I pose this question because it keeps occurring to me and I can’t shake it: Why do YOU, personally, celebrate Christmas?
Is it because you always have, from childhood, and you’re carrying on with tradition?
Is it because you enjoy decorating for the season?
Is it because you can get great deals at all of the sales that are only available this time of year?
Is it because you have children and you want to give them a sense of normalcy?
Is it because you celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?
Is it because you have the opportunity to get a few days off from work to relax and enjoy loved ones?
Is it because that’s what society deems “normal”?
The other thing that won’t leave my thoughts is this: If you aren’t a Christian, if you don’t believe in Jesus Christ, why would you celebrate the day of His birth? It’s not a selfish question, like I don’t want to share the holiday with non-believers, it’s a true curiosity. I invite you to please leave comments or feedback to answer some of these questions. I’d really like to learn your “reason for the season”.
My reason for the season is to celebrate the fact that God gave us his only Son, Jesus Christ, over 2000 years ago, to save us from sin. What a gift! No material gifts under the tree can top that.
Of course, I do participate in gift-giving, I do decorate my house, I do plan family dinner, I look forward to having the week off to relax and enjoy my friends and family, and to have a moment to breathe and knit my fingers to the bone (because that’s what I do when I’m not typing). However, even though I do all of these typical things during this Christmas holiday I keep in mind to ask for forgiveness, to give thanks for our Savior, and to attend church to give worship to Him with my fellow Christians.
I suppose the point of this whole blog entry is this: Christians have become the minority in this country, yet the celebration of Christmas seems to be at an all time high.
Today I pray that everyone has God come into their hearts so that we can all remember why we truly celebrate Christmas. I give thanks that we were given salvation through Jesus’ birth. I ask for forgiveness of all of my sins. I ask for widespread kindness and compassion in a country who has waged a not-so-silent war against religion. I pray that we all realize that “when you believe, you receive” not only applies to children and Santa, but it applies to us as Christians: When you believe in Him, you begin to receive His blessings. For all of this and so much more, in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!
Those that are close to us know that we’ve been through some very trying times in the past few months. Today was the day we’ve been waiting for, praying every day that things would go our way. We’ve asked for prayer from our friends, family, church family, coworkers, anyone who we know are deeply rooted in their faith. We’ve prayed that the person who pressed charges against my husband, falsely accusing him, would have God come into his heart. We’ve prayed that justice would be served and that Clay would be cleared of these false charges. We’ve prayed that we wouldn’t have to worry anymore that we would be robbed in the middle of the night by this man or any of his accomplices.
Our prayers were answered today. All of them. We waited patiently as the judge called each case and heard their testimony, gave her ruling, and moved on to the next dramatic incident. We heard lies, we heard pleading, we heard truth. I noticed that the judge was wearing a small cross on the outside of her robe. I knew that God was in that courtroom and that His hand was on us, just like we’d prayed for. Finally, they brought out the man dressed in a bright orange jumpsuit, the one who robbed us of our sleep, our possessions, our sanity, and our security. But he didn’t rob us of our faith. If anything, this whole ordeal has made our faith stronger. I never thought I’d say it, but I’m thankful that because of this experience we are better Christians. God promises that He will bring us through the difficult times not only answering our prayers, but propelling us to a better destiny for keeping our faith in Him.
This man is facing 10 felonies as it stood today. Tonight I pray that God comes into his heart, into the heart of his girlfriend, and anyone else that was involved with his crimes. I pray that they get to know God as we have and can begin to trust in Him to turn their lives around.
Tonight I give thanks for a loving, honest, amazing husband. I give thanks for his freedom, cleared name, and renewed happiness. I give thanks that tonight we can relax and sleep well knowing that God is ever present in our lives and that our prayers and the prayers of those who care for us have been answered. I praise and thank Him! Thank You, Jesus, not only for dying for our sins, but for hearing each and every prayer, bringing us through adversity praying stronger prayers with stronger faith in You and Your Power in our lives. For all of our blessings and so, so much more… I praise and thank you, In Jesus’ name, AMEN!
I haven’t written this week. I’ve been sulking and mourning the loss of my friend and coworker. My days of sorrow have now ended, much thanks to the beautiful “homecoming ceremony” I attended yesterday for Tammy. We were reminded by her Pastor of Tammy’s infectious smile and told that each smile we receive or give is a blessing from God. It brings happiness to both the giver and the recipient. Tammy had one of the best smiles I’ve ever seen and that’s exactly how I’ll remember her.
I was blessed to know Tammy for a few minutes in this lifetime. I’ve become more aware this week of the other friendships I’ve been blessed with since I started my job in September. God truly does put the right people in your life right when you need them. The women I work with are all very strong in their faith, which helps me stay strong in my own faith when I have difficult days. I have been blessed with friendships based on the love of God, a shared faith that He will provide exactly what we need when we need it, and a respect for the blessing of discernment.
My family has expanded since I married my husband last year. I have been blessed with new cousins on his side of the family, one in particular. We share the same name (I like to call us “Team Lisa”) and we share the same belief in the Power of God in our lives. We are blessed to share the same church family as well as our married family. We even got hired with the same company at the same time. God has shown me on more than one occasion that He put Lisa in my life for a reason. We support each other and love each other, not because we have to due to church, work, or familial obligations, but because it’s just natural. I know that God put us together, just like He put my husband and me together, at just the right time. He made my family bigger and stronger, through our faith in Him.
Today I am thankful for my friendships, each and every one of them. I have many; I am blessed in that way. I am thankful for God giving me discernment so I will know a true Christian from a false witness. I am thankful for the blessing that is God’s love through friendship and family.
If you have someone in your life that has touched your heart in a way that you know could only happen through God, let them know how much you appreciate them. We aren’t promised a tomorrow, but we’re blessed with today. Take a minute today to thank the people in your life for their love and kindness, give them a smile… a blessing in turn for being a blessing to you.
I pray today that we all have a minute to acknowledge the love and favor God has blessed us with. I pray for my friends and family that we all can appreciate each other and give credit where credit is due: to God. I pray that He keeps us all in his grace and favor and that He strengthens our bonds, in Jesus’ name, Amen!
I awoke this morning knowing it was going to be a great day. It is. The sun is shining, my dogs are playing, my husband is hunting for his 6th straight Thanksgiving Day deer, and I have food cooking in the kitchen as I’m typing. I even got to go pluck the biggest head of cabbage out of our garden to fix for my family, and I’m delivering dinner to family members this afternoon. I am blessed beyond words, beyond anything I could say here.
I am thankful everyday. I am especially thankful today, the day that we give thanks for all of our blessings and honor the bond between the natives and those who took over their land. I am grateful to have a piece of land to grow our food on. I am thankful that my husband and I both have the ability to hunt for our meat, and that he’s wildly talented at it. (After all, he is part Native American) I am thankful for so many things… the roof over our heads, the food in reserves, the family we share it with, the friends we love so much, the blessings that aren’t only conveniences but essential to everyday life here… running water, electricity, soap. (yes, soap!)
We take a lot for granted everyday, thanking God for only what we’ve prayed for and gotten answers. Today I am thankful for ALL things, big and small. I’m even thankful for the little mouse in my kitchen that scared me last night as I was baking sweet potato pies. He provided much laughter thanks to my reaction when I found him seeking heat under my oven!
I am thankful for forgiveness. I am thankful for love. I am thankful for kindness. I am thankful for laughter. I am thankful for compassion. I am thankful for strength. I am thankful for my husband, my gift from God. I am thankful for Jesus. I am thankful I am a Child of God. I am thankful for His love and grace. I am thankful to share my blessings with you. I am thankful that you took the time to read this.
Share your blessings, don’t count them, just share them. I pray that we all have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving Day, safe travels, and merriment wherever we are! In Jesus’ name I praise and THANK HIM, Amen!
I say it to my favorite little ones: You have to give good to get good. When you give goodness to people, a smile, a listening ear, a prayer… you get goodness in return. It all comes back eventually, but think about it: when you smile at someone, most times they’ll smile back. My point with the little ones is geared more towards their behavior: when you give good, when you act good, you get good in return, you ARE good for your actions.
Simply put, give good – give thanks for today, give yourself a pep talk about the blessings in your life, smile at someone that’s having a bad day (or just a bad attitude in general). What can it hurt? What you give is what you get… so give good, you’ll “get good”, especially in the eyes of God.
Have a blessed day – I am! 🙂 I pray for all of us today that we all can keep in mind that everyone deserves a little kindness, and for it to spread like wildfire. Amen!
I typed this above entry at 6:30 this morning. Here’s my testimony of proof that when you spread goodness, it comes back.
By 7:00 my husband was the winner of 2 tickets to see Marty Stewart in concert tomorrow night, won a coffee mug and was entered to win a grand prize of some kind of hunting gear. By 7:30 I won the same radio contest, winning 2 more tickets to the concert and I was entered to win a grand prize drawing of a diamond ring and gift certificates from local stores. I gave the tickets back so someone else could win, but asked to be kept in the grand prize drawing.
