Archive for the ‘Guest Post’ Category

The Real Saint Patrick 🍀

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Saint Patrick

From our Publisher

With it being St. Patrick’s Day, I thought it would be appropriate to write a little something about the man who inspired the holiday. Although there is much speculation about who St. Patrick was and what he did, there are some indisputable facts that many people do not know.

Ambassador author John Holmes describes the life of St. Patrick and explains the many trials and triumphs that St. Patrick faced throughout his life in his book, Saint Patrick: The Man and His Mission. In the opening preface of his book, he explains:

“St. Patrick is among the most famous figures in history. He is forever linked, and rightly so, with Ireland and the Irish people. Around the world innumerable places, churches, colleges and institutions carry his name and yet surprisingly few individuals have anything more than a slight knowledge or understanding of the man himself. You would be hard pressed, for example, to find anyone, even in our halls of learning, who could quote something that Patrick has said. It is true that in recent years some well researched books on Ireland’s patron saint have been published but it would appear that most of these have a limited circulation and are not widely read.

Patrick belongs to the fifth century; to times and conditions far distant from ours. Our knowledge of society in Ireland in those days is limited indeed, for virtually nothing remains of the materials needed to construct some kind of detailed history. By nature of the case it must also be admitted that there is a multitude of questions about Patrick which cannot be answered with complete confidence. There is a multitude of questions which can never be answered – at least not in this life.

We can, however, be reasonably certain about many things and there are areas where the scholars are in general agreement. The historical basis of this little book rests on such material.”

In one of the first chapters of his book, Holmes explains how it is almost impossible to give an exact date for St. Patrick’s birth due to the rarity of records during the time; however, it is widely assumed that he was born in England around 390 AD. He was born into an aristocratic and religious family. Around the age of 16, he is believed to have been captured by Irish raiders and taken across the sea to Ireland as a slave. According to legend, Patrick worked as a shepherd near Slemish Mount while in captivity. After six years of slavery, he escaped confinement, obtained his freedom, and returned home to England and his family. Little did he know (upon his return home) that one day, he would be called back to the land of his captivity to preach the gospel of salvation to the people of Ireland. Today, many remember him as the man who used the shamrock (clover) to explain the holy trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

I believe it is only fitting to share the writing of St. Patrick entitled, The Confession of Patrick, which can be found within Holmes’ book.

“I pray those who believe and fear God, whosoever deigns to look at or receive this writing which Patrick, a sinner, unlearned, has composed in Ireland, that no one should ever say that it was my ignorance if I did or showed forth anything however small according to God’s good pleasure; but let this be your conclusion and let it so be thought, that – as is the perfect truth – it was the gift of God. This is my confession before I die.”

As we enter St. Patrick’s Day this year, let us remember the love that he had for the Lord and the vision he sought to fulfill by ministering in Ireland. In closing, let us remember the words (so similar to the feelings of St. Patrick that they could have been sung by him) from the old Irish hymn, Be Thou My Vision:

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heav’n’s Sun.
Heart of my own heart, whate’er befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

 

To learn more about Holmes and Saint Patrick: The Man and His Mission, visit HERE.

 

And learn more about some of Ambassador’s other Irish titles including:

A Little Irish Love Story

The Titanic’s Last Hero

A Shiver of Wonder

Favorite Flavors of Ireland

Flavors of Ireland

The Shamrock and Peach

Boldly Walking in the Miraculous

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Matthew J. Romano

Devotional from Matthew J. Romano, author of The Call: An Invitation to Revival and Transformation and complementary study guide, The Call: A Study Guide to Revival and Transformation

Have you ever had a miraculous encounter that changed your life? Each of us will have divine appointments in God’s presence that can potentially catapult us into a glorious destiny. Like crossroads along the journey of life they invite us down a path less traveled. They take us from the ordinary to the extraordinary, the commonplace to the miraculous. They beckon us to take action into God’s purpose and shape who we would become.
These divine appointments can come to us through many different ways and forms. To Moses, it came by a burning bush. To the apostle Paul, it came by an open vision of the risen Lord Jesus Christ. One such appointment that God had ordained for me was to speak to Smith Wigglesworth in a dream. Even though I was aware that we spoke the entirety of the night, I was only permitted by the Lord to recall the end of our discussion. I remember complimenting him for being such an awesome man of faith just as the early apostles were. But what he said in reply shocked me. He said, “Not even I lived up to my full potential in the Lord.” In other words, the Lord had greater power and authority available for him to walk in.  The message that God was giving me is that we haven’t even begun to see what God could do through us if we only believed. “…the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action” (Daniel 11:32b) ESV.
The apostle Paul prayed for the Ephesian believers that they would comprehend “the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe” (Eph 1:19) ESV. That power resides in us by the Holy Spirit but it can only be released through action! Faith is confidence in God’s promises and goodness. It acts in agreement with His written word, the Bible. Faith takes risks to accept the challenge of our divine appointments to walk boldly in the miraculous.
One way the Lord has challenged me to answer this call is to believe in Him to bring healing to others. One of the signs that accompanies the believer is that they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover (Mark 16:17-18). Often, I’ve been paralyzed by such thoughts as, “What if nothing happens? I may look foolish and discredit the name of the Lord.” What I’ve discovered is that the Lord is looking for those who will act according to His word. Jesus himself made the promise. My only responsibility is to trust in Him enough to place my hands on the sick and pray for their complete healing. He is responsible for the results. But if I don’t act, I will never see the power of the miraculous.
As I’m learning to step out in faith, I’ve seen God heal instantly, and at other times slowly, until months later the person has made a full recovery. Perhaps not all will be healed, but some will be. Let’s not allow thoughts of potential failure deter us from taking action. Wouldn’t it be foolish if we never told anyone the good news that Jesus saves because they may not believe? The fact is many will not, but some will. The gospel is still the power of God to save (Ro 1:16).
God gives miraculous power only to those who boldly act in faith.

Consider this week, how can you walk boldly in the miraculous?

To learn more about Matthew J. Romano and his books, visit HERE.

Resolving to Make the Minutes Count by Sowing God’s Word

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The Sower

This picture, called The Sower,  has hung on the publisher’s office wall throughout Ambassador International’s 40-year history.  It is taken from the Parable of Jesus where the man sows the seed of Salvation and it falls on different types of soil. Dr. Lowry, Ambassador’s founder and publisher, has always felt that this is the calling and heart behind Ambassador: to sow God’s Word and reach the world through the books that are published. Derick Bingham says it best in his book North of Shadowlands, “The potent power of the seed of the Word of God is actually, when you muse on it, eternal in its influence. So, sow it, Christian, sow it. Don’t go through your day without scattering some of it in the corners only you can reach” (Pg. 41-42).

Dr. Lowry chose this excerpt from Minutes Matter because the focus of this book is on time and what we do with it. This book helps us see how important it is to use our time here on earth to bring glory to God. Let us muse on these words as we begin this new year:

“525,600 minutes in a year. 36,792,000 minutes if you are given 70 years, and 72,048,000 minutes if you’re blessed with 80! ‘The days of our lives are seventy years; And if by reason of strength they are eighty years, Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.’ -Psalm 90:10
Could you imagine at the beginning of our lives if we had the opportunity to check how many minutes we were going to live?

