Thanksgiving Ideas

Thanksgiving Ideas Making the Holiday Special

November 16, 2017

Mom, could you use some Thanksgiving ideas to make the holiday special? I have always found it hard to have a thankful heart because it’s easier for me to complain about the things in life I don’t like. However, I’ve interviewed so many authors who shared how they have praised God through tough times and felt the presence of God. Being thankful changes your perspective and gives you a humble heart.

I love Psalm 100. The focus is on God and that’s where it should be:

Shout joyfully to the Lord all the earth

Serve the Lord with gladness

Come before him with joyful singing

Know that the Lord himself is God,

It is he who has made us and now we ourselves

We are his people and the sheep of his pasture

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise.

Give thanks to him and bless his name.

For the Lord is good and his lovingkindness is everlasting

And his faithfulness to all generation.

Thanksgiving can be harder to celebrate since it surrounds a meal. I’ve invited Peggy Sue Wells to give us tips on celebrating today.  She’s an author who raised seven children, and she’s very creative.

Blessing Others

Blessing Others: Your Local Christian Bookstore

November 10, 2017

Philippians says we should consider folk around us as more important than ourselves, blessing other like Jesus did.

Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

Jesus left the glories of heaven to live amongst sinful men and die for us. However, until recently, I never considered employees at local Christian bookstore as people to encourage. Don’t misunderstand me, because I love books and everything associated with them. I often curl up in a wingback chair to read, but I shop online a lot because it’s convenient.

A few months ago, I joined Christian Authors Network and got a vision of their ministry to bookstores. Plus, I look back on my mother who worked at a Christian bookstore for many years. What an impact she had! She often ministered to hurting and frightened people who came in looking for answers. Today I want to challenge you to rethink the way you purchase Christian materials and even reflect on how you can bless others in ministry.

I’m delighted to announce Kirk Blank of Munce Marketing, and Bob Munce, the founder of Munce, as my guests this week. You’ll enjoy listening to their perspective on how you can touch lives nearby your home.

As part of their ministry, they compile MTLMagazine (More To Life), which you can find here.

Find a retailer you can bless here.

Bread

Karen Whiting: The Gift of Bread

November 6, 2017

Have you ever thought of Bread as a gift? If not, I hope I can change your mind. Let your mind wander back to those times you smelled it baking. The luscious fragrance makes your mouth water, and for many years people in Bible times thought bread and hospitality went together. In the Old Testament Abraham saw the angel of the Lord coming down the road, he told Sarah to start baking. She would have used the finest flour to create a special loaf for their visitor because they didn’t have guests often.

In addition, it has a spiritual significance because Jesus called himself the bread of life. We know he holds the universe together, but even more,  he provides eternal life. I love John 6:51 which says, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” Just thinking about Jesus’s death and how it provides eternal life excites me. When we take communion, we proclaim to those around and to the spiritual world we have life because of Jesus. What a gift!

Today I have Karen Whiting, and she has just completed a devotional-recipe book filled with great recipes and fun stories.

1:50 Why is bread so important in the Bible?

2:20 Share about its use in the Tabernacle.

3:15 Is a gluten-free diet valuable to everyone?

4:40 You compare the baking process to becoming more like Christ. Can you share that with us?

6:00 Share some of your family traditions.

Here’s Karen’s website.

 

Encouragement

Celebrating November, One Day At a Time…

October 31, 2017

Welcome November.   Grab your favorite tea and especially your favorite mug and let’s journey together, each day of this month…

“Father in this month of thanksgiving,
may I grasp your greatness and power
so I may praise you with my whole heart.”
—Cynthia L. Simmons

The Art of Living is #OthersCentered_November 2017

Restoration

Restoration: Getting Through What You Can’t Get Over With Anita Brooks

October 26, 2017
Restoration

I love Psalm 88, however, there’s a twist to it. All the other psalms end with joy even though they start off with sorrow. This one reflects pain throughout:

Oh Lord, the God who saves me, day and night I cry out before you.

May my prayer come before you. Turn your ear to my cry.

For my soul is full of trouble and my life draws near to the grave,

I am counted among those who go down to the pit.

        I am like a man without strength,

I am set apart with dead like who lie in the grave whom you remember no more who are cut off from your care.

In fact, the writer of this Psalm shows the symptoms of clinical depression. Why would God put that in the Bible? I think God knows there at times this is how we feel. Sometimes life overwhelms us.

Today I have Anita Brooks with me, and she has written Getting Through What You Can’t Get Over. She will share how God can restore after major depression:

Find Anita Brooks here.

 

Synced

Living Synced with Jesus

October 20, 2017
Synced

Have you ever seen athletes who swim synced? What a challenge! Doubtless, they practice for hours.  Even with cell phones, email, and texting, you have to put out effort to stay in touch with your spouse. And that’s really important when dealing with your children. I used to hate it when one of my children asked for a cookie and I refused only to hear him say his father gave him permission.

So how can we stay synced with Jesus? He’s in the spiritual world, and we can’t even see him. Jennifer Kennedy Dean believes we can, and her new book, Synced, has just arrived in bookstores.

Find Jennifer Kennedy Dean here.

