Making Holiday Memories

Thanksgiving was a traditional family gathering at my in-laws’ home. The siblings came from near and far with their families. Entering the snowy driveway, we’d see the house with seven gables high on the hill.

Beautiful horse in the snow

Beautiful horse in the snow

The roar of snowmobiles coming from the fields nearby let us know nieces and nephews were enjoying Grandpa’s toys. Beautiful horses galloped in the fields near the red barn.

Approaching the house, we caught a whiff of the baking turkey; then Grandma opened the door and lavished us with hugs. As we sat at the table beautifully set with china and crystal, the golden turkey served as the centerpiece, and pumpkin pie provided a sweet ending to the feast. It was truly a Norman Rockwell scene.

I miss those gatherings. They are treasured memories now that many family members have entered eternity. The memories cause me to be thankful for the times past, and they make me conscious this holiday season of how short my time is on earth.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, his love endures forever” (Psalm 107:1 NIV).

As the spirit of Thanksgiving ushers in Christmas, I’ll give thanks to the Lord for providing a way for me to have eternal life; for good health, family, and friends; and for so many other blessings. And yes, for making holiday memories.

God is so good! Enjoy His goodness throughout this holiday season, and make precious holiday memories this year.

Wishing you a blessed December, a Merry Christmas, and a New Year overflowing with God’s abundance.

 

 

Peggy Cunningham

Author Peggy Cunningham

Peggy Cunningham and her husband are missionaries in

Shape Your Soul 31 Exercises for Faith that Moves Mountains

Shape Your Soul 31 Exercises for Faith that Moves Mountains

Bolivia, South America. They work with the Quechua people and have a children’s ministry. Peggy is also an author of books for children and adults. Her latest book is Shape Your Soul, 31 Exercises for Faith that Moves Mountains, a women’s devotional.  www.Peggy Cunningham.com.

 

 

 

 

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Catherine Finger

Catherine Finger

I realized recently that a few of my favorite things and creatures have names beginning with the letter C. A fine example is Capsized by Death, the fourth of my Jo Oliver thrillers releasing Dec. 2, 2019.

My dog’s name is Christie—short for “Christie, The Christmas Pup.” Well into her eleventh year, we’ve been a tight team since she first crawled up my leg like a little kitten when she was six weeks old.  She rocked my world in the earliest days of a long period of pain in my life. Experiencing her little heartbeat and loving personality remains a sweet blessing.

My horse’s name is Clara—she came already named. Meeting Clara truly was a love at first sight experience. If you’ve never been in love with a horse before, I highly recommend it. Horses invite you into a slower, surer world with gentle, knowing eyes and whisper soft muzzles. You can’t be in tune with your horse if your mind, heart, or soul is divided. They have a miraculous way of bringing balance and peace amid a noisy, fractured world.

Last but not least, comes Cosmo—my pint-sized camper. Cosmo is cool. He provides a sense of safety, and the promise of adventure, without breaking a sweat. He’s an easy to maneuver home on wheels, making it easy for the aforementioned C’s, as I travel around the country seeking adventure, competing at horse shows, attending conferences, and discovering the occasional independent bookstore. Sure, he has a lot of parts, and he can be rather cranky and complicated (usually late at night during inclement weather.) Other than that, he’s the perfect gentleman.

How about you? I’d love to hear about a few of your favorite things…

 

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Thanksgiving is an important part of the Christian life. It is the capstone to a life of prayer. The apostle Paul instructed the church in Philippi regarding prayer:

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6, NASB).

Carrying from Europe the tradition of a day of thanksgiving after a successful harvest, the Pilgrims gave thanks to God for the bounty of the harvest after a year of sickness and hunger.

The native Wampanoag tribe also had a tradition of giving thanks to the Creator for a successful harvest, and so they joined with the Pilgrims in a joyful outpouring of gratitude mixed with merriment and feasting.

After the Revolution, the first official presidential proclamation issued in America was George Washington’s 1789 Thanksgiving message:

“…that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks

for His kind care and protection of the people of this country…”

Later, during the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln also issued a thanksgiving proclamation:

“… to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to … fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it … to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.”

As our Forefathers did in the midst of their trials, let us also take time to seek wisdom and guidance from our Heavenly Father and to worship Him for His blessings. In faith, thank God in advance for all He is going to do in the year to come – because there is tremendous power in Thanksgiving!

 

Dr. Craig von Buseck is a popular author, speaker, and editor of www.inspiration.org.  His latest book is I Am Cyrus: Harry S Truman and the Rebirth of Israel. Learn more at www.vonbuseck.com.

 

 

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Marti Pieper

Marti Pieper

Greetings from Marti Pieper in beautiful Florina! In case you don’t recognize that place, it’s my coined word for “in between Florida and South Carolina,” which is where I find myself this week as my husband and I are “in between” our former home in Mount Dora, Florida, and our new one in Seneca, South Carolina. But no matter where my home is, I’m thrilled to welcome my friend Michelle S. Lazurek to our CAN blog.

Welcome, Michelle. Can you please tell our readers about your book?

Michelle Lazurek

Michelle Lazurek

In The Best Gift of All, Paige receives two special gifts for Christmas—a homemade bear made by Mom and her favorite doll she wanted more than anything. When Paige disregards her other gifts, Mom wants to show her where real gift-giving originates—from the heart. Through serving at a homeless shelter, Paige learns the best gifts are not those wrapped in beautiful bows or packages—but ones from the heart. Read More →

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For fourteen years our home in Florida allowed me to escape the bitter Midwest winters. But due to a health crisis, my husband and I are now back in the Midwest, bracing ourselves for some bitter temps.

When I look out my kitchen window, I no longer see palm trees standing tall against a clear blue sky. I see a blanket of white on the ground and pine needles laced with snow crystals. I no longer see lizards scurrying across the backyard patio. Instead, I see squirrels gathering nuts for the long months ahead.

My environment has changed dramatically, but what hasn’t changed is my awareness of God’s presence and revelation through his creation. “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Psalm 19:1).

No matter where I am in God’s Universe, his power and glory surround me. Whether it’s mountains or oceans, sunny skies or storm clouds, or a flock of noisy geese flying south, God’s handiwork is on display. He made all things and sustains all things—including you and me.

God is everywhere and his love follows us wherever we go. As all of creation praises him, let’s join the chorus and honor our Creator today.

“Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy” Psalm 96:11-12 (NIV).

Crystal Bowman

Crystal Bowman

Crystal Bowman is an award-winning, best-selling author of more than 100 books for children. She’s also written three books for women, including Mothers in Waiting–Healing and Hope for those with Empty Arms. She is a speaker and mentor for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and teaches at writers’ conferences throughout the U.S. She is a monthly contributor to Clubhouse Jr. Magazine and writes lyrics for children’s piano music.

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