Pam Taylor - Christian Life Coach

Independence Day
Fun, Facts & Trivia*

Independence DaySometimes we forget the 4th of July holiday we celebrate every year is more than picnics, parades, and fireworks. It is actually a celebration originally called Independence Day. Let’s review together some of the reasons WHY.

A fun way to start is to take this Independence Day Trivia Quiz. Exercise your brain. Test your knowledge of Early American History. Multiple choice.You can do it!

Here you go… Independence Day Trivia Quiz:  http://puzzles.about.com/od/trivia/l/bl_july4quiz.htm

How many did you answer correctly? (I answered 8 out of 11 correctly. Looks like it’s good I took this refresher course, huh?)

 

Thoughts to Ponder

On July 4, 1776 The 2nd Continental Congress in Philadelphia, PA declared independence from Britain. On August 2, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the 2nd Continental Congress.

When was the last time you read the Declaration of Independence when you didn’t HAVE to for school assignments?

You might be enlightened by a look see here: http://usgovinfo.about.com/bldecind.htm

Please take the time to especially read the first few paragraphs. Read for yourself the “vision” of our founding fathers.

 

More Thoughts to Ponder

What was THIS about? (Hint: It had something to do with taxes and tea. )

The Boston Tea Party http://coffeetea.about.com/cs/history1/a/bostonteaparty.htm

 

Three Quick Facts About The Star Spangled Banner:

1.The Star Spangled Banner was written by lawyer/poet Francis Scott Key, because…

2. He was inspired during the British attack of Fort McHenry on September 13, 1814 and the courageous defense made by American forces.

3. In 1931, the U.S. Congress designated the “Star Spangled Banner” to be the National Anthem of the United States.

 

I’m especially inspired by the last verse of our National Anthem.
Here it is for your convenience:

“O thus be it ever when free-men shall stand
Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation;
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land
Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,

And this be our motto: “In God is our trust!”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave”

We (the United States of America) are a nation of people so proud of our independence. And rightly so. But the Star Spangled Banner gives the Glory to God Almighty. He is the Power that preserved our nation and He is our only hope even now. When we forget that we are INTERdependent on each other and most of all DEpendent on our GOD, we get in trouble. In the beginning of King Solomon’s reign, he prayed (2 Chronicles 6:13c, 14 NIV) “He {{Solomon}} stood on the platform and then knelt down before the whole assembly of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven. He said: ‘O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven or on earth—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way.’”

I end this post with a prayer from Psalm 86:9-13 (NIV) “All the nations You have made will come and worship before You, O Lord; they will bring glory to Your Name. For You are great and do marvelous deeds; You alone are God. Teach me Your way, O LORD, and I will walk in Your truth; give me an undivided heart that I may fear Your name. I will praise You, O LORD my God, with all my heart; I will glorify Your name forever. For great is Your love toward me; You have delivered my soul from the depths of the grave.”

May God bless You with a fresh understanding of His desire for those who call themselves by His Name.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. You continually refresh my heart. I am blessed that you are part of my life.

May this be the best Independence Day celebration you have ever had!!!

Until next time…

 

*Reference source for the Independence Day trivia: Ask.com


Memorial Day With Gratitude

Memorial-DayJust stopping by for a quick minute to tell you how my day began.

It’s been pouring rain. I thought our Memorial Day remembrance by the lake would not happen. (Oh me of little faith!)

But God cleared the sky for a short time so we could stop…to remember the sacrifices of our heroes and their families.

I was moved to tears as the High School band played the Star Spangled Banner. (Yes, our flag is still there. In spite of wars and rumors of wars.)

Tears were still in my eyes as the VFW honor guard stood at attention. As many in the crowd saluted or had their hands over their hearts throughout the remembrance time. (They honored the flag of our country.) The raising of the flag by our local Boy Scouts (but only to half mast…to honor the fallen). That prayer by the Chaplain of the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars). The prayer included honoring by Name our Lord Jesus. Openly. Without hindrance. Another reason for tears of gratitude: for wonderful small town Iowa with its “old-fashioned values”!

And then the band played TAPS. More tears. More emotions of gratitude. More hands over the hearts. I am thankful for those in Clear Lake, Iowa who organized the remembrance.

I’m glad I stopped to remember today. I wanted to share my joy with you.

Yes this is celebrated as a HOLIDAY in the United States, but there is a reason why we have a “holiday” to celebrate. Today, I am not taking that freedom for granted. It came with great price.

