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The Season of Advent has Begun.

November 30th, 2009 by stephanie

Know much about Advent? If not, don’t worry. You’re not alone. But if you do, know that we will be focusing on Advent during the coming days.

So, just what is Advent anyway? You might have seen or even used one of those clever Advent calendars. You know the ones. Where a door is opened each day in December and a surprise awaits you behind the door.

But for the church as a whole, Advent used to be understood as the beginning of the Church Year for most churches in Western civilization. It begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day, (the Sunday closest to November 30), and ends on Christmas Eve (Dec 24).

And Advent has colors too. I have an Advent wreathe in my house. Today, the 1st Sunday of Advent, I lit the first candle in that wreathe. (There are four candles in that wreathe by the way.) And three are purple. You light one candle each Sunday. Today’s candle is called the candle of HOPE. I’ll tell you more about the 4th candle and the Christ candle in time.

The word Advent means “coming” or “arrival.” The focus of the entire season is the celebration of the birth of Jesus, the Christ – his first Advent – and the anticipation of the return of Christ the King in his Second Advent.

Basically, it is about anticipation. Anciticipation of the coming King. The Anointed One. The Messiah. And the hope He would bring. To Christians, that Hope is the assurance of eternal life.

Light a candle this week won’t you? And be reminded: He has come.

Just my thoughts.
S.

For a peek at Stephanie’s new book click here: link!

A Psalm of Thanksgiving.

November 28th, 2009 by stephanie

Psa. 100
¶ A Psalm for Thanksgiving.

Psa. 100:1 ¶ Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth.

Psa. 100:2 Serve the LORD with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.

Psa. 100:3 Know that the LORD Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Psa. 100:4 ¶ Enter His gates with thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.

Psa. 100:5 For the LORD is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting
And His faithfulness to all generations.

Journey to Thanksgiving. And it was so.

November 26th, 2009 by stephanie

While the Pilgrims from Scrooby (Notingham) were learning to survive in Holland, other settlers from England had already arrived in the land of Virginia (the entire Eastern Seaboard) and were setting up shop in Jamestown. It was rough. And things weren’t going as planned. At one point, out of supplies and exhausted, they loaded up the ships and began their return to England. At the very moment they released from shore, Lord De la War came around the corner, into the mouth of the river, with full loaded supply ships. The Hand of God was acknowledged. Lord De La War exited his ship, bowed in prayer, and walked immediately to the chapel, (which ironically, along with the other existing buildings, had not been burned before the settlers’ departure, as was custom) and they gave thanks.

Meanwhile, back in Holland, the Scrooby Pilgrims were preparing to set sail to the New World. Their destination was to be The Hudson River. The area now known as Manhattan.

Due to weather and tides, after two attempts they realized it was not meant to be. They acknowledged fate and wound up north of their intended landing spot. A place we now call Plymouth, in what is today Massachusetts.

A little known fact is that during the two years prior to their unintentional landing, the small pox had wiped out almost ALL of the indians on that Massachusetts shoreline area. Interesting.

It was now nearing winter. They were sick from the journey. And the only thing greeting them was sand and the coming snow. No buildings. No food. They begged the Mayflower to stay for the winter in order to sustain them with food and lodging. The Captain and crew grudgingly agreed.

Many died within the months that followed. By the next fall. only about 53 remained and were present when they gathered together to give thanks to the God who had brought them to a region they hadn’t planned on, cleared out the area ahead of time for them, and sustained what few had survived not only the voyage but that first horrifc winter.

Outside the geographical area outlined in their Company contract, they were now a people on their own, without a formal, written law. That is how the Mayflower Compact came to be. They needed some form of governement, and ironically, they were now completely on their own, and free, to create one.

Interesting how delays, complications and unexpected diversions can, if we allow them, become the very unexpected blessings for which we can end up giving thanks.

May you give thanks this season. And too, may we remember.
God Bless.
S.

Nottingham & the Journey to Thanksgiving? Part IV

November 24th, 2009 by stephanie

So, what does Nottingham have in common with the Pilgrims? The answer: Scrooby, England. For those of you that immediately think of Robin Hood when you see Nottingham, you are not alone. But now it can ring a bell for you in regards to the Journey to Thanksgiving. Here’s the scoop.

