Never Despise Small Beginnings

Have you Chosen your One Word for 2019?

So, everyone is talking resolutions or #ONEWORD365 so I may as well join in the “fun”. Honestly, it’s getting a bit frustrating to meet any kind of goal these days. I’m coming up on 8 years of chronic pain. As you may have noticed just by looking at my one words I started out with a good attitude but to tell the truth, I’m getting frustrated about it all.

Before Chronic Pain, I tried to set goals that never seemed to accomplish much. Then I learned about ONEWORD365. This challenge is where you choose a word that you apply to your life throughout the year. Whenever you have a decision to make or an issue to deal with, you apply the word and let it make you a better person. I liked the idea so decided to try it out. Continue reading

comfort able

Does God Comfort Us to Make us Comfortable?

Comfort

Spiritually, when we think of comfort, we probably think of consoling someone in their grief or loss. And this would be something that we naturally do. We also think of how God comforts us through our sorrows. But let’s think for a moment about how much comfort we should expect to receive. As Christians, should we be “comfortable” all the time?

In today’s society, we are told that we all should be able to live in the lap of luxury, be comfortable. If we are living right then God will bless us. But I wonder how much this is what God really wants for us. I’m thinking that when we are comfortable we tend to forget God. So maybe we need to just be more content wherever we are in life.

God’s Word says

“In this world, you will have trouble.” John 16

And in James …

2 Dear brothers and sisters,[a] when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1
If we are always comfortable, we usually tend to stay put and not really grow. It’s like the birds with their babies. The nest is made soft and comfortable when the baby birds are born, but when it is time for them to leave the nest, the mother will stir things up, make it uneasy so that the baby bird will decide they want to leave. In doing so they learn to fly, learn to hunt for their own food and fend for themselves.

In her book, Unashamed, Christine Caine says that

God gives us comfort to make us comfort-able, not necessarily comfortable.

So What Do You Think?

How is it for us?

  • Do we want to stay in the nest, nice and cozy?
  • Do we complain when things get uncomfortable in our life and ask God, “Why is this happening?” and beg Him to remove us from the trial?
  • Maybe it’s time for us to grow up and learn from the trials and then pass the blessing on to others.

 

What do you think? Share your comments below.

 

Mandy Farmer

Christ in Christmas

How to Keep Christ in Christmas

Luke 10:41-42 The Message (MSG)
41-42 The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.”

How Do We Keep Christ in Christmas?

In our anticipation of Christmas, we often become stressed and over-worked planning and preparing for this most blessed holiday. Somehow, in the mix, we end up forgetting what it’s all about. I want to do whatever it takes to find Christ in Christmas so that others will see Him too.

Here are a few ideas I have that will help us throw out the unnecessary and help keep the focus on Christ this year.

First of all, Limit the Decorations

SImple Christmas

We’ve found that we can get in the spirit with very little decor. We’ve limited our decorations to a small tree, a wreath on the door, and one special seasonal spot in the living room (the mantel if you have one.) We have a little cubby in the entertainment center which used to hold a TV. My hubby installed a mirror in the back of it and this is now our one place to put some seasonal decorations.) We have little or no cost and little or no headaches getting it done! Make you decorations things that will remind you of Christ such as a nativity scene.

 

How about a family tradition decorating the tree. Try this idea :

For every ornament placed on the tree be able to relate it to Christ somehow or a prayer for a person or nation.

Secondly, Limit the Activities

Choose Christmas activities that include the whole family and that keep Christ in Christmas. Attend a religious Christmas concert or presentation. Participate in selfless projects where you are showing Christ to others. Such as serving at the homeless shelter or even caroling. My family went caroling to friends and neighbors every Christmas Eve and delivered Cinnamon rolls. What fond memories I have of this annual event.

We had a family friend who limited attending Christmas parties to ONE for the season! Some activities are unavoidable, such as school concerts or workplace events, but think of the time and money saved if you stop attending every party for which you receive an invitation. Give your regrets and move on.  This will give you so much more family time and reduce all that rushing around trying to get places.

