Chambersburg, PA

There is a place for you

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While growing up, my mother had a gift at making Thanksgiving glorious! Every delicious item she made was a handcrafted work of art with a symphony of flavors that came together like a beautiful masterpiece.

Real homemade pumpkin pie, her fresh baked loaves of bread, and the infamous “Nana’s stuffing” were always my favored accompaniments that covered my grandmother’s china dishes sitting at my place setting.

To this day I still remember the antique cherry dinning room table, beautifully decorated for the special holiday. The fine linens, the crystal glasses, and the sliver trimmed plates and flatware, patiently awaiting the grand feast.

And although the people that were able to gather around the table changed over the years, the place settings and all the trimmings remained the same. Eventually the day came when I too moved away, and was no longer capable of faithfully attending my mother’s festive celebration of thanks. Even though I wasn’t able to be present, I knew there was always a place for me at her table and in her heart.

Many years have past since the days I sat at her table on Cherry Hill Lane, and instead I now have a table of my own. Beautifully decorated with linens, glasses and the same special china set I ate off of as a child. All gifted to me by the sweet hands of my generous mother.

When I laid out the plates again this year, I couldn’t help but be thankful for so many things. Thankful for having a mom who always did her best to make our holidays special. Thankful that she placed within me the love of preparing a table for my family and friends. And thankful for all the years I got to sit with her at that old cherry wood table.

How I wish we could still be at the same table this Thanksgiving day.

As I pondered these thoughts, and positioned the last place card at the last table setting, the Lord very lovingly brought to my mind a very comforting verse,

“If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:3

I know in my heart there will be a day when we all will get to sit at the places He has prepared for us at His table, and death and distance no longer will separate us from the ones we love. Where we are, not only will He also be, but we will all be together.  A place for each of us.

But until that glorious day does appears, I will cherish all of those treasured memories. I will choose to celebrate all that is left at my table instead of all that is lost, and I will eagerly await to sit at my place at His table.  I pray you too are able to do the same.

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-5-40-41-pm Diane Swan is a Professional Christian Counselor, Speaker and Blogger who is passionate about using her God given gifts to assist ladies in living victorious lives in Christ. She enjoys sharing true life messages that relate to the complex lives of every day women and leaves them feeling equipped to be more than conquerors in all their battles. Diane and her husband Todd are the founders of Seven Swans Ministries, an organization devoted to living out the gifts of the Spirit by offering a unique array of services to encourage, edify and expand God’s kingdom. Connect with Diane anytime: Facebook Pinterest – Twitter – Website

Your Vote is Your Voice

leather bible with words

Tomorrow is voting day across the nation.

To many this is a day looked upon with frustration and uncertainty, while others ignore the significance of the day as a whole.

“Why even bother to vote?” some say, feeling powerless to the choices printed on the ballets. “What difference will my vote make anyway?”

Although I understand the vexation they feel, as I read the scriptures of the Old Testament I am reminded of the responsibility we have.

Recently, while reading the book of 2 Kings I found it telling how the Israelites went through seasons of having leaders that served the Lord, and kings that worshiped idols and false gods.

One king in particular, King Manasseh, led his people astray to a deplorable state were they did more evil than all the detestable nations the Lord had already destroyed before them.

During his long reign of 55 years, Manasseh plunged the nation of Judah into it’s darkest era of idolatry. In 2 Kings 21:3 it says “He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he also erected alters to Baal and made an Asherah pole”.

Manasseh rejected the God of his father and instead worshiped Baal and Asherah, two Canaanite gods that represented fertility . . . or the worship of sex.

I can’t help but read these scriptures and feel the eerie sensation of deja vu.

How similar America is to the nation of Judah. Haven’t we forgotten the God of our forefathers that built this country on the foundation of Christian truths? Haven’t we faded into a nation that worships sex and the ability to express it without regard for its sacred origin?

Sadly, we have.

The only difference is the people of Judah did not vote their leaders in. No, they were kings born into the role by royal lineage. They did not have a say on who was next in line, but they did have the ability to choose to follow the ways of the Lord or be lead by lies of their leader.

Sometimes God does not always remove ungodly leaders from their positions, but instead He holds His people to be responsible for requiring their leaders to lead their nation in alignment with the Word of the Lord.

If the Lord held the nation of Judah to this standard, how much more will He hold us since we vote our leaders in?

We have a responsibility as a citizen of not only the nation of the United States, but also as a citizen of the Kingdom of God. He has blessed us with the ability to vote, and that vote is our voice that we are to use to glorify God and uphold His standards.

Perhaps you are struggling with the weight of this responsibility. Maybe you feel conflicted at the difficult task of determining which candidates are more likely to represent and uphold our Christian beliefs.

I completely understand.

But thankfully there are resources to assist us. Take time to do a little research and prayerfully ask God to assist you in using your voice, your vote to bring in leaders that will glorify God.

Here are three links that can offer you assistance in making informed decisions about the candidates based on the stances they take on topics related to the sanctity of life, our religious freedoms, and our christian beliefs. I pray you find them helpful, and feel empowered to do your part as a citizen of this great nation, but more importantly as a representative of Christ.

http://pafamilyvoter.com

http://www.pennlive.com/news/2016/04/your_voters_guide_to_pennsylva.html

http://www.paprolife.org

“Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens.” Exodus 18:21

diane square Diane Swan is a Professional Christian Counselor, Speaker and Blogger who is passionate about using her God given gifts to assist ladies in living victorious lives in Christ. She enjoys sharing true life messages that relate to the complex lives of every day women and leaves them feeling equipped to be more than conquerors in all their battles. Diane and her husband Todd are the founders of Seven Swans Ministries, an organization devoted to living out the gifts of the Spirit by offering a unique array of services to encourage, edify and expand God’s kingdom. Connect with Diane anytime: Facebook Pinterest – Twitter – Website