Saturday, December 7, 2019

Melissa Evans Shares Her Favorite Christmas Memory

"Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her."
Proverbs 31:28 (NKJV)

Guest Post #4

"My Favorite Christmas Memory" by Melissa Evans

"I was 13, my brother Rusty was 12, and my baby brother Curtis was 10.  A close family member had attacked my Mom spreading vicious lies and gossip about her.  My mom was so devastated by the things that had been said and done that she decided we were NOT having Christmas.  It was hard to see my Mom so sad and depressed.  I told her that we HAD to have Christmas.  She didn’t feel like decorating and refused to get a tree.  My Dad wasn’t sure what to do about it.

My brothers and I decided that we would do everything ourselves, finding a tree, decorating it and the entire house.  We went into the woods near our house, cut a tree down(it was a cedar tree and very prickly), decorated it and the inside/outside of our house while Mom was at work.  When Mom got home, she was so surprised.  She cried and cried....happy tears!  She couldn’t believe how hard we worked and our determination to have Christmas.

That year was one of the most special Christmases ever!! My brothers and I, along with the Lord’s help, were able to pull Mom out of a deep, dark depression.  From that year on, we started a family tradition.  We would turn all the lights off in the house, leaving only the Christmas tree lights on, while drinking hot chocolate and each share what we were most thankful for.  That year Mom was most thankful for her children!"

Bio:  Melissa Evans is wife to Robert and mother to Jesse, Caitlin, Skylar, Kate, and Emily.  She is a blood bought child of the King!  She was born in Harlan County, Kentucky but raised from an infant in the hills of East Tennessee in a little community called Gray.  She was lead singer for the Christian Rock band, “Face Like Flint” and sang with the Southern Gospel Group, Sacred Harmony. She was involved with a long-running prison ministry and headed up “Feed the Hungry” ministry in Kingsport, Tennessee. She has always had a heart to minister to the broken, downtrodden and the poor.  Melissa is currently enjoying a solo singing career under the Chapel Valley Music label.  She owns the Get the Look Salon and Day Spa located at 5205 Bobby Hicks Hwy in Johnson City, TN.

You can connect with Melissa at her website, Melissa Evans Music and on Facebook.
For concert bookings, call Melissa at 423-677-1461.
To book an appointment at her salon, call 423-477-9700. 

Wherever You Are - Melissa Evans

Thank you so much, Melissa, for sharing this special Christmas memory with us!

In case you missed them, you can read previous Christmas Memory Sharing Posts by clicking these links:
Christmas from the Dumpster
Matthew Timmons Shares his Heart this Christmas
Tipper Pressley Shares Christmas Memories & A GIVEAWAY!!
Chris West Shares Two of his Favorite Christmas Memories

(Don't forget to stop by Tipper's post by clicking HERE to enter for her giveaway!
The drawing will be on December 10th!)

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Chris West Shares Two of His Favorite Christmas Memories

'I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread."
Psalm 37:25 (NKJV)

Guest Post #3

"Two Favorite Christmas Memories" by Chris West

"First, when I was 11 or 12 maybe, Dad (who was a pest control man by trade) was between jobs and times were a little hard, even though we never went hungry in the least.  My mom had collected S&H green stamps during this time and had gifted to her (begrudgingly donated by my grandmother on my dad’s side) some green stamps as well.  Best Christmas I can remember!  I got a bathrobe, a 110 camera (most folks won’t remember that, lol) and something else that I can’t remember.  Mom and Dad worked very hard and would take us out somewhere and do little tricks to make us think that Santa was real, but at this point, we knew Santa wasn’t real anyway and truly appreciated Mom and Dad for what they provided for us and working so hard for us to have a good Christmas.  This was also, most likely, the catalyst that made me realize Christmas was so much more than material things.

The second story was when my first born son, Aaron, was maybe 2 1/2.  He could talk and carry on a conversation like an adult at the time and his love at the time was Jurassic Park.  I swear, my ex-wife and I bought him every single thing related to Jurassic Park.  We were filming it as he opened his presents and after about the tenth one he said “oh great, another (mild expletive) dinosaur!”  Worlds apart from the first story, but still showing how much a mom and dad wanted their kids to have a good Christmas."

Bio:  Chris plays guitar and sings lead and harmony vocals for Blue Moon Rising and has written his fair share of the band’s original material through the years. Chris was taught to play guitar by his uncle, Tony Thomas, and has played in several bands with Tony through the years. Along with Tony, Chris was influenced heavily at an early age by the music of The Knoxville Grass, Boone Creek, The Country Gentlemen, and the Stanley Brothers.  Chris enjoys writing new bluegrass, gospel, and country songs while trying his best to make them sound like they could have been written decades prior.

