:: 11/25/2015 - 9:44am ::

I look forward to Thanksgiving, a time for family and really good food! We enjoy meals with my father’s side of the family, my mother’s side of the family, and my husband’s family. It’s a lot of calories but a lot of fun.

While I do not yet host a family gathering myself, my aunt and mother-in-law have taught me something very important over the years: how to show thankfulness by giving to those who may not have a family to celebrate with. At both of their homes, you never know who may be showing up for dinner. My aunt often invites friends or co-workers who do not have a family to celebrate with. My mother-in-law lives in a retirement community and often invites older neighbors who are alone.

It is not just a gift of food but also a gift of companionship. Who do you know who may be facing loneliness over the holidays? Is there someone you could minister to by inviting him or her to Thanksgiving dinner? There is no better way to show God’s love this holiday season.           

Laci Post writes articles and historical fiction from Dallas, Georgia, where she lives with her husband, Jason, and sons, Avery and Eli.

:: 11/23/2015 - 11:53am ::

“Would you and your family like to come play with the Bhutanese children in Dallas with me Friday night?” Ms. Fran asked.

“Yes, we would,” I responded.

We girls loaded into the van that Friday evening, making our way to the Dallas apartment complex. As we unloaded, Bhutanese children met us and followed us to the safe alleyway between apartment buildings.

Ms. Fran set down a clothes basket loaded with jump ropes, sidewalk chalk, bouncy balls, and candy. And in a matter of minutes, the children were licking lollipops, jumping rope, drawing with sidewalk chalk.

I played with those beautiful children, held hands with them, was complimented by them, and received hugs from them and their mothers.

As my beloved Canadian friend Jennifer said, “Sometimes showing people Jesus is bringing a skipping rope and having fun.”

Shelli Littleton lives in Royse City, Texas, and blogs at ShelliLittleton.blogspot.com.

:: 11/19/2015 - 10:22am ::

If something is unconditional, it is absolute. There are no restrictions. We can count on it. God’s love is unconditional. He is always there for us no matter how badly we mess up. Isn’t that reassuring? As Christians, we are called to show that same unconditional love to others.

When I became a parent, I gained a greater understanding of what that meant. I can be thrown up on, ignored, and lied to by 1 of my 2 sons and still love him just as much the next day. My sons’ choices may sometimes hurt deeply, but I never stop caring for them.

Over the years, I have learned to love others unconditionally as well. An old friend may fail to call for a long time, but when she does, I am just as happy to talk to her. My husband and I may have different opinions about our finances, but we work it out and remember that our relationship is far more important than any amount of money.

Remembering daily God’s unconditional love for us helps us give that same love to others. No one is perfect. We will be disappointed by those in our lives. We must choose unconditional love.

Laci Post writes articles and historical fiction from Dallas, Georgia, where she lives with her husband, Jason, and sons, Avery and Eli.

:: 11/16/2015 - 3:30pm ::

Loving unconditionally . . . what does that even mean?

The high divorce rate even among Christians testifies that most come to a relationship with the conditional “I love you if . . . ”

In a world where parents and children can divorce or at least attempt it, relationships become strained. Distant. People pull away from those who don’t fill in the blank properly.

Our love for God is often conditional if He doesn’t fill in the blank properly—properly to us.

Who then? Who can love that way?

I know a Father. You may know Him, too.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

The awareness of God’s matchless unconditional John 3:16 love gives us cause to pause and offer thanksgiving for the One and to the One Who unconditionally says, “I love you” and—

  • forgives us.
  • leads us.
  • carries us.
  • sees us.
  • hears us.
  • heals us.
  • changes us.
  • fights for us.
  • died for us.

What does He unconditionally do for you? Fill in the blank.

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10).

Shelli Littleton lives in Royse City, Texas, and blogs at ShelliLittleton.blogspot.com.

:: 11/12/2015 - 1:02pm ::

Not long ago, my son came home from school and told me that a little girl in his class called him a cuss word at lunch. We talked about how to show her kindness even when she said mean things. I also told him to tell me if it happened again and I would talk to his teacher. What really amazed him, however, was when I prayed for the little girl. We later found out that she has a parent in prison and has been going through a difficult time.

Prayer is important, even when it is for someone we don’t get along with or agree with. It asks God to intervene in the person’s life or in a situation and often changes our attitude toward the person.

Who in your life do you need to pray for today? A boss who is hard to work for? A neighbor who stirs up trouble? A co-worker who doesn’t do his or her fair share of the work? A friend who has gossiped about you? A politician whose political views you do not agree with?

Start praying today and see how God changes lives, situations, and your heart. By the way, the little girl hasn’t called my son a bad name again!

Laci Post writes articles and historical fiction from Dallas, Georgia, where she lives with her husband, Jason, and sons, Avery and Eli.

:: 11/09/2015 - 1:45pm ::

“I failed the parallel parking,” my daughter sobbed.

