Thursday, November 27, 2008

Things We Can Be Thankful For

In my last post, Five Kernels of Corn, I discussed what my pastor had to share with our congregation this past Sunday on giving thanks. He made a great list of areas in the Word of God (the Bible) where we can be thankful. I'd like to share those notes with you:

Areas in the Word of God where we can be thankful:

We can be thankful because God is a good God. Ps 106:1
We can be thankful for God's unfailing love (so true!) Ps 107:8
We can be thankful knowing God is always near (yes, thank God for that!) Ps 145:18
We can be thankful for the Word of God Ps 119:62
We can be thankful for the eternal home God has given us (yeeah!) Heb 12:28
We can be thankful for the gift of God's own son (wow! just think about it) 2 Cor 9:15

God is good. Let's be thankful today. Happy Thanksgiving!
Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Five Kernels of Corn

This past Sunday at church the subject of the message was, of course, Thanksgiving. Our pastor made some good points that made me leave feeling humbled. He reminded us that as a nation, where we have so much, we should be ever so grateful, but often the opposite is true. Instead of waking up in the morning and recognizing all the things that are good in our lives (a warm bed, a roof over our heads, food for breakfast and every other meal, etc.) we tend to focus on the things we are lacking. We perceive these things as needs, but often they aren't. Do we really need an iPod? Um, no. Our Forefathers lived without them and probably would have said an "i" what?! I think we can probably live without them too and a whole lot more.

The pastor then went on to explain a bit about the Pilgrims and reminded us that Thanksgiving came about as a way to stop and give thanks to God for everything. They had a harsh life, battling hunger and the cold elements in New England. Have we ever truly had to deal with that? Most of us, myself included, can honestly say no. I have no idea what it's like to be starving, but that's what they dealt with.

Once Thanksgiving was established, the Pilgrims would start off their meal with five kernels of corn on their plate. These five golden kernels represented all they had to eat during a 24 hours time frame during tough times. I can't even imagine that sustaining me for one meal let alone an entire day. Can you? Each Pilgrim would stand up in front of their family and would take each kernel of corn and say what they were thankful for.

Let me challenge you and your family to do the same thing tomorrow. If you aren't having corn, pick something else - nuts maybe. Or how about string beans? I don't think it really matters, it's the act of being thankful and sharing with others that matters. Spend some time during your dinner and let that be the topic of conversation instead of Black Friday sales. Do we really need that stuff anyway?

If you'd like to hear more of this message, please listen to my pastor at: Sermons Click on "Dates" and then "Be Thankful." Enjoy!

Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Thankful to Give Thanks Poem

In honor of the holiday this week, I am going to focus on the very topic of thanksgiving. Each day I'll feature or write about something different, leading us right into the holiday.

What am I thankful for today? Connie Arnold and her talent! Connie is a friend that I've been following on Twitter and boy does she have the ability to write poems. That is one thing God did not bless me with - poem writing abilities. Fortunately for you as my reader, I will refrain from blinding you with my hideous poem inabilities and will feature Connie instead!

"Thankful to Give Thanks" written by Connie Arnold in 2008

How can I ever thank you, Lord,
for all that you have done,
for giving us the precious gift
of your most blessed Son?
What a special miracle
that you could love us so,
enough that Christ left heaven
to come to earth below!

We can show our gratitude
by offering our praise
in songs of adoration,
our voices gladly raise.
When someone is in need,
we can lend a helping hand,
with our ears we can listen
and show we understand.
Our feet can be used
to go the extra mile
in helping one another
with a cheerful smile.

Our thankfulness we can show
by what we do and say
and by always striving
to do our best each day.
The best way to give thanks
is by loving and giving
as we follow Christ’s example
in the life we are living.

To read more of Connie's work, please visit her site at: Inspirational Poetry of Connie Arnold.

Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Living in the Moment

My husband sat at the dinner table with a serious expression on his face as he rattled off, "Happy Thanksgiving," "Merry Christmas," "Happy New Year," "So what are we doing for Superbowl?" As my eyes got wider, he continued. "Happy 2010!" Oh, and "Happy 40th Birthday!"

I resisted the urge to slap him - after all, it wouldn't be very Christian like, but give me a break! I am only 34 years old! The purpose of him going through all that way to say, "Time flies." And he's right. I really will be 40 before I know it. Not something I really like to think about.