26,280,000 – 50 years
31,536,000 – 60 years
36,792,000 – 70 years
42,048,000 – 80 years

May I ask who wouldn’t check the 42,048,000 minute box? I mean, would anyone check less? But when you look at it as minutes, don’t all these choices seem like so many?
We must remember, however, the more days we are given, the more we will have to be accountable for over time. We all know this fact to be true, that none of us are guaranteed another minute. So why not strive to make each minute matter and every beat of our heart count? I wholeheartedly believe that as we begin to be good stewards of our days, we will be able to accomplish so much for the Lord because we are honoring Him with one of the most precious gifts we’ve all been given, time. So where do we begin?
Our days are busy, and without a plan, we will collapse at the end of each day and ask, ‘What just hit me?’
Ever been there?
I’m going to open a window to myself so that you can get a little glimpse of how I’m wired. I’ve been an organized person for most of my life, at least as long as I can remember. Being disorganized can drive me crazy. I’ve learned to live by to-do lists, and when I check something off, it makes me feel really good!
I know, kind of weird, huh? But how many of you can relate? Actually, when I do something that wasn’t on my list, I’ll sometimes write it on my list so that I can receive the pleasure of checking if off my list.
Some of you are laughing and some are relating to this. There are many benefits of being an organized person by your very nature, but the danger of needing organization in your life at every turn is that it can be hard to relax.
That is why the smartest man who ever lived, Solomon, wrote this as well:

‘Do not be overly righteous, Nor be overly wise: Why should you destroy yourself?
Do not be overly wicked, Nor be foolish: Why should you die before your time?
It is good that you grasp this, And also not remove your hand from the other;
For he who fears God will escape them all.’ Ecclesiastes 7:16-18

In another version, it says the man who ‘fears God will avoid all extremes’ (NIV).

Minutes Matter

We must keep a balance in our lives as we use our time wisely in all that we do. We must begin our days asking the Lord to help us in all areas of our lives. In the following chapters, we will look at some practical ways to stay healthy within our personal lives, our families, and our place of work, in worship, in serving, and in play. There are various areas of our lives that we will explore to make sure we are making our minutes matter in this crazy pace we try and keep called life.
In whatever we do, my prayer is that we make our lives count for something or someone.”

Excerpt taken from Minutes Matter: Making Every Beat Count by K. R. Mele, Chapter 1, Pg. 13-15. To learn more about Minutes Matter, visit HERE.

As we carry on in 2019, may we use our minutes in ways that matter!

Guest Post: Busy Firefighters Teach Fire Safety, Too!

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Fire Prevention Week

Did you know this week is Fire Prevention Week?! In honor, here is a guest post from Firefighters’ Busy Day author, Maria Bostian.

As Firefighters’ Busy Day shows us, today’s firefighters have lots of important jobs to do. Not only do they train for emergencies, respond to calls, and fight fires; they teach people how to be safe.

This week, busy firefighters all across the county are teaching people about fire safety. It is the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA), Fire Prevention Week which is a popular time for firefighters and families to talk about fire safety and escape planning. This week’s theme focuses on the importance of a quick response to a fire emergency. In home fires, deadly smoke and fire can spread in a matter of minutes. That is why it is important to develop a plan and put it in to practice. As the theme reminds us,

every second truly counts!Click To Tweet

Fire safety tips:

  • Having Two Ways Out of every room in your home may include using windows as exits. Windows? Yes, windows.
  • Make sure your family can open the windows in your home. Are they painted shut? Is heavy furniture blocking them so that someone can’t get out? If you find any hazard that prevents someone from opening their window, be sure to correct it as soon as possible.
  • Also remember that the door most often used, may not be the quickest or safety door to go out during an emergency. For example: If a fire starts in the front of the home, it may be safer to use the back door or a side door to get outside.
  • Where should you go once you get out? That place is called The Meeting Place. It should be a safe distance away from the home and should be where the firefighters can find you. It should be something permanent like a tree or a mailbox; not a car, a kiddy pool, or something else that can be moved or put away for the season.

Every Second Counts so create a plan and practice it often. At a minimum you should practice it twice a year: once during the day and another time at night.

Why don’t you make your plan and practice it this week? Think of it as your Fire Prevention Week homework! When you do, snap a photo and send it to us. Ambassador International would love to show others the steps families take to be “fire safe.” Help us saturate social media with pictures of meeting places, escape plans, two ways out, people checking their windows, etc. Together, we can remind others that EVERY SECOND COUNTS!

