Giving Thanks: Happy Thanksgiving!

Giving Thanks

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It has certainly been a crazy year world-wide, but no matter our problems we can always offer God thanks in our circumstances. (1 Thessalonians 5: 18) Sometimes it is difficult to celebrate with Thanksgiving allowing our prayers to express gratitude when life has bruised us. But let us remember that Thanksgiving is giving thanks for the goodness of God. And this can be done even when life’s goodness is difficult to see. So, let our praises ring and always be ready to let our “Songs of Thanksgiving fill the air.” (Isaiah 51:3d)

No matter whether you are giving your thanks in a grand celebration, surrounded by your family and friends, or just quietly isolated, always remember that the grace of our Lord is with you. And in the words of Paul, in 2 Thessalonians 3: 16, I also always pray that the Lord of peace Himself gives you His perfect peace in every situation as you feel His strong presence.

Thanks be to God!

Wishing you the happiest Thanksgiving if you are in the United States and for those in other parts of the world, may you too have a most peaceful day of thanks.

Love in Christ,

E.J.

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Paying Attention to Those Around Us

Are You Missing Opportunities?

If you are paying attention to recent television commercials you are realizing that the holidays are descending upon us. Somehow in the middle of this crazy year, the season of joy has slipped up on me. It makes me ask, what opportunities I missed this year because I just wasn’t paying attention. As I now reflect and perhaps realize what I have or have not done, it seems I just might have missed some things with all that is going on in my world. Did I, in my busyness, miss my opportunities to help others. What about you? Have you been paying attention this year to your opportunities?

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Invest in the Future and Reap the Dividends

Long Term Investing

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What do you invest in daily? Recently I read a quote that said, “Be so busy watering your grass, that you don’t notice if someone else’s is greener.” It is sometimes easy to look around and focus on what others have that we don’t. This blinds us to the fact that we need to invest wisely in the blessings we own. Many times, when we think of blessings, we focus on material objects, but being truly blessed is much more. When we look at how we are investing in the blessings we have, it is important to look to the Kingdom of God. How we invest there will determine our future dividends.

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Preparation – Is it ever too Early to Prepare?

Holiday Preparation?

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Are you making preparation for the upcoming holidays? It seems that hardly before the light in the jack-o-lanterns extinguished and All Saint’s Day arrived, people were talking about making preparation for the holidays. But they weren’t really talking about this month’s major holiday in the United States, Thanksgiving. No, they were talking about what preparation they needed for…you guessed it, Christmas! This week, my Facebook feed filled with news of decorating and gift buying for Christmas. My “friends” and a lot of advertisements discussed putting up Christmas trees, lights, and the whole gamut. It seems that as people have spent a lot more time at home, they are looking for ways to brighten up this “crazy” year. Now before the “Grinches” and “Scrooges,” that are flipping out about Christmas before Thanksgiving, tune me out. Let us give some thought that perhaps consistent and early preparation isn’t such a bad thing.

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Self-Help vs. Self-Improvement and the Winner is…

The Self-Help Industry

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The self-help industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry that is driven by the dissatisfaction of life for many people. The world pushes a constant need to be more, do more, and ultimately gain “happiness” achieved only by being something different. If someone feels they need to change any area of their life, they can count on finding someone ready to sell them a bill of goods that will “fix” their problem(s). There are books, seminars, audios, and video products along with personal coaching on just about anything one could want to change about themselves. Interestingly, however, is the contradiction that the word, itself holds. There is no such thing as “self-help” if you are relying upon someone else’s advice, plan, or support.

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Simple Things – The Deceptive Ways of Simplicity

Simple Things

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Do you like simple things? If you want to catch my attention, then tell me something that will make my life simple. I can be somewhat of an organizational nerd and will spend loads of time developing lists and schedules designed to make my life simpler. What I have learned, however, is that simple is not always easy, and what appears on the surface as simple can be deceptively difficult.

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Breathing In–Experiencing the Presence of God

Breathing in the Season

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Are you breathing in the wonderful days of the season? In my world, the trees are displaying dazzling colors of splendor with a new “show” each day. The forest is emitting indescribable, but comforting smells of musk and fir that waft through the crisp air as the flora prepares itself for the upcoming winter. The calls of the wild, sound through the air as animals scurry about making their preparations for leaner times. These are the things I see, hear, smell, and feel as I take my daily hike to the top of the mountain, breathing in life and experiencing the presence of God. Are you experiencing the presence of God in this season of your life?

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Consideration – A Necessary Clothing of Life

Cleaning Closets

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Do you wear the clothing of consideration as you interact with other people in your daily life? Consideration, as defined by Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary is thoughtful and sympathetic regard or opinion obtained by reflection. However, reading or listening to the news of politics and mayhem, it appears that it is something that has fallen by the wayside. What has happened to common courtesy and politeness in society? Are we hiding behind our social media platforms? A place where many people feel they hold anonymity and can freely fire off random unthoughtful speech with little thought that they wouldn’t in face-to-face situations? Since we’re in a new season, maybe it is time for all of us to put on a new layer of clothing.

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Pressing On while Holding Tightly to the Progress

The Struggles of Pressing On

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It is amazing how much change is taking place each day of this new season. The leaves are turning quickly, and the forest is thinning out pressing on through the season. Trees cycle through this phenomenon every year as they transform themselves in the spring with bright gentle buds to the rich green leaves of their full summer glory. Then fall approaches and they give it their all with one last blast of magnificence creating coats of stunning reds, oranges, yellows, and the richest of browns before submitting to the barest of limbs for winter. Life is like that as well. There are bright new times, full glory times, last-ditch efforts, and dark times. It is through these life lessons that like the trees, we can keep pressing on because we hold on to the smallest signs of progress we have made as we journey forth in life.

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In or Out? – Where are you?

A Time for Action

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We are now officially in fall and the last few nights my weather has bordered on winter. Are you readying for cooler weather where you live? Like a squirrel making preparations, the cooling temperatures have spurred me to get a lot of repairs and cleaning up finished before the real cold weather comes. Since I lack the skill set to do much of this work, I find myself almost daily trying to find help. I have learned that it is often difficult to find tradespeople these days that are qualified and available to follow through on jobs. Are they committed to be in, out, or somewhere between?

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