During the 1500s, you may recall, the Catholic Church, and those who were protesting its practices (The Protestants), were battling it out in Western Europe. Apparently, a few extremists up in Scrooby, (Nottingham area) were fed up with the new Church of England, and decided it was time to leave. They wanted to worship the Lord their way. Not the way the State demanded and ordered. To them, religion was between a man and his God. Not a government mandate.

In their first attempt to slip out, they were arrested. At that time, church dissidents were not allowed to leave the country. Finally, about 1608 they managed to escape to Holland. Here they would start a new life. But in time, the poverty, the Dutch culture their children were absorbing, and other political pressures had them realzing this land too, was not their final destination.

In time, they connected with a Company that was seeking settlers willing to trek to the New World. It wasn’t part of their original plan, but after careful thought and much prayer, they began to look toward a pilgrimage to a new land and a new life.

Stay tuned…
S.

Journey to Thanksgiving, part III. The Era of Discovery!

November 21st, 2009 by stephanie

Today we pick up where we left off in regards to Christopher Columbus. Spain is in the lead and it is 1492!

Five years later, John Cabot of England got in on the fun and landed on what is now Newfoundland (Canada).

A short time later, in 1512, Ponce de Leon, also found land. Thinking it to be merely a huge Island, Florida, was soon called for Spain as well. A year later, in 1513, Balboa claimed the Pacific coast, the Pacific Ocean, and all the lands adjoining it- for Spain.

So let’s take a quick recap:

Only 10 years after Columbus sailed the ocean blue, all of the Caribbean, Central and South America, Florida, and now the Pacific Coast belonged to Spain. Pretty amazing. But they didn’t stop there.

Treks through Louisianna, the coastal Gulf States, and marches even to the Smoky Mountains were in full swing. Everything from Florida to California by the 1520s was now claimed for Spain.

Where were the British? And the French? If they wanted a piece of the pie, they’d better hurry.

More than external discovery, however, was taking place at this time. For those of you that recall the “earth is flat” concept (accepted by all except those who were educated or wealthy) discovery of the Scriptures were suddenly taking place. An internal and Spiritual discovery was being birthed. The Epistles and Gospels were published into Spanish at this same time. The Catholic Church was vehemently against this. The common man was about to receive God’s Holy Word in their base languages. The days of the Latin-only Bible, available solely to the church fathers or the wealthy, were about to come to an end. A new day was rising in more ways than one.

As the story goes, over in Germany at this time, Martin Luther, a man studying for the priesthood, took an unfamiliar, red leather volume off a library shelf. As he read, he discovered a story of a woman named Hannah who could not have a baby and she was pleading with God. It was his first look at a Bible. And, yes, it was in Latin. But he was hooked. After absorbing and exploring this new world he found within the Scriptures, he walked to the Wittenburg church and nailed his complaints with the Catholic Church to the door. The famous 95 Thesis. That day, he protested the current beliefs and rituals of his very own faith. Thus, a historic moment in the birth of what we now call The Protestant Reformation. It was the Rennaissance. A time to explore, discover, and question.

Martin Luther, wanted his fellow countrymen to come to know what he was learning, so he translated the Bible into the German language. Again, Rome was not happy.

The Dutch now had the New Testament in their language. And over in England, Tyndale was working on his English translation of the same. (The Pope later sentenced him to death for this act). That didn’t stop the French. They soon followed.

Monasteries and nunneries in Germany were shutting down. People were leaving the Catholic Church in droves. They were not only leaving their faith, they were venturing out from their homelands in search of new worlds as well. A new day had begun.

King Henry of England wasn’t helping matters. Though Rome had successfully controlled the kings of Europe now for about 1,000 years, Henry VIII was asking for an annulment from Catherine of Aragon (who was Spanish Catholic) in order to marry Anne Boleyn. Pope Clement VII refused. Henry, furious with the response, removed England from Papal Rule and placed himself as head of the Church in England.

It wasn’t a good time for Rome, and it didn’t get better. One of Henry’s daughters, Elizabeth, was a mere third in line to the throne. But due to amazing circumstances, she found herself queen at the age of 25. When Elizabeth got the news, her answer was “This is the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes.” PS118:23. A Protestant herself, she only strengthened the movement of not only her faith, but that of England.

In 1558, she led her tiny country to a dramatic victory over the invincible Spanish Armada, literally crippling their means to continuing exploration. England, had overnight, become the Super Power of the world. Poised and ready to take it’s place on the international stage – it did.

