Praise and Thanks!
"The Lord lives! Praise to my Rock! May the God of my salvation be exalted!" (Psalm 18:46 NLT)
We are to Thanksgiving Day. The parade is on as I am working on this. Football games will be starting. Prayerfully families, and friends, have traveled safely (or stayed home) to be able to celebrate with each other. I have been VERY blessed this year to be able to come to Texas to be with my mother's side of the family. My uncle is 92 and still going strong. I've also been able to see cousins, and their kids and grandkids, that I haven't seen in...... we think 20 years but it could be longer. It has been a wonderful break from busy (crazy) schedule and a time for family and fellowship.
Yes, we are celebrating Thanksgiving! One of the hymns going through my mind is "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation! O my soul, praise Him, for he is thy health and salvation! All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near, sing now in glad adoration." Praising God - for the TIME to have safe travel, for places to stay, for being able to see family and, of course, being able to see "new" quilt stores. It has been a wonderful time of "catching up," sharing stories, looking at pictures and answering questions.
A time to STOP and 'renew' with family and friends. A time to "get away" from the hectic "crazy" schedule and feel God's presence. Caregivers, can you stop? Can you take even a few minutes to feel God's presence with you? "The Lord Lives!" (Psalm 81:46)
"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." 1 Chronicles 16:34
Thanksgiving is next week so it is pretty easy, with all the reminders around us, to be thinking about giving thanks. We can each, probably, think of at least one thing to be thankful for -- from the coffee maker working to the roads being clear to technology actually working when we need it to. Of course we can, and prayerfully are, thankful for family and friends.
As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving have we stopped, even for a few minutes, to thank God for the blessings we have? Are we able, with our care receivers, to remember special times? Can we talk about the traditions old ones or maybe even starting new ones?
Some things to think about AND some things to be 'thankful' for.........
Doing things -- for ourselves & Others
"I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13 NASB)
Paul is writing this, and the first part of this reading, talking about "how to get along" with little or plenty. (v. 12) He is speaking about what is happening in all circumstances. God with us -- Emmanuel.
At the same time we think of circumstances of taking care of a loved one. Now we are taking care of more than just ourselves. Now we have busy schedules, jobs, and the other persons needs. Added to this can be the doctor appointments and other physical needs.
Do we still feel we can do all things? We need to make sure our focus is on Christ. We need to keep the relationship - our relationship - with Christ strong so we can agree with Paul. We need to help each other with these things.
How do we do this? When do we do this?
Strength study -- thoughts
"Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God, I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." (Isaiah 41:10 NASB emphasis mine)
This verse, and verse 13, were first given to me when my mother died very unexpectedly. k The "do not fear" and God "holding me by the hand" (vs. 13) and in God's righteous right hand" helped hold me together during a stressful time. These verses became my "go to" verses when ever things started to overwhelm.
Then a word search of strength brought these verses up. Yes, God is holding me "by the hand" and in "God's hand." God's strength is also holding and helping. God's strength - holding, helping and flowing through me - for which I am very thankful. I can praise God - even in stressful times.
Something to think about: God holding us by the, and in, God's hand so God's strength CAN flow through us.
What verse is your "go to" verse? How does it hold you and help you? Do you feel God's strength?
New Things, new praise!
"Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise from the ends of the earth," Isaiah 42:10 a
Have you been blessed with a "new" experience recently? Have you been able to try something "new"? IF you have and IF it worked are you singing a "new" song? I admit this is from my friend Isaiah, who frequently starts "new" things when God is announcing them (43:19) and I probably shouldn't start singing an old song let alone a "new" song. But new experiences, especially when I can learn new things too, do make me want to "praise the Lord!"
I was blessed to be able to ride on a combine today. I was able to ask all kind of questions, watch while corn was combined, and spend time with new friends. I also learned some of the faith farmers must have as they are trying to plant, grow and harvest the crops that feed, and power, us.
So......what new thing have you tried? What new things would you like to try? What questions do you have? Can you give yourself permission to not only try the "new" thing but to sing the "new song" of praise when you get to do it? Something to think about..........
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.