As we conclude our GRATITUDE series I pray we never stop giving THANKS to God!

In the frustration, discouragement and sadness, sometimes even anger, about all that we are “losing” in North America, my prayer this Thanksgiving season is that we do not take for granted this North American holiday.

Thanksgiving is a federal holiday in the United States of America. It is celebrated every year on the fourth Thursday of November. The first Thanksgiving was celebrated by the pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in 1621. These New England colonists were in practice of prayer and fasting to give thanks to God and to ask Him for protection and guidance. The first Thanksgiving was a three day long feast thanking God for the successful harvest, their families and new friendship with the Native Americans who helped them!

Thanksgiving was celebrated nationally with a proclamation by our first President George Washington in 1789. However, Thomas Jefferson chose not to observe the holiday and it was put on hold until 1863. President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a National Day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” Lincoln called on the American people to also, “With humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience- fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal wounds of the nation…”

Sounds like the perfect proclamation for our Nation today!

Abraham Lincoln declared it to be observed on the last Thursday in November.

On June 28, 1870, President Ulysses S. Grant signed it into law in the ‘Holidays Act’ that made Thanksgiving a yearly appointed federal holiday. President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the date to one week earlier and there it has stayed.

The observance of a holiday, a day set aside to Give Thanks to God for His provision, is nothing to take for granted!  

As Halloween becomes one of the most popular holidays in America and the most decorated, only to be surpassed by Christmas immediately after, Thanksgiving is in danger of becoming ‘The Forgotten Holiday.’ I believe as Christians we need to thank our God and our country for a day to “Give Thanks” to God. It is an opportunity for us to demonstrate God’s Love. We can invite others to feast with us. We can have hearts full of gratitude and thanks and ask God to forgive us when we fall short. 

Above all we can remember to be thankful and grateful for the privilege of celebrating Thanksgiving!

“Give thanks with a grateful heart, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

I Thessalonians 5:18




T – Time – Thank you God for time with those I love.

H – Hot Chocolate – Thank you God for the joy of drinking hot chocolate with my grand babies.

A – Apples – Thank you God for apples. I especially love them with almond butter and cinnamon.

N – New Friends – Thank you God for bringing new friends to our church.

K – Kettle corn – Thanks you God for kettle corn at Apple Hill enjoyed every year with my family.

S – Snow – Thank you God for SNOW! I LOVE the snow! I love skiing in it, sledding in it, building snowmen in it and throwing snowballs from it. I even love just staring at it!

G – Green Grass – Thank you God for luscious green grass that looks like a velvet blanket spreading over the rolling hills.

I – Invitations – Thank you God for invitations to meet new people and to invite people to church!

V – Vines- Thank you God for grape vines that show your splendor through every season.

I – Ice -Thank you God for Ice.  I really do not like warm drinks!

N – November – Thank you God for the month of November when the weather turns cool and we get to celebrate Thanksgiving.

G – Gifts – Thank you God for the many gifts you so generously give us.

Now it’s your turn! What are you thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving Friends!

May we never take for granted the true gift that it is to give THANKS to our Great God!

Speak Truth Love


I have a question for you! Are you growing? 

I’m not talking about in size and I’m not even talking about your plants outside. I am asking if you are growing in gratitude?

Last week I challenged myself and anyone else who wanted to join me, to practice habits of gratitude. I suggested we write five things every day that we are thankful to God for. 

How far did you get? Shamefully, I got as far as the five things I wrote on my blog last week! Oh sure, I thank God throughout the week as I thought about giving him gratitude. I sat in church on Sunday and I thank him during prayer. I even got up several mornings during the week and thanked him for the day. But did I name five things every day, on purpose and offer thankfulness in my heart to develop a habit? No, absolutely not. I blew it!

I sadly allowed this “INSTANT” culture that I have allowed to seep into my character prevail.

We live in a world that is “INSTANT” driven.

INSTANT COMMUNICATION, we have cell phones that never leave our hands except to be transferred to a nightstand.

INSTANT SOCIAL MEDIA, we can make a response simply by clicking an emoji! One source even bears the name “INSTAGRAM!”

INSTANT POTS, that cook the food we dump into them in half the time as normal.

And INSTANT FOOD, better known as “FAST FOOD.” It is handed to us in an INSTANT through a drive-through window.

INSTANT has not just become second nature… It has in many cases become our very nature! We have become so accustomed to having everything in an INSTANT, that working hard and developing a habit towards some thing can seem like a flat out failure!

As sincere as we may be about having GRATITUDE, and giving praise to God, it can become an almost impossible task!

We cannot simply push a button, flip a switch, drive through and pick it up or have it delivered to our doorstep! Therefore, it can easily get tossed in the “non-valuable“ pile!

GRATITUDE is not some thing that happens instantaneously! it is some thing that is developed, it is a process and it takes time! It is possibly, the most valuable trait we could possess.

If we would stop trusting the world, and begin trusting the Word of God, we would soon see that developing a habit of gratitude and growing in gratitude, is as vital to our well-being as breathing in air!

Shout  joyfully to the Lord all the earth; Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises.”  

Psalm 98:4

We are commanded to shout, to break out in song, to rejoice and to sing our praises to our great God! If we his people don’t, then his earth, his creation will!

To praise our God should be as easy as breathing or eating to us. No one should have to remind me to breathe! And no one has ever had to remind me to eat! Yet again, and again, and again I naturally fall into complaining and forget to praise my God. He is so deserving!

