Monday, December 28, 2009

Set Free

"Set Free”

When a baby bird is “Set Free“… from the safety of the nest
The whole world opens up for her… and life becomes a test

Will she survive the tumult… on a wild and blustery day?
When the winds are whipping fiercely… at her wings along the way?

When a child lets go of her mother’s hand… and tries to stand alone
She wants her independence …wants to try it on her own

The mother wants to see her stand… let go… and take some steps
But it’s very hard to free her…let her grow… and reach her depths

When the teacher sees her students… pass the tests and move along
There is a little sorrow… as she adds them to the throng

Her influence and teaching… goes with them throughout the years
Her hope is that they listened…and not just to their peers

It’s very hard… to set one free… and truly let them go
But if we try to hold them back …when will they ever grow?

The Lord does this for you and me… when he saves us from our sins
He lets us go… and lets us grow… and we face the howling winds

But even though we are “Set Free“… He’s never far away
Just like that mother who’s close behind… when her child is hard at play

The love our Savior has for us… as His dear little child
Is so much like a mother’s love…so warm, so deep, so mild

He does not try to smother us…but indeed He sets us free
So we can be the people… that He knows that we can be

“Set Free“… to do what’s right and good…“Set Free“… to run the race
“Set Free“…to stand against the foe…and look him in the face

“Set Free“…to read our Bibles…and to practice what’s inside
“Set Free”… to worship in our hearts…and let go of stubborn pride

And when we live in freedom… we MUST… set others free
To live their lives in Jesus… to be what they can be

I’m basking in the love of Christ… and… all… He’s… done… for… me
Oh what blessed peace it brings to us…when in Jesus we’re… “Set Free”

By Linda Hogeland December 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

From Christmas To The Cross

From Christmas To The Cross

This is really weird I know it… but what I have to say
Came to me while I laid in bed on this chilly winter day

I lay there in my cozy bed
As rhyming words dance through my head

Is this a poem or random thoughts??? I wonder as they dance
I close my eyes to blot them out, but through my mind they prance

I hear them too in rhyming prose and in my heart they sing
I rise and quickly jot them down to honor my dear King

Honor me they seemed to say and remember my dear Son
He is the babe on Christmas day that blessed us…everyone

He wasn’t just another child brought forth onto this earth
He is a Savior for all men…He came by virgin birth

A star announced His coming and the angels they did sing
The Shepherds saw this evidence and rushed off to greet their King

The manger scene was hushed and still as the shepherds came that day
They bow their hearts and bend their knees and quickly start to pray

How do we approach the manger? Does it make our hearts to sing?
As we bow before the baby and proclaim Him as our King

Or do we rush right past Him in the hurried Christmas dash?
To buy the useless presents and fill up the car with gas

We check off lists of groceries and we stand in lines and wait
But do we think of what it cost Him to walk through heaven’s gate?

He left the realms of glory and put on flesh as common man
To dwell with us and teach us things that only Jesus can

He grew in girth and wisdom… left childhood… became man
Taught in the streets… healed the sick… and saved men through His plan

He chose men as His disciples… did miracles before their eyes
Made the wine from water and raised the dead as mothers cried

Who is this man they wondered? Some “got it” some did not
They heard Him teach but didn’t heed the words that Jesus taught

Do we heed His precious words? Do we claim Him as our King?
If we do then let’s proclaim it and let the anthems ring

Let the songs spring forth in worship and the hands lift up in praise
Let’s make this Christmas special…honor Him with all our days

You see Christmas led to Easter…this is what it’s all about
The Bible tells the story and it leaves us without doubt

Of a truth He is our Savior…of a truth He is our King
Yet He laid His life down gladly…bore the cross…so we could sing

Sing… because our sin’s forgiven…nailed with Him upon that tree
Sing… ten thousand Hallelujahs…He arose for you and me

Who arose? That little baby… who in that manger lay!
Let’s proclaim it all this Christmas…and thank God for this display

This display of love and mercy…this display of God’s own plan
To restore a fallen people through a babe that became man

Not just any man… but The God-Man
God’s own son who came to die

He knows our desperation…and He hears our every cry
Just accept Him… He’s our present...It’s our past that made Him die

All those sins that He bore gladly… so that we could be set free
Are forgiven and forgotten…cast into the deepest sea

Yes ten thousand Hallelujahs…and then ten thousand more
Can’t express enough affection for what that baby bore!

So you see a little baby in the manger on that hay
But He also is a Savior who was born on Christmas Day!

By Linda Hogeland ~~~ December 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Six Word Saturday: Let The Christmas Wrapping Chaos Begin!

Six Word Saturday: Let The Christmas Wrapping Chaos Begin!!!

