Did you enjoy all that feasting over Thanksgiving? Hopefully, you didn't have too many repeats of pumpkin pie and cranberries, no matter how they were disguised--sauced, saladized, relished, with a cream cheese layer, under chocolate, with nuts or nutless, or whatever new Pinterest version you were the guinea pig for. And hopefully, you weren't the stuffed turkey when it was all done and celebrated.
What mind menu have you been feasting on over the last month? Short snacks from books you had to get back to the library, nibblings from the buffet of any witty, opinionated, political or religious articles posted on Faceback, or DIY noshing from woman's magazines? How about chewy antics and talents from You Tube? And the binging from the abbreviated language of endless texting messages?
I've had my share of these decadent offerings, but there was something more that I find continuing to come to mind and bringing me comfort or encouragement. Did anyone else sink your teeth into some deep, nutritious fare from the table spread the Master Chef had prepared for you? Whether it's been intentional or has come unexpectedly, I have tasted some oh, so good things lately.
I've been subscribing to the Encouragement for Today emails from Bible Gateway. When I signed up, I wondered if I would really spend the time reading the thoughts every day. I've been amazed at how relevant they've been to me for that particular day and how the encouragement has lingered. Here's the first and last paragraph from the one for Dec. 6, entitled the Power of Assumption by Wendy Pope:
"The assumption battle is one I have fought most of my life. I've questioned friends' motives, assuming they were against me. To avoid being hurt, I've detached from relationships with no valid reasons...
Before the power of assumptions ruins a relationship in your life, pause. Settle your emotions and consider what you know to be true about your friend. Take a moment to pray for her and plan how to reach out to her. She might just be struggling with her own assumptions that you could help her clear up!"
Another tidbit from Carey Scott's blog.
My Monday night Bible Study from Genesis had these comforting words from the author of our study book on the lesson about Abraham being asked to sacrifice Isaac:
"God does not test us to make us fail but rather to see us succeed. Because faith is like a muscle and must be used to grow strong, God test us to give us the opportunity to exercise our faith. If you are going through a test right now, consider what God might want to do in your life by allowing it. And consider the heart attitude God desires for us to have during the test: Count it all joy...(James 1:2-4). It may be hard to rejoice while being tested, but pondering the potential results should help."
Another day it was a Christmas song I heard on the radio by Chris Tomlin.
From Kay Arthur's Bible Study on Proverbs:
"The effort we're willing to make to attain something is a measure of how much we value it...This is the real measuring stick of our value system-what we're willing to acquire through sacrifice."
This challenge from Romans 12:11 stretched my taste buds, was a bit hard to swallow, and is still digesting:
"Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord."
Have I become sloppy, Lord? Not much zeal to speak of when I find myself being critical and focused on myself. I don't always have a good attitude about serving, let alone the z word in how I do it.
These are the thoughts that cocoon me on a sleepless night, turn on the bubbly fountain of joy inside and cause thanksgiving to come out to the One who guides me into paths of righteousness. He uses simple words to whisper His love and presence and keep me focused on those things of good report.
Help yourself to my smorgasbord and share the delicacies you've been feasting on.