What You Can Expect from Your Cats for Christmas


Image Gather around the Christmas tree, little ones,” I told the puddies today. “Time for caroling.” Angela closed her eyes. McDuff went into the basement. And Sinead ran under the bed. “Now, puddies,” I said sternly. “Resistance is futile. So you may as well all come out…because Mommy has a surprise.”

“Listen up,” I persisted, “Mommy’s composed her very own version of your favorite holiday song…The Twelve Days of Christmas…complete with a photo slide show. Here, sit, watch, and listen.” So they did. It’s been a day and a half now. And I haven’t seen hide nor hair of them. I didn’t think the song was THAT bad. Here, judge for yourself:

On the first day of Christmas, my felines gave to me, a squirrel head in a pine tree.

On the second day of Christmas, my felines gave to me two bottle caps, and a squirrel head in a pine tree.

On the third day of Christmas, my felines gave to me three paper bags, two bottle caps, and a squirrel head in a pine tree.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my felines gave to me four smelly socks, three paper bags, two bottle caps, and a squirrel head in a pine tree.

On the fifth day of Christmas, my felines gave to me…five catnip toys…four smelly socks, three paper bags, two bottle caps, and a squirrel head in a pine tree.

On the six day of Christmas, my felines gave to me six mice-a-squirming…five catnip toys…four smelly socks, three paper bags, two bottle caps, and a squirrel head in a pine tree.

On the seventh day of Christmas, my felines gave to me seven goldfish swimming, six mice-a-squirming…five catnip toys…four smelly socks, three paper bags, two bottle caps, and a squirrel head in a pine tree.

On the eighth day of Christmas, my felines gave to me, eight half-dead spiders, seven goldfish swimming, six mice-a-squirming…five catnip toys…four smelly socks, three paper bags, two bottle caps, and a squirrel head in a pine tree.

On the ninth day of Christmas, my felines gave to me, nine snakes-a-wriggling, eight half-dead spiders, seven goldfish,swimming, six mice-a-squirming…five catnip toys…four smelly socks, three paper bags, two bottle caps, and a squirrel head in a pine tree.

On the tenth day of Christmas, my felines gave to me ten chunky hairballs, nine snakes-a-wriggling, eight half-dead spiders, seven goldfish swimming, six mice-a-squirming…five catnip toys…four smelly socks, three paper bags, two bottle caps, and a squirrel head in a pine tree.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my felines gave to me eleven empty bags of cat treats, ten awfully chunky hairballs, nine snakes-a-wriggling, eight half-dead spiders, seven goldfish swimming, six mice-a-squirming…five catnip toys…four smelly socks, three paper bags, two bottle caps, and a squirrel head in a pine tree.

And on the twelfth day of Christmas, my felines gave to me, twelve kittens purring, nine snakes-a-wriggling, eight half-dead spiders, seven goldfish,swimming, six mice-a-squirming…five catnip toys…four smelly socks, three paper bags, two bottle caps, and a squirrel head….in….a pine tree……

Christmas Blessings….

Easter Means No Worries


He died, so that we may live….

“Death came into the world,” the Bible says, “because of what one man (Adam) did, and it is because of what this other man (Christ) has done that now there is the resurrection from the dead.”

“We picture death as coming to destroy; let us rather picture Christ as coming to save.  We think of death as ending; let us rather think of life as beginning, and that more abundantly…. We think of going away; let us think of arriving.”  ~Norman MacLeod~

Happy Easter….No worries.

Fill Your Child’s Easter Basket With Hugs & Kisses & More…..


Want to nestle some blessings and love among the jellybeans in your little one’s Easter basket this year? Want to fill it with Hugs & Kisses? Well, not to worry. Here’s your chance. From today, March 20, 2012, until April 4th, I’m giving away two of  my most recent lift-the-flap books from Zonderkidz: Hugs & Kisses, God, from Kids Around the World, and Thank You, God, from Kids Around the World.  Here’s how to win: Comment on this post with a one/two sentence answer to this question: How can we teach our children to show God their love as they go through their day?  I’ll pick three winners who’ll each get both books, and will annouce the winners on April 4th. In case you’re wondering if your child will like the books, here are the trailers. Judge for yourself:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwM2Wq3XdZI.   Here is the second trailer:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pho0z92FQHM&feature=youtu.be  Thanks and love and blessings to all.