To learn more about firefighters and fire safety, download the free coloring sheets from Maria Bostian’s Firefighters’ Busy Day. And feel free to hop over to her blog at www.mariabostian.com for more escape planning and safety information.

The High Calling of Motherhood Blog Tour Day 1

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I was so glad that I was able to read The High Calling of Motherhood and am excited to introduce it to you today. This was a book that went straight to my heart. As “Mom” to a 7-month old son, I’m still knee deep in the midnight feedings, teething pains, sleepless nights, you-name-its, and am finding that motherhood can be hard. But alternately, I’m finding that motherhood is one of the most beautiful things I’ve faced to date. To watch my son learn and explore and to “see” things through his eyes, it’s amazing. And to add in the kisses and the smiles he reserves for mama – or the way he snuggles up in my arms and he’s content and happy. I love those moments. But sometimes, it can hard to see the beauty through the hard times and that’s exactly what The High Calling of Motherhood helped me do.

What stuck out to me most was Chimene’s discussion over Judea and Jerusalem and how we, as mothers, are supposed to focus on “our Jerusalem”—our mission field {and in this context, that’s my child}. Chimene explains it so well in the book and you should read it for yourself to get a full understanding of this concept, but in essence, Jerusalem was the home base for the disciples—even if they were to go into the world—and our home base is our family and our home. She writes, “Our primary mission field is home base, first and foremost. This is a gift and honor. We have been chosen to share Jesus with our children. We are chosen and called to preach the gospel, first making disciples in our own homes. Just think of the exponential influence this intentionality could have when our children begin making disciples of their own!” I love this concept of the ripple effect. It’s not a new concept and applies to so many areas of life, but when viewing it in light of raising my child to be a “World Changer” for Jesus, it’s such a helpful visual to have and I find it helps me have a better perspective.

Since I’m still knee deep in the baby stage, I haven’t had the chance to put much of that into practice, but I appreciate that I have this advice in mind now before heading into these prime child-rearing years and admit to highlighting a lot of points in The High Calling of Motherhood! It’s a book that I think I will reference many times over the next few years and a book I think is good for every mother to read—no matter what stage of life you’re in. There is SO much more covered in the book than what I covered in this introductory review, but I want to save some so you have a reason to read the book yourself! I’ll leave you with this, my favorite quote from the book that goes along with the previous concept: “The greatest place of influence is a mother in the home. If we can reach the mom, we can reach the family. If we can reach the family, we can change the world {emphasis mine}.”

You can pre-order your own copy of The High Calling of Motherhood at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Ambassador’s online retail store  {use code “HighCalling” entered at time of purchase for a 10% pre-order discount}.

Don’t forget to enter The High Calling of Motherhood “Winner’s Choice” blog tour giveaway. One winner will be chosen and will get to choose between a custom made “World Changer” necklace by The Giving Keys {that is being unveiled at the Passion4Moms conference} or two tickets to attend the Passion4Moms conference being held in DC, May 5-6, 2017. Enter below!

Giveaway

The High of Calling of Motherhood Blog Tour Giveaway

The High Calling of Motherhood

Love Him Anyway Blog Tour Day 1

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LHA-BlogTour

 

As the Chief Operating Office of Ambassador International, I don’t get to decide which books we publish, instead I have the joy of helping our authors and their books as they make their way through the publishing process. One of my favorite parts of my job, though, is the proofreading that I get to do. It helps me keep up with what we’re publishing.

