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Thanksgiving for Better or Worse

P1000870 (1)National days of Thanksgiving happen for better or worse. Unless we stand together in gratefulness for a shared harvest— or unless our prayers are childlike enough to not stir up adult issues, our family and political differences can overcook more than the turkey.

Thanksgiving Holidays seem to have the unintended result of reminding us of painful comparisons.

Even our wake-up calls, since last getting together are different: For some it was bad news that alerted us to life’s unfairness. For others it was—an unexpected kindness, or a shared laugh that, for the moment at least, let us think that maybe it is better to have lived than to have never lived at all. If we can’t choose the cards we’re dealt, we’d might as well focus on how we play the game— to do the best we can with whatever we’ve been given.

So without a thought, even on a National Harvest Holiday, some of us just keep breathing in… and out… of a life we didn’t ask for and that science cannot explain. Or… maybe we really do take the occasion to—thank the God of the harvest for a wonderful expression of his care for us.

And maybe when we are by ourselves, either now or later, this might be a good time for us to weigh what Jesus said about the cycle of planting and harvest. In anticipation of another National Harvest Holiday, (the spring barley harvest and Passover) he said that unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground, and dies, it remains alone. Even though he said this in anticipation of his own death and burial, he seemed to imply that there is a principle here for us as well (John 12:23-26).

Even ungratefulness— wrapped in bitter self-interest— can be like a seed that, when planted in the ground with Christ—grows into a harvest of thanksgiving for… :-)

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57 Responses to “Thanksgiving for Better or Worse”

  1. poohpity says:

    There seems to be many things that can be overcooked. Differences can be things that open our minds to seeing from a different vantage point to bring us to better understandings. We can stay stuck in bitter self-interest when we do not grow as new information comes in or do not even allow any new information to come in. Living the same ol’ same ol’ everyday and fearing trying or listening to anythings new we limit God. He does not seem to want us to remain the same but to grow developing into a harvest of Thanksgiving.

    A dried up old seed sitting on the shelf never to be planted in the ground with Christ just remains a dried up old seed sitting in the shelf with no new life. Planted we learn, grow, develop and change.

  2. poohpity says:

    Thanks be to God for not leaving us as He found us!!!

  3. SFDBWV says:

    For me I don’t wait for a national day of thanksgiving to eat the thanksgiving meal. I try and have it 3 or 4 times a year. It has become a tradition these past dozen or more years for me to cook the big turkey meal on Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. Always with “thanks” to God for so very many things.

    The truth is I give thanks every time I come before God in prayer.

    Today is a rare restful day as I have already gotten the stuffing prepared for the bird in the morning and baked a chocolate cake.

    This will be the first year that Crick hasn’t been here with us to share the traditional day of thanksgiving as she is living now in a nursing home nearer to her daughter and grown grandchildren and so there again is one more empty chair at the table.

    For far too many people from now through New Year’s is a painful reminder of how alone they are. I would suggest if you can, seek them out and share whatever you can with them and most important of all when the holidays are over remain a friend in their lives.

    It isn’t about how much Bible verses we can quote, it is about how we live and even more important how we show love to others.


  4. street says:

    as i think of myself and of God’s Word i understand the absolute necessity of me dying. the hard part is denying myself daily and taking up my cross and following. the one who tries to save there life will lose it. surrendering to a Holy God and life is the only viable option. jacob found this out during the famine of 7 years. he had to give up everything and in doing so received his own son back from the dead. it did not depend on his works either but giving way to the only choice possible to live. the tree of the knowledge of good and evil gives you choices the tree of life only gives you one choice. thankful for life in Christ Jesus.

  5. remarutho says:

    Good Afternoon All —

    So true about a certain need to apply grace liberally as the family gathers for the annual feast. Some have had a rough patch to travel since the last time all were together.

    Think of those who will spend the day alone — or who will join in a free meal in a church, mission or shelter. As you say, Mart, we do well to make the best of the hand we’ve been dealt with God’s grace and mercy guiding our play.

    Choosing to lift up praise and thanks to God in Jesus is a good choice, it seems to me. That attitude of gratitude can transform the whole day — for myself and for those around me. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say Rejoice!

    Blessings at Harvest!

    8C/46F here clouds with showers and sun in between

  6. SFDBWV says:

    Happy Thanksgiving Day from America.

    There are so many subjects that I can see and comment on from Mart’s message it is difficult for me to decide which to address first as each one is important and close to everyone’s heart.

    So beginning with Mart’s last paragraph on burying the seeds of ungratefulness and bitter self-interests and I would suppose other unmentioned negative feelings, let me begin with a short story.

    16 years ago in September my older half-brother died. Without giving a drawn out explanation as to what or why, let me just say that his adult children had many issues with their dad.

    He didn’t want any funeral just to be cremated, but his children could not do nothing, so just like him they came to me and ask Uncle Steve for help.

    I had my pastor at my church have a funeral gathering so that people who knew him could come together and say goodbye in a more traditional way. I got up and addressed his friends and my nieces and nephews and told a couple amusing stories about their dad and presented Jesus to any or all who had not yet made the choice.

    When we gathered at the cemetery I had already dug a small hole in the ground next to his daughter who had died from an auto accident in December of 1980 only 17 years old. After a few words from my pastor I called his children forward handed them their father’s cremains and told them to place him in the ground and bury any and all issues they had with him, then go on with their lives free of bad memories.

    I think that if there is any hope of ever having peace in our lives we need to bury the negatives that keep us burdened and live on.

    There may be many other ways of saying it but it remains the same. Jesus took all of the worlds ugly upon Himself died and was buried with them, yet on the third day rose triumphant over them all.

    It is 32 degrees with light drizzle this morning. I am about to get things started in the kitchen, soon my house will be filled with the smells of Thanksgiving. They will remind me of easier, softer days of my youth when it was my mother who cooked dinner and I will bury the worse of in favor of the better of Thanksgiving.

    Blessing to you all.


  7. poohpity says:

    Giving thanks in whatever cards we have been dealt in life for better or worse. This week has been a tough one with some unexpected financial problems I found my pantry and freezer bare, eating stone soup(whatever you have putting into a pot to make soup). Through prayer being grateful for what I did have, the day before yesterday in the evening my soup pot was becoming empty and I prayed for help as well as yesterday morning. Remembering the past when it got this bad God’s provision and holding tight to that. Well last night 2 members of my congregation delivered an envelop with $70 dollars in it. I had even run out of TP.

    I did not know it was going to get this low but God did. This anonymous donor had delivered this to church on Sunday. I had not shared with anyone my current state but God knew ahead of time and provided by someone who listened to Him. So I am very grateful that the hand I had been dealt for worse turned to something better through Thanksgiving for what I did have, not complaining about what I did not have.

    Was invited over to some friends house but I was feeling bad that I had nothing to bring. Now I can. My normal contribution was washing all the dishes afterward and that will still be my intent but with a little icing.

    Have a very grateful day full of Thanksgiving looking for the best in the cards we are dealt.

  8. joycemb says:

    Elisabeth Elliott

    “I have been thinking of something that stifles thanksgiving. It is the spirit of greed – the greed of doing, being, and having.…Our “self image” is dependent not on the quiet and hidden “do this for my sake” but on the list the world hands us of what is “important.” It is a long list, and it is both foolish and impossible. If we fall for it, we neglect the short list. Only a few things are really important, and for those we have the promise of divine help: sitting in silence with the master in order to hear his words and obey it in the ordinary line of duty – for example in being a good husband, wife, mother, son, daughter, or spiritual father or mother to those nearby who need protection and care – humble work which is never on the world’s list because it leads to nothing impressive on one’s resume.”

  9. SFDBWV says:

    I just wanted to stop in and maybe brighten the mood a little.

    Thing #1, there is a humorous editorial in this morning’s paper about the first Thanksgiving and why the pilgrims didn’t have another. The Pilgrim being quoted was saying “This is the last time I am doing this, looking the rear end of a horse for two hours so I can eat dinner at my mother’s house with a brother I haven’t talked to in 20 years.


    #2 Answered prayer as Matthew’s friend Mere showed up to visit with Matt for a couple hours and made all of our day a good one.

    Time to get the turkey out of the oven.


  10. saled says:

    Joycemb, thanks for the Elizabeth Elliot quote. So true about the greed of doing, being, and having. And that humble work that she says is never on the world’s list, that humble work is where we lay down our lives like planting seeds.

  11. SFDBWV says:

    It is my hope that no matter who you are or where you live that you had a pleasant day yesterday.

    Having a national day of thanksgiving was I believe instituted by Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War.

    Though the original thanksgiving had occurred some 200 + years earlier, President Lincoln may have wanted a country that was divided to remember its origins and its need for the family/country to come together once again.

    It is from my thinking that we remember that no matter what, we are in some way dependent on each other either at a time in the past, now, or in a future yet known to us.

    Jesus broke bread with His friends and “family” on the Passover night, maybe we can break bread with family and friends and let bygones be bygones if even for just that one meal.

    Interesting though once Judas left the table the mood of the meal improved…

    39 degrees and foggy in the mountains.


  12. poohpity says:

    Wouldn’t it be nice if in the heart of every believer everyday were a day of Thanksgiving not just the day the government set aside for it? When God made Himself known Thanksgiving was instituted thousands of years ago. He set aside weeks not just days for celebration and thanksgiving but would be so overjoyed for it to happen daily.(2 Cor 4:15-16, 9:11-12; Jeremiah 30:19; Psalm 9:1, 95:2-3, 107:8-9; 1 Tim 4:4-5)

    For where two or more are gathered in His name, He is here among us. (Matt 18:20)

  13. poohpity says:

    Steve, how did the mood of the meal improve when Judas left? I thought Jesus was the only One who knew what he was going to do, the others thought he was going go pay for the meal or something else and after Judas left Jesus took off His cloak and began to wash the disciples feet.

  14. jeff1 says:

    Hope you all have had a thanksgiving day to remember and many more of them.

    We plow the fields, and scatter
    The good seed on the land,
    But it is fed and watered
    By God’s almighty hand;
    He sends the snow in winter,
    The warmth to swell the grain,
    The breezes and the sunshine,
    And soft refreshing rain.

    All good gifts around us
    Are sent from heaven above,
    Then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord
    For all His love.

    He only is the maker
    Of all things near and far;
    He paints the wayside flower,
    He lights the evening star;
    The winds and waves obey Him,
    By Him the birds are fed;
    Much more to us, His children;
    He gives our daily bread.

    All good gifts around us
    Are sent from heaven above,
    Then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord
    For all His love.

    We thank Thee, then, O Father,
    For all things bright and good,
    The seed time and the harvest,
    Our life, our health, and food;
    No gifts have we to offer,
    For all Thy love imparts,
    But that which Thou desirest,
    Our humble, thankful hearts.

    All good gifts around us
    Are sent from heaven above,
    Then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord
    For all His love.

  15. joycemb says:

    Steve I was wondering also what you meant by the mood of the meal improving. I’m reading The Hope of the Gospel by McDonald and I just read about how “those who hunger and thirst after righteousness” will be filled. With righteousness. That righteousness means that if you can’t get along with someone (Judas for example), or another troublesome personality the righteous thing to do is to leave them alone, both physically and emotionally if you can’t get along without causing hurtful dissention. God has called us to peace. I get this now, thanks Steve for pointing the way as usual but ultimately to Jesus Christ, our righteousness

  16. poohpity says:

    Steve, I thought you might enjoy this the proclamation of Lincoln;

    “By the President of the United States of America
    A Proclamation

    The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.

    In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

    Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

    No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

    It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans. mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity, and union.

    In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

    Done at the city of Washington, this 3d day of October, A. D. 1863, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.


    By the President:

    WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State”

  17. joycemb says:

    Thinking about what Mart said… I spent Thanksgiving alone, my choice because of ill health -mental and physical- but if I had gone where invited I know there was someone there I could not get along with for more than about 2 hours but I would have for the sake of the holiday. All sitting around the same table in harmony is like a slice of heaven and the Kingdom of God. Its just a small taste but am remembering that we are not Home yet, our eternal home anyway.

  18. joycemb says:

    But we are called to love one another which takes mercy sometimes. God always outdoes me when it comes to mercy. I fail but in my failing God is still merciful to those I fail. Ain’t Love grand!

  19. joycemb says:

    On this blog I have failed to love you, pooh. My reactions to you are proof. My failure to love you with mercy applied has been almost devastating to me, a mercy gifted soul. Our spiritual gifts I’m finding out don’t matter at all without love, (oh yes Paul said this already). Saying I love someone than treating them without mercy or even kindness is just noise.

    So I am faced with a personal dilemma, how to really love. Patience required I’m afraid. I think we often confuse love and like. Human I am yet still seeking the better way.

  20. narrowpathseeker says:

    Joyce….WHY do you torture yourself? When I helped to take care of my ex husband who was totally ungrateful and unremorseful, I did what I was supposed to do…gave him his meds, brought him his meals, talked to him in a civil tone,(when my daughter was not home) and prayed for him.When she was home to take care of him…I made myself scarce. Many times I went to the river to cry to the Lord that I couldn’t take much more of him and that He had to help me if I was going to do what I believed He wanted me to do. I know the Lord didn’t require me to apologize to him for HIS rude, arrogant, unthankful and unremorseful behavior. I believe I have been greatly Blessed for sticking it out and being honest with the Lord about my feelings towards him…I used to apologize for feeling such hatred towards him and asked God to deliver me from it and forgive me…BUT I apologized to the Lord not to my ex husband… I did ONCE when I lost my temper with him and told him just what I thought of him in 5000 words or more…BUT I apologized for my unChristlike behavior. I told him that everything I said was the truth and I wasn’t apologizing for that but rather for the WAY I said it and in the tone that I used. I hope you can think about that in a positive manner… I am sorry you spent Thanksgiving alone, but I am sure you had the Lord there with you, and He is the best company we can get!! :-)

  21. narrowpathseeker says:

    In conclusion to my above comment, I am pretty sure that there are NONE of us here that are without need of deliverance from some ugliness in us. We just need to be honest with the Lord and at least RESIST entertaining our demons Again…the Truth shall set us free. Honest, humble people are beautiful despite the demons they battle or maybe because they battle them instead of embracing them and lying about them. Anyway I hope you just talk this over with the Lord and stop beating yourself up.

  22. joycemb says:

    Pearl unfortunately (or fortunately) I know myself more than most having been in emotional and spiritual counseling for about 30 years now. I’m too complex for myself sometimes, much less for others to begin to understand. I do appreciate your concern though and thanks for sharing from your perspective! I’m glad it worked for you to find your personal peace. I don’t think I wil ever be at peace with myself until I stop breathing, but looking to Him I find peace I can never know this side of eternity. Trying to be patient with myself here. Thanks for your friendship. Joyce

  23. joycemb says:

    Street, I am enjoying “The Dilemma of Genesis”. He quotes from a 2nd century text by rabbis “Who is wise? One who learns from every person.”
    It helps with working through or out of should I say my personal thinking box. Maybe I’ll let God out before He has to break out again. :-)

  24. joycemb says:

    Oops thats a chapter in The Genesis of Ethics.

  25. poohpity says:

    narrow, no worries Joyce did not apologize to me for anything. I just heard her simply saying that what she says she believes is not congruent with her actions and she feels guilty.

  26. SFDBWV says:

    Technically speaking if you read the Gospel of John starting with Chapter 13 through Chapter 18. (John 13-18) You will see once Judas left the room what it is Jesus has to say to all the remaining Disciples, it being enveloped in love.

    Yes Joyce as is always given in Scripture it has directives for our living.

    Joyce I have a dear friend who lives alone by his choice. I get a laugh every year at Thanksgiving when I make sure he is taken care of and remind him he is always welcome here. He smiles and laughs and says “Steve I have far too many kids to pick one to have dinner with as it would offend all the others, so I prefer to just enjoy the day at home doing what I like to do.”

    It is kind of like that old saying, “I didn’t really want to go to the dance, I just wanted to be ask.”

    Joyce what you really need today is a hug, so from across the miles Matthew, Glenna and I extend a hug for you.

    Be at peace


  27. SFDBWV says:

    Pooh thank you for the entire Thanksgiving proclamation from Abraham Lincoln, it has been a long, long time since I had read it in its entirety.

    The Civil War and the generation that fought it is one of my passions. These were remarkable people and very Christian in their attitude and actions.

    Even on the fields of battle as difficult as that is for some to understand.


  28. SFDBWV says:

    Pearl I am glad to see you survived your “ordeal” amid the mixtures of fond memories and bad memories. Though anxious to get back to normal in NC. I would imagine.

  29. joycemb says:

    Thanks Steve for the hug and for reaching out to me in my pain. The hurting never ends but God is good and he is enough! As always!

  30. joycemb says:

    joycemb says:
    November 20, 2016 at 2:37 pm
    My sincere apology to you, pooh, and anyone else I have offended here. Log out! I can see better now. Running on the freedom train, hallelujah!

    I should just learn to leave self-reflection to my dear diary, lol! But the apology was sincere. And still is.

  31. street says:

    dear joycemb thinking about your Rock and how it is impossible for you to be shaken or to fall and not to be forsaken. His love holds forever, the tension of the past and the hope of the future molds and shapes us according to His design. let as cast off everything that hinders and tangles us up, He is our inheritance and Hope.

  32. joycemb says:

    “the tension of the past and the hope of the future molds and shapes us according to His design” thanks street that helps a lot.

  33. street says:

    a recent devotion told of the importance of remembering the past/ slavery darkness deception etc. if we forget, it we forget the Deliverer of the past too. not a good place to be.

  34. joycemb says:

    Street I’ve been trying to forget the past for 66 years- being told by some it’s best; yet I am my past, present and future though entwined with grace and Gods blessing on me. On that I rest looking forward through a muddy, scarred lens of clay. We are all in the same boat though aren’t we. It helps seeing others as scarred and marred as myself, as we all are fallen creatures needing redemption and the hope that brings. The marriage supper with our Groom is going to be the best thanksgiving meal ever!

    Yes, looking back at what I used to be helps to focus me on my Deliverer. I do this often.

  35. poohpity says:

    Joyce I was referring to your comment of Nov 25th 1:04pm the same one narrow was referring to.

    The one you listed from days ago, I was not offended in any way, so I did not know what the apology was for. You said you were sad from the previous perspective conversation and then brought the same issue up again when it made you so sad. I just thought if it made you sad why talk about it again. No need to apologize for that.

  36. joycemb says:

    Pooh, our conversation that day before my apology where you called us hateful old women and said we needed to take the log out of our own hearts first before judging yours was what I was apologizing for. I don’t think you would have said what you did unless you felt backed into a corner. “God never forces an issue” I had recently read. It is God that convicts of sin and I was convicted about over-stepping my bounds, again. I pushed too hard. I’m still learning to lean more on God and less on what I think I know.

  37. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you very much Joyce, for your apology!
    And for sharing your ordeal. I was part of that too!
    I believe that we can point out where fellow christians are hurting each other. When it is not accepted, which mine wasn’t, then I felt sorry, thinking I stirred up emotions. But when it would have been accepted, victory was won! And we would have been delighted! Good emotions!

    But the point is, only part, when the advice is not taken, do I get in a wrong mood? I prayed and prayed that God would give me Love, that I did not want any ill-feeling towards anybody!
    I had given the advice to Pooh with love in my heart, and that love is still there, thanks to the Grace of God!
    God has been so graceful to me, and patient, and that is what is what should flow out to others, like what mother Theresa said, if others are unfriendly stay friendly,
    Or other wording, Pooh gave that some time ago.
    The thing is, that what we write here, we should do ourselves!
    So as not to frustrate the Grace of the Gospel.

  38. foreverblessed says:

    I am so thankful that God does not get in wrong moods when we disobey.
    Think of it, millions and millions of people who do not listen to Him, with every one, like we do here, His mood would go down a bit, o dear what an angry God He would be! But, thank God, He is not like us!
    God cannot but love us! That is who He is. So He still loves us when we go in the wrong.
    He will discipline us, but always with love in His heart!

    I get annoyed, my old self. I have to kill that! That’s what Street keeps telling us, kill the old self and live in the New Life of Christ the Bread from on High.

    All though, like Narrow, who at the river cried out her frustration to God, she was honost in facing her feelings, but she gave them to God! That’s Living in the Cross:
    We give our darkness to Him, and we ask God His Light ( love Patience peace etc)
    I am so thankful for that heavenly Bread!

    God, thank you for the Bread from heaven that we may eat today again!

  39. jeff1 says:

    Forever, Joyce and Steve, I think your posts reflect that you know God very well and I can relate to that because my earthly father did. That is my struggle, because I have a tendency to see my anger as God’s anger and I fear God; but it is not in a good way, but rather believing the bad stuff in my life is punishment for past wrongs.

    My mother believed it, because she once told me about a retired IRA man who lived opposite us. He was an alcoholic and drank methylated spirit because he could not afford alcohol. She told me how he was paying for his sin because he had strangled a security guard when he was in prison and a member of the IRA.

    I believe in my heart God loves me but in my head there is always the thoughts that if bad things are happening then I have done something to deserve it.

    It is a struggle and sometimes I feel I just cannot win it. I will never be really home until I am released from this life into the next.

    I seem to be thanking God but always expecting the worst.

  40. SFDBWV says:

    Sorry I tried to post Bette Midler singing “The Rose” but it didn’t come through, so I won’t also try to send Sarah McLachlan singing “In the Arms of An Angel”.

    Find them on YouTube and enjoy the music.


  41. poohpity says:

    Oh my gosh, I said that you were that way before you ever met me but if it was taken out of context to fit your narrative it does sound bad. Have you not shared here that you were angry, hateful and bitter? The whole point was why blame me for something that already existed.

    I ask for forgiveness for misunderstanding and misinterpreting the things I say. Please forgive me for not being able to correctly type what is in my heart for it does not get across how dear y’all are to me. Forgive me for feeling like the outsider among you because I think and feel differently. Forgive me for bringing out the worst in you rather than the better. Forgive me for being the scapegoat for the already exiting troubles in each of your lives. Forgive me for being me when instead I should flatter and pretend to be something I am not so that I will be accepted and fit in. Forgive me for knowing the bible so that when we talk about things scripture comes to mind and I share it rather than quotes from movies, TV shows, books or songs. Forgive me for sharing the Good News rather than what I see wrong in each of your lives and telling you how to fix it. Forgive me for caring enough to read what you write so I can get to know you and accept you just the way you are even behind the masks. Forgive me for not being as perfect as you think I should be. Forgive me for trying to share how much each of you means to God and that you do not have to do anything to deserve or earn it. Forgive me for taking your focus off of God and making you concentrate on me a sinner saved by the grace of God. I know that does not cover all the wrong I have done to you in your eyes but for what I have not mentioned please forgive me for I am a horrible person and never do anything good or in service to God outside of or within this blog.

  42. joycemb says:

    Good morning,

    When I think of knowing God Viv the one word that comes to mind is “surrender”. His ways are so, so far above our knowledge/understanding. Like a child and parent in a way. If a child will humble itself it has a better time of it than one who is belligerent and self/destructive. Being like a child means not worrying about what others do or say because they know Dad’s got their whole body, soul and spirit in his care. Do bad things sometime happen? Yes, it’s a cruel world out there. Yet we have the PROMISE of a better world to come! I was thanking God for that yesterday as my emotions got the best of me for a while and I had to apologize to a neighbor. The reconciliation was sweet and I look forward to a long friendship with her.

    Forever thank you for sharing your struggles here also. Poor Steve having to deal with all these emotions :-). Thank you! We will be ok!

    Pooh, I’m going to be praying for Gods help in really loving you as I should. I hope you are patient:-).
    Blessings to ALL today with love,

  43. joycemb says:

    Pooh thanks for sharing, I was writing as you shared so didn’t see it until now. Thanks for discussing this with us. We all seem to have differing perspectives but our end Goal is the same, loving God and loving others. Blessings to you also.

  44. joycemb says:

    PS, pooh, I forgive you. And I forgive myself also.

  45. narrowpathseeker says:

    Pooh that was not a request of forgiveness which you would readily receive if it were sincere… It was a facetiously written attempt to make everyone here feel guilty for being honest but kind. You seem to think everyone here is naïve beyond belief. If only you could step back and see the real deal. I see a poor soul drowning with a cement block of false pride around her neck with people on a ship trying to take the block off and others trying to pull her out of the troubled waters. Unfortunately, the drowning soul spits and bites at those trying to help her instead of taking the help and climbing aboard to share in the Blessings. The drowning one would rather have those trying to help her up, smile, praise her and say have a great day and leave her to drown in her false pride.

  46. poohpity says:

    narrow, thanks for showing the very reason that I am slow to admit fault on this blog because it is just trampled on and used against me as an attack as you have done in the past, several times as does Joyce as well. No matter what I say it is never good enough for you. It is actually not me who has the cement block of hatred, anger and bitterness tied around my neck or any other part of my body. Look around at what goes on with your relationships within your world. I know on here there are several who agree with you and you with them because of like-mindedness but if I were not here it would just be someone else and especially if they were different. You came on here angry and bitter nothing has changed and have found that same type of companionship to nurture those behaviors. I feel so sad for you and always have because I know you need love so much and I tried to show you that as I empathized with what you were going through when you did not have any place to go except back to an abusive relationship.

    Narrow, I love you. Joyce, I love you. Steve, I love you. forever, I love you. Pat, I love you. I love you all just as you are. Please accept those words as they are intended from my heart. May God shower you all with His blessings with love and may you grow in knowing Him better and better.

  47. joycemb says:

    Pooh has it ever occurred to you that perhaps it’s your narrative that’s off since you feel like an outsider here? Did you ever ask yourself why you seem to be the only one who gets called on for what you say here (Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks, the Bible says.)
    Do you ever feel guilt? Or does Jesus death on the cross remove all guilt for all time so that feeling guilt is anathema to you? Once saved and it’s everyone is against me because I can’t be wrong, right? No you haven’t said these things, but as you say, I listen to what is not being said also. Self-reflection is good but dangerous, as it takes humility to admit I may be wrong. Or that compared to God I am actually always wrong because I can’t really know another’s heart or troubles and accept that evaluation with humility and grace. What goes around comes around the old proverb goes, yet because of grace there is hope for a better outcome, isn’t there? I think the only way to break the cycle of blame and shame here is grace. And understanding. Yes I am speaking to myself as well. Just some thoughts over a difficult thanksgiving table here, please pass the pie! And coffee:-)

  48. poohpity says:

    Well Joyce it has to do with the type of persons that say the things they say about me whether I respect their opinions or not. It has to do with all the time people take to show me how awful I am when everything they say is more representative of their own heart condition then it does about me. Think of all the time it takes to try and convince me of what you see in me but when it all comes down to it, it does not really matter what any of you think of me because I do not live for your acceptance but I do actually take it as a blessing because of who it is coming from. Like I said look around what is going on in your worlds and in your relationships and how that reflects on you. I am not there but you are.

  49. joycemb says:

    For better or worse, pooh, your presence here on this blog makes you part of my “world”. As with all the other regulars here. You did not answer my questions, that’s ok, I respect that. Relationships are messy as you know also, communication and transparency take humility and grace. I respect that also.

  50. joycemb says:

    You have excellent deflection skills pooh, has anyone ever told you that before?

  51. joycemb says:

    Besides on here?

  52. street says:

    God always does what He says,

    this verse hit me pretty hard today. thinking all the harsh realities of God’s Words on sinners and they are many. in order to keep His Word He endured what is due me. thank you LORD.

  53. joycemb says:

    Amen! Street

  54. street says:

    If we can’t choose the cards we’re dealt, we’d might as well focus on how we play the game— to do the best we can with whatever we’ve been given.

    seems to me that we are among game players, same beginning same end. the teacher talks about how the game changes when God is added to the picture. evil is soon to depart. to see past the game-board is a gift from God. may we find joy thanksgiving and praise in all things, because they are from God.

  55. joycemb says:

    “Adversity is Gods opportunity for spiritual maturity” Dr. Charles Stanley

  56. bubbles says:

    Crying again

  57. SFDBWV says:

    Returning my thoughts to Mart’s subject, when I first read it and even now as I read over it again and again it seems to me to be bleak and dark, even near hopeless in its content.

    If I were simply connecting the content of this topic to having a meal with others, I believe I would rather stay home all by myself then to be forced to be with people who evoked such a dark and sinister emotion in my spirit.

    If in fact it is their presence where the darkness is and not my own.

    On the other hand if it is a reflection of a view of life of facing another day of misery and emptiness amidst people who make us feel as though we have to put on a false smile and mask our inner feelings; then the subject is extremely sad.

    That first week Matthew was in the hospital, was the darkest time of my life. The doctors gave us no hope, even a Priest who came to comfort us gave us no hope, but then I read Psalm 23 again and “it” came alive in me and I remembered that no matter what road we were on God had already prepared the way for us.

    No it isn’t easy nor pleasant, but is the road by which the Creator of the Universe made for me and has us walking through. My hope is not in the things I see nor the ugly we have to endure, but in what lay ahead at the end of our journey. It is because of that hope and unseen end that we can endure at all, and for that I can never say “thank you” enough to our Lord.

    31 degrees and cloudy here in the mountains.


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