Why Pray?

14 Jan

I was rummaging around at church a few weeks ago helping with some Christmas decorating and came across a pile of papers and books that had been set aside. The children’s book that caught my eye was called WHY DO PEOPLE PRAY? The book featured sketches of children on the cover representing both boys and girls and of different ethnic backgrounds. The author of the book was Jean H. Richards and the illustrator was June Goldsborough. The copyright year on the book was 1965.

The opening page had these words:

“All over the world people pray. They pray because they need God. They pray because they believe God understands them. They pray because they believe God hears them and will help them not to be lonely or afraid. He helps them to be happy.”

The next page is expressed this way:

“God wants us to pray to him. He made us to be his children and he wants us to know that he loves us and he wants us to love him. He wants us to feel that we can always talk to him about anything at all. This is why people pray. This is why I want to pray.”

I think those words and images are tender and inviting. They make me want to communicate with God the almighty one who has my best interests in his care.

It would seem that my prayer inspiration for today has come from children’s literature–how appropriate!

Let the little children come to me Mark 10:14 Kingdom of God Bible Verse Wall Art print Scripture Printable Farmhouse Nursery Decor Sign

Here Comes the Judge!

12 Jan

Does anyone else out there recall that statement from television ages ago? If you Google it, both Sammy Davis Jr. and Flip Wilson come up as comedic actors from the 1960s and 70s with that line in a stand-up routine. Back then it was funny, but today it seems everyone wants to be a judge and if you fail to measure up to judgment you are a criminal or a perpetrator or worse!

When did we get so shockingly penetrated into the business of others? It was a social grace “back in the day” to not talk politics nor religion in a social setting. My father always used to say that. As a youngster, I was not sure what he meant, but I get it now! Whatever happened to the concept of “agreeing to disagree?”

Times are tough! “If you are not like me, I want to hate you, ” seems to be the modern message.

What a sad society we have become! It’s especially interesting that we might be inclined to judge others, but we don’t want to be judged, do we?

I have several little devotional books with varied wisdom from different perspectives of Christianity and the one I read today was an anthology called EVERYDAY INSPIRATION FROM GOD’S WORD. There is no single author attributed to the book, rather it is publication simply attributed to Barbour Publishing.

The page opened with this statement: “Immerse yourself in radical thinking!”

The page went on to describe how certain people rub us the wrong way. And when someone rubs us the wrong way it stirs negative thinking, judging thoughts and sometimes our worst part of self emerges. The radical thinking referred to is this…when I feel like ditching someone, instead I am to love them. It is not our business to understand them and/ or change them, instead we are to simply love.

2“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (According to Luke)

I pray for this ability! My human nature is counterintuitive to this, but my Christianity tells me I can do better.

May it be so!

A Forgiveness Find

10 Jan

I was looking at some of my Christmas books a while ago and came across a little one that must have belonged to one of my kids years ago. It is maybe 4×6 inches in size and it is called MY LITTLE PROMISE BIBLE. The author is L.J. Sattgast. It shouldn’t have been with the Christmas books, but finding it was a treat, so I am happy about finding it in the wrong place.

I share with you one of the pages about being one who forgives.

JOSEPH FORGIVES

Joseph was taken to Egypt. He had to work very hard. He did whatever his master said. One day Joseph helped the king. “You are good and wise, and I will make you my helper, ” said the king. Then everyone did what Joseph said.

One day Joseph saw his brothers who had tried to harm him. Did Joseph punish them?

NO! Joseph said, “I forgive you.”

And the promise at the end of this passage is from God:

“I am always ready to forgive you.”

I forgot about that little gem of a book just as easily as it is to forget to forgive sometimes.

Oops! Something to work on in the new year!

Listening

7 Jan

Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Psalm 143:8

Are you a good listener? Do you take the time to tune in rather than tune out? Listening is a high energy activity. It requires many aspects of bodily involvement. We often fail to use all our power when listening because it is easy to grow impatient with the story or we may have disagreement with the speaker, or we feel tired or distracted for many reasons.

The image below is a construct from the Chinese language that brings us the word for listening. If you look closely, the Chinese interpretation of listening requires four components– ears, eyes, undivided attention and the heart. I first saw this image years ago in a communication textbook. It was captured in the chapter on listening.

It would seem that real listening requires much from us!

Now then, if we struggle to listen to our human companions, what about listening to God? Or better yet, what about listening FOR God; for messages from God as the Psalm above suggests? How challenging that might be!

Ears, eyes, undivided attention, mind, body spirit and soul!

I once read an article about listening that spoke of the hard work it requires sometimes –such a workout that one may actually break into a sweat doing the listening.

It is now 2022. I may contemplate my listening skills and consider being more prepared in the new year to hear words from my family and friends and to be patiently attentive for messages from God.

Patience

5 Jan

I recently happened upon a website of magnificent Biblical lessons about patience. The website was produced by COUNTRY LIVING, a magazine that speaks of simplicity, ease in managing life, with careful but thoughtful ideas about cooking, gardening, handling family and friends; in general, living life, but not in a haphazard manner.

As I recall, the opening paragraph of the article I saw offered scenarios like bickering kids, long customer service waits, delayed news, family demands and so it goes….

I waft in and out of patience. Sometimes I can walk a long line before that patience switch gets flipped and sometimes I am surprised how quickly I might “lose it.”

Now, I am not going to steal all the wonderful Scripture passages from the pages I read, but rather, I wish to challenge you!

What Biblical messages do YOU find helpful to remember when you are “counting to ten” while taking deep breaths in a heated moment? Here is a start… then after reading my passage what might you add?

Do you have a favorite quote from another source –a story , a song lyric, a friend or some other reminder or mantra that sometimes helps you find patience when needed?

Oh…do tell!

(You can use the comments space below.)

bible-verses-about-patience-8

A New Year?

3 Jan

It’s 2022. Does anyone else besides me feel that in some ways we are still trapped in 2020?

It would seem that Covid has not given up the reign and we are questioning once again what should we do and where should we go and with whom shall we gather? Is anyone else exhausted?

HOWEVER…

God’s promises are still true!

God promises :

–to be present amidst trouble and chaos and doubt (Isaiah 40:29)

–to guide us toward a future (Jeremiah 29:11)

–to protect us (Psalm 84:11)

–to affirm our belief (Mark 9:23)

I believe that 2022 has promises we are unable to measure at this time and for all the gains and losses of years past and into the future, God will prevail.

Wishing you love, peace and health in the new year. (and the ability to see God in the midst)

Here are a few additional thoughts:

“What the new year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the new year.” —Vern McLellan

“An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.” — William E. Vaughan

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” — C.S. Lewis

The Newness of a Year

31 Dec

2022 is upon us—a far cry from the century/decade when I was younger. Advancements in technology, styles of living and the shrinking of a global world and the merging of cultures and beliefs have brought us many gifts and sometimes concerns because change is not always a welcomed commodity.

Let’s face it, is this the world you dreamed of as a youth? As the rapid pace consumes our living, do we embrace or resist the newness and change? I suspect it is a little of both. I shall admit that for me some changes are great, and others are “meh.”

The word of God addresses change–all with a positive twist.

Joshua 1:9 

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Hebrews 13:8 

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

2 Corinthians 5:17 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

I especially like the last one–a superb reminder that some changes are awesome!

Here we go! New year– new people to meet and new things to learn, share and do.

Embrace the newness of 2022!

Christmas or Christ-missed?

29 Dec

Christmas 2021 has come and gone. And while we all hoped that the overshadowing of a pandemic would now be in our rear-view mirror, I do hope that the seemingly ever-present worry did not crush your spirits.

A few days ago, I logged into my email account for the college where I teach, and this message was emblazoned on the website–a message from the college President:

If there is no Christ, there is no Christmas.

That was a stunning reminder to me and I shared it with some friends and now I share with you.

Let’s agree that family, food and gifts are part of the Christmas equation along with lights, decorations and Santa and favorite movies…shall I go on?

