Monday, September 30, 2013

One Thousand Gifts (continued)

"The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life- only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again (John 10:17,18).

-willingly undertaking a task
-meant to help others/ a gift to others
The greatest gift of all:  Jesus' willingness to die for our sins and take the punishment that we deserve.  Thank-you, Jesus.

Continuing to give thanks...
-Jesus' willingness to die on the cross for us
-that God is a God of affection and love
-another fun play date for Deborah
-a nice visit with our dinner guest
-fellowship with staff and board members
-great volunteer soccer coaches
-girls and boys using their gifts to the best of their abilities
-great weather
-great sportsmanship
-being able to watch my daughter and my son play on the same day

 -how she adores her cousins
 -girls entertaining themselves during break time

-volunteers to help with the apple pie fundraiser
-being part of such a wonderful community, willing to help support the school

-the bountiful supply of fresh fruit


-a time of fellowship and praise and worship

-a day out with their grand parents
-a fun day out as a couple

Monday, September 23, 2013

One Thousand Gifts (continued)

"your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be" 
(Psalm 139:16).  

We had the privilege of watching the changes of a chrysalis.  We saw the baby butterflies wait for their new wings to harden and get ready for a new life stage.  We all go through different stages or seasons in our lives.  Sometimes those are very difficult seasons.  Sometimes they are busy seasons, or new and exciting seasons.  Whatever stage of life we are in, we need to remember that God is guiding us and he is with us through every season in our lives.

Continuing to give thanks...

-the different stages of live we have the privilege of experiencing
-God's daily presence
-having tea with friends
-back into routines again (first night of volleyball, Deborah and I at OEYC and Story Hour, etc.)

-God's beautiful, intricate creation
-a thoughtful uncle bringing a container of chrysalis for the children to take to school

-a lot of soccer donations
-the Lazarus Project

-how he gazes lovingly at his daughter

-the fun she has with her siblings
-the thrill of riding roller coasters online

-cousin sleep over and playdates

-the time he could spend with his godly friends training and competing
-completing his first half marathon with perseverance

Monday, September 16, 2013

One Thousand Gifts (Continued)

"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do" 
(Ephesians 2:10).
 "For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago"(NLT)
My children have become quite the artists.  She has created many masterpieces.  Each piece of art is unique, special and beautiful.  According to the NIV study Bible, the word "workmanship" in Greek sometimes has the connotation of a "work of art".  God has created us each as unique, special, and beautiful works of art.  
Giving thanks for His masterpieces!

Continuing to give thanks...
#3857- #3869
-God's masterpieces
-how we are all created special and unique
-the good work that God has planned for us and has enabled us to do because of His grace
-His sovereignty
-the fun Deborah and I have all day
-her fun play date with her friend last week and a nice visit as moms
-the starting up of programs and activities (and school meetings)!
-successful, and fun golf tournament fundraiser for our Christian High School

-my precious children, God's masterpieces
-the masterpieces created by my children

-the most patient cat imaginable
-her companion and play mate while her siblings are at school

-how her brother suggests reading time and how she willingly agrees

Monday, September 9, 2013

One Thousand Gifts (continued)

"...let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross...
(Hebrews 12:1,2)

Paul has been training for a half marathon.  I don't know how many people have shown their surprise and commented how others are "built" to be runners, implying that he's not.  Well, I beg to differ.  He has determination (mentally, spiritually, emotionally) and strength (mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically).  Both of those attributes contribute in a large way to what makes a runner.  I have full confidence in my hubby's running abilities and I'm so proud of him!

We too, as Christians are running a marathon.  We too need the attributes of determination and strength, in order to continue the "race marked out for us." We need determination because it's so easy to give up or set our eyes on things other than "Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith."  We need strength because we need to resist the many temptations around us that try to steer us off course.  

Thankfully, because of the cross and Christ's love for us, we are given the strength to "run with perseverance the race marked out for us."  Also, it's His gift of grace to us that keeps us on the course when we slow down or get steered off track.  Thank-you, Father.

Continuing to give thanks...

-God's grace, keeping us on the "race marked out for us"
-Paul's example of determination and strength
-his group of godly friends who he's been training with

-their Christian walk and their Christian teachers who help them run the race

-how she wanted to be part of the "first day of school" photos and how he wanted her to be part of it as well

-being ready for the first day of school
-our Christian school and God's faithfulness
-a beautiful assembly reminding us of God's providence

-still willing to pose for first day of school pictures
-being charged by the principal, as eighth graders to be godly examples and helpers to those younger than them

-being on time for the bus
-feeling tremendously blessed!!!

-my lovely ladies; SO blessed

-how she has adjusted so well to being home all day without her siblings

-faithful bus drivers (even after retirement)

-the opportunity to connect with children across the world

-a fun, successful class trip (with her brother, friends, and cousins)!


Monday, September 2, 2013

One Thousand Gifts (continued)

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others"
 (Philippians 2:3,4).

 Yes, his chocolate is awesome, but what is more amazing is the story of Milton Hershey.  He was a great businessman.  More importantly is the legacy that he left behind (and I'm not referring to his chocolate, although it is very yummy).  He has helped many, many people who have worked for him, but even today he continues to help thousands through the fortune that he left behind to start the Hershey Industrial School for orphan boys.  He was humble, and considered the interests of others.  Although one may not be able to leave a $60 million fortune in a trust fund (or delicious chocolate), the remarkable story of Milton Hershey makes me think... what kind of legacy will I leave behind?

Continuing to give thanks...

-being blessed and inspired by the story of Milton Hershey
-enjoying some fine chocolate

-a fun, family vacation

-how he's willing to go on insane rides with his children

-how he loves the things that she loves!

-her expressions and silly poses

-enjoying various restaurants and diners together

-fabulous weather
-enjoying the beautiful resort's amenities

-his convictions, honesty, and information as he gave us a buggy tour

-the Amish- truly an inspiration to me

-being blessed by the theatrical performance of the Bible story, "Noah"
-being reminded of God's promises and His faithfulness

-enjoying God's beautiful creation while driving through the mountains and valleys

-enjoying the fruits of her labour

-ending the summer with one last campfire and looking forward to starting a new chapter
-uncles that take our children on fun outings

-how taking down the pool is just as fun and exciting as putting it up in the spring!

-how they get along and have so much fun together