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Thankfulness: A Gift from God by Brenda H. Cox

Posted by Julie on November 18, 2017 in Julie Arduini |

 

Thankfulness is a gift from God. Knowing the magnitude of the awesome sacrifice that our Father in heaven made in giving His son Jesus humbles our hearts and makes us grateful.  Jesus was the gift of atonement for our sins of the past, present, and future, and true understanding of the magnitude of that gift makes us grateful for everything in our lives. Our values change when we humble ourselves before God, and He opens our eyes to every little gift, the changing of the seasons, the smile of a child, the warmth of friends.

Just this week I drove my husband Jim home from Duke Hospital where he had undergone his second brain surgery. I found myself being so grateful for the success of the procedure, for his being able to stick out his tongue and roll his eyes in ICU, for the kindness of the attendant who wheeled him to the car, for the parking space near the elevator, for the glorious color of the trees along I-85, for smooth highways, and I could go on and on. That gift of gratitude opened my eyes to God’s providence and calmed my heart.

But I was also mindful that I had also sat in the waiting room throughout the day of the surgery seeing surgeon after surgeon come out to speak to families until 8:15 pm, leaving me as the only person waiting for news. I was grateful for the opportunity my husband had to travel from Greensboro to a world-class facility where he could receive care from the best of the best. I was grateful for safe travel, for the pleasant young woman at the coffee bar, for the sweet lady at the registration desk who spoke so kindly to me knowing I had been there most of the day and had been the only family member left in the waiting room. She could have been impatient knowing I was probably preventing her from going home for dinner. I was also grateful for the comfort and peace that I knew I would have if the surgery did not go well. The knowledge that my husband had followed Christ in his life was assurance that I could persevere even without him if God had chosen to take him home. What a blessing, what a gift to be grateful, not in my own strength, but in the “blessed assurance” that comes only from God through His gift of Jesus Christ!

Jim’s third great grandmother Henrietta Hall Shuck had traveled to China in 1835 as the first American woman missionary to China trusting in God’s providence through disease, poverty, robbers, disagreements with the mission board, and all during the dangers of the First Opium War. On her 200th birthday, her descendants are still strengthened by the gift of perseverance that comes through thankfulness for the blessings of Christ.

 

Tethered begins in 1835 as Henrietta and Jehu Lewis Shuck set off on a 19,000 mile voyage from Virginia to China to establish the first Baptist mission. In Tethered Henrietta must hold a leather strap nailed to the railing of their ship to keep from falling overboard, but her life is also tethered to her husband, to their mission board, and to God. Their relationship is marked by humor and unflinching determination despite illness, poverty, danger, and opposition from the mission board at home in the volatile years of conflict in the First Opium War.  By the end of her story, she has come to a full faith relationship with God and has become an icon in Baptist missions for American and Chinese Christians across two centuries.

Purchase TETHERED HERE

Brenda H. Cox is a life-long English educator at the high school and university levels. She earned a BA at The University of South Carolina, an MAT from The Citadel, and a PhD at The University of Georgia where she served as the Assistant Director of the Freshman English Program. She was affiliated with the National Writing Project site at Clemson University where she led a Writing in the Humanities Institute and is a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. She has taught numerous writing workshops and delivered papers at state and national conferences and directed The Young Writers Conference at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro where she was an Assistant Professor of English Education. She has published articles in English leadership and in 18th century rhetoric. In addition, she has served as a writing consultant in numerous school systems in the Southeast and in the American and International Schools in Kuwait. She also served as a Reader of Advanced Placement exams for The College Board, and her students have won numerous local, state, and national awards in writing. Brenda lives in Greensboro, NC and is married to Jim Cox.  They have one son and daughter in-law and two perfect grandsons.

 

 

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2016, A Year of BIG Surprises, by Janetta Fudge Messmer

2016, A Year of BIG Surprises, by Janetta Fudge Messmer

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I Thessalonians 5:16-18

These verses are favorites of mine, and I’ve used them as my blog heading for years. They remind me of what the Lord expects of me each and every day. To rejoice. To pray. To give thanks.

2016 has been a year of all years. One for the record books for thankfulness, and one I’ll never forget. I’m almost sure I told the Lord “thank you” a million times. A slight exaggeration, but He blessed the socks right off my feet. Let me give you a few examples of his lovingkindness:

  • I’m a published author of three books (Early Birds, Southbound Birds, and Chords of Love). And it happened this year.
  • The Lord continues to bless me with a great husband. This year he also rocks as my CEO of Marketing and Daily Operations.
  • I turned 60 years old in January (not an easy age to reach when you still feel 16, and act like it most of the time)
  • I’m over-the-top thankful for our pooch, Maggie. She’s the one who gave me the great idea for my debut novel, Early Birds. (Piece of advice: Always listen to your pet when they ‘talk’ to you. Might surprise you what they have to say).

As you can see, I could go on for days about what I’m thankful for. But, I do have days that it takes every bit of my energy to see past the problem in my path. To even utter a coherent prayer. To proclaim victory in His name.

It is at those tough times that I pick up my Bible and reread (as many times as it takes to get it through my head) I Thessalonians 5: 16-18. These three verses are where I find the remedy to what ails me. They help me to realign with what the Lord is trying to teach me through His word.

What about you? Has life thrown you a few curve balls (illness/extra doctor bills, car not running right, job ended, relationship, etc.)  Take it from me, read the verses in I Thessalonians and follow His instructions: Rejoice always. Pray continually. Give thanks in all circumstances.

Trust me, if you do these three things, it’ll be a life changing experience. Won’t you give it a try? The Lord is waiting for you.

Janetta Fudge Messmer Bio:

head-shot_editedJanetta Fudge-Messmer is an inspirational author, editor and speaker. She’s received Honorable Mention for fiction and nonfiction articles from Byline Magazine. She also received Honorable Mention for a fiction article from Writer’s Digest Magazine. Her article, “A Working Relationship” was published in Guideposts Magazine. Guideposts Books published, “Shorthaired Miracle”. Along with writing, Janetta also speaks at seminars, helping others to “Tell Your Story”. Janetta, her husband Ray and precious pooch Maggie, became full-time RVers in 2013 and love traveling around the USA in their Minnie Winnie.

book-cover-image_editedBook #2 in the Early Bird series finds Rose and Larry Wilford hitting the highway on their next RV adventure. Ben and Betsy Stevenson are right behind them in their 5th wheel. The other two Early Birds, Jeff and Mary Miller, promise to hook up with them as soon as they finish some ‘business’ in Colorado.

On their way to Florida, they make a stop in Mississippi. Soon Rosie wonders if they’ll ever get On the Road Again. The RVs have stalled in Biloxi and it has nothing to do with mechanical issues in any of their rigs. They’ve found another church that needs their help.

Rose, Betsy and Mary spend their days as fashion consultants, dressing young women for success (or as Rosie says, “Playing dress up.”). Larry, Ben and Jeff, they’re up to their eyeballs in sheetrock and drywall mud, and any other handyman task they can find to do.

The one thing Rosie has decided, if and when they start traveling toward the Sunshine State, she’ll still occupy the passenger seat of their dually. No driving for her. Larry can pester her all he wants.

And the fact her bestest friend, Betsy, drove their albatross on I-10 and lived to tell about it, won’t change her mind either. The only way Rose will get behind the wheel is if the Lord, Himself, figures out a way to put her there. ‘Cause at the moment, F.E.A.R. is her middle name.

Instead of legally changing her name or letting trepidation win, Rosie does what she does best. She PRAYS. Larry, on the other hand, is having troubles too. His prayer is that their 5th wheel survives his driving and he’s not sure it will. One more mishap and he’s handing the keys to his wife.

The Early Birds continue to have as many surprises as the state of Florida has palm trees. So why don’t you come along, if you dare. Rose, Larry, Ben, Betsy, Jeff and Mary (and some new friends) would love to have you join them on their travels across the U.S.A.

