Showing posts with label church. Show all posts
Showing posts with label church. Show all posts

Finding Oneself as the Pandemic is Hopefully Ending


Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books in exchange for honest reviews. All opinions are my own.

The last two years have been tough on everyone. Everyone I talk to seems to be struggling in some way or another. And it is not because they lost a loved one (though many have) or that they or a family member caught Covid (though many have). It is because we are all tired. Tired of masks. Tired of restrictions. But mostly tired of fighting. America seems more divided than ever. We were divided by politics and that division has grown. We have been divided by racism which is coming to a forefront. Now we are also divided about masks, vaccinations and more. If a person or company does not have the same beliefs, people are fighting, debating and at sometimes getting violent. Then add in that there is a shortage of workers. Everywhere seems to be hiring and they are operating understaffed. People's patience is not there, and they are being rude to the few people who do show up to serve us. It is such a mess. All of these things have gotten me feeling down and miserable. For 2022 I have picked positivity as my word of the year. Let's face it we all need more positivity in our lives (just not positive Covid tests).

Hello Fall & Sunday School Crafts

Fall began and I started thinking of some fall crafts. I had those frames I bought ages ago on clearance and had made some spring themed d├ęcor. To make a fall one I pulled out my Cuttlebug. I have an apple embossing folder and used it for the background paper. Then I used the die to cut out "Hello". I found an apple shaped Post-It Note pad and traced it to cut out an large apple and wrote fall on it. Then I used some leaf punches for the small leaves. I love how it all came out.

At Home in the Father's House -- First Look Book Review

Disclosure: I was sent this book to review free of charge from Worthy Publishing. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

Today I get to share with you a look at the new book, At Home in the Father's House by John Sheasby with Ken Gire. This book shares John Sheasby experience as a pastor discovering his own distortions of God and the Bible. He also shares the discoveries he made to correct those distortions and finds ways to relate it to everyone's life.'s-House/

Christmas Church Services Around the World -- Christmas in Different Lands

In many parts of the world church services or masses are an important part of Christmas. Many countries have traditional times for the service. Does yours? Growing up we always went to what was called the midnight candlelight service. It started at 11:00 p.m. and ended around midnight. The service always ended with singing Silent Night and having each person light a candle from the flame of the Christ candle in the Advent wreath. Now we usually go to the earlier Christmas Eve service so Hazel can stay awake. 


 For many the celebration of Christmas takes place in the church. In some countries the church services begins on December 16th. In Venezuela there is an early morning church service called Misa de Aguinaldo held every day from December 16 to December 24. Often there are bells and firecrackers to wake the parishioners for the early services. In the capital city, Caracas, it is tradition to roller skate to these services. As a result the streets are often closed to cars until 8 a.m. On December 24 the mass is at midnight and is called Misa de Gallo. (Source) Chile also celebrates with a Novena. There are church services throughout December in Chile, but on the 16th special prayers begin the day as well as visits to local churches. (Source) The Philippines also have early morning or pre-dawn masses for the nine days prior to Christmas. (Source) In Puerto Rico it is called Misa de Aguinaldos and is held from December 15 to December 24th. The mass is held at dawn (around 6 a.m.) and the services are usually sung with traditional Puerto Rican instruments accompaniment. On the 24th the mass is at midnight and is called the Misa de Gallo. (Source)

Faith Celebration--United Church of Christ

Have you entered my current giveaway for a wooden watch?

 Back in September I reviewed the beautiful book, Everyone Prays: Celebrating Faith Around the World by Alexis York Lumbard. As I thought about this book I began to think about how wonderful it would be to have a place to learn about the different world religions in a personal way. I talked to some of my fellow bloggers at Multicultural Kid Blogs and came up with the wonderful series that will include a giveaway of the book. Each blog participating will be sharing about their own religion and all will be linked together on January 25th at Multicultural Kid Blogs with a review of the book and the giveaway. In my part here is to share about my own religion.
Immanuel Congregational Church (Source)

I grew up attending Immanuel Congregational Church in Hartford, Connecticut. This is the church in which I was baptized and attended Sunday School. For a short while my  mother served as the Interim Director of Christian Education there. It was a church with a lot of history. It is across the street from the Mark Twain House in Hartford and I was always told that Mark Twain called it the oily cloth church because of the yellow and green tiles above the entrance. 

