Tag Archive | Thanksgiving

Oranges or Diamonds

by Lori Jacobs

Of all the interesting stories told about the Titanic disaster, one of my favorite involves a wealthy woman who had a place on one of the lifeboats. After begging to return to her stateroom for something, she was given 3 minutes. Stepping over money, jewels, and precious gems littering her cabin floor, she grabbed 3 oranges and returned to the lifeboat. Circumstances transformed her values and her perspective was changed. She chose what would give her life over material possessions.

Sometimes we are tempted to focus on things we want or think we need, but they are not life-giving. I love Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:18, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened…”

As we enter the Thanksgiving season, let’s pray for our hearts to be enlightened.

Let’s pursue the things which are life giving. Demonstrate love through service, gratitude and acts of kindness–resisting the desire to reach for material possessions that will never fill the empty places in our lives.



by Cary Van Kampen

We read a Facebook quote from our great niece, Balie Benson, who attends NDSU.

Hey you,

I just thought I would let you know that what ever it is that is bothering you or bringing you down right now…It’s all gonna get better.

I promise.


As we enter the month of giving thanks, we will attempt to rejoice in the Lord always and in everything, by prayer and petition, “with thanksgiving”, present our requests to God.

As a matter of perspective, we feel our transit to work each day from Pella to Des Moines and back is rather rigorous. In “Beek’s” barber shop this morning, one of the many topics of discussion was the Pella girl who, on the radio, was given the award for the most “rigorous” transit to work—up at 2:30 AM, to Des Moines airport to try to get on a standby flight to Atlanta, to fly as an international stewardess to somewhere overseas. If no standby is available in Des Moines, she then drives to Kansas City or Omaha to try for a standby seat there!

Perspective: Thank you Lord for our tiny little trip to work and back!

Thankful for Garbage Day

Thankful for Garbage Day
by Shari Wenig

I have a confession to make: my favorite day of the week is not always Sunday.  But you’re a pastor’s wife!”  you exclaim, “you’re supposed to focus, prepare, and anticipate the Lord’s Day.”   And I do, mind you.  It’s just that through the years I have found a secret  joy in another day of the week:  Garbage Day. Trashout Day. Waste Collection Day. Whatever your terminology, it’s all good.  All the junk collected throughout the week GONE in one lift. Dumped, compacted and forever hauled away.

Our garbage collectors come at 6:00 AM every Tuesday and when I wake up everything is gone!  I used to think, wouldn’t it be great if that’s what we could do with all our problems, unresolved issues, insecurities, fears, guilt, etc.  Just haul them out to the curb under the cover of darkness and in the morning they would all be gone. Resolved.  Never to be seen (or smelled) again.

But it seems the Lord usually chooses to do a gradual work in our lives.  Not a quick fix but a daily growing, walking out our faith, gently prodding us with His Spirit, speaking to us through His word.  “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.”  Phil. 2.13 (New Living Translation)

Hauling the can back to the house after each pick up, I know I can count on one thing:  it will full again next week.  Our hearts are the same way. Without careful maintenance the junk will build up again, leaving an unpleasant aroma.  One of my life verses is Prov. 4.23  “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”  (NIV)

Choose today to lay everything at the feet of Jesus and trust Him for the clean-up process.  And no recycling allowed!

Shari grew up as a pastor’s daughter in South Dakota and met her husband Bill at North Central University.  They pastor Glad Tidings Assembly in Des Moines.  She has an Elementary Education degree from Buena Vista College and is a Certified Minister with the Assemblies of God.  Bill and Shari have a daughter Erica, a son Dan and his wife, Rachael, and a 4-month-old grandson, Levi.