"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"

Luke 15:4-6

November 21, 2012


This week we will be celebrating Thanksgiving. Many celebrate by having a big family dinner. It wouldn't seem like Thanksgiving without the traditional dinner of turkey, dressing, gravy, mashed potatoes, and too many desserts.

Suppose I decided to invite family to our house and host the Thanksgiving dinner. Let's say I spent the day before cooking desserts and doing as much prep work as possible; then got up at 5:00 AM on Thanksgiving morning to put the turkey in the oven and begin preparations on the other dishes I chose to serve. I put a nice table cloth on the table and make a beautiful centerpiece to go in the middle. I set the table with my nicest dishes (which would be amazing because I always use paper plates when I have people over so I don't have a lot of clean up afterwards). I want this day and dinner to be special for my loved ones who are coming, so work hard at cooking a delicious meal for all to enjoy. I hurry and clean up the kitchen before they arrive so that all is ready.

My guests all arrive and ooh and aah over the mouthwatering smells and are impressed at how beautiful the table looks. It's time to serve the dinner and we all prepare to sit down around the table. But there is one guest who declares, "This meal is just too nice for someone like me! I'm not good enough to sit down at the table with you and the others. I'll sit over here in the corner. I brought a can of sardines and some crackers and will eat that instead." No matter how much coaxing my other guests and I do, we cannot convince them that they are welcome to join us.

We read this example and think, "Well, that would just be unbelievably stupid! No one would choose a meal of cold sardines and crackers when there was a home-cooked meal available. And no one would refuse to sit at the table where they were welcome and instead choose to sit in the corner alone."

Yet there are many who do exactly this on a spiritual level. God is inviting everyone to come sit at His table and enjoy the blessings that He has to offer. He is welcoming each and every individual to invite His Son, Jesus, into their heart as their Lord and Savior. God is preparing a mansion for us in heaven, where He is inviting us to all come and live for all eternity.

Yet many are refusing this most generous invitation from our Heavenly Father and saying, "I'm not good enough. I don't deserve such blessing and forgiveness. I'll just try to get through life on my own and do the best I can and hope to somehow do enough good works to impress God and slide into heaven, and hope for the best."

Day after day, opportunity after opportunity, people decline to sit at the table with God and enjoy all the good things He has to offer: peace, joy, protection, love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, refuge, and abundant life. Instead they "say" by their attitude of refusal, "No, I'll just sit over here in the corner and eat my cold sardines and stale crackers."

In 2 Samuel chapter 9 we read a true story about Jonathan's son, Mephibosheth, and King David. David and Jonathan were best friends, regardless of Jonathan's father, King Saul's, many attempts to try to kill David and the raging hatred he had for him. At the time of this story, both Jonathan and King Saul were dead, and David was now king.

David asked, "Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan's sake?"

There was a servant of Saul's household named Ziba. They called him to appear before David, and the king asked him if there was anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom he could show God's kindness.

Ziba told him, "There is a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in both feet."

David asked where he was and sent for him. When Mephibosheth arrived, he fell down on his face and prostrated himself to pay honor to David.

"Don't be afraid," David said, "for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table."

Mephibosheth's response was not one of immediate gratitude of thanks for David's generous gift of restored family property and the honor of spending the rest of his life eating at the king's table. Instead he prostrated himself once again and said, "What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?"

David summoned Ziba, Saul's servant, and said, "I have given your master's grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family. You and your sons and your servants are to farm the land for him and bring in the crops, so that your master's grandson may be provided for. And Mephibosheth will always eat at my table."

Verse 11 says, "And Mephibosheth ate at David's table like one of the king's sons."

Imagine for a moment how things were for Mephibosheth. Both his grandfather, who had reigned as Israel's first king, and his father, who was the king's son, had been killed. Now another man, who was unrelated to the house of Saul was reigning as king. Not only had this young man lost his family, but had also lost his place of prominence as the king's grandson, and had lost all of the land and riches that had once belonged to his family. He was now dwelling in Lo Debar in another man's home, instead of living in the king's palace. Not only had he lost everything and everyone in his family, but he was crippled in both feet. I'm sure he felt like he was worthless and of no use to anyone. He likely felt that no one remembered him and had lost his heritage of being the king's grandson.

Then one day, out of the blue, men show up on the doorstep of the home where he was residing. Imagine his amazement as he found out that these men had come specifically for him, per King David's request, saying that David was wanting to see him.

