Cornucopia Christians

Thanksgiving table arrangements of ornamental squash and gourds are an American tradition. Cornucopias of various sizes adorn dining room tables; congregations display them to welcome worshipers in church vestibules as they prepare to enter the sanctuary. The arrangements represent a horn of plenty, a truly bountiful harvest, and we remember how much the heavenly Father has blessed us through abundance of fruit of the land.

Join me in gratitude to our merciful Lord and pray that we may be truly cornucopia Christians, overflowing with fruit of the Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23 HCS).” We have Christ’s promise of an abundant life and He is pleased when we as His followers blend in unity to bear fruit and demonstrate His love.

He Loves Me!

I’m very easily excited.  My family will attest to this with a resounding “yes” and a dramatic head-nod.

The smallest things delight my heart.  And to me, they’re not so small.

Like when God painted a breath-taking heart in the sky right after my 3 year old whispered “I’m so happy Jesus lives in my heart” {unprompted} from the back seat of the car…

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{isn’t that just crazy gorgeous?}

Like the fact that garlic grows curly for a while before it straightens up and forms a bulb.

Or like the fact that pretty green leaves turn a ravishing red year after year after year.

Leaf

And like the fact that crusty crabs from the bottom of the ocean that wash up daily, get devoured by the seagulls and get trampled on my unnoticing feet…

could be so phenomenally beautiful.

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{pay no attention to unmanicured, dirty nail}

I don’t know about you, but these seemingly trivial things simply point to one thing.

How deeply, thoroughly, and outrageously well we are loved by our Creator.

Think about it for a minute.

He could have chosen to paint this world in shades of gray.

But he chose vivid color instead.

He could have made one type of flower…one species of animal…one form of boring, tasteless nourishment for our bodies {think sludge through a straw}.

But no.

We get to enjoy a plethora of colors, shapes, sizes, a myriad of scents, flavors, and textures.

Why?  Because he loves us with a radical, passionate, extravagant love.  And because he created us to appreciated beautiful things.

Garlic.  Clouds.  Leaves.  Crabs.

Yup…they spell L-O-V-E to me.

 

{and I haven’t even touched on the whole baby Jesus, God incarnate, gift of life thing yet.  Wow.  Now that’s love.  Lavish, outlandish love.}

 

by Joy McMillan, Simply Bloom

God’s Gift

Yesterday at church one of my friends asked Chase what he got for Christmas. His reply was very prompt, “A pogo stick.” No hesitation. No having to decide which gift to share. No, Chase did get other gifts, but the pogo stick is definitely first and foremost in his mind.

This time of year, gifts are prevalent in many people’s minds. “What did you get for Christmas?” is a common question we ask each other.

The other day, I heard a message on God’s gifts to us. Many times we think about the gift of His son, especially at Christmas, because we are celebrating the birth of Jesus.

But the gift that God gave to us first was His love. John 3:16 tells us: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

We usually focus on the idea that God gave us His son, so that we would not perish. I know I do. But look at the first part of this verse, For God so loved the world …

That is why He gave His son for us, because of the great love that He has for us. I John 4:10 says: “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

It was so hard for me to grasp that GOD loves ME! I might have known it in my head, but I just could not believe it in my heart. I did not deserve His love. I was bad. I did bad things.

But one day, it clicked in me. GOD LOVES ME … regardless of my actions. He loves me because I’m me. For nothing I’ve done or not done. For nothing I might do or not do. He loves me with an everlasting love. With a love so great, that He sent His son down to earth to die for my sins, because I could never be good enough for Him, and He wanted me to live with Him forever; to experience that peace that only comes from knowing Him while I was here on this earth.

WOW … how cool is that? That is the best gift I’ve ever received! I don’t have to think twice about that one!

Thank you Father for loving me. To stop and ponder the idea that the GOD of all creation, loves ME … wow!! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

I love You Jesus.
In Your Name Pray,
Amen

God Bless You!

Love,
Joyce

The Choices You Make Today …
Will Affect Your Tomorrow!
http://wwww.alifedecision.org

Keeping Your Word

commitmentCommit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this:  He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
Psalm 37:5,6

On Saturday, I had to have a little life talk with Carson.  Thursday night he had told us that he was going to go to school on Saturday and work a concession stand for one of the games.  It would give him service hours for National Junior Honor Society.  No problem, Bobby said he’d run him over and then go pick him up when he was done.

But we had a full week this past week and had been out on Friday night at a friend’s for dinner, and when Saturday morning rolled around, Carson was tired and decided he didn’t want to get up and go to school to work, he’d rather stay home and hang out with Chase.  And the more Bobby tried to encourage him to go, the more adament Carson became that he didn’t want to.

I asked Carson if he had committed to working this event.  He said, “No”, he’d just told them he might be there. 

I explained to Carson that he could stay home this one time, because he’d not made a commitment, but that it was very important to honor his word, whether he was tired or not.  If he said he was going to do something, he must honor that.

I work with a lot of volunteers at church.  Some are always on time, always doing what they said they would do.  Others … not so much.

Yesterday, our Pastor was talking about our commitments to God.  We make vows with him on Sunday, when we’re caught up in the emotion of the moment … we say, YES LORD, but then by Tuesday or Wednesday, we’ve let life get the best of us and we are back to … “No God, can’t do that right now.”

I want my little Carson to grow into a man of character … in life and with God.

I want to grow into a woman of character … in life and with God.

Father, thank you for teaching me how to be a woman of character.  I want your character, your spirit to fill me up, to flow through me, to flow out of me.  And Jesus, please teach my little Carson the same lesson.

