The Giver

What has our Thanksgiving holiday become? Honestly, the thanking is often set aside as thoughts run toward time with family, turkey, pumpkin pie and Black Friday Sales. But twice God has stolen my attention. Once in an email, the sender intending good but missing God, types on her thoughts of Thanksgiving,
It's a nice time to reflect on what each of us have and how much we take for granted and should be thankful for.
Somehow I think the point is missed that anything we have is God's on loan to us and so we should give thanks to the Giver.
Second, in a study of the Names of God, my thoughts fixed on Yehavah Yireh: the name of the place where Abraham was ready to sacrifice Isaac, his only son to the LORD. However, the Giver sees the need for a substitutionary sacrifice and provides a ram (Genesis 22:8-14).
So in our lives, God sees our needs first, then provides. Even now, sitting at the computer trying to reconstruct my thoughts, my entire body shakes in intense anxiety. I need peace. He sees my need. He will provide.
As I look over the New Testament verses I'm overwhelmed at the generosity, unlimited resources and power of the Giver.
In past generations He allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. Yet He did not leave Himself without witness, for He did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness. Acts 14:17 
He who did not spare his own Son but willingly gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things? Romans 8:32 
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8 
And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 1 Timothy 6:17
He has unlimited resources and power and even when we walk in our own selfish ways, He willingly, generously provides for us. Isn't He the Giver?
While I have confessed my own falling away from making Thanksgiving a reflection and an offering back to the Giver, I was delighted to learn when Thanksgiving was instated by President Lincoln, the intention was to collectively thank God as a whole nation.

October 3, 1863By the President of the United States
A Proclamation
The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.
In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and provoke their aggressions, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict; while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.
Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.
No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.
It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American people. I do, therefore, invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a Day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that, while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation, and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.
Take assessment of your heart's attitude toward the Thanksgiving holiday. I know that changing my attitude will result in God granting me the peace that I desperately need. As I wait expectantly for His provision because I know He sees it, I start a new list of gratitude… 

  1. The compassionate one making pancakes for breakfast
  2. The engineer cleaning the kitchen
  3. The engineer strumming guitar
  4. Gigi
  5. Big coffee cups
  6. Pinochle with the oldest girls
  7. Zodhiates Greek Dictionary
  8. Knitting needles
  9. Sunshine warming through window
  10. ...

Won't you begin a list with me?


As my favorite annual gerberia daisy comes to live inside and cold sets in, my quest is that it survive winter and create many happy blossoms again in the spring. How many mornings I walk into the room to see the blooms drooping, in dire need of water.
Isn't our relationship with the Maker like that? Like any other relationship, being friends of Christ takes time. I know time is best spent

  • Reading the Word
  • Studying the Word
  • Meditating on the Word
  • Memorizing the Word
  • Applying the Word to my life
It seems that if much time passes without any of the above, I begin to wilt like the Gerberia Daisy.
Psalm 119 sings of the sweetness and desirous nature of God's Word and instruction. 
How sweet are Your words to my taste,
Sweeter than honey to my mouth. Psalm 119:103
This morning my plant is in worst state ever, but my relationship with my Maker is solid. Waiting on The Lord during my "drip time," I realize my marriage is also a relationship that needs constant tending to...nurturing. I covet your prayers as the engineer and I work through new obstacles. This new phase of parenting preteens is emotionally exhausting, and I am so selfish desiring time on myself, not on us. Paul's letter to the Philippians convicts me.
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection, any sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others.
Philippians 2:1-4
Selfishness with my time is not honoring to God. Forgive me Lord for not making my covenant with You and the engineer higher priority. With Christ's power, we can overcome!
Make time to read all of Psalm 119 this week and consider your own love and seeking of the Word. Does it measure up to the Psalmists'? Assess your most important relationships (spouse,  siblings, parents, close friends). Which relationships need some nourishing & how will you water, prune and fertilize that relationship?


I can't seem to get it from my mind: cling. When Joshua gave the Israelites their last charge in Joshua 23, CLING to the Lord was in his directives.
Be strong to keep and do all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, turning aside from it neither to the right hand nor to the left…but you shall cling to the LORD your God just as you have done to this day. Joshua 23:6, 8
This Hebrew word literally means to be glued. It may be translated, to be attached to God as if you were glued to Him. A couple word pictures come to mind. The new couple: they can't do anything apart from each other, they hold hands constantly, hold hands, they are consumed with each other. A hungry baby longing for the milk he needs for his very life. Do I hold fast to God and His Word in the same way?
How do we cling to the Lord? What actions do we need to take?

  • Read God's Word
  • Study God's Word
  • Meditate on God's Word
  • Memorize God's Word
  • Listen for His sell small voice
  • Apply God's Word to my life

Every morning, God reminds me, peering out my window, a few last maple leaves, clinging to their source branches. He echoes, "Cling to me, child. That last leaf will fade away, but you can cling. I am strong enough to hold onto you through all seasons."
Interestingly, it seems like we'll cling to something be it an idol, thorn in our life or the one true God. Joshua uses the same word just three verses later to describe the Israelite's alternative option: cling to the remaining Canaanites and their gods.
Be very careful, therefore, to love the LORD your God. For if you turn back and cling to the remnant of these nations remaining among you…know for certain that the LORD your God will no longer drive out these nations before you… Joshua 23:11-13.
It's absurd that we might choose to cling to anything but Him. It is so obvious, any choice but Him leaves us powerless and alone. But I do. I cling to food. I cling to productivity. I cling to entertainment. I cling to the disrespectful behavior of a golden head. I cling to selfish desires. When I revert to the ways and thinking of my old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires, I beg God remind me to put on the new self that is being renewed day by day (Ephesians 4:22-24.)
Peering out toward the pond, the silhouette of two remaining ducks capture my thoughts. They waddle on the thin sheet of ice that lay just under the water's surface. Then they sit in the icy water. Stand, sit, stand, sit they repeat. I'm reminded of Peter, walking on water when he kept his eyes on Jesus rather than the tretrorous waters (Matthew 14:28-30). I could cling to Him and walk on water in the midst of my trials with the calculating one, or I could let my mind cling to the current struggle and sit its icy cold waters. There are always two options.
When the calculating one has pushed all my buttons and I begin to scream, but Jesus' name forms on my lips and I rest in Him for that moment...This is clinging to the Lord.
Examine your mind, soul and emotions and answer the question, "What am I clinging to?" If you are not clinging to the LORD, what steps will you take to claim the new eternal life given to believers?

Parenting from the Book of Joshua

I never suspected the book of Joshua to have so much application to my own life. What pleasant surprise and gift! Add that to the list.
God told the Isrealites to purge all the inhabitants of the Promised Land.
'Distribute the land by lot, according to your clans…But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land, those you allow to remain will become barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will give you trouble in the land where you will live. And then I will do to you what I plan to do to them.'
Numbers 33:54-56
In parenting the golden heads, I need to drive out sin (disobedience and disrespect) so it's not a thorn in my side and trouble me the rest of my days.
The rod and reproof give wisdom,
but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
Proverbs 29:15
However, I relate to the Israelites, who were tired of fighting. It was easier to let some Canaanites remain. And too in parenting, it's easy to let some things remain or slide rather than fighting another battle. But to disobey God is to invite trouble and make myself crooked.
Thorns and snares are in the way of the cooked;
whoever guards his soul will keep far from them.
Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:5-6
Entry into the Promised Land for the Israelites required tedious patience, spiritual sensitivity, wisdom and unity. In our microwave society, parenting takes much time and consistency, crock pot approach if you will.
Therefore my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:58
Ask the Lord for power (Isaiah 40:28-31) and wisdom (James 1:5) in the slow and steady tasks set before you.
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unreachable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:28-31
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach and it will be given him.
James 1:5