I am thankful to God for stopping the heavy rain long enough for us to draw together as a community and remember with gratitude those that suffered much so we could stand there today FREE to do so.  THANK YOU seems small for such a great gift!

Filed under: Clear Lake,Holidays — Tags: , , , , , — Pam Taylor @ 12:33 pm

Cranksgiving Holidays

Whether you celebrate holidays alone or with family, what has been your experience? Have you wished things could be different? Better?

As you think TOWARD the upcoming holiday, what are you feeling? What pressure are you experiencing? What do you fear? What do you hope for? What is your heart telling you?

I know I used to dread holidays because I was often disappointed. I had expectations about how I wanted things to go and how I wanted people to act toward each other. But lately, things have changed drastically for the better. I’ve had an attitude shift!

Do any of these words describe the mood of you or others during holidays?
** Cranky
** Inconvenienced
** Cramped
** Ungrateful
** Grumpy
** Tired
** Overworked
** Overwhelmed
** Anxious
** Disappointed
** Discouraged

What if you decided to do what I have begun to do? To CHOOSE JOY???
What if you prayerfully turn to your Father God and ask Him to help you choose a new way of handling holidays?

What if little by little, you begin to turn your cranksgiving attitude into times of gratitude for the small things…choosing an attitude of thanksgiving…choosing gratitude for what is good and right and lovely in your world, rather than focusing on what is overwhelming you or hurting you.

If you have found this attitude shift to be true in your own life, would you take time to post here? It could help someone else have a much better experience going through their next holiday. Who knows whose heart you might encourage because you took the time to share. Bless you bunches!

Filed under: Holidays,MomCouragement,Spiritual Life — Tags: , , , — Pam Taylor @ 12:11 pm

Grumblings. A 4th of July Story.

Every year since I moved downtown, I’ve dreaded the 4th of July. It was high on my list of things I had to just “get through”. Survival of the fittest mentality took over…which meant THEY always win! And I always lose!

“THEY” were the carnival people. They came into our town in the dark of night and disrupted–no, prevented–my sleep for literally the entire night. They set everything up only one block from my apartment building. By morning I could see the Farris Wheel through the trees and the merry-go-round at the end of the alley, along with all the fast and furious rides looming and blocking the sky from my view. Let the festivities begin!

It’s a really big deal — 4th of July Independence Day here in this town. The town doubles or triples in size the week of July 4th. All week long the loud music blared and destroyed my peace. And it got even louder after dark, when I wanted to sleep. In my mind, I felt I had a right to have my town back. It didn’t feel safe when they were here. The carnival brought a lot of strangers to town. People arrived from far and wide.

Every year I grumbled. Every year I murmured. Because even the day they left town they would tear everything down and pack it up all through the night. Another night of absolutely NO sleep. Grumble! Murmur!

Every year I felt superior, but I didn’t call it that. (I’m not sure what label my Pharisee mindset put on my feelings to justify them). I just knew that my comfort was infringed upon and sleep was impossible. (Oswald Chambers said, “Pride is the deification of self.” OUCH!)

Then…there was a change…I was stunned…God turned my murmurings to gladness! Let me tell you how that happened…
Last year — 2011 — something changed. I changed. Actually, God changed me. Unexpectedly…without warning, God showed up and showed me His heart. And then He showed me my heart in comparison! UGH! It was not a pretty sight!!!

He gave me His heart for the people that actually BLESS our town with the carnival every year. What’s going on here?? What did I just say?? Let me tell you how that mindset shift happened…

The youth of my church (Zion Lutheran Church in Clear Lake, IA) made yummy & nourishing individual breakfast meals for the set-up crew on the morning after the all night set-up of the carnival. And the youth let me help them put it all together into bags. Then, we went to the carnival area and hand-carried a meal to each person individually…along with coffee and/or bottled water. I had a blast! We all had a blast! It was so much fun! And…The carnival crew were so grateful.

The youth and youth leaders taught me…no…they modeled something to this “grown up” (I use the term loosely). They modeled TRUE Christian love! It was their vision and hard work that made it happen.

I have more stories to tell you sometime about that week! It was a week of mental shift, spiritual growth, and a transformed mind!

