For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. —Romans 15:4

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Family Holidays

Ephesians 3:14-17a
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith…

The holidays…a time for family. Whether you spend time with your biological family, adopted family, framily (friend family), or church family, it can be a time of joy, laughter, craziness, sadness, or stress. My family keeps me grounded, reminds me where I came from and who I am. We are a mixed up bag of funny, goofy, smart, and spirited. Even when we agree to disagree, we love each other and step up to the plate when someone’s in need.

God intended for families to care for each other. To bring strength to the weak, love to the lonely, share tears in mourning and laughter in joy. Whoever I spend the holidays with, I want them to see Jesus. Being with people exhausts me. It’s that introvert thing, but after I’ve spent hours with the people I love, I am so blessed. I love my family, framily, and church family. It’s a joy to share this time of year with all the people I love. I pray for each person reading this as you head into the Christmas season, that this will be a time of love and joy.  

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Complete Thankfulness

 Matthew 26:26-29
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

This week we’ll join with family to celebrate our American heritage. Turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and green beans are a few of the yummy foods we’ll share. And I can’t forget the pie. I love pie—pumpkin, pecan, apple, whatever fills the dessert table. As delicious as all the wonderful dishes are, there’s a meal I partake of each week that fills me with complete thankfulness.

Jesus met with the disciples for the last supper, the final time he’d break bread with his beloved friends before he died on the cross. When he broke the bread he referred to as his body and shared the drink he called his blood, he gave thanks to his Father knowing he’d be crucified and resurrected. I’m appreciative we take time each week during communion to remember and thank God for his Son. I’m grateful I have the freedom to attend a church that worships Christ. I’m praise God for the opportunity to celebrate America, family and Jesus.

What Thanksgiving foods will you share with family and friends this week?

Friday, November 14, 2014

Sing Out!

Colossians 3:15-17
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

I’m not a musician but I love music. The worship music at church, songs I hear on the radio, and thanks to 93.9 Christmas music. Yes I’ve been listening to “O Holy Night,” “Away in a Manger,” and the instrumental music from A Charlie Brown Christmas. Plus lots of contemporary carols. Maybe I’m a little early, but it renews my spirit of thanksgiving and joy.

I like that the folks at the church in Colossians taught through music. Psalms, hymns and songs were filled with wisdom and shared among the people. Their voices lifted in praise. Some of my favorite hymns remind me how much Jesus loves me and how he died for me. I don’t know many Thanksgiving songs, but I know several that express thanks to the Lord. Psalm 100:4 paints a beautiful picture of rejoicing in the Lord. “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise give thanks to him and praise his name.” I picture a group of people dancing and singing and praising the King of Kings. This Thanksgiving, find the song in your heart and praise the Lord!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Nehemiah Prayed

Nehemiah 12:27-28
At the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem, the Levites were sought out from where they lived and were brought to Jerusalem to celebrate joyfully the dedication with songs of thanksgiving and with the music of cymbals, harps and lyres. The musicians also were brought together from the region around Jerusalem…

Nehemiah watched his beloved Jerusalem fall because the people who lived there ignored and mocked God. His heart broke as King Nebuchadnezzar’s men annihilated the city. The walls fell and the people fled in terror. Nehemiah lifted prayers of restoration to God. Jerusalem’s walls were restored. The city rose again. In celebration of thanksgiving Nehemiah invited musicians and singers to praise the work of God’s hand.

If you read the scripture, you find many stories of devastation, destruction, and sin. People trudged through the muck and mire of illness (lepers), catastrophe (the flood), and loss (Job). Yet believers in God prayed their way through and found reason to celebrate. They lifted their voices in thanksgiving. Romans 5:3-4 says, “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” And hope stirs a thankful heart.

In November, Americans focus on being thankful because our forefathers founded a free land. I’m thankful for the freedom to worship God. I pray that our country will always be a place where I have the freedom to believe in God and praise him openly with thanksgiving.

What are you thankful for?

Saturday, November 1, 2014

I'm Waiting

Psalm 27:14
 for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord.


I’m not naturally patient. Maybe because I’ve lived in an era of “Have it your way”, “Just do it”, fast food, and text messaging. I often find myself encouraging my grandkids to be patient. Then wonder if I’m setting a good example. I’m probably more impatient with my writing than anything else in life. As I tap on the computer keys and read books about writing, I pray for God’s guidance and ask him for…patience. I hope someday to publish a novel. The truth is— that will happen in God’s time. That doesn't mean, I sit back and dream the day away. Instead, I plug away and make the effort.

With God’s help, I’ve learned to wait on him. Every time I’ve run ahead of God’s plan or gotten frustrated with waiting, he reminds me he designed me and knows my life. God’s timing is perfect, whether we agree with it or not. I’d rather wait on God, than fail miserably. So many times in my life, I’ve run ahead and made mistakes. When I’ve fallen on my face, I’ve realized once again that God knows what’s best for me. Praise God for his patience with me.