Saturday, November 21, 2020

Developing A Thanksgiving Lifestyle


Thanksgiving Day is this week! I believe that thanksgiving should be more than something we focus on for one day a year. For that reason, I have made a "tradition" of repeating this post about a simple way to make thanksgiving more than just a holiday. I believe it should be the lifestyle of the believer.

 It was really eye opening to me the day I stumbled upon Deuteronomy 28:47, (Amplified Bible, Classic Edition), in my Bible reading. In this verse we find out that one of the reasons that God's people were living a less than life was "Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joyfulness of mind and heart in gratitude for the abundance of all with which He had blessed you." Gratitude is important to God and it's life changing for us.  Ann Voskamp, author of the book One Thousand Gifts, writes, "Give thanks if you are joyful is, in reality, to be joyful give thanks." Did you notice in that verse in Deuteronomy how, to God, both our joyfulness and our gratitude are not only important, but connected?  (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, November 22nd at Woman to Woman Ministries, where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)


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Saturday, November 14, 2020

One Way

"I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me."
John 14:6

When I went away to college, Mama sold the tall, yellow house on Dartmouth Street that I had lived in since birth, and she and my little brother moved into a small one level home that was easier for her to take care of. This was before the days of cell phones that give us instant directions to anyplace we want to go, so the first time I went back home to visit Mama she had to give me directions to get there. Can you imagine if she had said, "If you are sincere, you will find your way home." Or how about, "If you just follow your heart you will find your way home." Or, "If you are a good enough person, you will find your way home." That would make no sense! Mama had moved to a specific house with a specific address in a specific location and I needed specific directions to get there.

When sin entered the world through Adam and Eve's disobedience, mankind lost the way to their true Home. The place that we have always belonged is in the presence of our Father God. Thank God that He already had a plan in place for us to be able to get back to His home and heart where we belong.  (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, November 15th  at Woman to Woman Ministries, where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)


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Monday, November 9, 2020

Weekly Gratitude Journal

Continuing to give thanks to God after a wild and crazy election week in this wild and crazy year!

*****************
Since 2009 I've been counting my blessings thanks to the prompting of Ann Voskamp.
 I continue to count my thanks, 
piling up gratitude day by day in my journal.
(and capturing some of my blessings via my camera or iPhone)
#13,852-#13,875

11-2-2020-
-watching our youngest grandson for a couple of hours
-my husband's prayers for me
-friends from church texting us that they are praying for us

11-3-2020-
-another friend from church praying for me over the phone
-texting with our girls throughout this election day
-praying and trusting God

11-4-2020-
-God speaking to me from Colossians
-when my car wouldn't start-thank God it was only a loose battery cable!
-our three daughters

11-5-2020-
-the unusual little ways that God provides for us
-an especially sweet time of prayer together at church tonight
-our arrows Psalm 127:3-5

11-6-2020-
-a phone call from my big brother
-our girls encouraging us
-God's help in my preparation to preach on Sunday

11-7-2020-
-a refreshing walk
-my favorite tea
-my oldest granddaughter's lovely senior photos
-hugs and kisses from my grandbabies

11-8-2020-
-God's presence and help as I preached yesterday
-encouragement in person and via text afterwards
-lunch with my daughter and grandkids
-Christmas music and movies

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-

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Eyes Wide Open In Gratitude

"Stay alert with your eyes wide open in gratitude." Colossians 4:2 The Message Bible

The social media memes abound about how horrible 2020 has been. I don't need to go through the whole litany of challenges we have faced this year-you all know them too well. And now our presidential election is a big contentious mess, because of course it is! Is anyone surprised? 

When we go through hard times, especially when a difficult season is prolonged, our problems can blind us to our blessings-all we can see are the difficulties.   (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, November 8th  at Woman to Woman Ministries, where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)


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Monday, November 2, 2020

Weekly Gratitude Journal


We took a drive through the country on the way home from doing some early Christmas shopping on our Friday date day. Out the car window I took a photo of a red barn that we drove by. I wanted to hold onto the simple beauty of that moment. Then the scripture from Philippians 4:8 came to my mind,  Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Developing the habit of daily thanksgiving, of keeping a gratitude journal, is one way to meditate on the noble, just, pure, lovely, good things in life. In our world that has gotten increasingly mean, ugly and negative, choosing an attitude of gratitude is more important than ever before. For the month of November, I'm posting something that I am thankful for every day on Facebook and Instagram. I'd love it if you'd do the same. Let's flood social media, that can be so divisive, into a platform to give God thanks!
*****************
Since 2009 I've been counting my blessings thanks to the prompting of Ann Voskamp.
 I continue to count my thanks, 
piling up gratitude day by day in my journal.
(and capturing some of my blessings via my camera or iPhone)
#13,825-#13,851

Thank you, God, for...

