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Thankful 30: Day 20–Oranges

I have joined Emily’s* 30 Day Challenge:

I’m challenging myself to post a picture every day during the month of November (30 Days To Be Thankful For) and to add a caption as to why I am thankful. — Emily

Day 20

I thank you, God, for oranges.

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I’m thankful for their beautiful color, for the citrusy scent released when I remove the peel,

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thankful for the sweet juice,  and for the abundance of vitamin C.

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Just as oranges nourish my body,  God’s word is food for my soul.

How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!   Psalm 119:10  NIV

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See Thankful 30 page for every day’s entry.

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Thankful 30: Day 19–The Bridge

I have joined Emily’s* 30 Day Challenge:

I’m challenging myself to post a picture every day during the month of November (30 Days To Be Thankful For) and to add a caption as to why I am thankful. — Emily

Day 19,  November 19

I am grateful that Jesus died on the cross and paid the penalty for our sins.  He became the bridge between God and us.

That’s what Christ did definitively: suffered because of others’ sins, the Righteous One for the unrighteous ones. He went through it all—was put to death and then made alive—to bring us to God.  I Peter 3:18   The Message

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He [Christ] presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway.

We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.   Romans 5:6-8   The Message

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They called him every name in the book and he said nothing back. He suffered in silence, content to let God set things right. He used his servant body to carry our sins to the Cross so we could be rid of sin, free to live the right way. His wounds became your healing. You were lost sheep with no idea who you were or where you were going. Now you’re named and kept for good by the Shepherd of your souls.   I Peter 2:24-25   The Message

Have you walked across this bridge?

See Thankful 30 page for every day’s entry.

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photos by Laura Crippin

Thankful 30: Day 18–Country Girl

I have joined Emily’s* 30 Day Challenge:

I’m challenging myself to post a picture every day during the month of November (30 Days To Be Thankful For) and to add a caption as to why I am thankful. — Emily

Day 18,  November 18

I am thankful that I live in the country.  I can look out my windows, take a walk in the yard, or drive down a gravel road and see Psalm 65 illustrated.  Agriculture has certainly changed since King David’s time, but

As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat, summer and winter,
day and night will never cease.  Genesis 8:22   NIV

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Psalm 65:8 The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;
where morning dawns, where evening fades,
you call forth songs of joy.

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You care for the land and water it;
you enrich it abundantly.

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The streams of God are filled with water
to provide the people with grain,

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for so you have ordained it.

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10 You drench its furrows and level its ridges;
you soften it with showers and bless its crops.

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11 You crown the year with your bounty,
and your carts overflow with abundance.

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12 The grasslands of the wilderness overflow;

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the hills are clothed with gladness.

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13 The meadows are covered with flocks

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and the valleys are mantled with grain;
they shout for joy and sing.

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See Thankful 30 page for every day’s entry.

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Thankful 30: Day 17–Remember

I have joined Emily’s* 30 Day Challenge:

I’m challenging myself to post a picture every day during the month of November (30 Days To Be Thankful For) and to add a caption as to why I am thankful. — Emily

Day  17

The oak tree in my backyard has lost its leaves, shrugged them off like an old, worn-out coat,

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but I remember the parade of changing color:

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from green to yellow, from gold to bronze, and ending with brown.

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In a few short weeks the apricot tree has turned pale yellow and orange, with a few leaves sporting red.  I remember it.

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I recall that this street has red maples arching overhead, so I make a point to drive this way in October.

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I am thankful that the trees’ beautiful autumn colors are fixed in my mind, because  I have seen up-close the way Alzheimer’s steals away memories.  My father’s yesterdays fell away like the browned, oak leaves.

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Even with a normally functioning memory, we tend to forget what God has done for us in the past.

Nehemiah talked to God about how his people in the past had

failed to remember the miracles you performed among them.  Nehemiah 9:17  NIV

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It’s so easy to mentally fold up the stories of miracles in our lives and put them away where we don’t think about them.  God knows that we need help in the form of reminders.

