The Great Return

 

This week begins the season of the Great Return, you know when everything you spent hours looking for and many dollars buying gets returned to the unknown abyss.

Do you know what happens there?  Untold bunches of stuff are taken back to their original store, where they are then sent to some kind of discount place store. All will be sold for a tiny percentage of original value.

Is anything we own of any real worth? Clothes get baggy and worn, dishes break. All that really lasts is our relationships.

Sadly they don’t go on forever either. People move or die and everything is over…unless we have the hope of seeing them again.

The only thing we can really count on is our one on one relationship with the Lord. Thankfully it is non-returnable.

No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.   (John 1:18, NIV)

Prayer- Lord, draw our hearts to what really lasts…the Christ. Amen.

21 Ways to Forgive

Are you groaning over that title? Have you been struggling with a needed forgiveness? Refuse to forgive ‘your enemy’ in the usual ways?  Step out of the box and try anyone of the many ways offered by Wes Daughenbaugh in his new book, 21 ways to Forgive.

Stop clinging to the traditional family feud and do as God asks you. Forgive. Stop listing reasons why not and start doing it. Oh and by the way, the book includes nine reasons we must forgive. Whew. I have said a mouthful now, haven’t I? To top it all off the book is illustrated s well!

Here are a few of the chapter outlines.

Forgive so we won’t go to Hell.

Forgive so the devil doesn’t get a foothold in our lives.

Forgive so we don’t die of stress related illnesses.

Forgive so that we can be like Jesus.

This book is for every one. Even a child will easily understand the illustrations. Be brave. Face the truth about your way of living. Forgive where you need to forgive. If you aren’t sure, ask God. He will tell you quite quickly where your forgiveness needs lie; that is, if you will be bold enough to ask.

Celebrate Mall Music

 

What kind of state are we in when Christians complain we have Christmas music playing too early or the stores decorated too soon?  We should be cheering when we have any opportunity at all to bring up the name of Christ.

Let’s stop whining about music in the mall. If we don’t, everything will be festive this and festive that. Festive is the replacement word for anything Christmas. It means anything cheerful: it means anything related to a celebration of feasts, festivals or holidays. Christmas is slipping out of our hands. All we hear is festive trees, festive school concerts and festive holidays.

Do we want festive sales, festive music and festive decorations? Before you know it we will have the festive Christ, a Christ whose only purpose is to festive!

Rejoice in every Away in the Manger, or Noel, Noel. Those are scriptural words echoing into malls and halls; a word that we are still allowed to share. Grab onto it with both hands and turn up the sound of Christians rejoicing in the Christ.

Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute! (Philippians 4:4-5, MSG

Nancy Zieman Sewing Icon Passed

If you are not a sewer you might miss the importance of an inspirational life well-lived. Nancy Zieman passed into the arms of Jesus this week. For 30 or more years, I watched her sewing show on PBS all the while improving my sewing skills.

When I had my parotid tumor (Facial gland cancer) I wrote to her to say that we were likely the only two in the same boat. Both TV hosts and both with some facial difficulty;( Nancy had Bells Palsy as a child.)

She called me to tell me from Wisconsin to encourage me and talk about where to get treatment. We had a great discussion.

I said “Nancy are you a Christian?”

I sure am, Maam!”She replied.

Nancy lived her life with dignity and honor and I am proud to have known her even a little bit.

www.nancyzieman.com/blog/sewing-2/honoring-nancy-zieman/

Bug Free by Prayer and Common Sense

I just spoke at a campground that was invested by mosquitoes. The organizer wanted us outside. I braced myself for lots of squishing as I delivered my message. However, we all prayed the place bug-free and the leader helped God out by thoughtfully lighting several bug deterrent candles and placing them on each table. What a difference it made to both us and to the bugs. Not one of them lost their lives during my message.

Overcoming Adversity

Overcoming Adversity (by Dr Carl Garrigus, ThD, PhD)

Overcoming Adversity, Life Lessons from the Book of James (by Dr Carl Garrigus, ThD, PhD) is correctly titled indeed for Dr. Garrigus shares how his own life impossibilities were made more bearable by what he learned in the Book of James. Truth in action you might say.

As he says, life’s circumstances do develop your faith. Each chapter of this small book is followed by several questions so that you can examine your own life in the midst of your own circumstances.

Did you know that without God helping us, our faith growth is next to impossible? James 1:5 says that if we lack wisdom we should ask God. Now that makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?

Dr. Garrigus goes on to point out that anger won’t get us anywhere and to watch what we say.

In the summary, he points out that when we turn to God, and seek his will, difficult times provide opportunities to develop our faith.

Dr. Garrigus uses interesting life samples to illustrate his points. Every now and again, the book does seem a little bit preachy but over all I enjoyed it and I would recommend it. It is a good, although short overview of the Book of James.

The publisher provided me a free book in return for an honest review.

 

Brenda J Wood, author and motivational speaker
http://heartfeltdevotionals.com
http://www.twitter.com/size10hopefil

First Air

Today and every Monday for a while you can hear chapters of my book The Pregnant Pause of Grief. It’s been almost 6 years since my Dear Ronald went to be with Jesus. I started to read the book again myself, just to see how far I have come since that first horrible grief. And then Hopestreamradio.com added it to their Monday roster. Tune in, won’t you? I pray it helps you as it helped me. Brenda J Wood

True Gossip

And they answered, John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others, that one of the ancient prophets has come back to life. (Luke 9:19, AMP)

But Jesus brought gossip around to truth.

And He said to them, but who do you [yourselves] say that I am? (Luke 9:20a, AMP)

And Peter replied, The Christ of God! (Luke 9, 18-20, AMP)

Peter knew the answer. Do you?

Gossip

 

We talk a lot about Jesus. We listen to the ‘good old stories’ of how he moved in people’s lives. We drink in the testimonies of celebrities and make our own celebrities out of those who do wonderful things for him.

The disciples must have done the same thing because when Jesus asked them this question they knew the answer.…

Now it occurred that as Jesus was praying privately, the disciples were with Him, and He asked them, who do men say that I am? (Luke 9:18, AMP)

They really did know the gossip of the day.