Thursday, December 22, 2016

Day Twelve- Christmas in Ghana

I made it to the end of my Twelve Days of Christmas Around the World study!!!! I had a TON of fun learning about the many different ways to celebrate Christmas.

Today let's travel back to Africa to visit Christmas Celebrations in Ghana.

Woah! Hang on! Ghana has 66 different languages, and they all have DIFFERENT Christmas customs! Hold on to your hats, folks, this may be a wild ride. :) Okay, so I'll go with some general ways that people celebrate. ;)

Just like in a lot of the other countries I studied, people in Ghana travel to visit family.

Fun Fact: December is the start of the Cocoa harvest in Ghana (Ghana is one of the world's largest cocoa producers!).

Christmas Eve services include a Nativity play, dancing, drumming, and singing long into the night!
Christmas day, bright and early, carolers will go door to door singing and bringing good wishes. Then churches are full again, with people dressed in their bright traditional clothing. After the service comes gift exchanging and more festivities.
Christmas in Ghana
Stew, orka soup, porridge, meat, rice and 'fufu' (yam paste) make up the menu for Christmas day in Ghana.

Some people go to church again on December 31 to thank God for the gift of his son and to pray for a good and safe new year.

As far as decorations go, you will see mostly flowers and palm branches. You may see an occasional traditional Christmas tree, though.


I like how the true message of Christmas is not lost in the celebration in Ghana.

"Afishapa" (Merry Christmas and Happy New Year) from Ghana!

May you have a wonderful Christmas this year! I hope you take time to remember the reason for the celebrations amid whatever fun and festivities you enjoy this holiday season. :)


Merry Christmas from Ghana (picture from digest.bellafricana.com)

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Day Eleven- Christmas in France

I have found it amazing over the last eleven days how many different ways there are to celebrate Christmas! Even in areas that are near by, there are still SO MANY different traditions.

In France, Nativity cribs are a main part of Christmas celebrations. They are made with clay figures. But these are no ordinary Nativity scenes- no, they have some pretty unusual characters in them! Characters like butchers, bakers, policemen, and priests.

nativity crib

Yule logs are logs made of Cherry wood that are carried in on Christmas Eve and sprinkled with red wine (so that they smell good). Candles and Yule logs are left burning all night with food and drink for Mary and the Baby Jesus, just in case they stop by. ;)

But don't forget that Père Noël (Father Christmas) who comes to leave goodies in shoes left by the fireplace. When you wake up in the morning, you will see that there are fruits, nuts, and small toys left hanging on the tree as well.

pere noel
The main meal, called Réveillon, happen either late Christmas Eve or early Christmas morning, whichever side of the Midnight service the family decides to eat on. They eat on turkey, goose, oysters, foie gras, lobster, venison, cheese, and chestnuts. For dessert, there is chocolate sponge cake log called "Bûche de Noël". In some places is to eat 13 desserts (fruit, nut, pastries).

yule log cake

Epiphany (called Fête de Rois) is celebrated on January 6. A flat almond cake (called Galette des Rois) with a toy crown inside and a paper crown on top is eaten. Children go out an hunt for the magi, bringing hay to their camels.


"Joyeux Noël" (Merry Christmas in French) from France, where Christmas is celebrated by spending a lot of time with family!


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Day Ten- Christmas in Iceland

Christmas in Iceland is a mix of religious celebration and Icelandic folklore. It makes for a very fun celebration!

Christmas is celebrated from December 23 to January 6. There is lots of food, hanging out with people, and fireworks going off.
Because Christmas time is at the time when days are shortest and it is always very dark in Iceland, people decorate with LOTS of lights. They use Christmas trees and advent lights as well.

Christmas lights
People send and receive lots and lots of Christmas cards too.

Icelandic Christmas card
On Christmas Eve, the main celebration occurs with dinner and gifts.

But the best (and funniest) part of and Icelandic Christmas is the gift bearers- 13 Yule lads. The Yule Lads are said to have descended from trolls. They are said to be VERY mischievous! For 13 days, they walk down from their home in the mountains one at a time and bring gifts to leave in children's shoes...or a rotten potato if they were bad!

Yule lads
The Yule lads have very interesting names that show how mischievous they are.

There is one more funny bit of folklore...The Christmas Cat. Everyone is supposed to receive new clothes for Christmas, and if you don't you will be eaten by the Christmas Cat! So you can imagine that people scramble to get at least one set of new clothes for the others in their family.

Christmas Cat

People celebrate Epiphany, just like in Spain.