Worried About Your Thanksgiving Preparations? Well, Dont!


Angela Dah-ling

Cats have gotten it right. They don’t worry about anything. And everything turns out just ducky.  I wish I could be like them. Or failing that, I wish I could be like the unflappable Mary of the Bible–the one who sat by Jesus’ feet and listened to his every word, while her sister behaved like Martha Stewart on 15 cups of coffee.   We should remember Mary’s response this Thanksgiving, when things start to get out of hand, and we start to boil over like the brussels sprouts or the green beans casserole we’re about to serve.  Here’s an excerpt from my WORRYWART’S PRAYER BOOK  that explains it better:

“See, Jesus knows we worrywarts are a struggling bunch. And he knew in this instance, Martha meant well, but her anxious thoughts spiraled out of control.   Rather than shooing the negativity away, she invited it in, took on the role of  victim, and turned a perfectly lovely visit into an embarrassing episode for herself, Jesus,and her sister.

Had she have countered her anxieties with three positive sentences, something like This meal is turning out to be more work than I thought—but thank goodness Mary is keeping Jesus company. If we were both in the kitchen, he’d be sitting there all by his lonesome, things might have played out differently.  But Martha was more involved with the process than with the person. Her mind was “distracted” with everything but her guest. God’s in the details, they say. But in this case, He was in the livingroom, waiting for her to make him feel welcome.  Now Mary, on the other hand, had a different set of priorities. And it’s only one opinion, but I think she was focused, not lazy.   My Friend, Lord, and Savior is in my house, she must have said to herself, and I’m going to sit and listen to what he has to say.  Fact is Mary might have even guessed her sister would throw a tantrum, but she didn’t care. Whatever transpired, Mary wasn’t worried. What’s more, she was not about to put Jesus off.  She didn’t say, “Okay, after I cook, and after I clean up, and after I put away the dishes…and do all the mundane things that don’t amount to a hill of beans, I will sit and visit with the one and only Son of God.”

Not on your life. When it came to Jesus, Mary was tunnel-visioned. She knew who she was dealing with, and she knew the importance he deserves. So she literally dropped everything and paid attention only to him.

 Since “distraction” is our middle name, worrywarts like us can learn a lot from this story. At the top of the list is a lesson in getting our priorities straight. Because the choices we make can either bring us closer to God or push us away from him. So if we feel we’ll wind up like Martha—harried and angry—we have to make the choice that Mary did—and that is to drop everything, and take a Jesus break. Then we can ask him to free our worrywart mentality from being mired in things nobody really cares about. And ask him to remind us to “seek first the kingdom of heaven,” because then everything else will turn out okay—including the dinner.

And so will our Thanksgivings. Happy Turkey everyone.

 
 

My Latest Book from Harvest House….


Okay, yes, I have been very worried…worried that I can’t keep up with everything, particularly this blog. But I do have several good reasons. I’ve been totally blessed with  new books, which are just now pubbing. This is my latest from Harvest House: THE LORD’S PRAYER FOR LITTLE ONES. It teaches youngsters that talking to their Creator is a great joy…one they can have every day when they pray. The book also has a Dig Deeper section in the back that relates to what they’ve learned, a glossary, and a really cool hand gesture interpretation of the prayer they can learn as they learn the words.  It’s a book you can share with your children that will hopefully instill in them the habit of prayer, one they’ll keep for a lifetime… So enjoy…. And yes, I will keep my blog more up-to-date…I will keep my blog more up-to-date…as soon as I finish this one little book.  Blessings.

I’ve Been Remiss…and Here’s Why…


 This is my latest book from Zondervan.  It’s a fun  lift-the-flap book entitled, THANK YOU, GOD FROM THE KIDS OF THE WORLD. It will be out in September 2011. I can’t wait….. Yikes…I’ve been busy…. I have a couple more books to finish, then, I promise….I will keep more current with this blog… Meantime….don’t worry….be blessed.
More on this later…..

