Friday, November 27, 2009

Every Day Thanksgiving

Blessings galore. The weather couldn't have been more beautiful. The delicious food tantalized our taste buds. We gathered with family members to create yet another precious memory. A portrait of Thanksgiving.

In retrospect, I can wholeheartedly echo the words of the Psalmist, David, "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations" (Psalm 100: 1-5; KJV).

I'm so grateful that years ago, our nation's leaders elected to set aside a day to give thanks for the many blessings we enjoy on a daily basis. On Thanksgiving, I tend to reflect on all the many ways the Lord has blessed me and my family throughout the year. I realize that the things I so often take for granted, like health, a job, freedom to worship, salvation, the opportunity to send our daughter to a Christian school, to name but a few, are all extraordinary blessings from the Lord.

Today is the day after Thanksgiving. For many, just another day. Why restrict our giving of thanks to just one day a year? Our God blesses us daily and is truly worthy of all of our praise. Take note of His activity in your life, each and every day and you'll be able to say, "For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand" (Psalm 95:3,6-7a). How has He blessed you today?!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Closet Cleaning

The month of November is quickly passing. Next week we will be celebrating Thanksgiving. This year, our family, my in-laws and two of my husbands’ sisters and their families, will be getting together in Georgia for the traditional turkey with all the trimmings. An excellent time to give thanks.

Preparations for our family’s anticipated arrival can be a bit daunting. Because they haven’t visited in some time, we like to get the house and yard looking their best. Our ‘To-Do’ list reads something like this:

*clean out and organize the garage
*pressure wash the porch and deck
*finish planting the succulent garden
*complete repairs to the waterfall
*clean the screen room
*organize the closets
*clean the refrigerator and pantry
*touch up the scuff marks on the walls

And of course the normal cleaning, laundry and food preparation has to fit in there somewhere too! Can anyone relate? With only two days until our company arrives, I’m doubtful that all the items on our list will be checked off. The more important things have made it to the top of the list.

As I sorted through the coat closet, weeding out summer jackets and flip-flops, I got to thinking about the ‘closets’ in my life. I have a special ‘guest’ who occupies my heart – the Lord Jesus Christ. Am I diligent to keep my heart’s closets clean? Or are there those closets that I post a “Do Not Enter” sign upon?

Some of the closets may look like they’re neat and orderly. Just don’t look too closely or you may see the layer of dust. There’s the closet of ‘Good Intentions.’ All of those things I plan on doing one day. Going to visit the elderly shut-ins. Taking that counseling course. Writing that devotional series. I know they are things God wants me to do, yet I allow distractions to keep me from opening this closet door and getting busy.

Too often the “Do Not Enter” sign hangs above the closet that, should it be opened, would empty its contents onto the floor in an unorganized heap. Areas in my life that I need to yield to the Master. Things that I may not even realize I’m holding onto: anger, bitterness, envy, criticism, pride.

How appropriate to say with the Psalmist, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24; KJV). If we are still and listen closely, He will be faithful to reveal those things that are not pleasing to Him. After all, “O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it” (Psalm 139:1-6).

God is intimately acquainted with all of our ways, and loves us in spite of them! That is truly a reason to rejoice. He loves us enough to patiently point out those ‘closets’ in our lives that need to be opened and cleaned out.

Is there a ‘closet’ in your life that needs to be opened? Your Heavenly Father already knows what’s in there. Allow Him to help you begin the cleaning process today!

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Stunning Performance

Beautiful. Majestic. Powerful. Magnificent. Words used to describe the horse. Graceful and still one moment. Wild and full of motion the next. I’ve always been intrigued by horses and gained a new appreciation for this incredible animal this past weekend. We were privileged to attend a performance of Cavalia on Saturday.

Our program guide gave us a glimpse of how this amazing show came into being: “About 10 years ago, Normand Latourelle was working on a production in Quebec, and noticed the spectators’ fascination for horses. This is when the idea of creating a show in which horses could express themselves on stage in all their beauty, their nobleness, their agility and their power, was born.”

The interplay between trainer and horses, acrobats and trick riders, musicians and vocalist, left me with just one word to describe the show: Spectacular. One of my favorite acts involved the horse trainer and seven or eight Arabians together on the stage. Although she was definitely outnumbered, the trainer was certainly in control of the entire performance. I was truly impressed by the talented trainer and knew she was deserving of the applause that filled the arena.

It was fascinating to read about this breed of horse, “Renowned for his high intelligence, the Arabian is the oldest breed of saddle horse…It is difficult to win the Arabian’s trust, but once you have done so, he will do anything to please.” Obviously, the trainer had poured countless hours into getting to know and train these horses, and they had learned that she could be trusted and were willing to obey her every command. As they moved together, prancing this way and that, their fluid motion emphasized the fact that they were performing in harmony. What a beautiful picture!

As I thought back on the inspiring evening, I couldn’t help but draw a parallel. We have a Heavenly ‘Trainer’ who loves each one of us and is interested in gaining our trust so that we will obey His commands. Commands that will protect us and allow us to live productive lives. When each one of us obeys our Trainer, we find ourselves moving together in unity. Psalm 133:1 says, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity” (KJV)!

Where there is unity, the spotlight is taken off of the individual and placed on the Trainer. After all, unity is a pretty miraculous accomplishment. Only the Spirit of God could be responsible for a selfless attitude. Only He can produce an attitude like the one reflected in Philippians 2:3, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”

When we choose to submit to our Trainer, others take notice. We operate as the ‘body’ God created us to be: unified, without division. Are you willing to set aside ‘self’ in order to work with the ‘body’ to point others to our magnificent Trainer? Together, our stunning performance will cause others to look beyond us to the One who is truly worthy of all of our praise – the Lord Jesus Christ. Let this be your prayer today!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Who Says You Can't Have Your Cake & Eat It Too?!

What an amazing day! Birthdays are always special, but this year was extra special! Yesterday I awoke to a cloudless sky and the promise of sunshine. Following a few wet, chilly days, the warmth of the sunshine was a gift in itself! During my morning devotion, the verse that nearly jumped off the page of my Bible, became the cry of my heart, "Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee" (Psalm 73:25, KJV). My phone began ringing early with sweet birthday wishes from even sweeter friends and family members. Although my husband was out of town, I was looking forward to a quiet dinner with my daughter, Riley at an Italian restaurant.

After checking the news, my blog comments, and e-mail, I completed a few revisions on a Christmas article I was submitting to a local publication and pressed the 'send' button on my computer. Now I would just have to wait for a response. Did I mention that I'm not very patient? I think I check my e-mail at least a zillion times a day for potential news on articles I've submitted. Will my article be accepted or will I need to go back to the proverbial drawing board - or, writing board in this case?! Nothing to do but wait.

I headed out the door to my favorite Talbot's outlet. My 'Thrill of the Hunt' coupon would give me an additional ten percent off the already-drastically-reduced inventory. I love a good bargain! After a successful shopping experience, I headed over to pick up Riley from school. Once home, I logged into my e-mail account just in case there was any 'news.' Ugh! Nothing! I picked up the phone. I knew the publisher was wrapping up the December issue by the end of the week, so I just had to make sure the e-mail with my attached article had made it to its intended destination.

Just as I had feared, the publisher was unable to open my attached document until a few minutes prior to my call. Unfortunately, she relayed that my article was much too long to fit in the space that they had remaining in their publication. She felt the article would lose its message if it were edited further. I was disappointed, already beginning to think through other magazines that might accept my article for December publication...Wait a minute. Did I hear what I thought I heard? She wanted to post my article, as written, on their publication's web-site for inclusion in the Community News section! A happy dance was in order!

As I sat with both my husband, Steve, who had made it home earlier then anticipated (another great gift!), and Riley, I couldn't stop smiling. The Lord had certainly blessed me beyond measure! I was reminded of James' words, penned so long ago, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning" (James 1:17). Words that are just as true today. We serve a good God!

As we split a piece of rich, chocolate cake and sipped our hot coffee, I realized that on this particular day, my Heavenly Father had allowed me to 'have my cake, and eat it too!' Isn't God good? Praise His name, today!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Doubting Castle

Thoughts raced through my mind. I felt like I was being punished. Why had the Lord allowed me to get in an accident? At first, I thought if only the physical pain would subside, I'd be fine. But long after my back healed from the soft tissue damage I'd experienced, I was plagued by anxiety. Irrational fears haunted my days and I was unable to sleep at night. What was happening to me? Never before had I encountered such a fierce mental struggle.

Unwittingly, I had uncovered a stronghold in my thought process. If something bad happened, it meant that God didn't love me. In her book entitled, Praying God's Word, Beth Moore defines a stronghold as, "Anything that exalts itself in our minds, 'pretending' to be bigger or more powerful than our God. It steals much of our focus and causes us to feel overpowered. Controlled. Mastered" (p. 3). That's exactly where I found myself. I began questioning God's love for me and unintentionally gave the enemy a foothold in my life. Peter gives us an excellent description of our enemy, in addition to some good advice, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8).

Several years earlier, I had read the words penned by the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, "(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds); Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (KJV; emphasis mine). According to these verses, the battle takes place in our minds. The most effective way to influence our actions is to influence our thinking. Our enemy knows this and daily bombards us with lies, hoping that we won't be able to distinguish a lie from the truth.

Throughout my struggle, God's word assured me that I was not alone. He walked beside me each step of the way, no matter how I felt. The Lord even provided armor for me that would protect me from my enemy. I didn't have to develop a strategy or plot a sneak attack, God's word promised me that all I had to do was stand: "Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand" (Ephesians 6:13). If I would wield the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God and lift up the shield of faith which is "able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked," the Lord promised to help me overcome (Ephesians 6:16).

Doctors and counselors played a role in my healing process. Ultimately, it was the word of God that restored my hope and joy. Once I was able to identify my stronghold, feeling unloved, and recognize the lie I was believing, God allowed something bad to happen to me therefore He doesn't love me, I was able to replace the lie with God's truth. I'm assured of God's love for me in the book of Romans, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (5:8). When I chose to believe that God truly loved me and began living like the person of value He created me to be, the chains that imprisoned me were loosed and I could walk away from my stronghold.

I can fully relate to Paul Bunyan's character, Christian, in his timeless classic, Pilgrim's Progress, "What a fool, quoth he, am I, thus to lie in a stinking dungeon, when I may as well walk at liberty! I have a key in my bosom, called Promise, that will, I am persuaded, open any lock in Doubting Castle. Then said Hopeful, That is good news; good brother, pluck it out of thy bosom, and try. Then Christian pulled it out of his bosom, and began to try at the dungeon-door, whose bolt, as he turned the key, gave back, and the door flew open with ease, and Christian and Hopeful both came out."

Once we're set free from a stronghold, we have a choice to make: do we walk in the truth, or when difficulty strikes do we revert back to the lie? In Galatians 5:1 we're encouraged to, "Stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." God's plan for us is to live in the liberty of Christ. Secure in His love and trusting that those things He allows to come into our lives are ultimately for our good and His glory.

Are you wrestling with a stronghold? Replace any lies you've believed with the truth of God's word. Use your newly found 'key' of truth to open the gates of 'Doubting Castle.' Take a step of faith and return to the Master's path for your life! You'll be glad you did!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Actively Involved

It’s raining leaves today. There is no question as to why it’s called ‘fall.’ The crisp crunch of the leaves that carpet the path from my back door to the doghouses calls me to focus my attention on the beauty of God’s creation. The changing of the seasons gives me special reason to pause and reflect on the majesty of my Creator. Each new season points to a creative God who gives us glimpses of His glory in ways that beckon us to get to know Him better.

The very first verse of the Bible assures us that, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1; KJV). The power of the spoken word of God! In just six days, all the things that make up the universe as we know it were created by our amazing God. As I was thinking about the numerous types of plants, trees, fish, birds, insects and animals that He merely spoke into existence, I was reminded that it was different when he created man and woman.

Before God created man, we’re given a glimpse of what He thought about what He had created up to this point, “…God saw that it was good” (Gen. 1:25). But man alone was created in God’s image (see Gen. 1:27). Instead of merely speaking him into existence, Genesis 2:7 shows us God’s active involvement in man’s creation: “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

Our purpose is much different than that of any other creature God created. We were ‘formed’ in order to enjoy fellowship with our Creator, bringing Him honor and glory as we follow Him in obedience. It’s astounding to think that the God of the universe would desire a relationship with us. What a loving Father! And He is able to use His creation to continually point us back to Him.

In Psalm 19, David was quick to share how the very creation of God reveals His greatness, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard” (1-3). When I think of the glorious sunsets God paints with just a stroke of His brush, or the complexity and perfection of each snowflake He’s created, I wholeheartedly agree with the Psalmist.

What have you noticed recently in God’s creation that reveals His greatness? I’d love to hear from you.