Gleðileg Jól from Iceland! :)




Monday, December 19, 2016

Day Nine- Christmas in the DRC

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, (middle of Africa) Christmas is religious rather than commercial. In fact, most people do not receive presents.

It all starts with the Christmas Eve service. There is lots of singing and a very long Christmas play. They start at creation and go all the way Herod's edict to kill all the baby boys. The birth of Jesus happens as close to midnight as possible, so the play is not over until 1 am! In most churches, singing will continue until dawn Christmas morning.
Those who participate in the play like to show off their acting skills and go "over the top".

Christmas play
Actors in one of the very long Christmas play :)

 The Christmas day service includes more singing and a special Love Offering where everyone brings a gift to baby Jesus.

The rest of Christmas day is spent quietly at home with a better a than normal meal (meat if it can be afforded).

On December 26th, it is back to work for everyone!

I like this "less commercialized version" of Christmas. It seems much more focused on the TRUE meaning of Christmas.

Anyway, "Mbotama Malamu" (Merry Christmas in Lingala) from the Democratic Republic of the Congo!


Sunday, December 18, 2016

Day Eight- Christmas in El Salvador

Sooooo.....I was going to write about Christmas in New Caledonia, but information is significantly lacking....so time for plan B! :)

El Salvador...A little country in that area commonly known as "Central America", but technically part of the North American Continent.

Because of it's location, El Salvador has a warm Christmas.

Christmas in El Salvador is very family focused. It starts about 7 pm on Christmas Eve when all the family members start arriving at one house (usually a Grandparent's). One thing you absolutely have to bring is FIREWORKS!!!! While the kids enjoy fireworks outside, the adults spend time inside catching up and eating food. (Don't worry, I'm sure the kids eat food too!)

Friends will stop by to offer Christmas greetings on their way to their own family gatherings.

Dinner time varies from 11 pm to 1 am! Why so late? Well, midnight mass is at midnight (let's play state the obvious!) and it is up to the family whether to eat before or after. Menu varies too. Upper class eats more American food-turkey, ham, etc. Middle/Lower class eats chicken or even tamales. (Umm! I would rather eat with the second group!!!!)

A final tradition is putting the baby Jesus figurine in the nativity scene. Nativity scenes are VERY popular in El Salvador, as with many other countries.

Feliz Navidad from El Salvador!


El Salvador Christmas

Friday, December 16, 2016

Day Seven- Christmas in Spain

Back to the continent of Europe today, to a place with some very unusual traditions. Although people in Spain have many of the same traditions as other places in the world, they have a few very unique ones too.

It starts with bonfire jumping at the winter solstice. What? Yes, you read that right, bonfire jumping. This event can mainly be seen in Granada and Jaen. People jump over bonfires to protect against illness.

The main Christmas celebrations happen on Christmas Eve, with a Christmas meal of Turkey stuffed with mushrooms. Then families go to Midnight mass, followed by a march through the streets with torches, guitars, tambourines, and drums. There is a Spanish saying that sums up this tradition: 'Esta noche es noche-buena, y no es noche De dormir.' (This night is a good night and is not a night for sleeping.)
nochebuena
Christmas day is spent going to church, hanging out with families, and having more feasts. A tradition on this easy is 'swinging'. People set up swings and the young people swing to the accompaniment of songs and laughter!

December 28 is 'día De los Santos inocentes' or The day of the innocent saints. It remembers the babies killed by Herod's evil order. (Matthew 2) It sounds like a serious Day, but it is spent much like April Fools Day in the USA or Uk . People try to get others to believe silly stories!

Next comes News Years Eve, or 'nochevieja.' (The old night) A tradition for this night is to eat 12 grapes, one with each stroke of the clock st midnight. If you eat the grapes, you are said to have good luck.

The big day for gifts is not Christmas Day, by Epiphany on January 6. This celebrates the wise men coming to give gifts to baby Jesus. In Spain, Santa does not bring gifts to the children, instead the three kings from the Christmas story do.  Children spend December 26 writing letters to the kings asking them for toys and goodies. They leave out their shoes on January 5 along with gifts for the wise men and their camels.
epiphany shoes
Some towns even have Epiphany parades where each king is given a camel shaped float.
epiphany
People also have a special cake called 'Roscón'. It is doughy and filled with cream and chocolate and a small gift.