Because of Christmas Day


 

I have two words for people who fear death so much, they can’t enjoy life: Merry Christmas.  These words offer hope to a once hopeless world because through the miracle of Christmas, God has arranged it so that no one has to be afraid to die anymore. The Bible says “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.’
                                            
But let’s examine how death fits into the picture in the first place. “Death came into the world,” the Bible says, because of what one man (Adam) did, and it is because of what this other man, (Christ) has done; now there is the resurrection from the dead.” (1 Corinthians 16.)

In essence by coming back from the grave, Christ rendered death moot. It was set in motion by sin, and that couldn’t change. But because Christ rose, we now know death is not final. It no longer has a hold on us. It can’t hurt us anymore.  It’s lost its “sting.”  Our Savior, Jesus, has vanquished death, and the Bible affirms the good news. Isaiah 25:8 tells us the Lord “will swallow up death forever.”  David says “God has delivered my soul from death.” John says, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn (it), but that the world through Him might be saved.” Jesus, Himself says, “Don’t be afraid. I am the living one! I was dead, but now I am alive forever and ever.  I have authority over death.” Rev. 1:18. TEV and Paul says, “He has ended the power of death, and through the gospel has revealed immortal life.” (2Tim 1:10 TEV ) but probably spells it out best for us worrywarts by explaining, “He became flesh and blood to destroy the devil, who has the power over death, and in this way set free those who were (are) slaves all their lives because of their fear of death.” 

Because the scary part for most of us isn’t so much the dying—but what comes afterwards: final judgment. Our sins make us fear and tremble at the thought of the Almighty. And that’s the worry that Jesus has done away with. By coming to earth and suffering for us, Jesus has removed the fear because He’s removed the sin.  Jesus stood in for us, was judged, paid our debt, and God accepted his offering.  In that magnanimous effort, our sin slate was wiped clean, and our ability to say “No” to sin and (spiritual) death were secured. 

So if we accept Jesus, following His Word as best we can and begging His forgiveness when we fail, we have no reason to fear God’s wrath—and can stand before Him without quaking. We have Jesus’ promise on that: “I assure you,” He tells us, “those who listen to my message, and believe in God who sent me shall have eternal life.  They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.”  

As if that weren’t good news enough, there’s more. Because our old sinful selves were joined with Jesus and died with him, they will also rise with Him.  “For I will live again,” Jesus explained, “and you will, too.”    

 Okay, but that doesn’t mean the bodies we’re in now won’t go the way of all flesh. On the contrary, we are temporary people. We are destined to expire. The Bible says “Yet, even though Christ lives within you, your body will die because of sin; but your spirit will live, for Christ has pardoned it.”  So it’s as though we get rid of our outer casing which was dust in the first place and will decompose back to dust, and free up the other part of us, our spirit, to be joined to the new improved bodies Paul tells us about.  

Actually, Paul says that getting rid of these earthly bodies is a prerequisite to getting into heaven. He says, “These perishable bodies are not the right kind to live forever.”  And if that’s the case, why anguish about letting them go?  

Indeed, because of God’s immense love for us, and what happened in that stable long ago, we don’t have to agonize over losing our bodies or our souls. “We will not be ashamed and embarrassed at the day of judgment,” the Bible says, “but can face Him with confidence and joy because he loves us…. And His perfect love eliminates all dread of what he might do to us.”  So we can take death—and for that matter, the struggles and pain of life—off our worry list for good. We no longer have to behave like “cowering,  fearful slaves,” anxious about living and petrified of dying because Jesus gives us the strength to survive one and has broken the bond of the other.  So let’s exchange fear and terror for faith and hope. Let’s rejoice in what Christ’s birth and death accomplished. And let’s never stop thanking God for the gift of Jesus, because as the choirs and carolers remind us each year in their songs of praise: “Man will live forever because of Christmas Day.”