Tag Archive | Thanksgiving

Butterflies

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Caterpillars inch their way through their existence, gorge themselves on foliage. It’s all they know. They’re content with life as they know it. They have no clue there is a better way, a better form of living awaiting them. All they can perceive is they most indulge in the things surrounding them, and then, they spin a cocoon. To them, this entrapment is death. They wake up a changed creature in a new world where they have wings to fly.

Like a caterpillar, we seek the pleasures of this world, indulging ourselves in all sorts of delights to satisfy our human cravings. We can’t help ourselves any more than caterpillars can keep themselves from gorging on leaves. It’s caterpillar nature. And seeking to satisfy our own desires is human nature.

Many people never look beyond this world. They have a caterpillar mindset. This is all there is. Enjoy the lusts of your hearts while you can for tomorrow you die.

But those of us who know Jesus have a different mindset. He has created a new creature in us. We look at things anew. Our existence no longer consists of just what this world has to offer. Although we still enjoy and embrace much of the wonders of the world, they are no longer our main focus. We know there is something much grander in store for us.

In a sense, when we submit to Christ, He wraps us in a cocoon. In whom [Christ] ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians 1:13), Now we consider our new life on earth our cocoon existence. We have put of the old and put on the new. We are sealed in the Holy Spirit. God is creating the image of Christ in us as we live out our lives. We don’t know what we will be when we break free from this entrapment. But we do know we’ll be like Him. For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself (Philippians 3:20-21).

As He creates Christ’s image in us, He delights in His creation. He sees us differently than we see ourselves.

I developed an acronym, using the word butterfly, to remind you and me of how our Father sees us.

B-beautiful. You are beautiful in God’s eyes because Jesus has cloaked you in His righteousness. Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe (Romans 3:22).

U-unique. You are unique in God’s sight. He has created each of us with unique looks, abilities, and personalities. Just like butterflies, there are no two exactly alike. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works (Psalms 139:14).

T-teachable. God never stops teaching life lessons. Therefore it’s safe to say you are teachable. We never stop learning. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation (Psalm 25:5).

T-Talented. By God’s design you are talented. He has gifted you with special abilities, interests and desires to accomplish your purpose. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:4).

E-empowered. The Holy Spirit has empowered you to fight the battles you face in this world and guarantees you the victory. That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man (Ephesians 3:16).

R-Radiant. When God looks at you, He sees the glory of Jesus. His Light shines in and through you. You radiate. We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:18).

F-Flawless. God has forgiven you. In His eyes, you are flawless through the work of Jesus on the cross. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us (Psalm 103:12).

L-Lowly. Yes, God sees you as a lowly, meek creature. One who needs provisions, protection, and lots of grace. But cheer up. Lowliness was one of Jesus’ earthly attributes (Mark 11:29). Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly (Psalm 138:6).

Y-You. God sees you in your little cocoon. He loves what He sees with all His heart. Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee (Jeremiah 31:3).

How about you? How does God see you?

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

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Forecast: Hail

And there shall be a booth for a shade by day from the heat, and for a refuge, and for a hiding place from storm and rain. (Isaiah 4:6)

I didn’t see the storm brewing.

A few weeks ago, a hail storm hit my friend’s area. Both his vehicles sustained damage. Jed complained if he’d known it was coming he would’ve taking precautions like covering his car and truck with blankets. But the weather forecaster never mentioned hail. The following week another storm hit the area. This time the forecaster predicted damaging, downfall of ice pellets. Jed rushed out and covered both vehicles with heavy blankets. The wind blew. Rain fell. But no hail pelted his autos. Jed seemed almost disappointed when he told us about his efforts. He said wet blankets were all he got.

Like Jed, our efforts to prepare for the storms of life often seem fruitless. We work hard making sure we’re covered when calamity happens only to find our sweat amounted to just that sweat.

The truth is, like the weather forecaster, no matter how well informed we are. we cannot predict how hard and fast or when the storms of life are going to strike.

But we have a Father who, not only knows all about our storms, He controls them. He also prepares us for them in ways in which we are not aware. It’s like being covered with a heavy blanket. Hail falls. Damage occurs. But we receive far less wounds than we would’ve had we not put our trust in the Lord prior to the onset of the tempest.

I never saw the storm of cancer coming. Every year for sixteen years, I had gone for my yearly mammogram and checkup with the same results—0% chance of breast cancer according to my family history and other information gathered through the years. But this year something peculiar happened. This year my lymph nodes were enlarged. This year the storm hit. The hail fell. Damage occurred. But I know my Father has me covered. I sense His presence every day. I enjoy His peace, rest, and protection continually. Because He has been busy preparing me for this billowy time of my life, I have no fear of this disease, the treatments, or the outcome. I cannot tell you the exact steps He has taken to bring me to this point. Previous trials have definitely taught me to trust His decisions. Through it all, I’m learning the deeper meaning of Philippians 1:21—For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

How about you? How has our Father prepared you for your current storm?

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

 

G is for Go

Go Tell all the Nations!

                      Go Tell all the Nations!

Go. Go. Go. From now until December 25th, we’ll be on the go. Go to stores. Go to office parties and family get-togethers. Go to rehearsals. Go to Christmas programs at schools, churches, and theaters. Go ’til we drop. Then pick ourselves up and go some more.

But that’s not why I’m thankful for GO. I’m thankful for GO because Jesus said told His followers to Go and make disciples of all nations. They obeyed. And through the ages, others continued to take up the command to GO. One day, a preacher in my lifetime, obeyed the command to Go. He came to the church I attended as a child and spoke about Jesus’ saving grace. I trusted in the Lord’s name that night. Now, it’s my turn to Go and tell others about Him. It’s your turn too. Let’s not get so caught up in all the places we have to go to this month that we forget to GO and make disciples for Jesus.

 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20)

How about you? What are you thankful for that begins with the letter G?

See you in a twinkling

Brenda K. Hendricks

N is for New

Angel 1 4 webNew accompanies the holidays like snow in winter. We scurry from store to store to buy new decorations and of course, new gifts for everyone on our lists. We look forward to receiving new stuff too. We start the New Year with new dreams, new goals, and hopes for a new, smaller dress size.

And sometimes new doesn’t have to be brand new, just new to us, like a new previously enjoyed car. Last night, Gene and I bought a new water softener and were happy about it. It was new after all. New makes us happy, feel accomplished and special.

But that’s not why I’m thankful for new. I’m thankful because I’m a new creation in Christ Jesus. And He transforms my life by renewing of my mind with His goodness and restores a right heart within me.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

How about you? What are you thankful for that begins with the letter N?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

I is for Imagination

 

Pirate Princess--Imagination at Work

Pirate Princess–Imagination at Work

Imaginations turn my living room into a forest with a hideout. I become “big foot.” Two-month-old, Lilly, becomes Angel Baby. All thanks to my grandactives.

My imagination enables me to write stories, paint pictures, or design this blog.

Without the imaginations of great minds, there would be no Internet to post my blog. There wouldn’t be channeled electricity, cars, or any of the modern conveniences we’ve all grown to enjoy.

Yes indeed! Imagination is a vital part of human existence and separates us from all other life forms. Imagination is also one of our most taken-for-granted, thus, one of our least thankful-for commodities. God truly blessed us more richly than then we can imagine by giving us imaginations.

 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21).

How about you? What are you thankful for that begins with the letter I?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

V is for Voice

Design 1From listening to the sweet voices of my youngest grandactives to the bass voice of my husband, I get a mix of sounds and octaves. Voices are remarkable. No two are identical, just like snowflakes. Isn’t it amazing how we can recognize a person’s voice without seeing him/her? Moreover, there are truly incredible and unique sounds people train their vocal cords to make like hitting those ridiculously high, glass-shattering notes in an opera or imitating a fire siren. Regardless if we have those talents or not, our voices enable us to communicate our desires, our emotions, and our thoughts.

Of all the extraordinary things our voices can do, I’m most thankful for my voice because with it I cry out to God, and He hears, understands like no one else can, and sends His peace.

“In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly” (Psalm 5:3).

How about you? What are you thankful for that begins with the letter V?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

I is for Ink

31 Holly and angels colored 4webInk is a good thing. Without it, books would be nonexistent. We couldn’t print photos of our grandactives. We couldn’t write notes and pass them in class. Oh wait! That was a bazillion years ago when I went to school. Okay, so text messages have replaced ink there. But technology has a long way to go before totally obliterating ink.

The Chinese used ink in the 23rd century BC. And the liquid has been an important commodity ever since.

But that’s not why I’m thankful for ink. I’m thankful for ink because prophets used it to record God’s word, and scribes painstakingly preserved it throughout history.

 “Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it” (Habakkuk 2:2).

How about you? What are you thankful for that begins with the letter I?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks