Monday, November 26, 2012

The Value of a Spiritual Journal


Do you have a spiritual journal?

Recently, I established one for myself.  It's nothing special, yet altogether special. It appears to be a simple, spiral-bound notebook but inside it contains Scriptures, prayer requests, quotes from books, urges from the Lord, and my heartfelt ups and downs in life.

When I sit down to read my Bible and spend time with the Lord, I bring along my spiritual journal.  It's my buddy.  My journal is a friend who listens to the words I share and blesses me in return, reflecting my spiritual journey as it brings important people and thoughts to mind time and time again.

If you don't have a spiritual journal, I encourage you to think about starting this life-giving habit.  It's another simple step in the right direction.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Reflective and Expressive Thankfulness


Thanksgiving is the time when most of us stop, for at least a few moments, to think about the things for which we are thankful.

Reflective thankfulness gets our souls flowing.  When we think about the Lord’s goodness in our lives, we should be truly amazed.  We have so many spiritual, physical, and emotional blessings in this world.  Though life may be hard at times, it is seasoned with His grace and beauty continually. 

I encourage you to spend some time alone with God to think, pray, and write down the blessings you have in life.  Be specific!

It is easy to say, “I am thankful for my family, my friends, and my provisions”.  However, think more deeply.  What are the specific ways you are blessed

What about your marriage, your children, or your friends is special?
What provisions has God given you?
What miracles has He performed in your life?

Secondly, I have heard it said that true thankfulness is thankfulness when it is expressed.

Express your thankfulness:  first and foremost to God and secondly to others.

Think about sending someone a note or an email or making a phone call.  Express how special that person is to you.  People don’t realize what a difference they make in our lives unless we tell them.

Reflect upon and express your thankfulness. 

It changes lives!

I’m on Twitter!

Well, I took the plunge recently.  I’m on Twitter.  I haven’t had the chance to add the fancy Twitter button yet to my sidebar.

I have mixed feelings about social media, which is proven by my current personal fast from Facebook.  (“The Cozy Nook” is still alive and well there though!)

Nonetheless, I’m on Twitter so, if you’re on Twitter, stop by and say “hi”. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

What I’m Taking to Thanksgiving Dinner


Thanksgiving’s nearly here.  We are blessed in so many ways and especially blessed to be able to enjoy such a banquet of food!

This year I am taking:

Sweet Potato Casserole

Chocolate Pecan Pie

Apple Pie

Hot Apple Cider (for a quick hot cider twist, just add cinnamon red hot candies while you are warming up the cider.  It flavors the cider and adds some festive color!  Make sure you stir occasionally to dissolve the candies.)

What are you taking to Thanksgiving Dinner?

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Psalm 106:1

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Operation Christmas Child: Pack a Shoebox. Collection This Week: November 12-19


Pack a fun shoebox for a needy child!

This is just one of the ways you can bless someone this Christmas season.

Samaritan’s Purse collects shoeboxes this week, November 12 – 19 at various locations.  This site gives you options for helping and even walks you through the steps of packing and sending a shoebox.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wedge Salad–a Quick Lunch

A couple weeks ago I did not have many groceries left in the house.

“Boy, what am I going to have for lunch?!”

Yes!  A wedge salad!


Cut a good-sized wedge from a head of iceberg lettuce.

Adorn the lettuce with just a few nutritious, diced toppings, like cheese, sunflower seeds, and tomatoes.  If you can vary the textures and colors, it adds character.

Drizzle some dressing across the top and enjoy!

I especially like creamy dressings on iceberg lettuce, like ranch or poppy seed.

You’ve got yourself an economical, fairly healthy lunch!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Our Circumstances, God’s Tools


To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven

Ecclesiastes 3:1

Lately my prayer has been, “Lord, make me to be the person YOU want me to be.”

If I truly desire for God to mold me and refine me, I must be willing for Him to use the tools necessary to do that process.  Only He knows what is best for me and what will hit the deep ravines of my heart.  He knows what it will take to burn away the dross.

Oftentimes, though, tough circumstances come, and I don’t really want them to hang around long.  They do not produce that warm, fuzzy feeling inside.  Instead, they are apt to provoke feelings of fear, anger, and pessimism… feelings of giving up. 

We do all we can to prevent bad circumstances.  We save money, care for our health, invest in our relationships, create schedules, and do other noble things to preserve the good order we have in life.  When that order is shaken, we want to run and hide and quickly find the fix that will make everything better.

In the end, though, God is testing our hearts.  He wants to see if we will be like Job.  Sure, we all love to talk about Job and how great he was, but are we willing to be like him?

Are we willing to remain steadfast in the midst of our circumstances and praise the Lord who made us, trusting in His goodness and love?

Are we willing to be made into the people HE wants us to be….
not who WE think we should be?

Dear God, help us to surrender our lives to You.
In Jesus’ name.