Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Presence A Day: Homemade Christmas Star Cookie Wreath : Day 12

Is this star COOKIE wreath so adorable?

Cookie wreath made by The Farm Chicks!

The tutorial made by The Farm Chicks is here!

Mt 2:9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

I love how this verse says the star went before them....We all have a star within us...our soul.  Also, our soul has Jesus in it or it doesn't.  Our soul is saved or it is not saved.  Our soul is seeking the young child or it isn't.
I am so glad when I first heard THE king that I departed from old self (flesh) and followed the star to where Jesus was and is!  A lot of times I say, "All I know for sure is that I am saved!"  I know this for a surety!  Thank you Lord for bringing salvation down to me and countless others.
God bless your Christmas!

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Presence A Day: Homemade Candy Dish: Day 11

How does this look?

1997 “Good Thing” feature from Martha Stewart

Want to make it? YES?  OK!  The tutorial is here!  Thanks goes to Keen Inspirations and Creations!

Keen Inspirations and Creations made this!

This lovely dish is great for entertaining.  Entertaining is mentioned in the Bible too (nice segway, huh?)!

Heb 13:2  Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

Now, I always assumed this meant to have company over and be a gracious host.  This verse could include that assumption....BUT the verse is bigger than that...

Being a preacher's wife, I have been more open to people than I ever have in my life.  When I say "open"  I  mean that I really listen and I try (don't always) to put myself in their see where that person is coming from.  There are countless times that I have had "encounters" with people that have helped me spiritually. I hope I have returned the favor and have helped them too!  Help people, not just family...I know family is important, don't forsake them, BUT there is a SPIRITUAL FAMILY also.  How often do you entertain your SPIRITUAL FAMILY?  If you don't even know what I am talking about, you may be estranged! 

Do you donate clothes to a charity (Goodwill, St. Vincent De Paul, Good Samaritan)

Do you help stock the food pantries in the community (Grayson has very low donations this year!)

Do you visit nursing homes?  I haven't in a while, but we are going to get back to it.

Don't only use your home to entertain angels (although this is VERY important as an example for your children to follow) but every activity in your day could be used to help others.  Also, when you do help someone, don't look for instant gratification....actually, don't look for any reward.  Do your alms(deeds) in secret and your father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly (hint: your reward may not be monetary!).  Jesus helped us all, and his reward was the cross. So carry your cross, and use Jesus as your example.

In a traffic jam?  pray to God and get the cobwebs out of your spirit (not judging, if you pray all the time lift me up too!). 

Nasty coworker?  Something has happened to them (probably something very bad) that has shaped them.  Put your spiritual glasses on.  There was a phase in my life that I always tried to be as Jesus and I would try to "see" them as Jesus would....It was a rewarding time...I need to do it again...

Kids acting rude, rebellious, and ungrateful?   How did YOU act at their age..Understand where they are at and talk WITH them not AT them...Then after you have bonded, DISCIPLINE them (they may have had a bad day, but they need to know that disrespecting parents is never tolerated --take phones, computer time, and games away as examples)

Disconnected from your BETTER HALF?  Pray together. If he/she refuses, YOU pray!  God can change your heart.... You may think that God needs to help your spouse in a certain area but he may be wanting to change you.  Pray to him to find out.

We all have the choice everyday to entertain strangers....what will you do with it?

God bless your Christmas!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Presence A Day: Homemade Casseroles: Day 10

Morning Pecan Casserole

Do you have a neighbor ( hint:  a neighbor is not someone that necessarily lives next door to you!) that is TIRED of cooking and you just LOVE to cook all the time ( I know this is a stretch, but bear with me!)?  Have you ever given someone an unexpected gift?  Do you give your mailman a present?  Do you give your Sunday School teacher a gift?  Do you give your Librarian a present?  Do you give someone UNSUSPECTED a gift?

YOU COULD!  Make them a covered dish!  It would give them a night off during this joyful but BUSY time of the year.  Here are a few recipes.  After the recipe is assembled, cover with the dish lid or with foil.  Give them a card and tell them what temp and how long to cook the dish made with love. IMPORTANT NOTE:  Increase the cooking time by 15 minutes if you have refrigerated it!!!!

Midwest Living has a great Chicken and Wild Rice Recipe here!

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

Or make a breakfast or brunch for someone with this recipe:  Morning Pecan Casserole

Morning Pecan Casserole

Or make them Hashbrown Casserole (this has ham in it, so it will pass as MAIN MEAL!)
Hash Brown Casserole

Or do you want to give a pie that is a main dish?  Check out this Inside-Out Spaghetti Pie.
Inside-Out Spaghetti Pie

Luke 10:29 But he (the RICH MAN to JESUS), willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?

We all have views of what a neighbor is, but what is Jesus' view?  He didn't answer the rich man's question, but he gave him a story (Jesus always wants us to decide what to do, he doesn't force us to believe his way). 

 A man, going to Jericho, fell among thieves.  They beat him and took all that he had.  Three different people passed by the beaten man:  Priest (man of high office/ranking), Levite (man from the lineage of Jesus Christ), and Samaritan (man that was reviled by most, lowly).  We all know the Samaritan helped the man in need.  Then Jesus asks the rich man this:  Luke 10:36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?  The rich man replies with this:  Luke 10:37  And he said, He that shewed mercy on him.   Then Jesus ends with this reply:  Luke 10:37 Go, and do thou likewise.

Did Jesus just pick these three guys out of a hat?  NO!  He chose one with high rank, one with the same lineage as himself, and one with no rank at all.  The rich man could be classified with the priest (my opinion), but Jesus asked the rich man, "who was the neighbour?"  The rich man said  "He that shewed mercy on him."  So no matter your class, you know what to do.  DOING it is the hard part.  So show mercy as much and often as you can....someone is depending on it!

God bless your Christmas!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Presence A Day: Homemade Brown Bag Gifts(to make with kids): Day 9

Here is a neat little project to get the kids involved in making gifts.  These gift bags can be given to loved ones, people you visit when caroling, people in the nursing home, or anyone you choose!


brown paper sacks
jingle bells
puff stickers with glitter
markers to write Merry Christmas
hole punch
goodies (candy canes, chocolate, fruit, pencils, notebook, etc.)

Design the outside of the brown sack.  Near the top, punch holes to place the ribbon on it.  Tie bells to the end of the ribbon.  Put your special treats in the sack.  Tie it up and give to someone you love!

Mrs. Nicole is helping everyone make their bags!

designing their bags...they are having a good time!

the boys are having a blast making theirs!

decorating still in process!

cute smile while working diligently!

stamping Christmas trees!

having a great time at Christmas!
Luke 2:9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
15 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.

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

God bless your Christmas!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Presence A Day: Homemade Flower/Rosettes: Day 8

There are so many fab tutorials to make flowers from fabric:

Our Best Bites makes a rolled flower from fabric here!

Lex makes one here!

Wise Craft makes one here!

Make It Do makes a great peony from ribbon here!

Luke 2:1 ¶ And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

I don't have much to say today (shock, I know!) but I just wanted us all to read about the FIRST CHRISTMAS! 

On that silent night that Christ was born, this day was not even called CHRISTMAS!  The word "Christmas" is a combination of the words "Christ" and "Mass. The word "Mass" means death and was coined originally by the Roman Catholic Church.  Christmas was actually PAGAN, but thanks to Pope Martin Luther (1517) he started a reformation to take out the paganism of Christmas (THANK YOU MARTIN LUTHER).
So, I just want to remind us of Jesus' means so much to me...I hope it means a lot to you too!

God bless your Christmas!

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Presence A Day: Homemade Sugar Cookies: Day 7

A great Christmas present to make for your special loved ones is sugar cookies.  This is not any "normal" (how is my build-up?) sugar cookie.  This is the best recipe for sugar cookies ever!  IT IS!  Try it and tell me if I am wrong!

I had some help from MOM ADVISE on this recipe. We made some Saturday morning and all of them said they were the best sugar cookie they have ever eaten.  Even Hubby liked it!

put 3/4 cup sugar in a mixer and pulverize it to make super fine sugar

Add 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour and 1/4 tsp of salt

Add 2 stick of butta

your mixture will be course and crumble-ly-ish..then add 2tablespoons of cream cheese and 2 tsp of vanilla extract

form into two disks and refrigerate for 15 minutes

Place between to sheet of wax paper...

make sure the shiny side is facing up...less don't have to use extra flour!

roll out your dough...

decorate to your liking...

press and roll again...

we were getting tired of rolling so much, so I made dough into balls and pressed them into sprinkles...

and they turned out cute too!

These cookies won't get to see tomorrow!

Prov 20:17 ¶ Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.

When I am eating a cookie (who am I kidding, eating a half-dozen!) it is so good, so yummy, and it can't be bad, right?  There are other "things" that are good in the moment but have a consequence, which may not be favorable. 

Bread of deceit is sweet to a man means  "any good obtained by deceit, or any good which deceives in its possession."  Bread of deceit is unjustly gotten gain.  Have you ever been deceived or has someone gained advantage from you?  We all can say yes and we all can, if we look closely enough, think of a time we may have partaken of the bread of deceit AGAINST someone. 

For whatever actions you may have, they have a very real influence on their doers.  Your actions modify character and form your habits.  They will drag after you a whole trail of consequences. Each strikes inwards and works outwards.

'A sower went forth to sow,' and 'Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.' The seed may lie long dormant, but the green shoots will appear in due time, and pass through all the stages of  'first the blade, and then the ear, and after that the full corn in the ear.' The sower has to become the reaper, and the reaper has to eat of the bread made from the product of the long past sowing. Shall we have to reap a harvest of poisonous tares, or of wholesome wheat?  Before tempted to do evil take a momentary pause to see if you want to harvest that crop!  If you sow corruption you will also reap corruption.

If you have been deceived by others, do not render evil for evil.  Why?  Because he that has eaten the sweet bread of deceit will later have a mouth filled with gravel...let me tell you, a mouth filled with gravel is painful.  God will recompense...not you. 

God bless your Christmas!

Here is the recipe per Mom Advise:

Perfect Cut-Out Sugar Cookies (Recipe from America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook)

Recipe says it will yield approximately 3 dozen cookies. I doubled the recipe & got 32 cookies with my cookie cutters. The amount of cookies will definitely depend on your cookie cutter sizes!

2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup superfine sugar (just whipped 1 cup sugar in the food processor until it was blended and then measured out 3/4 cup)
1/4 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ pieces & softened
2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Whisk the flour, sugar, & salt together in a large bowl. Beat the butter into the flour mixture, one piece at a time using an electric mixer on medium-low speed, then continue to beat until the mixture looks crumbly and slightly wet, 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in the cream cheese & vanilla until he dough just begins to form large clumps, about thirty seconds.

Knead the dough in the large bowl by hand a few times until it forms a large, cohesive mass. Turn the dough out onto a clean counter, divide it in half, and apt into a two four inch disks. Wrap the disks tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until they begin to firm up, 20 to 30 minutes.

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375. Work with one disk at a time, roll out the dough to a 1/8″ thickness between two sheets of parchment paper. Slide the rolled dough and parchment onto a baking sheet & refrigerate again until firm.

Working with one sheet of dough at a time cut out shapes using cookie cutters and lay on two parchment-lined baking sheets, spaced about 1″ apart. Bake the cookies until light golden brown, about ten minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking.

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for two minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely, about thirty minutes. When cooled, the cookies can be decorated as desired.

Sugar Cookie Frosting

4 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup shortening
5 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Food coloring

In a large bowl, cream together confectioners sugar and shortening until smooth. Gradually mix in milk and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth and stiff, about five minutes. Color with food coloring if desired.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Day 6: A Presence A Day: FRIED APPLE PIES

Want one?
What tastes really good and yet, is really not-so-low calorie?  I  am referring to FRIED APPLE PIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  They are so yummy, tasty, and irresistible...and if you made these for someone for Christmas....I know they would love you!

