It’s always nice to be at the beginning of something, especially a season like Advent. We have many days to get ourselves together for the big Event at we all know will come at the end of this time of preparation. I thought this reflection from Catherine Doherty, taken from Grace in Every Season, has some great insights as to what these days are all about,
So, the season of Advent is here. For us Christians, this season is supposed to be a time of expectant waiting and preparation for our remembrance of the Nativity of our Lord. What would He ever think of our Black Fridays and Cyber Mondays? We have lost our way…
What if we used these weeks of Advent as they were meant to be used? Not so much a time of overeating, overspending, overpartying. What if we truly made it about Him…
Now that the holiday season is officially here, I asked my friend Todd Burrier to do another guest blog. For those with health issues like diabetes which require them to exercise regularly and closely watch what they eat, this time of year can present problems.
The weather is getting colder, so it becomes harder to get consistent exercise. We go to lots of social events where tables are loaded down with all the things that we aren’t supposed to eat. Even so, we can survive and even thrive during this special season when we recall the miracle of Christ’s birth.
For 221 years, ever since George Washington formally proclaimed the fourth Thursday in November to be a national Day of Thanksgiving, our country has paused to give thanks to God for the many blessings He has given us.
There are many people today who get nervous about separation of church and state, but if you take a little time to read what Washington wrote, it would seem clear that our first president was not afraid to give thanks to God for all that we have been given, and to do so in a very public and official way.
During these hard economic times, we’re once again given a wonderful opportunity to re-focus on what’s most important in life. This little thanksgiving prayer written by Ralph Waldo Emerson sums it up well.
By Ralph Waldo Emerson
For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving, and eat well!
As we get ready for the start of the holiday season, this timely message from John Eldredge arrived in my inbox this morning. Over the next several weeks, we’ll be with people who love us, but also with those who’ve hurt us. We’ll be given chances to forgive, to seek forgiveness, to reconcile, to bring peace into a broken world. Isn’t that what we should be doing anyway?
We must forgive those who hurt us. The reason is simple: Bitterness and unforgiveness are claws that set their hooks deep in our hearts; they are chains that keep us held captive to the wounds and the messages of those wounds. Until you forgive, you remain their prisoner. Paul warns us that unforgiveness and bitterness can wreck our lives and the lives of others (Eph. 4:31; Heb. 12:15). We have to let them go.
image courtesy of VintageHolidayCrafts.com
I went to an early Thanksgiving dinner this past Sunday at Mc Daniel College, where I help with the campus ministry program.
I had decided to make the butternut squash and spinach dish I posted a few days ago, and it went over fairly well. But what the students really wanted was my mom’s Corn Casserole. I’m not sure where she got this recipe, but it has become a family favorite.
Happy Monday 🙂 A friend of mine sent me an email today, and what it was about was so consistent with what I’m trying to do through this blog, I thought I’d pass it on to you. The blog post she emailed me was written by Dr. Daniel Amen, a well-known doctor specializing in brain health.
My friend told me about him several weeks ago, and I checked out a couple of his books from the library. I’m hoping to write a review on one of them in the next few weeks. Because his blog posting below is somewhat long, I won’t write too much more. Please send comments on what you think about what Dr. Amen wrote. Here’s the post:
A few weeks ago, I went to a big pot luck dinner. As I was moving down the line, I came upon a beautiful dish of butternut squash.
It looked like the squash had been roasted with some onions and herbs, and later spinach and dried cranberries were added.
I scooped up a big serving, and spent the rest of the meal enjoying every bite. After everyone went through the line, I went up for seconds. Because it looked to healthy, most people evidently passed it up. Oh well 🙂
This weekend, most of us will be out shopping for all the food we’ll be cooking up on Thanksgiving. I was at our local Wegman’s today, and even at 2:00 pm, it was packed with people pushing full carts. I wonder how much will be left by the end of the weekend?
I’m actually working on three meals. I have a pot luck to go to tomorrow for a church event. On Sunday, I’m supposed to bring a turkey to our Thanksgiving Dinner for some students in our campus ministry program at Mc Daniel College. Then, on the big day itself, I’m going to make two or three things to share at the table of some good friends. All combined, it’s a lot of food!
This got me thinking. I’m pretty sure everyone reading this blog will be joining the rush to the grocery store some time this weekend, if you haven’t been already.
Since times are so tough, maybe we can help some folks who are not as fortunate as ourselves by buying some extra canned goods, or boxes of mashed potatoes and stuffing. Bring these items to your Church this weekend, or donate them to a local food pantry. If there is a homeless shelter or soup kitchen in your area, maybe this would be a good time to drop off a donation.
I was telling someone the other day that, no matter how bad things may seem, each of us still have a lot to be thankful for. Spend a little time this weekend thinking about ways we can share our blessings with those who are less fortunate. I’m sure they will be grateful, and isn’t gratitude what this holiday is all about?
This is third installment of my guest blogs. Today, my friend Mary Lynn is writting about physical and mental wellbeing. She’s a Pastoral Counselor in my area, and she’s also a great friend. I hope you get a lot out of what she has written. I know I did 🙂
A New Path
It is difficult to perform in our jobs, our family and our surrounding community when we’re not feeling well. This is why physical transformation is so crucial as we only have one body which in reality “runs the whole show.”
Folks who deal with chronic pain issues know how serious the impact can be on their attitude, emotions and mental alertness. It is very challenging to live up to all the expectations and responsibilities our culture places on us to survive economically today, much less to really thrive. Imagine doing this when your body is always a little under the weather.