Saturday, November 29, 2014

Focus of thanks giving

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100: 4-5
Thanksgiving Day is not the beginning of the insane shopping season that Christmas has become. It is a day to recognize our blessings and give thanks. With the frenzy to sell more and be first to do it, Thanksgiving has become more about who can get the doors open first and have the biggest bait and switch hooks to lure buyers in. I can’t imagine anything more daunting than shopping on Thanksgiving Day or Black Friday, be it in a brick and mortar building or online. I admire the shop owners who adamantly remained closed Thursday so their employees could spend time with family. There are some essential services that require people to work every day. Retail stores hardly qualify.
Thanksgiving goes on throughout the year, not just the officially dedicated day. When we forget to be thankful we also forget to acknowledge the source of everything we have. Our blessings abound year around. Giving God glory, praise and thanksgiving are part and parcel of who we are and what we have. His blessings determine the richness of our lives whether we’re living in a mansion on in more humble circumstances. Our actions and behavior are a reflection of whose we are, not what we have. By sharing what we have through giving to the church or charities or by our caring attention to the needs of others, we are showing our gratitude. Sharing glorifies God and makes the most of who he made us to be.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Why, Lord?

He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (NIV)

There is so much emotional upheaval in my life I scarcely know how to fix it, or more specifically fix those who are causing the turmoil. Perhaps therein lies the problem. Me thinking I can fix anything. It’s way past time to lay it at Jesus feet and let him take it up. My “fixes” have only made those I’m trying to help dependent on me, not on God. What will happen when I trust the Lord and stop fretting about things I cannot change? Am I willing to place my trust in him and let it go at that? How do I know what God expects of me or am I being too analytical? Today seems no better than yesterday as I struggle with conscience verses good sense, and above all – Faith, believing God is at work and his outcome for those I love is in his hands. A loved one’s illness, another’s selfish disregard for anyone else, these people who I love and whose lives are in such turmoil – I cannot fix them or their lives; I must trust in the Lord. And then it hits me. I’ve made this all about me. Maybe the fix needs to start in my heart, beginning with faith, forgiveness and letting go. God is at work. That's all I need to know.

Monday, February 3, 2014

A coat of many colors

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

In the story of Joseph, the coat of many colors was tainted with blood. Jacob was convinced it was the blood of his beloved son. Though much loved by his father Joseph was resented by his brothers. Relationships sink or swim on as little as this. None of them could predict what God could and would do with this act of betrayal. It is a reminder of how important it is to be absolutely certain that God’s plan is greater and more intricately connected to end results than anything we can do. Trust in the Lord. Be strong under fire. Make the most of who you are. God has promised to be with you, even when those around you sell you out, life hands you bitter gall instead of ambrosia, health fails, and troubles bubble. You are stronger than you think, not because of who you are, but because of who God is.
You can never know what tomorrow brings, so instead of fretting because of events over which you have no control, trust in the Lord, he has a plan and only he knows its outcome. Today’s troubles are not always what they seem. Today’s successes are blips on the radar of life. You are part of God’s plan, as are all those around you, even those who unsettle you or try your patience. God is in charge, all the time. Trust in his guidance. Be a Joseph, praising God and living each day in faith. Did he feel life was unjust? He had cause to feel that way. Sold into slavery by his brothers. Falsely accused by a vindictive woman. Joseph trusted against all odds that God had a plan.
We may not be ready for whatever is next in life, but God is. He is prepared to help us – not some of the time, but all of the time. He rescues us in most unusual ways. He provided a ram in the thicket when Abraham was ready to put his son under the knife. He provided a compassionate daughter of a king to rescue Moses when her father would have had him killed. He gave us his son for our salvation.