Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Giving Thanks

     The Bible is filled with commands to give thanks to God. Most verses go on to list reasons why we should thank Him, such as “His love endures forever” (Psalm 136:3), “He is good” (Psalm 118:29), and “His mercy is everlasting” (Psalm 100:5). Thanksgiving and praise always go together.
     Feeling and expressing appreciation is great! Like any wise father, God wants us to learn to be thankful for all the gifts He has given us (James 1:17). It is in our best interest to be reminded that everything we have is a gift from Him. Without gratefulness, we become arrogant and self-centered. We begin to believe that we have achieved everything on our own. Thankfulness keeps our hearts in right relationship to the Giver of all good gifts.
     Giving thanks also reminds us of how much we do have. We tend to focus on what we don’t have. By giving thanks continually we are reminded of how much we do have. When we focus on blessings rather than wants, it changes our hearts and attitudes. When we start thanking God for the things we usually take for granted, our perspective changes. 
     1st Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” We are to be thankful not only for the things we like, but for the circumstances we don’t like. When we purpose to thank God for everything that He allows to come into our lives, we keep bitterness away. We cannot be both thankful and bitter at the same time. We thank Him for His promise that “all things will work together for the good, to those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” ~ Romans 8:28
      We can have thankful hearts toward God even when we do not feel thankful for the circumstance. We can grieve and still be thankful. We can hurt and still be thankful. Giving thanks to God keeps our hearts in right relationship with Him and saves us from emotions and attitudes that will rob us of the peace that God wants us to experience. (Philippians 4:6–7)    
     Have a wonderful Thanksgiving ya'll, giving thanks to God the Father Almighty, who's Sovereign on His throne.
  • What are some things you're thankful for this year?
  • What are your plans for Thanksgiving?
  • What yummy foods do you have? 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A Letter to My Mom and Dad

Dear Dad and Mom,
I wanted to write a letter to know to let you know that I love you, and miss you so much! I wanted to let you know that everything's okay here. Dad, Mom, you don't have to worry about me, because you know what? You let me marry a wonderful man! A man who cares about God and the church as much as you've prayed for. You let me marry a man who kind, caring, and gentle. He's very sweet with his words, and he chooses them carefully.
     Dad and Mom, you've let me marry the man of my dreams! He's all that and more. He's so much more than I could've ever imagined, that I'm so grateful to God every day for him. You let me marry a man who is a seeker of the word of God, and a studier. He's a quick thinker, and a great man of integrity. He wants to please me, but more than that, he wants to be like Christ. He wants to strive to be like Christ every day. You know what? He reminds me of both of you. How much you both strive to be like Christ every day, and make sure that Christ is the center of everything!
     You let me marry a wonderful man who will be a fantastic father! Every time I see him hold a baby at church, or our little niece, I see how gentle he is with children, and I wonder, how can God be so good to me?! God gave me wonderful parents who've raised me by the Word of God, and who've let me marry a great man!
     Dad and Mom, Thank you for always being there for me! Thank you for all the times that you gave me advice and encouragement, even when I didn't receive it as well as I should have. Thank you for not letting me get away with things, and for disciplining me. Thank you for being a constant reminder that you are the example of a Godly marriage. Thank you for being there for me through the thick and thin... the days when I was going through trials, and the days when their were good days that I didn't want to end. Thank you for all the Family Traditions and Fun Times we've had. Thank you for all the times that you let me spend with my friends, and trusted me that you knew I'd make wise decisions or poor ones, and learn from them. Thank you for standing on the side lines and cheering for me and giving me encouragement as you watched me succeed and watched me fail. 
     Thank you for being there for me through my courtship with Josh. It's been wonderful to look back and see Gods faithfulness throughout it.
     Dad and Mom, thank you for being wonderful, Godly parents that I can look up to, and know that I have the best parents on earth that God blessed me with to nurture me and to teach me everything that you know! :)
     Dad and Mom, thank you for everything that you do, everything that you are, and everything that you stand for! Thank you for letting me marry the man of my dreams! You don't have to worry about me. I'm blessed! Blessed with Godly parents who lead by example, blessed by a good man who've everything I could've ever asked for. I'm blessed with a Godly pastor who leads us in the way of the Word; I'm blessed with a wonderful church family who've welcomed me in with open arms from day one. I'm blessed with a husband who has a great family! I married into a family that loves God, and loves each other. I'm blessed to have great in-laws, and great friends.
     Dad and Mom, you will always be there for me, and I will always love you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking care of me all those years, and for continuing to give me encouragement and wisdom. Thank you for all those times that I didn't thank you, especially when you went out of your way to make me happy. Thank you for the way you taught all of us to be studiers of the word of God, and to serve Christ in everything we do. Thank you for letting go of me, even though it was hard. You've let me leave and cleave to my husband, and although I'm not under your headship anymore, I will always look up to you! Thank you for being the great parents you are, and for always being there for me! I'm truly and undeservedly blessed by God! To God be the Glory forever and ever. I love you Dad and Mom!
Love your daughter,
Caitlin Nicole Narwold

