Sunday, December 10, 2017

Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land." Jeremiah 33:14-15

“’When your days are fulfilled to walk with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from him who was before you, but I will confirm him in my house and in my kingdom forever, and his throne shall be established forever.’” In accordance with all these words, and in accordance with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David. 
1 Chronicles 17:11-15  

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’" 
Jeremiah 33:14-16 

There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
    and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
    the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
    the Spirit of counsel and might,
    the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
    or decide disputes by what his ears hear,
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
    and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
    and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,
    and faithfulness the belt of his loins. 
Isaiah 11:1-5

Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus
words by Charles Wesley
sung by Fernando Ortega

Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus
Come thou long-expected Jesus,
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel's strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a Child and yet a King.
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all-sufficient merit
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Book Review: Picturing Heaven

Cranberry Tea Time :: Book Review: Picturing Heaven

A few weeks ago Tyndale sent a complimentary copy of Picturing Heaven to me to read and review. This is a new devotion book by one of my favorite authors, Randy Alcorn. This book contains short, one-page devotions, and there is a coloring page for each devotion in the book. 

This book has been encouraging to Adelaide and to me. I'm not one who likes to color very much, but my daughter loves it, so I knew this book would be a good one for us to do together. We enjoy reading the devotion and then talking together while we color the corresponding picture for that day's reading.

Heaven is a topic I have talked about often with my children over the years, especially when they were younger and first starting to grapple with the fact that they have a mom who is disabled and needs a lot of rest. Picturing Heaven is a great way to learn more about Heaven and start more conversations about life, disability, hope, Jesus, and the life to come.

Cranberry Tea Time :: Book Review: Picturing Heaven       

Adelaide and I are enjoying reading and coloring our way through this book!

The devotions in Picturing Heaven will help you to set your mind on things above and encourage you to keep an eternal perspective in life. The book is filled with beautiful illustrations, and those who like to color will enjoy coloring the pictures as they reflect on what they have read.

If you want to see more pictures from the book, you can look at a sample of the devotion book Amazon. Or you can download a sample portion from Eternal Perspective Ministries website and do some coloring at home.

Picturing Heaven by Randy Alcorn, Illustrated by Lizzie Preston
Imagine Heaven the way the Bible describes it—a place of exquisite beauty brimming with marvelous detail and intricate patterns; a special dwelling place free of corruption and sin; and a place of both rest and enjoyable, meaningful work. 
Let the power and majesty of Heaven fill your heart with joy as you color these 40 designs carefully interpreted from the pages of Scripture. Savor a respite from daily life as you read and meditate on devotions from best–selling author Randy Alcorn, a leading authority on Heaven. Picturing Heaven will offer you comfort and relaxation, while filling your heart with restful assurance that God prepares a special place for those who love Him.  

Randy Alcorn
Randy Alcorn is an author and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries (EPM), a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching principles of God's Word and assisting the church in ministering to unreached, unfed, unborn, uneducated, unreconciled, and unsupported people around the world. His ministry focus is communicating the strategic importance of using our earthly time, money, possessions, and opportunities to invest in need-meeting ministries that count for eternity. He accomplishes this by analyzing, teaching, and applying biblical truth.

Before starting EPM in 1990, Randy served as a pastor for fourteen years. He has a bachelor of theology and a master of arts in biblical studies from Multnomah University and an honorary doctorate from Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon, and has taught on the adjunct faculties of both. A New York Times bestselling author, Randy has written more than fifty books, including Heaven, The Treasure Principle, and the award-winning novel Safely Home. His books have sold more than ten million copies and have been translated into more than sixty languages.

Randy has written for many magazines, including EPM's Eternal Perspectives. He is active on Facebook and Twitter and has been a guest on more than seven hundred radio, television, and online programs.

Randy resides in Gresham, Oregon, with his wife, Nanci. They have two married daughters and are the proud grandparents of five grandsons. Randy enjoys time spent with his family, biking, snorkeling, underwater photography, researching, and reading.

Follow Randy on Facebook:; on Twitter:; and on his blog:

Sunday, December 3, 2017

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Today is the first Sunday of the Advent season. I invite you to join me here each Sunday during Advent for a short Scripture reading and a song as we look forward to the celebration of our Savior’s birth. If you are reading this in an email, you can click over to the blog to see the video.

Cranberry Tea Time: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. 
Isaiah 7:14 

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
    and they shall call his name Immanuel” 
(which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus. 
Matthew 1:18-25

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
sung by Barlow Girl

O come, O come, Emmanuel.
And ransom captive Israel;
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan's tyranny;
From depths of Hell Thy people save,
And give them victory o'er the grave.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come Desire of nations bind
All peoples in one heart and mind;
Bid envy strife and quarrels cease,
Fill all the world with Heaven’s peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee O Israel.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Busy Hands: A Blanket for Stafford

Busy Hands: A Blanket for Stafford

This fall I crocheted a baby blanket for Stafford. It was made with the same pattern I used to make blankets for William and Adelaide when I was pregnant with them. I also used this pattern last winter to make a baby blanket for a friend

Busy Hands: A Blanket for Stafford

The pattern is called "Homespun Crochet Three Color Baby Blanket," and it is from Lion Brand Yarns. I found it on a yarn wrapper 12 years ago, but it is not available to link to online. If you are looking for a quick and simple baby blanket pattern, this one from Lion Brand Homespun is very similar to the one I made.

Busy Hands: A Blanket for Stafford

Homemade baby blankets are one of my favorite things. I look forward to snuggling with Stafford under the warmth of this baby blanket.

I have several other items I am hoping to crochet for Stafford before he arrives. I hope I will have energy to keep my hands very busy over the next four months!

What projects have you been working on lately? How are you keeping your hands busy?

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Teatime Conversations: Being a Mom

It is time for the first question in the Teatime Conversations series. You all asked some good questions! I have received four questions so far, and I plan on answering each of them in the coming months. It has been hard to keep up with blogging in the midst of getting ready for a new baby, but I should be able to answer the first four questions before Stafford comes. If I am able, I will answer more questions too. 

Do you have a question for a Teatime Conversations post? You may email it to me at RachelLundy(at)cranberryteatime(dot)com, or you can send it in anonymously through the form here.

Teatime Conversations: "What are the best and hardest things about being a mom?"

Reader Question: Hi! What are the best and hardest things about being a mom?

There are many things I love about being a mom. I love children, and I really enjoy spending time with my kids. As energy permits, I love to play games with them, read with them, talk with them, and simply enjoy their company.

I love watching my children grow up, learn new things, and become more independent. But I also love the little stage, and I am looking forward to having a little one again next year. Holding a baby is a special thing, and I love the toddler age too. Toddlers say the funniest things, and toddler quotes are something my family is looking forward to enjoying! I think it will be fun to begin the baby stage again while also raising elementary and middle school age children.

It is such a privilege to raise a child to know, love, and serve God. Seeing a child come to know Jesus, and then grow in their relationship with Him, is a wonderful thing. It is a joy to have a front row seat to seeing God work in a child's life, and it is an honor to be able to have an impact for the Kingdom through the work of parenting.

One of the hardest things for me about being a mom is the total exhaustion and limitations that come with motherhood and chronic illness. I wish I could be a healthy, active mom. I wish I could volunteer at my children's school. I wish I could be a chaperone for field trips. I wish I could get up in the morning, make breakfast for my children, and send them off to school. It still grieves my heart to not be able to do those things.

I remember a time when Adelaide was about two years old, and she wanted so much to be with me, but I was too tired to let her come be with me in bed. She was a very active toddler, and she would not have been able to be still and silent like I needed that day. Will had to close the bedroom door and keep Adelaide out. She didn't understand. She just knew that she wanted to be with her mom, and I heard her crying for me outside of the door. As a mom that was incredibly hard to know my daughter wanted me, but that I was not able to meet her needs.

It is hard to always know what to do as a parent in various situations, but that can be a good thing too! It keeps me humble and reminds me of my need for God, His strength, and His wisdom. Motherhood is hard work, but it is worth it. The souls of our children are worth it. God's glory is worth it.

And now we would love to hear from you! If you are a mom, what would you say are the best and hardest things about being a mom? If you have a chronic illness, how does that affect your role as a mother?
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