Friday, 25 December 2009

Christmas Day - John 1:1-18


John 1:1-18 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

John 1

 1 In the beginning was the Word,     and the Word was with God,
    and the Word was God.
    2 He was with God in the beginning.
    3 All things were created through Him,
    and apart from Him not one thing was created
    that has been created.
    4 Life was in Him,
    and that life was the light of men.
    5 That light shines in the darkness,
    yet the darkness did not overcome it.
    6 There was a man named John
    who was sent from God.
    7 He came as a witness
    to testify about the light,
    so that all might believe through him.
    8 He was not the light,
    but he came to testify about the light.
    9 The true light, who gives light to everyone,
    was coming into the world.
    10 He was in the world,
    and the world was created through Him,
    yet the world did not recognize Him.
    11 He came to His own,
    and His own people did not receive Him.
    12 But to all who did receive Him,
    He gave them the right to be children of God,
    to those who believe in His name,
    13 who were born,
    not of blood,
    or of the will of the flesh,
    or of the will of man,
    but of God.
    14 The Word became flesh
    and took up residence among us.
    We observed His glory,
    the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father,
    full of grace and truth.
    15 (John testified concerning Him and exclaimed,
    "This was the One of whom I said,
    'The One coming after me has surpassed me,
    because He existed before me. ' ")
    16 Indeed, we have all received grace after grace
    from His fullness,
    17 for although the law was given through Moses;
    grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
    18 No one has ever seen God.
    The One and Only Son —
    the One who is at the Father's side —
    He has revealed Him.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Christmas Eve - Luke 2: 1-20

We haven't actually done our reading yet today.  We are saving it for tonight after church.  It will be a wonderful way to end the day as a family.  I will post the final part of the story tomorrow but our whole family would like to take this time to wish you a blessed Christmas.  Thank-you for joining us on this wonderful journey through scripture.  May the unfailing love of our Father and His Son Jesus Christ bless you today and in all the days to come.

In Christ,

Kimberley, Jason and the whole McGibbon Gang

Luke 2:1-20 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Luke 2

The Birth of Jesus
 1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole empire should be registered. 2 This first registration took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So everyone went to be registered, each to his own town.    4 And Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David, 5 to be registered along with Mary, who was engaged to him and was pregnant. 6 While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 Then she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped Him snugly in cloth and laid Him in a feeding trough—because there was no room for them at the inn.
The Shepherds and the Angels
 8 In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock. 9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, "Don't be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: 11 today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David. 12 This will be the sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped snugly in cloth and lying in a manger."    13 Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:
    14 Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and peace on earth to people He favors!
    15 When the angels had left them and returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go straight to Bethlehem and see what has happened, which the Lord has made known to us."
    16 They hurried off and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in the feeding trough. 17 After seeing [them], they reported the message they were told about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary was treasuring up all these things in her heart and meditating on them. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had seen and heard, just as they had been told.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Fourth Wednesday of Advent - Luke 1: 57-80

Luke 1:57-80 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

The Birth and Naming of John
 57 Now the time had come for Elizabeth to give birth, and she had a son. 58 Then her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her His great mercy, and they rejoiced with her.    59 When they came to circumcise the child on the eighth day, they were going to name him Zechariah, after his father. 60 But his mother responded, "No! He will be called John."
    61 Then they said to her, "None of your relatives has that name." 62 So they motioned to his father to find out what he wanted him to be called. 63 He asked for a writing tablet and wrote:
    And they were all amazed. 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue [set free], and he began to speak, praising God. 65 Fear came on all those who lived around them, and all these things were being talked about throughout the hill country of Judea. 66 All who heard about [him] took [it] to heart, saying, "What then will this child become?" For, indeed, the Lord's hand was with him.
Zechariah's Prophecy
 67 Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:     68 Praise the Lord, the God of Israel,
    because He has visited
    and provided redemption for His people.
    69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us
    in the house of His servant David,
    70 just as He spoke by the mouth
    of His holy prophets in ancient times;
    71 salvation from our enemies
    and from the clutches of those who hate us.
    72 He has dealt mercifully with our fathers
    and remembered His holy covenant —
    73 the oath that He swore to our father Abraham.
    He has given us the privilege,
    74 since we have been rescued
    from our enemies' clutches,
    to serve Him without fear
    75 in holiness and righteousness
    in His presence all our days.
    76 And child, you will be called
    a prophet of the Most High,
    for you will go before the Lord
    to prepare His ways,
    77 to give His people knowledge of salvation
    through the forgiveness of their sins.
    78 Because of our God's merciful compassion,
    the Dawn from on high will visit us
    79 to shine on those who live in darkness
    and the shadow of death,
    to guide our feet into the way of peace.
    80 The child grew up and became spiritually strong, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Fourth Tuesday of Advent - Luke 1:39-56

Luke 1:39-56 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Mary's Visit to Elizabeth
 39 In those days Mary set out and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judah 40 where she entered Zechariah's house and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped inside her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 Then she exclaimed with a loud cry:    You are the most blessed of women,
    and your child will be blessed!
    43 How could this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For you see, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped for joy inside me! 45 She who has believed is blessed because what was spoken to her by the Lord will be fulfilled!"
Mary's Praise
 46 And Mary said:    My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
    47 and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior,
    48 because He has looked with favor
    on the humble condition of His slave.
    Surely, from now on all generations
    will call me blessed,
    49 because the Mighty One
    has done great things for me,
    and His name is holy.
    50 His mercy is from generation to generation
    on those who fear Him.
    51 He has done a mighty deed with His arm;
    He has scattered the proud
    because of the thoughts of their hearts;
    52 He has toppled the mighty from their thrones
    and exalted the lowly.
    53 He has satisfied the hungry with good things
    and sent the rich away empty.
    54 He has helped His servant Israel,
    mindful of His mercy,
    55 just as He spoke to our ancestors,
    to Abraham and his descendants forever.
    56 And Mary stayed with her about three months; then she returned to her home.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Fourth Monday of Advent - Luke 1:26-38

