Giving Thanks

His Steadfast Love Endures Forever

    A Psalm for giving thanks.

 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!
Serve the LORD with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!

 Know that the LORD, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!

 For the LORD is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.

—Psalm 100:1-5



Today is supposed to be Wonderful Wednesday and I am feeling anything but that. All of last week’s activities and  preparations for Christmas have finally caught up with me. Somehow a mountain of laundry has piled up so I’m pushing through that today but my plans to take down the Christmas decorations will have to wait.

Those of you who deal with chronic pain illnesses will be able to relate to what I’m going through this week. We force ourselves to do what has to be done (and more), knowing full well that there will be payback. That’s what this week is all about for me.

Read the rest here.


Waiting for the Savior

I know this is the day after Christmas but I wrote this a couple of weeks ago and yesterday my wonderful friend Johnny Harkins at GEM Ministries published this in his newsletter. I hope you’ll enjoy it a day late!

“But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the LORD;

I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me.”

—Micah 7:7

What a wonderful example the prophet Micah is to us! As one of the minor prophets, the first few chapters of his short Old Testament book are basically messages of God’s judgment on Samaria and Jerusalem. But toward the end of this book, we see clear evidence of Micah’s faith and confidence that God would send a Savior.

As humans, we think we’ve got all the answers. And even when we don’t, we have the technology to find those answers in an instant by searching the internet for whatever may be baffling or confusing to us.

Just the other night a friend and I were struggling to remember the name for an Italian dessert. Both of our mothers (did I mention we are both Italian?) had made this as we were growing up, and she and I had actually made it together several years ago. But could we recall the name? No way!

Our friends at the dinner table waited for us to remember, but it didn’t happen. That’s when I caught myself saying, “I’ll just google it tomorrow and let you know.”

And I did! I googled it and then shared it with them in a private Facebook message!

But because of the huge advancements in technology over the past few years, many people today believe that the Old Testament is irrelevant in this modern world. However, the Old Testament is filled with verses which talk about a Savior or foretell His coming. Here are only a few:

  • “You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds, O God our savior. You are the hope of everyone on earth, even those who sail on distant seas.” —Psalm 65:5
  • “It will become a sign and a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the LORD because of oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Champion, and He will deliver them.” —Isaiah 19:20
  • “Yet I have been the LORD your God since the land of Egypt; and you were not to know any god except Me, for there is no savior besides Me.” —Hosea 13:4

 Read the longing in these and many other verses. They yearned for the Savior of the world to come soon and exhibited great faith that it would happen. They obviously loved God without restraint and absolutely believed that God would send a Savior, someone who would rescue them from themselves and their sins and provide a way for them to live with and worship God forever.

So many people say they believe in God but when it comes to eternal issues, they are floundering in a huge sea of doubt and frustration. It is understandably difficult to believe in a being we cannot see. On top of that uncertainty, we are asked to trust that believing in Jesus Christ as our Savior is the only way to heaven.

Wow. That. Is. Huge.

I love what J. Vernon McGee has to say about this: “You may think you have your way of salvation, but God is the only Savior, and He is the only one who can offer you a plan of salvation.”

Absolutely! God’s plan for our salvation was always in the works but truly began with the birth of Jesus Christ, His Son. Jesus was born a human man and lived an earthly life so that He could experience and relate to every single thing we humans go through.

The birth of Jesus Christ paved the way for His death on the cross, where He took our sins upon Himself and died on our behalf. That death paved the way for Him to be resurrected from the dead on the third day, proving that death and sin have no more eternal hold on us. All this to show how much God loves us and longs for us to live in heaven with Him forever.

But this is where faith and trust come into the picture. We must believe that our only chance for eternal redemption comes from Jesus Christ and has nothing to do with ourselves or what we do or don’t do:

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life;

no one comes to the Father but through Me.” 

John 14:6

Sadly, though, too many of us seem unable to take that giant leap of faith and trust:

“He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” —John 1:10-13

Beloved, Christmas is definitely a time of celebration. If you take away all the glitter, packages, decorations, baked goodies and music, we still have the greatest thing for which to be thankful. We celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the one God sent to free us from the bondage of sin.

So if all you have to celebrate Christmas is that certain knowledge of the saving grace of Jesus Christ, then you have it all and more!

Let’s try to remember that Christmas is more about the Reason and less about the Season.

A very Merry and Blessed Christmas to all of you!

“And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.” —John 1:14-16

 “… for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” —Luke 2:11

“The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross. He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” —Acts 5:30-31


Diet Soda Cake


Today’s Frugal Friday offering is probably the easiest recipe I have ever used to make the most delicious and moist cake ever. My daughter told me about it a few years back and I admit I was skeptical. But you absolutely need to make this to see what I mean by moist.

It takes two—yes, only two—ingredients. And without anything more said, here it is!


1 package of cake mix, any flavor

1 12-ounce can of diet soda, any flavor

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together the dry cake mix with the can of diet soda. You can use a mixer but I simply use a wire whisk.
  3. Pour batter into a 9″ x 13″ pan.
  4. Bake at 350° according to the cake mix package directions.
  5. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Frosting options:

  • If serving right after it is completely cooled, frost entire cake with whipped topping.
  • Frost each individual slice with a large dollop of whipped topping.
  • Dust the entire cake with confectioners’ sugar.
  • Frost this cake with canned frosting or homemade frosting of your choice.


  1. Do NOT include the eggs, oil and water indicated on the cake mix box. Only add the diet soda to the dry mix. Period.
  2. There are so many flavor combinations you can make. When I make a light cake such as white, yellow or spice, I add a can of Diet Sprite or Diet 7-Up. I’ve made a chocolate-cherry version of this by adding a can of Diet Cherry Coke to chocolate cake
  3. This cake freezes very well. Since I make it sometimes just for Rick and me, I’ll serve it for dessert the same night I’ve made it. Then the next morning I cut the remainder into slices and place the individual slices into plastic storage containers with tightly sealing lids. Whenever the mood strikes, I pull out two slices just before dinner and place them on individual dessert plates to thaw while we’re eating our dinner. I reseal the storage container and it goes back into the freezer for next time

For a clean printable copy, click here.