You can read our Homespun Devotions' Exclusive interview with Chris by clicking HERE!

Also, I hope you can take the time to enjoy listening to one of our favorite songs written by Chris!

Revival - Blue Moon Rising
Written by Christ West

Connect with Blue Moon Rising on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.

A big thank you to Chris for sharing two of his favorite Christmas memories with us!

In case you missed them, you can read previous Christmas Memory Sharing Posts by clicking these links:
Christmas from the Dumpster
Matthew Timmons Shares his Heart this Christmas
Tipper Pressley Shares Christmas Memories & A GIVEAWAY!!

(Don't forget to stop by Tipper's post by clicking HERE to enter for her giveaway!
The drawing will be on December 10th.)

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Tipper Pressley Shares Two Special Christmas Memories & A GIVEAWAY!!

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."  
Isaiah 9:6 (KJV)

Guest Post #2

"A Memorable Christmas Ornament" 
by Tipper Pressley

"Most of my Christmas ornaments are handmade by Granny. The girls' elementary school was big on ornament making, so I also have more than a few that were made by them in school. And I have store bought ornaments that have special meaning, like the silver balls with the girls names and birth date engraved on them.

It would be hard for me to pick a favorite ornament. I love the crocheted white stars Granny made and the chubby cherubic faces of the girls on some of their school ornaments. But near the top of my favorites list is an ornament that was supposed to be a joke. 

When my husband and I were first married, we didn't have the many ornaments we do today. Thinking he'd play a good joke on me he made an ornament out of an old spark plug and hung it on the tree. He figured I wouldn't see it until I was taking the tree down, but I noticed it right away. 

He was surprised when I told him I loved the spark plug ornament and planned to use it every Christmas. 

For whatever reason, my husband making the spark plug ornament is one of my favorite Christmas memories, and all these years later I'm still putting it on the Christmas tree."

"Granny's Special Christmas Memory"
as told to Tipper by "Granny" (Tipper's mother)

"The other evening I stopped by Granny's after work like I usually do. I've taken to carrying a notebook with me every time I visit so I can ask her to tell me a story and write it down. That evening I said "Tell me a Christmas story about when you were a little girl." Granny said "Well you know the one about the year mother cut down the holly tree for a Christmas tree because I wrote about it in my poetry book."

I told her I remembered that one, but always wondered if Granny Gazzie didn't miss the tree being in the yard. Granny said "No it didn't come out of the yard, it come from way up in the woods behind Shady Grove Church. I reckon mother knew it was there, it was a good size one, and went up there and cut it down herself and brought it home. Although my brother always tells me it was our older brother George who cut it down and brought it home. I still think it was mother."

I said I bet it was pretty with red berries and Granny said "No it didn't have no berries on it at all. We decorated it with what we had and it was a pretty sight. I'll tell you a story I've never told another living soul in all these years. Mother always got each of us a bag of candy and since we didn't get much candy we really looked forward to it. That year I went to bed with my shoes and clothes on so I could be the first one up to get the candy. See, I wanted to steal some of the other's candy and put it my bag so I'd have the most. It was way in the night and I got up and tiptoed into the room. No one heard me up and nobody got up to check on me either. I got one piece of candy out of a bag and realized it just wasn't worth the feeling I had of guilt. Then I got scared. Thinking of all my family that I loved so much in the bed asleep while I was up trying to be a robber scared me bad. I went and got back in the bed and never did tell no one about what I had almost done. None of them knew that I had been up at all and the next morning we were all together and happy for Christmas."

As Granny told me the story I smiled at the thought of a little girl thinking of herself as a robber. I asked Granny how old she was when it happened. Granny said she was in first grade."

Tipper is the author of the Blind Pig & The Acorn blog, where she shares her love for preserving and celebrating Appalachia.  She is crazy in love with her home in Appalachia-the people, the food, the music, the colorful language, the sustainable lifestyle, the history, the soaring mountains, and the deep dark hollers.  She loves to garden and preserve the bounty her family grows; she plays the bass in the family band; she is a wannabe folk artist; she teaches Appalachian Cooking Classes at The John C. Campbell Folk School and other locales, and of course she writes.  You can connect with hero on FacebookTwitterYouTubeInstagram, Pinterest, and her Etsy Shop.

Tipper is kindly offering a special giveaway for our readers!
She is giving away a copy of Pap (her Dad) & Paul's (her brother's) Christmas CD!!!!!!

