What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Out With the Old, In With the New

It is hard to believe that today, December 31, 2019, is not only the last day of the year, but also the last day of a decade! Tomorrow begins a new year, and a new decade, 2020!  Some have said we are entering back into the "Roaring Twenties"!  Well, from what I know about that particular decade, it wasn't all that great...started out with a roar, prohibition, a huge change in morality and crime throughout the land, and ended with a stock market crash that led to horrible depression and eventually another World War.  My prayer for this new decade of the "roaring 20's" is that it will be a time of turning back to the Lord...

Our devotional readings this morning started out with a rather somber warning.  I will share excerpts from these readings, interspersed with some pictures that I have taken recently.   It is my prayer that the words from God's Word will not only give us cause to pause and consider our own hearts and thoughts, but also give us hope and encouragement as we enter this new year and decade.

I John 2:18
"Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour...."

This section of I John chapter 2 continues with more warnings and exhortations, and also some encouraging words:

I John 2:23-25
23.  "Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; 

he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
24.  Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.
25.  And this is the promise that He has promised us--
Eternal Life."

From there we went back to the Gospel of John 1:1-18...what is it that we have heard from the beginning that should abide in us?

John 1:1-5
1.  "In the beginning was the Word,  and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2.  He was in the beginning with God.

3.  All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

4.  In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
5.  And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."

And Who was that Light?
John 1:9-10,14
9.  "That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.
10.  He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him..."

14. "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."

Skip down to John 1:29, where John the Baptist was baptizing in the Jordan:

29.  "The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, 
"Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"
34.  "And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God."

And here,  as we end this old year and begin the new,  we will stop and give God praise and glory for what He has done for us!

Psalm 96
1."Oh sing to the Lord a new song!

Sing to the Lord, all the earth.

2.  Sing to the Lord, bless His name;
Proclaim the good news of His salvation from  day to day.

3.  Declare His glory among the nations,

His wonders among all peoples.
4.  For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised;
He is to be feared above all gods.
5.  For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
But the Lord made the heavens.

6.  Honor and majesty are before Him;
Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.

11.  Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;

Let the sea roar, and all its fullness;

12.  Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it.

Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice before the Lord.

13.  For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth.

He shall judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with His truth."

Not "The End", but the beginning!

Let us sail away into a blessed and Happy New Year, filled with hope, joy, and gladness!
"For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised!"

Monday, December 30, 2019

Pamela's Victorian Cottage...A New Year's Adventure

As an addendum to my last post from Pamela's Victorian Cottage (seen HERE) I must write a quick update before I move on to other subjects, and then we can leave the sweet family enjoying their winter holidays until the next big event. 

If you recall from our last visit, our little family was surprised by a Christmas visit from their beautiful Auntie from the city, who brought wonderful gifts for all the family, as well as a dear little "Angel" visitor, who helped them all remember the true meaning of Christmas as they gathered around the manger and sang "Silent Night" to the Baby Jesus.

Auntie had to return to the city right after Christmas, but she left her little Angel friend to stay and visit and help the family continue to learn the true meaning of Christmas...because there were more adventures yet to come their way...

Not long after Auntie left with a whirl of hugs and kisses and fond farewells and promises to return again soon, there was another knock at the door.  Mother was surprised as she opened the door to find another sweet little girl waiting on the doorstep.

All the children gathered around and peeped out the door and through the windows to see who else could be coming to their house!

Even their little Angel friend was watching from the upstairs window, with a knowing look...

And unbeknownst to them, there was another little angel perched on the gable of the rooftop, watching from a distance with a smile on her face...

Who could this little girl be, and where did she come from?
 Mother and the children looked her over very carefully...she certainly was well dressed, but looked a little uncertain as to whether or not she would be accepted by the family...

She certainly has beautiful hair...and a lovely big pink bow, and is carrying a curious toy...a nutcracker of all  things!  All the little girl would tell them was that her name was "Clara"...
 Mother is again looking rather concerned about having another little girl to take care of and to dress and feed...
 Perhaps now she understands better why "Auntie" brought her a brand new sewing machine for her Christmas gift...

Suddenly she recalls a Bible verse that her mother used to quote when strangers would come to visit their home:

Hebrews 13:2 (NKJV)

"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels."

