In The Spirit

So often we look over the obvious and miss the big picture in life. We become wrapped up in living for the moment and cannot see the signs. Let me connect some dots and bring you the wisdom God revealed to me today about being in the spirit. Do you think this may not apply to you? Think again, for it applies to everyone who walks the earth.

Have you ever watched four or five-year-old children put their little hands over their hearts and fumble through the Pledge of Allegiance? How adorable this is to witness! As they grow, they find other activities to cultivate their minds, such as Cub Scouts, Brownies, and sporting activities. They are living… in the spirit of competitiveness and good citizenship.

Some mature young men and women take an oath to defend our country. Do you know why? They are entrenched… in the spirit of preservation, duty, and honor.

Doctors and nurses work endless hours hustling and bustling among patients. Their high energy is formidable and do you know why? For the love of people… they live in the spirit of caring.

Christmas is a wonderful time to give to others. This past holiday season, the Saturday before Christmas, was the largest shopping day in history. Why? Because shoppers were in the spirit… the love of family and friends.

Let’s take a second and think about the thirteen men who, in 1787, wrote the guidelines of the U.S. Constitution. They were not making a grocery list; in deep Christian faith, they carried their pens and drafted this American historical document. Only five men had a formal education, so how could they skillfully devise a draft to protect a nation for years to come? Our founding fathers were in the spirit… their beliefs led them to write collectively and defend the principles of God’s chosen people. Ironically, other than adding the Bill of Rights, it has never been changed or contested.

Now, I’ll turn my thoughts to the greatest book ever put together, the Bible. Some of it was written five hundred years before Christ, such as the Book of Job. Other books were written during Jesus’ life of thirty-three years on earth and before His crucifixion. But most of the Bible was written many years after His death. Who were these scholars of great wisdom? Who was on their Board of Education and honored them with a Ph.D. to write these sacred and everlasting scriptures? The Bible was written in the spirit… mostly men, but also by some women in love with the Holy Spirit and His greatness. God divinely visited them and ordered their thoughts to be placed in writing for future generations. Spiritually grounded to Jesus Christ, they endured the wrath of all those who did not believe in our Savior. Those who could write did so… in the spirit.

Paul, the Apostle (or Saul from Tarsus), never met Jesus while He was alive, but God’s spirit confronted him on the road to Damascus. As a result, Paul wrote almost half the New Testament, and with no education. He was in the spirit… so, God gave him the strength and guidance to deliver His Word throughout the land.

Conversion of Paul, the Apostle courtesy of Sweet Publishing/Freebibleimages.org

Every one of us can be in the spirit. Life is a journey, and we must follow God’s lead when He gives us a nudge. We will become the bearer of the Holy Spirit’s fruit if we pay attention to the signs.

I look back on my own spiritual walk. God awakened me in the middle of the night and told me to write His messages. I challenged His request but in the spirit… my award-winning book, “There in God’s Grace,” graced every brick-and-mortar store. My strong Christian beliefs led me on a path I can never deny.

Those who walk in the Spirit are united with Christ. Do you have the spirit too? It will fill you with thankfulness, joy, and a life of righteousness. Trust this promise!

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

Galatians 5:22-25


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Eve

The festive season is over and a new year launches our homage. But outside my castle lies a moat where defense lines conquer nothing. Blown away in the warm offshore winds are the battle lines drawn in the sand. The swells of threats and betrayals swallow the shoreline. Glaring editorials make one wonder if life is worth living. But it’s the eve of a new beginning…

I pray, as morning arrives, for it’s the start of a new day. Though some may pass on in the light of this bright sunny morning, the Lord shall exonerate the living. Are we to judge if a leafless tree is dead or not, or shall we give praise and walk on in the eve of everlasting life?

I listen to the blustery winds swirling through the air. Little lives when nature goes into hibernation. But look… what’s that? Is that a pink bud, perhaps? I suddenly realize it is the eve of life! In the dead of winter, God anointed me with a Camellia flower about to open its delicate petals. No matter how destitute life looks, you see, God is always on the eve of greatness. Patience for me is next to impossible, so I, too, must wait to see the flower bloom.

It’s the eve of another morning. I’ve witnessed two days of torrential rain. God’s light, though, is in a horizontal shaped rainbow, which tells me His reign is never-ending. Life with Him and through Him will eternally mystify the mind. Every day you’ll be introduced to some kind of eve. Opportunities will open doors for those who feel stagnant, and faith will bring a light on the eve of darkness.

To Christians, eve is defined as a darkness that started in the Book of Genesis. Eve, however, is the beginning of life in God’s realm, just as the eve of “Christ-mass,” Jesus’ birth. We do not celebrate the eve of Easter for there is life in the everlasting love of Jesus Christ. Let Jesus begin to recreate your life this year, for it’s the eve of a season with new beginnings!

www.danabicksauthor.com


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Goodbye 2019

Last night I told my mom. when she said she was grateful 2019 was almost over, there were good things which happened in 2019.

Be grateful for the good things in 2019 and leave behind the rest.

I say again: BE GRATEFUL FOR THE GOOD THINGS IN 2019 AND LEAVE THE REST BEHIND.

Going further, be grateful for the lessons learned from the bad things that happened in 2019.

Overall, move in 2020 with a grateful heart. Forgive the events, people, and perhaps most importantly, yourself. Gratitude for the what was and gratitude for what will be. This is the best way to progress into the next decade.

I end with my favorite Scripture. Philippians 4:4-9:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

It’s Christ’s Time!

Today, as the season of Christmas arrives and Advent ends, my head is full of expectations. My thoughts reach as far as I can to describe God’s greatest gift. The biblical stories tell the tribulations of every person who reiterated the Good News. They took God’s word to every corner of the earth. I can narrow it down to just one word – God teaches us patience.

Faithfully we pray for unknown answers, as we remain alone with the Lord on this special holiday. If patience prevails, the wisdom of His word paints pictures for us. Times are hard at Christmas… money is tight, chores become a necessity, and patience wears thin. But let us remember, on this day, a Savior was born to save us from our sins.

Jesus was a gentle man, son of the Almighty, who walked the earth, teaching love and forgiveness. He instills everything in His good timing, such as patience, so we should each examine our hearts. Christmas images share love and forgiveness in storefronts, social media, and television screens. How can anyone be a humbug this time of year when the resounding message is “Peace to all and goodwill toward men?” Let forbearance and forgiveness ring in the holiday season and New Year!

I pray for everyone to learn the meaning of blessings from above. Kindness, consideration, and respect is the resonation of God’s love. We can’t hate yet sit in church and share the Lord’s messages. Shovel a path to a neighbor’s home, help a child zip up their coat or tie their shoes, or feed a hungry person. We are made in His likeness… a people of community.

God grants us life through His patience. He is a constant reminder we need forgiveness and understanding. If we can learn to be patient with ourselves, we can learn to be patient with others. The greatest service we can do for others is to show them His love, mercy, and grace.

It’s Christ’s time! May God exonerate you who conform to His heavenly wishes. Gather and sing… let the tune you hum this Christmas be an everlasting message. Allow Him to stay in your heart and blessed with His patience, for it’s a gift from God. Practice forgiveness on this holiday. I pray for the world’s redemption.



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10 reasons I am happy today

  1. I am happy because I am alive.
  2. I am happy because it is Christmas.
  3. I am happy because I am loved.
  4. I am happy because I love;
  5. I am happy because I have faith in God.
  6. I am happy because I am divinely protected.
  7. I am happy because the Lord always provides for me.
  8. I am happy because I am happy.
  9. I am happy because I am a child of God.
  10. I am happy because God has promised always to stand by me.

A Heart of Gold

Have you ever wanted to reach out to a stranger and give a gift of appreciation? My mother, God bless her soul, had one bright spot I will always remember. At Christmastime, she purchased gifts for those who only came around periodically, such as the trash man and the meter reader. She even snuck a little gift in the mailbox and addressed it “to Mike,” the guy who delivered the mail no matter the weather. With a broad smile, he gave her a big “thank you.” During sweaty, hot, and humid days to the bitter arctic winds swirling over the icy bay, Mike never failed to check on my mom when she was housebound. Her heart of gold made a friend for life.

