Saturday, December 15, 2012

Joy of the Season

" Then Ezra told them, Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet drink, and send the portions to him for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. And be not grieved and depressed, for the joy of the Lord is your strength and stronghold. " Nehemiah 8:10 (amplified)

" Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among men with whom He is well pleased. " Luke 2:15 (amplified)

 These verses are from some little devotionals I've been using that are specific for this time of year. They are so uplifting! The verse from Nehemiah reminds me that there is so much more to Jesus' birth than just what is outlined in the Gospels. Though much is said about the joy of the season, I fear we sometimes hardly stand back and search out what that truly means. It seems plainly defined in the above mentioned verse. What drew me is the part about giving to him that has nothing prepared. Sure, we stick our shopping change in the bell-ringer's bucket. Gives us a good feeling, right? Giving is so much more than that. Be creative and relish in what you can do for those that have not this year. Most of all, we should have joy this time of year ( and all year! ) simply for what God does for us daily: gives us strength. It may be physical strength. It may be spiritual strength. It may be emotional strength. Nevertheless, it is strength. God is our stronghold we can run to in times of need. THAT is something to be joyful about. There is a Friend that is closer than a brother. :)

 Let us also give glory to God! Living in peace and having peace is something not very many people enjoy today. I think of the families of the ones killed in the school shooting in Connecticut today. There is little doubt those there are not feeling much peace after such a horrific event. My heartfelt prayers go out to them and all who have recently lost a loved one by whatever circumstance. It is not easy to lose a loved one at this time of year when the majority of society is celebrating. I've been there. Yet, we should give glory to God, giver of every good and perfect gift. When the Lord is pleased with our lives, He promises peace to us. May we seek to follow the Lord with all fervency so that peace will abound in our lives.

Baked Persimmon " Pudding "
( Gluten, Sugar, & Dairy Free )

2 Fuyu persimmons, orange & soft to touch
1 cup almond milk ( or milk of choice )
2 eggs
1 1/2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon rum flavoring
1/2 cup sweet white sorghum flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch/flour
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350.
Remove stem and pits from the persimmons.
Puree in blender.
Add in other liquids.
Blend until smooth.
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.
Pour in wet ingredients.
Stir well.
Pour in a greased 9x9 or similar sized pan.
Place in a pan that is larger.
Fill larger pan with water up to pudding line.
Bake until golden, with cracks, and pulling away from edge.

( Tastes good with Eggnog and/or Whipped Cream. )

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