Thursday, December 17, 2015

For From Him And Through Him And To Him Are All Things

Tomorrow, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” opens in the United States. Personally, I, and my children, are very excited. We have tickets to catch a showing and I am hopeful it will not be a COMPLETE madhouse filled with chaos! The last thing I want, of course, is for anyone to get hurt in the “Star Wars” fun!

I was fortunate to get extremely, decently priced tickets! Further, this counts as one of mine, and the kiddos, Christmas gifts.

I am so thankful to God, the Provider of all things, that “Star Wars” is our gift. That means we have food, clothing, shelter, and every necessity, plus luxury items, in our life. But what about those in other walks of life and/or parts of the world who need greater things than a movie? This beautiful video showed up on my “news feed” and it just melts my heart! Look at how excited they are to receive a shoe box sized gift for Christmas! It drives home the fact of how much I have, the amount of gratitude I should show, and how often I should thank God for all He provides!

16 Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. 17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. 18 I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. 19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20 To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. (Philippians 4:16-20. ESV.)

16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. (Hebrews 13:16. ESV.)

8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8. ESV.)

4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? (Romans 2:4. ESV.)

11 Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, 12 and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, 13 so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints. (1 Thessalonians 3:11-13. ESV.)

36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. (Romans 11:36. ESV.)

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Even the Darkness is Not Dark to You

Have you ever been placed in a situation and you were not quite sure what God wanted you to do with it or why He even put you there in the first place?

On Thanksgiving my family and I were visiting others. That evening, I witnessed a man attack another man. It was horrible, unnerving, and quite upsetting. The victim was a mentally disabled man who was also smaller than the attacker. My children were with me so I was in a position where I had to protect them and try to assist the disabled man at the same time. Thankfully, my husband came running and was able to intervene on behalf of the victim but not before damage was already done. The handicapped man sustained injuries and the sheer brutality of it all was very unpleasant for me and my children. We could not get away from the situation fast enough but I also had great concern for the victim and did not want to leave without knowing he would be safe from his attacker.

So, why? Why, Lord, was I in that place at that time?

As Christmas and the holiday season has approached and is in full swing, I am once again feeling like I am in a boat, on turbulent waters, during a storm. I feel conflicted quite a bit at Christmas time. I think mainly because I want to be a good steward of all God gives me. So here begs the question, “What is most important about this holiday season?” Whether it is Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, etc. that is celebrated, what are the priorities in your household?

When considering gifts for others, I want to get them something they NEED not just something they WANT. Does that make sense?

I feel God, our Heavenly Father, does likewise for us. I believe all those prayers that seemingly go unanswered are not falling on deaf ears. They are being accepted and sorted. As I stand before the throne of grace I can just visualize God nodding His head and smiling at me like a loving parent…listening to my heartache and/or requests, as I sort through any confusion or misunderstanding rolling about in my mind.
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.

13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.
(Psalm 139:12-18. ESV.)

I repent of my uneasiness. I leave my anxiety, apprehension, uncertainty, and restlessness at the foot of the throne. Please, Lord, change my heart. Give me wisdom for every moment of each day. Give me words of encouragement for those You place in my life. And, above all, allow those who look at me to see a reflection of You! Fill my heart with endless love. Keep me unstained from the world. Allow me to know You fully and to serve widows and orphans well. Thank you, Lord, all honor and glory are Yours!
25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 1:25. ESV.)

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

When the Next Stumble Comes

(The following post was written by Tamera.)

My dad passed away on December 8th and it is one of those bittersweet memories.

After years of trying to figure out life, he was tired of the fight and committed suicide.

I remember getting the email that something was wrong. I JUST got a job a Sprint and looked like a crazy person sobbing in the middle of the cafeteria floor.

I called the ICU in TN and Sharon, the nurse (ironically my mothers name) told me it would be wise if I got there soon. I was living in CO at the time, so I dropped everything and went to see him....really to see him off.

I take after my dad in soooooo many ways and by no means am I judging his choice. I have his humor but I also have his darkness with depression and former substance abuse.

His death brought me to life. It taught me that I have to fight the battles or the battles will win.

I refuse to be mediocre and even though I can be a hot mess, feel hopeless, doubt myself, sabotage myself and temporarily "throw in the towel".....

I know on the other side of the stumbles, even if I just crawl past them....

Life is awesome and I can be stronger when the next stumble comes.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Another New Added Contributor

I am so excited to get to say another new contributor has agreed to write for this blog! I am beyond stoked! It is amazing where God leads us and when. His timing is perfect and His plan so much better than my own. I have known this fabulous lady for over a year, now, and she is so encouraging! I cannot wait to see all of the inspiring things she writes! I am currently finishing up a semester of studies so I have to run for now. But, I did want to quickly let you know to keep an eye out for our new author!


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