Wednesday Words: 365 Thank You’s

Inspire You Children, Leaving a Legacy, Parenting 1 Comment

I just finished reading a book called 365 Thank You’s.  The author decided to write 365 thank you notes in a year to change his attitude.  He felt like his world was falling apart and thought the act of thanking others would change his outlook.  It was a quick & easy read that tells the author’s story for that year.  He includes copies of some thank you cards he wrote.

Once I began reading this book, I decided to take his challenge and write 365 thank yous this year.  I started on February 25 and have written 42 thank you cards since then.

If my kids were still at home, I’d use this as a writing activity in school.  Depending on their age, I would probably have them write 1-3 thank you’s each week.  This can help them keep their focus off themselves and look for others to thank.

Do your kids automatically say thank you around your home?

I discovered that my kids do say “thanks”.  I think their “thank yous” come from 2 sources.  Obvious and foremost, by God’s grace they are saying thank you to others.  Secondly, we thanked our kids continuously when they helped around our home.  It might be as simple as thanking them for bringing their plates back from the table. Even though it was expected of them, we still said thanks.  Or, when they finished a chore, I would tell them thanks.

My 18 yo son still says thank you for breakfast each morning as he leaves for his classes.  I don’t say this to brag but to remind all of us how important our words are & how God graciously raises our children to thankful adults.

Will you “say” thanks to your family this week?

Who will you send a card of thanks?

What will you be thankful for?

Thanksgiving & Christmas Holiday Memories

Christmas, Holiday, Leaving a Legacy, Scrapbooking, thanksgiving No Comments

Picture 8

Preserve photographic memories of Thursday’s get-together by creating & sharing an album on photobucket.com.  It’s my favorite place to upload pics to share with friends & family.

After I upload them, I post our family pics to my personal blog www.KerryBeck.com/blog Having a personal blog is another easy way to share holiday memories with your loved ones.

Another route is using facebook. All my kids have a facebook account and they can upload pics for everyone to enjoy.

Or make a photo calendar for 2011 now and you’ll keep on enjoying 2010.  That’s what I did last year and I’m starting my calendar for 2011 over the Thanksgiving holidays.  Use Shutterfly.  Take a look at pages from last year’s calendar:

Picture 1 Picture 4Picture 3

Can You Teach Your Children the Meaning of Christmas?

Christmas, Leaving a Legacy, Parenting 6 Comments

commercialism

At this time of year, it is easy to focus on the commercialism of Christmas. Catalogs, mall displays, tv commercials, and more all beckon us to buy into the idea that Christmas is about STUFF. But you and I know better. As Christians, we desperately want to pass on the true meaning of Christmas to our children.

But what is the true meaning of Christmas?

In previous articles, I have discussed the clues God gives us through the prophets that point to the coming Messiah. In particular, God uses Isaiah to communicate these clues. He gives the Israelites more clues about the coming Messiah than all of the other prophets before him combined.

True Meaning of Christmas – Who Is The Messiah?

Look at Isaiah 11:2, “The spirit of the Lord will rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.”

The Messiah will reflect the nature of God. He will be God’s representative while on earth.

After Isaiah prophesies that the Messiah will be born of a virgin, he tells them that the Messiah will be of the root of Jesse. He will come from David’s household and lineage.

The Messiah will be a King like his ancestor David.

True Meaning of Christmas – What Will Do When He Comes?

Look at Isaiah 11:6, “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the goat, the calf of the young lion and the fatling together. And a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze. Their young ones shall lie down together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”

peaceThe Messiah will bring peace. And this is no small gift. To a people who were used to fighting to protect their land and their families, peace is an oasis.

But peace is not just for the Jews. It will also be for the non-Jew, also known as the Gentiles. Look at Isaiah 11:10, “And in that day, there shall be a root of Jesse who shall stand as a banner to the people, for the Gentile shall seek him and his resting place shall be glorious.”

Isaiah even gives us a sense of the angst that his people were feeling in 25:9. It says, “And it will be said in that day, behold this is our God. We have waited for him. And he will save us. This is the Lord. We have waited for him. We shall be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”

The Messiah will bring salvation, something that the Jews have been waiting for for a long time. As a people who are continuously oppressed, they have longed for the Messiah who will make all things right and set them free from captivity!

But this is just the beginning. If you read Isaiah 61, you will see more news about what the Messiah will do. He will preach good tidings to the poor. He will heal the broken hearted. He will proclaim liberty to the captives and open the prison to those who are bound. He will proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance of our God. He will comfort all who mourn.

Truly, these are amazing reasons to celebrate the birth of Jesus. And they give us something more noble, more holy to pass on than neatly wrapped boxes under a tree. They are the very gifts of eternal life and abundant life. They are the true meaning of Christmas.

