Memorial Day - Remembering Our Own
As we come together this Memorial Day weekend to remember the fallen soldiers who served in the United States military. Remember and encourage their families as we humbly thank God for their lives. Their sacrifices provided our freedoms, and we should honor them, and remember them on Memorial Day and everyday by being strong and courageous as American's stand for truth.
"Every season of goodbyes is also a season to grow" Isaiah 43:18-18
"The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace". Psalm 29:11
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go". Joshua 1:9
"When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me"? Psalm 56:3-4
Deuteronomy 4:19 And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars-all the heavenly array-do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the LORD your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven
It's been difficult the last 36 days in America, with COVID-19 life hasn't been the same, and some of us are wondering will we ever be the same again? Emotional, stress, job loss, illness, death and uncertainty fogs vision of not knowing what will come next. I have experienced a roller coaster of emotions, sometimes just running to a corner and standing for several minutes just feeling a huge loss. I can't stay there, and must let go of things I can't control and put it with Jesus. As I am writing today's blog, the beautiful sun is rising over the land. I feel peace. Life is a miracle, and God will love you through everything. Deuteronomy 7:9 “Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments. NKJV
How do you overcome challenges with triumphs? Lately I've been asking myself that question. Here's what I know and believe, just when you think your stuck in the mud and can't get out, there is grace. Psalm 40:1 "I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry". There are many small business owners around the country who have closed their doors or minimized their services because of the Coronavirus. Employees have been laid off, and families are struggling to pay bills. Where is God in all of the pain, grief and loss? I have trials also, and right now as I am publishing this post, it's been the first post this month because of things that happen out of my control. Our company is located in the middle of a corn field in Nebraska, so I run my publishing company out of my home, that's a good thing, but sometimes there are limitations, and we get through the "challenges with triumphs". Lately a challenge has been internet service, it's a way we connect with you. So if you are reading this post, will you consider giving some praises with me to God, that we can continue reaching our families and seniors with great hope. I believe whatever situation we experience in life God's promises are true. "He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along". Psalm 40: 2
Today I started giving praises to God for the struggles and triumphs.
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs." 1 Corinthians 13:1
Caring for a loved one who has limitations both physical and mental can be stressful for the caregiver and family members, but it doesn't have to be. Everyone deserves your very best, time and love through every situation. Too many times our lives are impacted by rushed society and things of the world that are less important. Life is too short to miss opportunities to be kind in everything you do. Remember when someone reached out in your time of need, it's time to share the love. I used to work in a long term care facility, as a certified nursing assistant. Everyday I was welcomed by a gentle smile, and hand to hold, and a story shared from the past. Because they have aged, isn't a reason to see them less, or dismiss their life until their last day. It's today, it's now, don't let one more day go by without reconnecting with your aging loved one. Parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends, and so many more people who did and are still making a difference. Let them know they are loved.
Do you have a resolution for the New Year? Have the experiences you've been through the last 10 years changed your direction for your future? The last 10 years have been small and big blessings for our family. We had 5 graduations 2 college including my own in 2013 when I received my Bachelors Degree, a long term goal that came true. Our children graduated from high school, went onto college, found their careers, then moved to different states of Nebraska, Iowa, and North Dakota. There were many joys an challenges in the last ten years, including career changes, illness, and death. I started a small Business Senior Lifestyle Advantage and have published 10 magazines since Fall of 2016. I couldn't have imagined the future or circumstances that we would face. We have traveled, and met many people who have become our friends. But some of our friends and family passed away in 2019, 2018, 2017. My dad and Scott's mom passed away in 2017 and 2018. I didn't know how could write, or express my joy when I was so sad. But God had another plan for me. When I trusted him, he showed me day by day, even when I couldn't understand or see.
So how do we keep momentum and focus for this year? Whatever your circumstances God longs to comfort you, heal you, and give you peace, joy, and hope fix your eyes on Jesus. I know and believe this to be true. We are all living making differences for each other, I hope you experience joy this year and always.
"May the God of hope, fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13
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The Anticipation of Christmas By: Pastor Kahn
As I opened my eyes one Christmas morning, it was still dark in my bedroom. A thought came into my head. Should I go sneak a peek under the Christmas tree, or go wake up my mom so we could open all the presents?
As a fifth grader, the latter seemed like the only reasonable option for Christmas morning. For weeks I had waited with anticipation for my gifts, hoping that one of my presents was a black basketball jersey that read “Jordan” in red letters. I had wanted it so bad and hoped that my mom picked up on the many subtle (or not so subtle) hints that I gave her. It didn’t take long to see it laying under the Christmas tree, with the red “Jordan” and the red “twenty-three” clearly visible. I had waited sooooooo long and finally it was mine!
I think we have all, at one time or another, felt the anticipation of the approaching holiday season. What we tend to forget in the anticipation and preparation is the real reason for Christmas.
During this time of year, we forget that the main reason for celebration is the miraculous act of Jesus Christ making himself nothing, being born in the likeness of man (Philippians 2:7). We forget that this baby, thirty-three years into His sinless life, was put on a cross as the ultimate payment for our greed, selfishness, gossip, and self-righteousness (all things that tend to happen when we focus on the materialistic aspects of Christmas). May I suggest our anticipation not be about the things that will only last on earth, but instead celebrate the one that, after the cross, conquered death and restored our relationship with God. I’m looking forward to celebrating Jesus’ miraculous coming to earth and am also looking forward with anticipation to when I’ll see Him again.
A Work In Progress
It's Tuesday morning, are you excited for the day? Do you have all of the answers? God tell us that he is the potter "Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand". Isaiah 64:8. He is going to make your day, life, business, relationships into something beautiful if you just trust him. We are a work in progress, and God's work is not finished until Jesus returns. So give thanks for every day you have to be with your family and know that God is still doing great work through you and them.