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A REAL THANKSGIVING

NORMAN ROCKWELL THANKSGIVING

Norman Rockwell painted the above painting during World War II,

when the world was in pain. We are in pain today as well, and how we must continue to help one another remember who God is, to let our requests be made known to Him, and to do it with thanksgiving. We will continue to practice prayer this week in our secret place, but to give thanks here on the blog, and hopefully, at our Thanksgiving tables.

I KNOW IN YOUR HEART OF HEARTS,

YOU WANT “A REAL THANKSGIVING.”

ONE WHERE YOUR LOVED ONES GATHER AND THERE IS A

TIME OF MEANINGFUL SHARING.

It was 1998, and I was blessed that my parents were coming all the way from California. It is the only time I remember them coming to my home for Thanksgiving, and oh how I prayed. Neither were believers yet and I hoped God would come in some way that they would recognize as well. I prepared questions that my children were accustomed to, but I didn’t know how my parents would respond. Mother did get tired after about a half hour of sharing and took a nap. But Dad stayed and stayed and we kept sharing until the sun was sinking in the Nebraska sky, flooding the sky with the same warmth that was in our hearts.

feb-12-sunset-copy

My dad stood, with tears in his eyes, and said,

“THAT WAS A REAL THANKSGIVING!” I weep today to remember that benediction, that great answer from God who met the desire of my heart.

Within seven years my dad, then my husband, and finally my mother were safe in the arms of Jesus. Today I cherish the memory of that Thanksgiving day.

How I pray something like that might happen for you this Thanksgiving.

I know many of you are not going to be the hostess, but it is possible you could suggest one of these plans. I have three, and I’ll start with the the first two, which are short, easy, and fun, and should work with a group that has secular people in it as well. Then I’ll give you the longer plan, which was similar to what we did that day.

But even if you can’t do any of these on Thanksgiving, we will be sharing thanks together here this week. WE WILL HAVE A REAL THANKSGIVING! Keep going to your closet for confession, petition, and praise. But share your thanks here on the blog by answering the questions and sharing any other thanks.

Plan 1: Have everyone share something they are thankful for this year that they couldn’t have been thankful for last year.

Plan 2: (I stole this from a Hallmark Christmas movie called “A Very Merry Mix-up” They are always about love and not Jesus, but I still liked this one.)  If your group is large you’ll have to divide. Give everyone index cards on which they write each person’s name along with one thing they are thankful for about him or her. Don’t sign the card you write on. Then each person reads their cards aloud and tries to guess who wrote each.

Plan 3. Click here: THANKSGIVING QUESTIONS

Sunday:

1. What stood out to you from the above and why?

2. Might you try any of these plans? (you can even e-mail the plan ahead so they can be thinking!)

Monday:

AND THOUGH THE WRONG SEEMS OFT SO STRONG…

www.youtube.com/watch?v=byIpfEVxhs4

3.  It certainly feels like God is allowing our world to be shaken, but the author of Hebrews tells us to give thanks for what cannot be shaken. (See Hebrews 12:26-29) What cannot be shaken for which you can give thanks? 

Tuesday/Wednesday:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CwmP95-gGw

The above is sung by Amy Shreve, whom you may know from either Idol Lies videos or The God of All Comfort CD. Amy and her husband have ministered with Voice of the Martyrs and are so dear to me — Amy is fighting an aggressive cancer and I’d be thankful for your prayers for her.

4. For what things are we exhorted to be thankful in Philippians 2:1? List them and then give an illustration from your life for at least two of them.

5. What commands therefore follow in Philippians 2:2-5? How could you apply this this Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving Day and Friday

www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMTmZKotTYw

6. What are some ways God has blessed you this last year?

7. How has He sustained you in suffering? 

8. Have you had any especially wonderful answers to prayer? 

Saturday

9. What’s your take-a-way from these last two weeks and why?

Advent Begins Next Sunday!

 

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159 comments

  1. 7. How has He sustained you in suffering?
     
    I can’t say that I’ve gone through deep suffering this past year…I haven’t lost a loved one, endured physical suffering, or been through the very difficult trials that some of you have. My suffering seems to be a lot emotional – loneliness, feeling spiritually isolated, discouragement, sadness as I watch my mom deteriorate mentally. I should think that it is God Himself that enables me to keep going, to keep turning to Him, instead of turning away, because there have been times I’ve felt like throwing in the towel on the Christian life. God uses other Christians to encourage me – all of you here, pastors like Chip Ingram when I listen to their messages, His Word. What I still long for, pray for, is a face-to-face friend; the kind of friend that we can talk about the Lord and ponder things together and be real, unmasked.
     
    So yesterday, we were at my in-laws for Thanksgiving. I wasn’t able to do any of the plans presented here. I did bring along a couple of Thanksgiving trivia quizes, and some games. My husband, I think, persuaded my boys and his brother to come to the table and play Uno…as after dinner they sequestered themselves…but once we were all there, we played three rounds and everyone had fun. But there’s no way I can ask all at the table spiritual questions. So today we are going to my sister’s as she is having the Thanksgiving dinner today. My parents, my niece and her husband and their baby, will also be there. Last year, people filled their plates, sat down and just started eating. I am mystified why my dad, who professed to accept Christ about five years ago, shows no signs of spiritual growth; has stopped reading the Bible and other than a few times when I took him, doesn’t go to church. The big screen TV will be on the whole time with football. These are the settings in which I feel like a lonely man on an island. I do enjoy being with my family, but I long for so much more meaningful things! Then I begin to doubt and question myself, as in, what’s wrong with me?

    1. Susan, I want to sit shivah with you. You have such a tender heart and I understand the longing for a face to face friend. As a pastor’s wife, I often feel like most of my women friends hesitate to get closer to me. Is it me (something wrong with me?) or do they think I have too much congregational burden they do not want to add to what I already have? This has really “forced” me to stay close to Jesus because HE is my truest blue blood friend. But I do yearn like you to have that one friend, fleshed out in skin! The one I feel the most close to is at least 5 hours away from us. And she is also a pastor’s wife.
      Yesterday was the first time (after 27 years), my husband and I hosted Thanksgiving at my mother-in-law’s house who passed away this summer. Since we were hosts, I went out on a limb and had E-mailed everybody (13 of us , 2 of which are too young to do the list on their own) about one of the the ideas Dee posted here. Well sort of as I had to tweak it to suit our families. I placed 5 candy corn inside a folded paper and each one shared 5 things they were thankful for. Most shared about common areas- family, jobs, provision etc. It was a little awkward at first since we haven’t done anything like this before. But I thought it was a start-the men in my husband’s side of the family are very quiet so it was good to hear them speak up.
      I know you were not the host but I am praying for you to have a God-given opportunity someday.
      So dear one, do not be discouraged. Your grief/longing over the lack of meaningful sharing among family is normal. God has placed that in your heart. There is nothing wrong with you. I am sure your family need it too but they just don’t know how to go about it. Just a thought here.
      And since sitting shivah is for 7 days, I will write your name on my calendar for 7 days. Know that you are in my thoughts. Hold on, keep on! 

      1. Ernema, thank you for your kind words and that you are sitting shivah with me…I know I am not the only one who struggles with loneliness. You, as a pastor’s wife, express some of the same difficulties with friendship that our Diane has shared. It must be hard for people to see past the “pastor’s wife” identity? I really like your candy corn idea…maybe one day when I am the host, I will be able to do something like that. Thank you again for your encouragement.

    2. Susan,  I add my words of support and want to be understanding.   I think it is interesting that some of the same things that you have said,  (TV on all day, people sequestering themselves after dinner) is exactly what my daughter was dreading as she went to spend T.Day with her fiancee’s family again.  She does not profess Christ anymore at all.   Very far from the church and Christianity, but those values she grasped while at home here, have become ingrained.  I was grateful for that but felt sad for her.  So, I also feel for you and the struggle that is.   Honestly, when I’m with my family of origin for extended times, I wish the conversations would go deeper too, even though we are mostly believers.  I think siblings maybe have the hardest time opening up to each other in large groups.  Maybe?  But I know that everyone is different.  Personalities factor in a lot.  I have been praying for you.  

      1. Susan, I just went back and re-read the first page of comments.  I guess I said almost the same thing twice to you.  (about my daughter).  Talk about not remembering stuff!  Anyway, the sentiment is sincere, whether duplicated or not;  I do really think about you and want to lift you up in prayer consistently.  Bless you for your sweet fragrance in your family gatherings.  

        1. Wanda, I never get tired of reading your posts, even if they are duplicated! Thank you for your support. I honestly don’t know what has happened to me over the past few years, but I find myself becoming more and more quiet and more of an observer at family gatherings. I feel at times like I have lost my “voice” – not literally, but that I just don’t have anything to say. The topics and tones of some of the conversations I am just not able to enter into.

