Happy Thanksgiving!!

Perhaps you are experiencing a much different Thanksgiving this year than you have in years past.  We are—not all of our immediate family will be together, let alone our extended family.  

Sometimes, we go through times where it is hard to be thankful.  Perhaps a loved one is suffering, perhaps you are suffering.  Perhaps the entire world is suffering.

My youngest daughter, (who is 13), said—“I’ve been told by others, that their 13th year was really hard—but I never expected how hard it would be to be 13 in 2020.”    We laughed together—but she is right—if you are already going through a difficult time—this year has made it even more difficult.

I am reading through the book of Daniel right now.  Why?  Well, several reasons—it is teaching me so much about putting myself in God’s hands in difficult situations.   Daniel and his friends had been taken captive from Israel.  They saw their entire nation destroyed.  They saw loved ones killed or carried away by the Babylonians or scattered to the four winds.

When Daniel’s friends were to be thrown into the fiery furnace for not bowing down to an image of gold that the King set up—they said, “…if we are thrown into the blazing furnace the God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand, O King.  But even if He does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”   When they said that, they really did not know if God would save them—after all they had seen so many deaths already— yet they were going to obey God no matter what.   Why?  What difference would it have made if they compromised or not?   I believe these young men knew God—they loved Him—and they would not betray Him.  He was worthy of their lives.

If I am honest, I’ve grown up in the age of “Grace”, where God’s blessings have been abundant.   We may even think in this nation, that they are somehow “deserved”.  

I am convinced that the most Holy God is worthy of all my love and my obedience and my trust, even if I do not “see” His blessings.   The more I get to know Him, the more convinced I am of this truth.   So, as I pray to God, I ask that I continue to “see” Him and to “know” Him—for this is the true blessing.  This is why, Ephesians says that we’ve been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the Heavenly places.  Knowing God and being known by Him is “every spiritual blessing.”   Everything else fades in comparison.

Least you think that I am some super spiritual person—on a different plane than others—let me say that I struggle with “fixing my eyes” on Jesus, as do most believers.  I can easily look at my circumstances and become derailed.  This year has been an especially difficult year for looking at my circumstances.   I keep hoping and praying that it will be at an end—that things will get back to “normal”, while becoming more convinced that maybe things will never be “normal” again.

Another reason I am reading the book of Daniel, is that it speaks to more of what is going to happen in the future than almost any book, except Revelations.  In fact, if you want to understand Revelations, you need to read the Old Testament Prophets, as they hold the keys to unlocking the prophesies in Revelation.  Daniel and the other Old Testament Prophets also have fulfilled prophesies— thus testifying to the trustworthiness of God and His Word.

Right now— we may be seeing the groundwork laid for end-time prophesies being fulfilled.  I always wondered how a “One-World Government” could take place—and now I could actually see that happening—we have seen a “worldwide” type of control happening in this pandemic.  Our churches have been ordered closed; our businesses have been ordered closed.  We have become more dependent on the “Government” for our survival and more compliant to accepting their control.   I know many who read this are scoffing at my ideas, believe me, I would like to be wrong– I hope I am wrong.

What does this mean for you and I?  What it has always meant—we need to be ready to enter into God’s Heaven.    Read: “Would You Like To Know God Personally”– to get further instructions on how to be ready.  If you are already a believer but want to know how to let Jesus live in and through you, so you can live out God’s purpose for you, read:  “Satisfied?”  

I am praying for us all that we will know and follow Jesus!!

Let me say again:   Happy Thanksgiving!!  May we be truly thankful for the best gift we could ever receive—Jesus!!  He is the reason we can BE ENCOURAGED!!


I like to go for walks outside in the crisp cool mornings of fall.  I have a problem though.  My hands—my fingers in particular– get very cold.  So, I have taken to wearing mittens—wool mittens with a fleecy interior.  Why?  Because they keep my fingers together, and my fingers generate body warmth— more warmth, than keeping my fingers separated in gloves.

Today I went for a walk, and my fingers were fine, but my poor thumbs were cold, so I took them out of the thumb holder and let them hang out with the rest of the fingers and they were warm again.

It reminded me of how we are as people—when we are around each other—encouraging each other—we generate more warmth—we keep each other from getting cold—like a campfire—many logs together burn more brightly than one log by itself.

This is why scripture tells us:  “Let us think about how to motivate one another to love and good works, and let us not neglect our meeting together…..”   Hebrews 10:24-25

 Many people are feeling pretty cold and alienated from other people right now.  They do not have contact with others, and they are lonely.

I get it—people are afraid– they don’t want to put their physical health at risk, but their spiritual, emotional and mental health are suffering.

We need to “think about” how to motivate each other.   God tells us to not “neglect” meeting together.    We may not meet in large groups anymore, but we can still meet.  We need each other.  