10-26-2020-
-a good night's sleep
-coffee in bed brought to me by my husband and having a slow morning 
with my Bibles and journal before beginning a busy day
-a really good time of food, fellowship, conversation and prayer with our church leadership

10-27-2020-
-You are good and do good
-this beautiful autumn day
-getting to see all my Portland area grandkids today
-a relaxing evening after a full day yesterday and a late night with too little sleep

10-28-2020-
-God's wisdom and help when I ask Him 
-getting to VOTE today
-a phone call with my oldest sister

10-29-2020-
-God's provision 
-a rental car while our car is getting fixed after being hit by a hit and run driver
-my husband's care for me when I had a bad migraine

10-30-2020-
-hope
-a beautiful autumn afternoon
-a fun date day doing some early Christmas shopping

10-31-2020-
-Colossians 1:18-20 MSG
-another beautiful autumn afternoon
-our two toddler grandkids trick or treating at our house
-seeing the grands in their costumes some in person and some via texted photos




11-1-2020-
-setting the clock BACK 
-a sweet young couple that I've missed were back at church today
-the way my husband loves and cares for me

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Saturday, October 31, 2020

Guideposts for Dark Times


He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—He is supreme in the end. From beginning to end He’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is He, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in Him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of His death, His blood that poured down from the cross.
Colossians 1:18-20 MSG

This morning began with thick fog. When I woke up and looked out my bedroom window I could barely make out the trees across the street. But, by mid-morning the fog gave way to beautiful clear blue autumn skies. 

Yesterday, my husband and I were talking about the current state of affairs in our state, our nation and the world. He made a comment that I think most of us have at least thought in these confusing times. "I just don't understand what God is doing right now." He's right. We are living in a time of fog, a time of confusion,  a time of strife,  a time of sin abounding, a time of darkness. It's easy to be frustrated when we can't clearly see what God is doing or why He is allowing certain things to take place. In times when we can't clearly see, we have to rely on guideposts that we've established in our lives to get us through the dark times.  (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, November 1st  at Woman to Woman Ministries, where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)


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Monday, October 26, 2020

Weekly Gratitude Journal


The weather is cold and clear, my favorite kind of autumn weather. We are hosting a dinner at our house tonight for our church leadership, one of my favorite things to do. I've got things to get done for that, but I wanted to be sure to post my weekly gratitude journal first. Giving thanks to God is life giving and life changing. It helps to maintain equilibrium and focus during life's ups and downs. I challenge you to start the habit of writing down at least three things each day that you are thankful for.

*****************
Since 2009 I've been counting my blessings thanks to the prompting of Ann Voskamp.
 I continue to count my thanks, 
piling up gratitude day by day in my journal.
(and capturing some of my blessings via my camera or iPhone)
#13,807-#13,827

10-19-2020-
-early morning cozy candlelight
-a walk with my grand babies
-the two middle grandgirlies getting to spend the night at our house

10-20-2020-
-our eight grandkids





-youngest granddaughter saying "I love you"
-God speaking to my heart, "I am firmly held"

10-21-2020-
-our nephew who is a constant help and encouragement
-a really sweet walk/talk with Jesus and rainy weather that gave way to blue skies for my walk
-the old song, "Falling In Love with Jesus is the Best Thing I've Ever Done"

10-22-2020-
-God's protection over my husband when he was rear ended by a hit and run driver
-our daughter coming over to check on her dad
-our church leaders help and support

10-23-2020-
-Friday date day together
-our garage door installer honoring a lower price on our door replacement
-God's trustworthy leadership, step by step

10-24-2020-
-God with me-all of the time and everywhere I go
-the fun of getting a package in the mail-new vases from Magnolia
-an encouraging talk with my friend 

10-25-2020-
-such a good word at church today
-a helpful, encouraging talk with Cristiana
-my sister letting me know that she and her husband are praying for me/us

still following,