Category Archives: devotional

Kick Covid to the Curb While You Celebrate and Serve!

It’s Thanksgiving and wow……did this pandemic change our year of 2020!

Are you having gatherings at your house this year?
Has Covid put a halt to Thanksgiving celebrations as you know it?
What can you do to get over the “unsettledness” of this year perhaps being different in your celebrations?

Well I am here to tell you that you can celebrate BIG whether it is just you or just you and your spouse or just you and those that live with you or if you are having a gathering as you have always had in the past.

The key is to “serve”. Yes, look at this day as a day to serve others and to serve yourself! Make everyone feel special!

Here are some tips:

1) Use the good dishes. What are you saving them for?

2) Pull out cloth napkins and matching silverware.

3) Drink from your favorite glass. I think we all have one that we love.

4) Soak in the tub for an hour to relax and focus on self-care.

5) Make your favorite dessert….and eat as much of it as you want.

6) Put notes at each place setting – whether it’s just you and your spouse or your kids or a whole gathering of people – telling them why you are thankful for them.

7) Get a white tablecloth or sheet and colored Sharpie markers and have everyone write on the cloth what they are thankful for. Bring it out each year. (Don’t forget to put cardboard under it just in case the markers bleed through).

8) Send out cards to those you can’t be with to tell them how much you are going to miss them.

9) Send a fall floral arrangement to someone you wish could be with you for Thanksgiving reminding them that you are together in spirit.

10) Serve. Find ways to serve others this upcoming week whether it’s a treat to the mailman, some cookies to the local fire or police station, coffee to the neighbor, a foot massage to your spouse, doing a chore for your kids, or delivering gift cards to the local women’s shelter.

Yes Thanksgiving will be different this year but that doesn’t mean the spirit of Thanksgiving can’t be expressed in bigger and bolder ways than ever before. We will not let Covid steal our joy!

Let me know how you plan to celebrate. I hope you can use some of the tips above and make it a joyful celebration!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Poke. Prod. Press.

Ouch!

When you go to the doctor for an ailment, he or she usually pokes, prods and presses on the affected area trying to see if they can diagnosis the complaint.  For example, several years ago I couldn’t raise my arm over a certain height.  It wouldn’t go backwards without extreme pain, and I had a dull aching in various places in my shoulder and down my arm.

I went to my favorite orthopedic doctor, Dr. Robert Rolf (so sad I have been to orthos enough to have a favorite) and he diagnosed a labrum tear.  The poking, prodding, and pressing was not a fun encounter, I must say, but the end result is 100% use of that shoulder.  It took Dr. Rolf poking, prodding and pressing to make me realize that he knew what was wrong, and I needed to give in and let him fix it.

When I gave in, the journey wasn’t easy, I must admit.  As a matter of a fact, it was hard, but I knew if I followed his directions and did my therapy consistently, I would be able to use my shoulder to full capacity again.

That’s how it is when Jesus speaks to us asking us to let Him take direction for things in our lives.  Have you ever felt the Holy Spirit poke you?  You know….like had this deep down feeling that you needed to do something, give in to something or give something up?

That could be Jesus speaking to your heart.  He knows our ailment.  He knows our struggles.   He knows that He is the answer, but He needs to get our attention so He pokes here and prods there and presses into our heart until we say “you know best.”

The journey may not be easy but when you trust in the One who has the path marked out and knows you can be 100% closer to Him by following His lead, why wouldn’t you give in and let the Great Physician work?

Poke. Prod. Press.
Surrender.
Peace.

From Stinky to Fragrant.

“The brokenness of the world does not begin with systems, but with the human heart.”
– Kyle Idelman, Pastor, Louisville, KY

Let that soak in. Read it again.

“The brokenness of the world does not begin with systems, but with the human heart.”

Today’s politics are a mess. I don’t care what side of the aisle you fall on and this is not a post for a debate but rather a post for a plea to NOT DEBATE on social media.

Kyle goes on to say: “That’s why the focus starts with individuals. We can reorganize, legislate and overhaul systems, but they will still be run by sinners. Only Christ can offer hope for lasting change and through our relationship with Him we can choose faithfulness even in oppressive circumstances.”

There is so much hatred in the world right now and it is getting worse with such division in our country. I saw one Senator give his acceptance speech relaying that his opponent had called to congratulate him. This Senator said that when his opponent called to congratulate him, he said he hoped the two parties could work together going forward and the victorious Senator agreed. The Senator went on to say his opponent was a good man, a good father, a good husband and he wanted to work with him to bridge the divide among the parties.  How wonderful!

It doesn’t matter whether you are Democrat, Republican, Independent or any other label, the system is not the problem. The human heart is the problem.

Can you imagine if we all put down our phones and our rants on social media and just reached out to be kind and love others? Our negative responses to social media mean nothing. It only stirs the pot. We all think what we believe is right. We all have opinions on the issues at hand, the outcome of election results, the handling of the election results, the future of the country.

But just for this week, for today, for just the next hour even…..just stop and try to find one thing you can say that is kind to someone else.

Look for one social media post where you can post a positive comment. Look for one random act of kindness that you can do for someone. Try it for a whole day. Then expand your challenge to two days and even a week or more.

The world is not going to get better all at once because we are a cesspool of sinners. But when we can show love like Jesus showed love, we can start to make the stinky become a little more fragrant.

Make a difference ….. one day at a time.

Today’s Day of Prayer.

Franklin Graham, the son of the late Evangelist Billy Graham, posts these words on the Samaritan’s Purse website:

“Today, our nation is at a critical juncture. We need to call out to God for His help, His intervention, and His mercy. It is only by His hand that America will survive and be able to thrive again. We have an election coming up with so much at stake—two vastly different directions for the future of this country. This not only affects us, but our children and our grandchildren.”

He is calling for today to be a day of prayer and fasting.  Maybe you, like me, aren’t exactly sure how to fast or if we can fast all day.   Maybe we fast from eating breakfast, or lunch, or dinner or eating all day.  Maybe we can’t do that so we fast from chocolate or sugar or television or internet activity.  Or maybe you do not feel led to fast at all.  And that’s okay, too.

It’s not about the rules.  It’s about the heart.  And I ask you to join me in heart to pray for our nation specifically today off and on throughout the entire day!

Let’s join as one nation under God to pray for our country, our leaders, and the upcoming election that God will unite our nation to fall under HIS leadership.  I don’t care about our particular party affiliation today.  I just care about our nation and future of it.  I want our nation to be led by Christian principles and godly leaders.  I want the hatred to be gone.

Our affiliation should not be specific to politics but our affiliation should be to have a heart for Jesus.

Please join me however you feel led to pray and/or fast for our country today.

If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.       2 Chronicles 7:14