Another tradition that seems odd to outsiders is one special to the Catalonia province. On December 8, families set up a log with a face called a 'Tio De Nadal'. All throughout the month, they 'feed' the log, and on Christmas, they tap the log to help with digestion. The log will drop little treats like candy and dried fruit. When it drops an onion or garlic, the treats are done for the year. This us why the log is also called 'cago tio' or pooping log!
tio de nadal
'Feliz Navidad' (Spanish), 'Bon Nadal' (Catalan), 'Bo Nadal' (Galician), and 'Eguberri on' (Basque) from Spain!!!!


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Day Six- Christmas in Brazil

Yes, yes, I know. I missed two days this time. :(

Welcome to another place with a summer Christmas....Brazil!
Look up and down the streets and you will see Nativity scenes, also called 'Presepio.' These are very popular. You can see them in houses. You can see them in churches.
Nativity Scene
Another popular thing at Christmas time- Christmas plays. Traditionally, there is a shepherdess and a woman who tries to steal the Baby Jesus!

At 10 pm on Christmas Eve, Brazilians eat their big meal. They have meat (pork, turkey, ham) and salads, fruit, rice with raisins, and ice cream. Then everyone goes to church for Midnight mass. Exactly at midnight everyone wishes each other Merry Christmas. Following the church service, there is a fireworks display.

Because it is summer at Christmas time, people might go to the beach.

Another fun tradition is Secret Santa, or 'Amigo Secreto.' All throughout December you give small gifts under a fake name. On Christmas, you reveal who the amigo was! Sounds like fun! :)

In Brazil, Santa Claus is called 'Papai Noel'. He exchanges your sock for a gift if you leave it in the window.

A couple more fun Christmas traditions:
Often, people will get a 13th salary in December, which means they get paid twice as much!

Silent Night, called 'Noite Feliz' is a favorite carol.

Epiphany, celebrating the wise men visiting Jesus, is also celebrated in Brazil.

Feliz Natal from Brazil!

fireworks

Monday, December 12, 2016

Day Five- Christmas in Fiji

Yes, I know, I missed a day. I'm sorry. It was bound to happen. I needed a nap. :)

Have you ever heard of Fiji? If it wasn't for my world geography course last year, I wouldn't have a clue where Fiji was. I'll give you a hint...not far from the location of Day 2...
Did you guess it?
Yes, we are back in the southern hemisphere. Here is a map.
map one

Did you find it?
Fiji is a group of Tropical Islands in the south pacific. Here is a map of Fiji.
map two

Fiji beach


Fiji

Isn't it beautiful there?

Alright, enough with the geography lesson. Let's talk about a tropical Christmas.

Fiji Christmas

That picture pretty much sums it up. Santa and the beach.

The festivities start two weeks before Christmas day, with large gatherings, singing and dancing. (Dancing is an important part of any celebration in Fiji, and Christmas in no exception) These gatherings continue until two weeks after New Years day.

People in Fiji decorate with lamps and lights, and their trees are decorated with ribbons.

Villages have big community gatherings rather than small family gatherings. It's like having one big family!

Since it is a tropical place and is very warm on Christmas, it is celebrated with picnics and beach days.

What about food?
They have their feast on either Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. They eat chicken, beef, pork, fish, cassava, dalo, and palusami (mutton wrapped in leaves). They drink kava, and some people buy a cake. Their food is cooked in an outdoor underground oven, just like any other meal of the year.

Children expect gifts from Santa on Christmas Eve.

"Marau na Kerisimasi" from Fiji, where Christmas is a time of family gatherings, caroling, and church services. (Merry Christmas in Fijian)

./Do you want to build a SAND man? ./


Sandman

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Day Four- Christmas in India

Though India is mainly Hindu and Buddhist, there is a good amount of Christians there as well. So Christmas has become a much celebrated festival in many parts of the country.


Planning for the season begins on the first Sunday of Advent, just like in other parts of the world. One thing that many people plan is their "Christmas Cradle," or nativity scene. There are often competitions between neighbors to see who has the most elaborate nativity scene.
Churches and homes decorate with lots of colors and lights...and stars! There are stars and star shaped lanterns EVERYWHERE!
Another thing that some people decorate with is a tree. Although some people have a traditional Christmas tree, many others choose a banana or mango tree! They also decorate with mango leaves instead of holly.

midnight mass
Midnight Mass
There are some specific traditions that are special to particular parts of the country. In Goa, in west India, people sing carols the whole week leading up to Christmas. They have a tree and eat local sweets, like neureos (fried pastries filled with fruit and nuts), and dodol (toffee with coconut and cashew). On Christmas Eve, they have meal of turkey and chicken, and go to midnight mass. Following the service, church bells ring to announce the coming of Christmas.


In northwest India, the Christians in the Bhil tribe go out every night for a week singing carols for their neighbors and for neighboring villages.
In southwest India, in the state of Kerala Were, the Catholics fast from December 1-24!

decorations
Christmas decorations in India
In some places in southern India, Christians place oil burning clay lamps on their roofs to show their neighbors that Jesus is the light of the world.


For the people who do have Santa Traditions, his name is 'Christmas Baba' (Father Christmas). He rides a horse and cart and brings gifts.


Some people exchange gifts, and some don't. For those who do, it is usually done on Christmas Eve. For those who don't, they might go and share Christmas sweets with their neighbors instead.






शुभ क्रिसमस  'Shubh Krisamas' (Hindi for Happy Christmas) from India!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Day Three- Christmas in Sweden

Christmas is celebrated in three main stages in Sweden.

Stage one: St. Lucia's Day, December 13th.

This is the year that I dressed up as
St. Lucia. :)
St. Lucia's day is honoring a girl named Lucia who was killed for her faith in 304. Legend has it that she secretly brought food to Roman Christians who were being persecuted. She would wear candles on her head to light her path so that her hands could be free.

So now, to celebrate St. Lucia's Day, the oldest daughter will get up VERY early in the morning, dress in white robes and a red sash, with candles on her head. She, accompanied by the rest of the children, will bring their parents coffee and 'lussekatts' (St. Lucia day buns).
lussekatts
Some schools and towns have St. Lucia Day plays and processions.

Stage two: Christmas Eve, December 24th.

The main meal of the season (a lunchtime buffet) includes...
-Cold fish; herring or salmon
-Cold meat; turkey, beef, and ham
-Other cold things like: cheese, live pate, salads, pickles, bread and butter
-Hot food: meatballs, sausages, meat stuffed cabbage rolls, pigs feet, lutfisk, pork ribs, potatoes
-Red cabbage
-Dessert: sweet pastries
-Drink: 'glogg' a sweet mulled wine, and coffee
-Rice porridge

Following the food, a family member dresses up as a Santa gnome 'tomte'. Tomte lives under the floorboards and rides a straw goat. Tomte also brings the presents on Christmas Eve.
tomte
At 3:00 pm, the family gathers for watching Donald Duck!

Stage three: 'Tjugondag Knut' (Twentieth Day of Christmas) on January 13th.

This is the day that the Christmas tree is taken down and all the leftover sweets are eaten. "Clean up day." :)

How to people in Sweden decorate for Christmas?
They decorate the tree with candles, apples, Swedish flags, gnomes, and straw ornaments. They have straw goats made of straw in the house to guard the tree, and decorate with lots of straw to remind them of how Jesus was born in a stable.

tree
In the city of Gavle, a huge straw goat is built for the start of Advent. It is 43 feet tall and takes 2 days to assemble!

'God Jul' (Merry Christmas) from Sweden! :)

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Day Two- Christmas in Australia

Hello, and welcome to Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere! Australians spend Christmas day at the beach, playing cricket, and swimming in the pool. Why?

Christmas is at the beginning of the summer holidays for Australians. It is often near 100 degrees Fahrenheit on Christmas day.  But, they still decorate with wreaths, trees, and lights. Sometimes neighbors will have Christmas light display contests! A special native Australian plant called the 'Christmas Bush' also adorns many homes. It has small green leaves and cream colored flowers that turn a deep red just in time for Christmas!

Christmas Bush

  In the big cities, there are huge Carol singing services. Famous Australian singers come and help to lead the carols. These services are broadcast all over the country on TV. There are also huge pageants in the big cities that are broadcast on TV. Many towns and cities will also hold their own Carol sings. People also celebrate with festivals, parades, and fireworks.

Sometimes, words like 'snow' and 'cold' in Christmas carols are changed to fit the climate better. For example...

"I'm dreading another dry Christmas
Like all the ones we have these years
Where the tree tops burn and the Fire Fighters yearn
To feel raindrops on their faces."

(This is the first verse of 'Dry Christmas' by Trevor Williams. You can find the rest of the words and the story behind it here.)

Those in the outback send Christmas greetings to one another over the radio.

What is Australian Christmas food like?
They have turkey, ham, pork, or sometimes seafood. For dessert, there is plum pudding with a favor baked inside, and mince pies. It is often eaten at a local beach!

On Boxing Day (the 26th) people visit friends, have barbeques on the beach, and may participate in the yacht race held in Sydney!

