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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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Becoming a Slave and Gaining Freedom

  Freedom is, by definition, the power or right to act, speak or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint. Slavery is, by definition, a relationship where one person has absolute power over another and controls his life, liberty and fortune. As a teenager I had been engulfed in a life of sin. I was captivated by its lure and enticed by its stronghold. I was a slave to sin, until freedom pursued me and I began to allow God to draw me to Him. As I entered adulthood, I aspired to be happy. I longed for all the …

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Eyes on Jesus Brings Joy!

Since it’s spring break I took the afternoon off to go fishing with one of my daughters and her kiddos. It was a beautiful afternoon. We all had our fishing equipment and we tried several spots around the lake. My daughter caught a nice bass. She cast out, almost hit the walkway with the lure, jerked it into the water and boom she retrieved her prize! No one else caught a fish, nor did we even get a bite. Did the day turn sour? Did the sun quit shining? Did we run home with disappointment and agitation that she was …

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Unshakable Thanks

  We are all on a journey.  And as Paul says, we do not travel that journey as those who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4: 13). We know that we have a Savior sitting at the right hand of the Father who delights in us.  We have the Word of God that is living and active.  We have the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, giving us gifts to make the best use of our time here on Earth.  And we have the fellowship of other believers to offer friendship, prayer, encouragement and council.  We have hope, …

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Hearts of Gratitude

  In looking up the word “gratitude” from various sources, most of the definitions were very similar and what one might expect: thankfulness, the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness; a natural expression of thanks in response to blessings, protection, or love, etc… One definition, however, significantly stuck out to me: gratitude is a joyful commitment of one’s personality to God. In researching gratitude chronologically in the Bible, it took me a while to find it, which was surprising to me! Although we don’t see a “thank you” in the first few chapters …

Healing

 My hubby had a stroke in May. When that stroke occurred we were in the midst of a misdiagnosis. They didn’t get it right. Twice. It was only because of the Holy Spirit speaking to a physician after my husband’s arrival in Little Rock that the real problem was discovered. I’ll ever be thankful for a woman up early for her quiet time who heard the Lord speak to her heart: “Go see that man in person.” She responded and came to see him in person and discovered that this could not possibly be a simple back issue. Now we …

Those Gifts!

Every gift our 6 year old granddaughter received was her favorite! As each package was opened she remarked that she adored it, it was wonderful, it was something she always wanted. Once she opened it and said “I love it!” And then she said “What is it?” We all laughed. She lit up the room with her praise and thankfulness. She did receive things she had asked for, but other gifts were things she hadn’t thought about. Nevertheless she loved them all. Everything that came to her was unwrapped and enjoyed. Her joyfulness was contagious and sincere. Let’s face it. …

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Returning to Egypt

  As I was praying about what my lesson for tonight would be, I read in Exodus about the children of Israel and their constant proclaiming to love and obey God then immediately going out of God’s will once things got tough.  How like me. The children of Israel had been in the wilderness a little while.  They had manna and quail, God had miraculously delivered them from Egyptian slavery, and the hands of Amalek and provided for their every need. About this time Moses was called up on the mountain to speak with God and get His instructions for …

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Praise Him!

    “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” Psalm 100: 4   It isn’t a surprise to God. That thing that blind-sided you out of left field, that sudden loss, personal betrayal or financial disaster is not a surprise to God. Your ongoing, seemingly never-to-improve condition, situation or trying relationship is not a surprise to God. Not one crisis or trial that enters our life is a surprise to him.   From our earthly perspective we can’t see over the wall that is our difficulty, but he is looking down …

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Hearts of Gratitude

    In looking up the word “gratitude” from various sources, most of the definitions were very similar and what one might expect:  thankfulness, the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness; a natural expression of thanks in response to blessings, protection, or love, etc… One definition, however, significantly stuck out to me: gratitude is a joyful commitment of one’s personality to God. Researching gratitude chronologically in the Bible, it took me a while to find it, which was surprising to me!  Although we don’t see a “thank you” in the first few chapters …

Embrace Your Who

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14a) Fat! Ugly! Not enough! Worthless! I slammed the mirror onto the countertop. Who could love someone like me? Tears welled up and spilled over onto my cheeks. Uncontrollable crying was my pitiful comfort. From my adolescent years to just about a year ago, these lies plagued me. Other people’s opinions formed my self-judgments. Comparison of my faults with their successes further ingrained these lies. Satan proudly began to laugh as he patted himself on the back for his success. Another woman discouraged … decimated. One less servant focused …