A form of gratitude is praise. Praise is defined as, “The offering of grateful homage in words or song, as an act of worship.“

So this week, I am determined to do better than last! I am determined to grow in gratitude and to develop a character of praise! I am also determined to fight against the INSTANT culture that I live in and take the time that is needed to Praise my Great God who is SO deserving!



Any one else need a “re-do?” If so will you join me?


Speak Truth Love


Let’s make it a HABIT!

A habit can be positive or negative.  

They can help us or hurt us. When the word ‘HABIT’ is spoken it normally brings up negative connotations. However, the definition of a ‘HABIT’ leans as much toward positive behavior as it does to negative behavior!

In the dictionary a ‘HABIT’ is defined as;

“An acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary.”

The problem is not in the definition, it lies in the action! A HABIT can be either positive or negative depending on the action taken.

Look at these examples:

1. The habit of exercising regularly.

2. The habit of eating healthy foods in smaller portions.

3. The habit of drinking 8 or more glasses of water a day.

All of these “Healthy Habits,” take time, commitment and sacrifice. They call us into ACTION. We will feel better in the long run, but we are sacrificing the momentary pleasure.

Now look at these examples:

1. Eating a sweet or salty treat every day, or maybe several times a day.

2. Drinking alcohol after work every day. 

3. Using narcotics regularly to get through the day.

All of these “HABITS” are done quickly and easily and the “feel better feelings” come instantaneously. Instead of sacrificing momentary pleasure, we have made a habit out of momentary pleasure.

The HABIT I would like to make in my life is that of GRATITUDE. Research shows that it is a positive HABIT not just spiritually(with my relationship with God), but also physically, mentally and emotionally!

People who are grateful are known to be depressed less(mental/physical), get better grades in school(mental), sleep better and stay healthy(physical), and have deeper friendship(emotional).




As we read God’s Word we see the theme of GRATITUDE! There are literally hundreds of verses telling us to give thanks or offer praise to God.

God knew that GRATITUDE would affect our lives positively!



So, whether your life is moving along smoothly or you feel like you are walking in quicksand, GRATITUDE is the antidote.

William Penn put it this way;

“The secret of happiness is to count your blessings while others are adding up their trouble.”

So, let’s make it a habit! Through the month of November let’s focus on a way each week that we can make GRATITUDE a HABIT.

This week let’s make a daily habit to write down five things that we are thankful for.

I’ll get us started;

1. God

2. Family

3. Friends

4. Church

5. Music

Now it’s your turn!

Speak Truth Love


Life, what is it?

We spend so much time trying to live it, but do we ever define it?

A baby is born and we celebrate life.  A loved one dies and we grieve life.  

We tell a small child reaching for the flower on a stem, not to pick it or it will cease to live.

We even see a dead animal on the side of the road and feel sadness at the loss of life.

Last week my husband came home from work and said he saw the saddest sight. He was driving home on his usual route which winds through some beautiful wine country. It was Fall and he was marveling at all of the beautiful autumn colors on the vines and trees. There were brilliant yellows, golds, oranges and reds. It looked like the plants were virtually on fire with color. All of a sudden his admiration turned to shock as he saw a beautiful deer, lying dead on the side of the road. He commented that while it was not a baby, it was young. It was too soon for this life to be over!

Life, what does that mean?

The scientific definition is fairly simple to wrap our minds around:

“The condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organisms.”  

Basically, Life verses Death!

What I am referring to is more than physical existence. I am referring to the gift we have been given by God.

God desires that we be full of Life, lively, animated and spirited (full of His spirit)!

God sent His Son, Jesus to give us Life. Through Jesus Christ we have both Life here on earth and Life eternal forever in heaven with Him!

In this incredible I AM statement that Jesus makes here in John 11:25-26, Jesus is declaring that Yes, we will have LIFE through the Resurrection in the end where we will join all the righteous of The Lord! We will also have that life daily as we live and breathe as “organisms” on this earth. We have LIFE through the Resurrection and The Life Himself, Jesus Christ!

“I am The Resurrection and The Life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

Jesus was talking to Martha here, a very dear friend. Her brother, Lazarus (also a very dear friend), had become ill and died. Martha desperately mourned her brother’s death and told Jesus that if he had been here her brother would not have died.  

Jesus, loving them both, replies to Martha, 

Your brother will rise again.”

Martha responds like most of us would, out of her limited understanding of who God really is.

I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”  John 11:24

In Truth and Confidence, Jesus declares this I AM statement to convey greater Truth about who He is!

He is The Resurrection and The Life. If we believe in Him we have life eternal forever with Him and Life on this earth.

To prove this point Jesus raises Lazurus from the dead. I cannot even imagine the life Lazurus must have lived on this earth after that!  I can almost guarantee he lived with greater purpose than ever before!  I bet he lived with greater life, animation and spirit than he did before.

Lazurus did eventually die a physical death on this earth like we all will. But due to “The Resurrection and The Life” Himself, Jesus, and Lazurus choosing to believe in Him, Lazurus now LIVES the eternal LIFE promised to all of us.

The question I have for us today is, Are we living to die, or are we dying to live?

I hope that we are not just passing the days here on earth virtually “lifeless,” demonstrating no joy or gratitude for the life we have been given, AKA: “Living to die.”

Instead, I hope that we are “Dying to live!” Living every day God gives us life on this earth with a spirit that reflects God’s Love.



Let’s live fully until we die, to honor the One who is The Resurrection and The Life, Jesus Christ!

Speak Truth Love