Category Archives: Holidays

Four Fabulous Phrases Plus a Crazy Fun Fact for You this Christmas…

One verse.  Four names.  It’s all we need this Christmas Week…

But first, a question:

How’s your memory? You may say, “What memory? My train of thought just left the station…”

C-train, Calgary

I’ve been up a creek without a paddle after numerous grocery runs. Forgetting milk isn’t as big of a deal-breaker as forgetting hamburger when you’re making tacos.

Forgetting names is my strong suit. I meet someone and instantaneously, poof!, their name evaporates. Infuriating. Frustrating. Embarrassing.

Further forgetful, I forgot to order a book in a recent order of gifts and cards from a favorite catalog company known as Bas Bleu. (www.basbleu.com ) The book? Wait for it….

You Can Learn to Remember: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life (You Can… (Watkins Publishing)) by Dominic O’Brien

You can learn to remember

I thought, “Wow, for $9.95, why not?” Excited to open my package a few days later, the memory book was MIA. I looked at my order list. Nope, I did not order it. How can you forget to order a book on remembering?

Well, one thing I did learn this Christmas season, is I can remember one Scripture verse. You can too. It’s been my go-to phrase. Repetition helps! (If you think you can’t do this, trust me, if I can, you can.)

Best book for doing so? Obviously your Bible, but add this one to it and you’re in business: 100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know by Heart by Rob Morgan.

446821_w185

I’d like to give you the verse I learned and recommend simply repeating these four fabulous phrases (names), especially this week, praising our Lord and Savior. He is our gift this Christmas, and every day, as we roll into, gulp, can it be, 2020???

Christmas Nativity Scene

Isaiah 9:6 says,

“For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be on his shoulder,
And his name shall be called
WONDERFUL COUNSELOR,
MIGHTY GOD,
EVERLASTING FATHER
PRINCE OF PEACE.” (ESV)

These four fabulous names are gifts for us we can give back to the Lord in praise to Him:

1 – Wonderful Counselor:

Jesus told His disciples in John 14:26, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

Not only is the Holy Spirit our Advocate or Counselor, my favorite gift He offers is when we are so overwhelmed we don’t know what to pray for, He steps in and mediates for us.

Romans 8: 26 tells us, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” Remember “Wonderful Counselor”!

Gift

2 – Mighty God: Our God is Mighty. Think Mighty Warrior. Psalm 50:1 says, “The Mighty One, God the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.” (ESV) Mighty is, well, mighty. Praiseworthy. Remember “Mighty God”!

Gift Box

3 – Everlasting Father: Everlasting is forever. Our God is our Forever Father. HCSB says, “Eternal Father.”

Isaiah 63:16b says, “You, O Lord, are our Father; Our Redeemer from Everlasting is Your Name.” Always was. Always is. Always will be.

Hebrews 13:8 reminds us, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Remember “Everlasting Father”!

white gift box with blue ribbon

4 – Prince of Peace:

A prince of anything is someone who’s in charge of something. i.e. Prince Charles. Prince William. Prince Harry.

To learn our Savior is the Prince of Peace should bring us all the peace we can handle. Who doesn’t want peace, especially at this time of year?

Praise Him for giving you and me peace. Don’t forget Jesus’ words in John 14:27…

John 14 27

 Focus and allow His peace to saturate your heart. Offer peace to your family this Christmas! Remember “Prince of Peace”!

Single red gift box with silver ribbon on white background.

Finally, I’d like to leave you with a crazy fun fact my friend Pat sent me:

This is a tradition you may wish to start in your own home this year. It comes from the lovely country of Iceland.

Did you know Iceland sells more books per person than any other nation in the world, especially during the Christmas season? They call it Jolabokaflod, or the “Christmas Book Flood”.

Literary Iceland Revels In Its Annual 'Christmas Book Flood". Photo courtesy of npr.org. Click image to view article.

Literary Iceland Revels In Its Annual ‘Christmas Book Flood”. Photo courtesy of npr.org. Click image to view article.

The tradition has a twofold purpose:

1 – Each person must receive at least one book for Christmas to take to bed with them on Christmas Eve.

2 – Along with taking the book to bed, each person must have some chocolates to go along with their book reading! How crazy fun is that? (You can bet I’ve shared this discovery with my better half. Hint, hint, hint. )

I pray you and your family have a most memorable (!!!) and blessed Christmas and Happy-n-Healthy New Year. I look forward to spending more time with you as we learn about helpful Scripture and books and authors in 2020.

Don’t forget (!!!) the four names:

Wonderful Counselor.

Mighty God.

Everlasting Father.

Prince of Peace.

These two beautiful songs via YouTube may also help you remember and worship:

In 1741, George Frederick Handel composed a song based on Isaiah 9:6 which you can watch the London Symphony Orchestra perform on this YouTube link:

A more contemporary twist to Isaiah 9:6 came out in 2014, sung by Aaron Shust, “Unto Us”. Both of these are wonderful.  Enjoy!

See you next year!

‘Til next time!

 

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Christmas Gift Ideas – Gift Idea #1 of 4- This is For Your Friends Who are Grandmothers

Friends! Four weeks from this Wednesday, November 27th, is CHRISTMAS DAY!!! So for the next four weeks, I’ll be giving you some Christmas gift ideas. That’ll give you time to find these items if you like these ideas, and time to wrap them before Christmas.

You’ll be stunned to hear these ideas are all books. Sorry, I just can’t help myself…

On Saturday, November 16th, I had the enormous pleasure and honor of participating in the 38th Kentucky Book Festival at the Kentucky Horse Park. It was an all day affair featuring 150 authors. We learned over three thousand people visited, shopped, and met many of these authors, having them autograph the books as well.

My row of 10 tables turned out to be extra fun. My “neighbor” to my right was Joe Robinson. We discovered we have many mutual friends, including my cousins Bonnie and Steve Johnson who also were in the very same row, as well as a gal who was on my list to meet: Teresa Kindred. When I’d perused the catalog of who all would be at the Book Festival, I earmarked four-for-sure authors I wanted to meet and buy their book.

I couldn’t believe it when Teresa was right next to Bonnie! I showed her my post where I’d listed her book, The Faith-Filled Grandmother: Promises, Prayers and Practical Advice for Today. She was most gracious and bought my book too. She then read my book in two days and put a review up on her website under the “Reading” tab. Checkout www.nanahood.com

The format of Teresa’s book is excellent. Each chapter includes info on the chapter’s topic, lots of beautiful and pertinent Scripture, a section on God’s promises, a Grandmother’s Prayer, and advice from other grandmothers! Thru’ her Facebook page, Teresa was able to reach over 18,000 women with hundreds of them responding to her questions. We readers get to hear some of their ideas and responses in each chapter.

Teresa’s sweet, conversational style of writing makes you feel like you’re sitting at her kitchen table having coffee with her. She’s very real and honest.

The topics of the ten chapters cover everything you could think of. I believe you’ll think of your friends who need this book given these topics, such as:

My comments on these chapters are in parentheses….

Grandparent Building Blocks (This is one of many of my favorite chapters. It includes “Fruits of the Spirit for Grandmothers.”)

The Long-Distance Grandparent (PTL for FaceTime!)

The Grandmother Who Spoils (Oh dear…busted…ahem!!!)

Keeping Children Spiritually Focused in a Material World (This chapter has great reminders for all of us.)

Grandmothers Who Worry (Now she’s messin’ with us—ouch again!!! Oh, but this is a very helpful chapter.)

Grandmothers Who Raise Their Grandchildren

Grandmothers Who Aren’t Allowed to See Their Grandchildren (This is heartbreaking, however Teresa gives readers ideas on how to cope should we wind up in this scenario…)

Grandmothers Who Grieve

The Physical Challenges of Being a Grandmother (Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up…)

Multigenerational Families under the Same Roof (Those that do this will have MANY jewels in their crowns.)

