The Joy of Belonging

John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” The Joy of Belonging When I was a child, I took comfort in knowing I was part of a family and that I was loved. Being the youngest of three, I had a unique perspective. I observed what my brother and sister could get away with and what actions would bring trouble. This knowledge helped most of the time. I also discovered quickly that I had to work harder to keep up. I looked, listened, and learned from …

Relationship Boosters

    “Do everything in love”–1 Corinthians 16:14 One of the things that is essential in life is a relationship. God established a relationship with you, and he also created relationships with you and your family and friends. God knows that you need relationships to live a better and more meaningful life. Here are simple and effective ways to have good relationships: Love sincerely Love people dearly. Show your love and care. Let your family and friends see and feel that you love them. Treat them and make them feel good. Make them feel special. Help Offer help to others. …

Abundant Blessings

Did you know that God loves blessing His people. If you’re a parent, you know the feeling of giving your kids things and the joy it brings. Or a friend that loves giving to others. Imagine this on a greater scale as God blesses His children, even when they don’t deserve it. But these blessings come with a price. That price has already been paid by Christ, for all of our past and future sins. God sent His only Son to come to earth and die for each one of us. Grace is a gift we don’t deserve, while mercy …

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My Childhood Celebration of Christmas

    Though I was not raised in a devout Christian home, I have some fond memories of celebrating my early Christmases. On Dad’s last trip to town in the wagon, he took Mother’s list of items needed for cooking our Christmas dinner and for goodies Santa would bring Christmas Eve night. When he returned, Mother cautiously took the fruit, candy, nuts, and other goodies and hid them in a protective place, but soon the pungent aroma of apples, revealed their secret hiding place. It was difficult to wait until after our meal on Christmas Eve, but finally the time arrived and Mother appeared in the room announcing Santa had come and left our treats …

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Family Secrets

        Some families have their traditional holidays.  Some have their own secret family recipes.  This is a good thing.  But, just try and get that secret recipe or secret ingredient that grandma puts in the pumpkin pie and you’ll realize soon that some things should be left alone. There’s no secrets in God’s kingdom.  There’s no mystery in how you can get to Heaven.  God’s plan of salvation is laid out all throughout the Bible. Romans 8:28 – “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are …

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Speaking Words of Encouragement

    Recently I went for a much-needed walk around my neighborhood. It was one of those nights when my mind was swirling with the details of life and my heart was heavy. As I walked, I saw an elderly couple that lives down the street. I visit with this couple from time to time, but we are not close friends. We talk about their health (which isn’t good), my kids, and we let our dogs sniff noses.   When I saw this sweet couple in their yard that night, I decided to stop and visit. It was a short …

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Thanks in Action

    It’s Thanksgiving season again. The time to reflect on our lives, gather with family and consider our history as a country that was birthed by the drive to live in a new world where freedom and liberty set the foundation for society. As Christians, many of us take time during Thanksgiving to refocus and prepare our hearts for the impending celebration of our Savior’s birth. We will reflect on blessings and hardships, explore areas of Christ’s intervention or answered prayers over the year, and we will look intently and intentionally at what we have. There will be many …

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A New Tradition

    A tradition is simply the transmission of beliefs from generation to generation.  We have to be careful that we do not get caught in them and undermine the authority of our creator, but rather bring Him pleasure by remembering Him in all that we do.  Such traditions that bring Him pleasure are saying grace before we eat or the taking of the Lords Supper.  As we do this, we quote “…Do this to call me (affectionately) to remembrance.” I Cor. 11: 24 AMP  I am always amazed at the various types of family traditions that I hear about …