I love you Jesus!
   In Your Name I Pray,
   Amen

God’s Blessings Upon You!

Love,
Joyce

The Choices You Make Today …
Will Affect Your Tomorrow.
http://www.alifedecision.org

Are You Listening?

 
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
John 10:27
We have a new family member, Jack, a Jack Russell Terrier. Jack is a sweetie pie, cute as a button, the total opposite of Zeke. Jack loves to hunt, he has a field day in our yard running from tree to tree chasing whatever it is that he is chasing. He plays keep away with Zeke, they chase each other around the house, each one trying to keep the ball or stuffed animal away from the other. Jack has never had an accident, he’s not chewed up anything except chew toys. He’s a good dog. But Jack does not listen to me.

I can be calling his name and he’s so focused in on what he’s doing … he totally ignores me. I have to actually go over to him and pick him up for him to stop doing what he’s doing and look at me. Jack does not hear my voice.

Zeke, on the other hand, who has been my best buddy for over five years always hears my voice. Even when I don’t want him to hear me, he does. I cannot say one word without Zeke being at my side. Sometimes I don’t have to even speak, I can just look at him and he’ll come over and lay his head on me. Zeke loves me, he listens for my voice and the second he hears it, he responds.

Sometimes I act like Jack, with God. I am so busy running around doing my thing, I don’t hear His gentle whisperings. He literally has to put a wall up in front of me for me to stop what I am doing and listen.

I want to be more like Zeke in my walk with Jesus. I want to hear His voice, whatever I’m doing – where ever I’m doing it. I want to stay attuned to His call.

I want to be part of His flock. I want to follow HIM.

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Father, thank you for allowing me to see this example so clearly. Teach me Lord Jesus, how to hear your voice, no matter what the circumstance.

I Love You Jesus!
In Your Name I Pray,
Amen

God’s Blessing Upon You!

Love,
Joyce

chiliMillion Copy Give-Away.
    Will You Help?

http://www.alifedecision.org

Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass…
   it’s about learning to dance in the rain!

Big Dreams

“For I know the plans I have for you, ” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11

Carson and Chase spend a lot of time talking about what they want to do when they grow up. Carson wants to be a Veterinarian and live on a farm in North Florida with a lake and raise Guinea Pigs and take care of hurting animals. That is a big dream.

Chase wants to work at Sea World and swim with the dolphins and the whales. He wants to own a preserve and have all sorts of animals there that he and his buddy, Josh, take care of. That is a big dream.

I used to have big dreams when I was a kid. Then I grew up … and I allowed life to steal my dreams.

A few years ago, my life turned around and I wrote a book about the hope and healing I had experienced through Jesus. Most authors dream of selling a million copies of their books. My book was never about the sales, but rather the lives helped.

I had an idea the other day … why couldn’t I GIVE AWAY A MILLION COPIES in E-Book Format? That’s a BIG DREAM … but I serve a BIG GOD!

So … here goes. I am dreaming big. Will you help me achieve my goal?

Please forward this email to your friends and family … let’s see how many lives God can affect through email … through the Internet … through a book about healing and hope!

chiliChili and Chocolate Cake is not your average inspirational book; and is as unique as the title. The author shares her message of forgiveness, restoration, and hope for hurting women– especially those who have experienced the loss of a child through abortion, miscarriage, or stillborn birth. This book is a shining testimony to the power of God to heal the broken heart. Author Joyce Schneider’s dramatic life and the miraculous change from a tortured young women to a great woman of God will encourage every reader. God even used the stablilty gained from preparing chili and chocolate cake to weave the thread of His grace throughout her troubled life. Get ready for an outpouring–from the barren days of the past, to springs of living waters; rivers that will refresh long after you close the pages of this book.

All the details are on my website:
http://www.alifedecision.org

Thank you for your support!

Father, thank you for dreams. Thank you for giving me the encouragement to step out of my comfort zone and make a difference … for you!

I Love You Jesus!
  In Your Name I Pray,
  Amen

God’s Blessings To You!

Love,
Joyce

 

 

Throwing Stones

There is an old saying, “People who live in glass houses, shouldn’t throw stones.”  I was reading a story in John the other day where Jesus made a similar statement.  He had been teaching in the temple, when the religious leaders brought before him a woman caught in the act of adultery.  They wanted to know what punishment the woman should have.  The Law of Moses commanded that she be stoned, but Jesus came to bring repentance to sinners; to save them, not destroy them.

The religious leaders were trying to entrap Jesus, to put him between a rock and a hard place.

Jesus encouraged the crowd who were pointing fingers at this woman to look inside themselves.  He urged whoever was without sin in their life to throw the first stone.  And no one could.  One by one, they turned and walked away.  When it was just Jesus and the woman left, he asked her if anyone had condemned her.  She said, “No.” 
 
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:11)

Jesus didn’t condemn the woman, nor did he condone what she had done.  He implored her to move on … and stop doing what she had been doing.

WOW … that is such an encouragement for me.  I don’t have to beat myself up when I make a mistake.  I don’t have to be stoned to death … I simply need to STOP – to ask Jesus for forgiveness and turn away from whatever it was I was doing wrong.

And when others mess up … I need to not throw stones … but take a good hard look at myself.

no sin

Father, thank you for this lesson.  Teach me how to keep myself clean and clear; to not throw stones at others.

I Love You Jesus!
   In your name I pray,
   Amen

God’s Blessings Upon You!

Love,
Joyce

The Choices You Make Today …
Will Affect Your Tomorrow!
http://www.alifedecision.org

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