THE WORN WELCOME MAT

January 15, 2017

 

img_20170115_140600331Looking at our worn “WELCOME” mat as I was sweeping the front porch two hours before expecting dinner guests, I thought,  “Hmmm…this is embarrassing!”  My gut reaction was to race to the store to buy a new one at some point after pulling the dessert from the oven and peeling potatoes for our goulash; but then, I probably wouldn’t have time.

So I began to reason with myself: A worn out “WELCOME” mat is a good thing. It is proof that we’ve been blessed with a lot of friends, and we are very grateful for each of them. My thoughts kept wandering…some of those friends have moved out of town, out of state, or even on to eternity with Jesus. Some live in other countries, and we are thankful for the bond of friendship that holds us together in spite of time and distance.

Maybe you’re one of our friends whose coming and going helped wear out our “WELCOME” mat. Thank you so much for your visit! Or maybe you are a friend – or future friend – who hasn’t come see us yet. Drop in sometime! You are always….WELCOME!

The embarrassment that I felt for having a worn out “WELCOME” mat gradually turned into gratefulness, and now I consider it a treasure. It’s a good thing. In fact, I think I’ll keep it a little longer as a reminder of the value of friendship.

Advertisements

OUR GOD ALWAYS DESERVES THANKS

November 28, 2016

On Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day we honor very special people and express our gratitude for their love and sacrifice. They all have a special day…but shouldn’t we ALWAYS  be thankful for them?

We just celebrated Thanksgiving Day. Is one day enough to thank God for all He does for us and for all he gives us? Of course not! We all know that God deserves our thanks more than one day a year!

In Ephesians 5:20, the Apostle Paul wrote:  “…giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…” Reading that, and taking note of the word ALWAYS, I made a long “ALWAYS GIVE THANKS” list and would like to share some things with you. To give thanks always means…

  • When I feel thankful and when I don’t
  • When I understand ‘why’ and when I don’t
  • When God answers my prayers my way and when He answers them His way
  • When it seems as though God doesn’t even hear me
  • When I don’t see an end in sight
  • When I feel energized and when I’m tired
  • When I look at the past and when I look at the future

You get the idea. So as you dig for another recipe for leftover turkey, take a minute to make your own “ALWAYS GIVE THANKS” list. Let’s all expand our thanksgiving beyond the holiday and cultivate a thankful attitude every day, because our God ALWAYS deserves thanks!

Join me each Monday in 2016 to share more of what I’m finding on my quest to know God better.


OUR GOD NEVER SLEEPS

February 8, 2016

“He who keeps you will not slumber…nor sleep.Psalm 121:3,4

What would happen if a person working in the control tower of a busy airport would fall asleep? Disaster. Or if anyone in a position of public service would snooze off on the job? Danger. There’s a time to sleep and a time to be awake and alert. People who are responsible for the well-being of others can’t be caught sleeping.

God is in control of everything in the universe. He’s in control of our lives, and He never sleeps on the job.

God was not sleeping when you got out of bed today to face a new day.

God was not sleeping when you got those bad test results, or when tragedy turned your life upside down.

God was not sleeping when you lost your job, your life’s savings, your home or your business.

God was not sleeping when you were falsely accused, or when a love one betrayed you.

God is not sleeping, even if your prayer is still unanswered.

You can rest assured, because God never sleeps.

Whatever your situation today, praise God that He will complete the good work He started in you, (Philippians 1:6) and rest in Him. He is not sleeping!

(Join me every Monday of 2016 as I share what I’m discovering in my quest to know God better)


FREE TO CHOOSE

December 29, 2015

A new year, a clean slate and endless choices. We have 366 days ahead of us, (2016 is a Leap Year!) and how we choose to live each day depends on us. We may not be able to choose our circumstances, but we are free to choose our reactions, attitudes, and our conduct. Since we are free to choose, here are some excellent choices I want to make, and I hope you join me!

CHOOSE TIME ALONE WITH GOD. We can start each day spending time with God to get His perspective, wisdom, direction, strength and peace, or we can “wing it” on our own. Psalm 63:1 tells us: “O God, You are my God; early will I seek You…”  It usually doesn’t go as good when we “wing it.”

CHOOSE GRACE. Let’s opt to treat others with the lavish grace that God pours out in our life. In Matthew 10:8 we find these words of Jesus: “Freely you have received, freely give.” We can show grace to others only because we’ve received it from Him.

CHOOSE TRUTH. Instead of allowing damaging thoughts pull us down, let’s believe what is true. We find truth in God’s word. Christ said that if we abide in His word, we will know the truth, and the truth will make us free. (John 8:32) Believing the truth of His Word, we’ll be free!

CHOOSE TRUST. We have a choice: to worry and be afraid, or to trust God. We can’t do both. Psalm 9:10 says, “And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.” Why would we not choose to trust our Faithful God?

CHOOSE TO LIVE FOR JESUS. It’s either our selfish agenda, or His; our lives revolve around ourselves, or they revolve around Him. The Apostle Paul wrote that “…those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” (2 Corinthians 5:14)

CHOOSE SURRENDER. Our burdens can get really heavy; we weren’t made to carry them. That’s why we have the privilege of giving them to God. Peter’s encouragement to believers is to cast “all your cares on Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) Our Heavenly Father wants us to trust Him with our burdens.

