His Banner Over Me Is Love

He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. Song of Solomon 2:4 KJV

heart-978040_640.png This month thousands, if not millions, will be spent on gifts just to say three little words. I. LOVE. YOU.

Nothing is wrong with that. Go ahead. Take a moment to bake that decadent dessert, cook that special dinner. Prepare that special moment. Do whatever it takes to assure them of your love. C’mon they deserve it!

As I thought about the posts this month, I went in search of articles, books, and songs about love. One particular story caught my attention as I connected certain elements of the story with truths in my own life.

Sin’s Story

The tale of The Black Bull of Norroway is the story of a prince and a poor young girl. Like Cinderella, the girl is enslaved by an unkind woman.

I was once a slave to sin cruelly misused by the enemy of my soul.

This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 1 Timothy 1: 15

Salvation’s story

When the prince comes home from battle with a blood stained shirt, he declares the maid who can remove the blood stains will be his wife—true love.

After the unkind washerwoman and her daughters try to remove the stains, the shirt is given to the young girl for her to remove the stain.

In the story, only one could remove the blood stains. In my story, only One could remove my sin stains.

Come now, and let us reason together, saith Jehovah: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Isaiah 1:18

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Colossians 1:14

True Love

hot-chocolate-his-banner-over-me-is-loveThe central theme of God’s story, my story—your story and the Black Bull of Norroway is Love. However, in this life, love is often interrupted by many circumstances. We may become cynical toward this thing called love. But there is one love that never changes. God’s love for us. He is love.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

God is love. 1 John 4:16

His love is strong enough to bind up wounds, heal broken hearts, and set captives free. I pray you have experienced His life-changing love. If not, I encourage you to do so today! You won’t be disappointed!

If you have experienced His life-changing love, take the time to celebrate His love!

Save

O Come All Ye Faithful

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. Luke 2:20

History:
Words attributed to John F. Wade
Translated from Latin to English by Fredrick Oakley (verses 1-3 & 6) and William T. Brooke (verses 4-5)
Music Adeste Fideles attributed to John Wade, John Reading, Simao Portogallo, and King John IV of Portugal Wikipedia.com Cyberhymnal.org

Favorite Line:
O come let us adore Him.

Reflection:
Adore means to pay divine honor to; worship

Faithful is defined as true to one’s word, steady in allegiance or affection; loyal; constant: reliable. Dictionary.com

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. Luke 2:15-18

When told of His birth, the shepherds didn’t hesitate but rushed to Bethlehem and worshiped the newborn King. So moved by their experience, they didn’t allow it to remain in the four walls of the stable but told everyone they met. And the people marveled.

Today, we have the privilege to worship the Lord anytime, any place, anywhere. We are so blessed. There is much to praise Him for. Let us not hesitate to give God the glory for the marvelous gift of His Son, our Savior, Redeemer, and Lord. Come, let us adore Him for He alone is worthy to be praised! Let us tell everyone we meet of His goodness and mercies.

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. Revelation 4:11

He Is Alive!

 

He Is Alive

Every year around spring a joy begins bubbling inside me. The earth is warming. Flowers are blooming. Birds are singing. My world is teeming with life once more.

Resurrection!

Unfortunately, one can’t think of the Resurrection without the days prior—the seemingly endless nights—when hope faded to disappointment.

When Fear and Doubt boldly stepped from the shadows brandishing their weapons of destruction.

“He said he was the Son of God.”

“He healed the sick, calmed the sea, and delivered the possessed but, could not save himself.”

“Who will help you, now?”

“Time to face the truth. You are alone.”

“He’s not coming back.”

Today…

The battle rages. The mind bends beneath the load. The spirit cries out.

No answer. You are alone.

But then someone testifies, “I have seen the Lord. He is alive. We are not alone!”

The Son appears. The shadows flee.

Resurrection!

Your heart ignites.

He is:

The Rose of Sharon

The Lily of the Valley

The Son of God

The Prince of Peace

Sacrificial Lamb

Deliverer

Savior

Victor

Returning King

Alive!

 

Have you experienced the Resurrection?

Sparrows and Gravy

Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:31)

The house was a dilapidated jigsaw puzzle with missing pieces. Innocuous black snakes often found their way inside through the ill-connected joints. Rags filled the broken window panes, a barrier against the frigid air. It was a sorry sight to most, but it was home to me.

There were seven of us. Poor as hanks, survival meant eating whatever was set before you. Squirrel, rabbit, or deer, we didn’t ask. We weren’t worried so much about saving the planet back then as we were about saving ourselves. Dad worked continually, but he never seemed to catch up. It was either feast or famine, there was no in between. So more times than not, we did without.

My twenty-two-year-old mom tried her best to keep five kids happy. One particularly cold day while camping in the kitchen with just the stove to keep us warm, she threw a blanket over the table and we all climbed under, our imagination doing the rest. For a while, we played oblivious to our persistent problem. The need for food.

But Mama was praying. And God was listening!

Around lunch time, my granny, Mattie and my great-granny, Blanche, brought two whole fryers expecting to fry them, until Mama explained she had no grease. Blanche asked for Chicken N Gravy-1butter. Mom gave her all she had–several small pieces from blocks she used to butter her pans when cooking (Before the days of Pam). Undaunted, Blanche melted the butter and pan-fried the chicken. Then she made butter gravy with the drippings. We feasted on the best Chicken ‘N Gravy we had ever tasted before—or since.

I make this recipe when I want comfort food. Back then I didn’t eat much. I didn’t like deer, rabbit, or squirrel. And I refused to eat fried bologna! So when I found something delectable, I kept it near my heart. Each time I eat this dish, I’m reminded I am more valuable than the sparrows.

What You Need:

Whole fryer or 4-6 breast, thighs, or legs seasoned to taste

½ cup butter or margarine

½ tsp of salt and pepper (according to taste)

½ cup flour (see note)

2 2/3 cup water (see note)

 

Here’s How:

Place butter in pan or Dutch oven and heat until butter sizzle.

Brown a few pieces at a time, turn, and cook until tender.

Remove from pan

Combine flour and salt. Add to drippings to make a roué. Stir until medium brown.

Add water and whisk until smooth and creamy.

Return chicken to the gravy and allow to simmer 5-10 minutes.

Serve with rice, homemade biscuits, or pasta, and a salad.

Note: With different chicken pieces comes more drippings. Reduce drippings and flour as needed to make perfect gravy. The more you make this recipe and become familiar with it, adding more or less of things, the better it will taste.

Do you have a favorite dish that reminds you of God’s goodness?

Have you ever had someone to show up at your door just when you needed a helping hand?

Ain’t God good?

Blessings

Gail