After Joshua led Israel across the Jordan, God directed him to arrange twelve stones to help them recall what the Lord had done.  The stones were to remind future Israelites about the miracle of the Jordan, which echoed the miracle at the Red Sea.

In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The Lord your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over.   Joshua 4:21-23   NIV

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I remember the marvelous colors of the trees in fall, and they will be a reminder for me to think back on what God has done in my life.

Once again I’ll go over what God has done,
lay out on the table the ancient wonders;
I’ll ponder all the things you’ve accomplished,
and give a long, loving look at your acts.   Psalm 77:11,12   The Message

I am thankful for the ability to remember.  Even if my mind’s memory-leaves begin to loosen and flutter to the grass,  I pray the river stone monuments and sturdy oak trunks of my past will jog the memory that God is good.  Yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

See Thankful 30 page for every day’s entry.

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linked with Jennifer Dukes Lee

Thankful 30: Day 16–Sunset Rain

I have joined Emily’s* 30 Day Challenge:

I’m challenging myself to post a picture every day during the month of November (30 Days To Be Thankful For) and to add a caption as to why I am thankful. — Emily

Day 16, November 16

I am grateful that I live in the country, so that I can see a sky full of glory like this.

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Late this afternoon the “scattered thundershowers” of the weather forecast coincided with the setting sun.

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The dark clouds full of heavy, splashing drops scudded past our farm.  I’m thankful I was  home and was able to watch the cumulus bloom.

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Praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
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praise him in the heights above.  Psalm 148:1   NIV

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Praise him, you highest heavens
and you waters above the skies.   Psalm 148:4

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Praise him, sun and moon;
praise him, all you shining stars.   Psalm 148:3   NIV

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See Thankful 30 page for every day’s entry.

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Thankful 30: Day 15–Flowers With Perseverance

I have joined Emily’s* 30 Day Challenge:

I’m challenging myself to post a picture every day during the month of November (30 Days To Be Thankful For) and to add a caption as to why I am thankful. — Emily

Day 15, November 15

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I am thankful for the last few flowers, struggling to bloom despite hard freezes, snow, and shrinking hours of sunlight.

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They illustrate perseverance.

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per·se·ver·ance

steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.  —Dictionary.com

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In spite of frosts that turned petals and buds to freeze-dried versions of their former blooming glories,

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in spite of being the only flowers on an entire bush to have survived, they bloom.  They persist.  I could use a little more of that kind of tenacity.

Couldn’t you?

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May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.

2 Thessalonians 3:5  NIV

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Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

James 1:4  NIV

See Thankful 30 page for every day’s entry.

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Thankful 30: Day 14–Guidance

I have joined Emily’s* 30 Day Challenge:

I’m challenging myself to post a picture every day during the month of November (30 Days To Be Thankful For) and to add a caption as to why I am thankful. — Emily

Day 14, November 14

I am grateful for God’s guidance.

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Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

Isaiah 30:21  NIV

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He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.

Psalm 23:3

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I am going out on Thy path. God be behind me, God be before, God be in my footsteps.

–Gaelic prayer

See Thankful 30 page for every day’s entry.

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Thankful 30: Day 13–Harvest Finale

I have joined Emily’s* 30 Day Challenge:

I’m challenging myself to post a picture every day during the month of November (30 Days To Be Thankful For) and to add a caption as to why I am thankful. — Emily

Day 13, November 13

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I am thankful today that the harvest is done

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–the final acres of corn were combined last night.

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The corn yielded better than expected, considering how little rain we had in late summer.

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For those unfamiliar with farming, here’s what happens on our farm during harvest:

The combine harvests six rows of corn at once and removes the kernels from the cob.  When the hopper of the combine is full, the corn is augered into a “wagon” (the auger box)  that a tractor hauls to the grain bins.

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The rhythm of transfer was repeated–combine, auger box, bin; combine, auger box, bin–until

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the last acre of corn was combined as the sun dropped low in the west, and the moon rose in the east.

