The Key to Handling Family Holiday Drama

from the Motls and
The calendar is closing in on the holidays and in our house, with this time of year, comes the writing of the annual family Christmas letter.  Most years this task is a joy as I share God's handiwork in our lives with extended family and friends.  But some years... well, some years I think that if I saw me sharing what life has been like on Oprah or one of those afternoon TV shows I'm not sure I would even believe me! 

Sometimes life packs such a wallop of dramatic surprises that words don't even begin to describe it -- and truth be told, maybe words shouldn't even try!  I cannot deny God's hand of blessing over our lives the past year, nor can I deny the reality that He has and is bringing us through some head-spinning whirlwinds. 
I wonder what your Christmas letter looks like this year -- was it an easy year or a hang-on-for-dear-life kind of year?  If you had a roller coaster kind of year, take heart you are not alone! 

Christmas: The How and Why - Audio/Video

Join Pastor Eric for a Christmas message. Watch below...

Wishing for the "Perfect" Christmas

From the Motls &
It's the most wonderful time of the year ... well, maybe, but one thing for certain is that this is the most busy time of the year!  And for us gals, it can be pull-your-hair-out stressful! 

I have often wondered how in the world we came to the conclusion that it was a good idea to bake, make gifts, wrap gifts, make little costumes for the Christmas play at church, decorate our homes, have lots of people over and somehow keep the house clean enough for all those activities.  I mean wouldn't one of those extravaganzas be enough? 

Seeing God - Audio/Video Message

Is it possible to see God? Jesus said it was. However, we cannot see Him with the eyes of our heads; and we cannot see Him on our own terms. A pure heart is needed. How do we obtain a pure heart and a full life? This sermon may help some to answer these questions. Listen here or watch below...

Having a Merry Christmas in Your Marriage

From the Motls & 
It’s wild how the holidays can bring out such intense sides to our personality. Right after we gather around a table with family and friends to thank God for His blessings in our life, we gather to malls and store aisles to wrestle one-another like gladiators for deals. Our displays make the news and from one breath to the next we move from gratitude to greed. The hustle and bustle continues for another six weeks, stretching over Christmas and finally to New Year's. Yup. It’s a crazy time of year where, as a culture, we sacrifice to bless another one minute and indulge in almost every imaginable way the next.

In our marriages, the rush, the expectations, the schedule and the cookie induced sugar buzz can really make for some stressful—potentially explosive—situations.

The Thanksgiving List

What are you thankful for this year? Well, we are thankful for you! Our readers have been such a blessing to us! As we've been navigating health issues, life changes, moving and a new baby we are so grateful that you share the journey with us! We hope and pray this Thanksgiving season finds you and yours healthy and joyful. The Lord's sweetest blessings on you and your family <3

Here's a few links from Thanksgiving past, the latest Thanksgiving post and a printable for you to enjoy:

A Sacrifice of Praise

From the Motls &
Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise — the fruit of lips that confess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Hebrews 13:15-16 NIV
We all have stuff to be thankful for, but what do we do with the stuff that is just so hard to feel thankful about?
As Christians, I think most all of us have a sense that we are supposed to be joyful and thankful all the time, especially during the Thanksgiving season. But we all have corners of our life that bring us sorrow, disappointment, pain and even disillusionment.

The Flavors of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is my husband’s favorite holiday. And yes, it’s because of the food! Early in our marriage he told me he’d just love it if I could learn to cook a really good Thanksgiving dinner and over the years, apparently I’ve stumbled on the secrets to scoring Thanksgiving food touchdowns for his scoreboard (considering the un-kitchen-fied way I came into adulthood, that is nothing short than a bonafide miracle!). But beyond the fresh herbs for the perfect stuffing, or my auntie’s recipe for cranberries, the Thanksgiving we observe in our heart comes in a variety of flavors as well.

Jacob Cleanses His House - Audio/Video

Genesis 35:1 - 7

Jacob found it important to cleanse his household of pagan idolatry and ancient occultism. Followers of Jesus Christ ought to consider doing the same in our day. Without knowing it, many Christians have pagan items, with roots tied to the occult, right under their own roofs. Can these unclean items, detested by the Lord in His Temple, offer “doorways” to spiritual oppression within our households?

Listen here or watch below....

Jacob Moves to Schechem - Audio/Video

It’s Critical that God’s people practice acknowledging Him in all their ways daily. Often times the Law of Compromise sets in and we drift away from God’s will for our lives through a series of seemingly small, unnoticeable steps. These small steps can lead to huge dangers if not kept in check consistently.

Listen here or watch below...