I made 24 and that is all the energy I have!  So here is the recipe:

Gather flour, salt, butter, and water

lay wax paper down when rolling mini pies, less mess

pretty pies basking in the sun

this is what the apples should look like after 30 minutes of cooking

place a dollop of apples on one side, taking care not to get any around the edges

Press a fork, dipped in flour, and seal all edges

fry me to the moon

just taken out of the deep frying pan, it was hot in there

Leah's Fried Apple Pies

Apple filling:

Peel and cut 9-10 apples
2 cups of water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1/2 brown sugar
2 tablespoon of corn starch mixed with 1-2 tablespoons water

Cut and peel the apples. Place them in a huge pan with the water, lemon juice, cinnamon, sugar, and brown sugar. Cook them on med-high for 30 min. or more. Cover them to decrease cooking time. After they are cooked, get your cornstarch mixture and add to the apples...this will give the apples more thickness. Refrigerate for an hour (make the mini pies while they are chilling).

Pie Pastry:  makes 12+, double this recipe to make 24 mini pies
21/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) and 2 tablespoons of  butter, well chilled
5 to 6 tablespoons cold water

Place flour and salt in mixer.  Turn to lowest speed and mix about 15 sec.  Cut butter into pieces and add to flour mixture.  Turn to lowest speed and mix until butter particles are size of small peas or crumbles, 30 to 45 seconds.

On lowest speed, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing until ingredients are moistened and dough begins to hold together.  Divide dough in half.  Pat each half into a smooth ball and flatten slightly.  Wrap in plastic wrap.  Chil in refridgerator for 15 min.

Take a mini pie, place a small dollop of cooked apples in the middle or side, (stay away from edges).  Take some water and rub around the edges (this will help to seal them).  Fold one side over, and take a fork, dipped in flour, and press down to crimp all the edges.  Repeat till all pies are made

Fry in a skillet or deep fry with the oil on med-high.  Cook for 3-5 minutes.  Place on a plate lined with towels (to soak up extra oil).  Fry until all are done.

Anyone want to clean a kitchen?

Give these to a special someone or enjoy yourself!

Psalms 17:8 ¶ Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings, 9 From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about.  15 As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.

What does APPLE OF THE EYE mean? Something, but usually someone, that you cherish above all others.[1]

Wikipedia states that the phrase was applied to the dark central portion of the eye within the iris because of the tiny image of oneself, like a puppet or marionette, that one can see when looking into another person's eye.

David was writing this passage and he was telling God to cherish him above all others.  He even wanted to be hidden under the shadow of God's wings.  I like David...No, I love David.  He was not being arrogant or "above his raising"....he was that close to God that he was talking with him as a FRIEND.  Furthermore, since David commanded, if you will, that God cherish and hide him under his wings, God wanted that reciprocated.  David even goes on to say that he and God have the same likeness!  Wow! 

What is my point?  My point is this:  What is the apple of the eye to you?  What are you cherishing above all others.  David was not being untoward to God, they were just that close that he could make a request of God to Cherish him above all others.  When you look in the dark central portion of your eye, what are you seeing?  Does it reflect a likeness to God?  Can you make a request to God as David did?  Can you cherish God above all other things? 

God bless your Christmas!

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Presence A Day: Homemade Rag Garland: Day 5

The Nesting Place

A great project to complete is this SHABBY CHIC garland.  You have all of the materials at home (if you have old clothes or clothes you/kids have outgrown).  Tie strips of material to an old towel, jute, ribbon, chord, etc (whatever you have).  The most time consuming part is cutting and tying, and tying, and tying (you get the picture).   The tutorial is here!

