Holidays (Other), Thanks/Thanksgiving, Top 10

Top 10 Bible Verses on Giving Thanks

Originally published November 20, 2015

Next to Easter and Christmas, there’s no better holiday that Christians could celebrate than Thanksgiving. Scripture reminds us over and over that we have a precious Savior and innumerable blessings to thank God for. Here are ten of my favorite Bible verses about giving thanks. Feel free to share them around on social media. You could also print them out to use in your Thanksgiving decor…

  • As place cards at the dinner table.
  • As tags on goody bags or doggie bags
  • Print out two copies of each, scramble them up face down, and let the kids play “Concentration” or “Memory” with them. (Each player takes turns flipping over two at a time until they find two that match.)
  • Have one person read part of his verse and see who can finish it. Or read the whole verse and see who can guess the reference.

What’s your favorite Bible verse about giving thanks?

1. Psalm 100:4

2. 1 Corinthians 15:57

3. 1 Chronicles 16:8

4. Ephesians 5:20

5. Psalm 69:30

6. Colossians 3:17

7. Psalm 79:13

8. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

9. Psalm 86:12

10. Revelation 7:12

What’s your favorite Bible verse about giving thanks?

Christmas, Holidays (Other)

Have Yourself an Awesome Little Advent 2022: 12 (Mostly FREE) Advent Devotionals, Activities, and Resources

Is your family getting ready for Advent? Loosely defined, Advent is the period of time leading up to Christmas when we commemorate Christ’s first coming and anticipate His second coming. And what better way to do so than by making Bible study and worship part of your family tradition? Here are some awesome Advent resources for young and old alike. Most of them are free, but the ones that aren’t, I’ve marked with a 💰.

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December Advent!– Here’s an advent calendar, craft, and devotional all rolled into one! Naomi’s Table is a women’s Bible study resource that I highly recommend for sound doctrine and right handling of God’s word. Have a listen to their daily Advent podcasts and make the Advent calendar that goes with them!

Need a good Advent playlist? I’ve created one on YouTube. Your favorite Advent (not Christmas) song isn’t included? Leave a comment and I’ll add it if appropriate.

The Coming of the King– “For most of us, Advent is synonymous with Christmas. After all, don’t our Advent calendars count down to December 25th? Isn’t Advent a time to think about the birth of the baby in the manger, the angels and the shepherd? It certainly is. Advent means the coming of the special baby who was laid in a manger in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago. But J.C. Ryle would also remind people of the ‘Second Advent’ when Jesus will come again. On that day, Jesus will return to our world, not as a baby but as the unmistakable King of kings and Lord of lords.” Twenty-five readings for Advent, by J.C. Ryle.💰

The Word Became Flesh– Make this album part of your family worship time, or just enjoy listening as you go about your day. R.C. Sproul narrates nineteen theologically rich, beautifully orchestrated and sung hymns and worship songs. Also available on Amazon Music, Apple Music, and on CD.

Here’s a different kind of Advent calendar that you and your kids can create together. The Names of Jesus Advent Chain is a 25 link paper chain that you create from a free printable. Each day, remove one link, look up the Scripture passage and discuss what that day’s name of Jesus means.

Advent Guide– “I made this 10-day Advent Guide specifically with busy families in mind…I wanted to keep things simple and focused mainly on worship, while also allowing time for a few of the very best Christmas picture books and a couple of fun Christmas traditions. You can start this guide at any time during advent,…and you don’t have to do it every single day in order to get through the whole guide. It only takes ten days.” Poetry, music, art, crafts, recipes, and more! Check out this Advent guide for busy families from Becky Aniol.

Hallelujah: Cultivating Advent Traditions With Handel’s Messiah– Love Handel’s Messiah? How about incorporating it into your observance of Advent? “With Hallelujah: Cultivating Advent Traditions With Handel’s Messiah, Cindy Rollins leads the way in building a rich Advent tradition for you and your family. Inside you will find: weekly Scripture passages, hymns, and poems, daily Messiah listening schedule with background information…Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany recipes…” and more!💰

Are you super crafty? Try your hand at this cozy Advent candle decoration. Here’s a list of materials you’ll need, or just substitute a candle, ornaments, ribbon, play dough, and greenery you have on hand around the house. (If you decide to tackle this one, send me a picture of your creation to share on my social media pages!)