Allow me to share some advice from a grandmother in the chapter on worry. Carol says,

“If I’m feeling anxious, I always read Philippians 4:6-7. I dissect it and try to apply each part of that verse, because the peace that comes is conditional upon the beginning of the verse.

I believe we cannot ask God for anything if we haven’t been thankful before we make our requests known.

Also, the peace that God promises is like a sentinel keeping watch over our mind.

That’s why it says it will guard your hearts and minds. When I think about God’s peace guarding my thoughts, it brings me much comfort.”

Here’s the verse Carol is talking about:

Checkout Teresa’s website, http://www.nanahood.com. I learned her website is in the top 10 websites on grand parenting!

Teresa tells us that about ten years ago, she started a blog named NanaHood. She said, “I chose that name because I believe NanaHood is the second half of the motherhood journey….Today NanaHood’s Facebook page has a following of close to 50,000 grandmothers from all over the world!”

Here’s a pic of Teresa from the Kentucky Book Festival:

Now you know what I’m going to say, RUN, don’t walk to your nearest bookstore and grab The Faith-Filled Grandmother! Think of all your friends who will love this! This is a resource you’ll return to time and time again.

I pray you and your family have a most blessed and Happy Thanksgiving.

‘Til next time!

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You’re Invited to Book Club and a Christmas Party on 11/25! “Christmas in Winter Hill” by Melody Carlson

Friends! This coming Monday, November 25th, from 6:30-8:00 p.m., please make some much needed time for yourself before all the Thanksgiving and Christmas madness and head over to Middleton United Methodist Church for a full night of fun and holiday cheer! You won’t want to miss our discussion on Melody Carlson’s newest Christmas novel, Christmas in Winter Hill.

We’ll navigate Krista Galloway’s struggles with Christmas past and her journey in discovering the true spirit of Christmas with her eight-year-old daughter in a new town famous for its Christmasville celebration.

Here’s a description, courtesy of Amazon:  “Krista Galloway is not a fan of Christmas. After her rough childhood in multiple foster homes, the holiday season just brings too many bad memories to the surface. But when she accepts a job as a city manager in the mountain town of Winter Hill, Washington, Christmas is part of the deal. The small town is famous for its Christmasville celebration, something that the city manager . . . well, manages.

As she tries to make her tiny new apartment feel like home for her and her eight-year-old daughter, Emily, Krista begins to wonder if this move was a mistake. She doesn’t always feel welcomed in the close-knit town, and Emily continually wonders, ‘Where’s the snow?’ Can a friendly stranger and his family help restore Krista’s Christmas spirit before the big day?

Bestselling author Melody Carlson invites you to spend this holiday season in a town you’ll never forget–and never want to leave.”

Christmas in Winter Hill is sure to encourage engaging discussions!

And, as is tradition during our November gathering, we’ll get to enjoy a huge spread of holiday treats! Have a to-die-for favorite appetizer? Bring it with you, and check out all of the other delights that are sure to please. We can be your guinea pigs if you’re trying out a new recipe on the fam this Thanksgiving. There are so many options, you won’t go away hungry!

To top off our night of holiday fun, bring a wrapped Christmas ornament and join in our annual Ornament Exchange! This is always a hit, and a fun way to add a new ornament to your tree.

Grab your friends, and join us on Monday, November 21st from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at Middletown United Methodist Church. And please do have a most Happy, Blessed Thanksgiving on the 28th!!!

11902 Old Shelbyville Road, Louisville, KY 40243 http://www.middletownumc.org

Please call Nancy Tinnell at (502) 245-8839 to RSVP.

‘Til next time!

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the page above are “affiliate links.”

