this blessed Christmas time.”


Merry Christmas to all of you!

See you in the New Year,

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Cinnamon Bun Muffins


Christmas morning is almost here!  Do you cook a big breakfast, grab a quick snack at some point, or just feast on chocolate?  This recipe would be absolutely perfect to nibble on with coffee while you are opening your gifts!  

Cinnamon Topping

2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon grape seed oil

Mix together in a small bowl and set aside.


Muffin Mixture

1 cup almond flour
2 tablespoons coconut flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup grape seed oil
¼ cup agave nectar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.



Blend wet ingredients in magic bullet or beat well.  



Add wet ingredients to dry mixture. 



Add ¼ cup of muffin mixture into lined muffin cups. Spoon topping on to muffin mixture.





Heat oven to 350 degrees.  As soon as muffins are in the oven reduce temperature to 325 and bake for 15 minutes.  Enjoy!  Your kitchen will smell like fresh cinnamon!  Perfect for the Christmas Holidays!




Gwyneth


Recipe source:  elanaspantry.com
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5 Days of Giveaways ~ Day 5

Dear Readers,
As we bring you our final gift in "5 Days of Giveaways", we would like to tell you once again how very much we appreciate you.  Without you, there would be no need for Take Six.  We love sharing things with you and are looking forward to what 2013 has in store!

These gift tags will be great for crossing gift wrapping off your "to do" list this week.  They are great to tie onto gifts, and baked goods for those that you love.  Enjoy...and a very Merry Christmas to you and yours!  






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Thursday, December 20, 2012

5 Days of Giveaways ~ Day 4

Welcome to Day 4 of Christmas Giveaways!

Today our gift to you is
2 pages of "sweet" cupcake toppers!







Cupcake Toppers


1.  Print cupcake toppers on card stock.
2.  Cut out and stick tooth pick, or small lollipop stick on back.
  (I used tooth picks, and scrapbooking photo squares to stick them on.)
3.  Note the coordinating pictures.  Your toppers can be double sided.
4.  I backed the cardinal picture on a piece of red card stock to frame it.

Have fun decorating cupcakes...sticking them in items on your dessert trays...pickle dishes, pepperoni and cheese plates!  How will you use these cuties?

Tanya


Graphics courtesy of Nicole Payzant Photography.
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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

5 Days of Giveaways ~ Day 3

I'm told we have Northern Cardinals in Nova Scotia.
They are something I have never been fortunate enough to see.
What a shame, eh?  I will have to settle for this beauty.
You don't have to feed this lovely Cardinal Nicole created.
Just enjoy it on the technology screen or frame of your choice!  ;)




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Don't forget to spread the word...
tell everyone to come and enjoy the spirit of Christmas at Take Six.

See you tomorrow!  XO

Graphic design courtesy of Nicole Payzant Photography.
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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Tablescape 2012

My friends, we are down to the final crunch!  There is lots to get checked off our lists in the coming days.  This weekend, I put together my Christmas tablescape.  It will be used, with some variation, several times over Christmas week.  I find it so very enjoyable to watch a tablescape come together right before my eyes.  I know I have told you this before...I rarely know what all the elements of my table will be before I begin.  This year I knew I wanted to use my red Christmas dishes, because I did not use them last year.


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While shopping at Pottery Barn, I saw a table all set with red dishes and this gorgeous runner.  No table cloth was used, or needed, and their table was dark wood.  Just.  Like.  Mine.   *giggle*  Piece by piece the elements started to come together.  

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I clipped a Christmas tree candle holder on the table runner at each place setting.  They are not used today like they were in the past.  My mother tells how her father lit the candles on the tree Christmas Day night.  They burned them halfway down that night and then the rest of the way on New Years Eve.  She also mentioned how they displayed their Christmas Cards on the tree as well.  I'll never know how the house didn't burn down!

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I see my daughter, Nicole, behind her camera lens...do you?

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My new Pottery Barn S & P's.  My birthday present from Lisa.

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Hubby gave me the runner and napkins for my birthday.  I brought them home from a "girls only" shopping trip this fall.  I've never been the type that expects hubby to go out and shop up a storm for me knowing exactly all the things I would love to have.  Good heavens...my eyes glaze over when I walk into the Harley Davidson store.  I sure can't expect him to be any different in Pottery Barn or Home Sense!! ;0)  The last few years, we have taken a day and Christmas shopped for each other, together!  We have lunch and enjoy our day!  

