Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Let Your Light Shine: A Treasured Moments Devotional

A Treasured Moments Devotional © from God's Writer Girl © ~ May you find God's love, hope, peace, and encouragement in each of these treasured moments I share.

"In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16 (NIV)

Perhaps you find yourself asking, "How do I let my light shine? How will people be able to see Jesus in me? I am not like Billy Graham. I can't stand in front of people and preach God's word. I'm not Steven Curtis Chapman. I can't even carry a tune let alone sing in front of people." 

Precious one, God doesn't expect you to be anyone other than the unique and wonderful person He created you to be. He made each one of us special.  

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14 (NIV) 

I am the mother of a pre-adolescent boy who has ADHD and several learning disabilities. Though he is young, his love of God shines brightly simply through him being his own unique self, which includes acting silly in order to make people laugh and giving out hugs. Despite his ADHD, I have found that my son has a calm patience with younger children. This prompted me to seek a ministry we could do together that involves us helping with the toddlers at our church through the MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers) Program. 

Whether young or old, God can use each one of us. His love can be reflected through our words and our actions. We just have to be willing vessels. 

"[God's] Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Let God's love shine brightly through you that others may come to see Him and know of His love for them through you!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The American History of Thanksgiving Depicts a Nation Honoring God: A Treasured Moments Holiday Edition

United States history clearly depicts the important role God and Christian faith have played in the formation of America as one nation under God. Thanksgiving was originally declared a holiday by two prominent Presidents in American history as days set aside for the sole purpose of giving thanks to God for His bountiful blessings and undeserved mercies.

On October 3, 1789, President George Washington
issued a proclamation naming Thursday, November 26, 1789, a holiday of thanksgiving. The proclamation states, "Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor...a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God. Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be-- That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks--for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation--for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war--for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed--for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness."(President Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation)

On October 3, 1863, several months after the bloody Civil War battle at Gettysburg, PA, President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation that declares Thanksgiving a national holiday to be celebrated on the last Thursday of each year. "The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties,...which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances..." (President Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation)

“Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness.” Psalm 107:8-9

My Father, My Comforter: A Treasured Moments Devotional

A Treasured Moments Devotional © from God's Writer Girl © ~ May you find God's love, hope, peace, and encouragement in each of these treasured moments I share.

It has been a rough pain week as the pericarditis and pleurisy have begun to reappear causing me chest pain, tingling in my arms and face, shortness of breath, and fatigue. My joints are also protesting the cold weather that has moved in. God, as always, has been faithful! He gives me His strength. He fills my heart with His joy. His calming peace floods my soul. I praise Him in my suffering for I know that I used to have a tendency to run ahead of Him, on my own power, and not wait upon Him nor rely on His power. I wasn't often very still either, which didn't allow me much time to bask in His presence and feel His Holy Spirit whisper over me. I also rejoice in my sufferings because His power and His glory are able to shine through me when I am at my weakest. His light and His love are able to come emanating through and His testimony is there for all to see. When I put my pain into perspective and view God as my Comforter, I am able to persevere with dignity and grace.

Thank you, Father, for helping me to slow down. Thank you for providing comfort amidst the suffering. Thank you for Your unconditional love, Your unbreakable strength, Your unending joy, Your never failing peace, and Your unceasing faithfulness. All glory, honor, and praise be to You, precious Savior for You have saved me from a life of sin and made me Your child. To You, I am a priceless treasure. I cherish the fact that You will always be here to walk through life with me and be my comforter.

 "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 receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your 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." 2 Corinthians 1:3-7  Be blessed to be a blessing, dear ones!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Finding Christmas: A Treasured Moments Book Look

Finding Christmas by talented author, Gail Gaymer Martin, will get readers hearts into the Christmas spirit with its wondrous message of hope. Finding Christmas, a timeless treasure, is filled with tender romance and just enough suspense to keep readers riveted to the pages until the very end. Readers will feel right at home with realistically crafted main characters, Joanne Fuller and Benjamin Drake, as they place their trust in God and cling to the hope only He can promise.