Well, it certainly does seem like the angels have been quite busy behind the scenes, helping to make the Christmas season very bright!    And all the children were delighted to have another new playmate to come along on all their adventures! 

Mother decided she needed a little quiet time for herself, and so she got the children all dressed in their winter clothes and sent them outside for some sledding and fun in the snow!

And so, while the children merrily played outside with the neighborhood children, Mother sat down in her rocker by the fire and had a cup of tea and read from her beautiful new white Bible that "Auntie" had brought her.  And there was another Bible there for the children to read as well. 
Yes, it looks as though the New Year is going to be filled with many new and wonderful adventures for our little family at Pamela's Victorian Cottage! We can only imagine what good things God has in store for them next! 

So, until next time, Happy New Year everyone!!  And don't forget to "entertain strangers", because we never know just who God may be sending to our door! It could be an angel...or it may just be one of God's children in need of some love and attention!  Don't have a "closed door", but be ready to open the "window" of your heart to whatever new adventure God has planned for you!

Monday, December 23, 2019

A Special Christmas Visitor at Pamela's Victorian Cottage

It's been quite a while since we last visited "Pamela's Victorian Cottage" (Click HERE for a previous special visit)

You've probably thought that I forgot to pack this lovely little cottage when we moved...well, no, I certainly did not forget...but I've been so busy unpacking my own "cottage", that I haven't had much time to visit with our special friends at Pamela's Victorian Cottage.  But now that it is almost Christmas Eve, I thought it would be a good time to check in on our little friends and see if they are ready for Christmas!

Oh! I think we are just in time! It looks like there is a special visitor waiting on the front doorstep!

Oh, and isn't she lovely?  She's all dressed up for Christmas, and it looks like she has even  brought gifts for the family! I wonder who she is?  It looks like there are some little faces in the windows looking out to see who has come a calling!

 Oh my! It appears there is another very special guest waiting in the garden beside the snowmen! This lovely angel must have flown in for a Christmas visit as well...

We are all wondering just who can these special visitors be?
 The snowmen aren't saying a word...

Inside the cottage everyone is busily getting things ready for Christmas.  Mother is still a bit worried that she won't have enough food and gifts for everyone...

They all can hear someone knocking at the door, but they are scurrying about to make sure everything is in place before they open the door...

 The table is set for a very special Christmas tea, using the unique Santa Tea Set that is only used for special Christmas guests...

And they are so excited to welcome their special visitors, their lovely Auntie from the city, who always brings the best gifts for everyone!

But this year Auntie has brought a dear little friend, a beautiful angel, to help them celebrate the true meaning of Christmas...

And so they all gather around the lovely wooden Nativity scene, and sing together:

"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."

Good Night Everyone.
Sleep in heavenly peace...
and have a Blessed and Holy Christmas!

Sunday, December 22, 2019

4th Sunday of Advent = Love

Today is the 4th Sunday of Advent...the Sunday of Love.

"Jesus shows us God's perfect love.  He is God's perfect love in human form.  Those who believe in Him and live in Him, live in love.  Love transforms and perfects all things.  It never ends.

We light this candle today to remind us that God is love.  We thank God for HOPE He gives us, for the PEACE He bestows, for the JOY He pours into our hearts, and for the LOVE that redeems us and shows us the way."

Let us pray:  "O God of Love, Emmanuel, send your light into our hearts at this time.  Help us to be ready for the time of Christ's appearing.  grant that we may so dwell in Him that His perfect love fills our entire being.  Make our worship a time in which we celebrate Your love and are made ready to show that love to the whole world--both today--and forevermore.  Amen."

We sing this verse to the tune of "Away in the Manger":
"A candle is burning, a candle of love, a candle to point us to heaven above.
A baby for Christmas, a wonderful birth, for Jesus is bringing God's love to our earth."

Following our advent candle lighting service, we had our Christmas Cantata: "Joy Has Dawned"

If you would like to sing along, click on this link:

For another  previous perspective on the 4th Sunday of Advent, click HERE

I pray that as you continue in your preparations for Christmas, you will remember that Jesus came to earth as a little baby, God in human flesh, because of love. 

John 3:16  (KJV)

 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."