The Light of the World

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In this season, we are celebrating the birth of the Light of the World. This morning, Pastor Dave spoke to us about what it means to be in the Light and remain in the Light. If you look it up, there are many verses about Light, the Light of the World, the Light of Life, the Children of Light…. It would be a great topic on which to do a study, or to make it your word of the year.

But for today, Light in this verse means “the illuminator of men”. Jesus. The Light of the World.

In this section of James 8, Jesus is speaking to the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem, during the Festival of Shelters. During this festival, huge lamps were placed in the courtyard in the Temple. They were lit to remind the people of the pillars of fire that led them out of the wilderness. In James 8:12, Jesus is declaring Himself to be God.

As the Light (God), Jesus shows us the truth, gives us understanding of Him and His word, helps us to see His will and shows us how to follow it. But, there is one big thing about being able to see light. You must have eyes to see it. There is no light if a person cannot or will not see it.

So, together this Christmas season, let’s practice seeing the Light….looking toward Him, reading His word, following His teaching, asking for His will to be revealed. Let’s try not to get caught up in  the craziness of parking space rage, overspending and overeating, making there perfect cookies and all of the stuff that creeps into Christmas, but let’s see Him. If we can do it this week, we can do it any week!

Follow Him (John 8:12),

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Be the One!

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This scripture was part of this morning’s message at church. And what perfect timing! I think we all have giving thanks on the mind during the month of November, especially the week of Thanksgiving celebrations. But, how important is it to give thanks to God always?

I journaled this in my bible during the service so I would not forget. It is finished with watercolor pencils and my water pen.

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This is a great story. Read it a couple times and make note of what you learn. Feel free to trace my drawing for your own, or use the idea to draw your own.

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This is what I learned from these verses in Luke. Please share your insights!

  • The ten men in the village had no reservations about asking Jesus for help. They even had to yell from a distance to accomplish that, because they were not allowed to be near other people.
  • Jesus sent them to the priests. Normally, He spoke words over a sick person, or touched him. But in this instance, He was asking for the lepers to go to the priests, requiring some faith on their parts.
  • Only one of the ten returned to Jesus to thank Him for healing him of leprosy. This one was a Samaritan, who would not normally dare to go see the Jewish priests. He believed Jesus would heal him in whatever way He chose.
  • Jesus noticed the rest had not returned to thank Him. He did not demand thanks, but He noticed when it was not given. His own chosen people, who knew the prophesy that told them He was the Son of God who had come to save them, did not understand what had really happened.
  • Jesus wanted the Samaritan who gave Him the glory, to know that he was not only healed in body, but in his soul, because he believed.

It makes me think about how many times I ask Him for things. And how many times I forget to thank Him for answering my prayers. I am His chosen child, I have faith that He will answer my prayers, but I never want to forget or take for granted the biggest gift He has given me. His grace has saved my soul. He notices when I am not thankful.

Bless His name, Psalm 100: 4

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Book of Thanks, Page 9

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How can I not be thankful that His lovingkindness, His mercy, lasts forever? He never gets tired of bestowing mercy on me. He never takes a vacation from it. No matter what I have done or what mess I have gotten myself into, He is faithful to be merciful. I pray to continually learn from His example.

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The pattern for printing and coloring….

Bless His name, Psalm 100: 5

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Book of Thanks, Pages 6,7,8

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Page 6

At the very moment I am posting this, a friend of mine is going through some really bad stuff. I feel sad, mad and kind of sick. It is pretty hard to think about rejoicing and giving thanks. But lo and behold, this is exactly when God speaks, right? I can rejoice in my salvation, hope and a future. Certainly, I am praying for mercy for my friend. If I try to have a prayerful attitude all the time, and keep God in the forefront of my consciousness, that is when it becomes easier to pray short spontaneous prayers. And of course, I really have so much for which to be thankful. Even when it seems like evil trumps, I still have God Almighty as my Heavenly Father, and know that He is in control of everything that is happening. It is about focus, right?

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That right there? It makes me so very thankful. I have no doubts about the goodness of God and that he is mercy is everlasting. And it makes me sing the song, Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.”

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Worry = lack of trust in God. When I have so much on my mind, that thing where I try to replace it with God on my mind is oh so very good. Some days it is easier than others, but the days I succeed carry so much less stress. When I get a flash of emotion, or of the bad thing, I turn it immediately into a prayer. It doesn’t have to be a manifesto, just a short prayer to remind me that God has this. I am working on that this very night.

I love how God reminds and comforts. I should be on page 16 today….just a little behind…but today is the day that I needed to work on these three pages. Another reason to give thanks to the Lord and His scheduling.
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Here is the printable pattern. Mine is 8 1/4″ tall and 7″ wide. You can see the lines to cut the piece into 3 parts. If you are not making a book, this make 3 nice size bookmarks. Color at will. I used watercolor pencils on watercolor paper, as usual. And I will put this into the book like it is one page.

Pray without ceasing, I Thessalonians 5: 17

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Book of Thanks, Page 5

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Today, I looked up the definition of thankfulness in the original Greek. Of course, you and I know what thankfulness is, giving thanks, being thankful, expressing gratitude.  But one of the definitions stood out to me: “The expression of joy Godward.” It made me think. Am I always thankful in joy? Sometimes I give thanks in relief, sometimes in amazement, sometimes in hope. What do you think? Are you able to express joy each time you give thanks to God?

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Sing with Thankfulness, Colossians 3: 17

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Book of Thanks, Page 4

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Praise the Lord in song, for He has done excellent things! (P.S. click on any images to make them pop up larger and easier to see)

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Here is the page 4 pattern to print out.

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Paint or color it. I used a hole punch to make holes in the scallops.

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And here are the four finished pages stacked together.

These words were originally written as a hymn. They are simple and to the point. I did not have to do any word studies or read any commentaries to know that Isaiah is thankful to the Holy One of Israel for being his salvation, his strength and his song, His great deeds, His exalted name, the excellent things He has done. Someday, we will sing Isaiah’s song with him, but for today, let’s you and I pray this song back to our God with one heart and one mind. Let us delight in Him!

Shout for Joy! Isaiah 12: 6

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Book of Thanks, Page 3

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You know when you get into a bible study and something just zings out at you like it was written exactly for you today? Today was one of those days for me. This week, I have been trying not to struggle with a problem, and the fact that I have no idea what to do about it. And then God (via Paul) spoke…..

…our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all…we do not lose heart….

Even though my issue does not feel like a light and momentary trouble right now, of course it is. It will not last forever. But, the eternal glory I am gaining while walking through it and trusting that God will solve it soon? That lasts forever.

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Here is the pattern for Day 3.

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Note that I cut it the same size as Day 2, except I added a tab at the bottom right size.

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And, here are the first 3 pages lined up together with the edges peeking out on the right side.

Grateful these short bits of scripture from this project are speaking to me.

Fix your eyes on what is unseen, II Corinthians 4: 18

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