I have Christmas shopped online quite a lot this year, and as the boxes began arriving I stacked them in a spare bedroom. I knew I should get busy and wrap them when they arrived, but I just wasn't motivated. So the pile of boxes grew and grew.

Tomorrow we are having out of town guests overnight and so I knew I had to start wrapping those presents and get that room in order. I started yesterday and got quite a lot done, but the room is still in chaos and I am only about half way done!

When you have 11 grandkids there are quite a few presents to wrap. Yikes...I had better get off this computer and get going again.

Oh, and guess what? I found a couple of more pieces for my Nativity...a shepherd and a donkey! I am excited!!!

This guy in red is My Santa! ((smile))

Have a good Saturday!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Nativity

I just got the beginnings of a new Nativity set. I haven't been able to find the shepherds, sheep, donkey and other animals that go with it...or the wise men. But I have been looking online, and I hope I will find the additional pieces somewhere. But if I can't, that's ok. I have "The Most Important" part right? Mary, Joseph and the baby JESUS!

I don't know why I have never really had a nativity set. I have always wanted a nice one, but just never bought one. It seems there was always so much to buy at Christmas...and I just kept telling myself I would have one..."someday".
Someday seems to never come... unless you "Just Do It". (Nike's slogan) ((smile))

This year I have been thinking so much of the first Noel. That blessed first Christmas. Emmanuel...God with us! Isn't it amazing that the "King Of Kings" would put on flesh and dwell among us?!? If you are a mother, you know that mothers dream about their babies and wonder what they will be like. Can you even imagine what Mary was pondering in her heart? Knowing that she was carrying the Son of God?!?!
And then actually looking into the face of God when her baby Jesus was born, and kissing Him? WOW!

I love the song "Mary Did You Know?" I haven't heard it yet this season. I will have to go and get one of my cd's out and listen to it...because it touches my heart every single time I hear it!

And how about this wonderful man Joseph...imagine what he felt as he helped care for this special gift. He was a willing servant just as Mary was. They were entrusted with raising the Savior of the World. The grace of God was sufficient for their mission. It is an amazing story and one that I never tire of hearing.

May we all pause at this busy time of year and stop and thank the Father for the wonderful gift of His Son.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Looking At Christmas Through The Eyes Of A Child

Looking At Christmas Through The Eyes Of A Child

Standing at the bottom of a tall and looming tree
A little child looks upward at the star and thinks of Thee

It reminds him of the story that he heard in church that day
Of the shepherds who were guided by the star that led the way

Led the way to baby Jesus who lay resting in the hay
Who was indeed the “King of Kings” born that Christmas day

Lord if we could only see things through the eyes of a little child
If only we could kneel and pray with hearts so very mild

A child’s eyes hold such hope in them, such wonder and such awe
When was the last time that I looked and saw what this child saw?

The ornaments that sparkle much like the star above
Speak right to a child’s heart and reminds him of your love

But me, I look right past them and I often do not see
The meaning behind Christmas or the legend of the tree

The tree points up towards heaven giving glory to the son
Who left all heaven’s splendor to become this little one

Yes that was you almighty God who came that Christmas day
The one who would grow up to die and take our sins away

And then you gained the victory over death and rose again
So that we could have new life on earth and eternity in heaven

The gifts that lay beneath the tree make the child feel loved
But we grumble as we wrap them thinking of all the hubbub

We think of all they cost us as we shopped and picked each one
But your gift cost you plenty as you gave your only son

A child has expectations and can’t wait for Christmas day
He sings the Christmas Carols as he skips along at play

But our hearts they aren’t so tender and our heads are filled with lists
All the things we must get purchased with the money in our fists

Lord please help us to remember why we celebrate this day
Help us to see things as a child and rejoice along the way

Yes Christmas through the eyes of a child is a very precious thing
I want to be more child like as I welcome Heaven’s King!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

Well I have been wanting to get my tree up for several days now, but I just didn't find the energy until today...December 1st...but now it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas at our house!

I put in some Christmas CD's, lit the fireplace and drank some hot cider as I sorted through the boxes of ornaments and decided which ones I wanted to use this year.

It was a long process. It seems that the older I get, EVERYTHING is a long process!
But it does look festive and has put me in the mood to wrap some gifts and write some Christmas Cards.

To me it just doesn't seem like Christmas without sending and receiving cards. That's because when I was a little girl I would always enjoy helping my mom with the Christmas Cards. Then we'd lick all those stamps and envelopes and take our stacks of cards to the post office and mail them.

But the best part for me was getting the mail everyday during the Christmas Season and opening the cards that people sent to our family, and reading the notes and letters inside, and going through the pictures that people would send us. Then we would string the cards around the doorways and across the windows on ribbon.