I am honored to be opening the blog tour of Love Him Anyway by Abby Banks and to share with you my heart on this book. Here’s where I have to fully confess first. When I first started the {proof}reading of Love Him Anyway, I found myself thinking, Why are we publishing this book!?!? {Sorry, Abby.} The second thought that trailed not too far behind was, How am I supposed to get people to buy this book?!?! {Again, super sorry about that, Abby}. You should have seen me. Here I was trying to work, and instead I was a sobbing basket case. I couldn’t read through the tears pouring down my face! But as sad as I was, I had been “sucked in” to the story, and I couldn’t stop reading. Abby’s writing was so raw and real, she hooked me in. I am fairly certain I finished this proofreading in record time! And I can honestly tell you, I’m glad I did finish it and it’s a story that I now highly recommend.

I don’t want to give too many spoilers, but as you can find in the book description, Abby’s son, Wyatt, was paralyzed at 7-months old. {I am sure this book was especially hard for me to read because I’m “Mom” to a seven-month old son}. But this story isn’t just about Wyatt—it’s about the entire Banks family, and for me, it was a story about Abby, a fellow mom. As I read Love Him Anyway, I kept picturing the face of my baby and thinking, What if that had been me? What if MY son had become paralyzed? And this point here is what I’d like to focus on. What if it had been my son? Or, what if, instead of watching the livestream of a 5-month-old’s funeral from my living room {like I did yesterday}, I was the mom that had to stand there in the church, brokenhearted at my loss. I’m fortunate to still have my healthy, happy little 7-month old boy with me today, but I’m not guaranteed that, not even for the next five minutes. My boy belongs to Jesus first and foremost, and what Abby taught me through her story is to trust the Lord through the good times and the bad. It’s easy to say this from this side of the mountain, but my prayer is that if I ever face a trial like the Banks family, that I’ll respond as they did and cling to the Lord and “find hope in the hardest places.”

I was moved by Abby’s strength amidst the turmoil, and while she calls Wyatt her hero, I call her mine. She admits that their lives aren’t always easy and that she doesn’t always respond as she should, but that’s just a part of being human, and the overall theme you’ll find in Love Him Anyway is that the Banks family loves and trusts the Lord, despite of and through the trials they face.

You need to know in advance that Love Him Anyway is a hard read, especially if you’re a mom, but it’s such an encouragement and I highly recommend it—not because I’m the Chief Operating Officer of the company that published it—but because I believe you’ll get the same lesson from it that I did: Life may be hard sometimes, but God is good all the time and you can always find hope in those hard places. And sometimes, we need that reminder.

Love Him Anyway releases February 21, 2017 in paperback at all major retailers including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Christianbook.com. You can also purchase Love Him Anyway through Ambassador International’s online store and use the coupon code “LoveHim” for a 10% discount. Lastly, you can enter to win a free signed copy below.

And if you’re local, you can join the Banks family at the Barnes and Noble at The Shops at Greenridge on March 18th from 10am-12pm for a book signing. We’d love to have you there!

Win a signed copy of Love Him Anyway!

 

No matter where you get Love Him Anyway, just make sure you have tissues handy!

 

And stay tuned for Day 2 of the blog tour at rebelbookreviews.blogspot.com.

Preparing for Thanksgiving: Five Verses to Ready Your Heart

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This is the third in a three-part series on preparing our hearts and homes for Thanksgiving. Dee Travis is the author of the new book Celebrate Life: Living to Serve God and Encourage Others as We Celebrate Life Together.

 

Psalm 100 is one of my favorite scripture to meditate on as we approach the Thanksgiving season. When I think about that first Thanksgiving I imagine the Pilgrims and Indians in 1621 gathering to thank God for a bountiful harvest.

Thanksgiving-PinterestBut long before that another group of people had set aside a time to celebrate God’s goodness. It was the children of Israel during the Feast of Booths. In the fall after crops were harvested, the people had a time of worshiping and thanking God for all He had done for them. They brought their offerings of Thanksgiving to the Lord. (Leviticus 23: 39-44)

Psalm 100 is a song of thanksgiving and praise to God that we can reflect on during this Thanksgiving.

Day 1   “Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.” Psalm 100:1

Have you ever felt so thankful you just couldn’t keep quiet? Sometimes I just stand in awe of God’s handiwork in the things I see around me in His creation. Sometimes I just want to proclaim what an awesome God we serve! Everyone on the earth is admonished to praise His name because everyone benefits from God’s goodness! In Psalm 19:1-3 and Psalm 98:7-8 it says that all nature joins in to declare the glory of God and sing praises to His name. It is neat to imagine the rivers clapping and hills singing together for joy in praise to God.

Day 2 “Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful singing.” Psalm 100:2

There is joy in serving Jesus! We can all serve Him whether we are young or old. Offer to teach a Sunday school class or volunteer to take a meal to someone or go visit someone who is in need of a friend. And sometimes the hardest thing is to do it with a happy heart. Many times we do something because we know we need to…. but our heart isn’t really in it. Having a joyful attitude comes from loving God and reading His word and spending time in prayer. With happy hearts we can use the talents God has given each one of us for serving Him not just during the holiday season but each and every day!

Day 3 “Know that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who made us and not we ourselves; we are His people the sheep of His pasture.” Psalm 100:3

God is the very one who created us. He knows us better than anyone. He know when we all overwhelmed or discouraged with so many things pulling at us in a hundred different directions during the holidays. That’s when we go to Him as His sheep and lie down in green pastures. (Psalm 23:2) Find that quiet spot and sit beside the still waters talk to God. He loves us and will restore our weary soul! He cares for us like a good shepherd and for that I am truly thankful.

Day 4 “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and bless His name. Psalm 100:4

We are so blessed in this country to be able to go to church and worship God freely. Being thankful for God’s love will show in our actions as we enter into worship and praise with others who love Him too. I love to gather together with my church family during Thanksgiving and hear testimonies of God’s goodness and faithfulness and mercy. Bless His name for all he has done for us!

Day 5 “For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting, and His faithfulness is to all generations.” Psalm 100:5

One of my favorite sayings is “God is always good and you are always loved”. What a great truth to know that the God of this universe loves us so much He was willing to send His Son to die and take the punishment for our sins. We simply have to believe and He gives everlasting life! (John 3:16) God’s lovingkindness is everlasting! He will love us forever!! And His faithfulness is to ALL generations! God daily loads us with so many benefits. God knows our needs and watches over us and never leaves us to fend for ourselves. He cares about us and will always do what is best for us. God is so good!

 

Thanksgiving is a time of celebration and a time to turn our thoughts to God and His word and realize how very blessed we are of Him. Every day is a gift that we have been given…..so every day (not just at Thanksgiving) thank Him and praise His name!

Preparing for Thanksgiving: Welcome an Attitude of Gratitude

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This is the second in a three-part series on preparing our hearts and homes for Thanksgiving. Dee Travis is the author of the new book Celebrate Life: Living to Serve God and Encourage Others as We Celebrate Life Together.

I really enjoy our church Thanksgiving Eve service. My week has usually been hectic and I have a house that needs cleaned and food that needs to be prepared but nothing helps my “attitude of gratitude” more Thanksgiving-Pinterestthan this night! Everyone enjoys homemade pie and then we have an informal time of singing and testimonies. It is good for me to hear others thanking God for what He has done in their lives over the last year. For some it has been a difficult year with pain and sorrow but they are still praising God and that is so encouraging. Sometimes it is a child who gives a testimony and it doesn’t get much better than childlike faith! I always go home feeling blessed and thankful for my church family! If you don’t have a Thanksgiving service at your church maybe you can make a list of the ways God has been good to you over the last year. Then have your own testimony time by thanking Him for all He has done!

We can also welcome gratitude to God for all He has done and provided for us by doing something special for others! We have so much to be thankful for as Christians. We have a God who loves us and has provided a way for us to have a home in heaven through Jesus Christ. When we place our trust in Him we receive eternal life. We enjoy the freedom to worship God here in America. We also have warm homes to live in and an abundance of food to eat at our tables. Every day God has richly blessed us and that should make us willing to bless others.

Plan to take a traditional Thanksgiving meal to some elderly or needy people in your church or neighborhood. It would probably be easiest to plan your dinner before Thanksgiving. This is a great service for kids to be involved in. They will love helping and it is good for them to see that we love and care about others. You might also want to print out Psalm 100 and attach it to one of the food containers. Contact families ahead of time so they will know you are coming and be sure to spend a few minutes and visit with them as you deliver their Thanksgiving meal. I know it seems like a lot of work but everyone will receive a blessing!

And then there is Thanksgiving Day that we spend with family and friends. It might be the biggest test for our attitude of gratitude! Most people get together on Thanksgiving Day with those they love and friends they care about. We celebrate together on Thanksgiving Evening. If we know of a family who doesn’t have their family close we will ask them to come join us. Since some have already had turkey and stuffing and are a little “stuffed” themselves we just do appetizers. It seems to be a big hit at our house. I usually put out our Scrabble game and everyone is to make a word about something they are thankful for. Mostly the kids like to do it! Sometimes I have the grandkids draw something they are thankful for and we have to guess what it is! An active game time usually finishes or evening together. I am so blessed and Thanksgiving Day and every day is a good time to celebrate God’s goodness!

 

Preparing Our Hearts and Homes to Celebrate Thanksgiving

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This is the first in a three-part series on preparing our hearts and homes for Thanksgiving. Dee Travis is the author of the new book Celebrate Life: Living to Serve God and Encourage Others as We Celebrate Life Together.

November is here and it makes me start to think about the holidays. I always feel bad because Thanksgiving it such a great holiday and it gets here so fast and then after one day….it’s over and Christmas bells are ringing. Just one day of thankfulness doesn’t do it for me. There is so much to see and do as we think about Thanksgiving approaching. How about taking the whole month of November to celebrate Thanksgiving with me?

Thanksgiving-PinterestStep into November by getting outside and looking for God’s goodness and bounty! His glory in creation can be seen everywhere in the fall! The trees are changing into a beautiful display of God’s canvas of red, orange and yellow! How about visiting a pumpkin patch or a farm during harvest of the crops. Take your kids or grandkids to an apple orchard and pick some crisp juicy apples. We live on a farm in rural Iowa so we get to see harvesting of corn and soybeans first hand. We also grow a ton of pumpkins for the grandkids to pick. God is so good to us! We have a few apple trees so one of our favorite traditions is picking apples and making fresh apple cider! Those times all makes me reflect on how good and faithful God has been to us throughout another year. Harvest time with the bounty He gives us through crops and food and nature’s beauty will help us prepare our hearts to thank and praise an Almighty God!

Try reading a Psalm every day during November! Every day is a gift from God so celebrate His goodness every day. Start with Psalm 100 and go through Psalm 136. Some are short so you will be able to combine a couple of chapters on certain days. I kind of think that the Psalms and Thanksgiving go together like turkey and pumpkin pie! Each day after you are done reading write down three different things you are thankful for so that you can look at them during the month and then read them all on Thanksgiving Day! Always be ready to give thanks to God for what He had done for us! God is always good and you are always loved.

One of the things I love to do every year in November is attend my grandchildren’s Thanksgiving program at school. It really makes me think about our 9781620205310country and how the first Thanksgiving Day was started. The Pilgrims came to America to be able to worship God freely. They set aside this special time at harvest to thank God for all He had done for them. (And it was probably more than just one day!) It is such a good example for us to follow! The pilgrims not only shared their food with the Indians but they also shared their faith in a mighty God. Our forefathers sacrificed a lot for the freedoms we enjoy today and for that I am truly thankful!

Well are you in? I hope you will start to prepare your heart all month long and this Thanksgiving may be the most blessed ever!