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Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

You open Your hand And satisfy the desire of every living thing.

– Psalms 145:16

Daily Theme

Thank God as your provider for all your needs.

God’s name Jehovah Jireh means “God the Provider.” “It’s the name given by Abraham to the place where he had sacrificed a ram provided by God, instead of his son Isaac ( Genesis 22:14 ). The meaning plainly is that the Lord sees and provides for the necessities of His servants,” according to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

Giving Thanks

The Book of Psalms has plenty examples of thanksgiving within its pages upon pages of praise to the Lord. Read Psalm 145:16 & thank God for meeting your needs day by day. Truth2Freedom’s blog expresses it through a list of passages with thanksgiving and gratefulness, while Period Pastor Pad has been reflecting on the Book of Psalms since Lent of 2020 amid church closure due to the pandemic.

This season has taken many names and labels but I believe that we must watch and guard ourselves against what Daily Disciple called ” a season of discontentment.” Aside from being Black Friday, you know that there are daily necessities that God meets for you. Take a moment to thank God for the daily needs He provides for you. Thank God for His provisions that make your life smoother and easier. Thank God for all that He has done on your behalf. As CFoster20 simply put it in a recent post from earlier in November: Let’s be grateful.

Giving Back

Instead of buying items for your Christmas list, donate clothing or food. Give away old clothing that fills your closets that you will never wear again or better yet fit again. Give away canned goods and other nonperishable items to food drives or food banks in order to address hunger and food insecurity. Give back to help others today as a sign of your gratefulness for God’s provision for you and your family. Try to match God with your giving back. After all, the song says that you can’t beat God giving.

Go Beyond the Norm

Provide clothing or food directly to people on the street in your community. Meet people at the point of their need and embrace the opportunity to share with them. Take advantage of an extra day off if you have it and enter the streets with bundles of blankets and jackets, even socks, to share with people on the street and simply be a blessing to someone else today.

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“Give thanks to the LORD, because he is good, and his love is eternal” – Psalm 118:1

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Once again, I am purposefully pursuing a way to give thanks and give back this holiday season.

I have been here before.  I have done this a few times.  The problem is that I am persistent.  I have not given up yet.  I am either stubborn or faithful.

I just haven’t figured out which one yet.

I think I will go with faithful.

A Week of Works (download available)

However, this time I have approached things a little differently.  There are all sorts of ways to get the work done.  My goal is to share small and simple ways to give thanks by giving back.  It doesn’t matter if you do it as an individual or as a small group, even a church ministry or family.  I have included ways to support small businesses for Small Business Saturday.  I also have shared ways to extend yourself and your outreach on Black Friday.  It is about sharing the Word.  It is about truly being thankful.

What I am most proud of (if I can say so without boasting or bragging) is that I am involved in the same efforts that I sharing.  I am involved intimately.  I am involved intentionally.  I am involved.

Follow my feed and see how I am giving thanks by giving back.

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Be sure to download the Week of Works PDF

Check out my other e-Books at Sellfy and on Lulu.

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25 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man wasjust and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. – Luke 2:25-26

36 Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; 37 and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. 38 And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem. – Luke 2:36-38

Several years ago, I was at a conference with some faith-based leaders and clergy, where one of the breakout sessions placed us in small groups.  There some serious big named theologians and pastors in the small group that I ended up with, but I dare not share any names.  As we entered our brainstorming on our given topic, some discussion came up about the Advent.  The term was repeatedly thrown around and discussed by some, but others simply sat and stared in confusion.  Finally, one of the brethren leaned over and whispered in curiosity, “What is this Advent thing?” I smiled and whispered back,”They’re talking upon Christmas and the arrival of Christ on the scene.  That’s what they mean.” He smiled and eventually joined in the brainstorming session with the rest of us.

Christ’s arrival was an anticipated event.  It had been prophesied.  It had been preached.  It had been predicted.  It had been planned.  It had been purposed.

We have given it many names:

  • Advent
  • Birth of the Lord
  • Nativity
  • Christmas

We have come to look for Christmas as a season rather than a fulfillment of God’s plan.  We struggle and fight with the world to put Christ back into Christmas, erasing and eradicating the marketplace of X-Mas.  We have regulated our recognition of Christmas as a time for doing good works for the poor and needy rather than proclaiming the Good News of His arrival and eventual return.

What if we took on the zeal and dedication of a Simeon and Anna?

What if we did as the psalmist instructed and “waited patiently on the Lord?”

How about we change the scenario and flip the script this Christmas season?

Let’s Speak Christ 

We ought to let our words share about Christ.  We should preach and proclaim Him and His redemptive acts over and over again all throughout this season.  Say something about Him and for Him.

Let’s Show Christ

Believers are unique because they act on their belief.  Let’s go there with folks.  Let’s show the world that we are serious about our beliefs and put them into action.  Giving and helping are not seasonal activities for feeling good about what we have done.  We are to practice good works continually.  Let’s be more like Christ like and do more activities like Christ would do while we are on this earth.

Let’s Serve Christ

We do not do good because we are so good.  We do good because we serve a master who has been so good to us that we cannot help but serve Him for our entire lives while covered by the grace of His blood.  He’s been to good to us.  He’s done too much for us.  Serve our Lord with gladness and with fear and trembling.

Everyone wasn’t waiting for the Christ, the Anointed One, or the Messiah, the Anticipated One.  Some folks had just given up hope.  It had been too long to ever happen in their time.  Look at Simeon and Anna.  They held on and held fast.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

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Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
– Matthew 5:14-16

Jesus called it as He saw it.  He was straight forward and straight up about many things.

Yeah, He oftentimes used parables to teach the people.  What He was doing was using something that people were familiar with or understood well to share a life lesson in a subtle manner.

But He was usually straight out about things.

Ye are the light of the world. . .

The light of the world is a twofold metaphor.

The Light is Seen by Others

If we are the light of the world, then we should be shining as the light.  That’s the nature of light.  Light shines.  Jesus shared for us to live as the light and not hide our light under a bushel.

The Light Helps Others to See

. . . it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Others can see when you act as the light.  Others can see when you live as the light.  Others can see when you let your light so shine.

When you living as the light of the world, you can shine brightly and help others see the Truth and the Way.

 

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For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter, though a person may be weighed down by misery. – Ecclesiastes 8:6

The holidays are rolling in sooner than we may think.  You can believe that for sure.

Retailers will soon pull Halloween costumes and decorations off the shelves in order to replace them with Thanksgiving items and eventually Christmas goodies.  The streets of major metropolitan areas will adorn themselves with seasonal themes and decorations, even lights on palm trees out here in California. 

So what is a Christian to do?

Let us spark good works in one another (Hebrews 10:24).  Keep things going for the good, not just to keep things going or to keep us busy.  Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:1 tell us: “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” Now is the season to put into practice what can actually help folks beyond photo opportunities, lip service, campaign stunts or public relations.  Paul instructed Titus on how our people should learn to do good works unless they are to be considered “unfruitful” according to the New International Version.

This holiday season can be the time where you can support the work of others such as local charities.  Or, you can make a difference on your own with friends and family.  The key to doing good is that it does some good for someone other than you.  It is about giving of what you have or what you are able to do rather than exchanging gifts and pleasantries.  Beyond dropping a coin or bill into a bucket as you leave a store this holiday season, give someone your time, energy and ability through your availability as you make an impact on someone else’s life.

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