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Happy Holy Week! You’re Invited to Our Last Book Club Meeting of the Season, Cliffhanger and All, Next Monday, 4/22 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. (Don’t miss the Rx for Anxiety near the end…)

Friends! Come one, come all to what promises to be a super fun finale for our season. Terri Blackstock’s If I Run is not only suspenseful, it’s a cliffhanger and will provide you with two more books you’ll want to read to find out what happens. Yes, it’s #1 of 3 in a series!

Nancy Tinnell was most gracious to write a teaser for us. (If you’ve not read the book yet, you’re going to want to!). Here’s Nancy:

”Terri Blackstock’s suspenseful novel, If I Run, is our final book club selection this year. We will be discussing it on Monday, April 22nd, and you are invited to join us! I apologized in advance to the group last month for the cliffhanger ending in this story. It provides an automatic summer reading suggestion for us: books two and three of the If I Run Series. Those titles are If I’m Found and If I Live.


Casey Cox, the anxious young woman at the heart of the story, is in a desperate situation. She has discovered a crime scene, knows that DNA evidence will point to her, even though she is innocent, but she doesn’t have much faith in the local authorities. She feels they let her down at the time of her father’s death thirteen years earlier. Casey is so wounded in her spirit and feels so alone in this dilemma that she chooses to run.

In this story, we follow her as she constantly changes her location, her appearance, and her identity, so she can buy time to think through the situation and decide what to do. There is a lot of suspense involved here, so be prepared to feel a bit anxious yourself.

Enter the love interest! Well, Dylan is not a love interest yet. He’s one of the authorities trying to track her. But we can see it coming. I just know it! He has a knack for analysis and can see that the details don’t add up to her guilt, even if the DNA evidence does implicate her. Also, Dylan’s back story makes him a sympathetic character.

At book club, we’ll be discussing these characters and several others, in addition to probing Casey’s suspicions about this crime and the circumstances surrounding her father’s death.

Since Casey has to live on fast food on the road, our suggested snack theme for our April meeting is “food on the run.” What do you fix when you have to fix something super-fast? Or what do you “drive through the drive-through” to pick up when you are in a hurry? Or what leftovers in the fridge can you pull together quickly? Food on the run, lots of fun! See you on the 22nd, book lovers.”

Thank you, Nancy! We will also announce our selections for our 2019-2020 season. We had a meeting last week and chose four fiction and three non-fiction books, all of which look wonderful!

The Living Word Bookstore in Southeast Christian Church is partnering with us to carry our selections for our new season. You may call them at (502) 253-8220. (Their website is: www.livingword.org ) They’ll be happy to order your books for you.

Gather up a carload of your friends! We hope to see you Monday, April 22nd, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at Middletown United Methodist Church. Please RSVP to Nancy at (502) 245-8839.

11902 Old Shelbyville Road, Louisville, KY 40243 http://www.middletownumc.org

 

Finally, since this week is Holy Week, here’s a reprise from last year should any of you have any anxiety about anything at all…our friend Max Lucado has just the help we need:

Anyone lugging around worries that are making you anxious? (I’m just realizing lug is in luggage.) Luggage denotes “inconveniently heavy baggage.” Well, take heart, I’m bringing you good news to lighten your load and bless us this Holy Week!

Many of you know how often I quote author Max Lucado. His book, Anxious for Nothing—Finding Calm in a Chaotic World, is a current favorite, its’ many pages already highlighted and dog-eared.

I’ll share a few of many favorite quotes which I pray will ease our anxiety, perhaps even erase it altogether, blessing us with a peaceful Holy Week. In the meantime, you may wish to grab this book as it’s a resource you would return to time and time again.

Max begins with, “Anxiety is a meteor shower of what-ifs…
Anxiety is trepidation.
It’s a suspicion,
An apprehension.
Life in a minor key with major concerns…
You’re part Chicken Little and part Eeyore. The sky is falling and it’s falling disproportionately on you.” Anyone?!!! Max not only cracks me up, he often perfectly depicts my own moods.

Flip on the news or grab a newspaper and “anxiety disorders” are usually the front runners. Epidemic proportions.Max states what we think, yet fear to admit:

One would think Christians would be exempt from worry. But we are not. We have been taught that the Christian life is a life of peace, and when we don’t have peace, we assume the problem lies within us. Not only do we feel anxious, but we also feel guilty about our anxiety! The result is a downward spiral of worry, guilt, worry, guilt.”

What’s a person to do? Thankfully, Max gifts us with the solution straight from Scripture. Philippians 4:4-8 says:

Max shows us that these five verses include, “four admonitions that lead to ONE WONDERFUL PROMISE: ‘the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds.’” (v. 7)

Additionally, this book blesses us throughout by equipping us with a simple acronym, the word “CALM”. Put this in your anxiety arsenal and you will have a peaceful Holy Week:

The concept of “CALM” is introduced in Chapter One, and expounded on throughout the book. You’ll never look at it again in the same way! (See page 10 for starters!)

We readers are reminded to consult the Apostle Paul’s words and actions. Max says, “Paul believed in the steady hand of a good God. He was protected by God’s strength, preserved by God’s love. He lived beneath the shadow of God’s wings.”

What does that look like for us? It translates into savoring God’s sovereignty. Clinging to His sovereignty and reminding ourselves daily that God is still on the throne. Always occupied. Always interceding for you and for me…

This Holy Week as we march toward Good Friday and Easter, may we remember the acronym “Calm”, and hear Max’ reminder: “God took the crucifixion of Friday and turned it into the celebration of Sunday.”

Max’ book also includes a Study Guide which would be great for anyone, but also super for a Small Group to work thru’.

Have a blessed Easter.

‘Til next time!

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Terrific Tidbits From This Year’s Triple Crown Winner…

Friends!  How exciting was this year’s Belmont Stakes with Kentucky’s newest star horse, Justify?  Already victorious in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, suspense built all the way up to June 9th’s last leg of the Triple Crown, finding millions of us glued to the television not to mention those in attendance at the race, all of our hearts pounding…

Much to our delight, Justify and his jockey, Mike Smith, pulled it off for the win.  PLUS Justify was the second horse for trainer, Bob Baffert, to win the Triple Crown since 2015. (American Pharaoh)

I was thrilled to discover Eric Metaxas invited Elliott Walden into his studio on Monday, June 11th for the first hour of the show. (www.metaxastalk.com ). Elliott is the current President, CEO, and Racing Manager at WinStar Farms in Versailles, Kentucky. (www.winstarfarm.com )

Also, in the studio was Lisa Troutt, wife of WinStar Farm’s owner, Kenny Troutt.

We’ve been blessed to know Elliott over the years when his boys and our youngest son, Woody, played football together at Christian Academy. Fast forward a few years and my John got to be with Elliott again. They were two of ten men Bob Russell spearheaded to attend the first Businessmen’s Retreat at Country Lake Christian Retreat Center in Indiana.  (www.bobrussell.org ) Bob’s hosted three so far, and they’re planning on more.

Bob’s been mentoring young pastors from all over the country, teaching monthly retreats for several years since he retired from Southeast Christian Church. He also wanted to do the same for Christian men in the marketplace.

My John maintains their experience was worth a small fortune.  Bob brought in successful business entrepreneurs  and other ministers to share some of their insight as part of the program. Since their gathering, Elliott often sends out devotions he crafts, always centering around a Scripture verse to share with their fellow attendees.

In the radio interview, Eric begins talking with Elliott, sharing how he and his wife, Suzanne, enjoyed the race immensely. When he heard jockey  Mike Smith give all the Glory to his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Eric shouted out a huge “Hallelujah!”

He continues by saying, “I’m a Jesus freak.” To which Elliott says, “So am I.”

