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Thank you, Lord!

Give thanks to the Lord, our God and King, His love endures forever. For He is good, He is above all things, His love endures forever. Sing praise! Sing praise! With a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, His love endures forever. For the life that’s been reborn, His love endures forever. Sing praise! Sing praise! Sing praise! Sing praise!

What makes you thankful? What causes you to praise God with a thankful heart?

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of the year. Family and friends gather to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal at a table filled with the bounty that the Lord has blessed you with.  Summer is gone and the temperatures are a lot cooler. Refreshing weather marks the beginning of the holiday stretch that brings us to the New Year. Just the word ‘Thanksgiving’ conjures up thoughts of thankfulness. How could it not? Many circumstances and situations in our daily lives surprisingly turn out in ways we could not have predicted but they often turn out in wonderful ways. Who do we thank? Who deserves our thanks?

God. Period. He is the only God and He deserves our thanks and our praise.

  • Psalm 72:18-19 – Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. Blessed be his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory! Amen and Amen!
  • Psalm 69:30 – I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving.
  • Psalm 66:5 – Come and see what God has done; he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man.

Here is an awesome reason to thank the Lord…

  • Isaiah 40:28-31 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Thank you, Lord!

Here is another awesome verse. Just reading this verse should bring about a thankful heart. It reads,

  • Isaiah 41:13 – “For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”

Thank you, Lord!

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, be mindful of your blessings and take the time to sincerely say, “Thank you, Lord!”

  • Revelation 7:12 – “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2014 in Missions and Discipleship

 

20…wHaT???

Speak the Truth:

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

Talk the Talk:

It seems as if 2014 just got here and it’s running top speed toward the back door to make it’s hasty retreat. With just a few months (Uhhh….like 1) to go in this calendar year I find myself flipping to the last month of my calendar and shaking my head in disbelief. How did we get to Thanksgiving already? Didn’t I just take down the Christmas tree? (Maybe not but I’m absolutely POSITIVE that I did just finish cleaning up the last of that ridiculous hanging silver tinsel that sticks to the bottom of your feet and lingers for months after the tree is gone.)
So let’s go back to January… We’ve had time to maintain those New Year’s Resolutions. And with the clock ticking down, I’d like to know how you did. :-) I’ve heard it said that New Year’s resolutions are a lot like babies; fun to make but extremely difficult to maintain. Below are some of the most common New Year’s Resolutions that Americans make each year.

1. Lose Weight. This one is probably at the top of most lists. Diets are good but they don’t last very long for most people.. Lifestyle changes are even better! Did you meet your goal weight?

2. Stop smoking. If you haven’t been able to kick this one, well, there’s no time like the present. And if you only quit for two days start again. And again. And again. Every cigarette you don’t smoke is one more breath of fresh air and a step in the right direction.

3. Exercise More. How do you feel? Our busy days get the best of us much of the time. But you really gotta get out there and exercise. Once you’re off the couch, it’s just a matter of putting one foot in front of the other one. Take a walk, go for a swim, hop on your bike, turn on the Wii and go a round of “Just Dance” with the kiddos. You know you wanna Bust A Move.

4. Manage Stress. If you don’t manage this stuff it finds a way to manage you. And stress is a bad manager folks.

5. Pay off Debt. Can I get an amen on this one? Debt is a lot like a leaky set of pipes. You get one bill paid off and another one pops up. I should know… but we just keep swinging at it and eventually our money will work for us and not the otherway around.

6. Spend More Time With My Family. How you doing here? Every trip around the clock that hour hand makes is one less day you have with those little guys living in your care. Put down your phone. Close your laptop. Leave the laundry. Throw the football or have a tea party with Rainbow Dash and the other ponies because they will be gone when the dishes are still in the sink.

Walk the Walk:

I recently took a look back at my own list and felt the familiar pang of disappointment knowing that I was among the 78% of Americans that didn’t even make it to the 6 month mark with my own resolutions. So let’s sit around and beat ourselves up about it for a while. OR we embrace God’s word in this and every other area of our lives.

Instead, renew the thinking in your mind by the Spirit and clothe yourself with the new person created according to God’s image in justice and true holiness.
– Ephesians 4:23-24

Our God is so undeniably real and incredibly huge. He is for us. He has graciously given us a new day to begin again but He has also given us ETERNITY. Our goals are daily, weekly, and annually revised but our God is relentless with one goal in mind: You with Him. He will not give up, nor will He tire, nor will He ever stop that unceasing pursuit to capture your heart and make you like Him. Oh, to be that determined in any of the things I desire!

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2014 in Health and Wellness

 

Daddy

Speak the Truth:

Psalm 73:26

My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength[a] of my heart and my portion forever.

