Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas Lights

Here is a post that came from my work as Chapel Leader at our girls' private school. God has been showing me so much lately! I hope it encourages you. "Christmas Lights"

Again a post I submitted over at BraveGirlCommunity.com :)

This time of year, the winter blahs are heavy for most of us. The sun shines less, the weather is colder, and there is a general feeling of heaviness that settles on our Northern Hemisphere. (Merry Christmas in July, New Zealanders. I know you cannot relate!)

My favorite activity in the evenings is looking at Christmas lights as I drive from place to place. Especially the warm yellow glow of clear incandescent lights. Though the energy-efficient LED lights are becoming more prevalent, their glow is a bit reminiscent of Elsa’s ice palace—a cold beauty.
Does it bother you to see a strand of Christmas lights with a burnt-out bulb? It bothers me. I want to replace it and see all the lights shining!

How many times have you found that your light is dim or burnt out and you feel you don’t belong with those other lights around you? The good news for us, is that we don’t need to be replaced or discarded. We have a weak connection, or maybe we’ve become disconnected entirely. Just like the old lights where we had to be twisted into the socket, we need to be “all the way in” with our power source. This is not a lecture or a legalism or a shaming, but a beckon, a call to life, a cool drink of water on a hot day, and a warm cup of tea or cocoa or cider on a frigid night. God’s love was made manifest and predicted 700 years before the birth of Jesus Christ.
How beautiful on the mountains
    are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
    who bring good tidings,
    who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
    “Your God reigns!” (Isaiah 52:7)

You can read the rest of the post by clicking that Hyperlink up above.
Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Joy of Giving

I haven't been posting here at tammysincerity, but that doesn't mean I haven't been writing. :) This is my latest submission at BraveGirlCommunity.com, titled "The Joy of Giving".

Here's an excerpt:

I grew up in a home centered on generosity. My parents were gracious hosts and our friends were always welcome there. We rarely went over to their homes as it was so much fun to have them over to ours for bonfires, pizza parties, sleepovers, trampoline jumping, horse rides, etc.
I can remember after a gathering when I was college-aged, my father gave me some wise counsel. “Don’t be cheap when you’re hosting. Give your best. Offer the best sodas-not the cheap store-brand ones. Buy more food than you need so you don’t run out. Never give less than your best.

When my husband and I were married, we were broke, young, in love, and still in college. I had just graduated, moved 1,000 miles to his college town for his final year of school, and we both had part-time minimum wage jobs. Half our income went to rent. We were under-prepared with the food for our wedding reception and had to quickly cut the cake as people were leaving. His parents surprised us one night with yellow grocery bags full of food that they’d just purchased to stock our pantry. We were stunned, not knowing how to ask for this help, nor how to say thank you.

Inside, we longed to be generous, but we didn’t seem to have the ability. About five years ago, our relatives studied the Dave Ramsey financial plan and shared their budget tips with us. We no longer had to guess where our account would be when the bills came in, but had a spending plan. We were excited to be able to create a category for giving within the budget.

Click the hyperlink above to read the rest of the post over at BraveGirlCommunity.com