Some Christmas throwbacks

Some Christmas throwbacks

This week I’m pushing the easy button and throwing back to some previous Christmas posts that I wrote in years past. I thought some of you might like to go back and revisit a few of these older posts and some of the newer readers might like to see some relevant posts from previous holiday seasons.

My Addiction to Hallmark Christmas Movies

My addiction to Hallmark Christmas movies...

My addiction to Hallmark Christmas movies…

I wrote this post when I realized how it can be easy to develop unrealistic expectations of what a Christmas holiday should look like. My real life had a tendency to pale in comparison to these fictional films. Additionally, Hallmark Christmas movies can offer an escape from an often stress-ridden and drama-filled holiday season. However, I decided that I don’t want my only Christmas memories with my family to be watching Hallmark Christmas movies. I wanted to “live” them out instead.

Read this post to learn more about making your own moments and memories during Christmas time. Also get a few tips and read a few funny stories about not overlooking the imperfect memories.

“Make the most of every opportunity…” Ephesians 5:16 (NLT)

Keep Christmas All Year

Keep Christmas All Year...here are some ideas...

Keep Christmas All Year…

I actually wrote this post after Christmas one year during one of my post-Christmas funks. The Christmas season is my favorite time of year with the build-up, the anticipation, and the ongoing celebration.  Unfortunately after it is all over, I often get a little sad.  This post was about my attempts to try to prolong the Christmas season by learning about different cultures and their celebrations such as Epiphany, the12 Days of Christmas or Christmastide, and Candlemas.

If you, like me, also get a little down after Christmas, go read this post to get some ideas of prolonging the season, the feeling, and the true meaning of Christmas throughout the year.

“Remember his covenant forever–the commitment he made to a thousand generations.” 1 Chronicles 16:15 (NLT) 

Whether Happy or Hurting Remember Immanuel

Whether Happy or Hurting Remember Immanuel

Whether Happy or Hurting Remember Immanuel…

I wrote this post reflecting on the reality that the Christmas season isn’t always a happy one for some.  It can bring painful reminders.  In this post I discussed that part of Christmas should not only be to celebrate the human birth of Christ but to recognize and remember his deity as well.  It reflects on Jesus’ name “Immanuel” which means “God with us”. God came to be with us. We are not isolated and alone. In a lonely, hurting and isolated world God said, “I want to come be with you. I want to help you. You’re not alone.”

If Christmas brings memories of loss or is a time of pain in your life, go read this post to get some encouragement that you are not alone.

The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).” Matthew 1:23 (NIV) 

The Story of Christmas

The Story of Christmas: An amazing rendition you have to see

The Story of Christmas…

This post contains a video with one of the most amazing retellings of the story of Christmas that I have ever heard along with some beautiful Christmas songs.

“The Savior–yes, the Messiah, the Lord–has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!” Luke 2:11 (NLT)

 

Enjoy your last week before Christmas! Make memories and don’t forget the reason we celebrate—Jesus!

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If you have benefited from this post or if you know anyone that could benefit from this, please pay it forward and share this post with them via the sharing links below! “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 1 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV)

 

Funny Friday: First Christmas Dinner

First Christmas Dinner

Funny Friday: First Christmas Dinner

Cute Christmas humor!  …Dude, there’s a baby in the salad.

“Then she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped Him snugly in cloth and laid Him in a feeding trough–because there was no room for them at the lodging place.” Luke 2:7 (HCSB)

Prayer for Your Finances

Prayer for your finances...

Prayer for Your Finances

For some, Christmas can be a time of excitement, fun, and generosity. Unfortunately though, for others it can be a time of worry and anxiety due to finances. Sometimes the end of the year, corresponding with Christmastime, comes with extra expenses. Then on top of that, purchasing gifts can add up…especially if you have numerous events like family celebrations, work parties, church events, Secret Santa gift exchanges, outreaches or charitable giving that requires some of our finances, etc. Sometimes it can be stressful figuring out where the money is going to come from for all of that.

The wise thing to do would be to budget for the end-of-year expenses and Christmas giving. It’s a good idea to allocate or set aside a little bit of money each week or each month for this purpose. Regrettably, many of us haven’t exercised this kind of wisdom (or unexpected events and expenses have prohibited us from doing so). Because of this, when we don’t use wisdom sometimes we have to pay the consequences of poor decision making. That being said though, God still cares about our finances. He cares about the details. Additionally, even when we mess up He still cares about helping us.

Several years ago, I learned a few strategies for praying over finances. With Christmastime being a stressful time for finances for many people, I thought this might be a good opportunity to share some of those strategies and a Prayer for Your Finances. These strategies and prayer work anytime though–they don’t just apply at Christmas!

Remind God of His promise provision

God is our provider. We can approach God boldly with His promise of provision. Philippians 4:19 promises us that God will supply all of our needs. Jesus also gives us an example to pray for our needs in the Lord’s Prayer. Moreover, one of God’s names is Jehovah Jireh, which means “the Lord will provide”. All throughout scripture you will see countless examples of the Lord’s provision. When praying over your finances, remind God (put Him in remembrance) of His promise of provision.

