How Was Your Thanksgiving?

My Thanksgiving was awesome thank you for asking!

We started our day by going to our church’s Thanksgiving praise service. As always, it is one of the highlights of my year. It is always a good way to reset my mind for the day. To remember that it is God who provides all and it is to God that I should be giving thanks for the food, family, and even the money that I am planning on spending during the Black Friday sales.

So, how was your Thanksgiving?

One more thing I wanted to share. Our menu. I thought about sharing this before Thanksgiving but I wanted to try it first. Let me just say, these recipes are amazing and so I can’t help but share them with you now. Maybe you can use them in time for Christmas or one of the many parties you might be throwing this Christmas season.

Here is my turkey. Looks amazing doesn’t it.  Here is the recipe for the turkey.

Sausage cornbread stuffing

Pumpkin cheesecake with a brownie crust

Pumpkin cake with caramel cream cheese frosting

These made awesome additions to my table. If you make any of these please let me know how they turned out for you.

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Sunday Sermons

Today I just wanted to write you a few quotes from the day. I thought they were awesome and just wanted to share without adding anything to them. I think they do a good job all on their own.

We will never pick up a crown before we pick up the cross and we will never pick up the cross until we realize that Jesus is worth dying for.

You are not prepared to live for Christ until you are willing to die for Christ.

Divine Power + Divine Compassion = Everything You Need

God does not just allow the mess [in your life] sometimes it’s God who created the mess in order to help better prepare you for eternity.

I will be thinking about these things all week. I pray they will have a lasting impact on what I do, think, say, and act this week to the glory of God.

John Newton Hymn

In relation to my previous post wanted to share a new hymn I found by John Newton. Enjoy.

Strange and mysterious is my life.
What opposites I feel within!
A stable peace, a constant strife;
The rule of grace, the power of sin:
Too often I am captive led,
Yet daily triumph in my Head,
Yet daily triumph in my Head.

I prize the privilege of prayer,
But oh! what backwardness to pray!
Though on the Lord I cast my care,
I feel its burden every day;
I seek His will in all I do,
Yet find my own is working too,
Yet find my own is working too.

I call the promises my own,
And prize them more than mines of gold;
Yet though their sweetness I have known,
They leave me unimpressed and cold
One hour upon the truth I feed,
The next I know not what I read,
The next I know not what I read.

I love the holy day of rest,
When Jesus meets His gathered saints;
Sweet day, of all the week the best!
For its return my spirit pants:
Yet often, through my unbelief,
It proves a day of guilt and grief,
It proves a day of guilt and grief.

While on my Savior I rely,
I know my foes shall lose their aim,
And therefore dare their power defy,
Assured of conquest through His name,
But soon my confidence is slain,
And all my fears return again,
And all my fears return again.

Thus different powers within me strive,
And grace and sin by turns prevail;
I grieve, rejoice, decline, revive,
And victory hangs in doubtful scale:
But Jesus has His promise passed,
That grace shall overcome at last,
That grace shall overcome at last.

John Newton helped my depression

It seems the times you don’t feel like going to church for prayer are exactly the times you need to go to church for prayer.

Tonight was prayer meeting and boy did I need it. Recently I have been really struggling. The last two weeks have been really hard for me. Physically I have been exhausted ( I blame part of it on my 8 month old waking me up 2-3 times a night to eat and part of it I blame on myself for going out this weekend till one in the morning singing karaoke with some friends). Emotionally I have felt very drained, and mentally I have felt overloaded, and at times I felt very much alone. These past couple of weeks I have been battling my wrong thoughts that I can feel pulling me down to depression. I know all the right things and yet it is hard to keep those right thoughts present. To remind myself that I am not alone, I am not abandoned. Life is not too much (though it might feel that way at times). I am loved. God is good, and I am blessed.

Tonight was a great victory in the battle for my spiritual well being and my relationship with God. But as always prayer is the answer as well as praying with God’s people. As I spent time praising God for who He is, confessing sin, and praying for needs has brought me from darkness into light.

So, what does John Newton have to do with any of this? Derick in prayer meeting tonight also shared John Newton’s testimony. It was a blessing. If you get a chance please read the link above. It will encourage your heart. However, the part that touched me more was the idea that John Newton didn’t want to be known for anything else than the lowly slave trader he was who was saved by God’s grace. When he was offered an honorary doctorate from Princeton University he turned it down stating, ” The dreary coast of Africa was the university to which the Lord was pleased to send me, and I dare not acknowledge a relation to any other.”  He didn’t want to be remembered for his writings or ministry, but only as a sinner saved by grace.

I realized as I was sitting there that most of my struggles were out of my own selfishness. That I was struggling because of things I believed I was not getting that I deserved, but the truth is I am only a sinner saved by grace.

 

Sunday Sermons

I know, I know it’s Thursday! However, this past Sunday was a great sermon by my Pastor and didn’t want to let this week pass without sharing it with you.

“God has joy when believers are loving.”

This is such a great thought that hit me so hard last Sunday. It is one of those truths that is so simple and yet something I had never thought about before. We are all familiar with the verse John 13:35 “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” I have always thought of this only as a command but never with the mindset that when we love we are actually bringing joy to the Savior. Shouldn’t this truth drive us to love others.

This week my motive for loving others has a new perspective. It is not out of simple duty or command, but out of love for God and a desire to make my Savior happy. Loving people is hard. Ministry is hard, but if I can bring joy to the Savior it makes it all worth it.

So, fellow brothers and sisters join me in bringing joy to Christ this week. Look to love those around you.

 

BACK and hopefully more consistent than ever!

Hello again to all my readers! You might have thought I was gone for good, but it is not true. I am back and hopefully more consistent than ever. I took some much needed time to get myself, my house, and my children back into a “routine”.

I put routine in quotations because I recently came to the conclusion that as we now have one more child in our family, our ministry life is becoming busier, and as life happens, routine (as we used to know it) is something that is quickly disappearing and being replaced by a much busier, chaotic and yet wonderful new normal.

Part of the reason I was gone for so long is credited to my newest daughter Naomi. I will now list for you some of her many nicknames and I believe these names will be enough of an explanation: Trouble, the baby who never sleeps, and (most popular) “the worst”. Even now as I am writing I have had to stop several times to take cords, dirty diapers, and many other nasty things away from her. Where does she find them? I can honestly say I have no idea. It might not sound like it but I do clean my house and yet she still finds things that are dirty and dangerous. Baby’s have such a knack for finding the things they are not supposed to have.

I feel like I have been in a mommy fog for the past 7 months (which is as long as Naomi has been alive) and am now coming to clear thinking. So, I thought I would rejoin the blogging world. Trust me, anything I would have written before this time would have probably made no sense. Although maybe you would have enjoyed it?

Well, to conclude this salutation I will catch you up on our life from the last post. This Summer and Fall our family went to two weddings (one of which I made the wedding cake), two family vacations, regained our honorary family member Jessica who just graduated college and moved back home, lost her again (at least during the week we get her back most weekends) to a teaching job about an hour away, chased kids around, discovered and became obsessed with Pinterest, chased our kids around, planned and executed a surprise 20th anniversary party for Derick’s parents who have been at our church for 20 years (they’ve been married much longer than that), started running and using the “Couch to 5K” program (still working on it), completed some major house projects (finally put up our wood molding and baseboards), and did I mention chased our kids around.

Derick and I thought that once we got to the Fall things would slow down, but things are only speeding up. I hope you will enjoy my sharing of some of these great projects and our life in the ministry. I have lots of posts floating around in my head that I am dying to share so be prepared to stop by a lot this week. Enjoy the read. Pictures of our above adventures to follow.