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This may look like just an old weathered piece of wood to you...but oh, it is so much more.  Hubby spent his childhood weekends and lots of his summer time on the farm where his dad grew up.  His sister lives there now.  Due to safety reasons, her hubby had to take down part of the barn this year.  They saved as much of the old wood as they could.  I have been wanting a piece of old barn board for a table runner.  I have also wanted to make one of those beautiful old barn board boxes to fill with seasonal centerpieces.  So I am thrilled to have some pieces of hubby's "heritage" to use on our Christmas table and on many tables to come.  I haven't asked him to make the barn board box yet...but soon...very soon.  ;)

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These Majolica Christmas dishes were a thrilling HomeSense find several years ago! (Remember that day, Jan?)


Christmas Table

The centerpiece could not have been easier.  I took a berry garland and formed a circle, attaching both ends together.  I placed the candles in the middle after wrapping with ribbon.  (The very ribbon that came off of the bundles of these Pottery Barn napkins.)  Then I simply placed pine cones and some silver and green tree ornaments around the pine cones.   

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"Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love."
-Hamilton Wright Mabe

Wishing everyone a productive week, making all of your final Christmas preparations!

Tanya

Photos courtesy of Nicole Payzant Photography.

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5 Days of Giveaways ~ Day 2

Our giveaway today is especially for all the little ones in your life.  They can cut out the clothes (depending on their age, a little assistance may be required) and dress their snowman as they choose.  A glue stick will keep the snowman's accessories in place.  With pride they are then able to hang it on the wall, or give it to someone special as their own Christmas gift.  Are you setting a children's table for your Christmas dinner?  Print off one of these activities for each child's place.  As the adults linger over coffee and dessert, the children will be having "snow" much fun!




SNOWMAN   |   CLOTHES



Instructions:
-Print on heavier paper (card stock or cover stock)
-If you trim the sides, this picture will fit in an 8 x 10 frame

**Edited to add Paula's great idea. 
 Print these pages off on magnetic paper and use over and over again!

Merry Christmas to all your little ones from Take Six!

Graphic art courtesy of Nicole Payzant Photography.
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Monday, December 17, 2012

5 Days of Giveaways ~ Day 1

Welcome to our first Giveaway Day at Take Six!

We are so excited to give our Christmas gifts to you.  
Nicole has created this sweet picture with lots of wonderful options.  
Please enjoy it on your computer, your phone, your Facebook page,
as well as printing it off for a cute little framed picture.



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Please leave a comment telling us how you plan on using this picture. 
 We'd love to know.

Don't forget to come back for tomorrow's giveaway! 


Many thanks to Nicole Payzant Photography for sharing her graphic design skills with us this Christmas season.  
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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Take 5 with Kathy - "Advent meditations...Joy"


Today we light the candle of “Joy” on our advent wreath. I perceive joy as a deep abiding quality that exists in the farthest reaches of my soul. It comes from knowing with surety that God is who He says He is and by resting secure in the conviction that I am His child. My joy is founded in the hope that I will someday live eternally in Heaven with God because I have received the salvation He offers to me. The result is peace and contentment realizing God is sovereignly in control of the circumstances of my life. At times my joy is a quiet inner expression of my love and thankfulness to Him heard only by the Father above. On other occasions my joy overflows with an exuberance that bursts into audible singing or whooping with delight. Now and then my joy is enthusiastically shared with family or friends while at times it is enjoyed simply by me.

Does being joyful in my soul always translate into an emotional feeling of happiness? Do I run around with a perpetual smile and positive attitude? That would be unrealistic as we live in a world broken by anger, jealousy, greed, illness, death, tragedy, and a host of other harmful dynamics that are constantly in motion.

How can one be “joyful” in the midst of grieving over the innocent deaths of twenty precious children and six other loved ones? Certainly such horrific acts cause unspeakable pain and suffering. We cannot expect to feel otherwise. I am reminded of a quote by Corrie Ten Boom, “Joy runs deeper than despair.”[i] If you have read the story of this woman of God her anguish was beyond our understanding. Yet she knew God was her Sustainer and she trusted Him in the depths of her helpless situation. Only Christ can fill us with that kind of deep-seated joy that transcends such agony and hopelessness. “Happiness depends on happenings; joy depends on Christ.”[ii]  My prayers join with those across the globe who are upholding these families before God’s throne of grace and love.