Luke 1:26-38 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Gabriel Predicts Jesus' Birth
 26 In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man named Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28 And [the angel] came to her and said, "Rejoice, favored woman! The Lord is with you." 29 But she was deeply troubled by this statement, wondering what kind of greeting this could be. 30 Then the angel told her:    Do not be afraid, Mary,
    for you have found favor with God.
    31 Now listen:
    You will conceive and give birth to a son,
    and you will call His name JESUS.
    32 He will be great
    and will be called the Son of the Most High,
    and the Lord God will give Him
    the throne of His father David.
    33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever,
    and His kingdom will have no end.
    34 Mary asked the angel, "How can this be, since I have not been intimate with a man?"
    35 The angel replied to her:
    The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
    and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
    Therefore the holy One to be born
    will be called the Son of God.
    36 And consider your relative Elizabeth—even she has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God."
    38 "I am the Lord's slave," said Mary. "May it be done to me according to your word." Then the angel left her.

Fourth Sunday of Advent - Luke 1:5-25

Luke 1:5-25 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Gabriel Predicts John's Birth
 5 In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest of Abijah's division named Zechariah. His wife was from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 Both were righteous in God's sight, living without blame according to all the commandments and requirements of the Lord. 7 But they had no children because Elizabeth could not conceive, and both of them were well along in years.     8 When his division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, 9 it happened that he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and burn incense. 10 At the hour of incense the whole assembly of the people was praying outside. 11 An angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and overcome with fear. 13 But the angel said to him:
    Do not be afraid, Zechariah,
    because your prayer has been heard.
    Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son,
    and you will name him John.
    14 There will be joy and delight for you,
    and many will rejoice at his birth.
    15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord
    and will never drink wine or beer.
    He will be filled with the Holy Spirit
    while still in his mother's womb.
    16 He will turn many of the sons of Israel
    to the Lord their God.
    17 And he will go before Him
    in the spirit and power of Elijah,
    to turn the hearts of fathers
    to their children,
    and the disobedient
    to the understanding of the righteous,
    to make ready for the Lord a prepared people.
    18 "How can I know this?" Zechariah asked the angel. "For I am an old man, and my wife is well along in years."
    19 The angel answered him, "I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and tell you this good news. 20 Now listen! You will become silent and unable to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time."
    21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah, amazed that he stayed so long in the sanctuary. 22 When he did come out, he could not speak to them. Then they realized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He kept making signs to them and remained speechless. 23 When the days of his ministry were completed, he went back home.
    24 After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived and kept herself in seclusion for five months. She said, 25 "The Lord has done this for me. He has looked with favor in these days to take away my disgrace among the people."

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Third Saturday of Advent - The Nature of the Son

Hebrews 1:1-14 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Hebrews 1

The Nature of the Son
 1 Long ago God spoke to the fathers by the prophets at different times and in different ways. 2 In these last days, He has spoken to us by [His] Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things and through whom He made the universe.  3 He is the radiance of His glory, the exact expression of His nature, and He sustains all things by His powerful word. After making purification for sins,  He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. 4 So He became higher in rank than the angels, just as the name He inherited is superior to theirs.    
The Son Superior to Angels
 5 For to which of the angels did He ever say, You are My Son; today I have become Your Father, or again, I will be His Father, and He will be My Son ?  6 When He again brings His firstborn into the world, He says, And all God's angels must worship Him. 7 And about the angels He says:    He makes His angels winds,
    and His servants a fiery flame;
    8 but about the Son:
    Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,
    and the scepter of Your kingdom is a scepter of justice.
    9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;
    this is why God, Your God, has anointed You,
    rather than Your companions, with the oil of joy.
    10 And:
    In the beginning, Lord, You established the earth,
    and the heavens are the works of Your hands;
    11 they will perish, but You remain.
    They will all wear out like clothing;
    12 You will roll them up like a cloak,
    and they will be changed like a robe.
    But You are the same,
    and Your years will never end.
    13 Now to which of the angels has He ever said:
    Sit at My right hand
    until I make Your enemies Your footstool ?
    14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve those who are going to inherit salvation?

Friday, 18 December 2009

Free Recipe Friday - Gift Recipe for Holiday Potpourri

I can't believe that Christmas is only one week away!  This year we decided to make about 80% of our gifts.  It has been a challenge as I wanted gifts that were unique but also that I could actually accomplish with our already hectic schedule.  You have probably seen lots of easy recipes on the internet for cookies or soup in a jar but I was surprised when I came across this idea.  The original recipe was a lot more complicated.  I don't do complicated well, so I simplified it and this is what I came up with.  If you need a last minute hostess, neighbour or friend/family gift these can be made really quickly.

Holiday Potpourri

You will need:

A Mason or recycled Spaghetti Jar
Fresh Cranberries
Cinnamon Sticks
Gift tags
Raffia, and/or Twine

Slice oranges, lemons and limes.  Stack oranges first, then lemons and then limes in the jar.  they should be about 3/4 of the jar height.  Add cranberries on top.  Fill with water to the neck of the jar.  Secure the lid on tightly and tie on two cinnamon sticks with your raffia or twine to the outside of the jar.  Attach on your gift tag and you are ready to go!