I think we all need to keep that in mind as we go about our daily lives going through the motions and promising ourselves that we'll do this or that sometime soon. The thing is, if we don't make it a point to do what we want to do, we'll never do it. We'll just keep going on the merry-go-round of monotony thinking it will end some day and then we'll have time to do what we want.

Newsflash! That isn't going to happen. We have to work our lives, and I mean really living, into our everyday routine.

I have some friends and family that I think are afraid of it. They make excuses that they HAVE to stay at the office until late and that they couldn't possibly come out for a night on the town or even a simple cup of coffee. I think they use work and other things as crutches from truly living. It's sad really. When you really stop and think about it, what's going to happen if you leave the office on time and take a night off for yourself? Nothing. I promise. The world will still rotate, the sun will still rise and set, and nothing is going to explode.

I've challenged this in the past in my Make It Happen post and Don't Let Life Pass You By: Make it Happen and now I am challenging you again. Pick something you've been interested in doing for quite a while, whether it be a few weeks, months or your entire life and get to it! Break the cycle of boredom and monotony and live. Really live! Now don't get me wrong, I am not encouraging you to quite your job or anything drastic like that. Please don't do it! I am just encouraging you to work in a little fun every once in a while. It can be done, now do it!

So what are you going to do? God has blessed many of us in America with some of the finest things. Don't miss out on them. Enjoy them to the fullest. Tell me what you plan on doing and I'll post it up on Blessings from Above to share with other readers. Maybe you'l spark some ideas for them.

I am off to make a pedicure appointment. I've had a gift certificate for over a year now and just haven't taken the time to pamper myself. It's about time.

Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Praying Blessings Over Family

Hello all! I'd like to introduce you to a fellow writer and blogger, Deb Burton. She addressed the topic of praying blessings over your family in her post, Inspiring Families - Praying Blessings to the Third Generation. Here's what Deb has to say:

I was on my way to the sanctuary one busy Sunday morning, hoping to secure our usual seats (you know how everybody is about their seats) when I heard my name called out. Carmie Spenn managed to maneuver her way through the crowd, digging a piece of paper out of her Bible. On it was a very short explanation of how her and her husband Ted used to pray over their boys at night. Let me tell you, the story is long on meaning.

In typical humility, Carmie began her note: “I was just going to share with you a little blessing that we would pray over each of our sons all the while they were growing up and were home.”

She continued with their prayer. “’May Jesus bless you and keep you with long life, good health, and a heart that loves and serves the Lord.’ We would lay our hands on them and speak these words out loud every night that they were with us, whether they were asleep or awake.”

Can you see these two parents gently sitting on or standing over their sons’ beds, praying this blessing upon their children? Ted and Carmie didn’t just pray for their children, they prayed over them, night after night, the same prayer, probably for 18-20 years.

Wouldn’t a child get tired of hearing the same thing every night for eighteen or twenty years?“Later when Jacob had moved into his dorm room at college I found those words taped to the head of his bed. To this day they are also on a card in Jon’s Bible.” The sweet sound those words must have been in those boys’ ears. And how much they must have learned as they felt the warmth of their parent’s hand pressed against them.

It gets even more wonderful. Carmie shares, “Jacob is doing the same thing for his children today [Jon is not married].” Passing the legacy down, blessing the third generation of those who love God and keep His commandments. Obedience demonstrated in a nightly moment carried out with diligence, consistency and a godly love. How rich this family is!

To learn more about Deb or to read more of her work, visit her blog, The Greatest Mission Trip You'll Ever Take: Empowering Christian Parents To Be Missionaries In Their Own Home. I am sure it will be a blessing to you!

Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bless a Vet Today

Bless a Vet Today! For all you pet lovers, I am not talking about honoring a vetenarian! Today is Veteran's Day and we should honor the noble Veterans in our great country. We're here and enjoying the life we are because of them and all those who have ever served our great country.

Unfortunately being in the military can take a toll on our Veterans so it's important that we truly, from the bottom of our hearts, let them know how much we appreciate them. While we've gone on enjoying our lives (for some just living) Veterans have had their personal lives put on hold. Marriages and relationships come to a hault; children are born in their absence; family members pass on to be with the Lord, and so much more. Lets not take them for granted. Veterans really do sacrifice for us.

9 Ways to Bless a Vet today:

  • Send a Bible to our active troops in Afghanistan and other dangerous parts of the world.

  • Pray for our troops, our Veterans, and their families.

  • Donate your time or money to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans

  • Use your website or blog to raise funds for an organization aimed at helping Veterans by adding a Paypal Donation button. Veterans Families United Foundation; Veterans Help Network, and those organizations listed above are just a few that could use your help.

  • Request that your Pastor honor Veterans at the next church service. Ideally, those being honored should wear their prospective uniforms.

  • Simply say thank you to someone currently or previously in any form of military.

  • Host a Veteran's Day Party for those Veterans in your life.

  • Send a greeting card or "go green" and send an e-card thanking them for their service.

  • Create a scrapbook with photographs of your Veteran while in the military and present it to them on Veteran's Day.
  • Wishing "Blessings from Above" to our Veteran's. Happy Veterans Day!

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    Friday, November 7, 2008

    Happy Birthday Billy Graham!

    Happy Birthday Billy Graham! Today is Billy Graham's 90th birthday! We should thankful for such a wonderful man and all the blessings that he has given our great Country and the World as a whole.

    Most of Graham's life has been dedicated to Jesus and helping others get to know him. He's impacted millions of lives through his various Ministries which are aimed at all walks of life includng teenagers, troops, people in physical crisis, those less fortunate in America and other countries, and so many others.

    Billy Graham and his ministry produce a magazine, Decision, to help inform you of the positive things they are up to and to educate you on why it's important to accept Jesus. They also have a telephone and television ministry. All which have helped many people around the globe.

    Check out the Billy Graham website for more information on how you can help or get help yourself if you need it. Visit: Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

    Drop me a line and let me know how you've been blessed by Billy Graham in honor of his 90th Birthday!

    Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"

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    Nothing to do but pray!

    This week has been a tough week with the Presidential Election. I am still trying to catch my breath over what took place. As you know from my last post, Obama wasn't exactly my top pick. I am concerned about what he stands for and he even more concerned about what he doesn't. I really hope that the America flags still stays in place and that that wonderful little marketing logo created for Obama doesn't take its place. That would be a disgrace in my opinion.

    I think going over and over the reasons I dislike Obama, at this point, is quite useless, so I plan on moving on and encourage all Christian and non-Obama supporters to do the same. I really believe that there is a God (can't see how many think there isn't) and I am confident that he permitted Obama to be in the White House even if it doesn't agree with my opinion. Hmm...God's not working his plans around mine, imagine that. Ha!

    God has a plan in place for our Nation and we have stand on that belief and wait on him. As long as God is on our side how could we go wrong?! Just pray, pray, pray!

    God bless!
    Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"

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    Tuesday, November 4, 2008

    Entitled to my vote and my opinion

    Well all, it's down to the last few hours before we find out who will be leading this great country of ours come January '09. Up until now, I've have been quite reluctant to speak my mind about politics.

    Most people don't give you the chance to hear you out on why you are voting for a particular person. Often if it doesn't agree with their opinion, you are stamped wrong and pretty much tuned out.

    I realized though, that just like everyone else in America, I am entitled to my vote and my opinion even if it doesn't agree with popular opinion.

    So to be upfront, here it is: I voted for John McCain. It's not because he is white or a Republican. Those things don't matter to me. And for those that think I am a Christian and therefore I vote Republican by default, you are wrong. I vote for the person that supports biblical principles such as the right to life for starters. I just can't bear to vote for someone that would allow post-birth abortions, allowing doctors to kill perfect human beings and then let them die on a table, alone. Nor can I stand by someone who makes a mockery of marriage by allowing same sex couples to be recognized as a married union. You won't find that in the Bible anywhere, in fact it's seen as a sin. I don't care what our liberal society says about it. God doesn't like it, therefore I don't like it. Don't get me wrong. I am not perfect. If I was I wouldn't be human. I am just trying to be the best person I can be and voting for a candidate other than McCain would be unChristian in my mind.

    There are plenty of other reasons why I can't support Obama but I believe 'nuff has been said. Just keep in mind as you go to the polls, that as a country founded on Christian principles, we really should try and uphold those Christian values. Our forefathers would appreciate it and our future as a nation depends on it.

    If you want to hear more about voting for biblical principles, listen to this well preached sermon by Pastor Kurt Kinney. Visit Thy Kingdom Come, preached on
    November 2nd, 2008.

    Thanks for keeping an open mind about my vote.

    Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"

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