Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thanksgiving Experiment Part 6

Ten things I am thankful for:

1. Shampoo – ever try to wash your hair without it
2. Nail clippers – ever need one and not have one?
3. Football Games – I love to watch the Steelers play.
4. Hot showers
5. Flowers – I love them. My Christmas cactus is blooming right now and it is amazing.
6. Apples – we went to north GA last weekend and purchased several bushels.
7. Ice cream
8. Fire places – they are pretty and they keep you warm
9. Cable TV with a remote control – can you remember TV before cable and before remotes? I can!
10. The faithfulness of God

“Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.” (Psalm 36:5)

“great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:23b)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thanksgiving Experiment Part 5

Ten things I am thankful for:

1. White boards – I hated the old chalk boards I had to use when I first started teaching
2. The students in my class – they have a way of making me smile every day
3. School lunches – I know a lot of people complain about them but I am very thankful that they are provided for me free of charge.
4. Light bulbs – when you need one, you know to be thankful that you have one
5. Quiet mornings to sleep in
6. Sunshine
7. My “best” friends – I have 3 very special friends that I have known since high school.
8. “Sales” – I love to find bargains.
9. Chinese food
10. A God who answers prayer.

"I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer. " Psalm 17:6


Friday, November 21, 2008

Thanksgiving Experiment Part 4

Ten things I am thankful for:

1. Fridays!
2. Weekends – and a job that is only Mon - Friday
3. Old movies and the time to watch them
4. Sweat pants – there’s nothing like them on a cold night
5. M & Ms – my favorite candy
6. Advil – when you need it, you’re thankful you have it!
7. Electricity – it was off briefly yesterday – sometimes you don’t realize what you have until you lose it
8. Candles – no real reason – I just like them
9. Garbage collectors – could you imagine life without them
10. Forgiveness

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. " (1 John 1:9)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thanksgiving Experiment Part 3

Ten things I am thankful for:

1. Chocolate – the ultimate stress reliever
2. Caffeine – I really needed it to get going this morning
3. My dog – sometimes he is the only one who understands
4. The Bible – always the ultimate encourager
5. SPSS – the computer program that is helping me pass my statistics class
6. Warm clothes – it is still cold here
7. My daughter’s teachers – they are great!
8. Diet Dr. Pepper
9. Deodorant – OK, this one might take some explaining. When you work in a school, you don’t want to teach the kids coming back from PE unless they have used their deodorant!
10. Hope – my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness.

“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:30-31)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thanksgiving Experiment Part 2

Today's list of 10 things I am thankful for:

1. Naps – I really needed one this evening!
2. The internet – a constant source of information
3. Email – I got an update from an old friend today
4. A warm home – it was about 22 degrees out this morning – and that is really cold in Atlanta. Georgia
5. A nice small car that gets good gas mileage.
6. Friends at work (Phil. 1:3 "I thank my God every time I remember you.")
7. Music – it nearly always blesses me
8. 104.7 The Fish and Kevin and Taylor in the morning – they entertain me every morning during my commute to work
9. A new washing machine – you never know how much you need something until it dies!
10. Salvation
Psalm 100 " Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thanksgiving Experiment

Thanksgiving is just over a week away. Are you ready? By that, I don't mean have you bought your turkey or have you invited your guests. What I really mean is, are you preparing your heart? Are you beginning to think about the things you are thankful for?

I am going to try this Thanksgiving Experiment and we’ll see how faithful I am. I’m going to try to list 10 things every day that I am thankful for.

Here it goes for today:(first day will be easy)

I am thankful …
1. that Jesus loves me.
2. that I was raised in a Christian family.
3. for my husband. (Yes –that wonderful husband who drives me nuts from time to time. I’m sure he would tell you that I drive him crazy as well.)
4. for a wonderful daughter.
5. for a good job.
6. that my statistics class is only an 8 week course!
7. for a nice home.
8. that I live in a free country where I can still choose to worship God without persecution.
9. that I belong to a bible believing church.
10. for my church family.

This is a great exercise. Try it yourself. Think up ten new and different things to be thankful for each day from now until Thanksgiving Day.

Here's a little chorus to help you focus. It's a YouTube video but the video part only projects the words.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


I’ve started this post several times and I keep on deleting it. I can’t get it to say what I want it to.

Jehovah-Jireh - The Lord will provide

When I was in college we sang a chorus entitled, “Jehovah-Jireh.”
Here are the words:

Jehovah Jireh, my Provider
His grace is sufficient for me
For me, for me!
Jehovah Jireh, my Provider
His grace is sufficient for me

My God shall provide all my needs
According to His riches in glory
He shall give His angels charge over me
Jehovah Jireh cares for me
For me, for me!
Jehovah Jireh cares for me

Jehovah Jireh, my Provider
His grace is sufficient for me
For me, for me!
Jehovah Jireh, my Provider
His grace is sufficient for me

My God shall provide all my needs
According to His riches in glory
He shall give His angels charge over me
Jehovah Jireh cares for me
For me, for me!
Jehovah Jireh cares for me

God gives us the grace we need to make it through each day. No matter what happens or what obstacles I face, no matter how many times I fall, God’s incredible grace is there to pick me up. He is there to give me hope, to deal with sickness or injury, to walk with me through every day and every circumstance. His grace is always more than adequate for every circumstance. Simply claim the promises in His Word. Trust Him to work things out.

Philippians 4:19 “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”

Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast.”

II Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I don't do what I want to do

I had some free time this afternoon and I really needed to work on my homework for my graduate class. I’m taking a statistics course and I really don’t like it. This is really interesting since I love math. This class is more theoretical than mathematical. If it were just running the numbers, I’d be OK. Alright – I’m already off my subject….which sort of ties directly to my subject ….

Every time I went to start my homework, I got distracted by something else. A phone call, an email, a job I had been putting off for a couple of weeks, scheduling a doctor’s appointment for my daughter, etc… I just kept finding other things to do in order not to do my homework. I knew what I needed to do and yet I didn’t do it.

Does that relate at all to our Christian lives? Do you ever know what you need to do and yet do you just not do it. Do you see ways you could serve but you just don’t do it? Do you see someone you should talk to but you just don’t do it? Do you know you should read your Bible but you just don’t do it?

In Romans Chapter 7, Paul talks about this situation.
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.” (Romans 7: 15 – 20)

I don’t know about you but I can identify with Paul. My desire is to do good. I want to spend time in Bible Study and prayer. I want to be more courageous in sharing my faith. I want to be a more caring person. I want to be a better wife and mother. But when I try to do these things, sometimes I am just unable.

On the flip side, I don’t want to be impatient but I am – even with the people I love the most. I don’t want to gossip but it is so easy. I don’t want to be unforgiving but it is hard when someone hurts me deeply. Like Paul, I know I shouldn’t do these things but I do them anyway.

And then I began to think that even becoming aware of this struggle is one of the marks that I am maturing in my faith. We all need to be brutally honest with ourselves about who we are. We need to recognize the war that goes on inside us. The struggle is between the flesh and the spirit.

If you read on into chapter 8, Paul talks about the Holy Spirit and the strength and power he gives you. The Holy Spirit will help you do what is right. The Holy Spirit will help you get control over areas of your life. Some of the verses that stand out to me in chapter 8 are verse 1 which tells me that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. Verse 28 which says, “ in all things God works for the good of those who love him.” Verse 37 talks about us being more than conquerors through him who loved us. And verse 39 which says that nothing can separate us from the love of God. Romans Ch 8 has to be one of the best chapters in the Bible for the believer. Click here to read it- you'll be encouraged.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day

Veterans Day is in honor of the men and women who have served and who are serving in the United States Armed Forces. Veterans Day is a federal holiday in the US.

A little history behind Veterans Day:
World War I is known as “The Great War.” It officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919. However, fighting had ended seven months earlier when a cease fire had been called between the Allied Nations and Germany. That happened on 11/11/1918. This day is generally referred to as the end of “the war to end all wars.” In 1919, President Wilson declared November 11th to be the first commemoration of Armistice Day. In 1938, a law made the day into a federal holiday. In 1954, the name was changed to Veterans Day. ( )

How do we honor or respect our Veterans? What does the word honor mean?

Honor – to esteem highly; respect; reverence; high estimation; consideration

So how are we going to honor our veterans? Let’s start with thanking one. If you know a vet, do something kind for them.

The Bible tells us that faith without works is a dead faith. Let your actions reflect your love for God. Reach out and find a vet to bless this Veterans Day.

Monday, November 10, 2008

What excites you?

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” (Psalm 100: 1-5)

We all have different things that make us happy - things that excite us or bring us joy. I love sports. I love to watch a good baseball or football game on TV. I get excited when my team is winning. Whether it is Big Ben Roethlisberger is throwing touchdown passes or John Smoltz is striking out batters, I’m cheering. (Guess you figured out I like the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Atlanta Braves.) I love the excitement of the game and the competition. I know the names and positions of the players. I love to talk about my teams.

These things excite me. What excites you? Does God excite you? Do you know all about Him? Do you read his word? Do you like to spend time with Him? Do you enter His gates with thanksgiving? Do you shout for joy and praise His name?

It isn’t wrong to support your favorite team. It isn’t wrong to know the players and talk about how great they are. It isn’t wrong to talk strategies and what ifs. But the real question is – do you give the same attention and dedication to the Lord that you do your favorite team? Do you look forward to your time with Him the same way you do the next “big game”?