Gift tags - We made ours out of scraps of card stock that we had in our craft desk.  On one side we decorated and addressed our gift and on the other we wrote out these simple directions for our recipient.

Holiday Potpourri Directions:
Empty entire contents into a saucepan.  Add the cinnamon sticks and simmer over low heat.  The potpourri will make your house smell terrific!  Add more water as needed throughout the day.


Third Friday of Advent - Nehemiah's Reforms




 Nehemiah 13:10-22 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

10 I also found out that because the portions for the Levites had not been given, each of the Levites and the singers performing the service had gone back to his own field.11 Therefore, I rebuked the officials, saying, "Why has the house of God been neglected?" I gathered the Levites and singers together and stationed them at their posts. 12 Then all Judah brought a tenth of the grain, new wine, and oil into the storehouses. 13 I appointed as treasurers over the storehouses Shelemiah the priest, Zadok the scribe, and Pedaiah of the Levites, with Hanan son of Zaccur, son of Mattaniah to assist them, because they were considered trustworthy. They were responsible for the distribution to their colleagues.
    14 Remember me for this, my God, and don't erase the good deeds I have done for the house of my God and for its services.
    15 At that time I saw people in Judah treading wine presses on the Sabbath. They were also bringing in stores of grain and loading [them] on donkeys, along with wine, grapes, and figs. All kinds of goods were being brought to Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. So I warned [them] against selling food on that day. 16 The Tyrians living there were importing fish and all kinds of merchandise and selling them on the Sabbath to the people of Judah in Jerusalem.
    17 I rebuked the nobles of Judah and said to them: "What is this evil you are doing—profaning the Sabbath day? 18 Didn't your ancestors do the same, so that our God brought all this disaster on us and on this city?  And now you are rekindling [His] anger against Israel by profaning the Sabbath!"
    19 When shadows began to fall on the gates of Jerusalem just before the Sabbath, I gave orders that the gates be closed and not opened until after the Sabbath. I posted some of my men at the gates, so that no goods could enter during the Sabbath day. 20 Once or twice the merchants and those who sell all kinds of goods camped outside Jerusalem, 21 but I warned them, "Why are you camping in front of the wall? If you do it again, I'll use force against you." After that they did not come again on the Sabbath. 22 Then I instructed the Levites to purify themselves and guard the gates in order to keep the Sabbath day holy.
   Remember me for this also, my God, and look on me with compassion in keeping with Your abundant, faithful love.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Third Thursday of Advent - The New Covenant

Jeremiah 31:31-34 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

The New Covenant
 31 "Look, the days are coming"—[this is] the LORD's declaration—"when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. 32 [This one will] not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant they broke even though I had married them" —the LORD's declaration. 33 "Instead, this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days"—the LORD's declaration. "I will place My law within them and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people. 34 No longer will one teach his neighbor or his brother, saying: Know the LORD, for they will all know Me, from the least to the greatest of them"—the LORD's declaration. "For I will forgive their wrongdoing and never again remember their sin."

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Third Wednesday of Advent - Isaiah's Call & Mission

Isaiah 6:1-8 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Isaiah 6

Isaiah's Call and Mission
 1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, and His robe filled the temple. 2 Seraphim were standing above Him; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called to another:
    Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of Hosts;
    His glory fills the whole earth.    4 The foundations of the doorways shook at the sound of their voices, and the temple was filled with smoke.
    5 Then I said:
    Woe is me, for I am ruined,
    because I am a man of unclean lips
    and live among a people of unclean lips,
    [and] because my eyes have seen the King,
    the LORD of Hosts.
    6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, and in his hand was a glowing coal that he had taken from the altar with tongs. 7 He touched my mouth [with it] and said:
    Now that this has touched your lips,
    your wickedness is removed,
    and your sin is atoned for.
    8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying:
    Who should I send?
    Who will go for Us?
    I said:
    Here I am. Send me.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Third Tuesday of Advent - 2 Kings 5:1-27