Put me in remembrance; let us argue together; set forth your case, that you may be proved right.” Isaiah 43:26 (ESV)

“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 (KJV)

“Give us this day our daily bread” Matthew 6:11 (KJV)

“Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a thicket. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in place of his son. Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means “the LORD will provide”). To this day, people still use that name as a proverb: “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”” Genesis 22:13-14 (NLT)

“God is my helper! The Lord is the provider for my life.” Psalm 54:4 (GW)

Take a look at this hilarious short video clip of Joe McGee when he was at a point in his life where he was frustrated financially and decided to put God in remembrance of His promise of provision.

Pray for wisdom over your finances

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Funny Friday: Christmas Tip

Christmas Tip...

Funny Friday: Christmas Tip

This Christmas tip I came across is pretty genius actually! …Wrap empty boxes for presents and when your child misbehaves or doesn’t listen throw one in the fire.

“…which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire…” Matthew 6:30 (NIV)

Why Would God Leave the Ninety-Nine?

Why Would God Leave the Ninety-Nine?

Why Would God Leave the Ninety-Nine?

Have you ever heard the saying that God will leave the ninety-nine to look for one who is lost? I had a bit of an epiphany about that while singing in the shower the other day. One of my favorite praise songs lately is “Reckless Love” by Cory Asbury. During the chorus part of the lyrics say:

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God

Oh, it chases me down, fights ‘til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine

“Leaves the ninety-nine” stood out to me. Then I thought of the scriptures that mention the Parable of the Lost Sheep:

“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that didn’t wander away! In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish.” Matthew 18:12-14 (NLT)

“So Jesus told them this story: “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!” Luke 15:3-7 (NLT)

Doesn’t that seem a little unfair? 

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#GivingTuesday: Glory House

#GivingTuesday: Glory House

#GivingTuesday: Glory House

Hello everyone! Since today’s blog post falls on #GivingTuesday, I’d like to take this opportunity to share a participating organization that is very close to my heart—Glory House. In case you don’t know #GivingTuesday is the biggest day of the year for on-line charitable giving.

Here is some background information from GivingTuesday.org

“#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.”

This year I have partnered with the Glory House Ministry for #GivingTuesday to help spread the news about their Restoration Program. This is a wonderful ministry that I have come to know and love over the past several years. They are helping women and their families transform their lives. Women come from all over the United States to break free from drugs, alcoholism, anxiety, depression, and other life issues, Please check out their Website and Facebook to learn more about what they do.

Glory House Website

Glory House Facebook

My involvement with Glory House

Several years ago Susie Barnes, Executive Director of Glory House, started asking me about the success skills classes that I teach at a local college, and we agreed that these “life skills” weren’t just applicable to college students.  EVERYONE needs to learn and know these skills! We decided that this type of class would be a perfect fit for ladies going through the restoration process.

So, I developed a curriculum for a Life Skills class that helps the ladies learn how to practically apply God’s Word in everyday, real-life situations.  We focus on topics such as communication skills, time management, note taking skills, goal setting, career prep, money management, problem solving, overcoming insecurity, finding their gifts and talents, and much more. We learn about the practical side of these various life skills and then also focus on what God’s Word has to say about each of these areas of life as well.

I’ve now been serving at Glory House for the past 6+ years!  I love working with these ladies so much—they feel like family.  Honestly, sometimes I really wonder who gets more out of our classes…them or me!  God has really taught me so much, and I’ve grown spiritually and developed my own gifts more just by serving them.  Supporting Glory House is a perfect opportunity to shine God’s light to some wonderful people who will in turn pay it forward by shining an even brighter light of a restored life that glorifies God and points people to Jesus.

“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:14-16 (NLT)

Take a look and Ms. Jerry Kay’s, Ms. Amanda’s, and Ms. Emily’s stories…

Ms. Jerry Kay:

Ms. Amanda:

Ms. Emily:

Click here to open Ms. Jerry Kay’s Video if unable to view video above
Click here to open Ms. Amanda’s Video if unable to view video above
Click here to open Ms. Emily’s Video if unable to view the video above

2017 #GivingTuesday Goal

This year Glory House has a goal to raise $14,000 on #GivingTuesday. $14,000 is the amount of money it takes per month to keep Glory House running.  Reaching this goal will enable this ministry to continue bringing Hope, Healing, and Direction to women and their families everywhere. Meeting their goal will also help Glory House finish 2017 strong financially.

Take A Practical Step to Support Glory House this 2017 #GivingTuesday:

I would love for you to join with me in supporting this life changing ministry on this #GivingTuesday! Please pray about giving towards their $14,000 goal. If you are ready to give now, you can click on the secure Glory House PayPal link below…

#GivingTuesday

Know someone else who could either benefit from Glory House or who would be interested in supporting this ministry? Share this post via the sharing links below!

Funny Friday: Hey Siri Zero Divided by Zero

Hey Siri, What's zero divided by zero

Funny Friday: Hey Siri Zero Divided by Zero

The other day my son told me to ask Siri what zero divided by zero is.  This was her response…

“Imagine that you have 0 cookies and you split them evenly among 0 friends. How many cookies does each person get? See, it doesn’t make any sense. And Cookie Monster is sad that there are no cookies. And you are sad that you have no friends.”

Nice. Gotta love Siri’s sarcasm!  #FunThingsToAskSiri

“…my friends have abandoned me.” Job 19:14b (ISV)