Monday, November 30, 2009

I Saw the Light!

Did you realize that there are just 26 days until the world acknowledges the birth of Christ? This holiday above all others, brings to light the story of Christ, his parents, and all the circumstances surrounding this event. So I am going to try to give my insight on Christmas and take a look at many different aspects of the story. I hope it gives you a new perspective on Christmas and the true story that has been told for over 2000 years.

The first think I think of when I thing of the Nativity is the prophet, Isaiah. He brought us the good news of the impending birth of Jesus many, many years before anyone could believe it. The words of Isaiah 9:1 - 7 are some of the most beautiful spoken.

1 Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan-

2 The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.

3 You have enlarged the nation
and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you
as people rejoice at the harvest,
as men rejoice
when dividing the plunder.

4 For as in the day of Midian's defeat,
you have shattered
the yoke that burdens them,
the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressor.

5 Every warrior's boot used in battle
and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
will be fuel for the fire.

6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

7 Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David's throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this.

Of these verses, the sixth one is probably the most known and the favorite. It has the names that Christ will be and can be called. Our minister will be doing a series of sermons about the names of Christ during the month of December.

As a singer, I have done over 30 Christmas cantatas. One of my favorite songs had to do with verse 2. "The people walking in darkness have seen a great light." There was a song about this. It makes me wonder how the light was shown to them. Was it the star? Was it just the dawning of some epiphany? Did they know by heart, Isaiah's message from God to them? How did you discover Christ? How did he come to you and you come to him? Sometimes the light just comes on, doesn't it?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Traditions are a part of our lives. A couple of days ago, I asked for your traditions. Here are the two responses I received.

From Tim Hill:
We don't really have anything we do any more. I remember when I was growing up going rabbit or quail hunting with my brother Dick a few times. I was usually the bird dog. I only actually carried a gun one time and missed the only rabbit I got a shot at. I still like watching the parade and the football games, if I can keep my eyes open after eating all that food.

From Lew Rainey:
when i was younger it was a tradition to go rabbit hunting on thanksgiving day as it was always the first day of hunting season.

Well, as I laugh at these, I realize that just as the first pilgrims that celebrated all they had by giving thanks, we still hunt and gather our food. Most of it is done for us and we just prepare it, but it is still the same concept.

As we prepare for the holiday of thanks, here is a reminder of what it is about:

Thanksgiving Day in the United States started as a way of giving thanks to food collected from a good harvest or problems that were fixed. It originated in 1621 and was a religious festival, but is now largely secular. It is now a holiday on the fourth Thursday of November.

So give thanks for everything this weekend. Family, friends, health, food, shelter, and all the blessing that God has bestowed upon you.

Psalms 128:2 You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.

Ephesians 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

Doxology - Thomas Ken, 1674

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Praise Him, all creatures here below.
Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

You are Thank Full

Like I promised, I will be sharing what some of you emailed me a couple of weeks ago. Thanks for all the responses! We have a lot to be thankful for. I think of these as my way of being thank full. I am full of thanks to all of you who read my devotion when you can.

I am thankful for Michelle hooking me up with your email.
I am thankful for you have your computer to give me little lesson for our lord.
I am thankful that I pass your Lifting You Up to my Life Group so they can enjoy it everyday.

God and his son
My wife and Kids if it were not for them i would be lost at times
My parents who put up with the things i did as child
My brother and sister
for my Mother and father in law who put up with me as my parents did
My friends
My job

Hugs. Sometimes I need a hug and when I get it it's so helpful.


I am thankful for: MUSIC!!!!!!

What I am most thankful for is, waking up in the morning and living another day and be with my family.

Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Traditions

What are your Thanksgiving traditions? At the Fox house we don't have too many. We are usually busy cleaning, cooking and baking because 20 people will be showing up soon and expecting food! But one thing that the kids always talk about is the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. We do sit and watch it. All the big balloons and the dance numbers are just thrilling for us. I can cut celery and onions while watching the parade.

This also marks the time the kids will start making their Christmas lists. Timm keeps telling me what he would like. Which is very nice, but I will never remember it all. If they write it down, then at least I have it on a piece of paper and read it before I lose it!

Every year, I think of things that will be fun to do at Thanksgiving. One year my father gave us a kernel of dried corn and we had to tell something we are thankful for. Two year, my kids had to write a story for school about Thanksgiving. I read them to everyone. It was quite funny both times. I guess our main traditions is Mike cooking the turkey and that we all get together.

One of my favorite traditions is watching the Detroit Lions football team play. They have hosted a football game every year since 1934. I just read about that. I know, that is a strange fact, but there is one you can impress your husband or friends with.

What are your Thanksgiving traditions? Is there a special something you do or share? Let me know. I want to get a list and share them on Wednesday.

"Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds."
- Theodore Roosevelt

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thanks for Hanging Out

I was at the store the other day looking for a big turkey. Here is what I found...A lady was picking through the frozen turkeys at the grocery store, but couldn't find one big enough for her family. She asked the stock boy, 'Do these turkeys get any bigger?'

The stock boy answered, 'No ma'am, they're dead.'

Do we feel that way sometimes? Like we need to have the biggest and best? Mike and I were talking and decided that we will get a pretty big turkey, but he is also going to smoke a pork shoulder. I am blessed to have a husband that loves to do that. If you do not have anywhere to go for Thanksgiving lunch, you are welcome to come on over to our house at noon. We are gathering with family and friends and would love for you to join us.

That is what fellowship is. Getting together with your family and friends and enjoying each other. I heard a report not long ago that said that American's do not do that enough any more. We don't get to know our neighbors, or entertain by just inviting people over for lunch or supper. Apparently we think it has to be a big celebration like a birthday or holiday to get people to come out. I am as guilty as the next person on getting to know my neighbors. I know a few, but not all and very rarely make time for them.

I think teens have the right idea when they want to hang out. They just want to be with their friends, talking, sharing, laughing. Adults sometimes are too serious.

Acts 2:42 [ The Fellowship of the Believers ] They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

1 John 1:5 - 7 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I am healed! Thank you, Jesus!

Luke 17: 11-19

While He was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing between Samaria and Galilee.
As He entered a village, ten leprous men who stood at a distance met Him; and they raised their voices, saying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" When He saw them, He said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And as they were going, they were cleansed. Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered and said, "Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine--where are they? Was no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?" And He said to him, "Stand up and go; our faith has made you well."

Talk about a story of thankfulness. Jesus gave these ten people compassion and only one appreciated it. He knew that it would happen this way, and still he gave all ten of them a healing and cleansing. The interesting thing about this story is that the one who thanked Jesus was a Samaritan. Jesus spoke a lot about these underclassed citizen. He loved them as much as he loved the Nazarenes or Galatians. But a lot of his stories dealt with those whom no one loved. So be liked the Samaritan in this story. Always thankful, no matter your situation, no matter the peer pressure.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thankful for My Kids

Hey, did you notice it is raining outside? It's kind of foggy, too. But my mood isn't dampened by the weather. I got up a little late, but that didn't bother me. The kids and I have this routine in the morning. I get up, pack lunches, eat my yogurt and then get the kids up. Then I put a Pop-Tart for each of them on the table.

They get up, get dressed, and come out, sit down and eat their breakfast, while watching FOX-19 News. Sometimes we talk, but mostly we sit listening to the tv. Timm will make some comment to the news of the day, like a football trade or some bad person. Some days, Mike gets up early and joins us. I think, he thinks we are in a bad mood when he gets up because we don't talk much. That isn't the case, though. We are just all still trying to wake up. When we first were married, he would get up and be grumpy and not talk for a while. Now it is me and the kids that are quiet.

As the time grows shorter for the kids to leave, I may tell them to brush their teeth and give them their lunch money. I tell them to have a good day. I am thankful that I have that time with them. Even though not much is said, the comfortable silence is reassuring to all of us. I am thankful for my kids, that they still want me to wake them up and help them get their mornings going.

This just reminded me of something that happened Saturday afternoon. Allie was very tired so I asked Timm if he wanted to go the grocery store with me. He did, so we got in my Edge and left. As we walked in to the store, another Mom, who recognized Timm, said, "Wow, Alex is sitting in the car. He would never come in to the store with me."

That puzzled me for a second. Then I realized she was talking about Timm walking in with me, helping me. I said, "I guess I am just lucky."

She replied, "I think you are."

I honestly never thought about it, but it is really nice that my children still find me fun enough to be around. I was always with my parents, up until I was ready to get married. I have heard several comments about how my kids are too attached to us. Well, I have never purposely tried to make them that way. I have always tried to get them to go out on their own and do their own thing with their own friends. They choose to stay with us. This is their choice. They are good kids, they are grounded. They have their share of teenage angst, but I at least know what is going on in their lives. That I am thankful for.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thank you for not judging me...

Blessed are those that can give without remembering and receive without forgetting. - Author Unknown

I like this saying. Do you remember what you gave someone? Everyday, I give smiles and pleasant conversations to those who call in and walk by my desk. I try and remember to do that, but I don't usually recall who I have talked too or what I said to them. The other day, I answered the telephone, "Good Afternoon! PEDCO E & A Services."

The person on the other line said, "It is so nice to hear your smile." Wasn't that nice of them to say? It made me want to do that more, you know, to let people hear my smile. I am blessed to be able to talk to so many people and maybe make their day a bit brighter.

Someday, we will give an account of all we did on earth. A lot of what I have done I am not proud of, but if I can account for a little bit of the good I did, I hope I can say that I made someone smile. But what I would rather do when I am standing in front of God, is to tell Him of all the wonderful things you have done for me. I would rather tell of how you made me smile. How you were thoughtful and how much I appreciate you.

1 Peter 4:5 But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thankful for our Giving

Yesterday at church, our members gave bags upon bags of food to help the church food pantry. Our church is recognized among the county for helping those down on their luck. I am thankful for that. I am thankful that if I ever get in a bind, I will know where to go and who to talk to about that.

Our giving is a wonderful thing. It not only helps others, but it gives us a sense of ownership toward helping. I hope it doesn't raise our pride, but just give us that awareness of knowing that one day it could be me.

Matthew 6:1 - 4 "Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Random Thankfulness

Today I am thankful for the ability to work. I think that having that ability, even if it isn't our favorite thing to do, it it important. Our work ethic says a lot about each of us. I think that some of you are the hardest workers I know. I think that we all work hard at something.

This morning, my husband got called in to work. I say yay!, but only because he never gets overtime any more. Plus it isn't for all day. I am very thankful that he has the ability to work and that there is extra for him to do today.

I am also thankful that we get to go tonight and watch Monroe High School play Wyoming High School in the Football Semi-Regional game at Kings High School. Another Friday Night Lights for us!

I am thankful that my children are doing well in school and caught up in the marching band. Next weekend they will march in the Monroe Christmas Parade, both of them. That excites them both. There again, they are both working on something exciting.

Today seems to be full of random thankfulness. But sometimes, that is a good thing. Being random keeps us fun!

Genesis 2:15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.

James 1:4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thankful for Hardwork

Today is Thursday. I am thankful that the sun is shining and that everyone is doing well in our family.

Last night we went to the Junior High Sports Awards Ceremony. It was stated that of the 110 students participating in fall sports (football, cheerleading, cross country, and volleyball), 94 of them received a 3.0 GPA or higher. That is something I am thankful for, especially since Timm was one of the kids. I am very proud of his accomplishment during the first quarter. His hardwork paid off!

Psalm 51:6 Surely you desire truth in the inner parts ; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank a Veteran

If you can read this, thank a teacher.
If you can read this in English, thank a Veteran.

I like this saying. It says a lot about the shape of our country. Everyday, men and woman around the globe are in Amerian military uniforms, doing their jobs to keep us free and feeling safe. Today, we should set time aside to thank them. They are special people. I know that I was not brave enough to do it. Many of my relatives were and are. My father, several of my uncles, my grandfather, my cousins and especially my daughter have or are now serving our country. Schools and cities are holding services to honor the Veterans. Several restaurants are giving free meals away to them. I even heard that Xavier University is giving our veterans free basketball tickets! How cool is that?

But you don't have to do that. All you have to do is thank one of them or everyone of them you see. So Jaci, Dad, Uncle Bob, and the countless others that shall go nameless, THANK YOU! What you did and what you are doing is a wonderful thing. I pray for you. I thank God for each of you.

Let's remember that God gave each of them the ability to serve and that they all have a faith that God will see them through. As the saying goes, 'There are no aetheist in foxholes.' Our country could not go on without God. So praise be to Him to help us keep the faith.

Isaiah 36:5 You say you have strategy and military strength—but you speak only empty words. On whom are you depending, that you rebel against me?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It is about the middle of November, 2009 and I have yet to wear a coat to work, save one day. I am thankful for the warm weather we are having. It makes for fun football games and nice afternoons for the kids. I know the weather will start to become cooler soon, so be thankful for the mid-fifties we are enjoying today.

Psalm 113:3 From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the LORD is to be praised.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Thankful for the Christmas story

This morning, I was driving to work, thankful that there was Christmas music on the radio. I enjoyed listening to the different arrangements and the message of Peace on Earth during the birth of our Savior. I know it is early, but I am thankful for this time of year that we can reflect on these things.

Christmas music this early in the season is a nusiance to some, but for me it is calming and soothing. I love the familiarity of the songs, the introduction of a few new ones and that we only hear them this time of year. Well, I listen too them a lot more than most throughout the year. It drives a lot of people crazy, but for me it is the reassurance of God's promise to us. It started with Jesus and ends with us. Jesus came to earth to be like us, but to be perfect and sacrifice himself. We end the promise that never ends by either accepting or rejecting it. I hope that each of you reflect on the child in the manger, the angels singing, the baby that changed the world.

I am so thankful for this true story of love.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord for saving my soul.
Thank you, Lord for making me whole.
Thank you, Lord for giving to me,
Thy great salvation so rich and free.

That kinda says it all today.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Smaller Thanks

There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.
-- Author Unknown

Whether you see the silver lining or not, there is something to be thankful for. It may be so insignificant to you, but others see it as a huge blessing. It is probably something that you take for granted. Whatever it may be, find it and be thankful for it.

Today I am thankful for this computer. It works and it let's me send this devotion out to each of you. Send me something that you are thankful for that you never thought about as being thankful. I want to compile a list for all of you to see. No names, just thankful things.

May we each be thankful for the little things. It makes the more important things much more a big deal in our lives.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Thankful for my Family

Today I am thankful that no matter what, I have family and friends who love me. I am thankful for my husband, my children, my parents and pray that God will keep them close. I am thankful for my church family too.

Feeling grateful or appreciative of someone or something in your life actually attracts more of the things that you appreciate and value into your life.
-- Christiane Northrup

This quote says a lot. I hope that you are thankful for someone in your life that helps you appreciate other things.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

God Bless the USA

Staying with the thankfulness topic, I am thankful for living in a country where there does not have to be armed guards or troops at every voting site. I am thankful that I can drive my car, without reservation of where I am going, park it, walk into a building, give my name, show my I.D., and vote, without worrying about who is going to see me, who is going to retaliate against me or my family.

I am thankful that we have a democracy that works for us (for the most part) and that we are free from most of the fears that plague a lot of other countries. I can not begin to understand that kind of fear that they live with. And for that I am thankful too!

Did you vote today?

God Bless The USA

Green Hosting By

God Bless The USA
by Lee Greenwood

If tomorrow all the things were gone,
I’d worked for all my life.
And I had to start again,
with just my children and my wife.

I’d thank my lucky stars,
to be livin here today.
‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom,
and they can’t take that away.

And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

From the lakes of Minnesota,
to the hills of Tennessee.
Across the plains of Texas,
From sea to shining sea.

From Detroit down to Houston,
and New York to L.A.
Well there's pride in every American heart,
and its time we stand and say.

That I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

And I’m proud to be and American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Thank You Lord, For Your Blessings On Me

Well, a new month, and I think I am going to try to do each devotion centered around Thanksgiving.

Today is the first Monday of the month. Everyone here in the office seems to have gotten here early and going strong. I do not know if it is because it is the new month or if it is because it is a new week or if there is a new feel because of the quickly approaching holiday. But there is a different feel today.

As I was reading verses about thanksgiving from Psalms, I noticed that a lot of them also had the words that gave you the idea that people were to sing also.

Psalm 42:4 These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng.

Psalm 69:30 I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.

Psalm 95:2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.

Psalm 147:7 Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make music to our God on the harp.

So today as you think of what has made you thankful today, remember this song by the Easter Brothers, "Thank You Lord, For Your Blessings On Me" by Jeff Easter.

As the world looks upon me, as I struggle along
They say I have nothing, but they are so wrong
In my heart I'm rejoicing, how I wish they could see
Thank you Lord, for your blessings on me


There's a roof up above me
I've a good place to sleep
There's food on my table
And shoes on my feet
You gave me your love Lord
And a fine family
Thank you Lord, for your blessings on me

Verse II

Now I know I'm not wealthy, and these clothes , they're not new
I don't have much money, but Lord I have you
And to me that's all that matters, though the world cannot see
Thank you Lord, for your blessings on me

Repeat Chorus, then:

Thank you Lord, for your blessings on me