Advent Bible Reading Plan for 20221– How about a family Bible reading plan for Advent? You can find two here, plus some fun facts about the history and tradition of Advent. One of the plans runs December 1-24. The other uses the traditional Advent schedule, this year, November 27 – December 24. You can also get a free, printable Advent banner and the plans in a printable PDF format if you choose to subscribe to the email list of this site.

1(The link above is provided only for the Bible reading plans.)

Names of Jesus Advent Calendar– These lovely cards highlighting the various names of Jesus could be a charming, interactive addition to your family’s Advent traditions. “I was tired of not having a meaningful calendar to use with my family during Advent. So I designed the Names of Jesus Advent calendar. I realized that going through Jesus’ names is a unique and interesting way to teach my kids more about Jesus’ life and character.”💰

The Magnificat– “Is Christmas really that important? Does the story of Christ’s birth really matter? In this sermon on Luke 1:46–55 titled “The Magnificat 1,” Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones preaches of the true significance of Christmas. Christmas is not simply to warm hearts, nor only to produce a cheerful attitude. Christmas is a time when believers in Jesus Christ must magnify the Lord their God. Through an explanation of ‘The Magnificat’ in Luke’s passage, Dr. Lloyd-Jones aids listeners with a rich and theologically profound explanation of Mary’s song of praise upon learning she is pregnant with Jesus.” Listen in to this wonderful three part sermon series by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Come, Lord Jesus– Explore this super Advent devotion with activities that Julie and her husband created for their sons. “…beginning December 1 we set aside time each day to open the pages of Scripture and read about a different person in the lineage of Christ…We also sing a corresponding hymn and listen to a section of Handel’s Messiah. To help tie it all together for young minds we put a tiny object representing each of the people we are reading about in a numbered envelope… Perhaps you too, would like to break through the distracting decorations, shopping sprees, and holiday havoc and join us in celebrating Christ’s first coming by looking forward to His second…” Devos and candles and coloring pages, oh my! (Be sure to click all the headings at the top of the page for all the devotions, materials, and instructions.)

What’s your favorite Advent resource?


1I do not endorse anything on any of these sites that deviates from Scripture or conflicts with my beliefs as outlined in the “Welcome” or “Statement of Faith” tabs at the top of this page.
Holidays (Other), Thanks/Thanksgiving

25 Things I Forgot to Thank God For

Originally published March 13, 2015

I’ve just been in a funk, lately. Nothing out of the ordinary is wrong, but it’s been raining for eleventy two days in a row, and the constant darkness and dreariness seems to have wormed its way into my psyche and, I noticed recently, even into my prayer life.

A couple of days ago, I started out my prayer time with a huge sigh followed by a bunch of wimpering and whining about nothing of consequence. I was just moody. And I didn’t feel like praying.

And then God graciously brought a lovely little snippet of Scripture to my mind:

give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Want to know God’s will for your life? There it is: give thanks in all circumstances. When you get a new car. When you catch your spouse cheating on you. When you’re on a glorious vacation. When you get laid off from work. When you’re happy. When you’re sad. When you’re in the mood, and when you’re not in the mood.

Give thanks in – not necessarily for, but in – all circumstances.

Well, this was certainly a circumstance. Why not give gratitude a try? I was in the car headed to pick up my boys from school, and I decided to spend the entire twenty minute drive just thanking God for things.

I started with the big stuff: salvation, forgiveness for my sin, times when God has miraculously provided, specific answers to prayer…

I was starting to slow down and I still had about half the drive left. Surely there was more to be thankful for! And that’s when it struck me. How often do we forget to thank God for all the (in our eyes) tiny little unnoticed things He does for us every day? We thank Him for the miracles, but what about the mundane? What “little things” had I forgotten to thank God for?