I will tell you that I have some new friends & mentors since that day. And I will tell you that they (the youth, youth leaders, and the carnival crew) modeled grace and mercy and true caring for “one another” for me. I learned a lot that week and it has stayed with me all year and you know what? For the first time…I can’t wait to hear the all-night-sounds of the carnival setting up, because that will mean more opportunities to learn what it really means to truly live in Christian community.

Yup! Last year I also discovered that the Carnival is owned and operated by Christians who run a “tight ship” and that they purposefully model and mentor the Christian walk to their employees. (BTW, we are again making breakfasts in a bag to take to the hard workers that bring the carnival to our town for the 4th of July. Can’t wait!)

I’m so glad that God is a patient Father because I have a lot to learn! ‘Scuze me while I go wash the egg off my face. I’ve been busted by God! Again! and you know what? It FEELS like LOVE! Here’s what God says about it…

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you. Take your everyday, ordinary life–your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking around life–and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit in without thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-informed maturity in you.” (Romans 12:1,2 THE MESSAGE translation)

God the Father loves us enough to take the time to mentor us toward maturity. And when we are His, that feels like LOVE!

I don’t want to grow old without growing up, do you?

Filed under: Holidays,Spiritual Life — Tags: , , , — Pam Taylor @ 4:20 pm

New Year Resolutions. Time for a Fresh Start.

Whenever there are auditions for a new play, many are hoping for the lead roles, but where would we be without the other supporting roles that must also be cast? We need a writer of the play, and the directors. And even when it’s a one-man show, we need the valuable support of those that change the scenery, open and close the curtains, run the lights, the sound, and assist with makeup and costume changes. (Remember the famous line: “There are no small roles…” Each is important to the story.) We need the ticket takers, the printers for the programs and tickets, and the costume designers. We need the ushers and those that keep things neat and clean. And that’s just to mention a few of what’s needed to make a successful show. And don’t forget the audience. Where would we be without them?

We need each other’s gifts, talents, and strengths…in a play and in life. God purposefully designed the rules of life. He designed that each of us would have a valuable role in our family, our job, our church, and our neighborhood. It’s easy to forget that.

Let’s start 2012 well. Live the life you were designed to live. Discover your strengths. One way to do that is to find a Life Coach who is a Strengths Coach, certified and trained to give the Leading From Your Strengths assessment consultations, with the emphasis on learning to walk fully in your God-given design. This Strengths Coach is someone who can help you discover God’s best plan for your life.

Maybe going into 2012 means challenging changes in your life…like starting a business, homeschooling, or sensing a call to pastor a flock Maybe you want to start a blog so you can express yourself in a new way. Or maybe there’s the need to downsize and simplify because of circumstances. Maybe you have the desire for a closer walk with God. Maybe you’re a missionary…or want to be one. Maybe you’re returning from a military tour/tours overseas. Maybe there’s been job loss or divorce and you want to find yourself…Your Best Self…the one designed by your Creator.

Whatever describes you where you are now…whether it’s listed above or something entirely different that you want to sort out in your life…working with a Life Coach, can get 2012 off to a really good start.

Lots of people are talking about New Year Resolutions. What are your dreams, your visions for a brighter & more fulfilling tomorrow? Rather than making resolutions that often are soon cast aside, what are your true intentions? What WILL you do in 2011 to make your life better? To move toward your goals? To realize your dreams, you must resolve to give up something lesser in order to gain something better. Resolve to move forward with a Life Coach in 2012. We’re not meant to do life alone.

It’s a New Year and time for a fresh start.

“For we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing acording to the grace that is given to us, let us use them…” Romans 12:4-6a

Scriptures taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Giving Barbie Dolls to Your Child. Yes or No?

I think that you really hit on something we need to add to the mix: Our personalities truly do influence how we parent.

I also believe that God purposefully chooses which child/children to place in our particular family.

So, when we pray for wisdom to the God of all wisdom, He promises to give us that wisdom that we need for our particular family.

Simplistic? Yes. Will we make mistakes? Yes. But God sees the heart of the mother/father that desires to raise the child/children to reflect Christ’s love to the world.

They (the child/children) may take the LONG road, like Billy Graham’s son, Franklin Graham, who has turned his life around and now has stepped into his father’s shoes…or they (the child/children) may take the SHORT road and never give us a day’s concern. That said…which road they take…has a lot to do with their God-given personality, as well.

But, God hears the heart of a praying mother/father. Someday you can ask Ruth Graham about that and see if she ever wondered if she was making the wrong decisions. Do you think she ever second-guessed herself?