Companies were formed and ships sailed with hopes of cultivating and settling the New World that had once been dominated by Spain’s ventures. Claiming the entire East Coast for the English crown, the area that would one day be known as The Colonies, was simply called: Virigina, in honor of the virgin Queen.

Spain had been replaced as the world leader. The Catholic Church was in upheaval, and a small island west of Europe had risen to illusive power. Stay tuned.

Single This Holiday Season? Know Someone Who Is? Tune in…

November 18th, 2009 by stephanie

Greetings one and all. A special message today for the single set. The holidays can be a bit tricky for the solo crowd during the Holidays. There’s a chapter in my book dedicated to the hilarity and challenges that come with this festive time of year.

If you’re single, or know someone who is, tune in, at 6:30 PM CST–Stephanie will once again join Monica Schmelter on BRIDGES the TV show. The
theme will be: Single for the Holidays. Tips, advice, some laughs and more.
Here’s a link!
JUST CLICK ON WHTN! and enjoy!

…and we’d love for you to put this one in your calendar too!

Monday-Jan 4th 9:30 AM & 6:30 PM (Getting Ready for New Year)

Thank you so much to all of you out there and for your wonderful support. We hope you enjoy the SHOW!

SINGLE GALS: Don’t forget to join us on FACEBOOK.
Friend us at: Stephanie’s Book & ask for an invitation to the Chix Chat Club.
Follow us on TWITTER: click here!

If you haven’t gotten a copy yet of my book, WHEN YOU GROW UP AND GET…SINGLE well, I’d love for you to order your copy today. And too, to share it with a friend.
Just click here!
.

Don’t miss our Journey to Thanksgiving series in the Blog this month and next. We will pick back up with that later this weekend!

Best to you!
S.

Journey to Thanksgiving (Part II)

November 16th, 2009 by stephanie

Today we continue with our bit of History 101 as we review the story of the journey to Thanksgiving. Last time we talked about Leif Ericson. He came oh so close. But they didn’t quite hit the area of land known today as the U.S. of A. And, they didn’t stay. A party of settlers that came out of his group only stayed about a year. Then they returned to Iceland.
Rumor of new lands to the West of Europe had begun to spread. And nations were on a race to settle it under the name of their crown, their language and their faith.

In the late 1400s, Columbus won favor with the Spanish Catholic King and Queen. People of wealth loved spices and silks.But they were quite hard to come by. Acquiring said niceties meant a very arduous journey over land that took them through Europe, across the Mid-East, then into India and China. If you could even successfully get there, you had to pray you were able to even make it safely back home with the goods. Weather, robbers lying in waiting…it was a treacherous route.

So, in 1492, in the name of Spain and as documentation states, “…for the promulgation of the Catholic church and faith…”, Columbus decided to get in a boat and head West– in order to find the East. Yes, you heard that correctly. He headed West. He just knew, if he sailed far enough, he’d find the land of silk and spices. “You can’t do that!” said the common folk. “You’ll fall off! Everyone knows the world is flat!” Columbus however, as well as educated scholars and navigators knew differently.

Now, in case you have forgotten, or if you didn’t get this part in school, in those days, if you wanted to get an education, you had to be wealthy. And, if you were wealthy, you sent your son to the monastery or other Catholic venue for a proper education. That is where the best schooling (if not most), took place. Interesting too, that was about the only place you would be able to find a library. Once you got there, you’d better speak and read Latin, or the contents of the library would be of very little use to you.

So, it’s quite possible that Columbus and his educated friends had access to the Scriptures. You’ll see what I mean when you read the below excerpts. The only copies of the Bible in those days were rare, and if you did have access to them, you most likely found them in LATIN in those sequestered Monastic libraries. Perhaps Columbus was so confident because he had access to those Scriptures and had actually read from them. Consider the following:

Job 26:10 “He has inscribed a circle on the surface of the waters
At the boundary of light and darkness.
Prov. 8:27 “When He established the heavens, I was there,
When He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep,
Is. 40:22 It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,
And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain
And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.
PERHAPS — had the average people, the commoners, had access to the Scriptures as well, they might have known these words as well. But Europe, in general, was without the Word of God. The Scriptures were in the hands of and controlled by the powerful Catholic system at this time. Without education available except at the monasteries and palaces, if you weren’t in church or wealthy or educated you truly thought the world was flat.

Columbus knew better, and he truly believed the earth to be “small”. If he sailed west, he just knew he’d hit Asia for sure.
Ironically, he did find land. But his first landing was in what we know of today as the Bahamas. He called the island where he landed San Salvador, which in Spanish translates a THE SAVIOUR.

He later would sail around the Caribbean Islands and would land on Central America. But for some reason, he never quite got far enough North. He never did land on, nor have the opportunity to claim and settle the shores that would one day be referred to simply as America. That land would belong to another people group, of another faith and language, at another time. Stay tuned…

Just my thoughts.

S.

Welcome Bridges Viewers.

November 12th, 2009 by stephanie

We want to take this time to welcome our BRIDGES viewers. We’re so glad you are here!

For those of you not familiar with Bridges, it is a TV show on CTN hosted by Monica Schmelter. I so enjoy my time with Monica. It just flys by. It seems the camera goes on, and then…the lights go off.

Tune in today if you can. Friday -Nov 13th 9:30 AM or at 6:30 PM –Our theme will be: Women Like to Talk (The Chix Chat Club)

On channel WHTN/CTN

Last Friday (11/6), I was on Bridges with Monica and we talked about being Single in America. For those of that you missed it and would like to check it out we have placed two clips from that show online for you.

Here’s a link!

If you like what you see, catch us next week!

NEXT Friday-Nov 20th 9:30 AM & 6:30 PM –our theme will be: Single for the Holidays

…and we’d love for you to put this one in your calendar too!

Monday-Jan 4th 9:30 AM & 6:30 PM (Getting Ready for New Year Show)

or if you miss us on TV just visit this link: http://www.ctntv.org/bridges.html

Thank you so much to all of you out there and for your wonderful support. We hope you enjoyed the SHOW!

SINGLE GALS: Don’t forget to join us on FACEBOOK. Friend us at: www.facebook.com/stephaniesbook and request an invitation to The Chix Chat Club.

If you haven’t gotten a copy yet of my book, WHEN YOU GROW UP AND GET…SINGLE well, I’d love for you to order your copy today. And too, to share it with a friend.
Just click on the BOOKSTORE tab above.
🙂
Thanks again for tuning in. Come back soon!
S.

To Those Who Have Served…

November 11th, 2009 by stephanie

It’s Veteran’s Day. Each of us in our own way wish to show gratitude. Yet, when we try to express it, I am amazed how many of us so often feel our words are quite inadequate.

How do you properly thank someone who went through horrific moments because of their love and commitment to this country? How do you encourage the service man or woman who stood watch at some distant, lonely, God-forsaken locale. Feeling that no one knew, or cared?

It’s not an easy task.

I am reminded of Clarence Soulliard. WWII. Army. He was 1 of only 3 that returned home from his unit of 200 that deployed. Just a kid from Pennsylvania. Shot in the face by a German sniper and stories these pages are not able to hold. He was blessed to return to his homeland.

My great uncle John that signed up at the age of 40. To serve the land he loved in the midst of a trying hour. He found himself in the Battle of the Bulge. If you are not familiar, you will want to “google” that horrid event. We are grateful he returned to us as well.

Then, the surprise of connecting with a cousin of mine of late. Little did I know, he had served in Viet Nam. How we so long to make it right for those boys that came home at a time when many of our citizens (that they fought for) were so unwelcoming. Heartbreaking.

I am honored to claim these men as family and friends. And may they know they are loved by those of us, too, that hold this country of ours most dear.

Here’s to our Veterans. May they know, their labor was not in vain.
Today- we honor you.

Just my thoughts.
S.

Goodies for You — or Someone You Love.

November 9th, 2009 by stephanie

It’s been an exciting time here at Chix Chat Central. We are pleased to launch our brand new, very own, Chix Chat product line. T-shirts, mouse pads, mugs, even apparel for that adorable pet! Don’t miss the guys apparel too! Take a look around and create your own gift item – for somone special or to simply treat yourself!

You’ll find seven different designs to choose from. Statement t-shirts, and so much more! Here’s to some fun and a few laughs during this phase of your solo lifestyle.

Make a statement this holiday, or just have a good laugh or put a smile on your face. Whether for you or for someone you love, take a look at these great items we have put together speicifically for those navigating the solo waters of life. Just another reminder, it’s always more fun to sail with a buddy. Take a look, make a selection and enjoy! Here’s a private quick-link for our very special guests and Chix Chat Club members.

bit.ly/3uvgNc
or try this!
http://www.zazzle.com/chixchatclub/gifts

Order today and receive your package by Thanksgiving!

Chat soon!
S.

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