2 Kings 5:1-27 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

2 Kings 5

Naaman's Disease Healed
 1 Naaman, commander of the army for the king of Aram, was a great man in his master's sight and highly regarded because through him, the LORD had given victory to Aram. The man was a brave warrior, but he had a skin disease.    2 Aram had gone on raids and brought back from the land of Israel a young girl who served Naaman's wife. 3 She said to her mistress, "If only my master would go to the prophet who is in Samaria, he would cure him of his skin disease."
    4 So Naaman went and told his master what the girl from the land of Israel had said. 5 Therefore, the king of Aram said, "Go and I will send a letter [with you] to the king of Israel."
    So he went and took with him 750 pounds of silver, 150 pounds of gold, and 10 changes of clothes. 6 He brought the letter to the king of Israel, and it read:
    When this letter comes to you, note that I have sent you my servant Naaman for you to cure him of his skin disease.
    7 When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and asked, "Am I God, killing and giving life that this man expects me to cure a man of his skin disease? Think it over and you will see that he is only picking a fight with me."
    8 When Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel tore his clothes, he sent [a message] to the king, "Why have you torn your clothes? Have him come to me, and he will know there is a prophet in Israel."  9 So Naaman came with his horses and chariots and stood at the door of Elisha's house.
    10 Then Elisha sent him a messenger, who said, "Go wash seven times in the Jordan and your flesh will be restored and you will be clean."
    11 But Naaman got angry and left, saying, "I was telling myself: He will surely come out, stand and call on the name of Yahweh his God, and will wave his hand over the spot and cure the skin disease. 12 Aren't Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?" So he turned and left in a rage.
    13 But his servants approached and said to him, "My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more [should you do it] when he tells you, 'Wash and be clean'?" 14 So Naaman went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, according to the command of the man of God. Then his skin was restored [and became] like the skin of a small boy, and he was clean.
    15 Then Naaman and his whole company went back to the man of God, stood before him, and declared, "I know there's no God in the whole world except in Israel. Therefore, please accept a gift from your servant."
    16 But Elisha said, "As the LORD lives,  I stand before Him. I will not accept it." Naaman urged him to accept it, but he refused.
    17 Naaman responded, "If not, please let two mule-loads of dirt be given to your servant, for your servant will no longer offer a burnt offering or a sacrifice to any other god but Yahweh. 18 However, in a particular matter may the LORD pardon your servant: When my master, [the king of Aram], goes into the temple of Rimmon to worship and I, as his right-hand man, bow in the temple of Rimmon—when I bow in the temple of Rimmon, may the LORD pardon your servant in this matter."
    19 So he said to him, "Go in peace."
Gehazi's Greed Punished
    After Naaman had traveled a short distance from Elisha, 20 Gehazi, the attendant of Elisha the man of God, thought: My master has let this Aramean Naaman off lightly by not accepting from him what he brought. As the LORD lives, I will run after him and get something from him.    21 So Gehazi pursued Naaman. When Naaman saw someone running after him, he got down from the chariot to meet him and asked, "Is everything all right?"
    22 Gehazi said, "It's all right. My master has sent me to say, 'I have just now discovered that two young men from the sons of the prophets have come to me from the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them 75 pounds of silver and two changes of clothes. ' "
    23 But Naaman insisted, "Please, accept 150 pounds."  He urged Gehazi and then packed 150 pounds of silver in two bags with two changes of clothes. Naaman gave them to two of his young men who carried them ahead of Gehazi. 24 When Gehazi came to the hill, he took the gifts from them and stored them in the house. Then he dismissed the men, and they left.
    25 Gehazi came and stood by his master. "Where did you go, Gehazi?" Elisha asked him.
    "Your servant didn't go anywhere," he replied.
    26 But Elisha questioned him, "Wasn't my spirit there when the man got down from his chariot to meet you? Is it a time to accept money and clothes, olive orchards and vineyards, sheep and oxen, and male and female slaves? 27 Therefore, Naaman's skin disease will cling to you and your descendants forever." So Gehazi went out from his presence diseased—[white] as snow. 

Reclaiming Christmas

The other night we decorated our Christmas Tree.  It is a tradition that we have.  We all gather together, I unwrap the ornaments and then pass them to the kids to put on the tree one at a time.  Our nativity ornaments go on first.  They always occupy front and centre on our tree to remind us of what we are actually suppose to be celebrating.  I love this time together.  The kids always get excited about seeing each of ornaments.  They tell each other stories about when it was received or how it was made.  For each ornament there is a story, a history, sweet memories and even though we know them by heart it is brings a closeness as the kids share them again and again.

As we sat listening to the stories I realized that this simple time together, hanging the ornaments and sharing our memories as a family, is one of my favourite traditions.  In a time where we are trying hard to turn off the "holiday machine" that Christmas has become I relish simplicity and moments to breath and ponder.  Near the end of the events of Christ birth as recorded by Luke in chapter 2,  verse 19 says, "But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart."  She was cherishing and mulling over all that God had done.

Reclaiming Christmas is not about simply putting a creche on our front lawn or going to church on Christmas Eve or providing hospitality to family and friends or even considering those less fortunate than ourselves.  It is about taking time to ponder the truth of all that God has done.  It is allowing oneself time to carefully consider, God, His Way, His Word and His will for our lives.  Reclaim Christmas by taking time to reflect on the birth of Jesus and what Christmas is rather than what you want it to be or what you would like to do.  May the light of Bethlehem shine in our hearts this Christmas and may we be like the shepherds and see for ourselves the thing that the Lord has made known to us.

"But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;
 11for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
 12"This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
 13And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
    14"Glory to God in the highest,
         And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased."
 15When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, "Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us."    ~Luke 2: 10-15

Monday, 14 December 2009

Third Monday of Advent -







1 Kings 17:1-16 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

1 Kings 17

Elijah Announces Famine
 1 Now Elijah the Tishbite, from the Gilead settlers, said to Ahab, "As the LORD God of Israel lives, I stand before Him, and there will be no dew or rain during these years except by my command!"    2 Then a revelation from the LORD came to him: 3 "Leave here, turn eastward, and hide yourself at the Wadi Cherith where it enters the Jordan. 4 You are to drink from the wadi. I have commanded the ravens to provide for you there."
    5 So he did what the LORD commanded. Elijah left and lived by the Wadi Cherith where it enters the Jordan. 6 The ravens kept bringing him bread and meat in the morning and in the evening, and he drank from the wadi. 7 After a while, the wadi dried up because there had been no rain in the land.
Elijah and the Widow
 8 Then the word of the LORD came to him: 9 "Get up, go to Zarephath that belongs to Sidon, and stay there. Look, I have commanded a woman who is a widow to provide for you there." 10 So Elijah got up and went to Zarephath. When he arrived at the city gate, there was a widow woman gathering wood. Elijah called to her and said, "Please bring me a little water in a cup and let me drink." 11 As she went to get it, he called to her and said, "Please bring me a piece of bread in your hand."    12 But she said, "As the LORD your God lives, I don't have anything baked—only a handful of flour in the jar and a bit of oil in the jug. Just now, I am gathering a couple of sticks in order to go prepare it for myself and my son so we can eat it and die."
    13 Then Elijah said to her, "Don't be afraid; go and do as you have said. Only make me a small loaf from it and bring it out to me. Afterwards, you may make some for yourself and your son, 14 for this is what the LORD God of Israel says: 'The flour jar will not become empty and the oil jug will not run dry until the day the LORD sends rain on the surface of the land. ' "
    15 So she proceeded to do according to the word of Elijah. She and he and her household ate for many days. 16 The flour jar did not become empty, and the oil jug did not run dry, according to the word of the LORD He had spoken through Elijah.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Third Sunday of Advent - God Appears to Solomon