It may comfort you to know that even if we were the perfect parent, making perfect decisions, that does not guarantee perfect children.

Ask God. He is THE Perfect Parent…and look how some of His kids turned out. 🙂

You…human parent…can only do so much to influence your children toward God. Hopefully, that takes a bit of the pressure off of you. Do what you can do. Do it the best you know how. And trust God to do what only He can do.

GIB (God is Big) KLU (Keep Looking Up).

Onward Christian Parent! Well done!

Would you like to weigh in on the discussion:  Giving Barbie Dolls to Your Child. Yes or No?

What do you think? What did you choose to do?

And why?


Lord of the Loaves and Fishes

The Lord of the Loaves and Fishes meets the needs of His children. “And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19 in the New Testament of the Bible)

What’s your life look like right now? Are you facing one problem after another? Feeling unfulfilled in your life’s work? In your family life? In your church life? Inside your own skin? Does it seem like something is missing?

Maybe something is missing. Maybe you are looking in the wrong places.

Are new needs arising? Are you even thinking “And now there is Christmas with additional financial needs and relationship needs”? Do you feel pulled in all directions and do you feel like you simply cannot make ends meet?

What if it is true that you simply can’t make ends meet on your own? And…what if there is a better plan?

What if you decide to talk it over with the Lord of the Loaves and Fishes? What if you truly and honestly seek HIS plan for your life? What if you ask HIM for help?

When we daily/moment-by-moment consciously and deliberately look to God for help (“Give us this day your daily bread.” Matthew 6:11), we are acknowledging our own inability to meet our own needs. We are looking to Him as the Lord of the Loaves and Fishes.

It blesses Him to know that we realize that He is the Source for all that we need. And He loves blessing His kids. (Of course, sometimes HIS idea of blessing is not what we were thinking would be a blessing, but it’s also true that: Father knows best!)

There are true stories in the Bible that teach us about God multiplying what is offered up to Him. (I believe that so strongly, that it’s actually the very foundational principle that my whole coaching business is based on.  www.loavesandfishescoaching.com  You will notice that theme in many of my blog posts as well. And my clients experience that theme in my coaching and mentor/coaching those individuals that God sends my way.)

The very first step that Jesus took when he fed the hungry multitudes in the middle of nowhere, was to acknowledge that God Almighty is the One True God. He worshipped God the Father. He knew the Source of the provision of the needs of the people that were hungry. And, in response, God provided more than enough for all. (One of those stories is recorded in Matthew 14 in the New Testament of the Bible. See my website homepage for a verse from that chapter) www.loavesandfishescoaching.com

Over and over again in my own life, I have seen God multiply the meager offering I have to give. Whether it be time, money, or possessions. Jesus is the Lord of the Loaves and Fishes, and He’s with you in the boat on the rough sea of life. He’s promised to supply all our needs. Yes…He’s PROMISED to supply them.

But (and this is a very important “but”) we need to ASK. To ask, to seek, to knock. We have to acknowledge the Source. He will do it even when we don’t see how it is possible. In fact, the Lord of the Loaves and Fishes…the Lord of the stormy seas…He is the Lord that loves the word IMPOSSIBLE!

I’d love to hear your stories of how God has met you at your point of need. What Loaves and Fishes has He supplied just when you needed them? Share your story. We want to hear from you!


Do You Believe In Easter/The Empty Tomb/the Resurrection?

The Cross. The empty tomb. I believe in Easter. Do You? Whether you you believe it or not, it is true! Jesus died. Jesus is ALIVE! And He is in Heaven, preparing a place especially for His own. Have you yet thanked Him for that…by welcoming Him to enter your life and transform your mind, will, and emotions? To begin to remake you into His image. To pick you up when you fall down/when you sin/when you fail to do what you know you should do. Have you come to the end of yourself yet? It’s never too late to surrender your will…at the foot of the Cross. The Cross–an anchor for the soul. Hang onto it. Daily. The Cross had to happen before the Resurrection could happen. (There is nothing that you will experience that will be any worse than that.) Surrender to His will for you. It only takes a moment to begin the journey of a lifetime!

Sins. Have you realized your need of His substitutionary death for your sins? Sins–the results of the choice that Adam and Eve made so many years ago. Sins in our own lives that have continued on each day since that sad decision. They had it all and it was not enough for them. They wanted more. They willfully and foolishly chose to believe satan disguised as a creature…a serpent. They chose to listen to the creation rather than to the Creator of the creation. That original couple. That man and woman. Later to be the first parents. They chose to walk out of close relationship with their Creator.