Recently, I celebrated my mom’s birthday with her.  While I was there, she received many phone calls from her friends and family.  With each call, my mom lit up.  She was being encouraged and loved!

We have been blessed with technology to keep in touch with each other.

However, the very best way—is to be physically around our loved ones.   Just as my fingers stay warmer when they are in direct contact with each other, we need to be in direct contact with each other.   My advice is to choose carefully from a small group—those people you can be in direct contact with—and see on a regular basis—to pray with, to hug, to encourage, to read scripture with, to love.

Take the initiative, and call, reach out.  Even if the person you reach out to, does not want direct contact—I bet they’ll be encouraged by your care and concern.

Ask God who He wants you to keep warm with your direct contact. 

Many people are meeting in small groups, others are going to church.   Ask God what He wants you to do.   He will tell you.   These things He has already told us:  

  1.  We need to “think about” how we as individuals and as the collective body of Christ—can motivate each other.
  2. We need to “think about” how to spur each other on to love and good deeds.
  3. We need to “gather together” to do this.   That may mean going back to church, or meeting in a small group—but it does mean being with other believers in some way.

Let’s keep each other warm!!  Let’s Be Encouraged!!

Have you ever had one of those days????

Have you ever had one of those days when life seems so, so hard?  Circumstances seem as if they are about to engulf you and overpower you?  I’m sure you have—you are a human being—and contrary to popular opinion—everyone suffers at one point or another in this life.

When we are suffering, that is when we are most vulnerable to believing lies.  The lie I battle the most is that God doesn’t love me.  I find no proof of this in scripture.  Instead, God tells me:  “I am lovePerfect love casts out fear.  You can come to me with all your mistakes, and all your regrets and all your concerns, because I care for you.”

I think the reason, I can believe this lie, is because I will pray for something that I want very much, and that I know God wants as well, for instance Scripture tells us that God desires none to perish and all to come to repentance.   I may pray and pray for a particular person, and not “see” the answer to that prayer.  I can grow discouraged and downcast.

Then God, reminds me of prayers — that I saw answered after decades of praying.  God reminds me of His Word—which tells me that He loves me with an everlasting love.

God reminds me that my circumstances are temporaland He has eternity in store for me.  He has eternity in store for you as well. 

God also reminds me that all things work together for good to those that love Him and are called according to His purpose.

If you want to be reminded of these same things, you can click on all the text written in blue ink, and you will be directed to the scriptures that remind us of these things.

I hope you are encouraged—I know I am!

Be Anxious For Nothing……

I am sitting in my living room right now, while my grandchildren play on the floor, and my son and daughter work in the kitchen preparing a birthday dinner for my husband.   I am writing, because anxious thoughts are pressing against me, due to the uncertain times we are all living in, and I find myself needing to focus my mind on the LORD.

Perhaps, you are finding yourself fighting anxious thoughts as well, if so, I hope these scriptures will help you focus your mind and calm your thoughts—I am hoping the same thing for myself.

Philippians 4:6   Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.

4:7  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

4:8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing.  Fix you thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.  Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

4:9  Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing.  Then the God of peace will be with you.

I frequently battle anxious thoughts so I frequently think about these verses.  I love that scripture encourages me to pray about everything!!!!   That means—God wants me to bring everything and anything to Him that I am concerned about–  Nothing is too small or too big.    And what will be the result of my prayer—the result is peace.  Peace.  Peace. 

For those of us dealing with anxiety, and sleepless nights—Peace sounds amazing!!   The Peace that God has to give us, exceeds anything we can understand.   I have experienced that peace from God when there was no reason to experience that peace. 

I experienced it when my son died, (I wrote about this in The Gift of Grace), I experienced this Peace when I was told I had to have surgery on my eye for a detached retina, (I wrote about this in—Yes, Jesus loves you).   These were a few dramatic occasions when I have supernaturally experienced God’s Peace and Presence.  I recount those times again, to remind myself that if God was with me then—– He is with me today.

Scripture goes on to tell us to Fix our thoughts on what is true, and honorable and right and pure and lovely and admirable.  We are to think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

There is a children’s song, and the words to it go, “Be careful little eyes, what you see, be careful little ears what you hear, for the Father up above is watching you with love, so be careful little eyes what you see.”

Just as we are careful with what our children see and hear—wanting to protect them and preserve their innocence—our Heavenly Father wants to protect our minds and preserve our holiness.   He knows that what we focus on will affect our emotions and our peace. 

Today, was a day of many sweet moments with our children and grandchildren.  It was so easy to think about things that were pure and lovely and right and admirable—all I had to do was look into one of my loved one’s faces and catch their smiles, and my mind and body were flooded with feel good endorphins. 

God knows what He is talking about, when He tells us how to have Peace!!

So, my friend, I pray that you and I will take His advice—and receive His Peace, Presence and Encouragement!!