By 8:30 I was blessed 3-fold in a monetary gift (I gave $20 to a friend in need a few weeks ago – it came back to me today from another friend, but was multiplied to $60). At first I refused to take the money – the friend was offering it to me because I’ve missed so much work lately and she wanted to help. When I asked her not to give it to me she told me that her mother always told her that when you bless someone else it comes back to you, and that I wasn’t to take away her blessing. I understood and I respected her request to help me. I continue to give many thanks for her and her kindness, and I’ve asked God to bless her in return. Because of her gift I was able to buy my family’s Thanksgiving turkey and tuck away a bit. (I am so thankful!!)
It didn’t end there. Unexpectedly I was given a “new” desk today (it’s not brand new, but it’s new to me). I had no idea it was coming and it gives me more room to accommodate my work needs. I was also blessed at work by a loving parent that thanked me for always being a happy face when she comes and goes, and she gave me a heartfelt hug.
I passed that hug along to a work-family member that needed a little extra support… I didn’t know why at the time, but she just looked like she didn’t feel good and needed a hug. I also gave her the scarf I knitted to keep her neck warm while she was getting her class off of the bus. It matched her blouse perfectly today and she looked beautiful with it. It turns out she lost her mother a year ago and it really hit her hard this morning. She told me this afternoon that my hug really touched her. You see, her mother was a hugger too, and I prayed softly in her ear when I hugged her this morning that Jesus would be with her today and lift whatever was hurting her. She kept the scarf on all day and wore it home… and I was happy that I made her day better.
I could go on, but you get it… at least I hope you do. This is solid proof that when you GIVE GOOD you really do GET GOOD. Pass the Word. I am, and I am blessed for it. Thank you, God, for ALL of my blessings, physical and spiritual, and please bless each reader of my words. In Jesus’ name I pray in thanks, AMEN!!! 😀
For risking your lives for the sake of ours…
For every day you’ve missed your loved ones because you’re stationed so far away…
For being so selfless to give of yourself, completely…
For defending our freedoms so that we may all be treated with equality…
For carrying the emotional and physical burdens that come with being a Veteran…
For your bravery and sacrifices…
For being true Blessings to all of us…
I thank you. May God bless and keep you in His hands while you fulfill your destiny, I pray in thanks for you, in Jesus’ name, Amen!
Thankful. Thank Full. Hmm. Yes, I’m Thank Full this morning. As Thanksgiving approaches we’re reminded of the meals we look forward to preparing, time to share with our loved ones, the Christmas sales that are taking over the TV ads to be just as annoying as the campaign ads that just ended.
I’ve watched the announcements of major retail chains starting their sales on Thanksgiving night so people can get a head start on their shopping. Honestly, I don’t see where that will help our economy; people are going to spend the same amount of money whether they do it Thanksgiving night or the next morning. Quite frankly, you won’t catch me near these sales or stores, I prefer not to get trampled or subject myself to such greedy people. When I see the mad rush of people grabbing electronics, piles of clothes, things that aren’t completely necessary to life, all I can see is greed… grab all you can before anyone else can. But do you NEED these things? (I’m trying to understand it better, so if you can shed some light, feel free to comment)
I think we lose the true value of these holidays. I’m not thankful for the sales because material things can be taken from us just as easily as they’re acquired. I am thankful for the opportunity to enjoy a meal with my parents, my husband, and hopefully some additional loved ones. I am thankful to have the food to prepare and share. I am thankful for the roof over my head and the heat that keeps us warm. I am thankful that I am loved.
During the upcoming weeks, please stop to be full of thanks (Thank FULL) for the everyday things we’re blessed with. Be thankful for the smile you give someone else that brightens their day. Be thankful for the bed you sleep in. Be thankful for the small things, the works of God, the blessings in your life, whatever form they come in. I am also thankful that I’ve been given the opportunity to type this to you and that you’ve read it. See, I’ve already prayed for you today, that you’d read this, that it would have a positive impact on you and that I’ll reach even more people today with these prayers of blessing and thanks.
Take time today to be full of thanks for the blessing of life, for another day to strengthen your faith in the miracles God gives us, for time to prepare for the amazing works in the holiday season approaching. Be thankful not only at Thanksgiving, but everyday, and you will be given favor in the eyes of God. Giving prayers of thanks shows God that your faith in Him is strong and He will continue to give you reasons to give thanks.
May peace be with you as you go about your day, knowing I’ve said a prayer of thanks for YOU (yes, you)! In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN!