Friday, November 28, 2008

Breaking Bread and Giving Thanks

"They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching
and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread
and to prayer." Acts 2:42

The warm afterglow of Thanksgiving lingers this morning as we enjoy a leisurely morning together. Today, we'll be decorating for Christmas, inside and outside. The house still smells yummy and our hearts are contented having savored a lovely Thanksgiving day together. We all wore comfy clothes and relished the slow-paced Thanksgiving day. My mom (Nan Nan Hansen) and my sister (Aunt Anne) joined us for dinner. My younger brother (Uncle PJ) and our niece (Stephanie - my older brother Paul's daughter) visited us in the afternoon for a while.

As we thank the Lord for His many blessings, the relationships we treasure with Him, our families and friends are what makes us most thankful. Truly, we give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.

Every year, I have helped my mom break the bread for her homemade stuffing. (She makes it the best!) Since Joshua & Gabrielle have been born, they have enjoyed this tradition, too. Here we are at Nan Nan's house on Tuesday breaking bread for the stuffing. (Josh and Brie love that we use white bread for stuffing...it's the only time of year we buy white bread!)
Every Thanksgiving morning, Joshua & Gabrielle open their coordinating pajamas that they will wear on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning!

Gabrielle, Aunt Anne, cousin Stephanie, Uncle PJ, Mommy,
Nan Nan Hansen, Joshua


And presenting....Daddy!

Joshua and Gabrielle help me set the dining room table. Our "fine china" was covered up by their hand-made notes and place cards, which suited me just fine. Our centerpiece was a cornucopia made by Gabrielle.

Jim took good care of the turkey (thankfully he cleaned it out too!) and it turned out perfectly browned and delicious!

Are you asking which one of the three is the turkey?



My mom (Nan Nan) is the gravy queen! Delicious!


The Thanksgiving Feast!
The wishbone...a favorite tradition for the cherubs!

Thanksgiving weekend is our favorite weekend of the year. We happily honker down at home, enjoy our time together with family and friends, play games, enjoy good food and prepare the house for Christmas.

We hope you enjoyed a warm-hearted and delicious Thanksgiving celebration! Do tell! :) We'd love to hear your favorite part of the Thanksgiving weekend!

"Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness." Psalm 97:12

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Heart and Soul

"Go ahead, I am with you heart and soul."
1 Samuel 14:7
Joshua and Gabrielle's Aunt Anne (my sister, who happens to be way more fun than me!) recently taught them how to play the "Heart and Soul" duet on the piano. They have had so much fun playing it, practicing and inviting others to join in on the duet. It's been so much fun for me to play this duet with them, and it brings back my childhood memories of playing this duet, too.
Moreover, it's become a time of quiet heart prayers to the Lord for me. Each time I take a few minutes to play this duet with them, I pray for them "heart and soul". I pray for their relationship with the Lord, their relationships with Jim and me, with each other as brother and sister, and their relationships with others.
I cherish this special time of playing a piano duet with Josh and Brie. I pray their hearts are always in perfect harmony with His and that they always follow His lead.
I pray for us as a family, that we are always woven together beautifully by His perfect love, protection and peace.
Here are some scriptures I pray
that they do with all their heart and soul.
What are some prayers you pray
for those you love?
That they always seek Him
They entered into a covenant to seek the LORD,
the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul.
2 Chronicles 15:12
Now devote your heart and soul
to seeking the LORD your God.
1 Chronicles 22:9
That they walk in His Ways,
Hold fast to Him and
Love Him and Serve Him
"But be very careful to keep the commandment
and the law that Moses the servant of the LORD
gave you: to love the LORD your God,
to walk in all His ways, to obey His commands,
to hold fast to Him and to serve Him
with all your heart and all your soul."
Joshua 22:5
Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God
with all your heart and with all your soul
and with all your mind.'
Matthew 22:37
That they love His Word
For the word of God is living and active.
Sharper than any double-edged sword,
it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit,
joints and marrow; it judges the
thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12

Playing "Heart and Soul" duet together.



Wishing each other a "Good Night".

Visiting a local pumpkin patch...we found M&M pumpkins!


Joshua and Gabrielle,
we love you heart and soul!

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Jonathan Kind of Friend

"...behold, the LORD is between you and me forever."
1 Samuel 20:23
"Jonathan said to David, 'Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the LORD, saying, 'The LORD is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever.'"
1 Samuel 20:42

I have been studying 1 Samuel with with a precious Precept Ministries Bible Study Group. My heart has been moved by the quintessence of friendship exemplified through Jonathan toward David.

Beginning in 1 Samuel 13, we read of Jonathan's amazing commitment and love as a friend. We see it contrasted with Jonathan's father, Saul, who poised himself against David (to put it mildly).

My heart is saddened for Saul, who went looking for donkeys one day and returned as a king. (1 Samuel 9) Had he yielded his heart to the Lord with this position of honor and responsibility, wonderful fruit could have come forth. Had he obeyed the Word of the Lord, his legacy would have been different. Had Saul honored God, God would have honored him.

Studying this touching account of friendship in 1 Samuel, I have prayerfully purposed in my heart that I want to be a Jonathan kind of friend. By God's grace, love, Spirit and strength. God has been teaching me so much about friendship and calling me to be a better friend, a Jonathan kind of friend. He is showing me how He wants to define the kind of friend He wants me to be before Him, yet I am not to define the kind of friend others should be to me. Love, His love, is the only sure foundation.

Jonathan loved David as himself. Jonathan's relationship was founded in love.
Saul's relationship with David was rooted in jealousy and insecurity.

Jonathan obeyed the Word of the Lord, and he honored God.
Saul disobeyed the Word of the Lord, and he dishonored God.

Jonathan wanted the best for David and helped him achieve that.
Saul was envious of David and tried to kill him.

Jonathan was loyal and committed.
Saul was selfish and wanted to use David for his own benefit.

Jonathan rejoiced in the truth, and he trusted.
Saul followed his own ways. He was suspicious and not trusting.

Jonathan was a servant.
Saul wanted to be served.

Jonathan spoke well of his friend and greatly delighted in him.
Saul cast blame and tried to pin David to the wall with a spear.

Jonathan protected and defended his friend in truth.
Saul put David in harm's way, was critical of him and did not keep his word.

Jonathan was for David. Saul turned against David.

Jonathan desired peace for David. Saul intended harm toward David.

Jonathan was loyal and committed, even in the heat of battle and rough terrain.
Saul wasn't willing to go through the heat with a friend.

Jonathan made a vow of friendship before God. Jonathan revered and loved God.
Saul did not reverence God with his whole heart. He did not honor God through his relationships.

As I continue my study of these precious chapters in 1 Samuel, I am going to keep my heart before the Lord and ask Him to show me how to be more of a Jonathan kind of friend.

My heart is thankful for the Jonathans in my life. How precious is the gift of a Jonathan kind of friend. May we nourish and care for our friendships with great love and thanksgiving to God, the giver of all good things.

"After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself...And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt." 1 Samuel 18:1-4

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Beholding Is Becoming

"...to behold the beauty of the LORD..."
Psalm 27:4
I am still happily stuck on this worship song!
Turn up your speakers and enjoy!
CAPTIVATED (By Vicky Beeching)
Your laughter it echoes like a joyous thunder
Your whisper it warms me like a summer breeze
Your anger is fiercer than the sun in its splendour
You’re close and yet full of mystery
Ever since the day that I saw Your face
Try as I may, I cannot look away,
I cannot look away…
Captivated by You
I am captivated by You
May my life be one unbroken gaze
Fixed upon the beauty of Your face
Beholding is becoming, so as You fill my gaze
I become more like
You and my heart is changed
Beholding is becoming, so as You fill my view
Transform me into the likeness of You
This is what I ask, for all my days
That I may, never look away, never look away…
No other could ever be as beautiful
No other could ever steal my heart away
I just can’t look away…
Captivated by You
I am captivated by You
May my life be one unbroken gaze
Fixed upon the beauty of Your face
Lord, fill our view with Yourself.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

One Unbroken Gaze

"One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to seek Him in His temple."
Psalm 27:4
Beholding is becoming.
Turn up your volume a bit. This worship song has blessed my heart the last few days. Just love it! It has become my heart's prayer. "May my life be one unbroken gaze fixed upon the beauty of Your face."
CAPTIVATED (By Vicky Beeching)
Your laughter it echoes like a joyous thunder
Your whisper it warms me like a summer breeze
Your anger is fiercer than the sun in its splendour
You’re close and yet full of mystery
Ever since the day that I saw Your face
Try as I may, I cannot look away,
I cannot look away…
Captivated by You
I am captivated by You
May my life be one unbroken gaze
Fixed upon the beauty of Your face
Beholding is becoming, so as You fill my gaze
I become more like
You and my heart is changed
Beholding is becoming, so as You fill my view
Transform me into the likeness of You
This is what I ask, for all my days
That I may, never look away, never look away…
No other could ever be as beautiful
No other could ever steal my heart away
I just can’t look away…
Captivated by You
I am captivated by You
May my life be one unbroken gaze
Fixed upon the beauty of Your face

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Restful Soul, For the LORD Is Good

"I love the LORD, for He heard my voice;
He heard my cry for mercy.
Because He turned His ear to me,
I will call on Him as long as I live.
The LORD is gracious and righteous;
our God is full of compassion.
The LORD protects the simplehearted;
when I was in great need, He saved me.
Be at rest once more, O my soul,
for the LORD has been good to you.
For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the LORD
in the land of the living."
Psalm 116: 1-2, 5-9
I read this passage in Psalm 116 this morning, and it just blessed me. It's been a challenging few weeks. I have watched for and seen His goodness. I am so thankful to the Lord for His perfect provision and care. His goodness has been evident during physical pain of knee surgery and during heartache of brokenness, through which God always reaches out so intimately with His outstretched arm. "...with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, His love endures forever." Psalm 136:12
He has given His portion daily through His Word. (Psalm 119)
He has sent His love and faithfulness through family and friends, who served to be His representatives so beautifully in the flesh.
He has been faithful. "God sends His love and His faithfulness." Psalm 57:3 I am thankful for my little family, our families, friends, our siblings in Christ and the Body of Christ at our church.
I am thankful for our two little lambs, Joshua and Gabrielle, who have risen to the occasion and have shown exceptional understanding, grace, love and help during a time when Mommy is not 100%. I am so very thankful for health. "Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commands." Deut. 7:9
I am thankful He holds the pillars firm when our little worlds are rockin' and just a bit off-kilter. "When the earth and all its people quake, it is I who hold its pillars firm." Psalm 75:3 Thank you, Lord.
Please share what you are thankful for today. And if your world is rockin' a bit, please let us know how we can pray.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Our Patriotic Pair

"If my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14

Election Day 2008. This is our prayer...that we, His people, who are called by His name, will humble ourselves, pray, seek His face, turn from any wicked ways. Then He will hear from heaven and forgive our sin and heal our land. Oh, how our land needs healing.

Since they've been able to walk, Joshua and Gabrielle have come in the voting booth with me every year on election day. It's memorable for them, and they look forward to it. Our voting place has a "Kids Vote" center where they can vote and receive a few surprises. For me, I pray that when they remember going to the polls with mommy, they are always thankful for the privilege and responsibility of voting when they become adults.

We just returned home from voting. This year is especially exciting and meaningful since we are voting for President of the United States. It's also a day of prayer and fasting for many Christians. Seeking Him. Praying for His gracious hand of mercy and blessing on our country and our families. Praying for His will to be accomplished.

I am thankful that God is unchanging. He remains the same awesome God. He remains on the throne and always will. Whatever happens today, His sovereignty is immovable. Our hope is in Him alone.

Joshua's 3rd grade class had an historic election rally today. Joshua gave a speech supporting Abraham Lincoln. Gabrielle's 1st grade class voted for a president in their class (the girls won). Her class dressed in red, white and blue. Here is a picture of our Patriotic Pair:


Whatever the news is tomorrow morning, God is the anchor of our hearts, our family and our friendships. May we always act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God.

"He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8