Friday, November 13, 2015

Mourning with those who Mourn

     The Bible talks a lot about mourning and weeping.
     Last week, a close friend of ours at church had a miscarriage. To see such a dear friend, so close go through something like this, was hard. I cried, a lot. I cried because I know how important children are to their family, our church, and God. I know that God knew how long that baby was going to be in the womb, before He decided to take the baby home. God knows it all, and it was His will that the baby went home early.
     The Bible says in Romans 12:15, "Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep."
      Jesus Christ himself mourned the death of Lazarus.(John 11)
     Many years ago, when I was 9, my mother was carrying a child in her womb. She was 8 months into her pregnancy, when she knew something was wrong. My dad and her rushed to the hospital, and my little baby sister, Grace Elizabeth Baughman, was a still-born baby. My parents mourned for a long time. In many ways, it still hurts. However, in the midst of that hurt. In the midst of them fighting those tears, and long nights; they knew that God was in control. They knew that this was all part of Gods perfect plan. Although they didn't understand it, they both begin to seek the Lord even harder than they ever have before.
     God blessed them with another baby 6 weeks later, and 8 months later, my sister, Joy Elianna Baughman, was born. We don't always understand why God does what he does, but we know this... God is in Control! He's Sovereign, and He's on his throne.
     I'm constantly reminded of God's Sovereignty every day. From praying and having faith that my husband gets home safe from work every day, to God's sovereignty over the womb of many babies who've died. God has his perfect plan, and although it doesn't make sense to us, it's His plan. 
     Revelation 21:4, "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
     Matthew 5:4, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."

Thursday, November 5, 2015


I know I've been posting a lot of posts from other people lately. This one was so good that I started to cry. ;) 

"God is so good. Just when I needed that check, I opened the mailbox and there it was."

"My fuel light was on, and just as I pulled into the gas station, my car died. God is good!"

"I was exhausted and just as I reached the grocery store, the best parking place became vacant! Isn't God good?"

God is good. But life is not always good.

Is God good when a child is hit by a drunk driver? Is God good when your husband is unfaithful? Is God good when your teenager is suicidal? Is God good when a God-fearing father is killed in a tornado? Is God good when people lose their homes and lives to fires and storms? Is God good when yesterday you felt fine, but today you're told that you have cancer?

Yes, He is good. Because His goodness is not dependent on our circumstances. He is good because His character is all-goodness. His Word tells us He is good and so we believe it is true. In Him there is no darkness.

Clouds of doubt overwhelm us in the darkest of trials.  We weep, we grieve, we cry out that we don't understand. It has all been said and the feelings all felt, long before we existed (Psalm 88).  In this world we will have tribulation. We are wise if we become students of the Word and prepare for our times of crisis before they come, not being content to be hand-fed by others. Because come, they will.

Is God in control of these terrible circumstances? Yes. He doesn't sleep. Nothing takes him by surprise. He is good not because he didn't allow it, but because He is our stronghold in the midst of it. He is our shelter and under His wings we have a place to hide when we are overwhelmed with sorrow.  He is near to us when we cry ourselves to sleep. He keeps an account of the tears we cry. He sees us when we are soul weary and can only groan out an unintelligible prayer because the hurt is so deep.

We can't take comfort in stability of our lives because they can shift and change on a dime. We take comfort in His unchanging love and compassion. We remember that He has told us all things work together for good.

You have kept count of my tossings;
put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your book?
Psalm 56:8

When George Muller's wife of 39 years died, he preached her funeral sermon using the text Psalm 119:68:

"You are good and do good; teach me your statutes."

 He also spoke these words:

“I bow, I am satisfied with the will of my Heavenly Father, I seek by perfect submission to his holy will to glorify him, I kiss continually the hand that has afflicted me… Without an effort my inmost soul habitually joys in the joy of that loved departed one. Her happiness gives joy to me. My dear daughter and I would not have her back, were it possible to produce it by the turn of a hand. God himself has done it; we are satisfied with him.”

Lives on earth are but a vapor.  And while we sojourn here, we do so through many dangers, toils and snares.  Our hope is in the finished work of our Lord Jesus.  He took the penalty for our sin, forgiving us even while we were still sinners.  It pleased the Father to crush him for our sake. If we are in Him, God sees us now through the righteousness of Christ. New creatures bound for the Heavenly City. This truth is our only sure foundation.