Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

The Christmas Tree in the corner is very pretty with all its red, white and gold decorations but there is one thing missing.  The presents!  All those gifts wrapped in pretty paper and tied with pretty bows have now been opened with oohs and awes and some have already been exchanged for something else.  But there is one gift I will never exchange and that is the presence God gave me and each of you so many years ago.  That gift is His Son Jesus Christ!


For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 
John 3:16
My New Year's wish is for each of us to Fully Rely On God and to never forget the "Presence" that gave you and I eternal life with our Heavenly Father.  
May 2013 be a year full of blessings and may you feel His presence all around you!
Happy New Year!!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to our family and friends from the Pacific Northwest.  My sweetie had a really bad head cold when we arrived but is now over it and I now have it.  None the less we are really enjoying ourselves with the kids.  On our drive up last Tuesday we stopped in Redding and spent the evening with my BFF Patty.  She is always a gracious hostess and we so enjoy the time we get to be with her.
We left Patty's place Wednesday morning and was a beautiful drive to the kids place in Vancouver.  The roads were clear and we traveled along listening to and singing Christmas Carols all the way.  Our beautiful daughter had her Dad's favorite dinner, Spaghetti of course, prepared for us and we had an enjoyable evening catching up and enjoying each other's company.
Thursday Marianne and Stephen both had to work and Papa was still not feeling well so Awbrey and I headed out for our traditional day of shopping.  This is something we do every year as it gives her the opportunity to shop for her Mom and Dad.  We have such a fun time together shopping, lunch, more shopping, on our way stopped by the grocery store and picked up things for homemade Chicken Noodle Soup, and then to Starbucks for a well deserved Skinny Hazelnut Latte and Peppermint Hot Chocolate, got Papa a Cafe Mocha too!
Today, Friday, Marianne is on vacation and it also a very busy day as she is hosting her Bunco group's Christmas Party.  So it is a morning of shopping picking up everything needed for the party, Christmas Dinner, general grocery shopping and the last of her Christmas shopping.  Then it was home to start preparing for the party.  Her menu consisted of Autumn Glazed Ham, Holiday Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Pear Salad with White Balsamic Dressing, Red Velvet Cake, Santatini and North Pole Drinks, and appetizers consisting of a Broccoli Christmas Tree with veggies and dip, and Hot Brie Cheese with apricot and pecans and crispy bagget bread.  Everything looked absolutely delicious and the ladies really enjoyed themselves. 

As for mine, Gary, Awbrey and Stephen's dinner I picked up Panda Express for us and we had a picnic upstairs hanging out together while the party went on.  
Saturday was a down day for everyone but Stephen as he had to work.  So the rest of us slept in , had scrambled eggs with ham for breakfast, and spent the rest of the day in our pajamas watching Christmas movies. 

Awbrey and I also completed a couple of Christmas gifts she had int the works.  That evening Marianne and I had a wrapping party and spent the evening hanging out together.  I, of course, sat to close to the Christmas tree and had to take an allergy pill before going to bed.
Sunday is the Lord's day and we were all up early to get ready for church.  Stephen and Awbrey were up first as they are part of the Levitical Team at their church and had to be there by 7:30 AM to set up for morning worship.  Me, I woke up with a really bad head cold and have been on medication ever since but being sick was not going to keep me away from worship service so Marianne, Gary and I got ready and headed for church.  Worship service was great!  Children's Church presented their rendition of Joy to the World, complete with sign language, and it was absolutely great.  The worship team had picked some great music for the Sunday before Christmas and Pastor Steve presented a fantastic sermon "He Came As A Child" with the 5 reasons.  We spent the rest of the day relaxing, watching Christmas movies and hanging out together.
Today is Christmas Eve and it is a family day.  We started the day off with a really fantastic breakfast.  Marianne prepared Fritters and I scrambled up some eggs with diced ham.  The recipe for the Fritters is Stephen's Mom.  They are absolutely delicious with warmed syrup and homemade strawberry jam.  After breakfast we got the kitchen cleaned up and are now relaxing watching movies.  Tonight we are attending the Christmas Eve service at their church.  After the church service we will head home for some Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.  After everyone has their fill of soup and sandwiches we are going to go on a drive and take in all the Christmas lights.
To me, Christmas is a time to stop and thank my Heavenly Father for the greatest gift I will ever received and that is the gift of His Son.  His Son who so willingly came to earth, to give His life so that I may have eternal life with Him.  So tomorrow morning as you open your gifts remember to stop and thank our Heavenly Father for His gift to us.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
Luke 2:11
Merry Christmas from the Richards and Burgess Family to all our family and friends. 
We pray that your home be filled with peace, love, joy and laughter as we celebrate this most wonderful time of the year.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Stress Relief

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14
A very dear friend gave me this little book for Christmas.  I love to knit!  I have found that knitting relaxes me and is a stress reliever and that is exactly what the first two pages of this little book talks about.

