A Christmas Day SErmon

On the following Sabbath, the Rev. Mr. Morris, who added to his other qualifications as a pastor the rare faculty of winning the love of the little ones, preached his Christmas sermon. They knew that it was intended for them quite as much as for the mothers and fathers ; so that, when his text, ” Unto you is born, this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord,” was announced, they were all attention. After noticing the wonderful change in the world’s history, dating from this hour, the advance of the arts and sciences, and everything that makes life valuable and happy, side by side with the spread of Christianity, he left the general view of the subject to urge its personal application. Unto each one, then present, had that day been born a Saviour. His life upon earth ended in the cruel death of the cross, endured to save each one from sin and its fearful penalty, and to re-unite them to the loving God. With a joyful welcome, praising God for His most precious gift, or with a careless indifference, passing by this choicest of heaven’s blessings, wholly taken up with the business or pleasures of the world. He closed with an earnest appeal to each, not only to look upon the infant Jesus, but to Jesus the Saviour. Not to make this Christmas season only a festival, a carol, a song, but the time when, if already the followers of Jesus, they should renew their vows of allegiance ; and, if still strangers to His grace, that it should be the date of their own birth into the kingdom of heaven. Then should the song, begun upon earth, be continued with ever increasing volume and joy through the ages of eternity — the song of redeeming love. Ina Hervey, Jack Frost, or God’s Hand in Winter

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Scrapbook of Christmas quotes from teaching magazines

These were taken from various education magazines published between 1895 and 1920


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Free Kindle Books; A good book is the very essence of a good man.

— His virtues survive in it; while the foibles and faults of his actual life are for gotten. — T. L. Cuyler
colorful book border

  • Unless otherwise noted, books are free but this can change without notice. Doublecheck.
  • If you click a link and it doesn’t finish loading, just hit refresh. Sometimes the page just kind of hangs for some reason, I am not sure why.
  • If I don’t say, “I loved this book” or “I read this,” Or something along those lines, I haven’t read the book. I haven’t read most of these. I’m just your book bird-dog, sniffing up potential good reads.
  • I use various search methods to come up with titles. Then I read the blurbs, a couple of the best and worst of the reviews, and sometimes scan the free pages.
  • I screen out so many this way that I end up *not* posting more books I’ve looked over than I post. And yet, still some duds slip through.

vintage BOOK with owls lettering

Top Fifty Most Delicious Enchilada Recipes– FREE as of this posting.  Looks fun.  Who doesn’t love enchiladas?  (shush, one of my own kids)

vintage BOOK with owls lettering

Contentiously Contending: A Word to Today’s Apologetics Emphasis by Anton Bosch- FREE as of this posting
Blurb: Are You Contending for the Faith in a Wrong Way?
Contentiously Contending is given as a clarion call to a growing empidemic of christians using social media, blogs and other online venues to create great harm to the testimony of Christ and of His servants. Though corrective words are needed to men publically Anton Bosch teaches us how to do this in the same way Christ and the Apostles did in love and humility. This book will help you to truly contend for the faith.

vintage BOOK with owls lettering

Broken Things by Andrew Boesharr, Free as of this posting.  A novella, Christian fiction, the single 1 star review objected to the religious point of view being in the story.

A more favorable reader reviews: The description to this book was so skimpy I almost didn’t download it, but I remembered I had read Andrea Boeshaar before and liked her writing style. I’m so glad I did, because this was well worth reading. I loved the themes of redemption, forgiveness and second chances.

As a widow, a job comes up that takes Allison Drake Littenberg back to Chicago. She hopes she can mend fences with family members and friends, particularly Jack Callahan, the handsome cop she left back in 1969. Now, 30 years later, Jack is bitter from bad decisions and a nasty divorce. Even so, Allie prays God will use her own broken past to touch lives, as only He can.

All the main characters in the novel are wounded and carrying burdens and hurts. Yet, God weaves their lives in such a way they help each other, and healing takes place, even out of the bad.

There are several minor editing errors, something I’ve never seen in Andrea’s works before. However, there’s not so many, and they’re minor enough that they shouldn’t slow anyone too much. The biggest flaw is the book ends “too be continued.” As far as I can see, there’s not an e-version of the follow-up, PRECIOUS THINGS, only a print one. I hate when authors do this to try to ensure you’ll buy the next one. However, with the way BROKEN THINGS ends and the prologue to PRECIOUS THINGS included, the reader still has closure. The book is so good I would still highly recommend it. This is contemporary Christian romance at its best.

vintage BOOK with owls lettering

.99 for Kindle: God’s Word in Our Hands: The Bible Preserved for Us
Blurb: In this follow-up book to the landmark From the Mind of God to the Mind of Man, the Text and Translation Committee discusses the historical preservation of the Word of God. The solid facts of the process by which the Bible has come to its present form are explained in detail. The book includes textual criticism of the existing manuscripts and autographs, including the Textus Receptus, the Majority, Eclectic, and Minority texts, and the Masoretic Text. It also provides needed answers to the arguments of those who adhere to extreme or exclusive positions. This book is excellent for pastors, teachers, and laypersons alike. It will prove that all conservative versions are, without a doubt, translations of the plenary verbally inspired Word of God.

4.00 for Kindle: The Answer to the Atheist’s Handbook by Richard Wurmbrand
Blurb: Rev. Wurmbrand languished for fourteen years in Communist prisons. Though beaten and starved, he never broke. Having passed through hell on earth, this courageous Romanian pastor emerged with a burning love for God and his fellow man.

In this remarkable book, conceived while he was in solitary confinement, Wurmbrand demolishes the arguments for atheism as presented by the Soviet Academy of Science in its Atheist’s Handbook.

Throughout the Communist world, people who wanted to get ahead had to master The Atheist’s Handbook. Its teachings were drilled into children at school. But Wurmbrand demonstrates that the atheist creed leaves more questions unanswered than it professes to settle. On the positive side, he marshals the testimony of artists, musicians, writers, philosophers, scientists, statesmen, and saints–all of whom bear eloquent witness to the reality of God.

With the sparkling sense of humor that helped sustain him through unspeakable sufferings, Wurmbrand tells the story of God’s love for us in language anyone can understand. Is there a God? Does He care about man? Can we trust what the Scriptures tell us about Him? Yes, says Rev. Richard Wurmbrand, in a ringing affirmation of faith that comes from the heart–and from the head.

9.99 for Kindle- one of the most inspiring books I ever read. Eternity in Their Hearts (by the author of The Peace Child).


Subject to change without notice: Free Titles were free at the time I copied and pasted the links. But they don’t always stay free. The older, public domain books should, because they are all in the public domain, but sometimes….

Shameless money grubbing: I thought this was common knowledge, but it turns out it’s not- these are affiliate links. If you click on a free title and download it, I get….. nothing. If you click on a free title and while you are at Amazon also buy something else, I get….. something. Depending on what you buy, it will probably be somewhere between 4% and 7.5% of what you spend (I don’t get a percentage on penny sales) but I don’t pretend to understand how all of that side works. People have tried to explain, but they start with numbers and my ears buzz and I can’t hear.

Also, Swagbucks remains my favorite source for free Amazon gift cards. And if you haven’t joined, please click on the link and join so that I can keep getting free Amazon gift cards because I am still shameless. Of course, if you regularly shop on line, you can also sign up for ebates, and then always check ebates first, before you do your regular shopping. You can get quite a tidy sum back on the purchases you were going to make anyway, which is not a bad deal. And then you can use the money for books- or for other things.=)

Don’t have a Kindle? : You don’t have to have a Kindle to take advantage of these offers. You can read them on various free reading apps. I often read mine on my laptop if they are short enough books. Or I will start there to see if I want to finish it later or remove it from my Kindle already. If you’re curious, this is the Kindle I have, and I have used others and mine remains my favorite. Mine has Keyboard 3G, Free 3G + Wi-Fi and I don’t have commercial screensavers. Personally, I don’t like Kindle Fires because I am a crank like that.

If you like these free listings, you should also like my Facebook page, because I list other free titles there several times each week.

Yes, my Kindle gets slow because I stuff it too full since I have no sense of proportion when it comes to owning books, both real and virtual.

You can left click on a title on your Kindle and delete it from your device, while still keeping it in your list of titles at Amazon in case you want to add it back to your Kindle later without paying for the title all over again. Don’t delete it from folder at Amazon unless you want to rid yourself of it permanently. Now that I have my tricksy little new phone, I have added it to my list of devices to which I can download devices. Woot!

commentary sources: Most of the blurbs and book descriptions above are not mine, but come from reviews on Amazon’s page.

To organize the books on your kindle

Thanks for reading!