Trying to piece her broken heart and shattered life back together after her husband and daughter were believed to have drowned in the icy waters of Lake St. Claire Michigan nearly three years ago, Joanne Fuller feels utterly alone until long time family friend, Benjamin Drake, returns and takes on the roll of her confidant, personal cheerleader, and best friend. With what is about to unravel, Joanne will need Benjamin's strength, analytical mind, and calm presence to keep her from making any foolish decisions. Joanne starts receiving "hang-up" phone calls. Next, she receives ominous e-mails. Who could be behind this and why would that person target Joanne? As the threats begin to escalate and the danger increases, Joanne starts to become hopeful that, against all odds, somehow her daughter survived the tragic accident and is alive somewhere and desperately needs her mother to find and rescue her. While Benjamin is concerned about Joanne's well-being and safety, he never doubts her sanity. He would do anything to bring joy back into her days and would risk his own life to keep her safe. Yet, he harbors a secret that he fears could change his relationship with Joanne. Can he let go of his guilt and trust in forgiveness and love? Is Joanne's daughter alive? Will Benjamin and Joanne be able to discover the truth before the web of one man's hatred and evil can harm all that they hold dear? To find out, pick up your copy of Finding Christmas by talented author Gail Gaymer Martin today!

Don't wait  too long to purchase this great read as it is only available from Harlequin either online (which provides a 20% discount) or by phone at 1-800-873-8635 (from 7 am to 11 pm EST) while supplies last.

Connect with Gail:

A Treasured Moment© Book Look© from God's Writer Girl©

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Act Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly with God: A Treasured Moments Devotional

 A Treasured Moments Devotional © ~ May you find God's love, hope, peace, and encouragement in each of these treasured moments I share.
Well-known and highly respected Evangelist Billy Graham recently stated, "...our nation will hold one of the most critical elections in my lifetime. We are at a crossroads and there are profound moral issues at stake. I strongly urge you to vote for candidates who support the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman, protect the sanctity of life and defend our religious freedoms. The Bible speaks clearly on these crucial issues. Please join me in praying for America, that we will turn our hearts back toward God." (The Washington Post, October 22, 2012) This morning, as I have been praying for our nation and political leaders as well as for wisdom and discernment for myself as I place my vote during today's election, I am reminded that not only do I have a responsibility as a citizen of the United States of America to actively make my voice heard and exercise my Constitutional rights but I also have an even greater responsibility as a child of the one, true God to act justly and seek truth. God's word clearly states this edict in Micah 6:8,  "And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Too many important issues are being raised in this election for me to disregard the facts and the consequences that will follow if ungodly men and women are placed in roles of leadership within our government's democratic system.
Our forefathers came to this great nation seeking religious asylum. They built America and our governing laws with God at the center. They stood by their faith, doing what was just, showing mercy, and walking humbly with their God. How can I do any less? Billy Graham also stated, "The legacy we leave behind for ... this great nation is crucial." (Amarillo Globe News, November 5, 2012) As I place my vote today, I am not only acting as a citizen and a Christian but I am also developing my son's future. The actions we all take today will significantly impact the lives of future generations. As I ponder the question of "What type of legacy do I want to leave my child?" I am once again called to act justly, to seek truth, to show mercy, and to humbly follow and exemplify the edicts of my God.
Prior to casting your votes today, I urge each of you to spend time in prayer and reflection. Allow God to speak to your heart and guide your decision. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord today by choosing candidates who's morals coincide with God's word. Blessings to each and every one of you!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Days Three and Four: Thirty Days of Thanksgiving and Blessings: A Treasured Moments Devotional

Harvest Psalm 100 

A Treasured Moments Devotional © ~ May you find God's love, hope, peace, and encouragement in each of these treasured moments I share.

Day Three of Thanksgiving and Blessings © ~ I am thankful for wonderful friends who share my faith, pray for me when I have a need, offer words of encouragement, and find ways to show God's love and spread His joy. These friends are rare treasures to be cherished. Thank you, Father, for the blessing of friendships rich in You! Help me to be a blessing to my friends as well, Father God. Let me show them Your love in my words and actions. 