A notion overcame me derived from my mother’s uncanny disposition. What a wonderful time of the year for random acts of giving! Moments of undying love and appreciation will reach the hearts of the unexpected. So, I thought I’d try it this year too. I can’t tell you the end results yet, but deep inside my soul, God thanked me – that’s all I need to know. There must be a little of my mom in me, as I reciprocated my gratitude.

I mailed a gift to a talk show host who I’ve grown to identify with through the radio. I admire his reputation and Christian walk in life, which he occasionally shares with the listening audience. The other recipient, I can’t hold a candle to… right or wrong, we’ve become friends. We’ve shared correspondence, and I’ve come to know his heart – not his reputation. He is our President of the United States. Few could envision giving either of these gentlemen gifts of adoration, but then again, I’m not a normal man.

My address, you see, is not written on a box, but somewhere outside the box. I live and breathe God’s given air. As our Lord expects of me, I think of thoughts that would please others. Those random acts of kindness should follow throughout the year, but many only surfaces when we reach into our spirit at Christmas.

I deeply thank the men and women who unselfishly devote their time to giving to others – not just a politician or a minister but ordinary folks with a heart of gold. It’s so easy to be appreciative when you walk with the spirit of God.

To all the many Christians I have grown to know and connect with over the years, let Christmas never leave your soul! Show adoration and excitement year after year with a heart of gold. The random act of giving will bless you and change you for the better.

May your faith in friends and family be a tribute to your own random acts of kindness which comes from God. Have a blessed and Merry Christmas!

www.danabicksauthor.com


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I’ll Light a Candle

What a beautiful winter morning! A gentle breeze is just enough to keep the fire I started lit this morning. I gathered sticks from the woods – the memories of life which once lived on the trees. Now they lie dead beneath the autumn foliage. It’s a somber reminder life is so precious and short for God’s creations.

I feel so incredibly blessed this holiday season. It’s just around the corner, and God’s fulfillment of promises fill the air. But a thought haunts my mind… all the children who are less fortunate than I at Christmastime. My childhood was full of unexpected events, too, such as divorce and death. So, when I was asked to write this blog, I gladly accepted the challenge.

Many children have no say of their ill-fated direction in life. They become victims of yet another divorce and single parenting. Even worse is the loss of a parent during the holiday season. Once upon a time, I had a classmate who faced this exact scenario.

Christmas trimmings lined the streets, and window displays were in full swing with animated characters warming the hearts of little children. An older brother told this young girl the cause of her parent’s separation “was all her fault.” At five years old, such a cruel statement was a bit much to bear for her little shoulders.

On Christmas, her mother suddenly passed away. Many questions went unanswered… this precious child only knew her mommy went to heaven.  Instead of anticipating the thrill of a Christmas morning, the little girl faced the world with a broken heart and fear of her future. Dare I say, as an adult, Christmas is a difficult time for her; fifty years later, the callous statement still lingers in the back of her mind.

There are seventy-four million children in the United States, and the divorce rate is 40-50 percent amongst marriages. So, the bigger question is, how do we help the afflicted youngsters during the holidays, carrying the burden of their parents’ selfishness? A family life of morals used to be respected, a flourishing way of life. What happened to these generations? Children, who never witness the truth about a love between parents, suffer voids in their little hearts.

Regardless of the circumstances, kids should have a Christmas. This joyful day is a celebration of our Savior’s arrival to earth. But, amidst the hustle and bustle, we should encourage the children to grieve – it’s ok! Support their thoughts and questions to ease their anxiety. Encourage simple ceremonies, such as lighting a Christmas candle near the parent’s photo, or placing a picture inside a bulb to hang on the tree. Wrap up a special gift for the child with a photograph of their parent. Create a special “memory” tree with ornaments that reflect the loved one’s life, or make a donation in their memory to a favorite charity.

Many organizations and charities assist children during the Christmas holidays. Some top names include Toys for Tots, Operation Christmas Child, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Angel Tree, the Salvation Army, and the Christmas Spirit Foundation. The Lord gives us instructions to help those in need.