Choice. We all have choice. Choice of whether we will believe in Easter (the celebration of the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ)…and in the Creator God…or will we believe the creation and the creatures in the creation? God gives us the gift of choice.

Gifts. Have you ever had the experience of having someone return to you a gift you had given them? I had a friend do that…actually, she gave me back numerous things I had given her. I was stunned. She said maybe I could give them to someone else. She didn’t see value in what I had given. Or…have you had someone tell you in words that your gifts are not thoughtful and that they don’t want them? I have. I think those experiences give me a tiny glimpse of what God feels when we reject His gift of salvation. His gift that came with a highly personal price paid. His gift chosen thoughtfully with each of us in mind. Accepting and cherishing His gift is the ONLY way to become His child. There is no other way to Heaven, but to see the value of His Gift. Easter. Some look at His gift with disdain…not wanting it…and looking for a different gift…a different way to Heaven.

Born Again. I was nearly 30 years old when I finally understood with my heart what Jesus had chosen to do for ME. For YOU. Don’t close your heart to Him. Don’t turn away from His gift. Will it be easy? NO! Life will continue to be a challenge. But there is now strength for the journey and the hope of your resurrection to new life in Christ. Keep searching until you find Him. Visualize walking into His waiting open arms. Just as you are! Warts and sins and all! Then hang on tight! Don’t let Him go. He will not move away from you. Not ever! But…if you do the moving away from Him, and therefore, out of the area of His blessing, He will not force you to do His will.

Do you believe in Easter? I do. I daily experience Easter’s resurrection power. There is Holy Spirit power as a result of the Resurrection (and Jesus’ Ascension into Heaven). He sent the Holy Spirit to HELP us in this fallen world. To strengthen us to seek Him daily. Jesus paid it all. He paid it all for all peoples. Willingly. Joyfully. For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross. The joy He felt was His understanding that His loving, willing, sacrifice of Himself…for you…for me…was making it possible for those of us that willingly, joyfully choose to be His follower…His disciple…perpetual seekers.

Witnesses. There were more than 500 witnesses over a 40-day period after His resurrection. He had died. He was put into a tomb. Sealed. Dead. And then three days later, they saw Him ALIVE! They saw the nail scars on His body–the results of being nailed to the brutal cross. Now alive. Jesus…Lord of Lords, King of Kings! Forty days after the resurrection, they saw Him ascend to Heaven. Alive! He’s alive! Can you believe it?! And He is coming again … for His own … and we will join Him. Forever and ever. Whatever you have endured here, it will be worth it all. I promise. Better yet, HE promises! 🙂

Victory. Easter is the celebration of Jesus overcoming sin and the sting of death. It is the season for remembering the agony He went through in order to be the sacrificial substitutionary Lamb…the offering to satisfy the choice Adam and Eve made so many years ago. Don’t make the same foolish choice they did. Not deciding is also a choice. Choose this day whom you will follow.

Home. This world is not your home. Someday, you will be in your eternal home. Do you want to spend it with the serpent or with the Creator? Do you believe in Easter? I pray you do! I’d love to hear from you that you believe in Easter in its fullest of meanings! May God bless these words to cause you to hunger and thirst for more of Him as you fling yourself down at the foot of the cross and gaze at the empty tomb and ponder what that means to you personally.

Maranatha. Come Lord Jesus.
May we await His shout together!

 

Filed under: Holidays,Spiritual Life — Tags: , , — Pam Taylor @ 6:03 pm

You Thought This Would Be the Year. (New Year’s Resolutions)

This is the time of year people tend to get discouraged because they had such hope that this would be the year that they would be successful with their New Year’s Resolutions. Yes, through mere determination, this year would be different. Does that sound like you?

There is a simple way to get on the road to where you want to be. Better yet—to get on the road to where God wants you to be. It is the road to what He created you for (to fulfill His purpose for you). That road also will be part of the discovery of what He created for you. Read on…

Moses had questions for God when God sent him out to rescue His people from Pharaoh. (Aren’t you glad that wasn’t YOUR assignment?) Do you remember what God said to Moses?

God said, “What’s that in your hand?” (Exodus 4:2 NIV)

That’s also what God says to each of us: “What’s that in your hand?”

