If you are looking for a good book to start the New Year with I’ve added some new ones to the list under “Resources”, section - Christian Living. I’ve read all of the recommendations you find there and have found them to be wonderful companions in my faith walk.
Feel free to comment and share your favorites.
I wish you a blessed 2014.
Walk with God and glorify His name.
New Year – Fresh Start! Join me as Rev. Wanda shares how to get a new perspective for a fresh start in 2014.She is truly an inspirational speaker and writer that will minister and encourage your soul.
Rev. Wanda Henry-Jenkins received an undergraduate degree in English and Education from Olivet Nazarene University, a graduate degree in Human Services from Lincoln University, and an advanced certificate in Cultural Competence in Human Services from Temple University School of Social Sciences. She considers herself a perpetual learner and has studied divinity at Payne Theological Seminary, and studied religion at Olivet Nazarene University Graduate School. Also, she has studied Spanish at Governors State University and Dupage Community College.
Rev. Wanda has worked in human services and healthcare for more than 44 years, as a nurse, educator, social worker and bereavement manager. She is a published author and wrote as an editor for Bereavement Magazine for 10 years. Rev. Wanda speaks internally, nationally, and locally on topics in bereavement, cultural diversity and theology.
Reverend Jenkins is married to Reverend Samuel L. Jenkins Jr. and is the mother of two young adults, Joshua and Jazmine, and mother-in-law to Tiffiney Jenkins. Along with her husband, they are grandparents of Sanaa, Nahla, and Jaleel Jenkins, the children of their son and daughter-in-law. They have ministered together for 34 years.
Currently Reverend Wanda is a student at Christos Center for Spiritual Formation in Wheaton studying to earn a Certificate in Spiritual Direction. She believes that learning opens many doors, and that emotional and spiritual healing is a choice! God truly is the center of her life and the reason for her joy.
Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer. Romans 12:12
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about friends and families that have experienced losses at different levels this year. Some have lost loved ones, others jobs, homes, friends, dreams, etc. The holidays can be very tough when our hearts are heavy with grief. Honestly, trying to put on a smile can hurt.
Today I just wanted to say – Dear friend I am so sorry for your loss. My prayer is that you will experience God’s peace and comfort. May He speak to you in unexpected and wonderful ways.
Having a safe place and person to go to when the sadness is overwhelming is important. Being able to acknowledge the feelings of loss, sorrow, pain and even anger is an important part of the healing process. Some have that safe place and person others not so much. In that case creating a special place in our home can be helpful. Place where you can unload the heaviness of grief before the Lord.
Here is an idea that may help you or someone you love in creating a “special place”:
*Candle – to light up the path to healing
*Bible – to comfort and encourage your soul
*Blanc pieces of paper - to write down that which you have hard time letting go, your feelings at the moment that weigh on your heart, it could be even just one word that describes where you are at this time.
*Empty Box – representing the hands of Jesus, the place to keep the pieces of paper you’ve written
*Tissues – to wipe the tears if they come
Some of us may feel uncertain how to reach out and help someone that is going through a rough time. First we must accept and understand that there are waves of sorrow and pain. There are also different stages to be expected that the bereaved person experiences:
How long it takes for the deep hurt to heal? That varies from person to person depending on their ability to adjust to the new reality and accepting life in God’s will. Be kind and patient the deep hurt may never completely heal this side of heaven. As caring friends and family we are there to provide comfort not necessarily to analyze and explain. How to walk with the one in sorrow:
*Show you understand their feelings
*Point to God
*Relate the Word to their needs
*Show you care
*Pray with and for them
* We leave open invitation for the grieving person to share feelings and needs
Eight years working for hospice has not made me an expert on the topic of grief. That is my husband’s “territory”, as a hospice chaplain he holds the hands of young and old as they face death on daily basis. What I wanted to do today is share simple truths I’ve learned along the way that may help us all to share God’s love with those whose hearts are grieving this Christmas.
From our family to yours we wish you a Blessed Christmas and New Year 2014.
Walk with God glorify His name.
You just finished reading “It’s Christmas but It Hurts to Smile”. Please join the conversation share your thoughts and comments.
Christmas! A Big Welcome to the season to be jolly. December 1st is the day we welcomed this Christmas in our home. My heart was filled with joy as I observed how our daughter marveled at the Christmas lights and ornaments. “Wow, mommy thank you! This is so nice. Thank you mommy and daddy so much for Christmas! I love you so much!” It has been 3 days and her sweet voice continues to echo gratitude every time the Christmas lights go off. There weren’t any presents that evoked her excitement and thankfulness. It was simply the change in the home environment. So I have been wondering what happened to us – the grownups? How come our gratitude and wow of the true Light of the world has been reduced. This time of the year has become a season of gifts giving and receiving. Some like to do their shopping online others prefer to touch and see the items in person. In any case finding the time and budget for it is not only a challenge but enormous stress builder. How about going around the stores looking for the “perfect” gifts at a bargain price with little ones? This is a task that can overwhelm even the most skilled shopper. Whatever the challenges may be financial, time restrain or lack of ideas I can’t help but notice that the focus has been shifted from the real reason for the season. In the last few years I feel drawn to simplicity and family centered welcoming of Christmas. I’ve been thinking about giving gifts that encourage family time and values. Gifts that help us change the environment on the inside, so that Jesus is reflected on the outside.
The truth is I sincerely enjoy giving gifts; it makes me happy to see the joy it brings to others and with that in mind here are some of my Christmas gift ideas:
The Family Basket – This may be the best gift idea for families with kids. Basket of your choice, box of popcorn, packaged dessert/s, assorted fruits, trail mix, family movie, and family game/s.
Here are some family friendly games:
The Picnic Basket for 2 – Basket of your choice, picnic essentials, couple's game/s.
Recommended list of couple appropriate games:
Family Membership – Do you know of a family that enjoys going to the Zoo, Botanical Garden or museums? Family membership can be the perfect gift you can give that will be used all year around. A wonderful way to encourage quality family time.
The Quick Mix Box – We all have the nice neighbor, mailman or coworkers that are not such a close relation to us but we still feel like blessing them. The quick mix box may be the perfect gift but to be honest I think people feel sensitive eating goodies that have been made in the home of someone they don’t really know. With that in mind this is what you can put in the quick mix gift box: a card including the recipe of your favorite cookies or if you feel more adventurous cosmopolitan cocktail, add sample size packaged ingredients. Pack it all nicely in a gift box. If you’ve made a batch of those delicious cookies use couple of them to decorate the Quick Mix Box.
I hope you will have a stress free shopping this Christmas. J
Most of all I pray that you will focus on the real reason for this season – the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Walk with God and glorify His name.
You just finished reading "This the Season to Be Jolly". Share your thoughts and comments.
My prayer is that this will be a place where you find hope and nourishment for your soul.
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