Three Kings Day 2016 (January 6)

“Isn’t it overwhelming that even Jesus’ jubilant birth with the magi offering him awesome gifts prophetically points to his somber death on the cross which is Jesus’ gift to us?”- Haven Caylor

 

3 kings

The “yonder star” guides us to Jesus, the “perfect light”

Not being raised Roman Catholic, you can imagine my riveted 13 year old attention to the story of Spain’s Three Kings Day December 1979. 1979-1980 was my first school year to study the Spanish language, and with the language Hispanic culture.

This Varnell, Georgia, country boy, Protestant-Christian had never heard of Three Kings Day. Yes, the Roman Catholics had Santa Claus, but they also had the Three Kings who left presents for children on January 6 . The holiday with its best title as Epiphany has been around the Christian world for over 1,600 years. Many modern scholars say that the magi arrived in Bethlehem and gave Jesus his gifts on January 6.

The Magi (Ancient Astronomers probably from Babylon) followed the Star of Bethlehem to the place where Jesus was. The Jewish nation had been exiled into Babylon (returned to the Holy Land 70 years later) in approximately 600 B. C., and scholarly, Babylonian men had documented and studied the Jewish prophecies concerning the coming Messiah. These Magi were the 1st Gentile believers in Jesus Christ.

Of course we have no idea how many magi came to adore and worship the baby Jesus, but with the Bible mentioning gold, frankincense and myrrh, people say 3 Kings.

Here is a short explanation of the meaning of the three gifts from http://www.gotquestions.org/gold-frankincense-myrrh.html#ixzz2pcptzSE9:

Gold is a precious metal and as such was a very valuable commodity. Its value could very well have financed Joseph and Mary’s trip to Egypt. The Bible does not tell us any other significance to these three gifts; however, tradition has it that there is a deeper meaning for each of the three. Gold is a symbol of divinity and is mentioned throughout the Bible. Pagan idols were often made from gold and the Ark of the Covenant was overlaid with gold (Exodus 25:10-17). The gift of gold to the Christ child was symbolic of His divinity—God in flesh.

Frankincense is a white resin or gum. It is obtained from a tree by making incisions in the bark and allowing the gum to flow out. It is highly fragrant when burned and was therefore used in worship, where it was burned as a pleasant offering to God (Exodus 30:34). Frankincense is a symbol of holiness and righteousness. The gift of frankincense to the Christ child was symbolic of His willingness to become a sacrifice, wholly giving Himself up, analogous to a burnt offering.

Myrrh was also a product of Arabia, and was obtained from a tree in the same manner as frankincense. It was a spice and was used in embalming. It was also sometimes mingled with wine to form an article of drink. Such a drink was given to our Savior when He was about to be crucified, as a stupefying potion (Mark 15:23). In other words, it would make his body numb. Matthew 27:34 refers to it as “gall.” Myrrh symbolizes bitterness, suffering, and affliction.

The baby Jesus would grow to suffer greatly as a man and would pay the ultimate price when He gave His life on the cross for all who would believe in Him.
Our remarkable savior refused the gall (Matthew 27:33 – 34). He loved us enough to take on our sins FULL FORCE! Isn’t it overwhelming that even Jesus’ jubilant birth with the magi offering him awesome gifts prophetically points to his somber death on the cross which is Jesus’ gift to us?

Okay, there is a very brief explanation of the Three Kings (LOL). I absolutely LOVE the hymn “We Three Kings”. The key and the harmony are perfect, and it always sends chills down my spine and puts tears in my eyes when I hear/sing about the birth of Jesus the Christ child. Enjoy!

5 Tips for Family Fun on New Year’s Eve

Ammon & Carter usher in 2015

Ammon & Carter usher in 2015

 

5 Tips to Keep up a Youngster for New Year
1)Party! Party Hats & horns break out around 11:00 PM New Year’s Eve to keep our children engaged. We also watched the exciting sights and sounds of “Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve”: A 40 year tradition for Sean and Haven.
2)Talk it up for several days beforehand. On New Year’s Eve morning of 2014, the first thing Carter said was, “Happy last day of 2014!” when he got out of bed.
3)Toast the New Year before bedtime just in case they fall asleep: Carter and Ammon knew the New Year was a special occasion when we broke out the chilled Champagne glasses and drank our Welch’s Sparkling White Grape Juice. Consider holding hands and praying for a safe and healthy New Year coming up. Your children will love toasting (they have to make at least one SERIOUS/GRATEFUL toast) each other even if they are silly toasts….believe me!!