Almost every household has some version of “tradition” regarding Christmas. As a child, the menu at our home on Christmas day was fairly sacred. It was a feast that followed a morning visit to church for worship of the newborn Jesus. The food was plentiful and delicious and comforting. Stockings on the fireplace and carolers coming to the house were pretty much expected during Advent. The carols were about Jesus, not Santa, back in the day,

I will admit as a parent it was hard to separate Santa from the TRUE meaning of CHRISTmas for our growing family. Along with stockings, snowmen and Santa decor there were always manger scenes, advent anticipation at church and a wonderful Christmas Eve gathering with friends and then off we all went to church together for the REAL Christmas tradition and message. Was there more to the season’s spirit we could have explored?

Looking back to only a few days ago, I hope Christ was in your Christmas. Perhaps he was present in a manger scene, a prayer uttered, a worship service attended, a story read, a scripture revisited or a carol sung.

Amen to all of the above.

Share Love at Christmas

27 Dec

*

GOD

SENT A SON

TO BRING HOPE TO

A WORLD IN NEED OF CARE.

THE BABY CAME AT A TIME OF WOE,

BUT WAS A PROMISE OF BETTER THINGS TO COME.

GOD’S WORD BECAME A MESSAGE OF TRUTH FOR A FUTURE

THAT WOULD BRING MORE GRACE, JOY, STRENGTH, HOPE AND PEACE

TO ALL THE PEOPLE WHO BELIEVED AND WERE WILLING TO FOLLOW THE BABY.

HIS NAME WAS

JESUS AND

HIS MESSAGE

ABOVE ALL

WAS AND IS

 LOVE.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Christmas Tree With Baubles And Blurred Shiny Lights Christmas Tree With Baubles And Blurred Shiny Lights christmas tree stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Christmas

24 Dec

C hild of love born while

H eaven

R ejoiced

I n unison with

S inging angels bringing cheer to a

T roubled world desiring to be

M ade whole

A t Christ’s birth!

S halom to all.

Helen Steiner Rice

22 Dec

In 1993 my in-laws gifted me a book called CHRISTMAS BLESSINGS by the author Helen Steiner Rice. Do you remember her and her works?

Ms. Rice is and was known for her spiritual poetry about God’s wisdom, blessings and love. Even though I received this book in the 1990s, the original printing of it was in the 1940s.

I went to a concert the other night and got there early to get a good seat and had brought the book along to kill time. I was struck by the relevance of some of her words and images, almost as though they had been written today. This one, I share:

A CHRISTMAS PRAYER FOR PEACE

We pray to thee, our Father, as Christmas comes again,

For peace among all nations and goodwill among all men.

Give us strength and courage to search ourselves inside

And recognize our vanity, our selfishness and pride.

For the struggle of all ages is centered deep within

Where each man has a private war that his own soul must win.

For a world of peace and plenty of which all men have dreamed,

Can only be attained and kept when the spirit is redeemed.

The use of “men and he and him” in today’s verbiage would likely be redesigned to be more equitable to the genders, however the message rings loudly and clearly in this sometimes selfish, arrogant and divided society we live in.

O come, Emmanuel, make all things new!! AMEN.

What Do You Want for Christmas?

20 Dec

Do you remember making lists of desired presents back in the day? Do you remember when your children made lists of their wants and desires? Do you still have a list?

Years ago I first heard a song called GROWN UP CHRISTMAS LIST. The song was sung by Amy Grant and was composed by David Foster. Just a portion of the lyrics is captured below.

Do you remember me?
I sat upon your knee
I wrote to you with childhood fantasies

Well I’m all grown up now
And still need help somehow
I’m not a child but my heart still can dream

So here’s my lifelong wish
My grown-up Christmas List
Not for myself, but for a world in need

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts

And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end, oh

This is my grown-up Christmas List.

The song lyrics go on to describe an adult with wishes and desires for a better world, a safer planet and a more caring humanity. The song emerged in the 1990s and the wishes are still truly relevant. I hope the linked video below works for you, literally and figuratively.

