"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

--- Isaiah 40:31

Ready For A Noggin of Eggnog? Cynthia’s at Colonial Quills Today

Posted by on Jan 1, 2014 in Colonial Quills | Comments Off

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Cynthia Howerter shares her recipe for Eggnog Punch—along with a history of this American holiday tradition—today at Colonial Quills.  Come visit!

Click here to go directly to Cynthia’s Colonial Quills article –>  Colonial Quills

 

Photograph by Cynthia Howerter © 2014

 

To God be the Glory

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Christmas Wishes

Posted by on Dec 22, 2013 in Christmas | Comments Off

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May this Christmas season bring you and your loved ones joy and blessings as we celebrate the birth of Christ.

Cynthia Howerter

 

For to us a child is born, for to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders.  And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)

 

Soar With Eagles will be back after New Year’s.  See you then!

 

To God be the Glory

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Christmas Is Coming – In A Different Way

Posted by on Dec 18, 2013 in Christmas | 8 comments

1Christmas is coming….

Today I will tackle—  I will tackle—  what?!  Hmm. Let’s see.  Half of each of the three bathrooms are clean—that leaves 3 bathtubs and the floors to scrub.  And two guest beds need to be made up—but do I use summer cotton or flannel sheets?  Here in Virginia, it’s going to be 70 degrees on Sunday (December 22nd).  Better hold off on making up the beds until the weather decides which sheets I should use.

The geese are getting fat….

All of the presents need to be wrapped, and the tree, while up, still needs to be decorated.  Ten pounds of flour and eight pounds of sugar are waiting to be made into cookies.  If I make them today, I will eat them.  Maybe I better hold off on the baking.

Please put a penny in the old man’s hat.

Three days until Justin, our son, arrives, and nine until our daughter, Megan, and new son-in-law, Tyler, and Miss Kitty arrive.  One adult child home for Christmas, and two adult children and one grandchild—a shedding German Shepherd that’s supposed to call me Ma-má (French pronunciation) but licks me instead—will come two days after Christmas.  I’m not so sure I like this child-being-married stuff.

Ugh.  But I want them all home for Christmas!

Tim, my husband, wraps his arms around me and tells me that we’re in a new phase of our lives, that our children are adults who live and work hours away, and that those who are married will have to alternate which family—his or hers—they’ll spend holidays with.

If you have haven’t got a penny, a half-penny will do…

Tim says we need to be grateful now for the time the two of us have together.  That means the house will be empty a lot, and there will be no children to help us with chores, no children with whom we can do spontaneous fun things every single day.  I’m not sure I’ll like this, but—

If you haven’t got a half-penny, then….

Since the kids aren’t here now to help me, I’ll need to pace myself to get everything done in time for Christmas and their arrivals.  Today, I’ll roll out the gingerbread dough that’s in our refrigerator and make gingerbread men, and then I’ll mix up a batch of cut-out sugar cookie dough and make stars of Bethlehem and reindeer and church bells.  Then, I’ll eat them I’ll put some of them in a fancy tin and take them next door to the sweet young mother with a house full of little ones—just like my older friends did for me when my children were young and I didn’t have time to get everything done for Christmas.  Now I can help the nearby younger moms I know.  It’s time to use what I have to pass on what was given to me.

God bless you.

 

And to everyone to whom much has been given, much shall be required from him.  Luke 12:48 (DBT)

To God be the Glory

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REVISED VERSION of Are The Holidays Making You Feel Overwhelmed? Here’s How To Fix That

Posted by on Dec 11, 2013 in Christmas, Encouragement | 2 comments

Dear Readers, I’m re-posting this article because, well, the truth is that several nasty gremlins got into my computer and sent out the incomplete  and unedited version that all of you received yesterday.  This is the complete and final version which, hopefully, will be a little more coherent.  :)  And I believe Beckham and Willoughby, our two Himalayans, chased the gremlins into the fireplace and out through the chimney—after the fire died out, of course.  Last seen, the gremlins were running down the road screaming, “What’s wrong with the faces on those Himalayans?!”  Apparently, this was the first time the gremlins had come to our house or they would know that Himalayans purposely have “smashed-in faces.”

 

158451693While sipping coffee in front of our blazing fireplace this morning, I ran through a mental to-do list for Christmas.  Except that my list was more of a can’t-possibly-get-it-all-done-in-time list—which caused me to feel overwhelmed.  And it was only 7:30 a.m.—not exactly a great start to my day.

This kind of thinking wears us down.  It can snowball into dreading the entire Christmas season.  And, if you’re honest, it’s happened to you.  Maybe as recently as this morning.

So how do we find the positive note in a chorus of heavy, oppressing stanzas?  For me, it starts with my Thankful List.