Years pass like dust left upon a shelf, and grief leaves an imprint on the heart.  Begotten memories, entombed in the body of a child, are reminders of Christmases tainted by disaster and hurt. Let us teach the suffering children that God is our only hope in life. His strength will help us endure the pain and strife of a world destroyed by sinners.

Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court. — Psalm 127:3-5

As for the little girl whom I wrote about today, she joined her siblings and grew up in a blended family. But, just as her life settled into normalcy, her father quietly slipped away, too. Behold, an angel came to the rescue – her “stepmother.” Retrieving all the broken branches which laid in pieces on the ground, this special woman raised my friend to the beautiful lady and fellow author she is today. She was one of the lucky survivors! This is proof our Father’s power can conquer the hearts of the unknowing and replenish the trees.

Today, with Christmas just three days away, will you consider supporting a child’s organization or adopting a child for Christmas? Spend time with a mourning child and make the holiday one they will always remember, away from pain.

I’ll light a candle this Christmas in memory of all the innocent little children who are missing a parent. God bless you all, but especially… God bless my sweet friend!

Have a very Merry Christmas!


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The Three Ghosts of Christmas

Behold, the joy of the holidays – giving and receiving, is upon us! It was just a week before Christmas that Charles Dickens published A Christmas Carol in the year 1843. The many books this author wrote reveals his deep Christian faith and the principles of a moral life. His most infamous character, Scrooge, is the story of a heart transformed, or should we say re-born? It’s no wonder Dickens called this work-of-art his “ghostly little book,” for Christ reflects all over the pages.

If we analyze the character of Scrooge, like ours, we see the light and darkness of life, salvation, and a second chance of God’s blessings. Three spirits visited him: The Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. Let’s begin with the first spirit…

Our Ghost of Christmas Past

The Ghost of Christmas Past reflects on Scrooge’s younger years. Similar to us, there is happiness, sorrows, and perhaps even regrets. We struggle to find the true meaning of life. Where do we fit in, and what is our purpose? We work so hard to achieve comfort, security, and the American dream. However, we avoid suffering and challenges to preserve our dignity and self-worth. Soon, it becomes clear those ghosts will eventually reappear to haunt us later in life. Just as Scrooge learned, bad decisions leave us fearful, confused, shaken, and empty, and we carry them into the rest of our years.

Our Ghost of Christmas Present

Scrooge is now absorbed by the worries and burdens of wealth. Consumed in running his business and providing for his own needs, he cared little about others. His happiness equated to money and possessions, but ironically, he is the most unhappy character. Our Ghost of Christmas Present opens the door to glimpse how quickly we alienate friends and family with self-centered actions of greed. The lack of helping others in need placed Scrooge in the category of being a miserly, old man. How would others see us too?

Many characters in The Christmas Carol opened their hearts to Scrooge. His nephew, Fred, encouraged him to be a part of his life and home, even at Christmas. Scrooge grumbled, “Bah humbug.” His employee, Bob Cratchit, wanted him to participate in fundraising for charity. Still Scrooge quickly snubbed such a crazy idea. Cratchit tried to make him see that joy should come from our treasures – family, friends, life, and love – not material goods.

The characteristic of imprisoning ourselves with possessions, if we don’t share with our neighbors, is synonymous with a lack of love and compassion for others. Jesus warns us in the Bible we can’t take earthly things with us when we pass from this world. So what’s the point of it all?

I have a revelation to ponder… what if God only gave us our blessings to give to others who really need them? What if they were not meant for your exclusive pleasure?

The joy of Christmas should reflect a smile of happiness when someone receives a gift of love, yes? I know many say that presents are not what the reason for the season is about, am I right? Jesus was our gift from God. He walked the earth to teach us how to live graciously, godly, and always to serve others. What better time than the season of giving, to follow in His footsteps?

Scrooge realizes his selfishness and sins, and a change soon comes.

Our Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come

Scrooge’s “conversion” points to finding his salvation based on redemption and charity. He walked the streets with a smile, greeted everyone, helped beggars, and glowed the love of God. Though many were apprehensive of his attitude change, they discovered some significant event, indeed, altered his life. Isn’t this how everyone, one day, falls into God’s grace? We realize this life is more comfortable in a relationship with our Savior. When we break our own mortality, our hearts soften for others.