1. Air conditioning. I live in the South. Enough said.

2. I know where my next meal is coming from.

3. Social media and e-mail. I can keep up with far off loved ones, and I’ve “met” some awfully nice people.

4. I can see. I can hear. I can think clearly. I can walk.

5. I live in a country where Christianity is not yet against the law.

6. Sunsets.

7. Cute baby animals.

8. I can read and write. That’s not the case for women, globally.

9. I was able to conceive and carry my children to term.

10. Warm quilts on cold nights.

11. The Bible is available in my native language, and I have several copies of it.

12. I have no fear of suicide bombers in my community.

13. The beach.

14. A crawfish boil with friends.

15. Reliable electricity.

16. Hearing my children sing when they think no one is listening.

17. My husband is a Believer and is good to me.

18. Mountains. I miss mountains.

19. Indoor plumbing and clean drinking water.

20. Laughing hysterically with my family.

21. Level-headed discernment ministries.

22. Peanut butter and chocolate ice cream.

23. A roof over my head.

24. Home schooling.

25. People who are kind (or crazy) enough to read my blog articles all the way to the end.

Well, that was my list, and I think I’ll keep looking for things to add to it. Thanking God for the “little things,” realizing they might be big things to others, and recognizing the pervasiveness of God’s blessings and provision cheered me up and was truly a worship experience.

What kinds of things would you put on your list?

Complementarianism, Rock Your Role

Are Female Bloggers Violating Scripture by “Teaching” Men?

“You say that women shouldn’t teach men (1 Timothy 2:12), but what about men who read your blog? Aren’t you teaching them?”

It’s the canard that will not die. Complementarian women bloggers, authors, and content creators are frequently asked this question, often by dissenters looking for a “gotcha” moment. Other times it’s a genuine concern from Christian women who want to write but still be in obedience to God’s Word as it speaks to the role of women. But, whatever the motivation for asking, it’s a great question that needs to be answered. Biblically.

It is true that God has ordained different roles for Christian men and women. Both roles are needed and important, but different. Part of the role for women is outlined in 1 Timothy 2:11-15. Women are not to preach to or teach men in the gathering of the church or hold other positions of authority over men in the church body.

But notice that key phrase “in the church.” The context of all of the passages dealing with women refraining from teaching men refers to the teaching of God’s Word in the gathering together of the body of believers.

That’s not the same thing as blogging in the public square. The gathering of the church body might take place within the four walls of a church building, at a park for a Resurrection Day sunrise service, at a Christian conference, at a chapel service at a Christian college or seminary, at a Bible study in someone’s home, or a myriad of other venues, but it’s just that – a physical gathering together of the body of Christ for the purpose of worship, studying the Word, sitting under the preaching of the Word, observing the ordinances, prayer, practicing the “one anothers,” and other “churchy” things.

You’re reading this blog right now. Are you practicing the “one anothers” with anyone? Is anyone standing in front of you preaching the Word? Are you actively worshiping? Do you see an offering being taken up? Baptism? Communion? Prayer? Do you consider yourself to be attending church right now? Of course not. You’re staring at a screen reading an article. This is a blog. Not the gathering of the church.

The Greek word for “church” in the New Testament is ἐκκλησία, or ekklesia. It literally means a gathering or assembly. No gathering, no church.1 And because of that, women bloggers and other content creators aren’t violating the Scriptures that prohibit them from teaching men in the gathering of the church. (And, by the way, this all applies to women on social media, too. That’s not the gathering of the church either, praise the Lord.)

When I explain this biblical distinction to the “gotcha” folks, the pushback (that’s a polite word for it) I often get is, “You’re just hypocritically splitting hairs and doing hermeneutical gymnastics to justify yourself!”. No, you’re just conflating things the Bible clearly distinguishes from one another.