I love this for a boy's room...use old men's or boy's dress shirts--even the cuffs!
Rags rags rags.  While you are tying endless rags, think about this scripture:

Isa 64:6  But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Even at our very best OUR righteousness is as filthy rags.  Wow, does that put our righteousness in perspective!  Isaiah goes on to say that we fade out as a leaf and our sins a.k.a. iniquities take us away from righteousness.  Why does Isaiah write this oh-so-hard-to-take verse to us?  Well, Isaiah has been preaching and preaching to the people (God's chosen people, that is) and they all ignore, rebel, and act superior to God's instructions.  These very acts are tearing Isaiah's heart into pieces.  He is also pleading with God to spare them even over their sin.  God answers Isaiah a few verses down:

64:8 ¶ Thus saith the LORD, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants’ sakes, that I may not destroy them all.

God doesn't destroy them all...there is a seed in Jacob that is chosen and we came through that line, too. There is also another reply from God:

64:11But ye are they that forsake the LORD, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop, and that furnish the drink offering unto that number. 12 Therefore will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter: because when I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but did evil before mine eyes, and did choose that wherein I delighted not.

I much favor verse 8, don't you?  I want to be in the number with Jacob.  Furthermore, I am in the number with Jacob.  God called me one night, and I answered and now I am part of the ELECT.  BUT, even though I am part of God, MY righteousness is as FILTHY RAGS.  My righteousness is my sinful flesh.  Everything that I do in my flesh is sin.  That is just part of me.  I have another part (no, I am not schizophrenic -Or am I?).  A better part.  The best part.  I have THE spirit (not a spirit, and let me tell you there are many spirits, so try them (test to see if they are really GOD) to see if they be OF GOD.  And it sins...NOT!  IT never sins...It is perfect, it has Jesus there, and IT is also sealed to the day of redemption (Eph 4:30...whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption).

Now, don't get me wrong, we can put our flesh in subjection to that of the holy spirit.  We should most definitely do this.  But, when someone acts righteous within themselves, take heed, and be mindful around them (pray for them and watch your very soul around them).  They are very convincing and they do have a spirit....but not necessarily THE SPIRIT (Spirit of God).  I have always wanted to inspire a great crowd and get them into a great mind-blowing epiphany.  And here I would be moving this great crowd toward blissdom...sounds great, right?  Could be bad, I am not perfect (although I do strive to attain this characteristic), and in my imperfectness I have (unintentionally) led a huge group of people in a wrong way.  Are you getting my drift?  We have some great orators today, don't we?  TAKE HEED!  PRAY FOR THEM on the one hand and WATCH YOUR VERY SOUL AROUND THEM on the other!  To worship God, he has given us two criteria:  1.  Spirit (the Spirit not A spirit)   2. Truth (according to God's holy word...a.k.a. Bible --you know, the one book with dust on it.)  Keep these two criteria in mind when you are listening to someone's great swelling words.  IF they are not SALTED,  cast it out.

My righteousness is as filthy rags...don't point others to the Lord by your righteousness because, after all, they are as filthy rags.  Point others to Jesus by HIS righteousness.

God bless your Christmas!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Presence A Day: Homemade Paper Wreath: Day 4

Here is a very nice homemade gift that is made from magazines, newspaper, or any PAPER you have.  The magazine paper makes the wreath look more polished and shiny.  I know a great blog, T. Matthew's Fine Art, that knocks this project out of the park!

Am I right?  The tutorial is here!  

Speaking of flowers, lilies are discussed in the Bible.  The lilies don't toil nor spin and God goes on to say that Solomon was not beautifully arrayed as these lovely non toiling flowers.  Furthermore, God loves us more than the lilies, so if they don't toil or spin, why do we (of little faith) doubt that God would much rather clothe us?  That statement/question puts God's love for us into great perspective and the statement grounds me, settles me, and lets me know God will provide my and your every need (because of his great love for us, of course!).

YET, during the day, I get forgetful of this great assurance.  Why?  Because Jesus calls us "O YE OF LITTLE FAITH".  Why are we of little faith?  Because we are not doing what Jesus tells us to do in the next verse, "Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."  OH, I am not seeking FIRST the Kingdom.  When we seek God first, other elements of our futile existence fall into place ( or fall away, if you will).  I am O-Ye-Of-Little-Faith and I can't SEE spiritually God's provisions for me.  I need to glance at the world and GAZE upon the Lord. 

