Thanksgiving is tomorrow. We are having a small family gathering at our house for a traditional Thanksgiving meal of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, sweet rolls and cranberry sauce. Of course there will also be plenty of gravy… and pumpkin pie for dessert. It is comforting to keep this annual tradition.
But some things are quite different. Janelle’s father passed away in July, and our son, Josiah, will be in Spokane at school until mid-December.
Some things are the same. But some things are different. Very different. And the difficult kind of different.
But we are still thankful. Thankful for the simple things in life like food to eat and a home to provide us shelter. Thankful for family and friends. Thankful for our church home.
Thankful also that in the midst of a broken world plagued with war, hunger, and immense suffering, we have the great hope that one day the brokenness will be of the past and we will spend eternity in the presence of our Lord.
I don’t know what our earthly future holds for us, but I am sure it includes some joys and plenty of sufferings as well.
In the midst of such uncertainty, we do have this certainty: God is with us. For that I am so thankful.
“Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” -Matthew 1:23 (NLT)
Happy Thanksgiving! May the Lord bless you in this season with the richness of his presence.
In His Grace and Love,
Celebrating lifts one’s soul. Celebrating tells His story. Celebrating is contagious.
Let’s celebrate our first ever “Friday Family Fun” event. It took place on Friday, October 21, 2022, from 6:30-8PM.
The Family Ministry team met, prayed and asked God what would be a fun family focus event for all families to be able to attend - that would capture our six (6) core commitments: warm relationships, best neighbors, Jesus message, prioritize everyone, key chain leadership and empathy.
“Friday Family Fun” is an example of: “Doing life well. Together.”
“Trunk or Treat” event held on October 31 has been the event for many years. It has always been a fun, well-attended event- by church members, as well as our community. So, our team included many fun things from this event, and added a few fun things to our new event.
There was a chili cook-off, carnival-like games to play, candy, hotdogs, popcorn, and a fire pit w/s’more fixings, plus Silver Bullet returned with yummy shaved ice. With church members’ help we added a hayride, a pie eating contest, a crafts table, and a goofy crow contest.
Let’s celebrate another year of being able to partner with ‘Operation Christmas Child’. Participation involved four ways: Take. Bring. Give. Join. - ‘Operation Christmas Child’ is another example of: “Doing life well. Together.”
EVERYDAY- there is something to celebrate!
I’d like to close with a few of my favorite CELEBRATION Bible verses:
Psalm 145:6-8 – Men shall speak of the power of Your awesome acts, And I will tell of Your greatness. They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness And will shout joyfully of Your righteousness. The LORD is gracious and merciful.
Isaiah 63:7 – I will tell of the kindnesses of the LORD, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the LORD has done for us.
Psalm 147:1 – Praise the LORD. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!
Psalms 47:1 Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy!
1 Peter 1:8-9 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Psalm 71:8 My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long.
2 Samuel 7:22 How great you are, Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears.
Romans 11:36 For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.
Psalm 16:2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”
Deuteronomy 10:21 He is your praise and He is your God, who has done these great and awesome things for you which your eyes have seen.
A few days ago my son emailed me an article titled “The Walls of Jericho did Tumble Down, New Study Finds”.
I’m always encouraged to hear about new archaeological evidence that supports the Biblical account of history.
And one quote from the article:
''When we compare the archeological evidence at Jericho with the biblical narrative describing the Israelite destruction of Jericho, we find a quite remarkable agreement,''
-Dr. Bryant G. Wood, an archeologist at the University of Toronto
One more reason why the Christian faith is intellectually reasonable? Archeological finds continue to provide evidence that the Bible is historically accurate.
If you’d like to watch a short (10-minute) video on archeology and the Bible, you’ll find it below.
A good chunk of my planning in November is centered around Thanksgiving. Who will host? What will everyone bring? Should we add or take away dishes? Do we need to modify for allergies? Healthier options? And when the day comes, our family comes together - different mindsets and experiences, different ages and backgrounds - deeply personal and rambunctiously communal. 😊
So… this month, the freedom writers are joining with our nation to focus on the importance of “giving thanks”. As I was reading the Cold Springs Church Weekly, I came across this quote by Dani “A beautiful day begins with a beautiful mindset.” I was thinking about how true this has been in my life and how it begins, for me, with gratitude.
When my husband John and I got back from our trip to Italy, he came down with COVID. And then my mother-in-law came down with COVID. I prayed that I wouldn’t get it so that I could care for them. I never got sick and I was able to minister to John and Mom through meals and care. I am so grateful that I had that opportunity to serve and I am also grateful for another gift… Through the experience, I was reminded of how much I love to serve others through food, compassion and care. I can tell you that I have not always been able to be grateful for such things.
In Ann Voskamp’s book, 1000 gifts, she defines “eucharisteo” or the giving of thanks like this:
In the original language, “he gave thanks” reads “ eucharisteo .” The root word of eucharisteo is charis, meaning “grace.” Jesus took the bread and saw it as grace and gave thanks. He took the bread and knew it to be gift and gave thanks.
Psalm 16 reads, (I picture David writing this with deep gratitude 😊) “LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely, I have a delightful inheritance.”
I love that David is writing this – knowing that he faced his share of trials. It confirms in me what GOD’s Word says,” And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28) So…no matter what I face, and no matter what you face, we can “give thanks” as we see what the Lord has given us as “grace”- a gift.
This Thanksgiving, whether you are eating with others or eating alone, I pray that God will fill you with His peace as you “give thanks” in a gentle whisper, around a noisy table, or among friends.
With Love & Gratitude,
to the Cold Springs Blog!