Whatever you have been given by God—whatever unique strengths that He has chosen for you, He expects you to “sow” them right back into the world where you are right now. To use what is already in your hand.

So, tell me…”What is that in your hand?” God doesn’t wait for you to feel called. You already are called. Right where you are, right now. You don’t have to wait until He equips you. You already are equipped. (With your God-given, God-chosen just-for-you STRENGTHS.) Sound good? It gets better! God has already done the hard part. All you have to do is discover what He has already done in you.

You can be one of the many that are being blessed by discovering their uniqueness through the Leading From Your Strengths assessments. They are finally understanding why they do what they do, and why they act and react the way they do. AND why others act and react the way they way they do.

And they are also discovering it is all part of the Creator’s PLAN. Each person’s uniqueness is not an accident.  Wouldn’t you like to be one of those people that are finding joy & fulfillment & purpose through this discovery process? It’s not a pie-in-the-sky by-and-by dream. It can be a current reality for you. Maybe it will even help you understand why those New Year’s Resolutions that sounded so good, really were good ideas, but needed tweaking so they would fit your God-given design in a way that you could actually follow through and feel the joy of success. I’d love to walk the journey of discovery with you.

For more information, there are 4 other blog posts on this topic at www.loavesandfishescoaching.com

Through Leading From Your Strengths assessments, it is possible to find the pieces of the puzzle you have been missing. You will be blessed. And refreshed.

And, maybe you were right after all when you thought this would be the year. Questions? Contact me at http://www.loavesandfishescoaching.com/contact.php and we can arrange the assessment/debrief, so that when God asks you, “What’s that in your hand?” you will know the answer without a doubt!


The CHOICE To Be Grateful

Thanksgiving. The choice is ours. To choose to be grateful. To thank the One Creator God from Whom all blessings flow…for He is the Source of our blessings. Yes, the choice is ours.

Since November is the month that we in the United States–as a nation–have the tradition of setting aside a single day that we call Thanksgiving, I started asking…

What does the month leading up to that Thanksgiving Day look like in your family? Is it blessedly a day that brings to mind lovely times of re-connecting with family, even if there is little “feasting” because of a very tight budget? Is it a joyous or a notoriously tense time? Is there a competition between families about where you “celebrate” and even about which day you will choose? Maybe you have multiple Thanksgivings for various reasons. Thanksgiving. The choice is ours. Do we have a choice? Yes, I think we do.

What if…Jesus came to your house for the month of November? What would He discover about relationships between family members? Would the Marthas and the Marys be arguing about whether to use corn starch or flour for the gravy? What if we actually set a place for Him at the table to keep us alert to the fact that He truly is there with us?

What if…this November was the beginning of choosing to do what would bless God and others rather than thinking of our own personal disappointments or dreads? What new traditions could we begin that are uplifting and from a heart of gratefulness? What if…you stayed home and invited both sides of the family to your home rather than having to choose where to go?

What if…we created a family November Ebenezer Thanksgiving Book (the name means, “thus far God has led us”)? What if you began now? What if each morning or evening you and your family spend time together with each person speaking out to the others what they are grateful for and then adding it to the book? What if it became a tradition to add to it each year and read from it on each Thanksgiving Day. Imagine how everyone would feel when they heard you speak out specific reasons why you are thankful for them. Noting how they have blessed your life. Maybe listing a particular character trait or something kind or unselfish you have seen them do. I’m just brainstorming here. Wouldn’t that begin to set the tone for the gathering of those we love?

What if…since the choice is ours…you included others at your table…in addition to family? That has a way of keeping the climate more congenial and people on their best behavior…producing good memories for the future. AND it blesses those that perhaps would otherwise be alone for Thanksgiving. AND it really, really makes your Father God happy. And proud. He likes His children to share what He gives us. Don’t wait for Christmas to give. Do it now, also. Do it early. Be creative. What can you personally and intentionally do differently to work toward making this a time for creating uplifting memories for others to treasure?

Thanksgiving! The choice is ours. Don’t wait. It can turn Thanksgiving month/day into a win-win.

I’d love for you to share your Thanksgiving traditions on the blog for others to enjoy. Let’s brainstorm together. We can help each other to become a more thankful people. Share with us what do you choose to do to honor God and others to let them know that you are full of thanksgiving for them? Let’s talk about it.

Happy Thanksgiving. May this be the best one ever!


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