Welcome to day four of the 12 Days of CHRISTmas giveaway!!! There will be holiday ideas, easy recipes and both practical and pampering prizes to win. Best of all, each day you will meet one of my fellow “sistas” from the Proverbs 31 Ministries speaking team. Get to know them and their wonderful resources including books and teaching cd’s. Why, you might even just discover the speaker you have been looking for to appear at your next event.
So get in the holiday spirit. Tune in each day. Hop on and leave a comment. The more you leave, the better your chances of winning. The 12 daily winners will be announced on the 13th day of December so comment on all 12 posts if you can!
Today you will have the pleasure of meeting my friend Susanne Scheppmann. She is a gifted writer, an inspiring speaker and loves to help women dive into God’s word. And actually, her giveaway today will do just that!! Read on and enjoy this fourth day of Christmas as you visit with this wonderful, warm gal from wonderful and warm Las Vegas!!! Here she is…..
From the Heart of Susanne Scheppmann:
Merry Christmas! I am writing this from my home in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is so warm here that I am leaving the door open! It’s so weird to have the Christmas tree decorated and this warm of weather.
I have discovered peace from a complicated past and faith for the future. Because of this miracle, I am passionate that all women discover the healing power of Jesus Christ. This passion to share has been fulfilled as a speaker with Proverbs 31 Ministries. Plus, it has birthed four books.
· Divine Prayers for Despairing Parents (Available for pre-orders)
· Birds in My Mustard Tree–How to Grow Your Faith
· Perplexing Proverbs—A Bible Study for Women
· Embraced by the Father (Available October 2009)
My husband and I are empty-nesters. However, the nest is visited often by my three grandchildren. They are all toddlers so the house is baby-proofed to the point I can’t find anything. Oh, but they are so worth it the extra work. As Christmas approaches we are baking, wrapping presents, and most importantly learning to love Jesus more.
· Susanne, tell us what is on the docket for you this holiday season. Where will you be and what will you be doing?
This year I am spending Christmas at home in Las Vegas, Nevada. It will be nice to have Christmas at home. But the best is my daughter-in-law will be cooking Christmas dinner!
· How has the way you celebrate changed over the years as your family has grown?
My children are all adults, but we have been blessed with three darling grandchildren. It is so fun to have children around for the holidays. They inspire me to remember the joy Christmas.
· What is your favorite holiday food? Your favorite holiday song?
I love the standard turkey dinner with all the trimmings. I could eat it all year round. My favorite Christmas song is “O Holy Night.”
· Any take-it-slow advice you can offer us that will help to relieve yuletide stress?
My best advice for alleviating stress is cut back on activities that you feel you “have to-do” verses the ones you truly enjoy. I quit sending out Christmas cards several years ago—I don’t miss it a bit.
Thanks so much for stopping by for a visit today!!
My pleasure!!! Have a wonderful Christmas everyone!!!
Now for the Give-Away: Well, since this is the fourth day of Christmas and the traditional gift is four calling birds, we will attempt to stick close to that theme with today’s giveaway. Susanne has graciously decided to give away a copy of her book Birds in My Mustard Tree.
Birds in My Mustard Tree is a six-week small group study that looks at the subject of faith as an active, growing part of our walk with God. This study begins with a review of the concept of faith that leads to lessons on exercising faith, amazing faith, shattered faith, resting in faith, and a stronger faith. Susanne examines several heroes of faith in the Bible and adds modern anecdotes along with her personal stories to make this process result in a solid faith in God. Faith may begin as a mustard seed, but the goal is to expand it until we have birds roosting on our mustard tree of faith.
If you are longing for a new Bible study to help you develop a stronger relationship with God, this is it! So, to be entered into the drawing for this wonderful resource, leave a comment today for us. Susanne mentioned that her favorite Christmas song is O Holy Night. What is yours?
I will start. Although I love many Christmas songs, the one that has the most meaning to me is actually The 12 Days of Christmas. No, really!!!! My friend Lisa Whelchel wrote in her great book The Adventure of Christmas about the meaning behind this song. The song was actually written in code to Christians long ago. The different gifts each represent something God gave mankind. We go over these twelve gifts with our kids each Christmas and it makes what was thought to be a rather silly song become very meaningful! Here is how the story is told:
From 1558 until 1829 people in England were not allowed to practice their faith openly. During this era someone wrote ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ as a kind of secret catechism that could be sung in public without risk of persecution. The song has two levels of interpretation: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of the church.
Each element in the carol is a code word for a religious reality.
First of all, “my true love” is our Heavenly Father.
1. The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus Christ on the cross.
2. The two turtledoves are the Old and New Testaments.
3. Three French hens stand for faith, hope and love.
4. The four calling birds are the four Gospels.
5. The five gold rings recall the Pentateuch (Old Testament Law) the first five books of the Old Testament.
6. The six geese a-laying stand for the six days of creation.
7. Seven swans a-swimming represent the sevenfold gifts of the Spirit.
8. The eight maids a-milking are the eight beatitudes. (Matt. 5)
9. Nine ladies dancing are the nine fruits of the spirit (Gal.5). (love, joy, peace patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.)
10. The ten lords a-leaping are the Ten Commandments.
11. Eleven pipers piping stand for the eleven faithful disciples.
12. Twelve drummers drumming symbolize the 12 points of belief in the Apostles Creed.
There you have it, the HIDDEN meaning of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” and the secret behind the song.
Now, to show you my favorite contemporary rendition of this song. Get ready to laugh for the next 3 minutes and 30 seconds. These guys are an absolute hoot!!! (And, so you get the full effect, know that a dradle is a Jewish children’s toy played with during Hanukkah.) Now promise me you won’t forget to hit your back arrow, return here and leave a comment to be entered in the drawing. Pinky promise? Okay…..get ready……click here to see this wonderful spoof of my favorite Christmas song.
Are you back? Was that not the zaniest holiday song ever? Okay, cyber-sisters, it is your turn. What is your favorite Christmas carol or song? Susanne is waiting to give one of you a free, faith-filled and hands-on resource just for telling!!!