In Contrast, Add Family Advent Devotions

When I was growing up, we always took time for advent devotions. We added a piece of the nativity each night through Christmas Eve. On Christmas morning, We read the final devotion and placed baby Jesus in the creche BEFORE passing out gifts. This is still a vivid memory for me. I do my best to read advent devotions with our family every year.

Ann Voskamp’s Unwrapping the Greatest Gift {affiliate link} is a wonderful book fo advent using the Jesse Tree. The Jesse Tree teaches us how God had a plan from the very beginning of time. You will read about the people in Jesus’ ancestry beginning with Adam and Eve. The theme uses the scripture from Isaiah 11 “Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot.”

Ann gives the scriptures and beautifully tells the story with family discussion questions and an activity for the day. If you do these activities, Christ will certainly be kept in Christmas.

Join us as we  Keep Christ in Christmas!

How to Host Without Complaining

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and we’ll soon have family and friends around the table. So I asked my friend, Sue Donaldson to share a little about hospitality

Hospitality is Hard: How to Host Without Complaining

Continue reading

Reunions: The Whole Family Together

I’m writing on the prompt, WHOLE family inspired by Write 13 days challenge and the Five Minute Friday crew. We’ve almost made it to 31 days. You can see what we have written here and what others have written here.

I have 5 siblings.

Here’s a picture of our family maybe in 1966. back row: Mom, Doug, Dad Front Row: Marcy, Kandy, Mandy, Alex.  Too be added later a few years later .. LeAdam.

Dawson family before LeAdam

There’s me – in the blue dress.

. the whole group

Oh, here’s all 6 of us ..me on the top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that we are all grown and have families of our own. We all live in a different state … Wisconsin, Texas, Georgia, Nebraska, New Jersey, and Kentucky. So you can imagine how difficult it is to get the whole family together at the same time.

Continue reading

from generation to generation

From Generation to Generation

Memories of Generations

One of my earliest memories is a sleep-over at my grandparents. I remember standing at Grandma’s knee while she crocheted a yellow hat for my dolly. I can still taste the frozen tart applesauce made from the apples in her yard. But my favorite memory is the nighttime devotions. A plastic loaf of bread held tiny cards printed with Scripture promises. I chose one card, then sat as close to Grandma as I could. With her arm around me, she whispered word by word, so I could “read” the verse.

It was the beginning of a legacy – the love of God and His Word. Before I was a week old, my parents took me to church, and faithfully continued to make sure I was taught the Word by Sunday School teachers and pastors. On an everyday basis, we looked to Scripture for guidance in our home.

Passing the Faith Along

My favorite parenting verses are found in Deuteronomy 6: Continue reading

when

What’s a Christian to Say When, pt3

 What’s a Christian to Say when spoken against?

In recent posts, I raised the questions about how we, as Christians, should respond spoken against. I felt the need to back up a bit and talk about

  1. Living for Jesus
  2.  When People Ask

And now, the final point.

Continue reading

What a Christian to Say

What’s A Christian to Say? part 2

What Christians Should Say When Asked

Earlier, I began a discussion about our talk as Christians. How are we to respond to the ugly talk that is everywhere these days? I gave the first step in how to show Christ in response to others ugly talk. Now let’s discuss step two. Continue reading

What's a Christian to Say

What’s a Christian to Say? part 1

What Can I Say?

I am saddened by the foul and abusive talk that is being spewed out all around our country. One might want to speak up and voice an opinion but the response is so ugly that they decide to keep quiet. I don’t want to talk politics here but what’s a Christian to say?

Now, I’m not really interested in what a Christian should stand for politically.  I’ll leave that between them and God. I am more interested in how a Christian should speak about his beliefs and defend his faith in an anti-christian world. It was Billy Graham who said,

Continue reading

Fully Alive Book Review

Book Review: Fully Alive

NOTE: I received this book at no charge in exchange for writing this review. These words are my own opinion and I have not been compensated to say them. 

Dare to Hope again

Have you been losing your hope lately? What is it that is pulling you down into

despondency?

Dare to Hope Fully Alive

Susie’s Larson’s new book

Sickness?

Fear?

Guilt?

Worry?

Grief?

Discouragement?

Insecurity?

Selfishness?

Look up because there is AlWAYS Hope in Jesus.

Continue reading