Eric said, “I know that.” Christian fellowship at its finest, live on the air!

Elliott proceeds to show how Mike Smith truly walks the walk in his faith, always exalting the Lord and not himself. You’ll learn some jaw dropping tidbits throughout the interview PLUS you’ll get to hear from Mike Smith as well.  Learning of Mike’s faith and witness is heartwarming. What an encouragement to all of us!

A few examples you’ll want to listen for:

How long was Elliott a horse trainer before he got the opportunity to work for WinStar?
Who names these horses?
How do they come up with the names? (This part is fascinating.)
How much does Justify weigh?
How much does Mike Smith weigh? (Aren’t we glad we’re not all jockeys who have to STEP ON THE SCALE before every race?!!!)
How did Elliott wind up in the horse business?
How did Elliott beat Bob Baffert out of a win for another potential Triple Crown many years ago?
How long has Mike Smith been a Christian?
Hear why Mike thinks the Lord has blessed this horse so much…
Will Justify run in more horse races?
How much longer will Mike Smith, now 52, ride?

Run, don’t walk to your nearest iPad or phone or laptop and listen up.  You’ll be so glad you did.

To God be the glory.

‘Til next time!

 

 

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How to Be Mom Strong for Mother’s Day and Every Other Day (with help from author Heidi St. John)

Friends! Cheers to all you Moms, Grandmoms, Aunts, and Neighbor-like-practically-Moms this Mother’s Day week. I pray you’ll all feel super celebrated on Sunday.

While we may not always feel celebrated, much less strong and eager to tackle each day, author Heidi St. John has a book and a Bible study to help us do exactly that:  Becoming Mom Strong:  How to Fight with All That’s in You for Your Family and Your Faith.

Here’s the book:

 

And here’s the Bible study, Becoming Mom Strong: A Six-Week Journey to Discover Your God-given Calling:

You may be saying, “Yeah, right.  I may be a strong Mom if one were grading on the curve, but I’m certainly not a strong Mom every single day!” To which I’ll strongly suggest you grab this book ASAP, because if Heidi can do this while raising her seven children (all the while homeschooling them!), we’d do quite well by listening to her. I only wish she lived in my neighborhood.

You also don’t want to miss Heidi’s blog, www.thebusymom.com

Right or wrong, I generally judge a book not only by its cover, but also by its take-home value. I’m delighted to report Heidi’s book and Bible study are loaded with excellent take-home material and are well worth your time. Each chapter ends with a succinct summary/challenge.

Right after the summary, Heidi includes prayer points with Scripture to back them up. Each and every one of these is excellent. Multiply that by fifteen chapters, and you’ve got a valuable resource I predict you’ll return to time and time again.

Right from the get-go Heidi reminds us we as parents (or grandparents) are, “preparing warriors.” She adds, “You are preparing warriors who at some point will be asked to choose between following God’s law and following the culture. And in order to prepare warriors, YOU have to become a warrior yourself.”

Heidi is brutally honest, telling on herself. She makes us readers feel better for our own faux pas.  In fact, I felt 100% better after learning she, too, forgot to be the tooth fairy for one of her children.  (Sorry again, Woody.) You will laugh out loud in each chapter.

Additionally, Heidi equips us with powerful Scripture. When Heidi gently tells us we can’t make warriors or hope for our kids to have a deep relationship with the Lord unless we ourselves have that, she reminds us to keep our faces planted in the Word daily as well as keep a continual conversation/prayer going with Him.  This verse was new to me from the New Living Translation:

 

Surely that verse will encourage us in our prayer lives!

All throughout the book neat little quotes are set apart for further encouragement.  This is one of my favorites:

“Bad days do not make bad moms.” 

I so wish I’d had this book when we were raising our boys, but glory be we now have a granddaughter to love on and show her how to love the Lord and her friends.