God’s Will

17 Dec

I have often thought this is a mysterious thing. God’s Will–what does that mean?

Does this mean that God’s outlook is wider than mine? Does this mean that God’s plan is better than mine; that “Father knows best?”

Wikipedia states in paraphrased fashion that the the will of God is interpreted as God’s plans and desires concerning humanity. God’s goals for humanity can be revealed intentionally, circumstantially and ultimately. A world powered by love and compassion is God’s intent.

That seems much bigger than what we often think:

–it was God’s will for me to lose that job

–it was God’s will for the hurricane to hit

–it was God’s will for my child to be ill

I wonder if we misinterpret God’s will?

I heard an online sermon alluding to this given by southern preacher Pastor Tony Evans. His interpretation was that God’s will is that WE WOULD BE WILLing to do God’s bidding, to live God’s laws, to embrace an intentionally loving and compassionate life. Pastor Tony did not interpret God’s will as “a bad thing that we must accept or a lot in life we must learn to live with,” but rather it is a lifestyle that feeds our souls and the souls of those with whom we commune.

What is God’s will?

Are you WILLing?

My To Do List

15 Dec

Are you a list keeper? Do you love the feeling of crossing things off a list either literally or figuratively? Perhaps you prefer to do things just as they come up, but not because they are on a list. Either method of navigating a busy day works most assuredly.

Thinking about the season we are in there are plenty of lists we could write: gift lists, grocery lists, reminders of meals to cook, decorating reminders, cards to address and so on. As a college instructor I could also add these: grade Friday’s projects, send email reminders of the details for the next assignment, prepare student grades and so on.

Let’s pause and come up with another seasonal TO DO LIST. I am going to list a few things that I should do before Christmas and this is not what you may be expecting.

–check in on my neighbor who has been having some health problems

–be patient and polite in the next check out line at the store

–let someone cut ahead of me in busy traffic

–hold the door for someone who looks either tired, burdened or distracted

–phone or text someone I have not talked to in a while

–forgive someone’s thoughtless comment

–hold back when my next comment seems thoughtless

–forgive someone who has hurt me, no matter the issue

–forgive myself for speaking carelessly

–hug a child

–hug the elderly

–seek multiple ways to feel blessed

DO YOU HAVE ADDITIONS TO THE LIST?

Feel free to comment below.

O God

13 Dec

1 O God, our help in ages past,
our hope for years to come,
our shelter from the stormy blast,
and our eternal home;

6 O God, our help in ages past,
our hope for years to come,
still be our guard while troubles last,
and our eternal home.

If you live in the northeastern United States and into the midwest, you are are aware that Covid is not done yet. Throughout the world the threat remains. It is trying, exhausting and painful to keep doing this. Most people feel “so done with the virus,” yet we are asked to persevere. Last summer many of us tossed our masks to the wind with vaccines and test kits available and numbers of cases going down and …here we go again!

Oh precious God, I believe the words above taken from the Isaac Watts hymn from the 1700s, but the intensity and constancy of Covid steal my joy! I trust your hand is on this spreading illness and in YOUR time we will understand it better and live with it better, but my patience wanes day to day.

In this anticipatory time we call Advent, while awaiting the arrival of a tiny and holy baby to help us lowly souls find our way, I shall pin my faith on God’s mighty words:

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Rest

10 Dec

Do you like to relax? Maybe for some of you the better question would be do you ever relax? I am a napper. I have been napping since I was in college. It is not a daily thing, but when it happens it is VERY restorative for me. Are there things that interfere with your ability to rest? Perhaps routine, responsibilities, racing thoughts?

Rest and relaxation are meant to be restorative. After a time of rest the body and mind feel refreshed and energized. Rolling out of bed after a good night’s sleep is a wonderful way to tackle a busy day to come.

Rest is Biblical! Consider Psalm 4:8:

” In peace I will lie down and sleep,

for you alone, Lord,

make me dwell in safety.

