“Give thanks to the Lord , for he is good; his love endures forever. “
1 Chronicles 16:34
This week we pause for a moment to give thanks for everything that we have in our lives.
If you have been reading our devotional, then you might have noticed that we give thanks every single week.
We know that God doesn’t just show up one day, he shows up for us EVERY day.
So, we say thank you every day for what he blessed us with.
This week we pause as a country though to give thanks for our way of life.
As we pause and spend time with family, I want you to think about how you have been blessed. Take a moment to talk to your family about what God has done for you.
Even if they don’t get it.
Even if they don’t understand why you talk about God. Don’t let that stop you.
Also, I want you to remember that as Christians it is not our job to convince the world that God is real, it is our duty to let them come to Christ.
In fact, when we start to push it usually causes the opposite effect as what we want.
Have you ever heard the phrase you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink?
Have you ever tried to push a mule that doesn’t want to move? You can’t do it, can you?
People are the same way. We can lead them to God, but we can’t make them accept him.
So, what do we do?
Pray some more!
And you guessed it. Pray more.
Pray for their eyes to be opened and their hearts to be brightened by his light.
Remember that even when we don’t agree with someone’s life choices, it is not our job to judge them either.
That pushes people away from God too.
I know that’s a hard pill to swallow but it’s 100% true.
God charged us not with pushing people to him and his son but instead with giving the knowledge that he exists.
The best way to do that is to love them with our whole hearts and pray for them.
And I’m not telling you to pray out loud for them in front of them. That will probably have the opposite effect you want.
Instead, pray in your heart for them. Pray for them to be able to see God alive in their lives.
Today I want to encourage you to think back to your youth. If you are a youth, think back to when you were younger.
Have you ever made decisions that you might not agree with now?
I know I did. I was young dumb and full of crap.
But look at me now. Now I’m older, still dumb, and still full of it. Lol.
But if you knew me as a kid you probably didn’t see this outcome for my life.
Heck, I didn’t see this outcome in my life, even a year ago. So, if you saw this. Call me, because you have a gift!
Know that you made mistakes, that your elders didn’t agree with everything you did. And yes, you probably had some pretty wild thoughts and actions too.
Take a second and listen to the song, chicks dig it by Chris Cagle. Tell me that you don’t hear something that you did, just to impress someone. Because that was me to a T!
Ok maybe not quite me, but pretty much.
So glad Jenna came along and settled me down, she might not be so glad though. Just kidding.
Lord, God we come to today to simply say thank you. Thank you for everything that you have given to us. We know that we don’t deserve any of it. God, we also pray that you would be with those who don’t know 100% that you exist. Be with those who might be on the fence on whether to pray to you or not.
We pray that you open their eyes and their heart to see and hear you alive in their lives. God, we also pray that you help us to gently guide those who don’t know you, to you. Give us the right words to help them see you. The right words to help them feel you. Help us not to be pushy because we know that could work in reverse of what you need from us.
God thank you for your love and for everything that you bless us with. Thank you for your son, thank you for this wonderful place that we live. Thank you for the opportunities that you give to us. Thank you.
A Little More
As I look back at where we were a few years ago. Our life has changed. It was the year before we started our own business. I left Nov 1st and was only home for a total of 5 days in the whole month of November. I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Tennessee, Vermont, Texas, and Montreal all in the same month.
While it was wonderful it also caused our whole family extreme heartache.
Have you ever traveled by yourself for an extended amount of time while your spouse was left to take care of 4 kids?
Boy, am I thankful God gave me such a strong wife. Jenna, you are amazing.
It was tough being gone that long.
And boy did it play havoc on our relationship, as well as on our parenting, not to mention my weight (talk about Santa clause. Lol)
The truth is that every time I flew out on a Monday morning, I knew that God had a plan for me.
He was either introducing me to someone who needed his guidance through my words, or it made Jenna stronger than she ever thought possible.
There was this one time we had bought three pigs to raise and butcher. We brought them home and started fattening them up.
Then our oldest Billy, said dad I think this pig pregnant.
No, she not, son I would respond back, we have never had her with a bore, ever. Heck, we didn’t even own a bore.
He kept on insisting that she was pregnant.
Eventually, we completely ignored him anytime he would bring it up.
You think you know where this is going don’t you? Just wait until it gets better.
Then one morning I was heading out for the week. I told everyone goodbye early in the morning and jumped on a plane.
When I landed in Dallas, TX the first leg of my flight. My phone exploded with texts from Jenna.
Look what I found this morning.
It was a picture of a piglet. And the words I will always listen to Billy from now on about animals.
Here’s where it gets interesting.
I am thousands of miles away from home. And Jenna had to figure out how to get the pigs over to a neighbor’s house where they had a farrowing crate. So, when our wonderful neighbors (HUGE shout out to the Peine’s) came over.
They informed Jenna that not only was that pig going to have more piglets, so were the other 2 pigs that we were fattening up.
ALL 3 OF OUR PIGS WERE PREGNANT!
What the heck?
I am literally thousands of miles from the house and all three of the pigs birthed while I was gone.
You see, we didn’t intend to have piglets.
We didn’t want to go through that process without each other.
We did not want to travel that much.
But it was exactly what we needed. And God knew it.
No next time you see a bad thing happening, take a step back and say, thank you for giving me what I needed instead of what I wanted.
Will you pray with us?
Mankind throughout the world throughout our current situation
All Law enforcement and emergency response personnel
For all military personal serving our country and their families
Those in Leadership positions throughout the world