If any of you are Blind Pig & The Acorn readers, you already know what a treasure this is!
Tipper is giving away one copy, and if anyone else would like to order a CD, please visit Tipper's Etsy Shop!

To enter the giveaway, just leave us a comment below.
If you are an anonymous commenter and you would like to enter the giveaway, please include your contact information in your comment.  Otherwise, you won't be able to enter the giveaway, as we have no way of knowing who you are or contacting you.
Offer is for US residents only, due to shipping costs.  😢

Zach will draw a winner one week from today on December 10th, so please hurry and leave your comment below!!  You don't want to miss your chance to win this amazing CD!!

Many blessings to you all and a big thanks to Tipper and Granny for sharing their Christmas memories with us!

Here is a sample of the beautiful harmony you will hear on the CD!

It Came Upon the Midnight Clear by Paul & Jerry Wilson

And, as a special bonus, here is a video of Tipper's two sweet twin daughters, The Pressley Girls, singing "Christmas Time's A Coming!"

Christmas Time's A Coming - The Pressley Girls

In case you missed them, you can read previous Christmas Memory Sharing Posts by clicking these links:
Christmas from the Dumpster
Matthew Timmons Shares his Heart this Christmas

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Matthew Timmons Shares His Heart This Christmas

“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?  When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?  Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’  And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me."
Matthew 25:37-40 (NKJV)

Guest Post #1

"Show the Love of Jesus this Christmas!" by Matthew R. Timmons

"With childlike faith, as we enter this season of stress, over spending, weight gain, long lines, and impossible expectations, let us just begin to imagine. You know, with childlike faith that there are people out there who can only WISH they could experience half of these things that most of us are getting ready to encounter. Growing up as a child, I'm really blessed to say my brother and I had it pretty well.  Maybe we did not receive every monetary gift that we ever wanted, just like most of us, but we always had love. "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”  John 13:33–35 (NKJV)

The most magnificent miracle that was ever gifted, was gifted to us by our Heavenly Father.  This gift was and still is, by far, greater than anything we could ever ask for or receive monetarily on
Christmas. On December 25 around 2000 years ago chains began to break, lives began to heal, miracles began to happen, and love began to grow.

On this upcoming December, 25, 2019, I encourage you to do your part in continuing on with this perfect example Jesus has set for us, in any way God puts upon your heart. Throughout my own life I've come to realize through age and growth in Jesus that love can change lives. As the season approaches, my heart becomes somewhat heavy but also optimistic because I know
through the love of Jesus, love will shine!

I'm reminded of my elderly neighbor who has no family nearby. He lives on social security, and if not for the kindness and love of other neighbors, he might end up spending the holidays alone in confinement.

I'm reminded of a woman I work with who was just diagnosed with breast cancer.  She will be spending this season fighting for her recovery, but through love and compassion from her coworkers and family, she will be fighting with dignity, courage, and faith.

I'm reminded of the single mother working two jobs just to live right above the poverty line, and if not for the love and help from the community, her children may not have a Christmas.

I'm reminded of all the children out there who do not have a family at all but through the love and
compassion of Jesus Christ, people just like you and me will humbly step up and follow the leadership of Jesus and show those orphans love!

I just want to encourage all who are reading this to ask God to put an act of love and compassion on your heart, something meaningful that you can do for someone else, something that will truly bless your fellow man.  "Then He said, 'I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion."  Exodus 33:19 NKJV

Merry Christmas to all, and to all God bless!" 

Bio:  I was born and raised in Lakeland, FL, and am currently residing in Dahlonega, GA.  My birth father passed away when I was 5, and my mother remarried not long after.  I have one half brother. My mom and the man I call my father are both still alive, married, and living in Florida. From a very early age I have always been somewhat different than most boys. I've always had a very compassionate heart and a desire to help others, I love to decorate, make things, and cook. I have two dogs and currently work at the post office. I was raised in a very small Pentecostal Church, which I attended until my late teens. After high school, life took a turn for the worst, (which is now my testimony) and I got lost in a secular world for about 15 years. Throughout the course of those years, although lost, I knew deep down God still had his hand on my life and through many heartaches and troubled times I finally came back to the life that God designed for me to live. I've never been a writer or even remotely had the slightest desire for it, until I was saved and born again. I actually really struggled with writing and comprehension in school, which just goes to show when God has a plan and purpose for our lives, He may end up using the very things we struggle with the most to bless others for his glorification.  "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  Philippians 4:13 NKJV

A huge THANK YOU to Matthew for sharing his kind heart with us this Christmas!  

In case you missed it, you can read a previous Christmas Memory Sharing Post by clicking this link: