Tag Archives: christmas

Listening to God’s Voice…Do You Hear What I Hear?

     Recently, in my Listening on the Journey… blog posts, I’ve been focusing on what I call A Magnificent Obsession: Listening for God’s Voice. While listening to Christmas music a few days ago, I was reminded that when it comes to listening with one’s spirit, God speaks in a variety of ways.

     God’s design for each of us is unique. In addition to our distinctive physical and personality traits, each life tells a different story, developed through diverse family of origin, cultural and generational influences. Each factor seems to influence the way in which God speaks to individuals.

     I’m one of those people who absolutely loves Christmas! Many of my friends don’t care a whole lot for the hoopla of this holy holiday, but I adore most everything Christmas!

     Ron laid down a household ‘law’ a few years ago: No Christmas music played until the day following Thanksgiving. We still abide by his loosely-laid-down ‘law,’ but, naturally, since I’m a lover of Christmas, I’m always excited when we begin listening to the cherished music of this blessed season.

     A Christmas song I like very much is the simple but touching tune asking this question: Do You Hear What I Hear.[1]

     God knows the one-of-a kind you and the inimitable me, and chances are we will not hear the divine voice in the same way. While I believe this is amazing, I also realize spiritual listening can be fraught with problems.

     Unique is wonderful, but I’ve heard some mighty strange stories about how people think God spoke to them. While it’s very important to me to listen with my heart for the voice of God, it’s also important not to be weird! That’s why I believe litmus tests are important. I have two firm rules.

  • First, what God says to me must not contradict scripture, a point I covered in my last post.
  • Secondly, it’s important to seek confirmation from reliable resources. I have a ‘rule of three’ I like to follow, which I’ll unwrap more in my next post.

     Until then, I hope you are not only enjoying, but also hearing in a new way, some special sounds in your spirit during this magnificent time of the year!

Sue Reeve

Even nature, I believe, listens to the divine voice in unique ways. Each year the region in which we live is visited by flocks of majestic eagles during December and January who’ve “heard” in the special way only an eagle is designed to hear, that Lake Coeur d’Alene is filled with scrumptious kokanee salmon. A few days ago, during a walk along the lake, Ron caught this handsome fellow pondering the situation. Isn’t he an amazing creature?

  1. According to Wikipedia, Do You Hear What I Hear? was written in 1962 (lyrics by Noel Regney and music by Gloria Shayne Baker) as a plea for peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis. I listened to this Carrie Underwood version while writing today’s post, and it was beautiful. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ad7KU9bCTAM


Christmas, Friends and Recipes…

It’s three days til Christmas

And in the Reeve house

I’ve been thinking about friendship,

Hoping I won’t find a mouse! (I detest rodents!)
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     Okay! I agree, the poetry is awful, but thinking about friendship and time I’ve spent recently with friends has been quite lovely!

     Thoughts about friendship began when I retrieved a pumpkin bread recipe I make almost every holiday season. The 3×5 lined index card on which the recipe is typed is quite ratty, spattered with ancient remnants of batter. I’m sure germs linger on the card, and I probably should toss it.

     But, I’m not going to do that because of the history this recipe card holds. I have a few other similar treasures, and I suppose many of you do as well.

     Many years ago, I lived for a little over a year in Rhode Island. During most of that time, I worked in the Pathology Department at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence. In my stint as a medical transcriptionist there, I forged a casual friendship with a co-worker named Christine.

     Chris was adorable with dark hair, big brown eyes and animated characteristics consistent with her full-blooded Italian heritage. We were about the same age. We were both chatty and enjoyed visiting while eating lunch in the hospital cafeteria. We were both recent newlyweds. Homemaking was a value we shared. Our Christian faith was an important component of both our journeys.

     Also, we both enjoyed cooking.

     The Pumpkin Bread recipe was one of several exchanged during our few months of friendship. I’ve given small loaves of the sweet bread to a lot of people over the years. Almost every time, someone asks for the recipe.

     Four or five years ago when I was whipping up a batch of Chris’ Pumpkin Bread, I decided to see if I could locate my ‘old’ friend. I remembered her husband’s name was David, and I couldn’t imagine their Italian last name was that common. I checked the on-line white pages telephone directory for Providence, and sure enough, there was the name—with not only a number but an address to boot!

     I decided calling might be too awkward, so instead, I sent a little note. Shortly, Chris replied. We’ve exchanged Christmas cards and personal notes since that time. She has been a faithful Listening on the Journey… reader and told me some of the posts have helped her deal with a heartbreaking challenge she and her family are navigating.

     I love what C. S. Lewis says about friendship.

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.[1]

     I can think of no better time than Christmas to celebrate the significance of friendships. Also, I don’t imagine there’s a better time to share a cherished recipe with friends. So, to you, my friends, I share Christine’s recipe.

Pumpkin Bread

3 1/3 C. sifted flour

2 tsp. baking soda

1 ½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. each cinnamon and nutmeg

Sift dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, mix together:

1 C. oil

3 C. sugar

(FYI: I made this note on the recipe card: ‘Important to use full amount of oil and sugar.’ I assume I tried to lighten up the recipe one time, and the outcome wasn’t too successful.)

4 eggs, added whole

1/3 C. water

2 C. canned pumpkin

1 C. dates, chopped

1 C. nuts, chopped (walnuts or pecans both work well)

Fold dry ingredients into pumpkin mixture.

Grease and flour 4 one-lb. coffee cans well and pour batter into cans a little over half full. Let batter set about 20 minutes in the cans before putting in the oven. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or slightly longer (depending on oven). After bread has cooled, take out of cans and finish cooling. Put into baggies and put back in clean coffee cans and store in freezer. Can also use 10” Bundt pan – 350 for 70 minutes.

Note: I haven’t used the coffee cans for years but instead use small loaf pans. I check after about 45 minutes in oven, insert knife in center to make sure loaves are fully baked. Cool and wrap in plastic wrap and foil. Add a pretty bow and gift tag. Co-workers and neighbors love the special treat.

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     Here’s to Christmastime treats, enduring friendships and the Reason for this season…

Sue Reeve

  1. http://www.positivityblog.com/index.php/2016/01/13/friendship-quotes/

Celebrating Winter, Hanukkah & Christmas

Wednesday, December 21, 2016, marks the first official day of winter.

Welcome, Winter!

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Winter scenes from our backyard.

Saturday, December 24, 2016, marks the beginning of Hanukkah

Happy Hanukkah!

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Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt. Judah the Maccabee, defeated one of the mightiest armies on earth, driving the Greeks from the land and reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. (Above is a model of the Second Temple we saw while in Jerusalem.)

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Chanukah, another spelling for Hanukkah, is the Jewish eight-day wintertime “festival of lights,” celebrated with a nightly menorah lighting, special prayers and fried foods.

At the re dedication when the Jews sought to light the Temple’s Menorah, they found only a single cruse of olive oil had escaped contamination by the Greeks. The menorah was lit, and miraculously, the one-day supply of oil lasted for eight days.[1] (I don’t recall the story behind this magnificent menorah, but it was a beautiful sight.)

Sunday, December 25, 2016 is Christmas Day!

Merry Christmas!

For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6 NKJV)

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Merry Christmas!

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All is calm; all is bright! (Coeur d’Alene neighborhood scene, 12/2015)

Blessings to you and your family this wonderful season!

Sue Reeve


  1. http://www.chabad.org/holidays/chanukah/