What I’m Most Thankful For

In a few days it will be Thanksgiving and at my house preparations are underway.

This is the time of year that most of us stop to  consider the blessings we’ve received but maybe don’t acknowledge as frequently as we should.  When my grandson Christopher was in 1st grade, his teacher gave the class an assignment to write down the one thing they were most thankful for. Then she put all their papers on the wall for display. Some of the kids said their parents, some said their pets and some even said brothers or sisters. Here’s what Christopher said.

I’m most thankful for Jesus who died for our sins and rose from the dead in April.”

Ok, let me explain. The previous spring Easter had been in April.  But out of the mouths of babes. Should not we all be most thankful for Jesus Christ, Who became sin so that we might become righteous, Who became poor so that we might become rich, and by Whose stripes we are healed.

Thank You, Heavenly Father for your most precious gift, the death, burial and resurrection of Your Son Jesus, the Christ, Your Anointed One. Thank You Heavenly Father that because I’ve put my trust in You, I now have life everlasting. Amen

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Don’t Forget, but Step Away

Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name,”

begins the 103 Psalm.

For years now this has been one of my favorites and often I begin my prayer time with this Psalm. When you read through it, it reminds us of everything we have in Christ.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits”

continues the psalmist.  It goes on to list all the things the writer was thankful for – healing, salvation, deliverance, renewal. The word bless means to praise or to speak well of.  The psalmist is speaking well of his God, praising Him for “all his benefits”.  Usually as I pray, I recite the Psalm as written but sometimes I find myself just reciting it, as if by rote not really paying attention to what I’m saying. But when I start sincerely “blessing the Lord” and really thinking about all His benefits in my life, right now, today, that is when I begin to worship the Lord for Who He is.

I know the power of Word based prayers because when we pray back to God His Word, we are in perfect agreement with with His will. But there are times when we need to “step away” from the Word and just lay out our hearts before the Almighty God.

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Question without Doubt

“Will the Lord cast off forever? And will He be favorable no more? Has His mercy ceased forever? Has His promise failed forevermore? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He in anger shut up His tender mercies?” Psalm 77:7-9 (NKJV)

There are times when it feels like God has abandoned us. There are situations where there are no easy answers and we’re just at a loss to understand why. It’s dishonest when Christians try to pretend they never have problems and never question God. We all do it. Questioning God is not the same thing as doubting God. We have a right to question sometimes – and God has the right to not give us the answer we’re wanting at the time we want it.

I have a precious friend whose little grandson has been battling leukemia for more than two years. I read her emails and talk to her on the phone and I feel the pain she and her family are in. Why does a young child have to suffer? Why does an ugly disease have to attack a precious family who love God and trust Him to care for their children? Why have all our prayers for healing not been answered? These are all valid questions and I have no answers.

What I do know is that the God I serve is a loving and just God. I know His written word says that “whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Mark 11:23 (NKJV) and “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. James 5:14, 15 (NJKV).

I will keep praying, asking and believing. And I will love my friend. I will listen to her questions and I will pass them on to our Heavenly Father. In due time we will receive.

Peace and blessing to you all.

Dee

WE MUST NEVER FORGET

Today is Veterans Day, the day we take time to honor the men and women who have served our country in the military. We recognize every day men and women who should be honored as heroes. They are the ones, from the battles of Concord and Valley Forge, to the deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan, who have won and are keeping our freedoms. They are the ones who are on the front lines keeping America strong and safe.  They are called of God to defend our nation.

The book of Ecclesiastes tells us “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven –   … a time for war, and a time for peace.” (Eccl. 3:1, 8b NASB)  When our country is attacked from outsiders, as we were at Pearl Harbor in December 1941 and again by terrorists on September 11, 2001, that is a time for war. When innocent people are slaughtered by evil regimes and need our help, that is a time for war. On all of these occasions, American men and women answered the call and served where their country sent them. No one desires or loves war, especially not those who are there; but those who do have to fight, appreciate our freedoms more because they know firsthand the great cost.

Both my father and my father-in-law were WWII Veterans. They were young men who put their lives on hold and served their country. They neither one talked very much about their experiences unless pressed to talk about it. Most veterans of that era are humbled by any recognition and don’t consider themselves heroes.

My husband served in the Navy during Viet Nam and all of us baby boomers remember too well the protests and the unrest our nation was in during that time. The saddest part of that is the protesters were hurting the very people who were fighting for their right to assemble and protest! They were unwitting pawns of the enemy. Then when the soldiers and sailors came home, they were neglected and dishonored. Let us not make the same mistakes again.

Pray for our troops, for their safety and for their success. Pray for their families at home. Pray for their healing when they return, physical, mental and emotional. And most of all let us never forget to give thanks for men and women willing to give themselves for our country.

Peace and blessings.

Dee

Beauty Unimagined


“Then God said, ‘Let the land burst forth with every sort of grass and seed bearing plant. And let there be trees that grow seed-bearing fruit….And so it was.

“The land was filled with seed-bearing; plants and trees, and their seed produced plants and trees of the like kind. And God saw that it was good.”

“And God said, “Let bright lights appear in the sky to separate the day
from the night. They will be signs to mark off the seasons, the days, and the years.

“Let their light shine down upon the earth.’ And so it was.”