Australian Santa
Have you ever seen a Santa that looks like this?
When Santa makes it to Australia, he gives Dasher and the rest and enlists 6 white kangaroos to pull his sleigh. He also changes his clothes, getting rid of the heavy fur coat and replacing it with T-shirt and swim trunks!

So, "Miri Kirijimiji" from Australia!

(Miri Kirijimiji is Merry Christmas in Walpiri, an Australian Aboriginal language)


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Day One- Christmas in the Netherlands

 

The big event around Christmas time in the Netherlands is 'Sinterklaasavond' and the weeks before.
December 5 is 'Sinterklassavond' (St. Nicholas Eve). This is the day that Sinterklaas brings gifts to the Dutch children. But the activity has been going on for a few weeks before.
Sinterklaas
Sinterklaas and Zwarte Pieten
You see, it all starts on the second Saturday in November. Dutch tradition says that Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas) comes from Madrid, Spain. On this second Saturday of November, Sinterklaas and his servants 'Zwarte Pieten' (Black Peters) arrive in Holland. Every year, Sinterklaas picks a different harbor to arrive at, that way all the children get to see him. All the church bells ring as he arrives in his steamship, and Sinterklaas leads a procession through the street. Dutch children are told that good children get gifts and bad children get taken back to Spain to be taught how to behave.
Sinterklass is said to ride a horse and leave gifts. This is the main time that the children receive gifts during the Christmas season.
On the night of December 5, children leave a shoe out on a window sill. Some of them will put hay and carrots in the shoe to feed St. Nicholas' horse. They sing Sinterklaas songs.

On Christmas Eve, Santa Claus (Also called Christmas Man 'Kerstman', not to be confused with Sinterklaas) comes from Lapland, Finland and brings more gifts to the children.

Christmas Day is much quieter. It is celebrated on December 25 and 26, both days spent with family. They play games, sing carols, watch movies, read stories, and eat.
They will sometimes go to church, and they always have a special family meal. It consists of meat (venison, goose, hare, or turkey), plenty of veggies, and 'Kerstbrood' (Christmas bread). For dessert, there will be pudding and hot cocoa with plenty of whipped cream.

They eat plenty of other goodies as well. Some of them are 'oliebollen' (an oily dough nut), 'stollen' (a round bread with currents and raisins), almond pastry rings, 'marzipan', and chocolate 'Christmas rings'.

Some families will have a tree, an advent calendar or wreath, or a nativity scene.

So, 'Zalig Kerstfeest' (Merry/Happy Christmas) to you from the Netherlands!

dutch Christmas

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Do I smell....Pumpkin?!?

My siblings love it when I make pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. (Or Christmas, take your pick) After making it for Thanksgiving this year, I have made 4 pies in 3 years. (made two the first year) Last year I used canned pumpkin. It turned out darker orange. And I think it tastes better fresh. :)

First off, you need a pie pumpkin. They are sold at pretty much any grocery store. They are the smaller ones.

Now, you are going to need to make the pumpkin puree. There are many other ways of doing it, but here is how I do it.

Cut the Pumpkin in half. I used a bread knife this time. Pie pumpkins can have very thick shells...just giving you fair warning. The first time I made this pie, my dad had to cut the pumpkin in half with a saw! This time I managed with a bread knife....although, as you can see, it was far from perfect. :)














Anyhow, place the pumpkin halves upside down in a glass baking dish and cover them with tin foil.

Bake at 375 until tender. I think it took about 45-60 minutes.
When it is done, you should be able to poke a fork into it pretty easy. Like this.

So now, you are going to puree this. Put chunks of baked pumpkin in the food processor. Then puree it. I ended up with 4 cups of pureed pumpkin. :)

By the way, you can roast the seeds and have munchies. :)

Next step is the crust. This is a pie crust recipe from my Great Grandma. It makes just enough crust for one 8-9 inch pie pan, and a little bit left over.
You will need:
3 cups flour
1 cup + 2 TBSP shortening
1/2 cup ice cold water
1 teaspoon salt.

In a medium bowl...cut the butter into the flour and salt with a pastry blender or two knives. (the pastry blender worked better for me.)
Add the cold water gradually and stir until it forms a ball in the middle of the bowl.

On a "lightly floured" surface, roll the dough out dough to 1/8 inch thick.

Place the pie pan upside down on the dough, and cut about 1 inch around the rim.



Roll the dough onto the rolling pin and transfer to the pie pan.

Press down into the edges of the pan.


