Thanksgiving Thursday: For This Cause

Radically Grateful

Hebrews 12:6 tells us that the Lord disciplines those He loves, and let me tell you, friends, I have been well loved this week! The Lord has walked before me to lead and guide, beside me to commune and comfort, and behind me to chasten and restrain.

I stand amazed at how, when God is molding me to be more like Him, He usually places something in my path that leaves no room for doubt about His leading. I felt the Spirit brooding over me in loving conviction…and then came the defining moment.

I sat down to write this post on a different subject, but was drawn away by the newest post on another writer’s blog where she had penned:

 “How can we who profess to be Christ followers remain disconnected from the suffering of those who bear His image? Do not all people have equal value and dignity in the sight of God?

If our heart beats for what God’s heart beats, shouldn’t compassion for people and passion for His mission on this earth be our Holy Obsession? Am I not supposed to love my neighbor as myself? When good people do nothing, injustice thrives.”

You Were Made

There it was. “Have I not spoken?” “Yes, Lord.” Then came the clincher: a power-packed video; a heart changing, 34-minute coupe de gras to the selfish life He is asking me to leave.

“In a generation that is so passionate about causes, Jesus said that for this cause I came to earth. There’s one cause, that’s above every other cause, and justice flows out of the cause of the Gospel of Jesus Christ going forward…What good is [anything] if another generation arises after us that does not know the Lord?”

Please watch the video posted below with me, friends! Let’s pray that we faithfully take the baton of faith for the next generation, carry the cause of the Gospel of Jesus forward, and fulfill the mission set before us. And, in all, let’s praise Him for loving conviction and radical grace!

 

Unwrapping the Gifts

862. The discipline-love of the Lord

859. The freedom for which He set me free (Galatians 5:1)

851. A new writing adventure

825. We love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19)

865. The scent of Snuggle laundry softener

718. Enjoying a good book and a glass of wine when the house is cozy, warm, and dark except one perfect reading lamp

836. Watching movies in bed while Skot works late

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864. Steak fajita quesadillas

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867. Bathtubs – which I’m sure were created for no other reason than filthy children

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Please tell me, what gifts have you unwrapped this week?

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Thanksgiving Thursday: A Christmas that whispers – Jesus

In our little haven-home, the Christmas season officially begins the day after Thanksgiving. Well, I fudge a little and listen to Christmas music a bit before Thanksgiving, but I make sure it’s only when my husband isn’t home.

 

But Christmas time is truly here despite my early transgressions, and I am ready. It has been an odd, often painful year, and my heart, my mind is yearning to celebrate my Lord’s birth. This year,

I don’t want a Christmas you can buy.

I don’t want a Christmas you can make.

What I want is a Christmas you can hold.

A Christmas that holds me, remakes me, revives me.

I want a Christmas that whispers – Jesus.

I want a Christmas that lives and moves in Jesus Christ.

I want for the God in the manger who makes Himself bread…

For the Savior in swaddlings who makes Himself our robe of righteousness.

For the Christ who makes precisely what none of us can – Christmas.

It is only Christ alone who can make Christmas.” ~ Ann Voskamp

 

 

 

My Thanksgiving List 11/29/12

 

548. Hugs from my sweet baby girl when I’m on stress overload

 

550. A divine sense of peace that surpasses understanding, even in the midst of chaos

 

553. It’s Christmas time!

 

554. Calmly, gracefully working together through the night to lower Peanut’s high fever

 

561. A new vacuum and clean floors

 

518. A golden wedding band on my handsome man

 

567. A fabulous pedicure with my mom-in-law

 

565. Meeting “friends” over drinks that we’ve never met before

 

570. Watching Peanut and my mom-in-law play

 

569. Having my husband on vacation and home a lot

 

563. Extra time

 

571. Going through boxes of hand-me-downs and finding “new” clothes for Shelby

 

Please tell me, what gifts have you unwrapped this week?

Thanksgiving Thursday, Hard Eucharisteo

Liesl: “What do you do when you…love someone? I mean, when you stop loving someone…or he stops loving you?”

Maria: “Well, you cry a little. Then you wait for the sun to come out. It always does.” The Sound of Music

 

This week I have offered up hard Eucharisteo and the sacrifice of praise. But life’s like that sometimes. Sometimes Unexpected Heroes fall hard, relationships are not what they seemed, and it’s time to let go.