Gen: 1:11,12, 14,15

My husband Larry and I went on a short vacation to Arkansas last week-end. We drove up to Hot Springs and then through the Ouachita National Forest and across the Talihina Scenic Byway returning home through eastern Oklahoma.  We both have always loved mountains and enjoy just driving through looking at the scenery. This was our first trip to Arkansas in the fall and were looking forward to seeing the changing leaves. In some areas, the leaves had already peaked but there were still areas of brilliant color.  Every red from pale orange to blazing fire red to burgundy; every yellow from pale yellow to rich gold turning to rusts. The evergreen pine trees seemed to intensify their greens in contrast to the vibrant reds of the hardwoods.

I kept thinking that as beautiful as this is, what must heaven be like? God created this planet by speaking it into existence in only six days.  This world is tainted by sin and decay. Yet, its beauty in places takes our breath away.

1 Corinthians 2:9 says “But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.'” We can’t even begin to speculate the wonders that wait for us in heaven other than the clues given to us in the Word. Streets of gold, the throne of God, a sea of glass, like crystal and living creatures singing day and night “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come”. (See Rev 4) Talk about something to take your breath away!  As the song says, what will it be like; will I be able to praise Him or will I be unable to speak at all? I can only imagine.

Peace and blessings to you all.

Dee

Perseverance

The Merriam-Webster’s On-line Dictionary defines perseverance as: “the action or condition or an instance of persevering: steadfastness”.  The root word persevere is to continue despite difficulties, opposition, or discouragement. Today is one of those days when I’m struggling.  I’m not discouraged, far from it. I excited about the possibilities that are opening up for me.  I’m more distracted with other things.

Today my husband and I are leaving for a week-end trip and it’d be much easier to just pack and get ready for my trip than to sit at the computer and write. But God called me to write, so write I must do.

“Therefore, my beloved brethren [and sisters], be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” I Corinthians 15:58 (NKJV)

“Be steadfast.” That means even when there are distractions and things the self wants to do, I have to be faithful to do the things I’ve committed to do.

Jesus said “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; …” Luke 16:10a

If I expect to write and publish books, I must prove myself faithful in the small assignments first. How many times do we disparage the small tasks we’re assigned, not considering they are important to someone else, and our response to them is important to God. God looks on the heart, and when our heart is right before Him regarding the work we’re called to do, whatever that may be, He will bless it.  We are not to despise small beginnings because we don’t always know what is just around the corner or what the end result will be. Only God knows and He is God of  the small and the great. (Read Zechariah 4:10)

So my friends, whatever you are called to do, do it with all your might.

Peace and blessings.

Dee

The Joy of Grandparenting

“Grandchildren are the crowning glory of the aged;  parents are the pride of their children.”  Proverbs 17:6 (NLT)

I cannot lie – time with either or both of my grandsons is one of the joys of my life.  Whatever my mood, it always improves at the sight or sound of one of my grandchildren.  There is a joke that grandchildren are God’s reward for not killing your children when they’re teen-agers! Any one who has ever had teen-age kids at home know exactly what I’m talking about. Whatever the reason, grandchildren are God’s precious blessings.

Yesterday I got to spend part of the day with my daughter Rachael, and her son, Braden, shopping for Braden’s 1st birthday present. We looked at toys and tried them out in the store. Braden and I tried on hats while mom was in the bathroom.  What is it that makes an ordinarily sensible woman be willing to make a total fool of herself, in public no less, all to interact with a young child? It’s those tiny little fingers that reach into your heart, intertwine themselves and never let you go. It was such fun. And the best part of all was just being with Braden. I loved it!

I can’t believe he’s almost a year old. This past year has flown by and now he’s starting to walk and trying to talk. Life in my daughter and son-in-law’s household will never be the same.

My older grandson, Christopher, will be 10 in December. That’s harder to believe. It seems only a short time ago that he was Braden’s age, toddling around my house when I would be keeping him. I can still recite most of Sandra Boynton’s books that I read to him. Every day. Repeatedly. Of course that skill is coming in handy now with Braden.  These days Christopher and I exchange email – mine full of questions and I love yous, his short and to the point, ending with “Love you too.” Ten-year boys are not big on writing.

As much fun as it is being a grandparent (I’m Nana to the boys), there is much more. As Christopher’s and Braden’s Nana, I have a responsibility, a command from God. The Apostle Paul when writing to Timothy said “…I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.” I Timothy 1:5 (NKJV) Timothy learned the things of God not only from his mother, but from his grandmother. I must teach my grandchildren about Jesus and teach them the Word of God. My son and my daughter each are teaching their children, but as the boys’ grandmother, it’s my job to supplement their teaching, to help and encourage them.

Grandparents are important in a child’s life. I had wonderful, godly grandparents. They quietly lived their faith in the Lord Jesus in front of me, preaching powerful sermons just by their daily lives.  My husband’s maternal grandmother gave him the love and encouragement he too often didn’t receive from his mother.  My dad’s grandmother lived to be almost 100 years old and I remember visiting her when I was a child. I could sense the love and respect my dad had for his Grandma.

Having grandchildren is a blessing I thank God for every day, but I’m awed at the responsibility He’s given me. I thank Him for the examples I’ve had to show me the way. And I thank Him for giving me His Written Word to teach me the things I need to know in order to instill them in my grandchildren.

Peace and Blessings to you all.

Dee

Please leave me a comment and share about your grandchildren or what you learned from your grandparents.