In this week of thanksgiving, I hope we all are able to define our blessings. Sometimes our blessings are actually found in our curses; sometimes we recognize them immediately.

Take Thanksgiving, for example. Some see it as an annoying excuse to get together with family; some love seeing their relations. Some people want to order pizza; some want to roast the turkey themselves.

Whether we’re staying home for the holidays or are traveling for five hours, it’s important we keep our eyes set on God (as well as the road). Thanksgiving is the way to go. We should thank him for everything- ups, downs, and in-betweens.

  • Psalm 69:30
  • Psalm 147:7
  • Ephesians 5:4
  • Philippians 4:6
  • Philemon 1:4
  • Colossians 2:6-7
  • 1 Thessalonians 3:9

When you feel down…

God will always be there for you. That’s just that. However, it might feel like He’s forgotten you sometimes. Yesterday was hard for me, and today I feel tired, grumpy, and done with the world. It’s a natural habit for me to act negatively and be a pessimist when I feel this way and I have often brought my mental pain down on my family.

I have always loved Psalm 23, and today I share it in hope that it encourages you like it does for me.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures.

He leads me beside quiet waters.

He restores my soul.

He guides me along the right paths for his names sake.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley,

I will fear no evil,

For you are with me;

Your rod and your staff,

They comfort me.

You prepare a table before me

In the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil;

My cup overflows.

Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Even in the valleys of our sadness, in the green pastures of our rejoicing, God is there, watching over us.

John 9:1-3

Giving Thanks

Giving thanks. We all do that, right? It’s polite to say, “No, but thanks anyway,” more than just plain “no” is. We send flocks of thank-you cards to people every anniversary, Christmas, and birthday. What are the magic words? Please and thank you.

But when we pray, do we say, “Thank you God for that easy test, for the great breakfast this morning, for that encouraging word from a friend”? Sometimes… but more often, does it come out, “I wish you would have given me an A on that test, I don’t want this for dinner tonight, nobody likes me- why can’t I be different”? Let’s face it: humans are sort of complainers.

When I pray in front of people, I have a list of things to say: “God, thank you for this day, and for our food, and for this opportunity to come together today.” Then I list off certain needs, requests, wants, and wishes. After that, I might say something like “In your son’s name we pray, amen.” and that’s that. Praying done.

How much of the actual praying is devoted to thanking God? One sentence. One sentence that could be spread to the entire prayer, like: “Thank you God for giving me the opportunity to learn, and for having nutritious food to eat when some around the world do not. Thank you for this friend, when they spoke to me today it was just what I needed to keep going.”

To turn this back to scripture, I would like to recommend these few verses: Philippians 4:6, Psalm 147:7, and 2 Cor 9:11.

Let’s try, the rest of this month, to glorify and praise and give thanks to the Lord with every prayer we pray.

Finding Time

I know it’s hard for me to find time. I have school, I have friends, I have my blog, and while you might think that all that is related to God… its doesn’t always end up that way.

In Lamentations 3:25 it says, “The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him.” In the books of Kings it talks about the kings of Israel, most descriptively, and how they did or didn’t follow God. In all, there were only four wholly godly kings! And on top of that, there were a few kings that were good and bad- but only five more. There was a total of thirty bad kings (these are all the kings listed in 1 Kings 1-2)!

This is proof we need to have time to devote ourselves to God. Here are a few reference verses:

  • Proverbs 3:5
  • Matthew 6:33a
  • 1 Chronicles 28:9b

So let me get you started. Before you get ready in the morning, or before you go to bed at night, read a passage in the Bible and pray. Thank God for all that He’s done for you, and ask Him to help you get in the habit of finding time every day to be with Him. Need help finding what to read? Here’s a website I love that provides good devotionals:

This woman is a missionary from Nashville, Tennessee, serving in Uganda who is a great believer and has also been called to adopt thirteen wonderful girls and have two sons of her own with her husband, Benji. Katie Majors is an excellent role model.

Being Called

While reading the Word this week, I read from 1 Samuel 3:7 that God called Samuel’s name twice. I was reading from my study Bible and a note said that God also called Abraham (Genesis 22:11) Joseph (Genesis 46:2) and Moses (Exodus 3:4) in this way. All these men were of great importance to Israel, and their actions led to greater things happening for the israelites.

Don’t we all wish we could be called by God like this? Don’t we all long for a greater importance and something new? Some of us ladies might even wonder why women weren’t called this way. Well, we might think of Joan of Arc, one of the most prominent women ever called, and countless other biblical women: Sarah, who’s name was changed to mean princess and was gifted with a son at ninety years old (Genesis 17:17) Rebekah, who was barren and given twins by God(Genesis 24:64), Miriam, who was able to save her little brother, Moses, from death all for a greater purpose and became God’s high priestess(Exodus 1:4, 15:20), Deborah, the sole female judge who delivered the Israelites out of the hands of the king of Canaan through God (Judges 4:4), Huldah, a prophetess who carried words of God the the priest (2 Kings 22:14-20), Rahab, who kept Israelite spies safe in Jericho (Joshua 2), and finally Esther, who saved her people from a massacre in Persia (the whole book of Esther, but particularly Esther 8).

You can see that the first two women are simply know to be the mothers of great men. It isn’t very well known, but barren Israelite women were looked down upon because they couldn’t bear children (Psalm 127:3). Therefore, God is giving these women the greatest gift possible. Now it is different. if you don’t want children, that is your decision and your business.

So we see that anyone can be called by the Lord for His work. Take a look at Luke 5:1-11. Do you feel called like this in some way? How can you respond?

The Joy of Jesus

I’m not going to say that I’ve been a christian all my life. I recently got baptized and though I’m only thirteen years old, I feel like I’ve known Jesus all my life. Don’t get me wrong, there were moments when I was not being the person that God wanted me to be. When my parents made the choice to switch churches, I was upset because I wouldn’t be seeing my friends on Sundays anymore. But hey, that was two years ago and now I realize what God was doing in me. I am living in Jesus and I feel like I finally have a future. when I was little, hopeful future jobs mingled in between baker and singer and mom, but I officially know what I want to do: be a christian writer and singer/songwriter, the things that I love most and feel like I can spread the gospel doing.

This, readers, is the joy of Jesus.

Take a trip to Matthew 28:18-20 for me. Tell me what you think. What does Jesus say in your heart through this passage? What can you do to follow His lead?