Statement of faith

2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (NIV)

"The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to make us like the Son of God. To become like Jesus, we must fill our lives with his Word.
- Warren

Monday, November 21, 2011

Quiet-Time Reflections

Week of: November 21, 2011                         
Sharing by: Pam Crawford

Psalm 100:1-5
“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."

Reflecting on history, Thanksgiving was a day set apart to acknowledge and praise God. The settlers of our great land wanted to express their gratitude to a God that was with them every step of the way. It doesn’t appear that this was something they chose to gloss over, they rested in the moment. I imagine their prayers were not hurried on that day because the food would get cold. I imagine they were not thinking about mapping out their strategy to get the next best bargain. They simply gathered as families and they celebrated where they were. When I think about this, I am in awe. These were people who were suffering. Because they sought out a better life for themselves and their families, they were willing to endure through suffering, death and discouragement. They were willing to praise God because they understood that the gain outweighed their pain.  

I have to ask myself, is that how I see it? Is that how you see it? Does the pain of the circumstance outweigh the gain of what God wants us to learn from it? Honestly, it has not always been my attitude. I have definitely bought into the “poor, poor, pitiful Pam mentality," and I am thankful that God is showing me that this is a waste of valuable time. Maybe the alternative would be to adopt the mindset of the early settlers. They seemed to understand that God loved them. They recognized His provisions despite the difficulties in their life. They acknowledged that He was in control and He would guide them along the way. They understood they could be thankful in the mystery of God’s ways. I love that they left this example for us to emulate. Of course it’s up to us to adopt it or not. From the beginning of creation God has given us a choice and free-will still exists. 

This is going to be a very different kind of holiday season for this gal. I intend to take my cares and concerns before God in thanksgiving and praise. Yes, I said “praise.” I now recognize that every trial is an opportunity to grow. Although my circumstances may not change, I can change. I am also going to rest in the simplicity of the life lived back in the days of our settlers. They may not have had much, but they were rich in their relationship with God and others. I am ashamed to share that for so many years I made myself crazy with the preparations of the season. I had so much anxiety that I missed the celebration, and praise was not rolling from my tongue. I always ended up exhausted, physically, mentally, and financially. Because everything had to be perfect, nothing ended up perfect. So, whether we’re enjoying a big holiday meal or a simple bowl of soup, we can celebrate the goodness of our Heavenly Father. It should not matter "what" we have, but rather "who" we have.  Is God the ultimate guest at your celebrations? If not, may I encourage you to invite Him into them this year. He will be a kind, loving, patient, wise, helpful and He'll meet you where you're at. "Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30).


Today’s prayer:  Father, I come before you in Praise and Gratitude. I am thankful to be surrounded by people who touch my life and bring me joy. Watch over and protect them daily. I’m thankful that You have blessed me beyond measure. Help me to encourage and share from what I have received.  Praise You Lord that You live in my heart, may I never be ashamed to share this gift. May I never take for granted your undeserved favor on my life. Your gift of grace is something I desire to celebrate. In Jesus name I offer to you my thanksgiving and praise. Amen.

Additional Scripture Reading: Hebrews 12:28, Psalm 95:2, Phil 4:6

Book Recommendation: Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyan

How great should be our gratitude
To God our unseen Friend!
The volume of His gifts to us
We cannot comprehend.
            - Hess

In Christ by grace,

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