That verse makes me feel justified when a midday nap comes upon me and I curl up on the couch with the dog. The dog warms my feet and the rest I achieve while napping warms my body and mind and spirit.

As your busy day unfolds, I thank you for taking time to rest here a moment for quiet time and a renewal of your soul.

Guilt

8 Dec

What a tricky and impactful word that is! It is a give and take concept. Some people think we should GIVE guilt and others think we should TAKE it from others.

The dictionary definition of guilt is this: The fact of having committed a specified or implied offense or crime.

A psychological definition of guilt is this: Feeling responsible or regretful for a perceived offense, real or imaginary.

I have never been a fan of guilt. I try never to impose it and I try never to let it bring me down. I try to let it go as soon as it comes. (Unless, of course, I purposely tried to hurt someone…then I better own the situation and repair the situation so I can let go of the guilt with a right spirit.) Thank goodness purposely trying to hurt someone is not really my nature.

The Word of God addresses guilt in many places.

If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

(1 John 3:20)

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved”

(John 3:17)

I recently read a little prayer on this matter printed in a book called EVERYDAY PROMISES. The words are encouraging.

“Holy Spirit reveal to me my sin, cleanse me and empower me to walk obediently and with a clear conscience so that I may live boldly and courageously for you. AMEN”

Advent Adventure

6 Dec

It is December 1 as I write even if I may not post this for a while. We have begun the sacred time of Advent that leads us to the welcoming of the baby Jesus. In this time of anticipation on the Christian calendar there are four messages to consider: Hope, Love, Joy and Peace, described below in my words.

HOPE–that eternally optimistic belief in a promising future

LOVE–the warmth and closeness of trust and protection and connection

JOY–an effervescent feeling of uplifted brightness

PEACE–comfort and contentment in the heart, mind and soul

We think of Advent as a time of preparation. We are to open our hearts to all of the above and more.

“What will come to me during Advent?” We might ask.

“What will I bring to Advent?” We also might ask.

This image is especially true in one of my favorite poem-carols featuring the tender words of Christina Rossetti:

IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER

In the bleak midwinter
Frosty wind made moan
Earth stood hard as iron
Water like a stone
Snow had fallen
Snow on snow on snow
In the bleak midwinter
Long, long ago
Angels and Arc Angels
May have traveled there
Cherubim and Seraphim
Thronged the air
But only his Mother
In her maiden bliss
Worshiped the beloved
With a kiss
What can I give him?
Poor as I am
If I were a shepherd
I would give a lamb
If I were a wise man
I would do my part
But what I can I give him
Give him my heart
Give him my heart…AMEN

Blessings under Fire

3 Dec

There is much disagreement in our world today. However, I believe there is definitely one unifying thought–it is hard to disagree that the past two years have been challenging. We have battled a world wide virus that on many levels brought to us dangers we are not used to. We have suffered separation from loved ones and revisited how we navigate the daily world and quite possibly, in some instances we had to rearrange how we navigated our own public life. Legislators, in their quest to bring us safety have often upset us with new rules and regs to follow. Frustration does not begin to describe what many of us have felt for months on end.

In times of struggle we often forget to see brightness in the day and positivity around us because we are trapped in an irritable place. This means our blessings are under fire! The good and gracious aspects of life slip away unnoticed and if we are not cognizant, they likely disappear. How sad for us that we let this happen. The attack comes and we surrender.

I just described ME!

I sometimes fail to follow my own advice.

In my kitchen I have a modest hand painted primitive sign that says, “Count your blessings daily.” I look at that sign with great frequency as it is in a prominent place by the back door where I let the dog in and out regularly. Sad to say on some days I ignore that sign. I permit my blessings to be under fire…attacked by an enemy that would rather I be glum instead of gracious and grateful.

The precious old words below would have me behave differently:

Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Praise Him all creatures here below

Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost
.”

AMEN!

Am I ready to battle back?

It would be to my benefit and blessing to do so.