Jill Briscoe says, “I believe God, through His Spirit, grants us love, joy, and peace no matter what is happening in our lives. As Christians, we shouldn’t expect our joy to always feel like happiness, but instead recognize joy as inner security – a safeness in our life with Christ.” [iii]

Joy is mentioned numerous times in the Bible. Following are but a few of my favourites:

 The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song.” (Psalm 28:7)

 The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” (Psalm 126:3)

Therein lies the challenge – how do we respond with such expressions of joy when our emotions or circumstances scream the opposite? I have found that regardless of my situation, there is always something I can be thankful for and I also can focus on the goodness of God in my life. It is a choice I have to make and when I do, it helps!

The apostle James says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (1:2-4) I memorized these verses almost a year ago, and it is amazing how quickly the Lord reminded me of them when I faced a stressful situation earlier in the week.

In reference to the inheritance we have in Christ, the apostle Peter encourages us with these words, “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith…may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed…you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy…” (I Peter 1:6-9)

Jesus has become the reason for our joy! He alone is the One who can fill our hearts with joy in the midst of our experiences.

The traditional German carol, “How Great our Joy!” is another of my favourites

While by the sheep we watched at night,

Glad tidings brought an angel bright.

 

Chorus

How great our joy! Great our joy!

Joy, joy, joy, Joy, joy, joy!

Praise we the Lord in heav’n on high!

Praise we the Lord in heav’n on high!

 

There shall be born, so he did say,

In Bethlehem a Child today. (Chorus)

 

There shall the child lie in a stall,

This Child who shall redeem us all. (Chorus)

 

This gift of God we’ll cherish well,

That ever joy our hearts shall fill. (Chorus)

 

 

Until next Sunday,

Kathy

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Friday, December 14, 2012

Molded Peppermint Bark

One evening this week, my daughter and I got busy after supper and made a batch of peppermint bark.  We've made it many times before at Christmas.  But this year instead of spreading it on a cookie sheet, we put it in molds.  



We had seen this silicone mold used on Rachel's Blog for peppermint bark, and bought it at the "Christmas Tree Shop".  We poured dark chocolate in the mold first and let it harden in the fridge.  Then we poured in the white chocolate and sprinkled crushed candy canes on top.  

Ingredients:

8 oz brown chocolate (your favorite)
8 oz white chocolate
2 tsp vegetable oil, divided
1/2 tsp peppermint extract, divided
candy canes or peppermint candies, crushed

Please go to Rachel's blog for the complete recipe.  


We had lots of chocolate leftover so we got creative while the chocolate was hardening in the snowflake mold.  We used cupcake liners to make some more. 



Since it was our first time to make these, we were really pleased how they turned out.  We even sampled them so we could tell you if they were good.  ;) Yup, they were!  





These are great to put on your Christmas dessert tray, or use as little gift ideas.  Whatever you do...don't forget to leave one for Santa!  ;)

Tanya

Joining:
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Thursday, December 13, 2012

5 Days of Christmas Giveaways


We are in the Christmas Spirit at Take Six! 

Just
because
 we love
 our readers
 so much, we have
not 1
not 2
not 3
not 4
BUT 5
gifts for you next week!

Be sure to check in with us each day
from December 17 ~ 21
and claim your FREE gifts.


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Friendly Village in a Woodland Tablescape

We are sharing with you another tablescape from our church's ladies evening, Sights and Sounds of Christmas.  

Johnson Brothers introduced their Friendly Village pattern in 1952.  It is one of their top two selling patterns.  This very popular set is a family heirloom in many homes, like the Old Country Roses that we showed you recently.  Janet-Lynn set this table with dishes that belonged to her mother and grandmother.  Now she is the proud owner of these beautiful dishes.

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Burlap, birch, cranberries, and fresh greenery are all pulled together into a fabulous woodland centerpiece.  

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I love the way she used different sizes of the burgundy plates.  Some stacks have a smaller one in between the two Friendly Village pieces.  Other stacks have a larger one.  (see below).  It is wonderful to mix and match your dishes.  Never feel you can't use dishes because you don't have the exact number you need.  There is always a way.  The burgundy plates bring out the same color  in the Friendly Villages pieces.


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The sweet little candle wreaths on each plate continue the woodland theme.  Gorgeous!

I remember my mother-in-law using her Friendly Village dishes.  Do you have this pattern?  Share with us how you came to own it.  Did it belong to a loved one and they gave it to you?

Tanya

Photos courtesy of Nicole Payzant Photography.


Don't miss the "Five Days of Giveaways" here at Take Six next week.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Decorating with Dishes

We 
have had
some wall repair 
and painting done 
in our home the last couple
weeks.

Can you say, unbelievable dusty mess!!!