Don’t allow the busyness of life to keep you from noticing the handiwork of your Heavenly Father! Praise Him for His goodness today!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Straight Ahead

I remember seeing them quite often on horses. Especially on horses that were in busy places. They are nothing more than a pair of leather flaps that attach to the horse’s bridle. Blinders. Although they are tiny in relation to the size of the horse, they serve a very important function. Blinders help the horse focus on what is in front of it, eliminating things in the horse’s peripheral vision that might cause it to become distracted.

Growing up in Michigan, I had the opportunity to travel to Mackinaw Island on several occasions. If you’re familiar with this beautiful destination, you’re well aware that horses and bicycles are the only accepted methods of transportation on the island. For me, it not only made it memorable, but also lots of fun! Remembering the exhilaration of biking around the island with its gorgeous scenery has me wanting to book my family’s summer vacation. All along the route, horse-drawn carriages would go by with their friendly passengers waving a greeting. You guessed it! All of the horses were wearing blinders.

At first, it may seem unnecessary and maybe even a bit cruel for a horse to wear blinders. But the more I got to thinking about it, those who put blinders on their horses were doing it ultimately to protect the animals. If the horse is only able to see the path straight ahead, it won’t wander from the path into possible danger. Wow! The same is true for me. God’s word provides spiritual ‘blinders,’ or instructions that will help me stay on the path He’s prepared for me, preventing me from being distracted by things that are potentially harmful.

King Solomon gives us good advice in Proverbs 4:23, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (KJV). It’s important to guard our hearts. The things that we look at, and the things that we hear have a tremendous influence on what we say and do. We can’t live our lives with our eyes closed and our ears plugged. So just how do we put on spiritual ‘blinders?’

We can establish some boundaries and borders in our lives that reflect the principles of God’s word. Carefully thinking through what we’ll allow ourselves to see, hear, and do. Determining how we’ll react in challenging situations. Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, David penned scripture that can help us. He prayed for God’s help to walk in such a way, that he’d be blameless. “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person. Whoso privily slandereth his neighbor, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer. Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me” (Psalm 101:3-6).

We have a choice to make. What will we allow ourselves to look at? What will we listen to? What will we act on? David decided to avoid looking at wicked things. He removed himself from those who gossiped. He chose to hang around with those who were godly and even hired them as his servants. If we set up godly boundaries in these areas of our lives, we’ll have a much better chance of staying on the path and avoiding those situations that will cause us to be distracted. We’ll have a godly legacy to leave our children.

Begin establishing godly borders today, knowing that His plan for you is success: “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 15:57).

Can you think of a time when your spiritual 'blinders' helped you stay on the right path? I’d love to hear about it!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Rewards of Friendship

They encourage us. They laugh with us. They cry with us. They are patient with us. They overlook our faults, yet speak the truth when we need to hear it the most. Friends. My American Heritage Dictionary defines 'friend' as, "A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts; a person with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause; comrade; one who supports..."
I think about one of the amazing stories of friendship in the Bible, that of Ruth and Naomi. Yes, they were also daughter-in-law and mother-in-law, but their relationship was truly amazing.

Naomi and her family had travelled to the land of Moab due to a famine in their city of Bethlehemjudah. While in the country of Moab, Naomi's sons met and married women from that land. In the course of just a few Bible verses in the book of Ruth, we're told that Naomi's husband and both of her sons die. Talk about overwhelming grief and tragedy!

Naomi decides to go back to her hometown and gives her blessing for both of her daughter-in-laws to remain in their country with their people. One of the women decides to remain, while Ruth makes the shocking decision to go with her mother-in-law. Look at her strong devotion spelled out in Ruth 1:16, "And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God" (KJV). At a time when there was almost nothing worse than being a widow, Ruth chose her friendship with Naomi over the opportunity to stay in her country and remarry.

Back in Bethlehemjudah, things were anything but easy. Ruth proved herself more than a shallow friend. She was willing to glean in the fields in order to provide food for Naomi and herself. She was careful to listen to the advice of her mother-in-law and act on it. I'm sure Ruth was both an encouragement and a blessing in the life of Naomi.

This true story has a fairy-tale ending. Ruth ends up catching the eye of the most eligible bachelor in the city, Boaz. It just so happens that Boaz is also a near kinsman, meaning he has the opportunity to 'redeem,' or marry Ruth. You guessed it! They end up getting married and we're let in on a pretty exciting detail - Boaz and Ruth's son, Obed, ends up being the grandfather of David, the future King of Israel (Ruth 4:22)! God certainly blessed the faithfulness of Ruth's choice to be a good friend to Naomi!