I loved the variety of cards we would receive with pictures of snow and Santa Claus and his sleigh, and Rudolph...or the ones of children playing in the snow and building snowmen. I loved the Nativity scenes with the manger and baby Jesus with the big Star hanging in the sky above. And the Shepherds too....and the Three Wise Men bringing their gifts to the Savior. All of the Christmas scenes would give me warm fuzzies and such happy feelings. And my momma enjoyed them just as much as I did.

Since I have been married and had kids of my own I have always done Christmas Cards. However in recent years we have lost our granddaughter, John's parents and his sister, and my sister, several friends and other family members, so during some of those times of grief we missed a year here and there. This year I am glad to say that we are resuming the life long tradition. I used to always write handwritten notes in each card, but now I type a Christmas letter and print copies of it to put inside each card. I didn't use to like form letters, but it does save a lot of time...and it helps me not to get writers cramp! (:>)

In this fast paced life of email, and cell phones and texting, and facebook... and with the ever increasing postage prices, some people don't use "snail mail" as much
as they used to, but I say it is so worth it to evoke the happy childhood memories from my Childhood Christmases.

Do any of you enjoy Christmas cards as much as I do? To me it is just as important as singing Christmas Carols,...or watching Christmas movies.

Well I have stayed up way too late, so I had better call it a night and go on to bed. I just wanted to include a few pictures and maybe cause some of you that haven't put the tree up yet to pull it out and get started. Christmas will be here before we know it...and I think we need to enjoy every minute of it.

Good Night! God Bless You My Bloggy Friends!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

ABC's of THANKSGIVING...and Five Question Friday

This looked like fun...thinking of 26 reasons from A-Z that I am thankful! My friend Kristin did this and so did her friend, so I thought I would follow suite and do mine too. Maybe you would like to join in and make your list too. (:>) Some of mine are silly!

A) Autumn...and Apple Crisp

B) Bible...and Books

C) Calvary Baptist Church...and Christian Music...and Caramels

D) Daughters...and Diamonds...and Dew Drops

E) Everyday God Gives Me...Encouragement...and Earrings

F) Friends...and Food...and Fun

G) Grandchildren...and Grace...and Glory

H) Husband...Happiness...Hugs...and Home

I) Internet...and other Inventions...and Imagination

J) Jesus...and Joy...and Jam

K) Kisses...and Kitchens

L) Lipstick...Love...Laughter...and Libraries

M) Memories of Mom...Mornings...and Music

N) Nieces... and Nephews

O) Oil of Olay...Olives...and Oranges

P) Purple...and Periwinkle...and People

Q) Quietness...and Quilts

R) Roses...and Raindrops...and Raisins

S) Shortbread...and Sisters...and Sermons

T) Truth...and Tenderness

U) Understanding...Utilities...and Utensils

V) Voices...and Vegetables

W) Wonderful Women...Warmth...and Wonderment

X) X-cellant, X-pressions...and X-citement...(:>)I cheated a bit on that one!

Y) Yummy Yams...Yesterdays...and YOU!

Z) Zippers...Zoos...and Zeal

Wow!... There is sooo much to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well as you can see, I went way past 26 things that I am thankful for, but I had fun listing them. I think the Lord would be pleased if we practiced thankfulness everyday....and it would do our hearts good!
God Bless You

My Little Life

Well as lovely as it was... Thanksgiving is over and now it is Friday and so I will add the answers to Five Question Friday. If you'd like to play along, just click on the button above and find out the details and join in the fun! You will find Mama M there, and she is getting anxious for Christmas. Link up so we can all share our answers to the five questions Mama M has asked us.

1. Do you do a real or fake Christmas tree?

Although I love the smell of real Christmas trees, I have done fake trees for many years now. And have even gone to a tall thin tree to save room. The smaller trees are so much easier for this Grandma to manage.

2. What is your favorite Christmas tradition with your family?

We change things up and don't really have traditions,...but I love going to Christmas Eve services and really thinking about the gift of Jesus! I love the music and the candlelight too.

3. Do you celebrate Thanksgiving in your neck of the woods? And, if many calories do you think you consumed yesterday?

We did our dinner on Saturday, and there was so much food we have been eating on it for days now. I don't know how many calories but I am thinkin' maybe a Gazillion!

4. Have you started decorating for Christmas, yet?

I sent my hubby to Wal-Mart yesterday for more lights for the tree. It seems like every year we find lights that don't work. Anyway I hope to do the decorating today or tomorrow. It is a lot of work, but I love the outcome.

5. What is your favorite Christmas cookie?

When I was a kid my mama used to make little shortbread balls with pecan pieces inside and they were rolled in powdered sugar. They were my favs...but now I am allergic to nuts so I just eat shortbread without the pecans. They are yummy.

May the love of Jesus fill your hearts this Christmas!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

It's Time For Six Word Saturday!