Day 4 of Thanksgiving and Blessings © ~ Today is the Lord's day. My ♥ heart ♥ longs to worship my Savior this morning, to lose myself in the awe, joy, and peace that floods my being as I bask in His presence. What an amazing blessing to be able to enter God's house, without fear of being imprisoned, beaten, or executed because of my beliefs. Thank You, Father God, for religious freedom, for the honor of being able to speak freely about You and Your transforming love, for the privilege to worship You with reckless abandon, and for the ability to join with my family amidst Your loving body of believers for fellowship and accountability. I am thankful that You, Father God, will meet me wherever I am: a crowded elevator, a city street, Your house, my house, amidst chaos, in the stillness, in the middle of a crisis, in the tranquil moments. He is with me always for which I cannot even begin to express the depth of my gratitude. What a blessing to know He will never forsake us! That is His promise to me and to you, dear one. Dare to believe it and embrace the love He has waiting for you! 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Day Two: Thirty Days of Thanksgiving and Blessings: A Treasured Moments Devotional

Harvest Psalm 100 

A Treasured Moments Devotional © ~ May you find God's love, hope, peace, and encouragement in each of these treasured moments I share.

Day Two of Thirty Days of Thanksgiving and Blessings©. 

Father God: Thank You for Your amazing grace that has set my soul free and for Your love that sustains me, empowers me, nurtures me, and saves me. You continue to bless my life daily. Today, Your blessings flowed through me as You provided me several opportunities to be a blessings to a few of Your beloved children. What a humble honor You have bestowed upon me. Thank You for entrusting me with Your precious ones. Thank You for the joy and peace that floods my soul and reminds me that in my weakness You are strong and You will see me through any and every storm that comes my way. Thank You again simply just for loving me just as I am. 


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving and Blessings: A Treasured Moments Devotional

Harvest Psalm 100

A Treasured Moments Devotional © ~ May you find God's love, hope, peace, and encouragement in each of these treasured moments I share.

The facebook status of a dear author friend, Anne Baxter, sparked my interest today. As I contemplated it, God began to flame an idea in my heart. Our lives can be filled with many storms. Some days, these storms can overwhelm us and threaten to drown us. At times, it is easy to let despair and defeat  take hold. Yet, it is when we are at our weakest that He is at His strongest! It is at those moments that His grace moves through us. Instead of allowing life to overwhelm us, we need to allow God's grace to be all-sufficient for us. We need to open ourselves to His love. Instead of allowing life to overwhelm us, perhaps we need to shift our focus. Instead of dwelling on all of the what-if of life or the negative things affecting us daily, our entire day could be drastically changed if we were to focus on the blessings, no matter how small, that God has bestowed upon each one of us and offer Him thanksgiving and praise even when we are in the midst of the worst storms. Since November is the month Americans celebrate Thanksgiving as a national holiday, it seems fitting to invite you to join me in the Treasured Moments Thirty Days of Thanksgiving and Blessings©.  Each day this month reflect upon your day and specifically upon the way God blessed you that particular day. Perhaps you will even want to keep a journal to look back over on the days when life is rough and you need to be reminded that God loves you immensely and is with you always. After reflecting upon your blessings, take the time to offer thanks to God. Know that I will be doing the same, dear one. See if changing your perspective and focusing upon your blessings and giving God thanks doesn't help to improve your days and your ability to handle whatever life throws at you. I know that in my own life, dealing with chronic pain and illness and raising as well as educating a child with ADHD and learning disabilities, reflecting daily upon my blessings has helped remind me that God loves me immensely and is with me always. May you feel His love and peace in a very tangible way this month as you spend time giving Him thanks.

"Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, Lord. They rejoice in your name all day long; they celebrate your righteousness. For you are their glory and strength." ~ Psalm 89:15-17

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

Day One of Thirty Days of Thanksgiving and Blessings: Father God: Thank You for loving me just as I am. You have blessed me richly with the friendship of a mother who loves You and is an example of Your love and a precious son for me to love and raise to love you. Thank you for allowing both of these precious ones to be a part of my life! 

*Special thanks to Anne Baxter who's post inspired this idea. Visit Anne's website and blog.