Monday, December 20, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Will you trust?
An angel ushered Zacharias and Mary in to a miraculous story of mystery and wonder far beyond the scope of their individual lives. Zacharias would be the father of John the Baptist and Mary the mother of Jesus. Zacharias needed to know the certainty of events yet to come; Mary received this sudden change in her life in faith and trust.
Scripture to Remember:
"And Zacharias said to the angel, ‘How shall I know this for certain?'" Luke 1:18
"And Mary said, ‘Behold, ...be it done to me according to your word.'" Luke 1:38
Question to Consider:
Has your life been redirected in an unexpected and, perhaps, unwanted way? God is asking you to trust Him as He invites you into a life of mystery and wonder. He is using your circumstances to not only shape your mind, heart, and spirit, but to affect your family and community - perhaps even the world. Will you choose to believe this - with faith and trust?
Lord, I trust you with my circumstances and my future. I choose to believe that you are doing something wonderful through them and I say ‘be it done to me according to your word.'
Thought for the day:
Today I will wear my watch or bracelet on the opposite wrist. Each time I take notice of it I will say aloud or silently to myself, "I choose to trust God with my circumstances."
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Dr. Dennis Rainey
Author: Encouraging Words
President of StrongFamilies.com
Author: Stick a Geranium in Your Hat and Be Happy
Pastor, Adult Ministries
Johnston Evangelical Free Church
Family Life Ministries
Little Rock, Arkansas
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Gift-Giving Ideas for Far Flung Friends and Family
If you're far from family and friends, but plan to send them Christmas gifts, how do you do it in a way that doesn't require collecting boxes from the produce department of the grocery store, searching for the bag of packaging peanuts that you're sure you saved last summer, and standing in line at the post office? Here are a few ideas to simplify long-distance gift giving.
Give to a favorite charity
Does Mom volunteer at the Humane Society? Your brother, Bill, sings in a community choir? Let them know that you will be giving a donation to their organizations to show support for what is important to them.
Pay for a helpful service
Is your closest friend hosting the family or the company party for Christmas? Arrange to pay for a cleaning service to spruce up her house and give her one less responsibility.
Purchase and send gift cards for restaurants or stores that you know are in the area. National chains like Starbucks and Home Depot are everywhere!
By using the internet, you can learn about upcoming concerts and events in any city in the world. Do a little research in the area where your loved ones live and purchase tickets for them to an event you know they'll love.
Buy on line
Order gifts through the internet and have them mailed directly to the recipients. Many online businesses offer free shipping for a minimum purchase.
Buy a gift subscription for a magazine that pertains to the interests of a long-distance loved one. There are magazines to suit everyone's interests: from outdoor living to needlepoint, from Civil War history to video games.
Through the internet you can purchase an exciting adventure for the outdoor enthusiast on your list. With just the click of a mouse you can find hot-air balloon rides or river kayaking lessons that are offered around the country.
Invest in an Interest
Does your brother-in-law enjoy playing golf, but wishes he was better? Arrange for a lesson with a golf pro in his area. Does your sister enjoy cooking? Purchase a gift certificate for her to take a cooking class at a local kitchen store. Do they wish that they had more time together? Pay for some ballroom dancing lessons! (Think... "Dancing with the Stars"!)
No matter what you choose to send your loved ones this Christmas, be sure to express your love and appreciation for each person. Be specific! Tell each person at least one quality that you love about him or her.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
When it seems that nothing turns out right...
Sheila in Texas
As I write this email, my eyes are welled up with tears of desperation. I feel overwhelmed, anxious, frustrated, and confused. Nothing we do turns out right. I don't understand why we are going through this. I feel God has abandoned us.
We came to Texas because my husband was out of work for eight months and got a job offer here. We left our families and home of ten years in Wisconsin. We were so glad to have a job opportunity, that I never thought this move would be so hard on me and the children.
I cry every day, and I think there is something wrong with me. Our house in Wisconsin hasn't sold and we may be facing foreclosure. My two boys are not adjusting in school. They are a mess, and my marriage is a mess, not to mention I'm a disaster! I don't know what to do and where to turn. I found your website, and for the first time feel a glimmer of hope that somebody understands me and might be able to help me get through this. I know we should be going to church. Can you recommend a good church that offers a Moving On class in my area?
(editor: Susan Miller called Sheila and encouraged her with God's word and prayed with her on the phone. She gave Sheila the name of a great church nearby and called the Moving On After Moving In group leader who quickly contacted Sheila and invited her to the study the next week. Sheila keeps in touch and shares how God is working through this crisis in her life.)