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Holidays, Page 2

Devotional thoughts written on or around various holidays.

3 steps to freedom

3 Steps to Freedom (#3 is My Favorite)

[Don't miss this week's giveaway!] Freedom. On Monday, the United States celebrated its 240th birthday. Two hundred and forty years of standing on our own two feet, as it were. Of figuring out what that means. Of discerning where the balance lies between the freedom to do as you please and the responsibility that infers. Because all freedom confers responsibility. Oh, I know. Most of us like to talk about freedom, but we'd also prefer to stay away from the responsibility aspect of it. It's nice to talk about the freedom of speech or religion or security within our homes. It's hard to talk about the damage our words can cause. It's sometimes uncomfortable to practice peace with faiths very different from our own. And it's difficult to know when you should break through a door -- whether that door is physical, mental, or emotional -- to reach the person within. Preparing to face a giant First Samuel 17 tells of the time that a giant of a man stood before King Saul and his men. "This day I defy the armies of Israel," he said. "Give me a man and let us fight each other."
Memorial Day

How Will You Remember Memorial Day 2016?

Mrs. Barnett, this is Sgt. Smith calling to inform you that there has been an incident regarding men within your husband’s unit. We want to assure you that your husband is fine. On April 25, we regret to say that Richard Herrema was killed in action while serving his country.
God called Mary and reassured Joseph.

THAT’S God’s Plan for Me?

Merry Christmas! I am taking a break the next two weeks to enjoy my family and the holiday season. In lieu of a new post, I invite you to read this one from last year. It’s one of my most popular holiday posts. Merry Christmas!

Many of us look for God’s plan for our lives. We seek doors that open easily and peace-filled hearts as we take steps forward. But is that what it always looks like?

God called Mary and reassured Joseph.I’m not saying those are bad things. I, too, delight when God’s instructions are clear. I like open doors and people in the right places with the right answers to help me move down the right path.

But if we think it always looks like that, we may have a problem.

Want to read more?
Where in the Christmas is Jesus?

Where in the Christmas is Jesus?

It's the season for ... fighting. Seriously. I'm not talking about siblings arguing over who has more presents under the tree or navigating the pressure of how to fit in family visits throughout the holiday season. I'm talking about Christians making a HUGE deal about Jesus.

Romance God’s Way

I wrote this post two years ago for another website just before Romancing Melody: A Crossing Journey released. Yet its truth about romance hasn’t changed. Romance is bigger than most of us consider it to be.

Romance is lavishing love on anotherTis the season for romance: long-stemmed roses and fancy dinners, boxes of chocolate and nights on the town. Truth be told, I’ve always been a simple girl. 

To me, one rose of the right color is even more perfect than a dozen roses in an expensive vase because one rose conveys three things: 1) my husband thought of me and took time to stop to buy something for me, 2) he cares enough to remember and look for a rose in my favorite color, and 3) he knows me well enough to comprehend that while I’ll enjoy the rose immensely, I will also be thinking of the financial cost to our checkbook.Want to read more?

Resolutions and Goals

A new year, a fresh start. Time to refocus, dream big, and hope for a great year. Right? Or maybe more is required.

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.A famous quote widely attributed to Benjamin Franklin is this: If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.

But do we simply need to plan better?

Henry David Thoreau said: Dreams are the touchstones of our character.

Hmmmm. That one makes me stop and think about the core of what I want to accomplish over the next year. After all, I can easily list a dozen things I’d like to do in 2015, and I have learned some skills and have stockpiled some books to teach me how to do it all.

What to Do at Christmastime

Last year at this time, I encouraged you to declutter your calendar and extra decorations and enjoy Christmas. And if you need a little help, you can go back to read it here. Now, I'm wondering if maybe you have a wonderful Christmas tradition that I'm missing out on doing!

Nothing to be Thankful For

Thanksgiving is over and you breathe a sigh of relief. One holiday down, one to go. This season brings out the worst in you: anger, depression, loneliness, bitterness. Your mind fills with the thoughts of what could have been, what should have been. If only . . .

The 4th of July

The 4th of July. A day for picnics and fireworks. A day for family and friends. A day to rest and relax. Right? Well, yes, of course. But it is much more than that.