Monthly Archives: November 2014

Thanks-Living By Cheryl Lutz

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NOW THANK WE ALL OUR GOD

“Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices,

Who wondrous things has done, in Whom this world rejoices;

Who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way

With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.” (This beautiful hymn was written by: Martin Rinkart (1586-1649) for his children.)

I believe Thanksgiving is a time to pause and reflect. Reflect upon the blessings God has bestowed upon our lives. Every year we can look back on gut-wrenching trials and hardships.  But, if we look at the overarching theme of our lives, we see God’s sustaining grace.

As a teenager and young adult, I was headed for destruction.  FAST.  However, life seemed to come to a screeching halt when I learned my mother had terminal cancer and was given six months to live.  Her death brought me to new life.  “From my mother’s arms, he indeed blessed me on my way, with countless gifts of love, and still is mine today.”

I contemplate what “wondrous things He has done” and I indeed rejoice.

“Now thank we all our God” for my salvation.

“Now thank we all our God” for a godly husband.

“Now thank we all our God” for four beautiful children.

Yes, I wish my mother was on this earth to see “the countless gifts of love”: Yet I rejoice that we will all spend eternity together.

What does Thanksgiving mean to you: turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, football?  I LOVE all those things!  But I encourage your family to pause and reflect.

Take the time to count your blessings.  “Lift your hearts, hands, and voices.”

“All praise and thanks to God

the Father now be given;

the Son, and him who reigns

with them in highest heaven;

the one eternal God,

whom earth and heaven adore;

for thus it was, is now,

and shall be evermore.”

Feeling “ALL SHOOK UP!”? Part 3

IMG_1690“Yet I will exalt in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.”  Habakkuk 3:18 (NASB)

My nostrils delighted in the smell of coffee and Chick-fil-A minis.  The day had finally arrived. AWAKEN 1 Day was upon us! The theme of the conference: “ALL SHOOK UP!”

As I stepped inside the building, I paused as I sensed the presence of the Holy Spirit. He heard our united cries. Today (Saturday, November 8th) was going to be a good day.

Friends, on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday…my health had been ALL SHOOK UP!  I struggle with an autoimmune disease.  My Myasthenia Gravis punched me hard the week of November 3rd. God answered the prayers of my warriors, and I was able to serve the entire day of the AWAKEN 1 Day Conference, sponsored by Church 4 Chicks. I had the privilege of serving at the book table of author and speaker, Valorie Burton. She and her assistant Wade, (who happens to be her younger brother) were a delight to work alongside.
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As one of the key-note speakers, Valorie’s message was on gratitude.  With Veterans Day and Thanksgiving being in November, what a timely reminder it was!

Friends, did you know that in the midst of the trauma of divorce, rebellious children, extreme health issues, death, drama, etc. we still have reason to rejoice?!

Valorie beautifully reminded us that though we grieve the devastation we sometimes face in this life; we ALWAYS have a reason to give thanks. We must acknowledge and grieve our hurt, but don’t wallow in it. Look up!

I contemplate the second stanza of the hymn, Sometimes a Light Surprises, by William Cooper. (Cooper struggled with dark melancholy.)

“In holy contemplation we sweetly then pursue

the theme of God’s salvation and find it ever new;

set free from present sorrow, we cheerfully can say,

Let the unknown tomorrow bring with it what it may.”

Dear one, are you saved from your sin by the grace of God?  If not, write to us to learn more about becoming a Christian.

Are you already a Christian but life is feeling “ALL SHOOK UP?!”

Open your Bible.  Meditate.  Pray.

“In holy contemplation sweetly pursue the theme of God’s salvation; find it ever new.”

Say with me, “Let the unknown tomorrow bring with it what it may!”

On Thanksgiving Day enjoy your time to feast with friends and family, but don’t stop there! Go around the table and share your burdens and pray for one another. And please make sure everyone shares a way God has blessed him/her over the last year!