1 Kings 3:1-28 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

1 Kings 3

The LORD Appears to Solomon
 1 Solomon made an alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt by marrying Pharaoh's daughter. Solomon brought her to the city of David until he finished building his palace, the LORD's temple, and the wall surrounding Jerusalem. 2 However, the people were sacrificing on the high places, because until that time a temple for the LORD's name had not been built. 3 Solomon loved the LORD by walking in the statutes of his father David, but he also sacrificed and burned incense on the high places.    4 The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there because it was the most famous high place. He offered 1,000 burnt offerings on that altar. 5 At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream at night. God said, "Ask. What should I give you?"
    6 And Solomon replied, "You have shown great and faithful love to Your servant, my father David, because he walked before You in faithfulness, righteousness, and integrity. You have continued this great and faithful love for him by giving him a son to sit on his throne, as it is today.
    7 "LORD my God, You have now made Your servant king in my father David's place. Yet I am just a youth with no experience in leadership. 8 Your servant is among Your people You have chosen, a people too numerous to be numbered or counted. 9 So give Your servant an obedient heart to judge Your people and to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?"
    10 Now it pleased the Lord that Solomon had requested this. 11 So God said to him, "Because you have requested this and did not ask for long life or riches for yourself, or the death of your enemies, but you asked discernment for yourself to understand justice, 12 I will therefore do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has never been anyone like you before and never will be again. 13 In addition, I will give you what you did not ask for: both riches and honor, so that no man in any kingdom will be your equal during your entire life. 14 If you walk in My ways and keep My statutes and commandments just as your father David did, I will give you a long life."
    15 Then Solomon woke up and realized it had been a dream. He went to Jerusalem, stood before the ark of the Lord's covenant, and offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings.  Then he held a feast for all his servants.
Solomon's Wisdom
 16 Then two women who were prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 17 One woman said, "Please my lord, this woman and I live in the same house, and I had a baby while she was in the house. 18 On the third day after I gave birth, she also had a baby and we were alone. No one else was with us in the house; just the two of us were there. 19 During the night this woman's son died because she lay on him. 20 She got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while your servant was asleep. She laid him at her breast, and she put her dead son in my arms. 21 When I got up in the morning to nurse my son, I discovered he was dead. That morning, when I looked closely at him I realized that he was not the son I gave birth to."    22 "No," the other woman said. "My son is the living one; your son is the dead one."
    The first woman said, "No, your son is the dead one; my son is the living one." So they argued before the king.
    23 The king replied, "This woman says, 'This is my son who is alive, and your son is dead,' but that woman says, 'No, your son is dead, and my son is alive.' " 24 The king continued, "Bring me a sword." So they brought the sword to the king. 25 Solomon said, "Cut the living boy in two and give half to one and half to the other."
    26 The woman whose son was alive spoke to the king because she felt great compassion for her son. "My lord, give her the living baby," she said, "but please don't have him killed!"
    But the other one said, "He will not be mine or yours. Cut [him in two]!"
    27 The king responded, "Give the living baby to the first woman, and don't kill him. She is his mother." 28 All Israel heard about the judgment the king had given, and they stood in awe of the king because they saw that God's wisdom was in him to carry out justice.

Second Saturday of Advent - The Lord is My Shepherd






Sorry to all that have been following.  We were so busy this weekend that I forgot to post our bible readings even though I had them done.  Hope you had a fabulous weekend.

Psalm 23 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Psalm 23

The Good Shepherd
A Davidic psalm.
 1 The LORD is my shepherd;
    there is nothing I lack.    2 He lets me lie down in green pastures;
    He leads me beside quiet waters.
    3 He renews my life;
    He leads me along the right paths
    for His name's sake.
    4 Even when I go through the darkest valley,
    I fear [no] danger,
    for You are with me;
    Your rod and Your staff —they comfort me.
    5 You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
    You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
    6 Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me
    all the days of my life,
    and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
    as long as I live. 

Friday, 11 December 2009

Free Recipe Friday - Coconut Joys and Easy Sweet & Spicy Ornaments

Well, it is that time of the week again.  Free Recipe Friday.  Christmas is just around the corner so if your life is anything like mine it is getting pretty busy.  Today, I thought I would help you out with this super quick cookie recipe and a very easy ornament recipe that will keep the kids busy so you can get some extra Christmas prep done in peace.  I adapted these from ideas that I found on the internet.   Another bonus is that these do not require the oven!

Sweet & Spicy Ornaments
This recipe is great.  I left it with my kids and they worked together to do it all by themselves with some friends that they had over.  I bought my cinnamon and the sparkle stars at the dollar store to make them very cost effective.  these would be a great addition to your gift tags on presents.

1cup cinnamon
1 tablespoon cloves
1 tablespoon nutmeg
1/2 cup applesauce
2-3 tablespoons sparkle stars
3 tablespoons white glue

Combine ingredients, roll out as a dough and cut with cookie cutters.  Use a straw to make a hole for the ribbon to hang.  Dry for three to four days, turning regularly.  Use a ribbon or string to hang on the tree.  They make the whole room smell like Christmas!