Heidi closes her book with 3 John 1:4. May it be a goal for each and every one of us:

“I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth.” 3 John 1:4 (NLT)

Finally, I’d like to share a snippet about Heidi’s accompanying Bible study, Becoming Mom Strong: A Six-Week Journey to Discover Your God-Given Calling.  Each week’s lesson has “A Voice from the Bible” section where you get to learn from someone in the Bible, i.e. Ruth, Elizabeth, Rahab, Hagar, Mary and Priscilla. I also love the titles of each week:

Becoming Brave and Wise,
Becoming a Mom with a Mission,
Becoming Free,
Becoming Emotionally Strong,
Becoming Beautiful and
Becoming Unshakable.

Each week’s lesson also concludes with a prayer.  This one is my favorite:

Obviously, I recommend Heidi’s book as well as the Bible study.  I hope and pray many young Moms will take this study and take it to heart with their little ones. The potential effect could be wildly powerful!

‘Til next time!

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Holy Week – Anxiety = Peaceful Week… (With Help from Max Lucado)

Friends! Anyone lugging around worries that are making you anxious?  (I’m just realizing lug is in luggage.) Luggage denotes “inconveniently heavy baggage.”  Well, take heart, I’m bringing you good news to lighten your load and bless us this Holy Week.

Many of you know how often I quote author Max Lucado.   His most recent book, Anxious for Nothing—Finding Calm in a Chaotic World, is a current favorite, its’ many pages already highlighted and dog-eared.

I’ll share a few of many favorite quotes which I pray will ease our anxiety, perhaps even erase it altogether, blessing us with a peaceful Holy Week. In the meantime, you may wish to grab this book as it’s a resource you would return to time and time again.

Max begins with, “Anxiety is a meteor shower of what-ifs…

Anxiety is trepidation.

It’s a suspicion,

An apprehension.

Life in a minor key with major concerns…

You’re part Chicken Little and part Eeyore. The sky is falling and it’s falling disproportionately on you.”  Anyone?!!! Max not only cracks me up, he often perfectly depicts my own moods.

Flip on the news or grab a newspaper and “anxiety disorders” are usually the front runners.  Epidemic proportions.

Max states what we think, yet fear to admit:  “One would think Christians would be exempt from worry. But we are not. We have been taught that the Christian life is a life of peace, and when we don’t have peace, we assume the problem lies within us. Not only do we feel anxious, but we also feel guilty about our anxiety!  The result is a downward spiral of worry, guilt, worry, guilt.”

What’s a person to do?  Thankfully, Max gifts us with the solution straight from Scripture. Philippians 4:4-8 says:

Max shows us that these five verses include, “four admonitions that lead to ONE WONDERFUL PROMISE:  ‘the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds.’” (v. 7)

Additionally, this book blesses us throughout by equipping us with a simple acronym, the word “CALM”.  Put this in your anxiety arsenal and you will have a peaceful Holy Week:

 

The concept of “CALM” is introduced in Chapter One,  and expounded on throughout the book.  You’ll never look at it again in the same way! (See page 10 for starters!)

We readers are reminded to consult the Apostle Paul’s words and actions. Max says, “Paul believed in the steady hand of a good God. He was protected by God’s strength, preserved by God’s love. He lived beneath the shadow of God’s wings.”

What does that look like for us?  It translates into savoring God’s sovereignty.  Clinging to His sovereignty and reminding ourselves daily that God is still on the throne.  Always occupied.  Always interceding for you and for me…

This Holy Week as we march toward Good Friday and Easter, may we remember the acronym “Calm”, and hear Max’ reminder:  “God took the crucifixion of Friday and turned it into the celebration of Sunday.”

Max’ book also includes a Study Guide which would be great for anyone, but also super for a Small Group to work thru’.  And, more good news, he’s got another new book coming out this summer, due to be released August 7th, called Unshakable Hope:  Building Our Lives on the Promises of God.  Yet one more sure-to-be great resource!

Have a most blessed Easter.

‘Til next time!

 

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