 Connect with Janetta at:

Early Birds, Southbound Birds, and My Secret Love, are Available on Amazon: https://goo.gl/SX7mfP

E-mail: janettafudgemessmer@gmail.com
Website: http://janettafudgemessmer.com/
Blog: http://www.nettie-fudges-world.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/janetta.fudge.messmer
Twitter: https://twitter.com/nettiefudge

 

 

 

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Thankful: My Quiet Family

As I mentioned on November 2nd, I didn’t receive a lot of submissions this year on why people are thankful. I decided perhaps that meant it was time for me to share.

I’m thankful for my quiet family.

December2014family2

Call us nerds, geeks, freaks. When you come to our house, the circus is the last thing you’ll find. We’re probably working on laptops or reading. Watching sports. We love to talk but we aren’t overly chatty.

And our volume is almost always on low.

The hard part is when we visit “normal” homes. We’re completely overwhelmed by the yelling that is actually talking. The side conversations and interruptions. It’s all normal, we’re the weird ones.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I like having a sanctuary for my husband to come home to. He’s tired and enjoys relaxing. He’s not entering a perfect place by any means, but more times than not, he’s sitting down to a tranquil setting.

The same for the kids. The oldest is feeling the pressure of senior year. He’s an honor student who works hard. He’s spent when he gets home and school is not always a calm place. Home is safe for him.

The youngest is the loudest of us all and the most extroverted, but she too gets overwhelmed. She can get headaches a lot when there’s too much chaos.

As for me, people ask how I do so much in a small span of time. Although I don’t sleep a lot, I think having a quiet home helps a lot. I can focus and multi task, and I believe the atmosphere is a big part of it.

It’s not for everyone, so don’t think I’m knocking you if you love noise at your home.

I’m just thankful for our quiet, little family.

What are you thankful for?

 

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Sabbath Sunday: Thankful

Thankful Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakeable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping Him with holy fear and awe. Hebrews 12:28, NLT

Each year I dedicate my blog to the theme of thankfulness and invite others to share why they are thankful. Children, adults, a paragraph, anything up to 750 words, I’m looking for it all. It doesn’t have to be fancy or professional. Just write why you are thankful.

It’s that easy.

Send your post, signed as you want the world to know you, to me at juliearduini@juliearduini.com and with a bio and optional headshot. If you are an author, you’re welcome to submit your information as long as you remember the main idea is a thankful post.

The slots go fairly fast, so don’t wait. Send your thankful posts now. Let’s combat negativity with hope and inspiration.

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Sabbath Sunday: Thankful

Thankful Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakeable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping Him with holy fear and awe. Hebrews 12:28, NLT

Each year I dedicate my blog to the theme of thankfulness and invite others to share why they are thankful. Children, adults, a paragraph, anything up to 750 words, I’m looking for it all. It doesn’t have to be fancy or professional. Just write why you are thankful.

It’s that easy.

Send your post, signed as you want the world to know you, to me at juliearduini@juliearduini.com and with a bio and optional headshot. If you are an author, you’re welcome to submit your information as long as you remember the main idea is a thankful post.

The slots go fairly fast, so don’t wait. Send your thankful posts now. Let’s combat negativity with hope and inspiration.

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Sabbath Sunday: Thankful

Thankful Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakeable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping Him with holy fear and awe. Hebrews 12:28, NLT

Each year I dedicate my blog to the theme of thankfulness and invite others to share why they are thankful. Children, adults, a paragraph, anything up to 750 words, I’m looking for it all. It doesn’t have to be fancy or professional. Just write why you are thankful.

It’s that easy.

Send your post, signed as you want the world to know you, to me at juliearduini@juliearduini.com and with a bio and optional headshot. If you are an author, you’re welcome to submit your information as long as you remember the main idea is a thankful post.

The slots go fairly fast, so don’t wait. Send your thankful posts now. Let’s combat negativity with hope and inspiration.



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