Coconut Joys

This cookie recipe is so fast that I was finished and cleaned up all within 20 minutes yesterday.  The best part is that our company loved them.  Actually, as you can see my husband loved them the most.  This recipe made two dozen cookies.  You could stretch it to make more as I used a generous teaspoon of the mixture when I shaped them into balls.

1/2 cup Butter
2 cups of Confectioner's Sugar
3 1/2 cups of Flaked Coconut
1 Tablespoon Milk
1/3 cup of Milk chocolate Chips, melted ( I used the microwave for 45 sec to melt them, be careful not to put them on for too long as chocolate burns easily)

Melt butter in suacepan.  Remove from heat.  Add sugar, coconut and milk.  Mix well.  Shape rounded teaspoon of mixture into balls.  Make a dent in the centre.  Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Fill the centre with the melted chocolate.  Chill until firm.  Store in the refrigerator.

Second Friday of Advent - A Shepherd for the People






It is still early and my kids are just waking up so we have not done this Jesse Tree Christmas Scripture reading yet but, I thought I would get it out as our day is going to be a busy one.  I always seem to get behind on Fridays so today I am trying to get a jump of the to do list.  Watch for my Free Recipe Friday Post a little later and I will be posting some thoughts I have had on reclaiming Christmas.  Enjoy today's scripture!

1 Samuel 16:1-23 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

1 Samuel 16

Samuel Anoints David
 1 The LORD said to Samuel, "How long are you going to mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go. I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem because I have selected a king from his sons."    2 Samuel asked, "How can I go? Saul will hear [about it] and kill me!"
    The LORD answered, "Take a young cow with you and say, 'I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. ' 3 Then invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will let you know what you are to do. You are to anoint for Me the one I indicate to you."
    4 Samuel did what the LORD directed and went to Bethlehem. When the elders of the town met him, they trembled and asked, "Do you come in peace?"
    5 "In peace," he replied. "I've come to sacrifice to the LORD. Consecrate yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice." Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. 6 When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and said, "Certainly the LORD's anointed one is here before Him."
    7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or his stature, because I have rejected him. Man does not see what the LORD sees, for man sees what is visible, but the LORD sees the heart."
    8 Jesse called Abinadab and presented him to Samuel. "The LORD hasn't chosen this one either," Samuel said. 9 Then Jesse presented Shammah, but Samuel said, "The LORD hasn't chosen this one either." 10 After Jesse presented seven of his sons to him, Samuel told Jesse, "The LORD hasn't chosen any of these." 11 Samuel asked him, "Are these all the sons you have?"
    "There is still the youngest," he answered, "but right now he's tending the sheep." Samuel told Jesse, "Send for him. We won't sit down to eat until he gets here." 12 So Jesse sent for him. He had beautiful eyes and a healthy, handsome appearance.
    Then the LORD said, "Anoint him, for he is the one." 13 So Samuel took the horn of oil, anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and the Spirit of the LORD took control of David from that day forward. Then Samuel set out and went to Ramah.
David in Saul's Court
 14 Now the Spirit of the LORD had left Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD began to torment him, 15 so Saul's servants said to him, "You see that an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. 16 Let our lord command your servants here in your presence to look for someone who knows how to play the harp. Whenever the evil spirit from God [troubles] you, that person can play the harp, and you will feel better."    17 Then Saul commanded his servants, "Find me someone who plays well and bring him to me."
    18 One of the young men answered, "I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play [the harp]. He is also a valiant man, a warrior, eloquent, handsome, and the LORD is with him."
    19 Then Saul dispatched messengers to Jesse and said, "Send me your son David, who is with the sheep." 20 So Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine, and one young goat and sent them by his son David to Saul. 21 When David came to Saul and entered his service, Saul admired him greatly, and David became his armor-bearer. 22 Then Saul sent word to Jesse: "Let David remain in my service, for I am pleased with him." 23 Whenever the spirit from God [troubled] Saul, David would pick up his harp and play, and Saul would then be relieved, feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Second Thursday of Advent - The Beginning of the Kingdom

1 Samuel 3:1-21 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

1 Samuel 3

Samuel's Call
 1 The boy Samuel served the LORD in Eli's presence. In those days the word of the LORD was rare and prophetic visions were not widespread.     2 One day Eli, whose eyesight was failing, was lying in his room. 3 Before the lamp of God had gone out, Samuel was lying down in the tabernacle of the LORD where the ark of God was located.
    4 Then the LORD called Samuel, and he answered, "Here I am." 5 He ran to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me."
    "I didn't call," Eli replied. "Go and lie down." So he went and lay down.
    6 Once again the LORD called, "Samuel!"
    Samuel got up, went to Eli, and said, "Here I am; you called me."
    "I didn't call, my son," he replied. "Go and lie down."
    7 Now Samuel had not yet experienced the LORD, because the word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him. 8 Once again, for the third time, the LORD called Samuel. He got up, went to Eli, and said, "Here I am; you called me."
    Then Eli understood that the LORD was calling the boy. 9 He told Samuel, "Go and lie down. If He calls you, say, 'Speak, LORD, for Your servant is listening.' " So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
    10 The LORD came, stood there, and called as before, "Samuel, Samuel!"
    Samuel responded, "Speak, for Your servant is listening."
    11 The LORD said to Samuel, "I am about to do something in Israel that everyone who hears about it will shudder. 12 On that day I will carry out against Eli everything I said about his family, from beginning to end. 13 I told him that I am going to judge his family forever because of the iniquity he knows about: his sons are defiling the sanctuary, and he has not stopped them. 14 Therefore, I have sworn to Eli's family: The iniquity of Eli's family will never be wiped out by either sacrifice or offering."
    15 Samuel lay down until the morning; then he opened the doors of the LORD's house. He was afraid to tell Eli the vision, 16 but Eli called him and said, "Samuel, my son."
    "Here I am," answered Samuel.
    17 "What was the message He gave you?" Eli asked. "Don't hide it from me. May God punish you and do so severely if you hide anything from me that He told you." 18 So Samuel told him everything and did not hide anything from him. Eli responded, "He is the LORD. He will do what He thinks is good."
    19 Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and let nothing he said prove false. 20 All Israel from Dan to Beer-sheba knew that Samuel was a confirmed prophet of the LORD21 The LORD continued to appear in Shiloh, because there He revealed Himself to Samuel by His word.