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Shadows stretched long across the hay ground

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and across the buzz-cut fields where corn and soybeans had grown.

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The darkening gravel road leads back to the bins, where the last auger boxful was emptied.

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The land yields its harvest;
God, our God, blesses us.

Psalm 67:6  NIV

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See Thankful 30 page for every day’s entry.

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Thankful 30: Day 12–She’s a Winner

I have joined Emily’s* 30 Day Challenge:

I’m challenging myself to post a picture every day during the month of November (30 Days To Be Thankful For) and to add a caption as to why I am thankful. — Emily

Day 12, November 12

I am grateful for Barb’s gift of photography.  Many of the photos in my posts are hers, including the beautiful sunflowers in the background.

Today I learned that she has won second place in a national photo contest:  Capture the Heart of America–Celebrations of Agriculture category (SilosandSmokestacks.org).

Here is her winning photo.

In Exodus 31 the Lord is talking to Moses about Bezalel, a craftsman he’s chosen to make the Tent of Meeting and the objects in it.  God explains that the artistry is a gift from the Lord.

I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills—to make artistic designs . . .  Exodus 31:3,4

Barb’s gift, her skill in photography is from God, too.

Here are a few more of her photos.  Enjoy.

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photo by Barb Briggs

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photo by Barb Briggs

barbs bee and round sunflower

photo by Barb Briggs

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photo by Barb Briggs

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photo by Barb Briggs

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Art is born when the temporary touches the eternal.G.K. Chesterton

See Thankful 30 page for every day’s entry.

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Thankful 30: Day 11–Vegetable Soup and the Church

I have joined Emily’s* 30 Day Challenge:

I’m challenging myself to post a picture every day during the month of November (30 Days To Be Thankful For) and to add a caption as to why I am thankful. — Emily

Day 11, November 11

Today I am thankful for vegetable soup.

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A dusting of snow fell this morning, and later in the day a biting, north wind leaned against the kitchen windows.  Vegetable soup and banana muffins sounded very appealing on such a chilly day, so today I gathered the ingredients and made soup, filling the kitchen with its steamy aroma.

First, I sauteed the onions, celery, garlic, and carrots in the stock pot.  Next I added canned green beans from the store and frozen, diced tomatoes grown in the garden.  I searched the refrigerator for small bits of leftovers to add to the soup:  two mushrooms,  a jar of beef broth, a container of roast beef from Sunday’s roast,  two leaves of kale, and fresh parsley from my CSA box.  In my pantry I found four, small potatoes, so I peeled and cubed them and threw them in the pot, too.

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To season the soup, I add salt and pepper and a dash of chili powder à la Evelyn.

Nearly 30 years ago, Evelyn, a member of my church, taught me how to make vegetable soup and how to make it taste like love.  I had been bronchitis’ prisoner for  a week and had two small children to care for.  I was exhausted, I was discouraged, and we all were hungry for something homemade.  Evelyn knew and brought us a meal of vegetable-beef soup (with a dash of chili powder), bran muffins, and raspberry jello.  It was more than nourishment for our bodies;  it was food for my discouraged heart.  She taught me about doing simple, servant things,  to show others in the body of Christ that we care.

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Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.  I Corinthians 12:12

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.  I Corinthians 12:27

The church is also like a big pot of vegetable soup, many ingredients long-simmered together to make a nourishing meal.  In the church we have those who are brightly colored as carrots or as ordinary as a can of green beans, but who could do without either of them?  Some are a little trendy like kale, but full of vitamins.  Some of us are a little old like the leftovers, some new like the freshly picked parsley.  There are those who are seemingly “bland” as a potato, but, oh, so comforting, and there’s always someone who adds a little spice like the chili powder.  Each of us as individuals has something to offer the stockpot–a flavor, an aroma, a texture that’s unique to us.

I remember Evelyn’s gift as I ladle the steaming soup into bowls tonight, and I’m thankful for her example.  I try to make my soup (and my church) taste like love.

See Thankful 30 page for every day’s entry.

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