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Kerry is offering a FREE webinar this Thursday, November 18 at 2pm EASTERN.  Feel free to join her by registering here:

Meaning of Christmas Webinar

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Copyright Kerry Beck, 2010
You have permission to reprint this article as long as you don’t make any changes and include the bio below.

Copyright Kerry Beck, 2010

You have permission to reprint this article as long as you don’t make any changes and include the bio below.

Kerry Beck gives free advent calendars with daily Christmas activities to prepare your family for Christmas. Pick up a FREE Advent Calendar at http://www.ChristmasCelebrationIdeas.com.

Wednesday Words: Thankful Tension

Bible, Leaving a Legacy No Comments

Today I have guest author, Tristie Fisher, sharing on joy and thankfulness in the midst of trial.

Hello friends!   How good God is to give us Himself!

Many of us -through prayer groups or e-mail, have discussed the challenges of pain and suffering in life. Whether emotional or physical, the issue is not whether or not we will experience pain, but the acuteness of it. Pain is a strange surprise to us….we readily receive the power of God to worship and witness but do not know how to depend upon Him in private trial. How do you trust God when you cannot see Him? How do you cry out for His help when your heart is in anguish? How do you lean upon Him as YOUR  intercessor?

In His goodness, He gives His Word, His church and (may I suggest) the lives of those who have gone on before us. Personally, it is the lives of those who have ENDURED, not ENTERTAINED who draw me the most. Those who have been through the jungle of physical trial (and therefore emotional) trial with a soft-hearted determination to grow in Him. They have struggles (in the flesh) with self-pity, anger and pride yet, gained VICTORY (in the Spirit) through humility, brokenness and deep private worship of God.

The lives of Adonirum and Ann Judson of Burma and Robert and Mary Moffit of Africa give me encouragement in their constant commitment to “usefulness”, not necessarily personal fulfillment. How glorious to have our mind expanded to worship God not just for what I ask Him for but because HE is! Can He move? Yes. Can He heal? Yes. Can He change us? Most definitely. May we live in lives of “THANKFUL TENSION”..tense because we want freedom from pain but thankful because He is and we are allowed to see.

Perhaps this will be the week He will cultivate in us a mind of thankfulness and a yielded heart of patience. Our worship will be a fragrance to the Creator God who grandly hung the stars in the sky and STILL bends His ear to hear my eager, yet smaller, requests.

Love to you in the One who knows you best,

tristie

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Copyright Tristie Fisher, 2009.

Tristie Fisher’s passion for personal discipleship and her skill as a public speaker continue to expand impact of college & adult ministry at Grace Bible Church in College Station, TX. Read more articles by Tristie on her blog,http://www.TristieFisher.com, where she shares her thoughts as a mom, a wife and ultimately a child of Christ.

Wednesday Words: The Old Adage, A New Twist

Bible, Leaving a Legacy No Comments

Today I have guest author, Tristie Fisher, sharing on joy and thankfulness in the midst of trial.

You’ve heard the phrase a hundred times…

“If life gives you Lemons, make Lemonade!”

A little cheesy and out of touch, eh?

Truly, there will be trying times in our lives.  Difficult people, overdue bills, and traffic lights.  All of these things  will try us.  Frustration lies at our fingertips.

But, WAIT!

You have a choice….your response is exactly that, yours!

Brian, my husband, has a phrase he uses consistently.

“Almost every older person we know is one of two things…..bitter or joyful.”

I have come to see the truth in this statement.  It’s one or the other, there  is no in between.  So, let’s consider this a moment.  These older folks don’t just become bitter or joyful.  I think we are looking at a lifetime of choices they have made.

Let’s break this down into application points…….

  1. Let’s Take Responsibility – We like to blame others for things that happen. Whether it’s God or anybody else, it’s their fault. Our society tells us that we have “rights”. The fact is, we are disciples of Jesus. He chose to give up His rights. Let’s sacrifice ours, as well. I am responsible for my thoughts, my actions, and perhaps most important my responses!
  2. Let’s Choose to Trust God! – What would happen  if we chose to believe that God is sovereign and has allowed circumstances in our lives to HELP us? He wants me to become conformed to the image of His Son—–whatever the cost. If I desire this too, I must believe that He is in control and allows everything into my life for a purpose. We must keep this at the forefront of our minds.
  3. Let’s Realize Every Choice Matters. – Wow! That sounds a little extreme. But, it’s true. We are building our lives right now and every single discipline we implement takes us TOWARD GOD OR AWAY FROM HIM.  For example, if I want to walk with God in 10 years, I need to have disciplined time with Him now. It will not just happen. Similarly, if I want to be a joyful and thankful person when I’m 50, I need to have disciplined responses of gratitude NOW.
  4. Let’s KNOW that Jesus Gives us Strength! – You are not alone. If you’ve invited Christ into your life, He lives in you.  He gives us the ability to respond joyfully in difficult and frustrating circumstances. We can truly experience His strength by asking Him to fill us with His Spirit and to call out to Him when we are in need.

