Archives for November 2011

Life-Giving? Toxic?

Posted by Jen, Guest blogger Michelle Greydanus

Our presence, words and conversations about or with others are either “life-giving” or “filled with the toxicity and stench of death.” (Paraphrase of Kathy Lee Gifford on the Today Show). I’ve been pondering the truth of this phrase all week and it led me to reflect on I Thess 5:11.

1 Thessalonians 5:10-12 (NIV)
“He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.  Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

Pondering the calling as a follower of Jesus to “Live together” in unity with Christ and the Christian’s role in encouraging and building others up. And how the opposite conversations of gossip and toxic negativity destroy this unity in the body. It builds walls of separation and establishes “armies” of dissention within workplaces, schools, churches and families. Yet, how quick am I to accept and join in on this behavior…yuck…to the Cross again I go.

God Walks With Us

Written By Amy

Hello Friends!  I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  This year we had some close family friends from Dallas visit us for the holiday, and it was a gift to plan and shop and cook with my friend Jodie.  We decided to try a new idea around the Thanksgiving dinner table.  We had each person (child and adult) write down before the meal “Three Pasts and a Future.”  In other words, two things we were thankful for from this past year, and one that we hope to be thankful for a year from now.  The catch, however, was that each person needed to be stealthy about their comments because at the dinner table one person would pull the written down ideas out of a bowl and read them aloud….and everyone needed to guess whose thoughts had been shared.  It was a time of laughter and sincerity and sharing of hearts.

This experiment made me think about the past year and the struggles we have had (some somewhat serious injuries with our kids from sports, financial stress and job instability) and realize how God has seen us through all of it, which made me thankful.  I had to acknowledge that much of my worry in life is about the unknown, or uncertainty of the future…for our family that seems to be job stability or pay cuts or raises.  For some, worry may be about a troubled marriage, a job, direction in life, or an illness.

As I wrote down my “future” thankful hope, it was that a new business venture that my husband is pursuing would be successful and we would be thankful for that.  As I thought some more, however, I realized my future thankful hope should be nothing except…”I am thankful that God has walked with us no matter what will come this next year.”  Right?  I can be hopeful for Jon’s business, but I can already be thankful for my position of peace that I will have a year from now, regardless of the outcome.  God has promised me that he would never leave me, he will not give me more than what I can handle, and that he has a good plan and purpose for my life if I trust him with it and ask him through prayer to guide me.

Hear the voice of God in these paraphrased scriptures:

“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go.”   Genesis 28:15

“I will meet all your needs according to my glorious riches. ”  Philippians 4:19

“Nothing in all creation will be able to separate you from my love.”   Romans 8:38-39

So, I have a lot of hopes for this next year (I am starting out the year with major knee surgery, and I can guarantee you that I hope that will go well!), but I already know what I will be thankful for… that my God will be walking through the year with me no matter what should come my way.

Free Printable Thanksgiving Weekend Football Pick ’em Sheet

Written By Jen

Hey Everyone, Happy Thanksgiving!  I wanted to tell you all how thankful I am for you!  Thanks for being a part of our lives and our blog community.  My family LOVES football.  We will have the games on all weekend as we cook on Thanksgiving and tear out our Christmas decorations for the rest of the weekend.  We have a family tradition to print out a “Pick ’em” sheet.  Everyone in the family gets one and we see who picks the most games right.  Some people pick the games based on records and others based on how appearances (best uniforms), but it gets everyone involved and it’s fun!  I made a “Pick ’em” sheet for our family and I wanted to share it with you.  I did not put in all the college match ups, just the big ones.  You can scratch some others on the sheet if there are a few of your favorites that I missed.  Here is what it looks like:

If you click here: 2011 Thanksgiving Pick ’em pdf it will take you to the PDF so you can print some out for your family too!  Happy Thanksgiving EVERYONE!









Thanksgiving Prayer

Posted by Jen

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thanksgiving Printables


Here are some fun activities for your kids to do before or on Thanksgiving day as they wait for the meal to be served!


And here’s a great activity that helps kids express what they are thankful for:

All of these came from the Family Fun website…if you like them, head there for some more ideas.


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