As we are approaching Thanksgiving, let’s think about how we need to be giving thanks to him daily and praising Him – if for nothing else than the fact that He loves us.


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Life is Short

I started working on this on Thursday but I’ve had a hard time making time to get it finished. My thoughts still seem kind of jumbled.

Thursday morning when I got up, I was tired and I was wishing it was Friday. Then I was remembered something that I often tell my daughter, “Don’t wish your life away. Live every day to its fullest. Life is too short to lose even a single day.”

“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” (James 4:14)

Then later on that day I heard a song on the radio that confirmed this idea for me – Cinderella by Steven Curtis Chapman. The song was inspired by his daughter Maria and her sisters and is a message to all parents encouraging them to cherish every moment with their children. What he didn’t know when he wrote the song was that Maria’s life would be cut short by a tragic accident. I get teary eyed now every time I hear it play. You can play it here -

Do you comprehend the brevity of life? Have you left anything undone that you would do today if you knew you were going to die tomorrow? If so, you need to do it today. Be sure to hug your kids daily and tell them you love them. Don’t take even one day on this earth for granted because we really don’t know what the future holds.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Election is over – So Now What?

The election is over. No matter who you voted for, Obama is our new president. Like it or not, we have to accept that and support him. Why you ask? Because we are commanded to. Take a look at Romans 13:1-7.

“Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. … Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.”

All authorities are in place because God has permitted them to be there. They deserve our respect, obedience, support, and prayer.

Paul said in Acts 23:5 “Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people.”

I am grateful to live in the USA. I am grateful for the freedoms I have. I am grateful that there are people who want to lead this great country. I am grateful that God has blessed this country for so long. I pray that He will bless Obama and that He will lead and guide Him. I pray that this nation will fall on their knees and seek God’s guidance.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Forgiveness is like spinach

Forgiveness is like spinach. You know it is good for you but sometimes it is hard to swallow. (This is not an original, I heard it somewhere ...)

Think about popular phrases like “Go ahead, make my day,” or, “I don’t get mad, I get even!”. These are very familiar to us. We’ve probably even thought these or said these at some point in time. Yet, they are very wrong – why?

Jesus expects us to have better attitudes than this. Revenge may seem sweet but it is not Christ-like. Remember the story of Peter when he asked Jesus how many times he should forgive someone. He thought he was being generous when he said 7. Jesus responded that we should forgive someone seventy times seven. (Matthew 18:21-22) Wow – that’s asking a lot, isn’t it?

Then there is the Lord’s Prayer which tells us we should forgive others their sins, just as we want God to forgive us our sins. (Matthew 6:12) We recite this prayer but do we really think about the words. Do we think about how we depend on God to forgive us and what would happen if He didn’t? If we really think about it, if the God of the Universe can forgive us all our sins, why can’t we forgive each other?

Then there is the passage from Romans 12:19-21 “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Why don’t we want to leave vengeance to God? Do we think he is too merciful? Don’t we want him to be merciful to us?

Do you remember the story from Matthew 18 where Jesus tells about a servant who has been forgiven a big debt by the king? Then that same servant has the chance to forgive someone else and pass on the blessing. Is that what he does? No, he demands payment and when the man can’t pay, he demands he be thrown in prison. The king finds out and is very angry and he goes and has the man thrown into prison because he couldn’t forgive others.

Forgiveness is something that I have to work on – it isn’t always easy. I need to work on it each day and one decision at a time. Try to take issues to God in prayer and ask Him to help you forgive others. Forgiveness takes perseverance and hard work but it is worth it. When I refuse to forgive, I put a barrier up between me and God. It will affect my prayer life and my service. What I am saying when I refuse to forgive someone is that what the person did to me is more important than my relationship with God.

I know that I have truly forgiven someone when God’s love can flow through me to the person who wronged me. When my decisions are not controlled by how I feel about someone else. When I am free from the pain and anger towards that person and when I am experiencing God’s peace.

Do you need to forgive someone? Is a lack of forgiveness affecting your relationship with God? Ask God to give you the desire to forgive and then the ability to do it.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Psalm 19

Psalm 19 is one of my favorites. It describes God’s law as perfect, sure, trustworthy, right, radiant, precious, and sweet. It closes with a prayer asking God to make me blameless and innocent. The final idea is that my heart and mouth would please God.

Words can be very powerful. They can build someone up or they can tear someone down. They can produce life. They can deal a hurtful blow. They can edify, exhort, or glorify.

It is one thing to ask the Lord to judge your words. It’s another to have him judge your thoughts. There are lots of thoughts that I don’t want the Lord to judge.

Take a few minutes and think about what’s in your heart. Is it something you want the Lord to judge? Will your meditations be found acceptable to God?

Psalm 19: 7 - 14 “The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.

The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.

The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous.

They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.

By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults.

Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”