I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year From the Ponderers!

Happy New Year, you lovers of Jesus and lovers of books!

And if you don’t love Jesus or books, happy 2017 to you anyway.

If you don’t love Jesus, the best thing I can wish for you in this new year is that you would indeed come to know Him because “Christ Jesus can into the world to save sinners”.  

If you do love Jesus, I wish for you a blessed time in 2017 of getting to know Him even better.

Now about those books…what books did you read this year? Which ones made an impact or changed you in some way?  Which ones fascinated you the most? Tell us about them! We want to know and share them. Why were they so great? 

And if you write books, consider this an open thread and promote your books without hesitation. This blog is read in many countries so, come on, tell us about your books! 

Here’s some of my favorite books:

Non-fiction
First Things First by Kirk Warner, 
The Case for Grace by Lee Strobel

Fiction
You’re the One that I Want by Susan May Warren
The Wedding Shop by Rachel Hauck
Logan Point Series by Patricia Bradley (try this author if you haven't before!)
Keep Holding On by Melissa Tagg
Almost Like Being in Love by Beth Vogt

What writers blog do you like best? What news blog?  Do you read any just for fun?

Here’s some I like:

Conservative News & Issues:

Writers:


For fun:
God’s Not Dead 2
One Look Thesaurus: If you know the concept your looking for but can’t think of the word, try this: http://www.onelook.com/reverse-dictionary.shtml
Music, stories, kids, funny videos and more: http://www.godvine.com





Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Merry Christmas leads to Easter

Delores E. Topliff

That first Christmas at His wondrous birth in Bethlehem angels sang, “Peace on earth, good will to men.” More than ever this year I see that His birth and Galilee childhood and then His ministry's completion in Jerusalem did purchase peace and good will for all who believe. 

On my first trip to Israel as a tourist in 1984, I took a sherut (shared large sedan) from Tel Aviv’s airport at sea level to 2350’ elevation in 42 miles up steep winding curves through Judean mountains to Jerusalem’s shining white limestone city. Comments from passengers from many nations gave interesting first impressions as we entered historic Jerusalem, truly a uniquely different place than any I’ve visited anywhere in the world. I rode a camel at the Dead Sea (hard to do) and later rode a bus north to Galilee. My camera snapped hundreds of pictures but those images are clearly imprinted in my mind and heart without needing Kodak prints or stored digital chips. By my fourth visit I rented a car to organize my own trips and reversed things by going to beautiful Galilee first to the scenes of Jesus’ boyhood and early ministry. For me that chronology works. The young Son-of-God learned much about His Father through scriptures plus parables of local sparrows and foxes and lilies and pearls.

This December more than ever enjoying Christmas leads me to Easter. I’m spending this winter in a small sweet Mississippi town where shopkeepers and clerks unhesitatingly greet us with, “Merry Christmas!” Shoppers reply “Merry Christmas” but I almost add, “Hallelujah, He is Risen!” for in my heart His Easter gift brought the lasting peace and good will the angels sang about.


What makes you sing? What is your best Christmas memory celebration? Please share the special meaning it brings.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Holiday Fear or Cheer?

by Teri Smith

We celebrated Thanksgiving, and now, right on the heels of it, Christmas! In fact, for the last few years we have started setting up our Christmas tree on Thanksgiving Day as soon as we can begin to move again after the big meal.

It's kinda fun...wondering if we should decorate the tree about the same or make some changes.

To be fair, this year my daughter, Sarah, and her friend adorned our tree while my son-in-law and I watched the Cowboys win their football game. After all, first things first.

I love both celebrations. Thanksgiving brings back memories of making our favorite recipes for so many years, most of which only get pulled out in November. And I love the roots of the holiday, remembering all the things we have to give thanks for! Then Christmas brings joy because we celebrate the birth of our Savior, and it's a delight to think about which gift I can give to my family and friends.

But wonderful as these two back to back holidays are, they can also be stressful. Because, well, family. As precious as they are, they all have their "moments". (At least I know I give my family those moments.)

Maybe there's been a little rift between two of them. Or perhaps a tragedy of some sort overshadows the day. It could be someone has a headache that day and feels out of sorts. Maybe they're just tired! Or there's that moment when everything going great and something slips out that offends someone.

Should we just give up on these holidays? Never! But you (yes, you) can be the one who fixes it. You be the one who says "sorry you aren't feeling well." Or the one who gives a little hug just to make someone know you care. You can be the one to say "I'm sorry" or "let's play a game".

You can be the one, by the grace of God, to bring the holiday cheer to your family.