During our unemployment, my family and I faced one difficulty after another, and it was easy to feel overwhelmed and defeated.  It occurred to me that the way to counter a negative thought is by deliberately thinking a positive thought.  Positive thoughts energize us and can propel us into action while negative thoughts weigh us down and can stop us from accomplishing things.

 

Deliberately counter a negative thought with a positive thought

 

That was the beginning of my Thankful List.  I identified ten things that were going right in my life.  Admittedly, there were many days when “I am still breathing” was the first item on my list.  I decided that I would not get out of bed until I came up with ten things for which I was sincerely thankful—and in doing so, I recognized that each one was provided not by me but by God.  By being aware of the good things in my life, the things that overwhelmed me lost their power.

 

Our awareness of the good things in our lives causes the bad things to lose their power

 

So, this morning, when I began to feel overwhelmed and discouraged that Christmas is just days away and my to-do list is too-big, I did my mental Thankful List:

I am thankful for:

  1. The cozy and cheerful fire in our fireplace and my hot cup of fresh coffee.  (Yes, technically these are two things, but I’m counting it as one).
  2. My husband.
  3. My children.
  4. The good health that my husband, children, and I enjoy.
  5. My husband’s job.  (I know what it’s like to have no job or income).
  6. Our house.  (Remember, I’ve been through homelessness).
  7. The wonderful gift of being able to speak to God about everything!
  8. The fact that it’s still early in the morning and I can get a lot of things accomplished today.
  9. I can stay inside today and not have to drive on the icy roads.
  10. My devotional book—Jesus Calling by Sarah Young—and its passage that helped me focus on the One who makes all things possible.

 

Take a minute and come up with your own list of ten things that are going right in your life.  Then give praise to the Lord for each of these blessings.

There, don’t you feel much better?

Now, let’s both start accomplishing things so our to-do list gets shorter.

 

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  James 1:17 (NIV)

To God be the Glory

 

 

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‘Tis The Season For A Christmas Gift That Delivers Hope

Posted by on Dec 11, 2013 in Cynthia's Book - God's Provision in Tough Times | 2 comments

Alas, the words to one of our favorite Christmas songs – “’tis the season to be jolly” – ring hollow this year.  What we all need is a Christmas gift that delivers hope.

Unless you’ve been playing possum, you know how bad things are:  people are not only losing their health insurance, but many are unable to afford to purchase new health coverage.  Numerous businesses are cutting employee’s work hours in order to comply with the healthcare law and still remain in business.  And millions of people are either unemployed or underemployed.

Are you plagued with problems?  Are you scared?  Worried?  Dreading the future?  Do you know someone who is unemployed, or who has lost their health insurance?  Do you know young college graduates who are underemployed because they can’t find a job in their major or who can’t afford to purchase health insurance?

When adversity enters our lives, our situation can look hopeless, and we wonder if our lives will ever improve and return to normal.  We get so caught up in anxiety and fear that we forget there is One who can help us with our every need.

In the anthology book I co-authored with La-Tan Roland Murphy—God’s Provision in Tough Times—the twenty-five true stories were written to help people who are in the midst of struggles.  Each story demonstrates how God worked—often in incredible ways—to help the writers successfully get through their crushing situations.  Some writers found themselves in circumstances so bad that it would have been easier to give up than to keep going.  But rather than quit, they turned to their faith in a God who promises  to provide for each believer’s every need.

51SwEN2p0IL__SY380_Do you need a Christmas gift that provides hope and encouragement for someone—or even yourself?  This book just may be one of the best gifts you ever give.

God’s Provision in Tough Times is reasonably priced and available in both paperback and Kindle at Amazon, in paperback at Barnes & Noble online, and in paperback at Christianbook.com.  You can also ask your local Christian book store to carry it.

Click on one of the links below to go directly to either Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Christianbook.com to purchase copies.

To purchase a paperback copy of God’s Provision in Tough Times at Amazon:  Amazon paperback

To purchase a Kindle copy at Amazon: Amazon Kindle

To purchase a paperback copy at Barnes & Noble:  Barnes & Noble paperback

To purchase a paperback copy at Christianbook.com:  Christianbook.com paperback

I pray this book is a blessing to you.

God’s Provision in Tough Times includes heartfelt stories by Alycia W. Morales, Beth K. Fortune, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Cecil Stokes, Dan Walsh, Deborah Raney, Dee Dee Parker, Eddie Jones, Eva Marie Everson, Felicia Bowen Bridges, James L. Rubart, Ramona Richards, Roger E. Bruner, Tamara D. Fickas, Torry Martin, La-Tan Roland Murphy, and Cynthia Howerter.

And do not neglect doing good and sharing; for with such sacrifices God is pleased.  Hebrews 13:16 (NASB)

 

To God be the Glory

 

 

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