Talk the Talk:

It happened on a Sunday. As I stood at his bed side, gently touching his arm, he took his last breath. I was there when he walked into our lives nearly 40 years go and I was there when God called him to heaven.
With his girls at his side, he looked up at his wife and breathed his last. The love of his life would be the one he gazed upon. As he was delivered into the arms of Jesus, his journey on earth had ended and our new journey had started.

A brief moment of joy, and the knowledge of a pain free life came to mind. A real sense of peace washed over me and I knew at that moment what I was there to do. Things seemed to unravel pretty fast around me, my thoughts and emotions were under control, God’s control. I began to comfort and encourage others. Why He chose me, I do not know. I seemed fully aware of everyone’s whereabouts and what I needed to do next.

This new path we must walk will not be easy. I no longer have an earthly father, no husband for my mother or grandfather for my girls. God’s timing is perfect and I will trust that knowledge. I know my heavenly Father can fill all the empty holes in our hearts. And I trust He will show us how to walk the path He has set before us.
I’ll choose to remember my dad the way he was before neuropathy, cancer and diabetes. His fisherman tan, pretty black hair and his smile. I cannot remember his voice; I would love to hear him say I love you one more time.

It still doesn’t seem real, but I hurt all the same. You would think after identifying his body, picking out an urn, writing an obituary, spending 6 hours looking through pictures for a DVD to play at his memorial and planning the memorial, the light bulb would come on and I would come to realize my daddy is now in heaven and I’ll have to continue on without him for a time. That entire process has helped me remember what my daddy looked like before he was diagnosed with cancer. Before the roller coaster ride of emotions, the ups and downs, the questions and sometimes very few answers.

He laughed and smiled, he walked (without a walker), he fished and he never missed an opportunity to kiss or hug me. And once I had children, he never missed an opportunity to kiss and hug his grandbabies.
I have been doted on and pampered, cared for and loved by my daddy. He was my daddy by choice. He chose to be my daddy. No, he was not my birth father. He adopted me, so he could call me his.
Praise God daddy’s passing does not seem real. By God’s grace He is walking this path with me in very small, slow baby steps. The reality of it all at one time would be way too much.

When my pastor called today, I could hardly talk. The tears came so easily and quickly.  At the grocery store I saw a man that knew my dad (just saying the word knew seems wrong) and I started crying. Thank you, Jesus Michael, my husband, was with me; he had to place our order in the deli. And then sometimes the tears just come for no apparent reason. One minute I’m fine and the next, not so much.

I know. What can I expect? It’s only been five days. My mind is working over time putting things in order and trying to make sense of this bad dream. Looking through photo albums and reminiscing was good and therapeutic.  I’m praying and will continue to pray.

Walk the Walk:

Lord Jesus,

As we approach this holiday season, we beg you to be our Comforter through times that we never thought we could bear.  We are so profoundly grateful for the good stuff, and cry out to you when the pain seems too great.  Thank you for walking through our grief with us and thank you for using us to minister to others in their time of sorrow.

Amen

Psalm 147

3 He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
4 He determines the number of the stars;
he gives to all of them their names.
5 Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
his understanding is beyond measure.

 

 

 

Let It Be Jesus!

Speak the Truth

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

Talk the Talk

A little over a year ago, I had the privilege of attending Lifeway’s National Women’s Forum in Nashville. Three awesome traveling buddies and I took a road trip for what we thought was an enrichment conference – go to a bunch of different seminars, network and eat well. Little did we know what awaited us. From the moment we walked in the door, there was something different about that place. It wasn’t the physical building. Though impressive, it’s just bricks, granite and cement. It was the atmosphere. Over 800 women united in their purpose to serve the Church, gathered in that place to worship, learn and grow. Serving His church is much like touching a live wire. It can sometimes be an intense experience that if you let go, can leave you drained, exhausted and thinking about what you could do away from here. These servant leaders know that we must stay plugged into Jesus Christ. He must be our primary pursuit. Our schedules and plans and calendars have to be left at the door and we must approach the throne of grace and truth frequently; sometimes hourly.

The climax of the weekend for me was when Travis Cottrell led a hymn on Friday night. There were no instruments other than voices. I couldn’t sing. Too choked up to even mouth the words, it was a glimpse of heaven. Jesus’ presence was tangible in that room. As we worshiped Him in song and the reading of His Word and in prayer… He was there.

In the coming weeks, we will celebrate the Word becoming Flesh. We will eat our turkeys, bake our cookies, go to our parties, sing our carols. Let us not forget this week and in the ones that follow, that the Word DID become flesh. His name is Jesus. It’s not a holiday advertising gimmick, it’s why we should be thankful. It’s not a fairy tale; it’s a real life love story. It’s not a movie of the week; it’s a truth for eternity. Whether you are a servant leader in the church, in your job, in your home, or wherever, know that there is a reason we do what we do: It is because of who He is.