To My "Old Lang Syne" departed loved ones, Ammon, Carter, Sean, and all of you all. Happy 2015

4)Late, lite snacks high in protein with caffeine: Ammon & Carter eat some peanut butter and crackers around 9:00 PM. Our soft drink of choice in this household is Coke Zero. Ammon & Carter drink quite a bit. Don’t worry, it was all “gone” from their systems by 12:30 AM 😉
5)Play some new,exciting game several hours before midnight. . Christmas of 2014 Ammon had received a Monster High Share or Scare game. All 4 of us played. We couldn’t believe that Carter enjoyed it too. We played for over an hour, and I think it got us to about 11:00 PM!

Not the best video to watch, but the audio is great. I’ve always loved “Auld Lang Syne”…The Good Old Days. Of course when it is sung slower, it is so melancholy and lonesome, but Mariah jazzes it up and gives it that happy, new, fresh feeling that the New Year deserves.

I wish there was a better title like “The Passed Loved Ones”, because that is really what it is about for me: Daddy, Nanny, Granddaddy, Mamaw Wimpy, and my dear, dear “Adopted” Grandmother, Remell Hall. Oh, how much I miss them, and “We’ll take a cup o’ kindness for old lang syne!”

Friends, loved-ones, and relatives, keep your eyes on Jesus every day in 2016. He is the way, the truth, and the life. If you already have a relationship with him and love him, maybe make a conscious effort to “fall in love” anew with Jesus the Christ every single day. I hope and pray that God blesses every one of you with your best, calendar year ever. With lots of love, Haven

Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane

Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane

Our Lord and Savior, Jesus, was human like us. He did not want to endure the physical pain of his upcoming crucifixion. From Mark 14:36, Jesus implores to God in the Garden of Gethsemane  “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” The “Abba” is Aramaic for “Daddy”. It reminds me so much of when Carter wants something and says “Please, Daddy!”, and my heart either wrenches and gives in or I say  “No” to what Carter wants.

God’s answer was for Jesus to endure the cross and be the sacrificial lamb for all mankind. My human heart can only imagine the anguish God was feeling for Jesus to die for us. An angel came from God and comforted Jesus (Luke 24: 43) so as to fortify him for the excruciating death that awaited him.

I also think of the 12 disciples being “cowards”, but yet, what would I have done? Do I betray Jesus like Judas did (Matthew 26: 47-49)? Do I like money, cars, clothes, traveling, or food more than Jesus and put them before my love and dedication to him? Sometimes I feel that I would have run like everyone but Peter and John. However, Peter snuck around and denied that he knew Jesus. Tradition tells that John and his family was well-received in high Jerusalem circles and probably mingled with the crowds during those early morning hours being as close to Jesus as could even until Jesus gave up his Spirit on the cross (John 19:25-27). Oh, how I would love to think that I would stay by Jesus’ side until the end.

No matter what, Jesus still loves me like he loved Judas until the end. Jesus STILL called Judas “friend” (Matthew 26: 50): Unbelievable and remarkable! However, that’s Jesus! He is LOVE and forgiveness!

Tonight as we lay down in our cozy beds for a great night’s rest, let’s remember our tired and sleepless Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane and getting ready to face the death on the cross so he could be our sacrificial lamb and take on our sins. What a man and what a savior! Thank you, Jesus!

DIY Mardi Gras Bread in Minutes

Mardi Gras Cake

Ingredients for Monkey Bread

½ cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 cans ( Our cans were 13 oz) Pillsbury™ Flaky Supreme Refrigerated Cinnamon Rolls

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

¾ cup butter or margarine, melted

Rolls

Step 1: Heat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease 12-cup fluted pan (Bundt Cake Pan if you’re “Old School” LOL)

Step 2: Have your child/children either cut (case knife) or pull apart the rolls in half. Arrange in the fluted pan.

Step 3: In a small bowl, mix brown sugar and butter: pour over cinnamon roll pieces.

Mix Brown Sugar

Step 4: Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown and no longer doughy in the center. Turn upside down onto serving plate.

Ingredients for Glaze

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

3 Tablespoons heavy cream (or milk for a less creamy texture)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Step 5: Top the Cake with Glaze & Sprinkles

Top the Cake with Gold, Purple, & Green Sprinkles. We found all 3 sprinkles at our local Party City store. 

Carter Sprinkles

Ammon Sprinkles

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Valentine Cookies in Less than an Hour

Valentine Cookies

My Carter & Ammon (just 6 years old!) made these Delicious & Quick Valentine Cookie from scratch!

Sugar cookies

INGREDIENTS:

1 Cup butter, softened

1 Cup granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1 egg

2 teaspoons baking powder

3 cups all purpose flour

Stirring the Mix

Heart Cookie Cutters

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350° F.

In the bowl of your mixer cream butter and sugar until smooth.

Beat in extracts and in large bowl. Continue reading