For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds. -Theodore Roosevelt
Perhaps it takes a purer faith to praise God for unrealized blessings than for those we once enjoyed or those we enjoy now. -A.W. Tozer
Thanksgiving is a time when the world gets to see just how blessed and how workable the Christian system is. The emphasis is not on giving or buying, but on being thankful and expressing that appreciation to God and to one another. – John Clayton
Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse. – Henry Van Dyke
Dear Lord; we beg but one boon more: Peace in the hearts of all men living, peace in the whole world this Thanksgiving. – Joseph Auslander
Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude. -E.P. Powell
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. -John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Remember God’s bounty in the year. String the pearls of His favor. Hide the dark parts, except so far as they are breaking out in light! Give this one day to thanks, to joy, to gratitude! -Henry Ward Beecher
If we meet someone who owes us thanks, we right away remember that. But how often do we meet someone to whom we owe thanks without remembering that? – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving. – W. T. Purkiser
“Gratitude can transform common days into Thanksgiving, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” -William Arthur Ward
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into God’s presence with singing!
Know that the Lord is God! It is he that made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him, bless his name!
For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures for ever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
Praise the Lord.
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who have pleasure in them.
Full of honor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures for ever.
He has caused his wonderful works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and merciful.
He provides food for those who fear him; he is ever mindful of his covenant.
He has shown his people the power of his works, in giving them the heritage of the nations.
The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy,
they are established for ever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant for ever. Holy and awesome is his name!
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
a good understanding have all those who practice it. His praise endures for ever!
We Give Thanks
Our Father in Heaven,
We give thanks for the pleasure
Of gathering together for this occasion.
We give thanks for this food
Prepared by loving hands.
We give thanks for life,
The freedom to enjoy it all
And all other blessings.
As we partake of this food,
We pray for health and strength
To carry on and try to live as You would have us.
This we ask in the name of Christ,
Our Heavenly Father.
– Harry Jewell
And just for giggles…
What we’re really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving? -Erma Bombeck, “No One Diets on Thanksgiving,” 26 November 1981
What is born from the restless moments in your life?
Jennie Allen, the author of Restless and Anything and the founder of IF Gathering, believes that God burdens our souls with the people who he wants us to reach. Listen in as she gives you simple tools and ideas to:
• Be faithful where God puts you, regardless of how big, how small or how chaotic your dream is.
• Move in obedience when God gives you a burden in your heart.
• How to help raise up a generation of people that love Jesus with our entire hearts so that we can be unleashed to move in big ways for His kingdom.
Listen as Jennie Allen shares her heart behind the IF Gathering and get some ideas on how you can become part of it. Plus, head to IF: Table to sign up to host your IF: Table.
What is IF: Table? A place to gather women and share a simple meal and dive deep with people over real stories and Christ centered conversations. A time for a whole lot of laughter — and maybe a few tears — but time spent that leaves us with glad hearts. Full hearts. Grateful hearts.
Do you want God more than anything else?
After a quick trip down memory lane (does anyone else still use Elizabeth Arden Sunflower perfume like Kathi does?), this week’s guest, Lisa Whittle, author of I Want God, shows us how to find spiritual revival in the midst of our crazy, scary lives. She helps us see that a close, deep, deconstructed relationship with God is not only possible, but is actually simple to get. She tells us how:
• We can get over our fear of revival and get started on a journey to go deeper with God in a real way.
• The disconnect between our desire for God to deconstruct us and the fear that he will can stand in the way of our spiritual growth.
• To allow yourself to fully feel the God hunger within you and then to do something about it.
• Christians can hop off the roller coaster of passion with God for a truly, deep relationship with our God.
Download Lisa’s free 7-day Wanting God devotional to start your own soul revival. Plus, tell us in what area of your life your heart is crying for God most and you will be entered to win a free copy of Lisa’s book I Want God.
Friends, it’s Kathi here- I’m sure most of you know my sweet friend Renee Swope from Proverbs 31 or her wonderful radio spots heard absolutely everywhere. (Sometimes I’m sitting in the passenger seat swearing to Roger that I’m hearing voices – it’s just Renee talking to me through the radio.) Make sure you read down to the end of the post where Renee has several ways for you to win some of her latest resources.)
It had been a hard day, running too many errands with two small children. My three-year-old didn’t understand why we couldn’t buy every toy his tiny hands could touch. And he kept getting in and out of the grocery cart, and whining when I tried to stop him.
I was not a happy mama and wondered how all the other moms in the store seemed to know what they were doing.
Their children listened when they told them no and they wore matching outfits, too. I wondered how in the world those women pulled it off with a smile. I could barely get a shower, get my kids dressed and get us out the door before lunch.
When we got home that afternoon, I went looking for pink construction paper so I could write “I QUIT” on it and turn in my “pink slip” to my husband J.J. when he came home from work. I was tired of feeling like such a failure as a mom.
I couldn’t find pink construction paper, so I decided to pull out my journal. Filling blank pages with scribbled thoughts, I wrote:
I hate who I have become. I’m such a horrible mom. Why didn’t someone tell me how hard this was going to be? I’m frustrated with my kids and myself. I have no patience and I don’t know what I am doing! I feel guilty all the time. I couldn’t wait to be a mom and now I want to quit.”
Just as I finished writing that sentence, I sensed God whispering to my heart: Renee, You are so critical of yourself. You focus on your mistakes and beat yourself up with accusation and condemnation. Those are not My thoughts …”
It felt like a dam broke in my soul as I choked out the words, “God, I can’t do this. It’s just too much for me”
And in that place of surrender, Peace came over me. His gentleness calmed my nerves. It felt like God bent down before me to listen, and spoke to my heart: You are right, Renee. In your strength and through your perspective, you can’t do this. But with My promises, My presence and My power – all things are possible. I will help you.