Walk the Walk

Take a moment to worship as you watch this video. I’ve posted the lyrics below. What will our motivation be this season of Thanksgiving and Celebration? Let it be Jesus.

Let it be Jesus

The first name that I call
Let it be Jesus
My song inside the storm
I’ll never need another

For me, to live is Christ
For me, to live is Christ
God I breathe Your name above everything
Let it be, Let it be Jesus

Let it be Jesus
From the rising of the sun
Let it be Jesus
When all is said and done
I’ll never need another, Jesus there’s no other

For me, to live is Christ
For me, to live is Christ
God I breathe Your name above everything
Let it be, Let it be Jesus

Should I ever be abandoned
Should I ever be acclaimed
Should I ever be surrounded by the fire and the flame, there’s a name I will remember
There’s a name I will proclaim
Let it be, Let it be Jesus

For me, to live is Christ
For me, to live is Christ
God I breathe Your name above everything
Let it be, Let it be Jesus

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2014 in Faith and Spirituality

 

http://christiananswers.net/

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Same Kind of Different

Speak the Truth

Psalm 139:13-14a “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

1 Corinthians 12:27 “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.”

Talk the Talk

“Same Kind of Different As Me” is a story published in 2006 about the unlikely friendship that developed between a black, illiterate, homeless man and a well-educated, white, international art dealer. One grew up in absolute poverty picking cotton, and the other with the privileges of an affluent community. This true story eventually evolves into a tale of love and grace. God’s plan for these two men unfolds throughout the book. I started thinking about my upcoming trip to Uganda. This will be my fifth trip to the same village, and during this time friendships have been developed. Even though we have been raised in different cultures with so many variables in our life styles and situations, we are the same in our love of God and our belief in His Son, and the sacrifice He willingly made for us.

One topic that will be presented this time is “God Made You Special and Unique”. God created each person with one-of-a-kind fingerprints, footprints, and voice prints. God gave us our own special talents, abilities, and qualities. He made us in all kinds of shapes, sizes, colors, capabilities, and personalities. God shaped us to fulfill His purpose in our lives. But, no matter if we grew up in Uganda or the United States or any other country in this world, He created us all “In His Image.”(Genesis 1:27) The purpose for each of us is to love God and to glorify Him in all we do. God calls us no matter who we are or where we live, to share our hearts with others. Sharing and giving may look different to each of us depending on our circumstances, but in Christ, we are “all the same kind of different.”

Walk the Walk

God created each of us for a purpose. He has put seeds of greatness in each of us. Everyone has something to offer that is different from anyone else. Don’t allow differences, or disappointments, or setbacks to keep you from using the special and unique gift that God has given to you. We are all God’s children when we receive His Gift and believe in His Name (John 1:12)

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2014 in Friends and Community

 

Faith Like a Mustard Seed

 

Speak the Truth:

Matthew 15:28 (ESV) 28 Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.

Talk the Talk:

Oh to be told by Jesus that my faith is great! That’s what we all want in the end…or at least we should. So, in the past 2 weeks I had a front row seat to a young lady whose faith was like the faith described in the above scripture.

Here’s a bit of the backstory. I am heading to Uganda for the 4th time. I didn’t think it was in the plan anytime soon; nevertheless, God made a way and made it clear that I was to join the team. Our plane tickets had been purchased and we already had our planning conference call. However, I felt an overwhelming persistence to pray for a friend’s niece, Morgan. When I couldn’t get Morgan out of my mind the next day I reached out through text. I asked if she would have any interest in going to Uganda to serve with me. I didn’t even know if the organization would allow her to join the team at this late date, but I had to at least put the idea out there. And then God started to work.

She said she would pray and let me know but she quickly shared goals she had written out a week ago. One of them was to go on a mission trip to Africa. I instantly knew the Holy Spirit was definitely behind the prodding I felt to reach out to her. She was told that she would have to have all the money turned in by the following Friday in order to join the team. What Lord!? $3500 is a lot to raise in a few months, let alone 1 week!!!

However, through Facebook, letters, her church, and auctioning off her paintings, Morgan’s money was raised in 1 week, with some extra to spare. Talk about amazing! I know that we all had some doubts that she would raise the money. However, Morgan took a giant leap of faith living out Hebrews 11:1 (ESV) “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” God delivered in a big way.

Walk the Walk

Seeing this experience play out, I was reminded why we are to live our lives according to 2 Corinthians 5:7 (ESV) which says, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” God has used Morgan’s journey to Uganda to strengthen many people’s faith. So, I look forward to the promise in Matthew 17:20 (ESV) playing out during our time there. It says, “He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

Painting by: Morgan Maxwell

unnamed-11

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

 
 
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Angela Thomas

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