Fast forward to the present. Friendships are just as important, although they may look a little different. Because of the internet, we can establish friendships with those who may be miles, even continents away. Today, I'd like to take the opportunity to honor several of my blogger friends who have been an encouragement to me. Special thanks go to Theresa at Unstoppable Spirit for giving me the Loyal Award!

I am both honored and humbled that so many of you stop by and read my posts on a regular basis. I'd like to pass this award along to the following friends:

I was further overwhelmed with the, Inspirational Blog Award, from Ellie Kings! Ellie, I'd like to give you an award for talking me through the process of posting these awards to my site!! I think you should write a booklet entitled, "Award Posting for Dummies!" Thanks again.

I would like to pass this award along to the following friends:

Thanks again to all of you who stop by. My prayer is to point you to the "friend that sticketh closer than a brother," the Lord Jesus Christ (Proverbs 18:24)! God bless you!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Living Room Intimacy

It's just a few weeks away. Thanksgiving. A time to reflect on a year's worth of blessings. A time to get together with family and friends. A time to enjoy a delicious feast. Perhaps more than all of these things, Thanksgiving provides us with a time to meditate on God and praise Him for who He is.

If I'm honest with myself, I'm usually quick to thank God for the things He has given me, but I don't spend as much time just thanking Him for who He is. This morning I was reminded of a Bible verse that a dear friend of mine put to music, Isaiah 43:10, "Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me" (KJV). Can I ever really grasp the fact that the very God of the universe created me to have a personal relationship with Him? This verse in Isaiah plainly spells out the fact that He has chosen me (and you) for the express purpose of knowing and believing Him. Truly mind-boggling.

Think about those individuals you would say you know pretty well. I'm sure we could all agree that in order to really 'know' someone, we have to spend time with them. God desires that we spend time with Him, so we can get to know Him. In his book entitled, My Heart: Christ's Home, Robert B. Munger does a fantastic job verbalizing the process of getting to know the Lord. After accepting Jesus Christ as his Savior, Munger invites Christ to take a journey through the 'rooms' of his heart. He says with sincerity, "Lord, I want this heart of mine to be Yours. I want to have You settle down here and be perfectly at home. Everything that I have belongs to You. Let me show you around."

As they make their way through the various 'rooms,' the Lord identifies the living room as comfortable and intimate. He says, "This is a delightful room. Let us come here often. It is secluded and quiet, and we can fellowship together." Munger goes on to express his excitement, "I couldn't think of anything I would rather do than have a few minutes with Christ in close companionship. He promised, 'I will be here early every morning. Meet Me here, and we will start the day together.'

As His walk with Christ continues, Munger meets daily with Him and enjoys drawing close to His Master. Over time, however, a busy schedule begins crowding out these daily meetings, until one day, Munger passes the living room and realizes that Christ is still waiting for him. He muses, "He is my guest. I invited Him into my heart! He has come as my Savior and Friend, and yet I am neglecting Him." The reality check has been performed, there is nothing left to do but repent. Munger shares an important discovery: "The truth that Christ desires my companionship, that He wants me to be with Him and waits for me, has done more to transform my quiet time with God than any other single fact. Don't let Christ wait alone in the living room of your heart, but every day find time when , with your Bible and in prayer, you may be together with Him."

It is so important for us to focus on the right thing. Not praising Him exclusively for what He has done for us, but magnifying Him because of who He is. The Bible overflows with the names of our Savior. He is Elohim, mighty Creator. He is Jehovah Jireh, my provider. He is Jehovah Rapha, the Lord who heals. He is Jehovah Shalom, the Lord our peace. And these are just a few of the names by which He is known!

The Bible also gives us beautiful word pictures that give us an accurate portrait of who God is. Psalm 3:3 describes Him, "But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head." In Exodus 2:15a, the Lord used Moses to pen a different description for us, "The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation." Have you ever thought of God as your 'portion?' The writer of Lamentations did: "The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him" (Lam. 3:24). Perhaps Psalm 18:2 spells out the most characteristics of our God in one verse: "The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower." Wow! Did you catch each one of those descriptions of our mighty God? He's our rock, fortress, deliverer, strength, buckler, horn and high tower!

He desires to be all these things and more to each one of us. During this Thanksgiving month, spend time with the Lord in the 'living room' of your heart and be careful to praise Him for who He is!