Getting Along During the Holidays

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The holidays are a time of cheer and joy as we gather around the table and enjoy festive food and delightful fellowship – right? At least that’s the way it looks on Instagram, but the reality is that sometimes the holidays can be hard. There may be strained relationships and different ways of viewing life, politics and God. So how do you make it through both Thanksgiving and Christmas with more love and less tension?

Recently, I read the following passage from the apostle Peter. Although written many years ago, these words seem to be a wonderful antidote to some of the rough spots in relationships. Think about how you can apply these words.

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Just think if we followed these few positive principles penned by Peter. Simply put:

  • Love deeply
  • Offer hospitality without grumbling
  • Use your gifts to serve others

I love how Peter calls us “faithful stewards of God’s grace.” That’s what we should be! We ought to be conduits of His love and grace with every person we encounter, whether it is the person next to us in line or the person sitting next to us at the dinner table. Since we have received God’s grace, then by the power of His Spirit within us, we can freely reflect His grace toward others.

God is glorified when we practice these things. Ultimately isn’t that what the holidays are about anyway?  It’s not about us, rather it’s about celebrating the goodness of God and glorifying Him. Our fervent love for one another shines the light on Him and the powerful, grace-filled work He has done in our lives. May this season be filled with forgiveness, grace and love as we honor Him in what we say and do!

 

Want to share a holiday gift that focuses on God and His glorious attributes? Check out this month’s $5 special, Pursuing God in the Quiet Places. Limit 10 per household.  Click Here for more info.

 

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Good Question

The Ladd Hotel

It was an eventful weekend at the Ladd house (or should I say Ladd Hotel) as we had a house full of young adults staying with us.  Our daughter Grace’s best friend got married this weekend and much of the wedding party stayed at our house.  We had people everywhere!  I woke up Saturday morning to find kids on the floor, on couches, sleeping in recliner chairs and chase lounges.  I actually loved it.  I must admit ever since our kids went off to college, I have missed having the house filled with young people.  It makes me happy to have them.  Yes, I find true joy in hospitality, although making five pots of coffee in one morning does tend to tire you. The truth is there is joy in serving people and opening up your home and life to others.  Try it, you’ll like it.  Remember Paul’s words in Romans 12, “Be given to hospitality.”

It was also Father’s Day this past weekend and of course we heard a tremendous sermon encouraging Father’s in their important role as leaders of their families. I’m thankful for the leadership of my own father and the positive influence he had on my life.  Whether you had a good and loving father or one that did not step up to the plate as far as positive leadership, you do have a Heavenly Father who compassionately loves you and will never leave you.

The sermon we heard this Sunday challenged us to think about the legacy we are leaving our children and this world.  Our pastor encouraged us to ask ourselves the question, “If I were to die tonight, what one sentence would define my life.”

Good question. Let’s consider honestly how our life would be described in one sentence right here and now.  I guess a good follow-up question would be, is that the way I want my life to be described?  Ponder it.  Are you leaving a positive legacy to the next generation? May we live in a way that glorifies God and draws other people to Him.  I hope my signature sentence will be, “She loved God with all her heart and she poured out His love to the people God placed in her life.” I know I’m not there yet – a work in progress until the day of Christ Jesus, for sure – but I trust His divine power at work within me.

Hope to see you at the Positive Woman Connection in North Dallas at Prestonwood Country Club.  Join us at 12:00 for lunch and Bible study.  RSVP: dskell@roaringlambsministries.org