Giving Thanks, Week 3

In two days we will celebrate nationally the day of Thanksgiving!

Most of us will gather together with family and friends and eat many of the same traditional foods. I do not know about you, but I do not serve cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes with gravy and pumpkin pie with whipped cream at my dinner table on most nights. But you better believe they will be on my Thanksgiving table! 

Why is it that I will spend more money than I normally do on a traditional meal, search high and low for the perfect Turkey, spend countless hours baking everyone’s favorite dessert, fret over setting the “perfect” table yet so quickly forget that it is all a representation of what should be a daily practice? A practice that should flow from my heart as easily as breathing flows from my lungs.

A day set aside to Give Thanks is wonderful! An opportunity to gather with family and friends great! And a reason to overindulge in delicious food is thrilling. It is all well and good as long as the meaning is not lost.

Giving Thanks, AKA THANKSGIVING, is a daily practice that God is deserving of and our lives can be transformed by!

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 

I Thessalonians 5:18

TRUTH BOMB 

IT IS GODS WILL THAT WE GIVE THANKS ON THANKSGIVING DAY AND EVERY DAY!

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GIVING THANKS, WEEK 2

As we get closer and closer to the day that we set aside each year(Wow, one whole day! That is SO Big of us! There is a whole blog series just on that, but for another time), it would seem that it should get easier and easier to GIVE THANKS!

But I am embarrassed to say, that for me, it feels harder and harder!

I have no idea what kind of a “SEASON” you are right now, or have been, going through in your life. For me, it has been one of the most difficult and long-lasting, seasons I have ever found myself in!  I have cried out, even screamed out, to God over and over to PLEASE bring it to an end. But to this day, He has not yet completed whatever it is I need to endure, so on it continues!

So, I start out this beautiful season of Fall and Thanksgiving with great hope and joy and before I know it, the heaviness that wears on me due to my circumstances, tries to kill and destroy it!  How do I fight it? Do I throw my hands up in the air and give into it, or do I lift up my head and look to the One who deserves all my Thanksgiving?

Why? Because in giving thanks to God, I am made whole, regardless of my circumstances!

TRUTH BOMB

THANKSGIVING MAKES US WHOLE!

One of the stories in the Bible that proves this point is the story of Jesus encountering the ten lepers. Jesus is with His disciples on their way to Jerusalem.  

By the way, Jesus knows what awaits Him in Jerusalem. He is on His way to His death and resurrection. Now talk about difficult circumstances!

Still Jesus has time for compassion and healing for those in need.

Now, on my worst day, and yours too for that matter, we are far better off than a leper. 

Ten lepers see Jesus and call out to Him, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!

When Jesus saw them He said, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.”

They did and they were healed!

Great day, right!? You would think they would be jumping up and down!

But just like us, they can be so caught in their negative circumstances that they forget how to GIVE THANKS!

Only one of the ten lepers gave thanks! He actually did three things to thank God.

First, he praised God with a loud voice!

Second, he threw himself at Jesus’ feet showing that Jesus was Lord!

And, third, He thanked Jesus for His miraculous healing!  AKA, HE GAVE THANKS!

Jesus responded,

Arise and go: your faith has made you well.

You see friends, we do not give God thanks because everything in our lives is going well. We give thanks even when things are not going well because of our faith in the One who deserves all our thanks!

This week I pray that you will give God Thanks for who He is whether your circumstances are good or extremely difficult. Believing that God will take care of all our needs, Amen!

Speak Truth Love

GIVING THANKS

It’s November! I LOVE November!

It’s cold outside, it’s raining(at least here in California), I’ve pulled every sweater out of storage that I have, the fireplace is lit, and I’ve finally pulled a pair of socks onto my feet!

With November comes shorter days. The shorter days call for longer nights spent cuddled in a blanket with a warm cup of tea reading a book. I would love to tell you that I do this every night, but far too often, distractions take the place of this God-ordained time of “slowing down,” we call Winter.

We tend to complain that the days are too short and there is not enough sunlight. I get it, I love my walks in the evenings as the sun sets. I love my bike rides down the vineyard paths watching the green leaves on the vines turn to gold and orange.

But what would happen to the state of our souls, our inner beings, if instead of seeking the sunlight, we started craving the SONlight? What if we allowed the pause of winter to enter our souls and cause us to seek the son, Jesus Christ, The Son Of God. 

Your body will not go into atrophy, I promise! You do not have to give up your active lifestyle, you just have to start a bit earlier and look for the sunrise instead of the sunset!

In all honesty, I believe God created the seasons with a rhythm that we should pay more attention to.  

Spring offers that beautiful transition between some cold days and some warm. We get outside and get a little work done and then the rain drives us back inside for a time.  

Summer draws us outside even before the sun is up, as the temps grow warmer and warmer. We are drawn to the warmth of the sun and the coolness of shade, and we stay and play all day long, well into the night.

Fall brings relief as we grow weary of long hot days. The days of Fall shorten gradually and the breeze cools and the colors beckon our attention.

Finally, it’s winter and days are short, nights are long and the cold weather can only be endured for a short amounts of time. We are drawn inside, to get warm, find protection and comfort.

In this state of “winter,” we can find true warmth, protection and comfort when we sit and draw in the SON!

I can think of no better way to begin this season of winter and drawing close to the Son, than to give thanks to Him. It is after all, the season of Thanksgiving, so let’s practice all this month!

Praise The Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.”    Psalms 106:1

Gather up your coziest blanket, grab a cup of your favorite hot beverage, and turn off your cell phone! That’s right, you read that correctly…TURN OFF YOUR CELL PHONE! Now, speak this Psalm of Praise to God.  Allow the pause of winter to calm and draw you into God’s presence. Give Him thanks for His love and goodness. Then just sit and soak in the warmth your soul really needs, the warmth that only the SON can give.

TRUTH BOMB

Winter offers the perfect pause to draw warmth from the SON!

Speak Truth Love

TREAT OR TRICK?

It’s November 1st, and I could not be happier! I have often been quoted as saying, “November 1st is my favorite day of the year!” Is it because I love November? Is it because two of my favorite boys were born in November? Is it because Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday? Is it because the days are growing colder? Is it because it is Daylight Savings and I get to stay snuggled under the covers longer?

NO, NO, NO, NO AND NO! While all of these statements are true of me, they are not the reason November 1st is my favorite day of the year. There is only one reason it is my favorite and that is because Halloween is over.

That’s right, I said it, I’m that person, I do not like Halloween! I realize I have possibly excommunicated you from ever reading my blog again, but it’s true. Today is November 1st, and I woke up with a smile on my face and joy in my heart simply because Halloween is over! 

I also know that I am automatically putting myself in a very small, if not tiny to minute, population. That is why today’s blog comes with a caution sign…

BEWARE; THIS POST MAY CONTAIN A TREAT OR A TRICK! READ ONLY WITH AN OPEN HEART AND MIND!

You may be in the larger population that has absolutely no problem with Halloween. You love dressing up and having an opportunity to express your creative, kooky, fun side. You love gathering together with friends and attending trunk or treats at your local churches, bobbing for apples and eating popcorn balls with your neighborhood friends. You may love getting great exercise as you walk around your neighborhood gathering as much candy as possible or opening your door and handing it out to those cute little trick-or-treaters! You may love pumpkin carving, pumpkin seed roasting, and eating all things pumpkin! None of this is bad or wrong in anyway! To shame anyone who likes Halloween is not at all what this post is about. This post is to simply share my heart on the love I have for November 1st, which happens to be today, knowing Halloween is over! 

My spirit is sensitive to the possibility that saying, “Trick or Treat,” on Halloween may be the reverse of what we should be saying or at least thinking!? Treat or Trick may be the more accurate statement.

Ask yourself if you are being tricked or treated on Halloween?

If you are being “Treated,” then indulge and enjoy! Dress up to your hearts delight and indulge in ooey gooey pumpkin treats or the sweetest of candies! Celebrate with family friends and neighbors and have a great time doing it!

If you are being “Tricked”, then you may want to take a step back, ask the God and creator of every day, if His Light is being dimmed by the dark you are celebrating?

We are cautioned by God that in Him there is no darkness at all!

And the judgement is based on this fact: God’s LIGHT came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the LIGHT, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the LIGHT and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. BUT THOSE WHO DO WHAT IS RIGHT COME TO THE LIGHT SO OTHERS CAN SEE THAT THEY ARE DOING WHAT GOD WANTS.”    John 3:19-21

So, if there is any part of your HALLOWEEN that is “DARK,”‘ then you are being TRICKED not TREATED by the great Deceiver. Jesus calls him the Father of lies. He makes darkness look like light, deceiving us into thinking it is just an area of gray, AKA “harmless fun.”

TRUTH BOMB

Light will always drive out darkness!

So let’s have all the fun that this life holds as we walk in the LIGHT of Jesus Christ!

Happy November Everyone!

Speak Truth Love