1 Samuel 9:15-10:9 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

15 Now the day before Saul's arrival, the LORD had informed Samuel, 16 "At this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin. Anoint him ruler over My people Israel. He will save them from the hand of the Philistines because I have seen [the affliction of] My people, for their cry has come to Me." 17 When Samuel saw Saul, the LORD told him, "Here is the man I told you about;  he will rule over My people."
    18 Saul approached Samuel in the gate area and asked, "Would you please tell me where the seer's house is?"
    19 "I am the seer," Samuel answered. "Go up ahead of me to the high place and eat with me today. When I send you off in the morning, I'll tell you everything that's in your heart. 20 As for the donkeys that wandered away from you three days ago,  don't worry about them because they've been found. And who does all Israel desire but you and all your father's family?"
    21 Saul responded, "Am I not a Benjaminite from the smallest of Israel's tribes and isn't my clan the least important of all the clans of the Benjaminite tribe? So why have you said something like this to me?"
    22 Samuel took Saul and his attendant, brought them to the banquet hall, and gave them a place at the head of the 30 [c] or so men who had been invited. 23 Then Samuel said to the cook, "Get the portion of meat that I gave you and told you to set aside."
    24 The cook picked up the thigh (I) and what was attached to it and set it before Saul. Then Samuel said, "Notice that the reserved piece is set before you. Eat it because it was saved for you for this solemn event at the time I said, 'I've invited the people.' " So Saul ate with Samuel that day. 25 Afterwards, they went down from the high place to the city, and Samuel spoke with Saul on [the] roof.
    26 They got up early, and just before dawn, Samuel called to Saul on the roof, "Get up, and I'll send you on your way!" Saul got up, and both he and Samuel went outside. 27 As they were going down to the edge of the city, Samuel said to Saul, "Tell the attendant to go on ahead of us, but you stay for awhile, and I'll reveal the word of God to you." So the attendant went on.

1 Samuel 10

 1 Samuel took the flask of oil, poured it out on Saul's head, kissed him, and said, "Hasn't the LORD anointed you ruler over His inheritance? 2 Today when you leave me, you'll find two men at Rachel's Grave at Zelzah in the land of Benjamin. They will say to you, 'The donkeys you went looking for have been found, and now your father has stopped being concerned about the donkeys and is worried about you, asking: What should I do about my son?'
    3 "You will proceed from there until you come to the oak of Tabor. Three men going up to God at Bethel will meet you there, one bringing three goats, one bringing three loaves of bread, and one bringing a skin of wine. 4 They will ask how you are and give you two [loaves of] bread, which you will accept from them.
    5 "After that you will come to the Hill of God where there are Philistine garrisons. When you arrive at the city, you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place prophesying. They will be preceded by harps, tambourines, flutes, and lyres. 6 The Spirit of the LORD will control you,  you will prophesy with them, and you will be transformed into a different person. 7 When these signs have happened to you, do whatever your circumstances require because God is with you. 8 Afterwards, go ahead of me to Gilgal. I will come to you to offer burnt offerings and to sacrifice fellowship offerings. Wait seven days until I come to you and show you what to do."
    9 When Saul turned around to leave Samuel, God changed his heart, and all the signs came about that day.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Second Wednesday of Advent - God's Blessing for His People







It was beautiful to wake up this morning to a world of white.  Liam and Trinity did not waste a moment and they were outside building a snowman at 7:30 am before the rain started to fall.  Our reading today is quite short but it is one of the most famous blessings in the bible.  We talked to the kids about how this blessing gives us more insight into the unique relationship between God and His chosen people.  

Today, Liam who wasn't allowed to play in the snow last year because of his surgeries saw our first snow of the year as God's blessing.  He has waited patiently all year and this morning he felt God's face shining on him with favour.

Have a blessed day!

Numbers 6:22-27 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

The Priestly Blessing
 22 The LORD spoke to Moses: 23 "Tell Aaron and his sons how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:    24 The LORD bless you and protect you;
    25 the LORD make His face shine on you,

    and be gracious to you;
    26 the LORD look with favor on you
    and give you peace. 
    27 In this way they will put My name on the Israelites, and I will bless them."

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Second Tuesday of Advent - The Ten Commandments







Today, we looked at the Ten Commandments which is the central point of the law for God's unique relationship with Israel and His covenant with His people.  Trinity Joy liked today's readings as she knows some of the commandments...she had lots to say today.

Exodus 20:1-17 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)


Exodus 20

The Ten Commandments
 1 Then God spoke all these words:    2 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery.
    3 Do not have other gods besides Me.
    4 Do not make an idol for yourself, whether in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth. 5 You must not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the fathers' sin, to the third and fourth [generations] of those who hate Me, 6 but showing faithful love to a thousand [generations] of those who love Me and keep My commands.
    7 Do not misuse the name of the LORD your God, because the LORD will punish anyone who misuses His name.
    8 Remember to dedicate the Sabbath day: 9 You are to labor six days and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. You must not do any work—you, your son or daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the foreigner who is within your gates. 11 For the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and everything in them in six days; then He rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and declared it holy.
    12 Honor your father and your mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.
    13 Do not murder.
    14 Do not commit adultery.
    15 Do not steal.
    16 Do not give false testimony against your neighbor.
     17 Do not covet your neighbor's house. Do not covet your neighbor's wife, his male or female slave, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. 

