Tuesday, November 30, 2010

He is Enough

Last week I posted a lot of questions on what it means to be thankful and how we show God that we are thankful. After praying about it and reading the Bible and looking up verses with "thankful" in them, I came to a conclusion: God is worthy of our praise and thankfulness in all circumstances.

Do I just enjoy God because of the blessings He has bestowed upon me? I definitely have a lot of blessings--- a great husband, two wonderful children, good friends, good health, a nice house, a car, plenty of food to eat, a great church family. I love and enjoy those blessings.

Here is the question, though: Could I enjoy God apart from His blessings? What if I lost my entire family? Had to move far away from my friends and church home? Lost my house and car? Suffered an illness? Would I still be faithful to my God and praise Him? Or is my love dependent on His blessings? Would He be enough for me?

I like to think that He would be. I absolutely know that He is all I need. That the one gift He gave me, salvation through His Son, is enough to sustain me. That one blessing is enough- No others needed. That His love is the only thing that matters. I have known people who have demonstrated this through their suffering--yet praised the Lord during their trials. How do we get to that level of faithfulness?

A true relationship with Him, I believe, is the answer. Not just a prayer a day. Or an occasional thank you, or please do this. A continual reliance, a love, a dependence, a giving over our lives to His plan. He is enough.

Enough by Chris Tomlin

All of you is more than enough for all of me, for every thirst and every need. You satisfy me with your love, and all I have in you is more than enough.

You are my supply, my breath of life, and still more awesome than I know. You are my reward worth living for, and still more awesome than I know.

You're my sacrifice of greatest price, and still more awesome than I know. You're the coming King, You are everything, and still more awesome than I know.

More than all I want, More than all I need, You are more than enough for me. More than all I know, more than all I can say,

You are more than enough for me.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! Kristi's post was great this week. If you haven't read it please take some time and go back and think about her writings.

We are home today... no major plans, which ended up being good because Grace got the flu! Praising God for quick healing (that I know is coming) and for a quiet day to rest- and for tacos! (what we ate today!)

I'm also thankful for you. God has taken me on a great journey these past three years- with marriage, kids and a new church. Many of you who read this blog are a part of that and I'm so grateful!

Happy Thanksgiving!

PS- any of you braving the stores tomorrow? If you are, please leave a comment, or if you read this afterward tell us where you went and how it went. I'm headed out sans children with a few girlfriends and can't wait!!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What is Thanksgiving? Some Questions......

What is your definition of Thankgiving?

Is it a good excuse to eat a lot of food? Is it a day of rest and relaxation? Is it a holiday to spend with family? Maybe a time for football, shopping, or putting up Christmas decorations?

How does a Christian celebrate Thanksgiving differently from a nonbeliever? Are we thankful to God for just our material possessions? Our house, food on the table, clothes, car? Are we thankful for our families, our circumstances, our churches, our friends? Could we be thankful in any circumstance? How do we put our "thanksgiving" into action? How do we go beyond just being "thankful"?

How do we show God our thanks? How long do we stop and think about our spiritual blessings? God's saving grace? His son's death for our sins? His constant presence? His wonderful creation? His neverending love? How do we thank Him? How could we ever thank Him enough? Is it possible to be truly thankful? What does that look like?

How do I show my thankfulness every single day? Not on just this one day........

I am full of questions but not many answers. What do you think? Hope this post caused you to pause and contemplate the meaning of Thanksgiving in your life.

Enter the Lord's gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations. - Psalm 100:4-5

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

We're Back!!!!!

Hi blog friends! So sorry for the blog drought over the last few weeks. Our blog team has been quite busy with life.... sometimes blogging has to take a back seat to things like family, new babies, kids' activities, teaching, and just life in general. My family enjoyed some great time together at Disney over Fall Break, and then I jumped right into Upward season in full throttle. But I am so happy to be back and into a semi-normal routine again.

One thing that I noticed when I came back is how much my kids thrive on routine. Overall, they are pretty flexible and can adjust to changes-- but they get cranky and tired. And 5 days with the Big Mouse can do that to all of us! Once we got back into our groove of good bedtimes, eating habits, church, piano practice, and studying, the behavior improved immensely! I did have to tighten the belt, so to speak, to get the kids back into our household expectations and routine, but it's coming along.

It reminds me that I thrive on a spiritual routine as well. If I fall out of my church time, fellowship time, and quiet time, I get cranky and lose focus on God. And sometimes He has to get my attention, get in my face a little, to steer me in the right direction to get back into His presence. I am so thankful to serve a loving and grace-filled God who never leaves me. Hallelujah for that !!!!! Can I get an "Amen" from any of you out there? I know you all can relate.

I hope you all have a great week and find some time to just sit at the feet of our Lord and praise Him for who is.

"My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord. Let every creature praise His holy name for ever and ever." Psalm 145:21

God is...

God is who He says He is. God can do what He says He can do. I am who God says I am. I can do all things through Christ. God's word is alive & active in me.

A needed reminder for me today.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Our sermon on Sunday was from Luke 19: 1-10. I'm sure you know the story, Zacchaeus the tax collector who was hated by so many climbed up in a tree to see Jesus pass by. I wanted to share a few of my thoughts about this. First of all, it was a great message. We also had a wonderful dramatic reading. I loved it! If you'd like to hear the sermon go to www.northwebsterumc.org . It's worth a listen!

I wrote down a ton of notes, but of course, cannot find them... Anyway, here is what stuck out to me. Jesus was walking by... it was no accident he looked up in the tree. He knew that Zacchaeus would be up there. So, he looked for him and called him down. Now read the words from the Bible.

5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

Notice anything special? I didn't at first. Until our Pastor pointed out that Jesus specifically called out Zacchaeus by name. He didn't just look up and smile, point to the man and say "come on down". He didn't say "hey you", or even "buddy... you up there"... He said Zacchaeus.

I have some friends and have known people in my life who are very good at using names in conversation. Now by this I don't just mean like once or twice, I mean like regularly. Let me give you an example
Friend : Hey Shannon! How are you?
Me: Good, how are you? We've missed you!
Friend: Shannon, I know. It's been so busy. But... (conversation continues)
Me: well, it was great to see you! Let's get together soon!
Friend: It was good to see you too Shannon. Have a great day!

Can you see how they do it? At first, it's a bit odd, maybe even weird, but then you like it. Why? Because it's personal and makes one feel loved and "known" you follow? I wish I was someone who did this. I have to work hard at remembering names and even use them once in conversation.

So, why is it so important that Jesus called Zacchaeus by name? Think about it... here was someone who was so hated by so many... and the person that everyone was waiting to see was walking by. And he calls out his name. It was no accident. Jesus did it for Zacchaeus himself and also for all those around. He wanted them to see that he was seeking not only the good, the rule followers, the loveable, but also the cheaters, liars, and the hated.

Jesus planned to call out Zacchaeus that day. He was specifically searching for him. And he's doing the same for us now. It doesn't matter if you are the good rule follower standing on the sides waiting for him, or if you are the lost who have to climb up in a tree because there's no place for you anywhere else. He came to seek and save us all. And the best part? He knows your name. He totally does. He came for you and me. And when he sees me, he'll say "Shannon, come on with me." He's going to say my name. And if I feel loved and accepted now by friends who use my name so well in conversation, I can't wait for when Jesus calls it out!. And you? He'll say yours too. He knows it already. He won't need reminded and he won't forget. You just wait and see.