1 Chronicles 16:34 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
2020 continues to be a rough year. This week the Governor of Minnesota shut down the entire state due to the virus spiking to all time high in our state. At midnight on Friday all bars and restaurants closed. Youth and adult sports along with health clubs were halted. But the worst restriction was no indoor gatherings of more than one household. We were planning to host my entire family for thanksgiving. My parents, sisters, nieces and nephews were traveling here from several states to celebrate not only Thanksgiving, but our Dad’s 80th birthday which happens to fall on Thanksgiving this year. (If you see my dad this week, make sure to wish him a happy birthday) On Friday we decided to cancel our family Thanksgiving celebration. It was a difficult situation, but the health of my parents and siblings had to come first. We will have a huge reunion once things get under control.
So, instead of feeling sorry for myself, I have decided to invite Jesus to our thanksgiving table. I will prepare a feast of turkey and pumpkin pie that we will eat until we are stuffed, all the while giving thanks to the Lord for he is good: his love endures forever. We have so much to be thankful for even during a worldwide pandemic. Spend your thanksgiving counting your blessings instead of wallowing in what you are missing.
May you all have a very happy Thanksgiving!
John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
We experienced a tragedy in Northfield this week. On Thursday afternoon a fire broke out in our landmark downtown hotel. The historic hotel has been the anchor of our city for over 143 years. Our volunteer firefighters fought the blaze nonstop for over 24 hours. The fire spread through the walls, compromising the floors making it impossible to fight the blaze from inside. The structure may be a total loss.
Tragedy knows no bounds, it can strike at any moment and can happen to anyone without regard to the trail it leaves behind. Experiencing tragedy first hand or watching a friend go though a difficult situation can put us in a shadow of overwhelming sadness. Jesus is no stranger to tragedy. Turn to Jesus in times of tragedy for He has overcome the world.
Everyone was evacuated from Thursday’s fire. No one lost their life. The community came together to offer food, beds, barricades, salt for the frozen roads, and backup from other communities. Jesus was with the people involved in Northfield’s tragedy. Jesus is with you every minute of every day, even during tragedies.
Isaiah 40:3-5 A voice of one calling “In the desert prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
What a week this has been! We saw spikes in COVID-19 leaving available ICU beds at record low numbers. We witnessed a historic election that lasted for days. Both events I pray we will never have to experience again.
How do you handle the stresses in life that you can not control? Are you able to give all of your cares to the Lord? Or do you mistakenly hold on to a piece of the chaos as you discuss it with friends or share posts on social media? God’s got this! God has walked through the wilderness before. He has handled plagues and rulers in the past. God is in control of our current situation as well.
This week we were outside raking leaves when I discovered an entrance into our woods at the west side of our property. We stepped in to find the most beautiful meandering trail that led us through the thick of the woods to the back of our property. The winding path is an absolute joy to walk instead of taking the straight gravel path on the east side of our property. Believe in Jesus and the path he has for you as you navigate the areas of life you have no control over. Pray for the sick and pray for our country as we walk through the wilderness together.
John 9:4-5. “As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
Today we begin Daylight Savings Time. We gain an extra hour. What will you do with your extra hour? What would Jesus do? Jesus would heal the blind man. Jesus would pray to his Father in heaven. Jesus would teach his disciples. Jesus would love the unlovable.
Today we begin Daylight Savings Time….. Use your extra hour of light wisely!
Genesis 1:9-12 And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
God created the land and the sea, and it is very good! I love experiencing nature. Every area has its unique beauty. This week we had the privilege of touring fields in Arizona as we spent time with an extremely wise farmer. We learned how farming in the south has similarities to farming in the Midwest, but also when we began discussing growing seasons and water for the crops, there are many differences as well. To be called to be a servant of the land is a high calling. How do you care for this beautiful land created just for you?
God bless you as you care for the land and the seas!
James 3:17-18 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.
It is harvest season. How is your crop looking? Be wise as you sow in peace. The world seems very loud right now with all the arguing between elephants and donkeys, but remember you are a child of the lamb.
May your harvest season be a peaceful one!
Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Do not be afraid. God is with you. Quiet your mind and know that you are not alone. Even with all the crap happening in the world, God will carry you through it, if you let him.
Psalm 46 begins with these words… God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear. During this time of social distancing and face coverings, it is easy to loose connection with the people with whom we typically interact with on a daily basis. Stay connected to your ever-present God. Let God be your strength when you have no strength left to give. He is our strength and our refuge.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for our comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
So, what do you need today? A whole lotta Jesus is always the answer! In Him we find our only true comfort and joy.
1 Peter 4:10-11 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen
My nephew is a police officer in a large midwestern city. No, let me correct that statement……. My nephew WAS an excellent police officer in a large midwestern city. It was his dream since 5th grade to keep the public safe by serving his community. Last week, because of his love for his wife and two sons, he made the excruciating decision to leave the profession he loves and excels in. He will continue to serve others, but he will not be wearing the blue uniform. The uniform that used to demand the utmost respect. Join me in prayer this week for our police officers, our country and our world as we continue to serve those in need.