I would have been terrified, thinking, "What would the king want with me? My father and grandfather are both dead; does he want to kill me too, to make sure that there are no longer any survivors of Saul's house?" He may have thought, "I'm crippled in both feet, so there is nothing I can do for David. I'm worthless and have to rely on the help of others just to get around." Often our fear leading up to a potential situation can cause us to worry and fret and consider the worse possible scenarios. Mephibosheth may have been in fear for his life during the journey to see David.

Yet when he was presented to the king, he heard David's most generous gift of restoring everything that had belonged to his grandfather and family back to him. He not only restored the land back to him, but also put Ziba and his sons and servants in charge of caring for the land and bringing in the crops. By doing so, this would see that Mephibosheth was always cared and provided for.

As if this wasn't enough, David also invited Mephibosheth to spend the rest of his life eating at his table like one of his own sons.

Wow! Mephibosheth's life and situation was dramatically changed in the matter of a few moments. Even though he saw himself as "a dead dog" and of no use, David saw him as his best friend, Jonathan's, son; and therefore saw him as someone who had value and was willing to care for him and have him sit at his personal table for the duration of his life.

How different most of our lives would be if we could truly understand that God sees us much differently than we see ourselves. We only see our faults and failures and the things we're not good at or how we've messed up in the past and how little value we have. Yet God sees us as individuals worth sending His only Son to die for, so that we can have forgiveness and spend eternity eating at His table and living in a place that He is specifically preparing for all those who believe. God sees our worth and value. He sees our heart and the talents and gifts that He has individually placed within us all.

This Thanksgiving as you gather with family and/or friends, take a few moments to remember the things that God has blessed you with and take time to give Him thanks. But more importantly, make the decision to dine at our Heavenly Father's table and partake of the things that He has prepared for us. Don't be satisfied with sitting alone in a corner eating sardines and crackers, but accept God's invitation to sit down at His table and enjoy all the wonderful blessings that He has for you.


I'm a Sandra Bullock fan. I've liked every movie I've seen her in. I thought I had seen a lot of movies she's been in till I saw a recent list. I think I've seen her in about a dozen things. But the list I found says she's acted in 47 different shows.

Even if I were to watch every show she's ever been in, produced, or written, it still wouldn't mean I know her. And it definitely wouldn't mean she knows me.

Attending every church service doesn't mean that I know Jesus. Or that He knows me.

In Matthew 7:22-23 (New King James Version), Jesus says, "Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'"


Pumpkin Roll

3 eggs

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 c. sugar

1 tsp. ginger

2/3 c. pumpkin

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. lemon juice

3/4 c. flour

Mix dry ingredients and set aside. Beat eggs and sugar at high speed for 5 minutes. Add pumpkin and lemon juice; fold in dry ingredients. Pour into 10x15 jelly roll (or cookie sheet/sheet with sides) pan that has been lined with waxed paper and well greased and floured. Bake 15 minutes on 350. As soon as taken from oven, put damp cheesecloth (or lint free towel) on top and roll up. Put in refrigerator to cool about 15 minutes. Unroll and remove cheesecloth and waxed paper and spread with filling.


1 (8 oz.) cream cheese

1 c. powdered sugar

4 Tbsp. butter

1/2 tsp. vanilla

Beat ingredients together until mixed well. Unroll pumpkin roll, take off cheesecloth, and spread top with filling. Re-roll and refrigerate until ready to serve. Cut into slices to serve.


The "holiday season" is now upon us. There seems to be many who are hurting, sick, and in need right now. There are families who have lost loved ones this past year and are now facing the holidays for the first time without that family member. There are people dealing with sickness and being in the hospital; or have family members dealing with these issues. I personally know of a couple people who are dealing with rehab, therefore, due to their circumstances are in skilled nursing facilities. There are individuals who are facing upsetting family situations.

While I believe that it is important to spend time with family and loved ones during the holiday, and don't think we should take away from that whatsoever for family time is of the utmost importance, I'm challenging you between Thanksgiving and Christmas to take time to do an act of kindness for someone or a family you know is hurting or going through a difficult time. There are many things you can do that would be an encouragement to someone: cook them a meal; take them out for a meal; send a card; buy a gift card; phone them and let them know you're thinking of them; send a bouquet of flowers; offer to run an errand or do a handyman project; volunteer to babysit while moms go shopping; help clean someones house or yard; take them to go see Christmas lights; and the list could go on and on....... Get creative and find someone to reach out to! Are you willing to join me in this challenge and do something for someone sometime during the next month?


There's a roof up above me; I've a good place to sleep.

There's food on my table; and shoes on my feet.

You gave me Your love Lord, and a fine family.

Thank you Lord for your blessings on me.

(Lyrics to the chorus of "Thank You Lord For Your Blessings on Me")


We love you!

Loretta & Jon