Enjoy your craft and as every rose in your wreath is different, think upon all of our differences, yet our Heavenly Father loves us all, through those differences!

God Bless Your Christmas!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Presence A Day: Homemade Felt Christmas Tree Pin :Day 3

Here is a great homemade gift.  A felt Christmas tree (tutorial follows). 
Picture courtesy of The Purl Bee

 I love Christmas trees.  They are so beautiful and symbolic.  Jesus referred to trees a lot.  Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, tree of life, and Zaccheus even climbed up in a tree (Sycamore) to see Jesus (there are more references to trees than this, I just named a few!)  I am going to focus on the tree of life. 

In Proverbs Solemon says this: 3:18 She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.

Who is the SHE that is a tree of life?  Where can we find her?  I want to be happy!

If we read at the thirteenth verse of chapter 3 of Proverbs, Solemon tells us (a.k.a. one of the wisest men in the Bible).  13 Happy is the man that findeth WISDOM, and the man that getteth understanding. 14 For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. 15 She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. 16 Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. 17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.

Wisdom is a tree of life.  She is more precious than rubies, silver, and gold?  Why?  Because there are some things that can't be bought (actually there are a lot of characteristics/traits that can't be bought!)  When you exercise yourself wisely, Godly, reverently, you lengthen your days and you acquire riches (not necesseraly monetarily) and honor.  I know this world puts value on people that have money and rank.  But what about God?  How does he value us?  When you live your life with Godly wisdom you obtain a pleasant peaceful life.  I can't tell you how to live your journey with God, but God can tell you.  Listen to what he classifies as value and don't listen to the world's distorted view of value.  Seek wisdom, she is a tree of life and you will be glad to obtain that!
A verse to add to your tag for your Christmas Tree Pin:  Proverbs 3:18 She (wisdom) is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.

The Purl Bee has a wonderful tutorial, so I am going to show you what she did.

Picture courtesy of The Purl Bee

■Felt in colors you like (The trunk can be black or brown)
■Embroidery floss (I like the red)
■Stuffing (batting, paper towel, toilet paper, cloth, etc.)
■Pinking shears (to get the pretty edging)

Making the Templates:  (AS STATED BY THE PURL BEE)

To make your tree template cut a triangle with a 1½-inch base and 2-inch sides out of the scrap paper.

Picture courtesy of The Purl Bee

For the stump template cut a rectangle that is ½ wide by ¾-inch tall.
Cut two 2-inch by 2 ½-inch pieces from a non-brown piece of felt and place them on top of one another.

Trace the tree template on the top piece.

Picture courtesy of The Purl Bee

Using your pinking shears cut neatly around the traced tree shape through both layers of felt.

You will now have two identical tree shapes. Flip them over so the pencil makings are on the back.
Also cut out one stump from the brown felt using your stump template.

Sewing and Stuffing

Picture courtesy of The Purl Bee
Pin the stump piece in between the two tree pieces in the middle of the short bottom side of the tree. The stump should stick out ½-inch.
Using a contrasting color of embroidery thread stitch around the edge of the tree pieces, in the zig zag dips of the pinked edge as shown above. When you get to the bottom you will sew in the stump as you do this.
Sew all around the edge of the tree in this manner but pause when you are 1-inch from your first stitches so there is a gap for stuffing.
Take a walnut sized ball of stuffing and stuff it into the 1-inch gap. You might want to use a sharp object like a knitting needle or pencil to get all the stuffing firmly inside of the tree.

Picture courtesy of The Purl Bee

Once all the stuffing is neatly inside continue sewing around the tree’s edge until it’s totally closed. Tie a knot at the back of the piece to keep the edge stitches in place and then pull your thread out in the middle of the back of the tree shape, where you want to place your pin.

Picture courtesy of The Purl Bee
Sew on your safety pin along the pin’s stationary arm and you’ll be all done.

God Bless Your Christmas!

If you build it they will come