        2. Susan, I’m replying to myself since your last comment didn’t have a reply option.   What you said about losing your voice hits home with me too.  If I am with certain family members (siblings/husbands family members) it would certainly ring true in many instances.  But we rarely are with any of them at holidays.  
          (This is both a relief and a heaviness.  Our youngest cries at some point during every single holiday…..when her siblings have left and she is again alone with my husband and I.   She is 21 and single.  They are all around 30 or past and married/engaged.  They just come in for a day or so and leave to go back to work or other family events with their spouses. She is home on break and has several days for each holiday.  And though she does love being with just us, she also feels so lonely.  She is a true extrovert and really struggles with this. There’s a lot more to this.  We had a few hours yesterday, listening, talking,  being quiet with her as she cried,  trying to help understand all the stress she feels.  Of course, this makes my weekend and emotions change course   too.  Personalities and emotions:  aren’t they hard???   We watched ‘Inside Out’ together.  Highly recommend that!)  
          As for losing my voice, I felt it for years around people at my former church.  The deeper I studied and felt the Lord’s call on my heart especially regarding various doctrines and practices and also various current events happening in our world,  I found myself not relating to the language spoken nor views shared.  And that is a very lonely feeling;  when you don’t laugh at the same jokes nor express the same concern or lack of concern for certain things.  To some degree, this is also the way it is with my siblings, but especially with my husband’s.  (they are several states away, but one has moved to our area).  So, I know my examples are not the same, but I do understand that ‘lonely pit in one’s stomach’  when you are physically with others, but emotionally far away.  

    3. Susan, I am here sitting shivah also….you know, it is all perspective really. As I think about your thanksgiving, I get a bit of warm fuzzy because you had the tv on with football! I haven’t had tv in my home for 2 years now! We got rid of it because the kids were in college and we really couldn’t afford the luxury. I haven’t missed it too much, but we are gearing up to election season (which is my football game!) and I am trying to figure out how to watch news. I have gotten creative over the past few years and usually watch news online. I have a lot more time to do more important things now that tv isn’t on all the time. I’m glad you played a game too. 

      My thanksgiving is usually quiet unless we visit family. We do pray over the meal; we are thankful. I tried the questions and everyone thinks, “oh, here she goes again…” because I usually ask everyone what they are thankful for. No one can ever answer; it’s sad. I spent 5 hours cooking and it wasn’t that great this year for some reason. We finally sat down at 6 pm. Maybe I should have spent less time cooking and more time sharing with each other? A friend of my youngest son sat at our table waiting for him to go shopping (not a fan and will never “do” Black Friday myself). I felt rushed. After they left, we retired to the family room where we watched a favorite show on Netflix (NCIS) while my husband fell asleep on the couch and never got back up to eat pie or talk with me and Sarah. He works 2 jobs and is genuinely tired all the time; we are old now! None of my extended family called us, nor we them. One of my sons texted me and wished me a happy thanksgiving which was nice. As I reflect I realize I must not have done a good job nurturing the day when my kids were younger. I thought I was making memories, but the secular world has taken over. Maybe it is the “nature of the beast” when there are only a few together….we don’t tend to have this quiet, withdrawn behavior when we celebrate with my husbands family. 

      I am not trying to make light of or downplay your day. I guess what I am saying is you and I had similar days; you are not alone. I’m sorry our families aren’t as receptive to our ideas, but it is our job to provide the opportunity with love, and if anyone receives then yay! we win! We can’t change people, just pray for their changing. I suppose I was lonely as well; just too busy (or stupid!) to know better! I am glad we have each other here too.

      I didn’t know that sitting shivah meant for 7 days…..I am there, with you, sweet sister. 

      1. Oh yeah, we didn’t fight! 🙂

  2. So, Wednesday this week, I was walking my golden retriever “puppy”, only 8 months but nearly my weight and clearly stronger than me. Each time we passed a dog on the trail she pulled with all her strength towards the dog and nearly pulled me over. After the 4th dog, I prayed out-loud “Lord, please let us not pass anymore dogs before we get home!”. In the next 10 minutes we passed 9 more dogs. I half smiled and said, “OK Lord, there must be a lesson here for me!”And the thought came to me–that He doesn’t want me to fear what is hard. I can ask that He take the “hard” away, but I can also know that the goal is not that all things be easy. Hard isn’t bad, it’s just hard. And I know He is always with me, always carrying me–but it’s as if in those hard times, the “carrying” is less like a cradle-hold, and more like the picture of a child with her arms wrapped so tightly around her Daddy’s neck, with full assurance that He will protect her. There have been so, so many times in this past year alone, He has spoken to me about the beauty of weakness. Less of me, more of Him–allowed to come through, when I am weak, and trust in His strength. I am so thankful for a Savior who loves me intimately, tenderly, with all power and gentleness, truth and grace, mercy and love. 

