"What Is Your Christmas Attitude?" by Kim Phelps

Christmas…..for many people, it is a season they adore and really look forward to.  For me, not so much.  It carries a lot of baggage and the commercial aspect does not help. So, my attitude can really hit a downward skid easily! 

My family is out of state and I am a single, retired woman; waaaaah, I can feel so sorry for myself! In times like this, I kind of have a history with the Lord: I ask Him to give me a Scripture that is from Him to me that will help me see the “bigger picture". Last week I did just that.  And He gave me a Scripture:

Psalm 23

How gracious of Him! The 23rd psalm;  “He leads me to green pastures” where I can laze around “beside still waters”, He “prepares a table for me in front of my enemies” so I (and they) know that I win in the end! He “anoints me” so I am blessed, “goodness and mercy” stalk me all my life, His “staff guides me” so I can’t get lost. 

Whew, I am so fortunate to be a child of God my Father, He is so good to me! But, wait, I forgot about the “ROD”.  The rod tells me that this is not just about ME (spoiler alert!). There is correction here, maybe God is telling me that I need balance, an adjustment in attitude, as in there is more to this than me being blessed by God.  What the message that I believe God was saying was that He is loving, healing, and blessing me so that I can overcome the “baggage” (see paragraph #1) of my past and walk with Him by doing what He is telling me to do, being that pipeline from Him to those I come across. It is about giving after all, God giving so that I can give….untangled by ulterior motives, so I can hear Him with untainted motives and respond accordingly. Awfully lofty ideals, but that is God; He is Holy and He calls us (me) to be Holy as He is.

So I guess I can enjoy and maybe even look forward to Christmas! I think I will be taking some friends on a tour of Christmas lights.  We will have some hot chocolate too.

"Thanksgiving" by Kim Phelps

I have learned a disturbing truth in my life (please, no laughing at me, some of us are slower learners!). That truth is that when things are going relatively well, or I am feeling overwhelmed, I tend to “shine” God on – either the “yeah, yeah, I got this God” or “leave me alone, I can handle it” syndrome. Then things come crashing down and I realize, often too late for a simple solution, that my not letting God in was not a great plan of action. It was really avoidance.

Recently I have been in this mode and I actually caught myself thinking “things are not chaotic, I seem to be in my comfort zone and it is actually boring, so it's ok, God I've got this.”   What brought me up short was our Sonship study this week.  It's on THANKSGIVING!  God is so faithful, so determined to continue my (and all of His children's) growth in His Spirit that He interrupted my studying and as I turned to Him in truly thanking Him, I began to see the pattern in my behavior.  I was once again “shining Him on,” avoiding His Lordship in my life. I had been involved in busy work, you know, a TV show, a book I was reading, even housework, but I was avoiding that connection with God.

I love Him so much and am so grateful that He sees me and is invested in my life, and will bring me around to where He knows I belong; physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  He doesn't give up on me. 

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (moral wrongfulness).” 1 John 1:9
So, there you have it, my experience from ignoring God to, through thankfulness, repenting and turning to Him for forgiveness and a restoration of relationship. How many times in the future will I need to go through this? I don't know. I do know the One who will be there to get my attention, pick me up, dust me off and set me on the right path.

 I hope this is an encouragement, God knows where each of us are in our walk with Him, He knows what each one needs, when we need it, how we need it, and how to get our attention.  He has a plan for each one. He loves us.

“For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope your final outcome."  Jer. 29:11 (Amp)