Craft Kits and More from Oriental Trading

Disclosure: I was sent these items to review free of charge from Oriental Trading. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review.

Spring is on its way. Yesterday it was in the mid-50's and it felt amazing you. We had to get outside even though Hazel stayed home from school because she has been sick. Of course now we have rain coming that will turn to snow. Ah, New England weather--gotta love it or hate it! Needless to say we have been a bit stir crazy and cannot wait for spring, so we decided to try some of Oriental Trading's spring craft kits.

Oriental Trading Christmas Craft Kit Review

Disclosure: I was sent these items to review free of charge from Oriental Trading. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review.

Recently I was contacted by Oriental Trading to see if I would be interested in doing reviews on some of their products. Having bought from there and knowing my church uses them for Christian Education crafts, I jumped at the chance. Now for those of you who have not explored Oriental Trading yet, it is a wonderful company with party supplies as well as craft supplies and so much more and all of it is reasonably priced. To be honest I have gone through some of their craft pages just to get inspiration. I also bought several items for my wedding reception there as well as things for my classroom and parties. 

DIY Fortune Cookies

I know I have been a bit MIA lately. The past few nights I have been tired and haven't wanted to sit down and think too hard. I figured it would be better to wait until the morning so my post would be better. Then yesterday morning my plan was to drop Hazel at school and go to the gym and come home and write at least one of my posts that I have been wanting to write (yes, I have plans for several in my head and photos), however I was asked by the parent/child class teacher to help out since her assistant was on vacation and the substitute she was suppose to have had a child get sick in the car on the way to school. Needless to say, I stepped in and stayed at school for the morning. So here I am today. Later today it will be time for Sharing Saturday, but for now, I'll explain why I was a bit MIA last week.

You may remember from last year that I am the leader of the Stewardship Ministries Committee at my church. We kicked off our month long campaign on Sunday. Our theme this year is Joining HIM in Giving. You can see the logo I made above. Our goal this month is to focus on four gifts God has given each of us each week. This past Sunday it was the Gift of Life. This Sunday it will be the Gift of Time. Then the other two Sundays are the Gifts of Talent and Treasure. Similar to last year we also served the coffee on Sunday after the service. In honor of this we got the idea to make stewardship fortune cookies to serve. I have to say making fortune cookies is not as hard as I thought, but it does take a bit of practice. I made all the fortune cookies last Friday. I used a recipe I found on All Recipes. I liked this recipe because it did not have any ingredients I do not keep on hand (one recipe had instant tea), it had butter so they wouldn't stick, and it seemed easy. I did make one substitution. I took out the almond extract (as I know there are young children with nut allergies at church and I didn't want one of them grabbing one and having a reaction) and doubled the amount of vanilla extract. 

My committee helped with the fortunes. After a lot of discussion and thought we decided to mention the gift or gifts used to do each action. Here are some examples of our fortunes.

  • God gave us the gift of Life, honor this gift by sending a card to someone on the prayer list.
  • God gave us the gift of Life, honor that gift by planting a tree.
  • God gave us the gift of Time, give with your time by serving coffee one Sunday at church.
  • God gave us the gift of Treasure, honor this by donating to Heifer.
  • God gave us the gift of Talents, give your gift by singing in the choir.
 Now the process of making fortune cookies is relatively easy. There is definitely a few things you need to know. Spread the batter really thin and once out of the oven, work quickly!
  In the collage above I am showing you how thick my batter was. In the recipe it said it should be like pancake batter, and mine was thicker. I may have beat the egg whites too long, I guess. Really spread the batter thin and only do a few on a tray. Take them out just when the edges start to brown. Take one onto a board and put in the fortune. Fold it in half and then fold the semicircle in half to make the shape of the fortune cookie. It helps to stick them into a muffin pan to cool. As they cool the cookies harden and keep the shape they are in. I think this would be really neat as a favor at a party or for a child's class election campaign. I know I was a bit afraid of it, but found it was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. 

And I should add they were a huge hit!! Everyone loved them. I will definitely be making these again.