Looking back on that day, my heart can’t help but echo the words of the Psalmist: “Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!” Psalm 116:2 NLT
When we acknowledge that we are a mess on our own, God rushes to our side to help us. He bends down to show us that with His help, wisdom and guidance, we can become the confident praying mama we long to be, and the confident mom HE created us to be!
When I say… I can’t do this, God says… You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. Keep praying and depending on Me for help.
“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13
Today’s post from Renee Swope is a partial excerpt from her new A Confident Heart Devotional book. Used with permission from Revell Books.Renee and JJ Swope have been married for over 20 years. They have three children: Joshua (19), Andrew (16) and their sweet Ethiopian princess who they brought home in 2009, at the age of 10 months. Renee is also a best-selling author, speaker and radio co-host with Proverbs 31 Ministries. The Swope family lives in North Carolina and she blogs at www.ReneeSwope.com.
About Renee’s NEW Confident Heart Devotional:Does self-doubt ever make you question your ability to be a good mom? Expanding on her best-selling book, A Confident Heart, Renee Swope has written a new 60-day devotional that will encourage, empower and equip you to live confidently in your God-given roles, relationships, and responsibilities! Each devotion also features a “When I Say…God Says…” statement with a Bible promise and a prayer to guide your thoughts and emotions that day. Plus you’ll LOVE an easy-reference chart that includes all sixty ”When I Say…God Says…” statements for days when you just need a promise to hold onto!
ENTER TO WIN 2 copies of Renee’s A Confident Heart Devotional book. Leave a comment below and let us know what friend you’d give it to and why, if you won 2 copies. Contest ends on February 20, 2014. CLICK HERE to find out how you can WIN a $50 gift card, 2 additional signed copies of Renee’s A Confident Heart Devotional book, and more!
So as some of you may know, I’m not the biggest Duck Dynasty fan.
I watched the first few episodes, and loved the family (especially loved me some Uncle Sy…) but the production of the show drove me crazy: the producers seem to put these very smart family members into some really dumb situations (making wine in a week!?!) It’s just not my Tupperware cup of sweet tea. And that’s OK -some of my best friends LOVE Duck Dynasty.
But I just read an article that is the reason why I’m giving Duck Dynasty another chance. (Like they need me as a viewer…)
In this story Jase, one of the bearded brothers on the show, is staying at the Trump Tower Hotel in New York. When he asked a staff member to point out where the restroom was, the bushy-bearded cast member was escorted to the front door, directed to the park, and told “Good luck.”
My immediate thought was “Oh wow. I bet Donald Trump is going to have to issue an apology to the entire family in order to avoid a national uproar of Duck Dynasty fans!”
But the family, talking about the employee who escorted Jase from the building calmed the potential fury:
The Robertsons said they were “absolutely not offended” by the incident and said they love staying at Trump Hotel.
“We were laughing — wait until the Donald hears about this,” he said.
And for what it’s worth, they hope the staff member doesn’t get in trouble.
Amazing. For many, many people, (including many Christians, which it’s well know that the Robertsons are,) would have threatened lawsuits, or at the very least demanded a public apology.
But instead, they acted about as Christ-like as any celebrity, Christian or non, I’ve ever heard of.
“I think it was a facial profiling deal,” Jase said.
Humor, and grace. Our churches would be overflowing if we had that kind of response all the time.
Yep – I’ll be tuning in to A&E.
Teaching Children Bible Memorization
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
The Bible instructs us to teach and to train up children according to God’s will and verse memorization is part of that. We are to think on what is good and pure as Paul instructs us in Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
So what are great ways to teach children Bible verses? I asked the question on my Facebook page and so many responded with great ideas. Music was by far the most recommended way to get the Bible into their cute little minds. Here are some reader suggestions.
“MUSIC! Set the words to music, even Twinkle Twinkle, it really helps them to remember.”
Heather Van Nortwick Faulkner
“When we were doing AWANA and my kid’s had to memorize a verse each week I got a little voice recorder (from Target in the toy section). They said the verse into it and would listen to it over and over and say it along with it.”
Carol Daniels Boley
“Definitely music. Even in high school when they had to memorize verses in Bible class, we would pick tunes that fit. Did you know Esther 4:16 works perfectly with “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina?”
Randi Schmid Seeds
“Family Worship CDs are awesome; we use those to memorize (without them realizing it!) and then we memorize the old fashioned way too just writing it down and saying it every day until we memorize it.”
“In my classroom, when we had a long passage, I would give each child one word written on a small dry erase board and then have them get in order by saying the verse with them. I would have them change words with someone and do it again. After a few times I would time them to see how quickly they could get in order. For individual memorization it helps to have the words on paper. Have the child cut the words out, mix them up, and then put them back in order a few times. This could work for adults too!”
“I post a sticky note on their bathroom mirror with a scripture every day. With 3 girls getting ready in there, at least one of them is likely to memorize it.”
Stephenie Hovland wrote a blog post memorizing scripture. May be something some of you could use Faith-Filled
Teresa Svatos Drake friend in Washington created a wonderful book for kids called Alphabet of Promises. The story behind the book is precious, as well.
Ronda Jones Doug Jones Knows the creator of Memlock and she says his system is awesome!!
Be sure to check out my Pintrest Board for other resources and great ideas on how to memorize verses and get your kids excited about it.