Normally, I would begin decorating for Christmas right after my birthday in mid-November.  This year has been a bit different.  So I have parred back my decorating a bit.  Today I am sharing a few things I have done in the dining room.  My dishes are the decorations this year.  



I pulled out my red and white transfer ware, and a couple pieces of green and white.  It was fun arranging them in my opened cupboard in the dining room.  I found most of it thrift stores.  The red majolica plate below is from my set of Christmas dishes.  


A little tree from my Christmas village in a teacup!



I picked up this small wooden sled a couple years ago on an end of season clearance.  What a cute holder for a stack of dessert plates.

I've got a Christmas tablescape idea floating around in my head.  I will be pulling things together soon for that and sharing it with you!   

Tanya





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Monday, December 10, 2012

Quick Christmas Centerpiece #1

Centerpieces are often the last thing we think about, but can really add to a table's atmosphere when we sit down to enjoy a meal with family and friends. I have a couple real quick and easy centerpieces I would love to share with you for the Christmas season.




Supplies:
-a plate, tray, platter
-3 votive holders with candles
-items to scatter around candles


 Scatter anything around the base of the candle holders:  bells, fresh cranberries, red & white peppermint candy, pine cones, chestnuts, tree ornaments, strings of beads, buttons.  This is a great one for any season.  Picture this platter in the spring with some flower bulbs scattered around the candles, or in the summer with some sand and shells.  The possibilities are endless.  

I used an antique platter with three little votive holders from Pier 1.  My jingle bells are from Pottery Barn.

Quick & Easy Centerpiece #2 coming soon! 



Tanya

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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Take 5 with Kathy - "Advent meditations...Peace"


Today we light candles one and two on our advent wreath. While there are various adaptations of the naming of each candle, I remember we called it the candle of “peace”. Synonyms for this word include “calm, quiet, stillness, tranquility, silence, harmony, serenity”. Sounds heavenly, doesn’t it? How I love being able to enjoy moments like that! But in this busy world hustling and bustling with activity, interruption by constant noises, bombardment by demands on our time and resources, and invasion of our “down” time by technological advances, peace can be hard to find. We often need to intentionally set aside time for quiet reflection and rest. Many of us are able to identify with the biblical man Job who said, “I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.” (Job 3:26)

People the world over are searching for peace. Indeed we are to “seek peace and pursue it” as Psalm 34:14 says, but we frequently look for peace in things which will only offer temporary contentment. Even our closest family and friends are unable to provide lasting peace.

The only Person who can fill us with the peace we long for is prophesied in Isaiah 9:6, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” This Scripture is often read during the Christmas season as it speaks of the Messiah, our Saviour, who was born in Bethlehem. A host of heavenly angels appeared to shepherds and said, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.” (Luke 2:14) When Jesus ministered to people He often brought peace as He healed the sick, caused the lame to walk, made blind eyes see, forgave sin, cast demons out of those possessed, and raised the dead to life.

When Jesus revealed to His disciples that He would soon be leaving this world and returning to Heaven, He comforted them by saying, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27) He knew they would face hardship and opposition so He promised the presence of His Holy Spirit to all those who believe in His name and follow Him. Jesus said, “I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Jesus Christ did overcome the power of this world and our enemy, the Devil, by giving His own life to pay the price for our sin. This is God’s plan to bring peace to all people as Colossians 1:19-20 clearly explains, “For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him (Christ), and through Him (Christ) to reconcile to Himself (God) all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His (Christ’s) blood, shed on the cross.”

When our relationship with God is right and secure we have the peace He has promised. The Psalmist says, “Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.” (Psalm 119:165) Living in the peace of God is also healthy as Solomon points out in Proverbs 14:30, “A heart at peace gives life to the body…”, and Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You.”

near Salzburg, Austria
One of my most favourite Christmas carols was written by Joseph Mohr with music by Franz Gruber. Both lived in the Salzburg region of Austria and their now beloved song was first played on Christmas Eve, 1818, in Oberndorf. Tradition suggests that the church organ was broken prompting Mohr to request a guitar accompaniment by organist Gruber. They performed the melody in St. Nicholas church and the tranquil hymn, “Silent Night” (Stille Nacht) has been enjoyed by millions every Christmas since then.





“Silent night, holy night,

All is calm, all is bright

Round yon virgin mother and Child,

Holy Infant so tender and mild,

Sleep in heavenly peace,

Sleep in heavenly peace.”


 “Now may the Lord of Peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all.”


Until next Sunday,

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