Commitment to Christ

Skipping a Generation

October 19, 2017
Skipping a Generation-Cynthia L. Simmons

Each generation whether by force of habit or driven by a nostalgic feeling, loves to speak of what would happen “back in my day”. Usually, when one of these flashbacks occurs, a twinkle will appear in the eye, the chest swells and a two- hour lecture of their youth is to be expected. At times it is quite entertaining to hear of the exploits of yesteryear and it can be really engrossing to imagine this titular character navigate the minefield of life, but there is one stinging reminder of how the present is viewed. An automatically assumed moral high ground stance is laid out and the current generation is usually seen as lost because of one obscure reason or another.

Making the assumption that a new generation starts every 17-21 years, approaching the youth of today- meaning approaching anyone that you have a 17+ age gap over, will seem like a challenge. You have experience and an appreciation for Christian art; they will have more access to knowledge and technology and so both sides will want and demand respect but none will give it first.  Here lies one root cause of the divide between the Church and youth of today.

Keeping in Step with the Times
Placing extensive pressure to go to church and to keep the Lord’s commandments as they appear in black and white will not work. Youth feel disconnected because of their easier access to higher learning and at times the Church will seem as an antiquated system designed to constrain rather than teach. Becoming more educated allows for persons to think in ways previously outlawed by the Church. Most importantly when these thoughts are posed as questions, the rebuke given while strong, usually does not answer the underlying question in any satisfactory way.

Setting the Gold Standard
Understandably the Church cannot change with the world, nor can its standard wane and flux in the same manner of the world. If the Church is to be seen as God’s chosen people and a Royal Priesthood, it must be a strong and sturdy Rock of the Ages. Since the doctrine cannot be changed, how then can the youth be reached?

It starts with personal behavior and understanding that today’s youth can see, understand and interpret your actions at an earlier age. They are not blind and should be respected as individuals at an earlier age. Having greater worldly knowledge does not equate to greater spiritual wisdom, therefore the bible has to be broken down into bite- sized bits to ensure that the proper nursing in the Lord is happening. One simple measure of this is being able to quote His word, but that cannot be the only way. Cramming large volumes of information is quite standard for the youth of today so the Bible may just be crammed too without being understood. A way of measuring spiritual wisdom is the behavior during times of trouble. Does the person wail at calamity or travail in prayer?

Photo by Aaron Burden

Columbus

Columbus: Monster or Role Model?

October 13, 2017

Our nation just took a day off to celebrate Christopher Columbus, but many of us don’t know much about him. A philosopher named George Santayana once said. “Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.” I agree with Mr. Sanataya, but we will see what the Bible says.

In Deuteronomy 5:15, God told the Israelites,”You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm.” From these verses, we can see the Lord didn’t want his people to forget how he freed them from bondage.

Here’s more: as the Israelites were about to cross the Jordan into the promised land, God told the leaders of the tribes to pick up a rock from the dry river bed and make a memorial: Joshua 4:6 “…that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’  then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.”

God wanted parents recounting these stories to their children, so history is important.

Today many condemn Columbus, and others think well of him.  Was he a monster or role model? Author and historian Rebecca Price Janney and I discussed him and his choices.

Learn more about Rebecca here.

Disaster

Disaster: Too Blessed to be Stressed during Irma

October 6, 2017
Disaster

Disaster! This country just experienced several major hurricanes, and now we have endured a massacre in Las Vegas. At times like this, I often think of the verses in Romans eight that my husband calls Groaning 101:  “…we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves who have the firstfruits of the Spirit groan inwardly.” Many people are grieving the loss of their family members as well as their possessions.

We can be sure Jesus groans with us. “…we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are…Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Today I have Deb Coty who wrote: “Too Blessed to Be Stressed. She just experienced Hurricane Irma, and she’s going to tell us how she lived through that nasty storm.

Find Deb Coty here.

[tweetthis]Keep her-spective on #God[/tweetthis]

[tweetthis]Turn #hardtimes to #funtimes[/tweetthis]

Teens

Raising Teens: An Impossible Job? Here’s Answers

September 29, 2017
Teens

I recall being a difficult teen, not that I got into drugs or alcohol, but I believed my parents didn’t understand me so I crawled in my shell and stopped talking about things that mattered. (What a good way to ruin communication.) Mom and Dad put me in a private school, but they didn’t want to drive me there. They found a young family in the neighborhood who attended the same school to take me. Back then, I was terribly shy and stubborn. Riding with perfect strangers didn’t make me happy. In fact, I always greeted them when I got in the car, but I said nothing more until they dropped me off. The family reported my behavior to Mother because they believed I didn’t like them, which wasn’t far from the truth.  Mother panicked and considered sending me to a special school out-of-state for troubled teens. Looking back, I’m glad they didn’t make that choice.

Since then, I married and navigated the teen years with five of my own children. The teen years can be quite turbulent as your child strives for independence.

Today my guest is Gwyn McCaslin. She is a marriage and family counselor who founded Hope Creek Counseling in Sugar Creek Ohio. She recommends Focus on the Family or Association of Christian Counselors if you need help.

[tweetthis]#Listen to your #teen[/tweetthis]

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