Archives for December 2012

Prayer & Praise Monday – December 31, 2012

It’s the last day of 2012! Hard to believe…I truly don’t know where the years go! Do you all remember the Y2K bug at the turn of the century? It seems like just yesterday, yet we are well into the second decade of the 21st century!

My 9-year-old nephew was teaching me to play a board game the other day which included trivia questions. He tells me the trivia questions are hard for him but that they will be easy for me because the questions are all from the 1900’s. He made it sounds like the 1900’s were SOOO long ago! Oh boy! Well, time is marching on and today is a great day to reflect on the blessings of the year and to also look ahead to what God may have in store for 2013.

I’d love it if you would join me as we kneel before the Throne of Grace and approach our gracious and Almighty God!

• Praise the Lord with me for the ways God has expanded and multiplied Throne of Grace’s ministry this year. It’s been our best year yet and God has been so faithful to give us the time and energy to keep up with production demands! We have been very blessed by the ways He is using our products to draw people closer to Him. It is a privilege to be a part of this adventure!

• Pray for the Lord’s continuing hand of blessing and protection over the ministry of Throne of Grace. This is HIS business and we pray constantly that we wouldn’t get in the way of what He is doing! Pray for wisdom as we make plans, set production goals, seek additional worker bees to help, and attempt to maintain a godly balance between our ministry and our families, church, and other responsibilities.

• Pray along with us for YOU, our amazing Throne of Grace customers! We meet together and pray for our customers several times a week. We thank God for your love for His Word and for your boldness to want to share it with those He has put in your lives. We pray for continuing opportunities to encourage and strengthen you through this blog and our products, just as we are sharpened in our faith by you.

• Our big prayer request for Throne of Grace for 2013 is that God would pave the way for some of our printing and production to be done on a larger scale to allow for expansion. We are working on making that happen but it has been a slow process and we need to trust the Lord’s leading and His timing.

A few more specific prayer needs…

• Continue praying for the families affected by Hurricane Sandy and those devastated by the Connecticut school shooting. 2013 brings a lot of uncertainty for these people and God continues to lay them upon our hearts. Pray that God would raise up believers to minister to these families’ physical, emotional, and spiritual needs in the name of Christ.

• Pray for Kyle, Tami’s husband, who will be celebrating a birthday on Wednesday. Tami has asked that we pray that his day will be special as they get some extra time off together.

• Please also continue to pray for Tami’s father-in-law, Tommy, who is still having complications following his leg amputation this past September. Last week, doctor’s had to operate yet again to remove more of the bone that was not healing. Tommy’s pain has diminished quite a bit since this last surgery so that is good news! Pray that Tommy would turn to Christ as his source of strength through this difficult recovery.

• Lastly, please pray for the final preparations for our Project Blessing Bags Assembly Day! We’ll be putting together 150 bags of essential items to be able to distribute to the needy here in California and in the areas hit on the East Coast by Hurricane Sandy. If you want to read more about the project, you can read the story HERE. The goods are beginning to pile up in the garage! Here are the boxes of cozy fleece blankets we were able to buy at cost from our local CVS store…

IMG_9423

 Wishing you a wonderful start to the New Year! We would love to be a part of your team of prayer warriors in 2013! Please let us know if you have a prayer need that we could include in our weekly prayer posts by leaving us a comment below or emailing us at:

info[at]throneofgrace[dot]com

 

Blessings,molly

Night of Darkness

Pause.

In the midst of the busyness, pause.

Nativity by candlelight

We all need reminders to slow down and pause – especially 5 days before Christmas! It seems like it gets harder and harder to keep the little baby in the manger at the center of it all. There are many ways to stop and remember the reason for the season, but one of my favorites is the Night of Darkness.

The Night of Darkness is a tradition we created about 3 years ago and I hope the Garibaldis will keep it going for many years to come. It is a very simple, yet meaningful tradition that requires minimal preparation but has left a big impact on our children.