Monday, 7 December 2009

The Second Monday of Advent - God's Providence

Today is the story of Joseph a reminder to me to trust in things not seen.

Genesis 37:1-36 & 45:1-15 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Genesis 37

Joseph's Dreams
 1 Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, the land of Canaan. 2 These are the family records of Jacob.    At 17 years of age, Joseph tended sheep with his brothers. The young man [was working] with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father's wives, and he brought a bad report about them to their father.
    3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than his other sons because Joseph was a son [born to him] in his old age,  and he made a robe of many colors for him. 4 When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not bring themselves to speak peaceably to him.
    5 Then Joseph had a dream. When he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. 6 He said to them, "Listen to this dream I had: 7 There we were, binding sheaves of grain in the field. Suddenly my sheaf stood up, and your sheaves gathered around it and bowed down to my sheaf."
    8 "Are you really going to reign over us?" his brothers asked him. "Are you really going to rule us?" So they hated him even more because of his dream and what he had said.
    9 Then he had another dream and told it to his brothers. "Look," he said, "I had another dream, and this time the sun, moon, and 11 stars were bowing down to me."
    10 He told his father and brothers, but his father rebuked him. "What kind of dream is this that you have had?" he said. "Are your mother and brothers and I going to bow down to the ground before you?" 11 His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter [in mind].
Joseph Sold into Slavery
 12 His brothers had gone to pasture their father's flocks at Shechem. 13 Israel said to Joseph, "Your brothers, you know, are pasturing [the flocks] at Shechem. Get ready. I'm sending you to them."    "I'm ready," Joseph replied.
    14 Then Israel said to him, "Go and see how your brothers and the flocks are doing, and bring word back to me." So he sent him from the valley of Hebron, and he went to Shechem.
    15 A man found him there, wandering in the field, and asked him, "What are you looking for?"
    16 "I'm looking for my brothers," Joseph said. "Can you tell me where they are pasturing [their flocks]?"
    17 "They've moved on from here," the man said. "I heard them say, 'Let's go to Dothan. ' " So Joseph set out after his brothers and found them at Dothan.
    18 They saw him in the distance, and before he had reached them, they plotted to kill him. 19 They said to one another, "Here comes that dreamer!  20 Come on, let's kill him and throw him into one of the pits. We can say that a vicious animal ate him. Then we'll see what becomes of his dreams!"
    21 When Reuben heard this, he tried to save him from them. [c] He said, "Let's not take his life." 22 Reuben also said to them, "Don't shed blood. Throw him into this pit in the wilderness, but don't lay a hand on him"—intending to rescue him from their hands and return him to his father.
    23 When Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped off his robe, the robe of many colors that he had on. 24 Then they took him and threw him into the pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it.
    25 Then they sat down to eat a meal. They looked up, and there was a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were carrying aromatic gum, balsam, and resin, going down to Egypt.
    26 Then Judah said to his brothers, "What do we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 27 Come, let's sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay a hand on him, for he is our brother, our [own] flesh." His brothers agreed. 28 When Midianite traders passed by, they pulled Joseph out of the pit and sold him for 20 pieces of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took Joseph to Egypt.
    29 When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes. 30 He went back to his brothers and said, "The boy is gone! What am I going to do?" 31 So they took Joseph's robe, slaughtered a young goat, and dipped the robe in its blood. 32 They sent the robe of many colors to their father and said, "We found this. Examine it. Is it your son's robe or not?"
    33 His father recognized it. "It is my son's robe," he said. "A vicious animal has devoured him. Joseph has been torn to pieces!" 34 Then Jacob tore his clothes, put sackcloth around his waist, and mourned for his son many days. 35 All his sons and daughters tried to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. "No," he said. "I will go down to Sheol to my son, mourning." And his father wept for him.
    36 Meanwhile, the Midianites sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and the captain of the guard.

Genesis 45

Joseph Reveals His Identity
 1 Joseph could no longer keep his composure in front of all his attendants, so he called out, "Send everyone away from me!" No one was with him when he revealed his identity to his brothers. 2 But he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard it, and also Pharaoh's household heard it. 3 Joseph said to his brothers, "I am Joseph! Is my father still living?" But his brothers were too terrified to answer him.    4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, "Please, come near me," and they came near. "I am Joseph, your brother," he said, "the one you sold into Egypt. 5 And now don't be worried or angry with yourselves for selling me here, because God sent me ahead of you to preserve life. 6 For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there will be five more years without plowing or harvesting. 7 God sent me ahead of you to establish you as a remnant within the land and to keep you alive by a great deliverance. 8 Therefore it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household, and ruler over all the land of Egypt.
    9 "Return quickly to my father and say to him, 'This is what your son Joseph says: "God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me without delay. 10 You can settle in the land of Goshen and be near me—you, your children, and grandchildren, your sheep, cattle, and all you have. 11 There I will sustain you, for there will be five more years of famine. Otherwise, you, your household, and everything you have will become destitute." ' 12 Look! Your eyes and my brother Benjamin's eyes can see that it is I [, Joseph,] who am speaking to you. 13 Tell my father all about my glory in Egypt and about all you have seen. And bring my father here quickly."
    14 Then Joseph threw his arms around Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin wept on his shoulder. 15 Joseph kissed each of his brothers as he wept, and afterward his brothers talked with him.