God Is Fighting For Us!

As I approach this Thanksgiving, I find myself immersed in a whole new level of gratefulness and, with that, a whole new level of praise to God for His many blessings in my life.

I talked to someone yesterday who was telling me about how God healed her. She said there’s no way she could ever sing praise songs the same way; the lyrics have become very real to her because her experience with her Savior is so real.

I get that. When we have a genuine encounter with the living God, everything else comes alive – even our worship.

Lately, I’ve been really enjoying the song, The Lion and the Lamb.

“He’s roaring with power, and fighting my battles.”

That’s one of my favorite lines because it reminds me of the awesomeness of God and His power to save. I have this visual of Him as a mighty warrior, coming to the rescue of those who are calling for help.

No matter what we may face, let’s take heart and be encouraged to know we serve a great God.

Nothing is too big for Him! Nothing is too difficult! Nothing is impossible!

Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me? Jeremiah 32:37

 

The Lord who rules over all has planned it. Who can stop him? He has reached out his powerful hand. Who can keep him from using it? Isaiah 14:27

 

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

 

And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” Revelation 5:5

 

For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Revelation 7:17

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Let Him Have All The Praise

“Thus out of small beginnings greater things have been produced by His hand that made all things of nothing, and gives being to all things that are; and as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone to many, yea in some sort to our whole nation; let the glorious name of Jehovah have all the praise.”
-William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation

I pray you have a blessed Thanksgiving!

What Every Heart Wants – Just Enough

I’ve heard that stress levels and depression reach an all time high around the holidays.

Maybe it’s Rockwell-itis.

I’m referring to the unrealistic expectations we put on each other to live up to idealized fantasies of perfection ala this famous Norman Rockwell painting we’ve all admired over the years.

This was part of a series of paintings inspired by a speech that President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave to Congress in 1941. It was before the attack on Pearl Harbor and the U.S. entry into WWII when he outlined these four basic human rights — freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from fear and freedom from want.

The piece above first appeared in The Saturday Evening Post in 1943 at the height of the war and was met with instant popularity.

Not surprising because, isn’t that what we all want?  “Freedom From Want?”

Unfortunately, we sometimes become so consumed with filling our wants, that we forget what we really need. And deep down we know there’s no amount of stuff…or stuffing…(sorry, I couldn’t resist) that can make this longing go away.

In fairness, I don’t think Rockwell was trying to perpetuate the myth of perfection. He once said, “I paint life as I would like it to be.” 

And when I look at that picture, you know what I see? I see simplicity. Contentment. I see, not excess, but needs met in a room full of smiling faces.

Life, as I would like it to be.

“Give us this day our daily bread.” That’s how Jesus taught us to pray.

Give us just enough so that we don’t get to feeling arrogant or entitled.

Just enough so that we appreciate our blessings for what they are.

Gifts from God.

This Thanksgiving, I hope that you will find less stress as you enjoy more of Jesus.

And may you find yourself sitting at a table of just enough, where there’s plenty of happy to go around.

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19


 

Coming Home – A Harvest Party Guest Post

It’s hard to believe that next week will be the last of my Harvest Party post series, and I can think of no better way to wrap up this particular gathering of inspiration than with an inspiring guest post from Joan Hall. As she recounts her special Thanksgiving memories, I couldn’t help but be reminded of my own and I’m sure you will be as well. Enjoy!

Coming Home

I love the Thanksgiving Holiday—decorations of cornucopias, pumpkins, acorns, and autumn leaves. I enjoy having family for dinner and family traditions. It is a time for special memories of past years. It’s a time of “coming home.”

One of my earliest memories of Thanksgiving was 1962. It was the first year in our new home. As a four-year-old child, I recall being excited because Christmas was just around the corner. Mom always said she wished she had time to sit and watch the Macy’s parade, but never found the time. She spent hours in the kitchen, roasting the turkey, making dressing, green beans, and pecan and pumpkin pies.

Another special time was in 1978. The day was warm and my father and brother spent some of the time building my brother’s new cabin. I helped mom with the meal and we took numerous walks to my brother’s house. Around this time a new item was added to our traditional menu—Watergate Salad. Later that evening, I flew to Los Angeles to visit friends. My Dad passed away a few months later, so I cherish the memories of this day.

In 1984, I was newly married. Uncertain about dividing time between families, I’m thankful my mother-in-law was gracious enough to serve their meal on Wednesday evening. This allowed John and me to spend all day Thursday at Mom’s house. By this time, we expected my brother to bake homemade bread each Thanksgiving. We also introduced John to what had been a long-standing Thanksgiving custom—walking to the top of the hill on our property.