Christ gave Scrooge a second chance to make it right, and He does this for us too! Our life should be a journey of service to the Lord.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

www.danabicksauthor.com

May everyone be blessed with a beautiful Christmas! Give and receive with a gracious heart to your family, workplace, and community. It is the three ghosts commandment – the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!


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The Carols Heralding

Many enjoy our words of faith and enduring inspiration; however, not all of my life is colorful as the fall. But, this is not about those I’ve turned over to God in prayer, but the joyful ending of God’s faithfulness. The holiday season is fast approaching, and I won’t focus on the ugly parts of life, but the joy of Thanksgiving.

Thanks be to God ~ the carols heralding!

Living in a state of humility and reverence, I find myself so thankful for answered prayers. The summer winds turned to the north, and the foliage of forests turned harvest colors. It’s time to lie down arms, repent, and comfort those we might forget this past year.

Thanks be to God ~ the carols heralding!

Yes, it’s time to rejoice! Give praise to our almighty Father for our many Thanksgiving blessings. Join hands to commemorate the peace and love we’ve found in each other. It’s not just the pilgrims landing anymore. Our sovereignty, through God, our Father, blessed the table we partake this past year.

Thanks be to God ~ the carols heralding!

I so often return to the words my wise dad spoke, “count your blessings, not your problems.” I welcome you to share this thought on Thanksgiving. Lay aside the differences, if only for one day, and thank God for your life. Count your many blessings and be thankful. We fill every day with memorable moments.

Thanks be to God ~ the carols heralding!

As for my family and I, this year’s Thanksgiving Day holds a significant meaning. It falls on the twenty-eighth, which was my Dad’s birthday, and I commemorate him in heaven. It was also my parent’s wedding anniversary. Married in 1958, I bet they picked this day so my dad would never forget their anniversary. Only one person knows their story for sure, and he’ll never tell… or will you, Uncle Bill?

Thanks be to God ~ the carols heralding!


Be sure to join us again on Sunday, December 1 for the ongoing “Everything Christmas Blogs”

Autumn in October

A silence resonates from heaven as Christ fills the voids deep inside my soul. I see the troubled storm clouds approaching, and they make not a sound. A busy world persists, running in circles, but I keep an eye on the sky, for only my God do I wait.

Standing at the edge of a great canyon where extinction begins, and life ever after looks like a desert floor, I harbor the love Christ sends me. Within His peace, windows open with new opportunities. The canyon is far and wide, and in times of adventure, it seems an impossible crossing. For some, it’s a quest, but for others, it’s a stepping stone to enter eternity and be with Him.

I bundle my love and faith and wear it as a code of honor. It’s autumn in October… seasons change, and life emerges with new horizons. The sun salutes the night watchman, and I bid farewell to another night. God, in his miraculous way, restrains the spiritually encountering distance. His quiet voice calls, and I must be patient. It’s autumn in October, and the hour grows nearer.

Seeking my own passage, I step lightly on the ledge of fate. The rocks are jagged and sharp, and death is just a slip away. But God watches over me with a promissory note I pledged to Him. The canyons divulge how minute I am as I step out where courage calls.

In the autumn of life, the Lord’s love is upon me. He gathers His herd of humanity for a voyage to explore the canyon walls of life. The fiery nights beacon October, and it quenches our thirst and hearts. Please, Father, turn the desert floor into meandering waters. The quests are over – some I failed, but some I conquered by Your blessings.

It’s autumn in October, and a new child is born. Goodbyes of another life are hard. Still, a new life is always on the horizon, for as one door closes, another is born again.

Another adventure, another voyage as the pride of time, sets my course upon another mission. Only God will bridge the heavens as I wait at the ledge of the canyon walls. I built my caves… now it’s time to surrender. The slope is deep, but it is in God’s hands to bestow the faith as He calls me home.

Love is filled with memories, in yet another autumn in October. The mystical canyon mourns, and the life which once prospered refrains in the setting sun. The shadows long for God’s calling… come home with Me when you’re ready.


Our blogs will resume next Sunday, November 10, when we celebrate Christmas with the “Everything Christmas Blogs.” Please be sure to join us!