Monday, November 28, 2011

Thankful Yes, but to Whom?

Ahhh...the first Monday after a 4-day weekend. No leftovers--not even at my office. We've devoured everything in sight. And, of course, I repeat the same mantra on the way home from the day of gluttonous feasting: "I may never eat again!" But I always get hungry the next day. Many of us give thanks for our various blessings. I am thankful for my Celtic ancestry (as evidenced by my bagpipe-toting turkey here), for my husband of 16 years, for my 2 cats Pixie & Feathers, for my brother Jim and my sister Kathy and their respective families, for my job (especially since so many are without one now), for CWG Word Weavers, for the wonderful friends who bring us joy, for the Bible-teaching church we attend, and for the forgiveness of my sin. That brings me to the reason for this post. Everyone talks about Thanksgiving. Even the new media gives it a plug, if only to report the shameful behavior of shoppers on Post-Thanksgiving Black Friday. I rarely hear anyone mention to whom we are thankful. The words "thank you" flow easily from our mouths, if we are civilized people, that is, when another shows us kindness. But what about the grace God has shown us in sending His son to take away our sin? The word gratitude is from the same root as the Latin gracias, which means "grace." Out teacher on Sunday, Dr. Stephen Bramer, gave a wonderful acrostic to explain God's grace for us: God's Riches At Christ's Expense As I ponder the many blessings in my life, I want to honor Him who bestowed them on me. Yes, I'm even grateful for the strife and struggles that have come in the past, for they brought me closer to Him, and, because of that closeness, strengthened our marriage. What a loving God we have! Thank You, dear Lord, for the most wonderful blessing of all: Your gift of salvation, which brings eternal life. I have a dwelling place in heaven because I believe Jesus Christ is my Savior. Oh give thanks to the LORD, call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples. 1 Chronicles 16:8 (NASB)

Monday, November 7, 2011

As the Deer Pants for Water

As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God? -Psalm 42:1-2 (NASB) We have no pastor at our church. Guest speakers from a variety of sources bless us with their Biblical knowledge. Some are professors from colleges, such as Moody Bible Institute or Dallas Theological Seminary. Others serve in the mission field. As Biblical Christians, we believe there are no coincidences, yet sometimes occurances might seem too close to be anything else. We know that God, in His infinite wisdom, is the underlying cause for any coincidence. Richard Sanders, a missionary to Chad, Africa, served as our guest speaker one Sunday. I'd like to share with you an incident that happened that morning. So subtle that I wondered if anyone else noticed it. Music director Ron Billingsly sang (in his beautiful baritone voice) a solo of "As A Deer Pants For Water." Mr. Sanders approached the podium to teach his lesson on the obedience of Rahab, but first described the special meaning the verses of that psalm have for him. As a nomadic tribe travels from east to west on the African continent, they take no water with them. Instead, they carry a small hart (or deer). When they need to drink they temporarily set the hart free. Following him on a two-hump camel (known for speed), the elders of the tribe track the little deer. He runs to and fro, then stops to smell the air, and begins pawing the ground with his hoof. He digs up dirt, then mud, then dips his head into the newly dug well for a drink. They rely on God's creature, whose heart pants for water, to bring them sustenance. This true account of how a deer pants for water showed me how I should thirst for God in my troubles and desert-like exile. I must look for Him, as the deer looks for water, with expectation of finding Him in my situation. Just as the water flows beneath the ground on which the deer stands, God, in the Holy Spirit, is there to nourish me with His brooks of living water. AMEN!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Another Success Story for a Word Weaver!

After reading this wonderful story, I want a pet dragon now.
I love a book that draws me into the story. FINDING ANGEL pulled me into the midst of Angel's world with the same velocity my vaccum cleaner sucks up a dead beetle.
As a teenager, Angel has no memory of her life before becoming a foster child at age six. When Angel's little foster brother finds an unusual bug, she discovers a link to her mysterious past. The pattern on the beetle's back is an exact replica of a charm on her bracelet. The bracelet is the only link to her lost identity. Angel meets a new friend, Gregor, who takes her back to her homeland - and not by train or boat - but through his own Talent. Dragons and beetles and elves abound, along with an ancient prophecy.

Kat Heckenbach's writing style is so convincing, I had a hard time returning to reality. I look forward to more stories from this multi-talented author. FINDING ANGEL is available on Kindle or, for non-techie people like moi, in the traditional bound book.