Scripture Readings : Luke 1: 26- 38

Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!”
Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! “

Mary was a woman who found favor with God. But, how do we find favor with God? A question that may seem difficult to answer with so many characters and stories in the bible. The answer is simple and found in verse 38 of Luke 1. Mary never hesitates. She has only one small question about conception since she was indeed a virgin, but otherwise, she just believes. Her faith is without questions, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” ( verse 38) Oh, that we may believe and have faith as Mary did. God knew her heart. He knew that she was humble, still impacted by her child-like faith, and was a god-fearing young woman. She was the perfect candidate and engaged to a gentleman in the bloodline of David. So, I ask the question again, how do I find favor with God during this season? We believe. We humble ourselves. We become a servant to God and live out his calling in our lives. We trust Him with the unexplained in our lives; pain, heartache, struggles, and un-answered questions. Today, I leave you with a lovely song I heard today, ” I still believe in Christmas” by Anne Wilson. The words are beautiful. I especially love the part about God sending God’s son to a carpenter and a teenage girl. Great lyrics. Do you still believe in Christmas?

The choir’s singing carols
Bells are ringing, streets are bright
It’s Christmas all around me
So why is Christmas hard to find?
December snow is falling down like I am to my knees
I could use some hope right now
‘Cause right now hope is hard to see
Help me still believe

For God so loved this broken world
He sent His only Son
To a carpenter and a teenage girl
To show us all His love
He left His home in Heaven
To make Heaven my home
My Emmanuel is with me
And I’ll never be alone
Down here, my heart can’t find much to believe in
But I still believe in Christmas

Nativity Fast

My favorite all time food is pizza. How can I do a whole advent fast without pizza? After searching near and far, a pizza crust without oil was found. Two local health food stores in town carry the pizza crust, Sami’s Bakery millet and flax pizza crust. Amazon carries it too, After having this crust on several occasions prior to this fast, I can attest to it’s goodness. Tonight’s dinner is pizza, with homemade tomato sauce, cashew cheese, and fresh veggies.

To make cashew cheese:

mix 3 handfuls of raw cashews

juice of one lemon

2 Tbl of nutritional yeast

Mix first the cashews and nutritional yeast in blender or Vitamixer. Then add lemon and teaspoon of warm water at a time to get the perfect consistency. When layering pizza, first spoon sauce over crust, then layer the cheese. It’s an odd consistency, but it tastes amazing. Then layer the veggies and bake as directed on the package of crust.