She had practiced on those poles day after day.

But what’s done is done. We rescheduled her test.

Walking out, I noticed that the parallel parking poles had been moved. No wonder she failed. I flagged the instructor down and explained the problem. She displayed no sympathy.

I began to dislike her very much. After hearing her explanation, I said, “That’s a shame.”

When hurt creeps in,

  • walk through prayer. I prayed for the instructor and the situation, mostly asking that I wouldn’t have to face her again when my daughter retested.
  • watch out for pride. I realized the instructor was right. My daughter should have been able to parallel park regardless of where the poles were positioned.
  • wait for peace. The day of retesting, the instructor saw me. “How are you?” she asked sympathetically with a smile, as though I were her best friend. “Much better,” I said. We talked and laughed together. I thanked God for enabling me to walk away with peace.

Shelli Littleton lives in Royse City, Texas, and blogs at ShelliLittleton.blogspot.com.

:: 11/05/2015 - 10:04am ::

I’m guilty. While it may not appear that way to the world, I know it in my heart. You can go to church, pray, tithe, and even serve and still be guilty of losing your First Love, of placing Jesus second in your life.

When it happens to me, it doesn’t happen overnight or with conspicuous things like sinful relationships, drugs, or alcohol. It happens with good things.

The first time I noticed it was in college. I went to a Christian college, was dating a Christian guy, and was a good student—all good things but things that took God’s place in my life. God brought it to my attention, and I had to reprioritize. I had to make sure I was spending time with Him each day and listening to His will for my life.

The second time I noticed it was as a young mother. I was taking good care of my 2 precious boys, but I wasn’t giving God quality time in my life.

What good things in your life may be causing you to lose your First Love? Work? Travel? Family? Reevaluate your life today and make sure Jesus is still in first place. 

Laci Post writes articles and historical fiction from Dallas, Georgia, where she lives with her husband, Jason, and sons, Avery and Eli.

:: 11/02/2015 - 1:24pm ::

When the grievous realization swept over me, I cried like a child.

All the puzzle pieces seemed to magnetically come together. That person I loved so much who just couldn’t seem to forgive me had become an idol in my life. Their forgiveness had become too important, all-consuming. Their lack of love and forgiveness could reduce me to tears in an instant and had left God in the shadows.


That person’s forgiveness would make me feel loved.

That person’s forgiveness would relieve me.

That person’s forgiveness would somehow save me.

Somewhere along the way, I had taken God, my First Love, off my heart’s pedestal and replaced Him with another—an idol.

And with that realization, freedom swept over me.

God reclaimed His proper place, as my heart made way. And I ran into His arms because He first loved me and His love is enough.

Shelli Littleton lives in Royse City, Texas, and blogs at ShelliLittleton.blogspot.com.

:: 10/29/2015 - 9:21am ::

Our church is a collection of people from various backgrounds. Several people have no biblical background or come from a different belief system. Others have attended traditional churches but are willing to help grow a young church. What is amazing about this small group is the older women.

Our women have bonded and gracefully share love and acceptance with everyone else. Newcomers are quickly adopted into the group. Each new woman is embraced (literally and figuratively) and taken under the wings of the group.

These women are neighbors who desire to reach out and love even more neighbors.

Sick beds are visited, funerals attended, meals offered, and outings embraced. The women thrive on helping others’ projects like collecting food, sharing hobbies, hosting baby showers, and knitting and crocheting for nursing home residents.

Christian fellowship causes these women to rely on and support each other. They adore having a missions project and the chance to work together. Common life experiences and age group cement them together and provide understanding, compassion, and support.

This group is all about bonding together into one body that seeks to love, encourage, learn, and serve. That’s missions, right?

Angie Quantrell is a happy neighbor in a growing, active group that loves to attack missions projects with great gusto.

:: 10/27/2015 - 10:15am ::

For years, I had a common misconception—I thought ministry was all about abilities, spiritual gifts, schedules, etc.

Although these things are definite parts of ministry, I’ve discovered a more important one-size-fits-all key to ministry: selflessness.

Philippians 2:5–7 tells us that Jesus, Who came to be our salvation, accomplished all this within His selfless, perfect character. Jesus “made himself nothing,” coming not to be served but to serve our most desperate need. Therefore we also must become selfless in order to carry out the gospel mission.

So how do we do that?

  • Be willing to be used by God. He equips those who say yes when they are called. God uses gifts and talents, but He also uses the most ordinary things for His purposes.
  • Set aside your wants and needs so you can focus on God’s agenda. After all, your schedule belongs to Him.
  • Focus on God’s abilities to help you face your fears while doing something new.

Today take some time in prayer to seek God, asking Him to make you into the selfless servant He wants you to be!

Sheila Gosney lives in Monroe City, Missouri. She’s a wife, mother, and grandmother who loves missions and ministry.

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