"Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them." John 7:38

Posts tagged ‘gifts’

Christmas Forgiveness

post241graphic1If I were to ask you what is your favorite thing about Christmas, some of you would respond: Family. If I were to ask what do you dread most, some of you would say: Family.

This past week, in conversations with friends, continue reading here

Loving Father

It was mid-morning on July 28, 1979; I was getting married in a little while and no one knew where dad was! I wasn’t worried, I knew he’d show up on time. It was very much like him to just take off and roam about, but he was always there when he was supposed to be.

Brian, my soon-to-be-husband wasn’t as continue reading here

Things I Didn’t Know I Needed

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(Caution: The secret identity of Santa Claus may be revealed in this blog!)

Christmastime is wonderful for little children – decorating the tree, taping on cotton ball Santa beards, posing for photos and telling Santa what you want for Christmas; it’s magical. However, as parents, we know there is a lot that can go wrong.

What if every store from Ohio to Minnesota sold out of the only item on one child’s list, and the other child has a list a mile long! What if the budget meets their needs, but their wants far outweigh those needs? As parents we must decide how best to handle these situations, so that everyone feels loved and happy on Christmas morning.

I recall one Christmas when Brian and I were walking such a tightrope. We held our breath as the boys walked into the living room and saw their gifts beautifully arranged in front of the tree (in two separate but equal displays), and one boy exclaimed continue reading here

Using What God Gives You.

My grandsons are enjoying their first winter in northern Georgia and it is a bit different than northern Illinois. When Jake heard there was snow in Illinois he got really sad. He loves snow! He always has.

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But, in Georgia, you don’t get a lot of snow, so we started praying for snow, (sorry Georgia…) but the Lord didn’t send snow; instead they got a coating of ice! So the boys got busy and even Matty (our southerner at heart) braved the cold to pick a few ice berries. (Great idea, Mommy!)
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Children are not the only ones who sometimes want what they don’t have… sometimes grown-ups do. There have been times when I’ve heard that someone has something I don’t and I thought, “I want that.” I have even looked at another person’s spiritual gift and continue here

Challenge: Receive the Gifts!

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On mother’s Day, our grandson, Jake, was quietly bothered that there were no gifts for his grandpas. When we got up to leave, Jake ran to his room, grabbed a couple of his best diggers, hurried back down and gave them to his grandpas.

It cost Jake a lot to give away two diggers. Jake loves his excavators, backhoes, and bulldozers. He treats them as if they are his children; he disciplines them when they act up, tucks them in at night, kisses and hugs them, and dig deeper here

Love Is…

ValentineTomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and I love it. I always have. I’ve enjoyed it ever since I made my first poster-board Valentine card holder in grade school. I loved being courted by Brian and showered with Valentines in college. And, as a mom, I loved helping Dan and Bob write their names on preschool super-hero Valentines.

Is it a fake holiday? Am I a romantic? Probably “yes” to both. But, I’ve purchased cards and gifts, and I’ll enjoy distributing them. And, I’ll save the ones I receive.

However, the best Valentine I can give to the people I love is to look inward and have a “spiritual EKG”. I need to take a moment and determine if my day to day demonstration of love aligns with God’s definition of love.

In 1 Corinthians 13, God tells us what love should look like:

Love is…

Patient: Love bears with other’s shortcomings, weaknesses, and failures. Love waits for the right moment, it stays calm and perseveres.

Kind: Love is friendly, careful, and meets other’s needs without having to be asked. Love bends over backward to be nice, it is courteous.

Love is not…

Self-seeking: selfishly pursuing what is gratifying to me, or putting my personal desires, focus and needs above others.

Easily angered: becoming intensely displeasured or exasperated without much difficulty; it doesn’t have a short fuse and lean toward a lit match.

Proud: haughty or arrogant, with an exaggerated self-esteem or feeling of superiority.

Love does not…

Envy: discontent with what I have, resenting what another has, wanting what I don’t have.

Boast: focus on my achievements or possessions, lift myself up even at the expense of putting someone else down.

Dishonor others: bring shame or disgrace upon others through disrespect, slander, or maligning their reputation.

Delight in evil: enjoy my own wickedness or find great pleasure when others fall victim to wickedness.

Keep a record of wrongs: maintain a list of unjust treatment, collected and preserved, so as not to be forgotten, refuse to forgive, and continue to recall mistakes, errors, hurts, inequalities and injustices.

Love always…

Rejoices with the truth: Love fills the heart with joy, and is ready to celebrate facts, reality, sincerity, fidelity, integrity and honesty. Love celebrates what is right.

Protects: Love guards or keeps from harm. Love never deliberately hurts another but shields them from hurt.

Trusts: Love believes, has faith and confidence in others. Love gives the benefit of the doubt.

Hopes: Love is not wishful thinking, but confidence. Loves look forward with confidence to the fulfillment of God’s Word.

Perseveres: Love persists, it never gives up, ever.

Love never fails: no way, not at all, not ever, on no occasion will love prove deficient or inadequate. Love will always succeed.

God tells us in 1 John 4:16 that He is love. Because God is love, He can define love, and He can command that we love one another in the way that He defines it. Sometimes I love well. Other times, I don’t. God always does.

Is your heart prepared for Valentine’s Day? Are you? Are those you love? Will you be showering those you love with true Godly love this Valentine’s Day?

I Thank My God For You!

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. –James 1:17

As Christmas draws near, I want to pause and thank God for the gift of friends and family. So, please indulge me as I thank God for you!

Almighty God, thank you for the Winnetka, Illinois Bible Study Fellowship leaders and class, for using them to encourage me and for all the times they carried me before the throne of Grace in prayer that I might receive grace and mercy in my times of need!

Father, thank you for Becky, for her willingness to walk with me almost as many miles as I drove last spring when dad was sick, for her listening ear, her strong shoulder, her prayers, her encouragement and her sympathetic hugs.

And, thank you for Donna, who picked up the phone, on her birthday, on vacation with family and friends at the beach, to listen and pray with me as I cried and wrote dad’s obituary.

Father, thank you for Carolyn, who is helping me transition from BSF to this blog; I thank you for her patience with me, her dependability and creativity.

Gracious God, I thank you for every one of my friends, both near and far, would you please bless each one abundantly in 2014! They are such sweet gifts to me; you are so generous.

Sovereign Lord, thank you for my sweet children: Dan, Nikki, Bob and Jen! You are so gracious to allow me the privilege of being their mom/mother-in-love. Thank you for supplying them with forgiveness, patience, grace, mercy, love and compassion toward me. They encourage me, challenge me, support me, and pray for me. I am most blessed!

Father, thank you for my siblings, Betty, Donna, and JR. I am so blessed to have a brother and sisters who love deeply and care for one another as these do. Lord, your abundance overwhelms me.

God, thank you for Mom, and for the pleasure of being her daughter. Thank you for her willingness to pick up the phone every time I call, and for indulging me in conversation whether it is about the weather, missing dad, or what to plan for Christmas dinner. Almighty God, you are so loving to knit us together as you have.

And, Father, thank you for Genelle and Ernie Furrow, you were so kind to give me such gracious parents-in-law; please continue to sustain them this year as they trust in you.

Glorious God, I thank you for my husband, Brian, and for the ways that you use him to show your love to me. Thank you for enabling him to meet the challenge of having me for a wife!

Father, thank you for Jacob and Matthew, and for the way they keep me on my toes, exhaust me, open my eyes to the wonders of life from a preschooler’s perspective and shower me with love. Your blessings are uncountable.

For my extended family (both spiritual and physical), I thank You. Each person holds a special place in my heart, and I pray that every one of them will allow You into their heart, that we might enjoy You together, forever. Amen!

Merry Christmas to each and every one of you! Thank you for spending a few minutes with me on Tuesday and Friday mornings and I’ll see you in the New Year!

Marcia

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