In the midst of a cynical and dark world, our most penetrating witness can be our joyful andTHANKFUL attitude.  I pray that all of us will desire to be transformed by trusting God, taking responsibility for our responses, choosing a joyful attitude, and leaning on His STRONG ARM.

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Copyright Tristie Fisher, 2009.

Tristie Fisher’s passion for personal discipleship and her skill as a public speaker continue to expand impact of college & adult ministry at Grace Bible Church in College Station, TX. Read more articles by Tristie on her blog, http://www.TristieFisher.com, where she shares her thoughts as a mom, a wife and ultimately a child of Christ.

Wednesday Words-Exfoliate Your Life

Bible, Leaving a Legacy, Moms 1 Comment

Today I have guest author, Tristie Fisher, sharing on growing in faith.

Maybe it’s turning 40, I really don’t know.  In my twenties, I noticed clothing and hair styles.  Now, in my early forties I notice skin.  How clear is her complexion?  How many wrinkles does she have?  Does she look older than me? or worse does she look younger than me?

Years ago, I gave it up in one word… GENETICS.  It’s not Beauty Products!  It’s just plain old genetics… you play the cards you are dealt… what your mama looks like, you will look like.

Now, I still take care of my skin… I appropriately cleanse and moisturize.  But, the one thing I did this year was that word none of us knew before 1999… I exfoliate.

To EXFOLIATE is “to wash your face in such a manner as to remove old dead skin cells”…so that fresh renewed skin can show through and say,

“World, look at my young skin… I am as young as I feel!”

…Mmmm, well, maybe that’s not what we meant.

What do I mean by all this?  I’ll tell you that I do  notice when I exfoliate. My skin seems clearer and cleaner and generally feels better. As I “exfoliated” tonight, I thought….

What does this look like in my life? How do you “exfoliate your life”?

It seems clear…..

  1. Wash your face…..Cleanse yourself of any (and all) hidden sin and plain old “you know what you are doing is wrong” stuff. Forgive where you need to forgive, confess when you need to confess….this applies to people and God. ONLY heavenly soap can do the trick. (I John 1:9)
  2. Exfoliate….this is the next step of the process. Some exfoliating products can actually hurt your face the first time you use them….why? Because there are little granules in the product DESIGNED to do just that…hurt you to heal you. Those rough little granules are going to smooth the dead skin away. How can that apply to our lives?  What things is God using in my life to “exfoliate” my life? These things hurt, they sting..but my faith is a whole lot smoother when He’s done. (Isa. 43:19)
  3. Moisturize…. My skin needs moisture. My favorite products are those that “keep on moisturizing even while you sleep”.  Isn’t that amazing? My soul needs moisture. No dry, crispy faith for me! But, it needs water…living water. Water that keeps on flowing and bubbling up over in my soul. I not only need (but must have to survive) that constant reapplication of His Word. For me, every morning and every evening. This product actually delivers!

As you prepare for bed this evening, perhaps even this seemingly benign routine may bring blessing. As the soap cleanses, as deadness is washed away, and refreshment comes….maybe the Lord will use this ritual in a way to make it worshipful. That is my prayer for me and for you!

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Copyright Tristie Fisher, 2009.

Tristie Fisher’s passion for personal discipleship and her skill as a public speaker continue to expand impact of college & adult ministry at Grace Bible Church in College Station, TX. Read more articles by Tristie on her blog, http://www.TristieFisher.com, where she shares her thoughts as a mom, a wife and ultimately a child of Christ.

Do You Play Games With Your Kids?

Leaving a Legacy, Scrapbooking No Comments

Why not make a mini-book about the games you play as a family? Your kids will love remembering all the games they played over the year.

You can get some ideas at Two Peas in a Bucket

Questions for Your Kids

Leaving a Legacy, Moms, Scrapbooking No Comments

Take a minute and ask each of your kids questions about life today.  Now, let them help you record the answers.  Here’s a great example you can follow.

More pics and helps at Two Peas in a Bucket 

This is a really cool project…one your kids will look back on for a long time :-)

What’s Happening this Winter?

Homeschooling, Leaving a Legacy, Raising Leaders, Writing No Comments

Let your kids help you make a mini-book about this winter.  This definitely counts as school because there will be lots of writing and organizing.  Get some ideas at Two Peas in a Bucket

Annual Memories

Leaving a Legacy, Moms, Scrapbooking No Comments

Look back on this past year and record what is important.  You can do this as a family or each individual.  If you need some ideas, look at Two Peas in a Bucket.

One thing I like about that website is it gives you specific directions on how to make this album.

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