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“And Forgive Us Our Trash Baskets As We Forgive Those…”

January 22nd, 2014 by stephanie

Are you finding it hard to forgive someone lately?

When the email arrived in my inbox, I was tempted to trash it. It was a kind of “Kids say the craziest things” collection, and I have to admit, I didn’t have the time to read it. Work was waiting.

It was one child’s take on the Lord’s prayer, however, that really caught my attention. It went like this:

“And forgive us our trash baskets as we forgive those who put trash in our basket.”

Wow, I thought. If that child only knew how right  they were!

I have to admit…

It’s easy for me to ask God to forgive the sin in my life. (My personal trash basket.) But oh how much harder it is to forgive those that frustrate and complicate my life with their sins. The ones that put their trash in my basket of life.

I certainly don’t want God remembering or punishing me for my flub ups. Yet, for some reason, I don’t seem to mind Him recalling the offenses of the people who have wronged or hurt me. I would imagine you understand and might even be going through something similar of this nature right now.

It’s in those times that I have to consciously remind myself that God has not only forgiven, He loves the folks that hurt me. I didn’t say it was easy. But the reality is—Christ died for their sins too. Not just mine.

Sure, I’d like to think I am the center of my Creator’s world. But I’m not. There’s a few billion more out there that He has His eye on and cares about as well. In an odd way, that’s comforting. Why? Because it means that He deals with my trash and your trash everyday-and He can handle it. Our trash baskets don’t phase Him a bit and what’s inside of them doesn’t change His love for either of us. That’s a pretty amazing thought.

There’s a great verse that  helps me come to see that perhaps God just might be the great trash taker-outter.
It reads:

And as far as sunrise is from sunset,
he has separated us from our sins. Psalm 103:12
Just my thoughts,
S.

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Today is Epiphany. Know much about it?

January 6th, 2014 by stephanie

King-Cake-1Today is a holiday known as EPIPHANY. Here’s some trivia for you on the matter:

1. The 12 Days of Christmas officially ended today.

2. Carnival Season began today.

3. Today is also known as Twelfth Night.

In case you didn’t know, Carnival Season officially kicks off today, January 6. The day known as EPIPHANY, or Twelfth Night. And, if you have a New Orleans connection, you most likely had a piece of King Cake to kick off the festivities.

What I find fascinating is that this celebration occurs every year but few know what’s really being celebrated. Here’s the break down:
1. Epiphany (Twelfth Night) celebrates the visit of the three Wise Men who journeyed to worship the baby Jesus.
2. On that day a King Cake is made with a tiny baby figurine hidden inside.
3. The cake is decorated in three colors.
3. When the cake is cut, whoever gets the piece with the baby Jesus is “king” for a day.

For me, like any festival, it’s all about the food. And for those in the Deep Southern states, who do the Mardi Gras thing, it’s all about the King Cake or Twelfth Night Cake. Supposedly, the Wisemen’s journey lasted 12 days and found them arriving on January 6-Epiphany. Coming together for you a bit?

This cake is similar to the All-American cinnamon roll, topped with icing or sugar, usually baked in a ring shape, and, frosted or iced with the three colors of Mardi Gras: gold, green, and purple (symbolic of power, faith, and justice). And of course, in honor of our three kings.

The baker of the King Cake hides a surprise in the cake, usually a dried red bean or a figurine of a baby representing the Christ child. When the cake is cut whoever gets the piece with the hidden treasure is said to enjoy good luck for the coming year. Tradition used to be that you were king for a day. Nowadays, you have to bake the King Cake or throw the Mardi Gras party next year.

Whatever the case, I am always amazed, that if you look deep enough into most holidays or festivals (at least those created prior to the 1900s) you will find a religious connection or symbolism.

And now you know. I’ll share more on Carnival itself later.
Just my thoughts,
S.

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“Happy” New Year, 2014!

January 1st, 2014 by stephanie

images-2I’ve heard more than one person this week mention that  2013 wasn’t that “happy” for them. and if truth be told, they won’t be sad to see it go. So, you can imagine I found it interesting when I discovered that ’13 was, in the Chinese Calendar, the Year of the Snake. I guess you can say, those folks who don’t have such fond memories of the past 12 months won’t be sad to see the year slither off into the distance.

Life can be tough. Things happen. We can’t control that. What we can control is our reaction to problems, situations, temptations and more. Those are the things that are left up to us. We can make life good…if we so choose.

As we welcome in 2014, I want to focus on making life good. Happy. It’s my choice. And I’d like to be successful in that end.

In addition, I want to thank each of you, who have been so gracious to visit this blog whether daily, weekly or monthly.  Your comments and support have been nothing short of a delight. And I am grateful to call you friends.

For those of  you that are new friends, welcome. And may you come back often for some laughs, some trivia, a bit of history now and then, but most of all, some well deserved encouragement.

This blog wouldn’t be here without you, so again, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

When you have a moment, leave a comment and share with us something you are looking forward to in 2014!  We’d love to hear from you too!

So Wishing you a wonderful and Happy New Year.

May God Bless You Richly. And, may God Bless America.

Stay Happy!

Stephanie

Psalms 34:8 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed (happy) is the 

man that trusts in him.

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