Upbeat

1 Dec

When I was a tween and a teen I watched a show on television called UPBEAT. It was a rock and roll show that featured live music, interviews and kind of a “top ten” favorite songs for the week. As I recall there were also “Upbeat Dancers” who performed and set the fashion trends of the day. The show was originally produced out of Cleveland and then became a national syndicate. The program ran for maybe a decade.

Why I even described the show is because it was a happy program to watch with colorful outfits on the dancers and performers and the music was lively and familiar so in the comfort of your own home you could sing and dance along.

Today when we say the word upbeat, we tend to mean something positive and energetic and enjoyable. We also think of the image of optimism when we think of being upbeat.

Was Jesus upbeat?

He is sometimes described as “acquainted with sorrows, rejected and despised and a man of suffering.” Those images come from the Book of Isaiah. But Jesus’ message was one of love and truth and wisdom.

I believe just as often as Jesus wept, he also laughed.

Pastor and author E. Stanley Jones once wrote that in the days of the early church the followers of Jesus did not say, “Look what the world has come to,” but rather they said, “Look what has come to the world!” Followers of a leader must believe in the future and have a good spirit about their beliefs to express such statements as that. They were optimistic about Jesus and his mission and message.

Aren’t the images from the four Gospels upbeat, speaking of a child savior? Isn’t the Christmas story revealing of something greater than we are? And the Easter story, though featuring some darker tales, results in uplifting images.

Rev. Dr. J. Barrington Bates says:

“Jesus showed an unquenchable, confident optimism—even in seemingly dire situations. And he commanded us not to fear, but live in hope.”

A gospel not characterized by overwhelming gladness isn’t the gospel.”–Author Randy Alcorn

Yes! I believe Jesus was upbeat.

Surprise on a Drive

29 Nov

I took a drive recently. I was in the car for eight hours total with four hours to my destination and then four hours to get home. I visited my elderly dad in the middle of the time split.

On my way to his place I saw on a rather prominent sign by the road side that read, “Isaiah 41:10.” While I am familiar with certain parts of the Bible off the cuff I did not know the meaning of this verse so I quickly jotted down the passage name and number for future reference and today I looked it up.

While sometimes we read scripture and the thoughts seem elusive, I shall hang my hat on this one.

Image result for isaiah 41 verse 10

Blessed or Stressed?

26 Nov

Is this a fair question to ask during the times in which we live? Our news is packed with disturbing details! We are challenged daily to find the bodies of information that matter to us and we search desperately to discard the rest in a safe place just in case we may need that information at another time. For every 10 news reports we hear only one that seems to have positive/ redeeming qualities. THAT is stress inducing!

Did I mention life in general?

Obligations, situations, ramifications, insinuations, clarifications, deliberations, destinations can boggle the mind.

Do you know what stress is?

By definition it is “pressure or tension exerted on a material object; a state of mental or emotional tension…”

Did you ever notice that many “material objects ” bounce back from stress? I was thinking palm trees that sway and bend in the wind, but they do not snap. An airplane rising upward against atmospheric pressure generally wins against the stress. I think of my back yard and how the grass bounces back after anyone’s feet pound the little blades flat while walking. Even my arm muscles bounced back yesterday as I carried in bags of groceries from the car that were very heavy and upon setting the bags on the table my arms felt relief and were ready to carry more.

Other stressors are not as easy going when it comes to bouncing back. Disappointments, deaths, failures and fumbles can really take a toll making us feel weary and even inept.

When we buckle under our stressors, which we all will do at one time or another, it is because our mind has played tricks on us. Our brain has emphasized our blunders instead of our blessings. In general, blessings are all around yet we concentrate on the blunders. When we do that, we miss the opportunity to see what God would have us do–“Count it all joy.”

James 1:2 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.”

Melissa Horvath puts it this way in her book YOU GOT THIS: “…recall the good the Lord has done for you–even the smallest things like shoes on your feet and pennies in your pocket…live in God’s grace.”

Philippians 4:6-7 Be Anxious for nothing Do not be anxious image 1

Thanksgiving

24 Nov

When I was a little girl I often wondered why there was no church on Thanksgiving Day. It seemed to me Thanksgiving was a good opportunity to pause in the week and worship the provider of the abundant table we would have.