We choose a day in late December before Christmas (usually the 23rd). The essence of the night is that we get to experience a night living at first, only by candlelight, and then later in the evening, by the light of the Christmas tree. Through the course of the night we go through a short family devotional to teach the kids about physical darkness vs. spiritual darkness. This leads to the Christmas story and the fact that God’s gift to us is Jesus – the Light of the World!

Christmas Tree Lights

It’s at this point that the light of the Christmas tree goes on to represent the light of Jesus coming into the world. Though it is still dark, we can see so much more!

We finish the night by getting the kids in their pajamas, grabbing blankets and special animals and loading into the car to drive around and look at neighborhood Christmas light displays.

Kids in Car

It’s a fun night, very memorable, and meaningful too! Just the kind we all need to help us PAUSE and come closer to the manger this Christmas.

To download a PDF version of the Garibaldi Family “Night of Darkness” Devotion – including Bible passages to look at and questions to discuss as a family – click below:

Night of Darkness Devotion

How does your family steal away meaningful moments among the craziness of Christmas? We’d love to hear your fun family traditions! Leave us a comment below and you’ll be entered to win one of our new burlap boards!

 

Burlap Boards

Have a wonderful, blessed, and meaningful Christmas!molly

Prayer & Praise Monday – December 17, 2012

Happy Monday, Prayer Warriors!

I’m working on a new set of prayer cards…this is one of my favorites in the new set (sneak peek!):

“Though the fig tree does not bud
    and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
    and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
    I will be joyful in God my Savior.

The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
    he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
    he enables me to tread on the heights.”
Habakkuk 3:17-19 (NIV)

 

I’ve been thinking so much lately about God’s call to rejoice in all things, even when our circumstances call for sorrow, frustration, fear, anger, hurt, panic, grief, etc. There is certainly a place for all of those emotions, but through Christ we are given the power to rise above our circumstances and choose joy.

This has been a hard weekend for our nation. Whether or not we are personally affected by the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, we can all imagine ourselves in those shoes. We feel the pain and fears rise up within us. We are without words and struggle to find the hope in the midst of such evil. It’s hard to even imagine joy coming out of the pain…

“YET, I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior…”

 

God’s Word promises that He gives us the grace we need, when we need it, to face our circumstances with joy. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10) In doing so, we become light in a dark, dark world. We become hope in a hopeless world.

Let’s pray this for our bothers and sisters in Newtown, Connecticut. They have a difficult task in the days ahead to be Christ’s ambassadors to hurting souls – especially challenging in the midst of their own pain!

Let’s pray for the families of the Sandy Hook victims. May the God of all comfort fill them with His peace and His understanding. Pray that their eyes might be opened to see the tragedy from an eternal perspective and draw closer to the Lord during this time.

A few more requests this week:

• Pray for Christ to be at the center of our hearts this Christmas season! Pray God will give us all wisdom to order our steps each day as we move closer to Christmas  – having discernment to stay committed to that which is God-honoring and discernment to take off the to-do list those things that are simply calendar-fillers! Pray we will all be open to His plan and not hold so tightly to our own! (Can we all say “Amen” ??)

• Please pray for Tami as she awaits the news of her breast biopsy last week. Pray she will continue to feel the Lord’s peace and pray her results will be negative for signs of cancer! Tami is also asking for the Lord to use her husband’s vacation time over Christmas and New Year’s as a time of refreshment for her and Kyle both.

• Pray for the health of Molly’s family. We’ve been battling small colds this weekend but are preparing to travel later this week for Christmas and for the birth of a new baby in the family! Pray for quick healing so we can be strengthened for the busyness of the travel agenda and so that we don’t bring any sickness to the new baby!

We are always so encouraged to hear from our readers who are joining us in prayer. If you are praying with us today, please leave us a comment to let us know! And don’t forget, we’d consider it a privilege to be able to pray with you too! If you have a prayer request or praise report to share for next week, please email us (by Friday at noon, pst) at:

info[at]throneofgrace[dot]com

 

May Christ be your Prince of Peace this week!
Blessings,molly