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Davao Diary, Day Six


Day 6: We took a cab down to the shore, and then we took a boat over to Paradise resort on Samal island for the afternoon.

ferry-to-paradise-islandOur ferry, to the left.

Paradise Resort is popular with Korean tourists, so much so that the signs are all in Korean as well as English and Visayan.
It has a world class restaurant on the beach, showers, bathrooms, overnight rooms, an apiary, a giant chess game, volleyball, gardens, and I don’t know what else.

cherub-on-beachBecause Filipinos (and Koreans) do not want darker skin (all the foundations and face creams I have seen promise to whiten your skin), the beach is essentially covered- the roof which I hope is pictured below covers the restaurant and most of the beach as well. There was perhaps 4 or 5 yards of unshaded beach, and nobody was laying out. It’s just not done. you swim (mostly in rash guard type clothes so you don’t get too brown) or you sit in the shade.


oceanIn the boat waiting to start for the island, I saw a pipefish and later I found a cowry shell and regretted leaving behind all my old ocean life field guides from when we lived in Okinawa.
( I asked my daughter to pick just one of the lighter ocean or coral reef field guides to put in the balikbayan box).  There wasn’t that much to find, because they rake the beach basically all day long, keeping it smooth and free of anything larger than the space between the teeth on the rake.

But the sea itself is gorgeous, and you can just make out the mountains of the main island of Mindanao (where Davao City is) in the clouds.  You could see them more clearly earlier in the day.

God made a stunning array of beautiful creations in this world. Don’t you wonder, if there is such beauty here, in this fallen world, just what’s coming in the next one?
We had an incredible lunch, out of this world delicious. The Boy ordered a dish that said it would serve 3 people. He ate at least half, and said he was taking the rest home to marry it. I had breaded fish with watermelon salsa, more of a dressing than a salsa to me, but quite tasty. The fish was very fresh. The Headmaster had fried shrimp, which we dipped in calamansi and soy sauce, He also had some general baked seafood, and the Cherub had grilled octopus, which was sweet and tender and she ate it all.  I’d share pictures, but I’ve been trying to wrap this up for 9 hours, and every time I try to add a picture, the blog clocks out and refuses to work.

We met some very fun and friendly Filipino college students who shared the ferry with us on the way back. They were lively, fun, and adorable.
We had a long and frustrating taxi ride back- traffic was pretty tangled. The taxi driver taught me my new word for the day:
Sarap: delicious.

according to an online dictionary, it’s Tagalog for:
1. a good flavor, pleasant taste: linamnam, sarap, kasarapan
2. liking, appetite: gana, pagkakagana, gusto, pagkakagusto
3. something to add flavor to food: pampalasa, pampasarap

It’s also part of the advertising slogan for an ice-cream brand here, which is why I asked what sarap meant, because I kept seeing it on ice-cream ads along the road. 🙂

It’s a good word for the day, because that is the kind of day it was.

Day six continued: The Boy has been going to a night market of street food stalls in the evening. Tonight he brought home some for us. I have had pig intestine, y’all, grilled and barbied on a stick, and it was really yummy. I had some kind of bbq pork, flattened, on a stick, grilled to melt in your mouth perfection. Yum.
And I had this salad which I must learn how to make. I had no idea what the ingredients are, except, the boy tells me, the darker green is some kind of seaweed. I think at least one vegetable is some kind of cucumber. No idea of the sauce. But it’s really tasty (tonight’s was also spicy, but he says he’s had it before without the spiciness).- one of our new filipina friends form the island friended me on facebook and told me it’s this salad and the seaweed is guso, and I have since purchased some.

I posted this to my fb feed, and in short order one of the girl students we met at the island resort ferry identified the seaweed for me and recommended we have it with boiled eggs on the side.

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Taking Every Thought Captive

ex-libris-commonroomblog“The mind can only be conquered by regular meditation, by deciding beforehand what direction its activity ought to take, and insisting that its activity takes that direction ; also by never leaving it idle, undirected, masterless, to play at random like a child in the streets after dark. This is extremely difficult, but it can be done, and it is marvellously well worth doing. The fault of the epoch is the absence of meditativeness. A sagacious man will strive to correct in himself the faults of his epoch. In some deep ways the twelfth century had advantages over the twentieth. It practised meditation. The twentieth does Sandow exercises. Meditation (I speak only for myself) is the least dispensable of the day’s doings. What do I force my mind to meditate upon?”


The Reasonable Life, by Arnold Bennett

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