Well it is Saturday again and that means it's time to think of six words that describe our lives,...or have some meaning to us today. If you'd like to join in, just post your six words and link up by clicking on the button above and join in the fun.

Well for me today my six words are:

We Are Having Our Thanksgiving Today!

There are 18 of us when the kids come with their kids,...and 19 when my brother is here, and 20 when he brings his girlfriend. Quite a houseful, but we love every minute of it. I started cooking yesterday and so I have things pretty much done. My girls are bringing some things too, so that helps. We always have plenty and we are so blessed.

God has been so good to us, and today I am just...
Thanking Him For All Our Blessings! .... six more words

Another blessing is that I have such a wonderful husband who helps me so much when we have our get togethers. I don't know what I'd do without him. I am not as young as I used to be and it takes both of us these days to get things done. So six more words:
I Love My Husband So Much!

Have a good day bloggy friends!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Time Keeps On Ticking Into The Future

Time Keeps On Ticking Into the Future

As I lay here listening… to the clock beside my bed

I am reminded of a song… and here is what it said

Time keeps on ticking…. into the future

We can stop a clock from ticking… but we never can stop time

We can act like we’re not aging …but our bodies still decline

We can wear the latest fashions…dye our hair…or buy new shoes

But the fact is… we ARE aging…and it’s something we don’t choose

Time keeps on ticking…into the future

We can push that small snooze button… and pretend we get more time

But that’s a mere illusion that we use to trick our mind

We can ignore our birthdays…simply say that they don’t come

But our birthday suit looks wrinkled…. and it’s just a rule of thumb

Time keeps on ticking… into the future

Do you ever see a picture of yourself from long ago?

And you wonder where that person went… and you'd really like to know?

I think about that all the time… when I stare into her face

That picture from her wedding day… where she’s all decked out in lace

Time keeps on ticking…into the future

I see the hope deep in her eyes…the look that held her dreams

And think of all she’s said and done…a life full of her schemes

The man that stands beside her… holding gently to his wife

Hardly knowing what his duties… would now be throughout his life

Time keeps on ticking…into the future

They barely thought of grandchildren on that busy wedding day

But there have been 14 of them… to love… and watch at play

Now some of them are driving and I know it won’t be long

Till THEY’RE walking down that aisle… listening to THEIR wedding song

Time keeps on ticking…into the future

Oh yes, where does the time go… how can all these things be?

It only seems like yesterday… he proposed on bended knee

Now… when he bends that knee… he finds it hard to rise

The handsome prince has turned to gray… but the love’s still in his eyes

Time keeps on ticking… into the future

So the time it keeps on ticking…until that fateful day

When time turns to eternity…and it’s just a breath away!

By~ Linda Hogeland ~ November 2009

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Click on the button above to find out how to link up your Six Word post today.

My "Six Words" today are:

Ryan's sick please pray for him!
This precious little baby boy has been through so much, he has endured surgery, and he has been in the hospital for several months. He and his dear family could use our prayers. Please click on his button and go there to read his story by looking through older posts to understand what he has gone through and please pray. Then leave an encouraging comment for them. I would appreciate it,...and I know they would too.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Birthday Filled with Food and Family...and a little shopping

Yesterday was my husband John's birthday. When asked what he wanted to do he said he wanted to see all of his kids and grand kids, and also he wanted to go to the Kohl's sale, and the antique mall. He also mentioned a movie, but we ran out of time so we will do that today or tomorrow.

Since our daughter Lisa and her husband Brad and their daughter Bailey had evening plans already, they met us at The Rib Crib for lunch. I forgot my camera, so we didn't get any pictures with them,... but we had a good time, good food, and good fellowship,...and Grandpa shared his free Birthday treat!

Then we went to the big Veteran's Day sale at Kohl's. John loves to find the bargains and then use his coupons for even greater savings, and then also get his additional bucks to spend at another visit. We both found things there and even a Christmas gift for someone.

Then we ventured on to the antique mall on the west side of town and spent quite a long time browsing and hunting for treasures. I know it was John's birthday, but I found more than he did. I found a cute little etched hand mirror, and also a little perfume bottle for my curio cabinet, and a couple of cute cards I might frame for my antique office/bedroom.

From the antique mall we went up north of town to our daughter Lynnette's house and on to the little pizza place in her town called Killroys. Our daughter Lonna and her 4 kids met up with us there. Lynnette and the 6 kids too of course, but Kyle joined us later since he had been in Kansas City on business.

Then we all went to Lynnette's house after eating and visited some more. We all treasure the times when we can be together. It is hard to schedule, but we try to do it once a month when we can, to celebrate family birthdays.

We have a granddaughter turning 17, so we will do it all over again real soon.

I love my husband so much....he is so good to all of us. I think he enjoyed his day,...and so did I. ((smile))