I don't pre-bake my pie crust. I think the edges would burn.

Now, it is time for the filling. Pull out that pumpkin you made earlier, put on your apron (you should have done that already.)
I got the filling recipe originally from All Recipes. I haven't made a ton of changes, except the way that I prepare the pumpkin.

Mix the following ingredients with a whisk or electric blender.

2 cups of the prepared pumpkin
1 (12 oz) can of evaporated milk
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix it well!!!! Then pour into the prepared crust.

Bake for 40-60 minutes. This time, mine took 60. You know it is done when you insert a knife in the center and it comes out clean.
And while it is baking, you read your bible...and write a blog post... oh, or is that just me?


Here is the recipe that you can print out without the extra pictures and chatter. :)
recipe

nutrition facts

Enjoy your pumpkin pie! Yummmmmm....




happy turkey day

Friday, November 25, 2016

Fading Away... A Short Story

I found this writing prompt and decided to write from it.

Story prompt


So, here goes nothing!

I watch out the window waiting for James to come home. As I sit, I ponder the fact that he forgot to take me with him to school. Junior high is a big deal, and we always share the important things. But he forgot to take me this time. In fact, I am still in my pjs...and I have been for a few months. I wonder why he keeps forgetting me to get me dressed for the day? At least he is still remembering to feed me. Oh, here he comes! Who is that with him? A new friend? Already? Do they have a ball? Yes, they do. Will he let me play? I continue to watch as the boys play with a football on the street. Why doesn't James invite me to play? He always asks me to play catch with him. Well, now the other boy has to go home. What?!? Is that our secret handshake? How dare James share that with another person? It is the best friends handshake...and I thought...AH! Does that mean that I am not his best friend anymore? Nooooo!

Now I am watching as James  is engulfed in his homework. I wonder what he is studying. It looks interesting. I crane my neck to see. High school math-Geometry! Why won't he let me study with him? He used to let me study with him all the time. Oh well, it is time for bed now. James, would you please tuck me in? No? Well, okay, I guess I'll do it myself. James, would you please talk to me? Why not? I guess high school is too demanding. Maybe you can talk to me later. I mean, you are new to this whole high school thing. Well, goodnight my old high school friend. See you tomorrow.

There is so much hustle and bustle around here these days. James is going to play football at a big university. He got his scholarship confirmation in the mail yesterday...and he didn't tell me. I saw it on the counter later. He told that other boy...Teddy...first. I wonder why. I always used to get the exciting information first...but not anymore. Well, anyway... James is packing up his last things. There are a lot of boxes. I wonder if there will be room for me. What does he have? Looks like a picture. I can't see! My neck is stiff. James, show it to me! Hey, I can see it now. It looks like a picture of...me! I remember, James drew that when he was five... He looks puzzled. Who is Ralph? What do you mean? How could you forget my name? Oh, you remember now, James? Yes, I'm Ralph, your old friend. We had so many good times together, how could you forget? No, don't rip the paper! Please, don't rip it up! Don't throw it away! Don't get rid of me! Nooooooooooooooooo..................................................


Okay, so that was a little weird and gloomy. But you know, fading away isn't fun.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

My Own Psalm 136

Read Psalm 136.
What is the author thankful for? Well, among other things, God's steadfast love. This summer, in church, we went through the Psalms, and we learned that the Hebrew word for steadfast love is hesed.


hesed love
Hesed love is beautiful. It is the love that will not let you go.

Love that will not let me go

Anyhow, this post is not entirely about hesed love. For a writing assignment today, I had to write my own Psalm 136. So here it is.


Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,

For his hesed love endures forever.

Give thanks to the Lord, for his salvation,

For his hesed love endures forever.

He has given me eternal life,

For his hesed love endures forever.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is faithful,

For his hesed love endures forever.

He is there when friendships fail,

For his hesed love endures forever.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is creator,

For his hesed love endures forever.

He had a plan for me before I was born,

For his hesed love endures forever.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is king,

For his hesed love endures forever.

He sets up rulers and takes them down,

For his hesed love endures forever.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is my help,

For his hesed love endures forever.

He is there in times of trouble,

For his hesed love endures forever.

Give thanks to Lord, for he has blessed me,

For his hesed love endures forever.

He has given me family and friends,

For his hesed love endures forever.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he satisfies,

For his hesed love endures forever.

I have found that he is all I need,

For his hesed love endures forever.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,

For his hesed love endures forever.
 

Praise God

Why don't you take a moment and write your own version of Psalm 136? What has God done for you?

Count your blessings