Tuesday, November 30, 2010

give thanks, day 30

Today I am thankful for the leaders of our church….their vision….and their commitment to making WCC a positive, thriving environment where people are connected to Jesus Christ. They go the extra mile.

John Maxwell writes: A person with an extra mile attitude is someone who…..
• Cares more than others think is wise.
• Risk more than others think is safe.
• Dream more than others think is practical.
• Expect more than others think is possible.
• Work more than others think is necessary.

Many, many thanks for and to these people.

Lion’s Den Man

Monday, November 29, 2010

give thanks, day 29

Well the Thanksgiving break has come to an end. It is time for routine to take over again. I am thankful for the extra time I had to spend with my family to just hang out and do stuff without having the demands of work hanging over me. Kids activities were put to a halt and school with its demands also disappeared for a few days. Things....time....just slowed down a bit for a few days. Just having that non-structured time to interact with each other makes me thankful. I don't want to forget times like this.....I am thankful for these days.

Lion's Den Man

Sunday, November 28, 2010

give thanks, day 28

Today I am thankful for authors/writers and the way they have with words. The idea may not always be a new one, but the twist they put on it can bring a fresh perspective to how we should see things. I read this yesterday, "how you treat the creation reflects how you feel about the creator." That reminder is one to be thankful for....

Lion's Den Man

Saturday, November 27, 2010

give thanks, day 27

(thank you "Fisher of Men" for the following post....LDM)

I am thankful for a father’s love for his son. I love my son with all my heart and being just as God loved his one and only son. My son did not get to spend Thanksgiving with us this year. It was not that he didn’t want to it is due to the fact that he is thousands of miles away in Iraq serving his country and finishing up what he volunteered to do. Over the past 8 months I have struggled with him being gone and not being close to him. With Skype and the internet I have been able to keep in contact with him but it is still not the same as being able to hug his neck and tell him that I love him in person.

I have prayed that God will keep him safe and as his time to leave Iraq is just days away I find myself thinking of him and praying even harder that he will be safe. Eight months of service and so far he has come through ok but my biggest fear, as a Dad, is that something might happen as he is so close to being home.

As his departure gets closer I have been thinking about my son more and more. He is not the little boy he used to be. He is not 8 or 12 or even 16, and as a parent we wonder how our guidance and directions have helped or hurt our kids as they get older. He is now 23 years old and he has grown into a fine young man with a heart of gold.

My love for my son is stronger and deeper than it ever has been. Isn’t that how it should be with our Heavenly Father’s love towards us? There is nothing we can do to stop God from loving us and I know that is the same as with my son.

My son will be back in time for us to celebrate Christmas with him. I have missed him so. What a joy that will be to celebrate the Birth of Jesus coming into this world and to celebrate the safe return of my son and my hero! I am very proud of him! I am so thankful for a father’s love!

Fisher of Men

Friday, November 26, 2010

give thanks, day 26

I am thankful for humor especially for those who have the ability to make others laugh... what a stress relief it can be. The other day at work things were stressful to say the least then out of nowhere someone walks in and tells a joke...which leads to someone else telling a joke...and the laughter gets louder and then someone else walks in to join the "party" and before you know it there are eight people adding to the joke conversation not even remembering the first one that was told.

It is great to hear people laugh and see tears from that laughter. We need more of that.

Lion's Den Man

Thursday, November 25, 2010

give thanks, day 25

I am thankful for this day of thanksgiving. This day has become a day of reflection as well as one of celebration for me. A day where I think about the people in my life and what they mean to me. I remember those who are no longer here and how they helped to shape me. I look at those who are younger than I and wonder where life will take them and how they might remember me. It is a day that I not only give thanks for God's provision's, but for the people He has brought into my life. I find peace in this day and for that I am thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Lion's Den Man

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

give thanks, day 24

(below is another post from a friend...thank you)

I am thankful for how wonderful life is...in the light of how it could have been. That may sound like a not-so-thankful posture from which to praise God for His goodness and faithfulness in my life, but think about it. Don't we tend to rejoice or grieve based on where the acceptable bar is set...that place on which our eyes are fixed?