    1. “Hard isn’t hard.  It’s just bad.”   So much to think on in these few words.  I love how you processed your walk with your golden retriever into a golden lesson.

      1. Oops!  totally mixed that up when I re-typed it.   Should be “Hard isn’t bad.  It’s just hard.”  

    2. Beautiful lesson for a day’s occurrence. Thank you for sharing. And the thought came to me–that He doesn’t want me to fear what is hard. I can ask that He take the “hard” away, but I can also know that the goal is not that all things be easy. Hard isn’t bad, it’s just hard. And I know He is always with me, always carrying me…

    3. Lizzy what a beautiful post and a beautiful lesson. It made me smile as I walk my dog every day. I actually have 2 dogs but my 15 year old boy does not go far these days:( I could not help but think how many people I have meant at the other end of those “Other dog” leashes and even those who do not have dogs. I have met just about all of my neighbors and have developed some friendships and have had opportunities to share my faith. God moments. What I look at here is all of the people encountered. As you were not only passing dogs but you were also passing people:) with that being said sometimes my dog does not give me the chance to be able to talk to the people as there is this thing with certain dogs he does not warm up to them. That is very embarrassing and I am always sad when he cannot be nice like that. I laugh with the people saying sorry my dog is not allowing me to make friends. I usually ask permission if my dog wants to meet their dog. Alot of  people like their dogs to be social so it is usually not an issue. 

      1. Liz–love this, and your perspective! I also have a 13 year old lab, but she can’t make it too far these days. My “puppy” does OK with her “harness” leash, but she had chewed through hers so I was trying to venture out with a regular collar on her! :0 Yes, “sled dog” is exactly the picture for her–but oh so sweet, soft and cuddly. She’s probably 90-ish pounds, but still tries to crawl her whole body into our lap!

    4. Lizzy I have to add my daughter likes to walk our dogs at a place where tons of people go to walk dogs. I find myself wanting to avoid going there as I know how much my dog is going to pull me. Just wanted to make sure you knew I understood your pain:)  I call my 80 pound dog a sled dog. He is sooo strong and it does get tiring! 

    5. Love this lizzy!

  3. 6. What are some ways God has blessed you this last year?  
     
    I feel I have been blessed in so many ways.   (1) My husband has survived another year. He had two falls that caused him to go through ER, one he just had to get stitches and was released, and the other caused him to be admitted over a weekend.   He also went through skin cancer surgery on his nose:  they got all of the cancer,  and it seems the skin graft is healing nicely.   (2) Wendy (my younger daughter) and Thomas’ wedding.   They seem very happy.  Now if only Thomas could find a job in graphic design!   He was showing me his porfolio after Thanksgiving dinner, and he is VERY talented.   He would have probably been employed by now if he hadn’t moved from West VA to NW Ohio, but he did that so Wendy didn’t have to give up her job and he could be closer to his parents.  (3) My older daughter, Karen, was laid off last spring, but she buckled down and took all of her exams to get her license (architecture), and now is planning to start work on Monday at a firm she worked for previously.  Those exams covered 7 days, 4-6 hours each day, and cost $200 per exam.  However, she was awarded a grant from the American Institute of Architecture that covered the cost of those exams.  (4) Our church made a successful journey to nest our congregation inside the building of another church (different denomination).   That was such a major thing — God surely was seeing us through it.    We have truly demonstrated that a church is the people not the building! 
     
     
    7. How has He sustained you in suffering? 
     
    I feel like Susan expressed — I haven’t really suffered like most of the rest of you.  I have had some physical aggrevations like osteoarthritis in my hands and right knee.  Also have had fleeting spells of nausea which are almost always followed by sneeze.  I think my doctor is baffled by that one.   I’m blaming it on one of my medications.      However, how God has helped me through it:   these things seem to bother me one at a time — not all at the same time. When I had a problem with a root-canal tooth and finally had to have it extracted, none of the other problems bothered me.  I am grateful for not having more than I can bear at once!   
     
    8. Have you had any especially wonderful answers to prayer? 
     
    Actually nearly  all of  my blessings that I listed in my answer to question #6 involved wonderful answers to my prayers.   I had been praying for years for my daughters to marry “good Christian men.”   Well, I have one married now, and although Wendy’s husband, Thomas, was turned off on religion, he is now coming to church with her, and seems to be growing in faith.  When I asked the Thanksgiving question at our dinner yesterday,  Thomas was the first one to respond, which pleased me alot!   By the way,  I have to confess that I only had about a 50% response in asking that question — then people wandered off into other conversations.  I was a bit disappointed with that.  However, I think the initial asking of the question, “What are you thankful for this year that you couldn’t be thankful for last year”  gave others a pause to think about it, even if they didn’t share.   

  4. Thanksgiving questions at the table and wonderful answers to prayer: 
    I also posed the question:  ‘What are you thankful for this year that you couldn’t have been last year?”   I answered it with thoughts of our new church and how re-vitalized and refreshed I now feel.  And also, that our younger son, who had such a close call with a medical crisis; is alive and well.  Things could have gone in the other direction.  Those two things are vivid.  Also, that our older daughter is engaged.  For many years we have prayed for her future.  It’s always been uncertain due to her chronic life threatening illnesses, but to know that she has a man who loves her so completely and unselfishly, is a wonderful answer to prayer.
     
    As for participation in sharing,  it didn’t exactly follow the questions, but we had some heartfelt sharing.  There were only 5 of us again; the same 5 as last year and my older son, recalled and affirmed what I had done last year, in taking time to tell each person what, about them made me so thankful.  My husband always shares some thoughts like that, and did again this year, but I am usually so preoccupied with getting food on the table, I don’t often jump in at the same level.  Last year I did and it was still vivid in his memory.  That was very gratifying. Our son also initiated some deep sharing, even before the question was posed. Very sweet.
     
    Also, our older son and his wife and our younger daughter joined us at a Community Center, serving with others from our new church, a free (and delicious!) meal to anyone who wanted to come. It was obvious that many came out of need and would have been alone otherwise.  Much ‘take home’ food was also provided.   The room was full and it was a good experience.  They weren’t there long, as schedules didn’t allow them to get there early, but I was so glad to introduce them to one of our pastors who I’ve gotten to know pretty well.  She was so welcoming and affirming (in ways that were really even more than I expected. I think it was so different than what they were used to.  They are quite a bit ‘off the grid’ in comparison to the average church attender, so I know there are always defenses and fears about meeting church people.  Her spontaneous response to them was so beautiful.  And he told me he really enjoyed meeting her and also the woman who makes a mammoth effort serving the needy, homeless and marginalized constantly, who heads up the community meal.  (I’ve never met anyone who did more for the poor, actually).   
     
    One more praise:  Our younger daughter has taken big steps in her personal walk with the Lord this year.  I’ve mentioned this before, but it is also something that I can praise God for which wasn’t as evident last year.    Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
     

    1. Wanda, these are all wonderful blessings and answers to prayer!

    1. Dee, your tears are so understandable and poignant.    Bless you for all the ways you persevere in obedience and love. You will never know on this earth, how much your own testimony has been used to extend God’s kingdom.  I know that doesn’t take the sorrow away.  But I do pray you feel renewed and encouraged in your journey.   May tonight be a wonderful time for you and your guests.  

    2. Dee, I would have cried too. And in our thanksgiving activity, I almost lost it when it was time for me to share because of the seemingly sudden and acute awareness of the loss of my sister and my mother-in-law this past summer.
      I, too am so thankful for you. Your obedience to God has ripple effects in the lives of many of us. Your transparency here has blessed me so much.

    3. Dee I too understand those tears. Every time I hear a testimony of a healing I want to go and wrap my arms around everyone whose outcome was a different scenario, while celebrating with the one sharing the testimony.I am so thankful to have felt His arms wrapped around me. 

    4. Dee, I feel your sadness and tears through this man’s testimony of being healed…I remember doing the same and the feelings I had when I heard the testimony of a man at our church who had been on drugs for years and was delivered by God…and this not to0 long after my nephew died from an overdose. Yes, I was glad for this man but it made the tragic death of my nephew pierce deeper.

  5. 6. What are some ways God has blessed you this last year?
    God faithfulness in the mundane (Thank you , Kara Tippetts.) green lights when we were pressed for time; things coming together when I feel like I am on the verge of exhaustion; sitting with and learning from my 14 year old nephew; Paul, the apostle and his letters, finding cyber-fellowship in Dee’s blog. And many more of family despite the hard.
    7. How has He sustained you in suffering?
    His Word and His people has been my sustenance.
    8. Have you had any especially wonderful answers to prayer?
     
    Time with my daughter in Chicago and the heart to heart talk we had. She is seeking some answers and I am praying she will find it in her Savior and make Him her Lord.

  6. 7. How has He sustained you in suffering? 
     
    I am like Susan in that I haven’t had deep suffering this year (that was last year….) however I do have a personal nemesis that I am plagued with for 30+ years. I don’t think God wants me to be bothered with this, so I don’t ever feel His presence in helping me with it. I wish I didn’t care. He might be working on me, and then, maybe I will never know and live with the problem forever. Reading in Galatians this week, Paul speaks of his “bodily affliction.” He was also plagued by earthly issues even though he was a disciple of Christ. I’m in good company.
     
     
    8. Have you had any especially wonderful answers to prayer? 
     
    Yes! My daughter is safe! I didn’t expect her saving coming in the form of a baby, and we do have a long way to go, but one day at a time. 
     
    My older son has found his true love (I think), so I feel so good about that also. He needs someone who cares about him.
     
    I am still praying for my youngest son who is struggling understanding the world around him and his place. I am trusting God is in charge here. It is hard.
     

  7. I know there was mention a few weeks back about the movie,  War Room.   At that time I had not seen it yet.  However,  John and I went to see it yesterday — late matinee in a small theater.   I found it inspiring, and also felt it is reassuring that Christian films like that are still being made in our country.   There were parts of the movie that were amusing.   However,   I am thinking that an unbeliever probably would not be drawn to attend that movie, and if they did, they might feel it was “over the top” religious.  Nevertheless,  I think it will be instrumental in moving believers on to the next level of depth and intimacy with their Savior.   

    1. Deanna, I agree about War Room, however I think it reminds luke warm Christians to get back in the saddle! Did you hear of the movie Woodlawn? It was a recent release; a Christian message that is based on a true story of a football team in the 70’s. Now, it would appeal to all walks, but it didn’t get much press. I thought it was great. I encourage everyone to try to see it.

  8. This Thanksgiving was different for us in that we celebrated with part of my family 2 days before so that we could be with my grandson and his girlfriend, who is Jewish. We had a nice meal together and enjoyed a family game after.
    The lesson God gave me was to listen well and I worked on that. I am so quick to give my comments and need to give more thought to others. It has been a hard year for my daughter and she is working on the relationship with her son and his girlfriend. Because of this situation it was not conducive to deep sharing. We wanted to be welcoming the newcomer and found her to be very open and at ease. It was good to do a game together. My grandson is searching for his goal in life, and has been a worry for me.
    On Thanksgiving my husband and I had a quiet day together and I know we are both thankful for our health this year and for God’s presence in our lives through a somewhat difficult year with 2 losses in his family and a deep sadness for his sister who lost her eldest son to cancer in a brief illness, as well as having her own spiritual challenges.
    This year my blessings are many in small delights: working together to enjoy our home in the country. This is after we tried to sell this home for 2 years and then realized it is where we need to be! I am thankful for successful cataract surgery on one eye and see better than I ever did, but hope that the other may be done next year. In spite of the challenge of aging we are both strong and see that God is growing us spiritually though we struggled for many years.
    The suffering during this year has been mainly in the area of grandchildren, as we see the world drawing them away from the faith that was part of their early years. Our 21 year old grandson is away from home and has many challenges, in the area of character traits and a learning disability as well as not bonding well with his adopted parents. He is floundering with authority in the job area and also in personal relationships. He is in my prayers and it causes such sadness.
    I am thankful for Christian friends on the blog and in my small church, and for Bible studies that are enriching and help me to stretch in my walk. I miss some dear friends that I cannot spend time with because of distance- 3 dear sisters who I could share and pray with, yet God will bring us together ultimately!
    I will pray for Susan, as I know the loneliness of not having a face to face friend. Loneliness is a tough feeling, yet I know I am drawn closer to God when I am in that situation.
    Deanna, I agree with you that War Room is a very inspiring movie for Christians. It is wonderful that some films are continuing to be made for the theaters. God is Not Dead was another great movie we saw last year. The subject of answered prayer is so encouraging, and though it was a bit over the top in that area, I still recommend it. I know that some prayers are on hold for many years and some we may never see the answers, though I believe that they are never in vain!
    I am thankful for the opportunity to come to the Lord for all praise and concerns and know that He hears and knows my heart.