The Hill in Autumn - courtesy Joan Hall

The Hill in Autumn – courtesy Joan Hall

In 1988, my brother, his wife, and two daughters moved away, but they were able to come home for Thanksgiving. We all had a special day together and everyone except Mom climbed the hill. Ironically, I asked Mom if I could help make the dressing, because I didn’t know how. I didn’t know this would be her last Thanksgiving.

The year 1993 was also special. We celebrated John’s release from the hospital for cancer treatments. My brother and his daughters visited. The weather was icy and cold—no climbing the hill that day. While John and my brother watched football games, my nieces and I gathered in the bedroom to watch movies. With Mom gone, it was up to me to cook the meal.

Times change. We don’t walk the hill very often these days. My nieces, now grown, have children of their own. My oldest niece, Jessica, lives nearby. She and her family always come for dinner and she insists on my making the Watergate Salad.

I still cook the majority of the meal, but I’ve never been able to make dressing like my Mom. I improvise with an easier way. I don’t spend hours roasting a turkey—we order a smoked one. Yet our meal would not be complete without my brother’s homemade bread and the Watergate Salad. As Jessica says, it’s like “coming home.”  

Watergate Salad

1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple
1 pkg. pistachio instant pudding
1 cup miniature marshmallows

½ cup chopped pecans

1 8 oz. carton Cool Whip

 

Combine pineapple, pudding, marshmallows, and pecans. Stir in Cool Whip. Refrigerate a minimum of one hour.

Do you have special memories of Thanksgiving? Does your family have special traditions? Please share in the comments.
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From her earliest recollection, Joan Hall has always enjoyed listening to a good story. Now she enjoys sharing stories about life and faith. Her desire is that her writing will cause people to reflect upon living a simple life, strong family bonds, and most important, faith in Christ. Connect with Joan on her blog at www.joanhallwrites.com, on Facebook—www.facebook.com/joanhallwrites, or on Twitter—@joanhallwrites.

Linking up with Desire to Inspire

Let’s Talk Turkey

Most would agree that the undisputed centerpiece of the American Thanksgiving feast is Turkey.
 
The National Turkey Federation estimated that 46 million turkeys—one fifth of the annual total of 235 million consumed in the United States in 2007—were eaten at Thanksgiving. 

(Source: History.com)

But I think we could also agree that no Thanksgiving table would be complete without the sides.

The lively flavors of sweet potato, pumpkin and cranberry are a perfect compliment to thetaste of the average turkey.

And the gravy! Let’s not forget that dazzling drizzle of deliciousness that brings it all together.
It’s the yummy combination of sweet and savory that makes our taste buds tingle with delight.

And, speaking of yummy…

This juicy, little butterball is the newest addition to our family!
Couldn’t you just gobble him up?

Fun Facts from EatTurkey.com:

Did you Know?

Only tom turkeys gobble.

Hen turkeys make a clicking noise.

Domesticated turkeys cannot fly.

Wild turkeys can fly for short distances up to 55 miles per hour and can run 20 miles per hour.

I love this time of year! It’s a time of giving thanks to God for the blessings He has given us. And it is also a time to share those blessings with others.

Because the truth is there are many people who cannot afford a Thanksgiving meal, or any meal for that matter.

“A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.” Proverbs 22:9

FeedingAmerica.org reports that “For 1 in 6 Americans, hunger is a reality.” Click here to read more statistics on their website and see if your state is one of the 7 listed as being the highest for household food insecurity, (meaning families who don’t know where there next meal is coming from.)
I was reading this scripture in Colossians the other day and, for reasons I can’t explain, it sounded like a menu to me.
Please forgive the seasonal analogy here…If we are feasting daily on the meat of God’s Word, if this is the centerpiece, then the “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” mentioned in Chapter 3, verse 12 will be the attributes (or sides) that bring the Word to life. Verse 14 goes on to say this:

 “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

So I guess LOVE would be the gravy.  🙂

Yes! Because love is that great unifier that binds us together. Makes life taste better. Turns Thanks-giving into Thanks-living.

Below is a funny look at Thanksgiving. Sort of what happens when expectation meets reality. Sometimes you just need to laugh. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. May your tables and hearts be full to overflowing with blessings. And lots of gravy!

All Mom Wants for Thanksgiving from skitzychicks on GodTube.