If I am having a health problem, and I am surrounded by those with more severe problems, I tend to be thankful I am not worse. If, on the other hand, I'm surrounded by athletes and hard bodies...I may tend to grieve my condition.

So...as I write this short confession on my pattern of thinking, I am convicted. How unlike Jesus is it to view my station in life in proportion to the perceived condition of those within my scope of attention!

My mind goes to the jail cell from which the Apostle Paul wrote the letter to the Philippians. This is great...imagine yourself in a foreign jail cell...this may take a while so don't rush..........are you in the jail cell yet? Away from those you love...and writing a letter. Give yourself time to settle in on whatever is your condition. Bad food? musty smell? dirty? unsavory company? angry guards? and your innocent! it's not fair.

Read a short part of Paul's jail cell letter...your alone...read it out loud, right where you sit.

"I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now...Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance...For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain..."

I read it again and again...slowly, praying that God will move in me, generating such a genuine joy ...overflowing...erupting out of my heart in such a way that points my world to Him. It doesn't happen as I focus on others. Rather, may this be a day that I focus on God's crazy love for me and determine my response will be a reflection of His love to others.

What if God chooses to show Himself through me so clearly that others are drawn to Him...in their pain and struggle. And the process of being drawn to Him transforms their experience of pain and struggle into an "I-have-learned-to-be-content-in-whatever-condition-I-live" reality.

I am thankful today for His presence in my life, and His promise that if I draw near to Him...He'll draw near to me. That's enough to turn a day around.

Thanksgiving...maybe it's about my relationship with God more than what I have...where I am...and what I'm doing. Thanksgiving and Contentment...maybe they're twins.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

give thanks, day 23

A Growing Challenge

Something “clicked”. One day my children couldn’t read and the next they could. Now, it’s really not that simple, there’s a lot of hard work that goes into learning to read - lots of patience and practice. Still, it’s simply amazing how their brains have done what brains do and now they’re reading.

Being around a child who is learning to read is an amazing experience. Watching and hearing as the connections are made (the letters becoming sounds, becoming words, becoming thoughts) stirs a great sense of wonder in me.

As I think about my children learning to read, I am drawn to consider the experiences I have had struggling to master a new skill or task. Those puzzles which cause me to stop and scratch my head. The obstacles I have to work to overcome. Like reading, the pieces of life which open me to new ways of experiencing the world.

As I reflect, I recognize I haven’t always appreciated such difficulties. Yet, I’m finding it is in these times and through these experiences that I grow the most.

New strategies are developed. Relationships are tested and strengthened. New ideas are born. Most importantly, I am invited into a deeper understanding of God’s presence in my life and in the world.

Maybe you are experiencing challenges in your life? If so, I invite you to join me in thanking God for those challenges. They are a chance to grow closer to one another and closer to God. Growing through challenges…for this I am thankful and I pray you are as well.

Shawn Franssens

Monday, November 22, 2010

give thanks, day 22

I have a few friends that are going to help post while Jeff is away. I am thankful for their help........LDM


We live in the greatest country in the world where we have the freedom to choose our leaders through a process that has lasted for over 234 years. I am thankful for the service men and women who have served our country in peace and war time. We have religious freedom to serve our God in our own faith in the place of worship that we choose is a freedom our ancestors fought to maintain, I am thankful to be an American.

Dave Coffman

Sunday, November 21, 2010

give thanks, day 21

Today I am thankful for being older. Older than what? Older than I was. Yes it is true that I am slower, and fatter, and everything else that goes with that. Yes it is true that I have a bad knee and I am starting to lose my hearing. The hair, well, what can I say.

But along with the obvious challenges to being 53, there are the joys. My children are growing up well. My oldest is getting ready to graduate college and enter the work force!!!!!! I have seen so many places. I have met and loved so many people. I am a little more relaxed. A little easier to get along with. A little more loving. Older isn't always a bad thing. After all, we all have friends that died in their 40's.

So today, I am thankful for the journey, all 53 years.

PS- tomorrow, Charlie F, Tim C and I will be leaving for a ten day trip to Mozambique. Our sister church there is dedicating their new sanctuary and they wanted some of us to join them for the celebration. It is a 22 hour plane flight. Please keep us in your prayers.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Give thanks, day 20

These quotations were provided by Irene P.

gratitude is the sign of noble souls - Aesop

If you can't be thankful for what you receive, be thankful for what you escape.

If the only prayer that you ever say in your life is thank you, it will be enough. Meister Eckhart

the way to love anything is to realize that it may be lost - GK Chesterton

When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people. Abraham Joshua Heschel

The greatest joy is appreciation. Once you have something in life and almost lose it and mange to get it back, you learn about appreciation. Sid Caesar

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. -Hazeldon

There are two kinds of gratitude: the sudden kind we feel for what we take; and the larger kind we feel for what we give. E. A. Robinson

One can never pay in gratitude; one can only pay “in kind” somewhere else in life. Anne Morrow Lindbergh

I had no shoes and complained, until I met a person who had no feet.

Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive. Find a way to be thankful for your troubles, and they can become your blessings. One can pay back the loan of gold, but one dies forever in debt to those who are kind. Malayan Proverb

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live them. John F. Kennedy

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

The way to love anything is to realize that it may be lost. G. K. Chesterton

Normal Day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky, and want, more than all the world, your return. Mary Jean Iron

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Celebrate your can, because you can

The following post is by Erin Swanson, who attends Woods Chapel ::

Hi friends, it’s me again. If you missed my post in October, you can read it here. Jeff kindly agreed to let me guest post again today because it is one of my favorite holidays: World Toilet Day!

Nope, I’m absolutely not joking. Today I ask you to join me in taking a second and think about your toilet. Would it shock you to know that more people on earth have cell phones than access to a toilet? Fecal matter is the leading cause of infection worldwide. And in India alone, the number of people who practice open defecation is double the population of the U.S.

Pretty outrageous. Especially because only 100 years ago, we faced the same problems and disease from lack of safe water and sanitation that the developing world suffers from today. It was sweeping reforms in these areas that allowed human development and economic progress to leap forward.

I think the hope we have right now is twofold. 1) It is all preventable, and the solutions are simple and cost-effective. 2) We can do something about it. And we are! The Woods Chapel community is participating in Advent Conspiracy beginning at the end of this week, to raise money for sustainable water and sanitation programs in two communities in rural Haiti through Water.org.

[Water.org is a KC-based international nonprofit that has been working with communities around the world to deliver sustainable water and sanitation solutions for 20 years. I’ve worked here for almost 2 ½ years, loving it, and learning that sanitation, water, and health and hygiene go hand-in-hand. When all of these are implemented together in a project, change is long-term and life-changing. It’s all about the holistic approach!]

And so today, I ask you to do a few things:

1) Reflect on the importance of a toilet, a safe place to take care of business. Maybe read “Four Ways a Toilet Can Change a Girl’s Life” and see the transformation that comes from getting a toilet for the first time.

2) Check out and send this link about World Toilet Day [complete with funny toilet facts, shocking facts, and ways to spread the word on the social networks] to a friend, coworker, or family member.

3) Check out some pictures of toilets from around the world.

4) Talk about Advent Conspiracy with your family, the life-changing power of clean water and a toilet, and how you’d like to participate the month of December. Water.org can bring one person clean water for life for only $25, and a toilet for only $30.

5) Pray for those in need around the world, and ways that we can best work with them to obtain access to life’s most basic and precious necessities.

6) Take some time to see what God can show you and do in your heart. The theme/symbol of water is a really neat one to see used throughout His Word.

7) And if you have time, watch this great 4 minute video of some young students in India talk about the importance a toilet.

Thank you, dear family, for reading/listening to me again, and for joining me on this journey! I can’t tell you how excited I am for Advent Conspiracy, and to share in this important work with you.

Happy World Toilet Day!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

give thanks, day 18

Today I am thankful for things that hurt. It seems like an odd thing to be thankful for, but when you hurt, you tend to pray more. You spend more time thinking about who you are, what you are doing and why you are doing it.

So, if you hurt today, there is still some good. Take it to the Lord in prayer.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

give thanks, day 17

Today I am thankful for mercy. Mercy is "not getting what you deserve." God gives us mercy when we are loved instead of condemned. Mercy is a cousin of grace and is rooted in God's love.

We receive mercy from God, and we are asked to give it to others. To forgive, to release, to embrace those whom we otherwise might want to spank. To hurt back is human, to offer mercy is divine.

Mercy. Good to get. Good to give. Try a little bit today.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

give thanks, day 16

Today I am thankful for perseverance, for the ability to bear up in difficult times and overcome. We humans don't like to face adversity, but when it comes, aren't we glad for tenacity. I can't say that I am thankful for hard times, but I am thankful for the ability that God gives us to overcome and continue to trust him.

It's a beautiful day in God's world be sure to see the good.

Monday, November 15, 2010

give thanks, day 13

Today I am thankful for a boss who is a good man. Many bosses use their power to "Lord it over" their employees. We have all heard horror stories of people who work under the direction of those who treat them poorly. If you are in such a circumstance, I pray for you.

I give thanks today for a boss that truly cares for me and all that work for him. He is someone who has a heart for Christ and carries himself in a kind way. The way that he treats people endears others to him. I am so very fortunate, I am so very grateful to have this good man in my life.

It may not be bosses day or bosses month, but if you have a good boss, there is nothing wrong with telling him or her "thank you." After all, it is the season of giving thanks.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

give thanks, day 14

Today I am thankful for many things. But let me stay with something simple - a good night's sleep. I am thankful for this because worry, illness and other things can keep you from it. A good night's sleep is nothing to be taken for granted. To wake rested and with joy in one's heart is indeed a gift from God that we can be thankful for.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

give thanks, day 13

Today I am thankful for life. God woke me up today and gave me the gift of this day. Daily breath. I should be thankful every day for this simple gift, so often taken for granted.

One day I will not wake, and my family will plan my funeral. So for today, and everyday that God gives, I rejoice. I savor it. I am thankful.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Friday, November 12, 2010

give thanks, day 12

Today I am thankful for vacations. I am also thankful for Lion's Den Man posting while I was on vacation. I am also thankful that my son has moved back home. :)

What are you thankful for?

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

give thanks, day 11

today I am headed to a meeting where I will meet some new people and learn some new things. Each day presents an opportunity for us to grow, to learn, to share, to improve. Maybe it is as simple as learning a new way to do an old routine. Maybe it is an opportunity to share or help a stranger or a friend. An opportunity to teach. A chance to take on a new task or challenge. The key is to look not at the ground, but at the world around you. It is to easy to get caught in a rut and miss out on what God places before us. So today I give thanks for all the things that come into my life that will help me to grow and change and improve.

Lion's Den Man

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

give thanks, day 10

today I am thankful for friends. Gina did a great job talking about friends last Sunday. Jeff touched the subject a few days back. It seems like a hot topic.

Friendships are easy to be thankful for.... It is easy to throw this one onto the "thankful list", but it is one I cannot neglect to mention, because I am so thankful for my friends and the role they have chosen to play in my life.

With a true friend you can let your guard down. There is a bond. There is substance. With a true friend the great qualities of Christ are present and shared (truth, love, grace, mercy, justice, compassion, generosity, forgiveness, sacrifice)....to name a few.

Perhaps that is why friendships are so valuable.

Lion's Den Man

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

give thanks, day 9

I'm getting ready to head out the door to the Tuesday morning Men's Gathering. I am thankful for this Ministry..the people who attend and the one's that make it happen. I am thankful for the stories/lessons that are presented each week. The time spent getting to know each other a little better. The new faces that continue to show up....some familiar some not....and I am thankful that all are made welcome. Seeing the world through another person's eyes can be a catalyst for change/action in our own lives. I am thankful for this opportunity each week.

Lion's Den Man

Monday, November 8, 2010

give thanks, day 8

this past weekend I spent some time with my son doing the things my father and I spent time doing together. today I give thanks for my dad. I am thankful for the things he taught me how to do....for the example he set as a good husband and father....for his strength of character....for his caring and interest in my life that stood strong even after I had left home and had begun my own journey....my memories of him will never fade...and I enjoy and cherish them even more as I try my best to pass on what he gave to me.

Lion's Den Man

Sunday, November 7, 2010

give thanks, day 7

today I give thanks for today. There is no guarantee for tomorrow. To often I look past today. I work on my plans for a future day. I pray to know what God has in store for me. What I should be doing is looking at the day that I have been given....the opportunity that is before me.... to be engaged in life....to make a difference somehow....someway.....today.

Psalm 118:24

24This is the day that the LORD has made;

let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Lion's Den Man

Saturday, November 6, 2010

give thanks, day 6

today I am thankful for the basics....the things I take for granted...water, food, shelter, clothing, health....Reading the "Hole in Our Gospel" can't help but make you feel thankful for those things. If you haven't found the time to read this book please do so......and if you have.... I hope it has moved you to action.

Deuteronomy 15 11 There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward those of your people who are poor and needy in your land.

Lion's Den Man

Friday, November 5, 2010

give thanks, day 5

I am thankful for the fall season, especially here in Missouri. This season, for whatever reason, makes me slow down a little. Close by WCC we have two lakes surrounded by trees colored with the shades of autumn. It is pretty peaceful around those lakes this time of year. There is something about being in and around nature, God's creation, that calms me and helps me put things back in perspective. A little solitude is healthy for the soul. God has provided us a season of beauty. It goes by quickly.....try not to miss it.

Lion's Den Man

Thursday, November 4, 2010

give thanks, day 4

Today I am thankful for forgiveness. It has been said, "to err is human, to forgive is divine." I am thankful that God forgives me. I am thankful for people that forgive me.

But I am also thankful for the ability to forgive others and for the freedom and wholeness that comes into my life as I am able to forgive others. Recently I spoke with a person who had some terrible things done to them. From a human standpoint, the acts were unforgivable. Imagine the worst things that you can think of.

They did not want to forgive. I understood. The person in no way deserved forgiveness.

But, we began to talk about what happens to me when I don't forgive. What happens to my heart when I refuse to release the pain. When you don't forgive, you are still giving the people that hurt you power over your life. To forgive them isn't just good for them, it is good for you.

I am thankful for forgiveness.

It is a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

give thanks, day 3

I am thankful for the chance to help others. In whatever form that takes, when I help others, something changes inside of me. It is the whole "in giving, you receive" idea. Helping others lifts me out of the blues. It gives me a sense of purpose. It makes me feel good. It is the right thing to do. And, helping others helps others.

It is God's work. It is how we show our love for Him.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

30 days of thanksgiving - day 2

I invite you to find something to be thankful for every day during the month of November.

Today I am thankful for friends who check on you, just because. They randomly call you because they love you. They randomly call you because they had a feeling that they should. A nudge.

When they respond to this nudge, it is almost always a good and timely thing. Everyone needs friends. Today, I give thanks for all of them.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Monday, November 1, 2010

giving thanks

November. November means thanksgiving. Again this year I want to use this blog to remind myself to be thankful for something every day during the month. 30 days of giving thanks. I want to invite you, to challenge you to do the same. Find at least one thing to be thankful for each day. It is such a good and such a Christian habit.

Thankful. Today I am thankful for God's love. Sometimes I forget about God's love for an hour or a day or more. When I do forget, I can get very concerned about whatever is going on. When I remember that God loves me, then I am at peace. I recover the sense that everything is ok. When I remember that God loves me, I can abide in him. It is surely one of the most important things that a Christian can know. Please know that God loves you.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.