The best we did was say grace at the table, chow down the meal and then turn to football on TV. This will pretty much be what goes on in our home this year!

Historically, the first Thanksgiving was a day of honoring God for gifts of an abundant harvest and the presence of safety and health. As a child I was taught it was also a blending of cultures as the Pilgrims and Natives shared the meal. There are critics of that story, suggesting it may not have been so peaceful and kind, but for today’s purpose I shall let it be. It was President Abe Lincoln who secured the celebration as a National Holiday in 1863. I am glad he did that. A break from work in the middle of the week with a backdrop of togetherness, fine food and memories is a welcome change from our busy times.

Thanksgiving Day is celebrated in the United States and Canada and Grenada, Liberia, Saint Lucia, Brazil and probably in other locations around the world not mentioned in the article I read on Wikipedia. Food, family and friends (and in many places, football) no doubt will make up the agenda for the celebration regardless of the geographic location. I suggest in most homes traditional foods per family will be prepared and shared.

What are you thankful for, my friends? Can you measure out some of God’s good gifts in your life? Do you feel the reward of God’s good grace?

In good times it is easy to feel thankful, but in hard times there is much faith and energy required to feel that same spirit of gratefulness. As a world we are still battling a virus and there are personal battles we may be facing as well.

Do the work!! Having a thankful heart is worth the effort despite the energy it may require in both certain and uncertain times.

NO matter your circumstance this Thanksgiving, may you feel blessed and bathed in God’s loving presence and do take a moment to utter your thanks.

See the source image

Touched

22 Nov

TOUCH is a powerful word. Touch suggests many things: tender movement toward another, feeling something meaningful in your heart, physically putting a gentle hand on someone, a tender sensation.

In the study of nonverbal communication touch is placed in a category called Haptics. Its power in nonverbal communication might be measured by the emphasis and strength of the touch and by the parties involved. Consider a hug, a tousling of someone’s hair, a shoulder rub, a punch or a shove.

In a book I have called EVERYDAY INSPIRATION it is stated that “…[humans] understand the power of a touch.” The book goes on to say that we can be touched by a gesture of kindness, a pat on the back, a hug from a friend or holding hands with someone we love and all of those physical gestures are scientific and known to bring down blood pressure, make our heart skip a beat in a good way and may help us feel peace, comfort and assurance. This suggests healing.

The touch of Jesus was healing. People flocked to be near him believing there was power in his presence.

Touch is a powerful way to express love. A simple touch can reach deep into the soul of man. God is love and love is an expression of the touch of Jesus. Jesus healed people of many different sicknesses and disabilities in many different situations. His healing is sometimes attributed to his words and at other times to his touch. (askgodforhelp.net)

Both the writing in EVERYDAY INSPIRATION and from the website mentioned stress a theme:

Jesus touched people as should we.

Remember the touch you offer can be physical, emotional, psychological and/or spiritual.

Who has touched you recently?

ALSO…consider touching someone else in a unique way by sharing spiritandsoul.net with them–a great way to share what I call a “mini devotional moment.”

Glory

19 Nov

Glorious, Gloria.

All of those words have roots in middle English, French and Latin. The words suggest ideas like these:

–offering praise

–giving accolades

–connected to fame

–great beauty, splendor

–honor

“To God be the glory” is a phrase often uttered when someone feels overwhelmed about a positive thing going on and it seems as though no one on earth really deserves credit. Those words were powerfully written by Fanny Crosby as only one of the 8,000 hymns she was known to have written. Crosby was of course a woman, and a mission worker, lyricist and poet and she was blind. She clearly made the most of her lot in life in the 95 years she lived.

To God be the glory, great things He hath done,
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life our redemption to win,
And opened the life-gate that all may go in.
 Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
  Let the earth hear His voice;
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
  Let the people rejoice;
Oh, come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
  And give Him the glory; great things He hath done.

I will honor God in all of his goodness and glory!