I Am Thankful

In January, my elderly father-in-law had several mini strokes and came to live with us. Though the move went smoothly, the transition has been difficult for my husband, daughter, and me. It’s easy to fall into a mindset of complaining, resenting what is different, and wishing for the way things used to be. I still wage war to maintain a positive attitude many days. But today, I choose to be thankful, not only because it’s Thanksgiving, but because the great Giver of gifts deserves my praise.ThanksgivingI am thankful that I have a home to provide shelter not only for my family, but for others as well.

I am thankful I have good health and strength to assist others in their needs.

I am thankful to have the privilege to care for a faithful saint, no matter how long or short it may be.

I am thankful for opportunities for God to refine me into pure, sparkling gold through this time.

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I am thankful for a husband who is attentive and concerned for me and my needs.

I am thankful for friends who have traveled this path already and who offer much needed support and prayers.

I am thankful that my father-in-law is easy to please and appreciates every act of kindness. His sweet spirit instructs me without saying a word.

I am thankful for Arizona sunshine streaming through my windows in these winter months.

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I am thankful for grown children who make me laugh and don’t judge me when I fail.

I am thankful for the little dog who nestles close and warm against my leg as I sit on the couch.

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I am thankful for a car that gets me out of the house for a break or to attend to necessary errands.

I am thankful for a God who never leaves me or forsakes me.

I am thankful.

I am thankful.

I am thankful.

“Eucharisteo [giving thanks] always precedes the miracle.” Ann VosKamp, One Thousand Gifts (Zondervan, 2011p. 35)

This Thanksgiving, look for miracles and anticipate good gifts from the Giver.

Are you walking through a difficult time? What’s one thing for which you can be thankful today?

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One Starry Night

Starry Night

Have you ever been out and enjoyed a starry night?

Ever since I was a child I have been fascinated with the night sky. As we journeyed from family to home at night, I would love looking out of the car window and just watch the many stars stretched across the night sky.Full_moon_10_21_2010

When there was a full moon too, that made it even more special.

When my mum’s cousin-in-law found out I loved looking at the stars, he promised to bring over his telescope the next time we visited my grandparents. They lived on a farm in the country, so there were no street lightsAstronomer_amateur_telescope to mess up the view.

It was freezing out there…but oh so fascinating, as I got to see the stars that were so tiny up in the sky, look so big and different. I also discovered that some of those stars were actually planets, and were different colours.

Even now, I love to just stop and look out at a starry night. I’m always filled with wonder and awe as I stare at the night sky. As I look up my heart is filled with this song.

There are several verses about stars in the Bible. Here are some of my favourites:

He made the stars also ~ Gen 1:16. Just a simple, almost by-the-way comment, and yet the magnitude of the night sky and its glory is no simple or small thing.

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The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. ~ Ps 19:1-4.

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When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You should visit him? ~ Ps 8:3-4. David obviously got that “Wow!” feeling too whenever he looked up into the starry night.

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In my Christmas story One Starry Night I had Jude and Annie discover the wonder of a starry night too. Instead of the country though, I had them walking along the beach (something else I have experienced doing as both child and adult at night) and portrayed the wonder of the night sky in that setting. Of course, the Christmas story itself features some stOne Starry Nightar gazers who got a wonderful surprise the night our Lord Jesus was born. A new star appeared in the sky, and being curious enough about stars, they looked up what that star meant. A new King had been born, and with gifts they set off on a long and arduous journey to find and worship Him. So tying the beach walk and the Christmas Story together I ended up with a Christmas starlit story for children to enjoy.

One Starry Night: Christmas carols are playing, mince pies are cooking, and wrapping paper is everywhere! Yes – it’s Christmas Eve. Jude and Annie are enjoying getting ready for Christmas. With a walk on the beach in the dark and a special bedtime story, they feel God’s greatness and find out how much God really loves them.

Holly Sprig 2There are some inside pictures from the book here

Have you taken your children out to enjoy a starry night? Why not do that this Christmas season?  While enjoying the night sky and pondering the night our Lord Jesus came to earth to be our Saviour, you will also be making some lovely memories.

~ Wendy Sparkes ~

 

One Starry Night is available from TheBookDepository, which has free worldwide delivery!

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Bible Story Resource Roundup-Life of David

Bible Story Resource Roundup - Life of David

There are few men in the Bible we know as much about as we do David. Through God’s Word we are given a deep and penetrating look at his childhood, his calling to be king of Israel, his years on the run, and his years on the throne. We see both his family and his heart. Today I’d like to share a roundup of resources you can use to share parts of King David’s story with young children.

Activities and Crafts:

Stories of David – Bible Curriculum and Collection of Printable Activities

David and Goliath Activities – Stand-up Figures and Drawing

David and Goliath Handwriting Practice

David’s Bag of Stones Craft

David and Goliath Game – Using David’s Bag of Stones Craft

Lamb Crafts and Activities for Kids

David and Goliath Children’s Activities – Bible Lesson Plan

Bible Rhymes and Songs for Kids

David and Goliath Word Search

David and Goliath Maze

David and Goliath Story Comprehension and Memory Worksheets

David and Goliath Sentence Sequencing

David and Goliath Alphabet Tracer (Handwriting Practice) Pages

David and Goliath Picture Clue Read and Trace Worksheets

A Great Nation Under King David Object Lesson – 1 Samuel 16-2 Samuel 11

Coloring Sheets:

David and Goliath Stained Glass Coloring Sheets

David and Goliath and David Chosen King Coloring Sheet

David and Goliath and God Helped David Keep His Promise – Know God Through His Promises Coloring Book

David Shepherd Boy, David with Slingshot, David and Goliath, David Playing Harp, and King David 

Here are some other Bible story resource roundups we’ve shared in recent weeks:

Adam and Eve; Noah

Tower of Babel; Abraham and Isaac

Moses

What Bible story would you like to see a roundup of resource for?

 

 

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