 

 

…We lament visceral pain, …but praise God that there is a doctor in the House! And He knows your name and He holds the stars and His girds underneath and He never lets go and He is Joy and He is Light and He is the warrior who defeats the dark.

…Joy is dangerous – it’s igniting and contagious and otherworldy and it wins demon wars. And it’s mere ploy to say joy is Pollyanna – because joy is revolutionary: it goes straight against the way this dark world spins.” Ann Voskamp

 

My Thanksgiving List 10/11/12

371. Electric Throws

370. My precious and dearly loved little family

377. Spiked caramel apple cider

381. My sweet husband that makes me biscuits & gravy when I’m sick (as well as caring for Peanut and listening to me whine and keeping the house fairly straight and…)

386. That my God redeems the darkest moments with His wondrous grace and love

382. Soft Kleenex

383. Dumb movies on a sick day

387. Brilliant gold shouting out the glory of God!

390. That our tiny Peanut easily overcame the cold that was spreading hard

388. Peace that transcends understanding, that garrisons hearts, and mounts guard over minds through Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:7)

389. Selling items on Craigslist that I thought would never sell!

227. My sweet, sweet girl

Please tell me, what gifts have you unwrapped this week?

Thanksgiving Thursday, On This Day…

This day I will marry my friend; the one I laugh with, live for, dream with, love.” These were the words printed on our wedding invitations, unity candle, and reception cocktail napkins fifteen years ago tomorrow. September 28th, 1997 was a sunny fall Sunday; I was just shy of 19, he was just over 21, and we became husband and wife.

 

He’s all I’ve ever known. I was just 14 years old when he first held my hand and captured my heart, and he still holds both. He’s my sweetest comfort and my greatest joy, my best friend and my only lover, my soft place and my steadfast rock, my daughter’s father and my life’s favorite everything.

 

…the bravest love is wildly faithful and it falls hard again every morning…the happily married have eyes that look long enough to make the familiar new.

 

…my head’s full of how we’ve known each other and how he still is mystery and how the want is still all his. We sleep in matrimony and it is holy.”*

 

 

 My Thanksgiving List, 9/27/12

 

231. That he made me his 15 years ago

 

 

228. The having and the holding 😉

 

226. Homemade chicken noodle soup on a rainy evening

 

224. The energy in a great workout

 

221.That in this house, we do love

 

229. Raiding the pantry together to come up with fun, goofy suppers

 

232. The way he makes me laugh until I cry

 

213. Spring’s buds of life in my heart even as the world goes into fall’s hibernation

 

230. Butterflies in my tummy when I wake and feel his legs wrapped around mine

 

231. His smile. His character. His body. His heart. His long fingers. His spirit. His hazel eyes. Him.

 

 

 

Please tell me, what blessings have you unwrapped this week?

 

 

 

 

 

 

*A Holy Experience, The Bravest & Most Beautiful Affair

Today, Troubled; Tomorrow, Triumphant

An American business owner is vitriolically slandered by intolerant people full of rage for honestly answering questions regarding his beliefs.

A woman given to expressing the love of Christ in marriage is abandoned by an adulterous husband.

A man devoted to providing for his family is left to stand on his own by a divided company.

A young, talented football player is sought to be discredited by a hateful media.

A thirty-something is already wearied by the storms of life.

An unborn child is destroyed by the mother-heart yielded to darkness.

A man called Love is vitriolically slandered by intolerant people full of rage, abandoned by his followers, left to stand on his own, sought to be discredited, wearied by the storms of life, destroyed by hearts yielded to darkness.

“Whenever you are about to howl to the heavens, “I don’t deserve this!”, close your eyes and remember Christ hanging on the cross and say it again aloud, “I don’t deserve this.” Ann Voskamp

We have not a high priest that is cold, unfeeling, unsympathetic to our weaknesses, pain, suffering (Heb. 4:15). We may look to him for aid, support, comfort. We may come to him, for his yoke is easy, and his burden light (Matt. 11:30).

Helpless cries from a hurting child are met with grace by the heart of our Healer, Provider, Protector, High Priest….Abba, Father.

Look to him, pained child of God, for with loving-kindness he is drawing you, and he is near to the brokenhearted and saves those crushed in spirit (Jer. 31:3, Ps. 34:18). Snuggle close, feel his heartbeat, rest. In the end, every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:10&11). In the end, he wins…and so do you.