In the rhythm of the needles there is music for the soul. 
Old Sampler
The simple act of knitting, of counting stitches and rows, losing oneself in the rhythm of pattern repeats, and the joy of watching a lovely piece of handiwork emerge, helps release tension and allows one to forget, if only for a moment, the realities of life.
On those rare occasions that my sweetie and I sit down to watch a TV show I knit.  It is relaxing and also keeps my hands busy.  So if you would like to learn to knit let me know and I will be happy to teach you this art of relaxation.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Reason for the Season

All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.  “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Matthew 11:27-29 

These past weeks has really been really busy for my sweetie and me.  We returned home from our Tennessee Thanksgiving on November 27 and have been meeting ourselves going out the door as we are coming in.  The first thing we did was tackle the mountain of laundry, get everything unpacked and put away.  Once that was done we starting taking down the fall decorations.  We also had responsibilities and duties to complete for the ministries we are involved with, in our church and community, that needed to be taken care of.  

Once all these things were taken care of I started thinking about how I wanted to decorate for Christmas this year.  When we sold our home in 2005 we moved into a townhouse.  Well our first Christmas there we realized that our 8 foot tree was not going to work so we sold it and bought a smaller tree, 4.5 feet to be exact, and we have used that little tree every year since.  My sweetie retired in 2009, we moved to Exeter, now have room for a larger tree and this year I wanted a big tree.  So my sweetie, knowing how much I love this time of year, took me shopping for a tree.  I really love the smell of a real Christmas tree but since I am allergic we purchased a 7.5 foot artificial spruce tree.

I have said all this to say this,  Don't let yourself become overwhelmed with all the decorating and commercial emphasis put on Christmas.  Don't let yourself become to busy to remember what this season really represents as I almost did. 

 Jesus came that we might have life more abundantly and He asks us to live each day, moment by moment, in His love as we share this love with all we come in contact with.

Jesus is the only reason for this season!

Reason for the Season

The shepherds are lit
A star in the sky
On the outskirts of town
A new baby cries
No room at the end
No crib to be found
Oh but look at him now

He is the reason for the season
He is the light that shines on our lives
The baby Jesus born in God's grace
So we all might rejoice on this day
He is the reason for the season

It is a time for presents and toys
Tales of Saint Nick
Tidings of joy
As we celebrate the miracle birth
Oh right here on this earth

He is the reason for the season
He is the light that shines on our lives
The baby Jesus born in God's grace
So we all might rejoice on this day
He is the reason for the season

He's the reason for the giving
The joy that's never ending
That comes on Christmas morning in the eyes of a child
It's what it means to me and you
That's the true meaning of this time
Oh this time

He is the
He is the reason for the season
He is the light that shines on our lives
The baby Jesus born in God's grace
So we all might rejoice on this day
He is the reason for the season
By Ray Owens

Saturday, December 1, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness - Day 30

Psalm of Thanksgiving

Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples.
Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;
Speak of all His wonders.
1 Chronicles 16:8-9
Gary and I have so much to be thankful for.  Our Heavenly Father loves us unconditionally with no strings attached.  We have a loving family that we love to spend time with and they are there at a moments notice when help is needed.  We are also thankful for our loving church family of families and our CR forever family.  Our God has blessed us with so many friends and we are truly thankful for those He has placed in our lives.
During the month of November Gary and I traveled to Tennessee to spend Thanksgiving with my brother L Z, Debbie and family.  It had been 5 years since we had spent time in their home and we so enjoyed the time we had with them.  We had hoped to spend some time with my younger brother Jeff and family but we couldn't make it happen.  Jeff drives an eighteen wheeler and his work schedule just did not work out with time off.  Hopefully the next time he brings a load to California we can hook up.  While in Tennessee Gary and I celebrated our "40th Anniversary."  L Z, Debbie, Joe Ed and Trixie took us to dinner at the Bell Buckle Cafe in Bell Buckle, TN. 
Our last Sunday in Tennessee we attended Sunday school and church with L Z and Debbie.  We felt right at home enjoying the old hymns and the fellowship.  We had met several of the congregation when we were last there in 2007.  We heard a great sermon by Pastor Tim Brown on "King of Truth" and that evening we had the privilege of hearing L Z speak on "My Name is Jesus."
We are so very thankful to our Lord and Savior for blessing us with the finances to travel and most importantly His great love.  November was truly a month of Thanksgiving!