CHOOSE CONTENTMENT. It’s easy to gripe and complain; to be grumpy instead of thankful. Let’s learn what the Apostle Paul learned: to be content. He said, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.” (Philippians 4:11) When we are content, we are thankful!

CHOOSE TO END THE DAY PROCLAIMING GOD’S FAITHFULNESS. We can end each day lamenting how bad it went, or thankfully proclaim God’s faithfulness. Here’s a recommendation from the Psalmist: “It is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord…to declare Your lovingkindness in the morning and Your faithfulness every night.” (Psalm 92:1,2)

Don’t forget: we’re free to choose!


COUNT YOUR “Z” BLESSINGS

November 28, 2013

Finishing off our “Count Your Many Blessing” list on Thanksgiving Day, we come to our last list: “Z” blessings. My list is short: zeal, zoos, zippers, zinnias and zip lining.

We’ve come to the end of the A-Z blessing list and we are all very thankful to God for much more, including all that we forgot to list. Special thanks to you who have commented on your lists, and shared some of your special blessings as we went through these 26 days.

Let’s have a thankful heart all year ‘round, and join the Psalmist who encouraged himself to “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.” (Psalm 103:2) Enjoy this song as you thank Him today for all His blessings: http://youtu.be/DXDGE_lRI0E

Happy Thanksgiving!


COUNT YOUR “Y” BLESSINGS

November 27, 2013

Today we’re on the lookout for “Y” blessings. I found only a few of them: yard sales, years, yards, yams, Yellowstone National Park, yes, yarn, youth, Yosemite National Park (Even though I’ve never been there, the pictures are wonderful) and YOU.

There is only one YOU, special and unique. You have qualities, gifts and even quirks that no one else ever had. YOU have a history, a present and a future that has never been – and never will be – repeated. YOU are important to someone, but most importantly YOU are loved by God. He created YOU and planned your life so that YOU can be a blessing to others. And YOU are a blessing on my “Y” list!


COUNT YOUR “X” BLESSINGS

November 26, 2013

Since there aren’t too many “X” blessings, let’s bend the rules a little for today’s “Count Your Many Blessings” list. Let’s allow words that start with “eX” on our list, also. (I hope you’re OK with that!) Here are some of my “X” / “eX” blessings: x-rays, exercise, excellence, exceptions, extensions, explanations, experts and extras.

In John 1:16 we read about Jesus: “And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.” (NKJV) That means that Jesus gives us grace piled upon grace, and we all need that “extra”! The truth of extra grace is expressed in a sweet old hymn: “He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater…He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.”

Extra grace is an “eX” blessing that we can all thank God for! Take 3 minutes and 8 seconds to enjoy this hymn sung by the Gaithers here: http://youtu.be/YN9-Ri6qjZY


COUNT YOUR “U” BLESSINGS

November 23, 2013

We are alphabetizing our blessing list, and have come to our “U” blessings. Among other things, I’m thankful for: umbrellas, umbilical cords, unity, uncles, understanding, universities, upside-down cakes, USA, utilities, utensils and the underground church.

Many of us have the freedom to worship Jesus, to go to church, to own and read our own Bible and to let anyone and everyone know that we are Christ-followers. Those are blessings that we should never take lightly!

Statistics show that the underground church is a reality in 131 of the world’s 193 countries, and that about 165,000 Christians are martyred each year. Even with the horrors that our persecuted brothers and sisters experience, the underground church is growing at an amazing rate. The faith, boldness and commitment of our brothers and sisters in Christ is worthy to be imitated. Log on to www.persecution.com or www.opendoorsusa.org to learn more, and you will not only appreciate our freedom to worship, but you also will be thankful for the underground church.


COUNT YOUR “T” BLESSINGS

November 22, 2013

Our “Count Your Many Blessings” list is growing. I still keep adding to the lists I made with previous letters. My thoughts are getting more thankful. How about yours?

Today’s “T” blessing list includes the following: today, translation (that’s how I make a living!), truth, teeth, tongues, time, Thanksgiving, toothpaste, turkey, tables, trust, tomatoes, tomato soup and toasted cheese sandwiches, toes, teachers, telephones, tenacity and toddlers.

Toddlers are such fun to observe! Sometimes you can almost see the gears grinding inside their little minds when they look like they’re “strategizing” the next mess they’re going to make. Their innocent grins can win anyone over; their eagerness to learn and their tenacity when practicing a new skill are commendable. Toddlers are a “T” blessing to be thankful for!


COUNT YOUR “S” BLESSINGS

November 21, 2013

How’s your “Count Your Many Blessings” list going? Today we’re on the outlook for “S” blessings. Some of my list looks like this:

Surprises, sandwiches, supermarkets, salt for flavor and salt for icy sidewalks, singing, salaries, sunrises, salad, sales (especially “Clearance” sales), sunsets, Snickerdoodles, sunshine, sight, soap, swimming, Sundays, stars, shoes, summertime, spinach, snorkeling, smoke detectors, shampoo, stories, and the best “S” blessing, salvation.

Our eternal salvation in Christ supersedes all the A to Z blessings! We can survive without a lot of the blessings we’ve mentioned in the past weeks, but they are all secondary. Because of Jesus, we are assured of the blessing of salvation. Praise Him for that “S” blessing today!


%d bloggers like this: