Thankful

1 Chronicles 16:8 Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done.

Nehemiah 12:31 I had the leaders of Judah go up on top of the wall. I also assigned two large choirs to give thanks.

Psalm 95:2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.

Psalm 100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 2:14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphant procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.

2 Corinthians 9:15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Hebrews 12:28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Thank you Jesus for your abundant blessings. As always, you have given us so many reasons to be thankful.

Falling Flowers

Isaiah 40:8 The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.

Hard frosts have set in and the first snow has fallen this week in Minnesota. The landscape outside my window has changed drastically over the past days. We have raked fallen leaves, hung heat lamps for the chickens and removed all of our flowers. Beauty can be found in every season…. from the green grass and blooming flowers of summer to the blanket of sparkling snow in the winter. No matter how much things around us change, we can find comfort in the unchanging word of our God that stands forever. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. When you are feeling overwhelmed by change, lean into Him.

Natural Beauty

Job 12:7-10 But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.

The Smoky Mountains at the peak of leaf season is God showing off. I traveled to Gatlinburg, Tennessee last week to see this seasonal marvel in person. Well, it did not disappoint. As I hiked through the Smoky Mountains, around every bend in the path was another breathtaking sight. Not to mention the sound of the water trickling over the boulders in the crystal clear creeks which added to the splendor of it all.

Can’t you just imagine the smile on God’s face as he paints the colors of fall. He didn’t need to create such beauty, but he did. He created all of this for our enjoyment. I pray that you are able to get outside today to enjoy the beauty of God’s great creation in nature.

Have a blessed week!

Peaceful Pastures

Philippians 4:4-8 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.

Have you ever had one of those nights where you just can’t sleep because you have so many things running through your mind? Well, I had one of those last night. So, here I sit writing to all of you at 3:00am. It is so easy for me to let the cares of the world overtake my mind and life. And I don’t think I am alone. There is a reason self help books like “get your SH*T together” are showing up on New Your Times bestseller list.

In this world of craziness and uncertainty, it is much wiser to turn to God’s word. Philippians 4 is the perfect road map of how we should live our lives. When we give our worries to Jesus, we no longer have to carry them and a huge weight is lifted.

When I become stressed, I love walking through our peaceful pasture to pray. Where is your happy place? I pray that this week you let Jesus walk alongside you as you think about whatever is true, noble, right, pure lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. May the peace of God allow you to view the world through Jesus’ eyes. Rejoice in Him!

The Whisper Of God

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.

Fall is a wonderful time of the year, but it is also the busiest time of the year with school beginning and other scheduled activities starting up again after the long warm days of summer.

I was blessed to spend the last two weeks with my parents as my mom healed from a surgery. The picture above is one that mom stitched herself and hung above my bed. What a great reminder to slow down enough to hear God.

I pray that you take the time to be silent in this noisy world. That you may hear the whisper of God as he speaks to your heart.

September 12

Hebrews 10:23-25 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

We all remember where we were on the morning of September 11, 2001. But do you remember September 12?

I miss September 12, 2001… when the USA came together in peace.

I miss September 12, 2001…. when strangers worked side by side.

I miss September 12, 2001…. when neighbors leaned on each other.

I miss September 12, 2001…. when people flocked to church.

I miss September 12, 2001…. when families gathered in hope.

I miss September 12, 2001…. when classrooms prayed for those lost.

I miss September 12, 2001…. when the world stood still.

Labor Day

Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Happy Labor Day!

Today as you enjoy a break from labor, think about of the way you work. I pray that you glorify the Lord in all you do. May your work be completed as a labor of love to God and all those around you. God bless you as you go out into the world doing great works!

(A special thank you to my dear friend who encouraged me to blog again. I forgot how much I missed sharing God’s word. You are a blessing!)

Father’s Day

Psalm 103:13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.

Happy Father’s Day! I thank God for blessing me with my dad. You were the perfect dad to your little girls, and you continue to be the perfect dad to your grown women. God knew exactly the dad I needed when he brought us together. I am forever grateful. You are simply the best! I love you. Happy Father’s Day!

Make Hay

Matthew 9:37-38 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

“Make hay while the sun shines” is a quote I have heard often. Now I find myself saying it too! This week we filled our barn with fresh cut hay. (If only I could send the aroma through my laptop) We are preparing for our fiber flock to arrive later this month. Preparation and time are everything. I researched for months to find just the right breed of fiber sheep for our flock. I found a builder who specialized in pasture fences to construct a safe environment for our lambs. I worked with farmers who delivered their first cutting of alfalfa hay which arrived on a 98 degree afternoon. It was hot and sweaty, but we unloaded and stacked each bale in the barn. Everything will is ready for the lambs come home.

Jesus has been diligently working for the arrival of his sheep to come home. But, he needs help in the harvest field. How can you help with the time and talents you have been given. Now is the time to take action. “Make hay while the sun shines.” To God be all the glory. Amen

P C

Ephesians 4:1-2 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

This week as I was planting my garden, I was reminded of a sermon story that has stuck with me since I was a high schooler with Pastor Dragt in the pulpit. I would like to share it with you today. It goes something like this……. A farmer was in the field contemplating life and what his calling in life was. So, he started to pray. God please give me a sign so that I know what you want me to do. After finishing his prayer, he looked up to the sky. He saw the clouds clearly form the letters P C. He knew instantly that God was telling him to “Preach Christ”. He sold all of his farming equipment and land. He became a pastor, but his ministry never really took off. When the farmer got to heaven, he asked God about his P C sign in the clouds. God responded that the sign he had given in the clouds meant ‘Plant Corn’ not ‘Preach Christ’.

I used to get so wrapped up in finding God’s will for my life that I became paralyzed trying to choose the perfect path. It took me years to realize that God doesn’t care what profession I choose. Doing the will of God has nothing to do with my vocation. It has everything to do with loving Him and sharing his love with others. Praise God, wherever you are planted.