I’m reading this wonderful book, One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voscamp, and don’t want to put it down.
We all have those moments, days, and even years where our life seems to have crumbled to shambles beneath our very feet. This book is about the dare to live fully right where you are.
Join the author, myself and many others as we come together to discuss this wonderful life-changing book (HERE).
When I say the words, “Christmas Adventure” – what comes to mind?
Standing in long lines at 2 am to race to the biggest deals?
Wrapping paper debacles?
Getting shocked by Christmas lights or falling off the roof while trying to secure the 100th strand?
I know we’re getting short on time, since it’s nearly Christmas (yay, flu!), but this timeless resource will be good year after year. I’m loving “A Christmas Adventure” by Scripture Adventures - packed full of relevant and interesting illustrated lessons, crafts, and recipes for this Christmas season. It’s only 7.99 and comes in both KJV and NIV versions!
In “A Christmas Adventure” kids will make:
Christmas Scripture Countdown Chain
Christmas Rebus Story
Popcorn Garland for your tree
Hand-made Christmas Cards
Songs for Caroling
Candy Cane Reindeer
Written Testimony of Christ
Christmas Greeting Banner
Merry Christmas Word Search
Homemade Wrapping Paper
Angel Bringing Good Tidings Poster
Christmas Dove Craft
Peace on Earth Bookmarks
“Stained Glass” Christmas Picture
Clay Pot Nativity
Christmas Bird Ornaments
Holiday Spice Potpourri
9 Christmas Coloring Pages
Plus 26 easy-to-make Christmas recipes for kids:
Crispy Christmas Trees
Crispy Christmas Wreaths
Edible Cookie Wreath Oranaments
Crockpot Carmel Apples
Old Fashioned English Toffee
Kid Friendly Fudge
Candy Cane Cookies
Candy Cane Hearts
Candy Cane Cupcakes
Mexican Hot Chocolate Jars
Super Simple Gingerbread Kids
Frosty’s Almond Bark
Easy Scottish Truffles
Pioneer Potato Pancakes
Parmesan Breadstick Shepherd Staffs
Royal Chocolate Cheesecake Squares
Auntie June’s Scottish Shortbread
Chocolate Covered Peanuts
Christmas Tree Cake
Rudolph and Friends Cupcakes
Interested? You can go here to download a free sample to try it out.
Or, you can buy it here.
It’s Christmas-time, and I’ve got gifts on the brain. Spiritual gifts. I’ve been thinking a lot about the gifts God has given me and how I can use them to best serve Him and His people. However, like a lot of people, the self-doubt begins to set in and I begin to wonder what my gifts really are and if, once paired with my flaws, they’d hinder more than they’d help.
After doing a Spiritual Gifts Assessment, I was pretty surprised.
I scored high in the following:
I need to especially work on:
Of course, KNOWLEDGE only gets you halfway, so I used a great resource (which I’ll list below) to make a plan to improve what needs improving and to put to use what I’m already good at.
Your gifts don’t have to be tied with bows and glitter to be meaningful – what will you be giving others this holiday season?
The whispers of God echo. They do not fade nor will you miss His still small voice. He is not waiting to catch you with ‘only once’ instruction, hoping you’ll recognize His voice. When God speaks, His voice reverberates in the facets of life. He stirs within your heart then leads you to a verse that confirms. A sign in the store, the pastor’s sermon, a friend’s kind word, your devotional all resonate the same message. Today, listen for His echoes. (Consider the story of Balaam. God first speaks to him in a dream. When Balaam fails to heed the Lord’s instruction, God sends an angel. Balaam’s eyes are closed to the angel, so God causes the donkey to speak. At this, Balaam’s eyes are opened and God uses him for His purpose. Clearly God echoed in Balaam’s circumstance though he was a very ungodly man. How much more will God pursue His intent in the life of His children, the faithful few who are listening?) —- by Christine
Go HERE for your free copy from “A Holy Experience”
(It’s a really great devotional/walk through Advent as we await Christmas and all it means. Join the journey yourself or with your family, either way, I hope you love it as much as I do!)
Question: Jonah was stuck in the belly of a whale and was still able to praise God for 3 days. Will you choose to praise Him not only in spite of, but BECAUSE of your sticky situations today?
“Maybe I will have a fresh start tomorrow,” she wrote me, pondering the mistakes of the day. In the afterglow of failure, hope shines light on possibilities of new tomorrows, of fresh starts, of new mercies. We must never forget that the righteous will fall many times, but God is always faithful to lift them back up. Will you have a fresh start? You will. You always do. Praise be to God! Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lam. 3:21-23 —–by Christine
We’re often taught that if we are good, follow God and do the right things, our lives will be great.
But, the fact is – life is still life. The bumps and bruises don’t stop coming. Even when (sometimes, most especially) you’re good.
I’ll be one of the first to admit that I often forget this little nugget.
Sometimes I get so caught up in life, that my prayer begins to look like: “But God, What About ME?!?”
It’s hard, isn’t it? When we’re not doing the things we think we should be doing, the things we want to be doing. When we can’t purchase the things we feel we need or the things we think we deserve. When things just don’t go our way. When troubles weigh on our hearts and minds and we just feel so alone. When we lay things down to follow God just to be met with obstacles instead of miracles. When justice seems like some big joke.
And, if you’re anything like me, it can be easy to look around you and begin comparing yourself to others and their circumstances and lives.
We begin to count the good things, the holy things, that we have done for God and suddenly, it feels like He owes us. Or, at least we should be more deserving than some of these other folks!!
Oh man, how I feel that way some days. Sometimes things just seem so incredibly unfair that I just want to cry out, “But God, What About ME?!?”
In Job 30, Job feels a lot like we do sometimes.
20 “I cry out to you, God, but you do not answer;
I stand up, but you merely look at me.
21 You turn on me ruthlessly;
with the might of your hand you attack me.
22 You snatch me up and drive me before the wind;
you toss me about in the storm.
23 I know you will bring me down to death,
to the place appointed for all the living.
24 “Surely no one lays a hand on a broken man
when he cries for help in his distress.
25 Have I not wept for those in trouble?
Has not my soul grieved for the poor?
26 Yet when I hoped for good, evil came;
when I looked for light, then came darkness.
27 The churning inside me never stops;
days of suffering confront me.
28 I go about blackened, but not by the sun;
I stand up in the assembly and cry for help.
29 I have become a brother of jackals,
a companion of owls.
30 My skin grows black and peels;
my body burns with fever.
31 My lyre is tuned to mourning,
and my pipe to the sound of wailing.
And God’s response? It was something like: Who do you think you are?
We live the way we should be anyhow, and we expect brownie points. We know Jesus was nailed to a cross for OUR SINS and because our Lord loves us so much, yet sometimes our response is to ask for more. Sometimes, it’s like we forget.
We all know the story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32), but so very often, we zoom in on the brother that comes home. But, how much are we like the other brother? – The one who went out into the field and came back to his brother’s party, exclaiming how UNFAIR things were, after all it was HE that was the good one. Why wasn’t HE getting blessed with special treatment? But, while he was doing everything right on the “outside,” his heart was still in need of changing. He looked the part, alright, but he hadn’t become the part.
Oh, how hard these stories have hit me this week. I cried out, “But God, what about ME?!?” And, this week… he said, “Yes, what about you? Let’s talk about that…”