Think of it this way: If I say that all sexual activity outside of marriage is sinful, but I joyfully fulfill my marital duty to my husband, am I a hypocrite? Am I splitting hairs or doing hermeneutical gymnastics? No. Because there are right and wrong contexts for sexual activity just like there are right and wrong contexts for women teaching the Bible, writing on biblical topics, and so on. The Bible has defined categories and contexts. The Bible draws lines of distinction. Conflating a biblical “do” with a biblical “don’t”? That’s what’s unbiblical.

But let’s consider something else, too. Even though Scripture doesn’t require it, most godly, doctrinally sound women bloggers and online content creators – including me – aim our content primarily at Christian women. I have set up parameters for my blog (and my book, when it was in print) and for my ministry to do everything I can to place myself under the umbrella of 1 Timothy 2:12. Look at the title of this page and my Facebook page. It specifically says “Discipleship for Christian Women“. My book was always labeled and marketed as a women’s Bible study. If you’ll take a look at the “Welcome” tab at the top of this page, you’ll see I explicitly say that this blog is for Christian women and that I’m a complementarian. When I address the readers of this blog I nearly always address them as “ladies,” both because my target audience is women, and also to remind the handful of men who follow me that they are not my audience; they are, in a sense, “eavesdropping” on what I’m saying to women. My speaking engagements are for women only. I ask men not to use my Bible studies. I’m not really sure what more I need to do to make it clear that my blog and my ministry are for women, not men.

Don’t men bear any responsibility here? Why should the entire burden for women not “teaching” men fall on the shoulders of women bloggers and content creators? Why don’t the Christian men who are ostensibly so concerned about men consuming content from women address the men who are reading our blogs and following our platforms?

But sometimes these “gotcha guys” – who often have ulterior motives of undermining complementarianism – will visit my blog, claim to have learned something, and then turn around and attack me as a hypocrite for “teaching” them. This is akin to a man listening at the door of a women’s Sunday school class, then bursting in and saying, “Aha! You taught a man.” To those men, I would ask a simple question- If a female blogger puts a fence around her blog and you jump over it and trespass on her property, how is she the one at fault?

Along with Christian women, Christian men ought also to be obedient to 1 Timothy 2:12 by not seeking out female content creators for biblical instruction for themselves. While I welcome male readers – especially those who are vetting me for their wives and daughters or the women of their church, or to gain a better understanding of the issues affecting Christian women in order to lead and shepherd them better – I do not want men seeking me out for personal biblical instruction. All of my readers should look to the doctrinally sound teaching of their pastors and elders for biblical instruction. For women, my blog should only be a leisure time supplement to their sermons and classes at church.

Being a godly female blogger or content creator can be a tightrope walk. All of us have fallen off from time to time, and in those cases we ask that you extend us grace and forgiveness, knowing that we didn’t do it intentionally or rebelliously. Praise God for the “net” of God’s mercy and cleansing that catches us and puts us right back up on that tightrope so we can encourage and build up the lovely Christian ladies in our audience. You mean so much to each of us. We love you and want you to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. That’s why we do what we do.


1This is why it is impossible to “attend church” by watching an online church service. You are not “attending church” online, you are watching other people attend church.

This article is an updated and revamped version of the original article by the same title, published on October 23, 2015.


Additional Resources

Rock Your Role – a series examining the Scriptures governing the biblical role of women in the church

Rock Your Role FAQs

Sisters Are Part of the Family of God, Too!

Women Preaching the Gospel? at A Word Fitly Spoken (on the issue of conflation)

Doctrinally Sound Teachers

Doctrinally Sound Christian Men to Follow – 3

Sometimes we ladies fall for the mindset that if we’re going to pick up a Bible study book, read a blog, or listen to Bible teaching, it has to be from a female author or teacher. Not so! There are a lot of fantastic, doctrinally sound, male Bible teachers, pastors, and writers out there – far more males than females, actually – and you’ll really be missing out if you limit yourself to women teachers and writers.

I’ve recommended lots of my favorite doctrinally sound teachers at the Recommended Bible Teachers tab in the blue menu bar at the top of this page. Here are some more; and these lists are by no means exhaustive!

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Don’t take my (or anyone else’s) word for it that any ministry, podcast, book, or blog is biblical in its doctrine. You MUST do the work of comparing with Scripture everything you read and hear. If it doesn’t match up with God’s word (in context), chuck it.

 A.W. Pink – “Biographer Iain Murray observes of Pink, ‘the widespread circulation of his writings after his death made him one of the most influential evangelical authors in the second half of the twentieth century.’ His writing sparked a revival of expository preaching and focused readers’ hearts on biblical living.” Pink pastored churches in Britain, Australia, and across the United States. During that time (1922-1953), Pink published a monthly magazine, Studies in the Scriptures. Each edition contained several articles expositing Scripture. He also authored scads of pamphlets and books on a number of theological topics. Perhaps two of his best known books are The Attributes of God and The Sovereignty of God. These, and many other works by Pink are available for purchase or can be read free online.  Facebook 

Tom Ascol – Tom has served as pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Florida for over thirty years and has taught theology courses at several seminaries. He is one of the founders, and current executive director of Founders Ministries, the president of the Institute of Public Theology, and a popular author, conference speaker, podcaster, journal contributor, and blogger. I am especially grateful for Tom’s strident efforts in the grassroots movement to bring back biblical and doctrinal fidelity in the Southern Baptist Convention. Check out Tom’s booksread one of his excellent articles, listen to his sermons, or subscribe to The Sword and the Trowel podcast.  Facebook  Twitter Instagram

Allen Nelson – Better known as “Cuatro” to his friends (because he’s Allen Nelson IV), Allen has a deep and abiding passion for the local church, and pastors Perryville Second Baptist Church in Perryville, Arkansas. You might recall reading reviews here on the blog of Allen’s books From Death to Life: How Salvation Works and Before the Throne. Both are well written and helpful, and you’ll want to get a copy of each if you haven’t already. Allen is also contributing writer and roundtable member of the Things Above Us blog and podcast, and is a regular contributor to Servants and Heralds. And don’t forget to check out his sermons, too!  Facebook  Twitter

James White – An expert in apologetics, textual criticism, and theology, “James White is the director of Alpha and Omega Ministries….He is Professor of Church History and Apologetics at Grace Bible Theological Seminary….He has authored or contributed to more than twenty four books…He is Pastor/Elder of Apologia Church in Arizona.” Following Dr. White is almost the equivalent of getting a graduate degree from an elite, doctrinally sound seminary. Check out Dr. White’s many books and debates, his blog, and The Dividing Line webcast (also on iTunes).  Facebook  Twitter  

(Note: Dr. White maintains a personal friendship and, in the past, occasional ministerial connections with Dr. Michael Brown, who, although doctrinally sound in many areas of his theology, has become a safe haven for the worst of the worst New Apostolic Reformation heretics. To my knowledge, Dr. White does not endorse this behavior of Dr. Brown, and certainly does not endorse NAR heresy. It is my understanding that he has attempted to correct Dr. Brown’s errors multiple times. I strongly discourage you from following Dr. Brown.)

Darrell Harrison – “Darrell B. Harrison serves as Dean of Social Media at Grace to You, the bible-teaching ministry of John MacArthur…Darrell has a blog called Just Thinking . . . for Myself…and is the lead host of the Just Thinking podcast, one of the top-ranked Christian podcasts in America…Darrell is currently in the final phase of becoming certified as a biblical counselor with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).” You can read more from Darrell at his G3 Ministries blog. Darrell is also a beloved author, conference speaker, and all around nice guy. Facebook  Twitter Instagram

Tom Buck – Tom’s no nonsense quips and keen insight into the current affairs of Southern Baptist life have made him something of a legend on Twitter, but Tom is first and foremost a pastor, and has served as senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Lindale, Texas, for over 15 years. Tom is also the Director of G3 Expository Preaching Workshops, training pastors to become better preachers. Listen to Tom’s sermons online or on iTunes. Follow Tom’s blog, Vessels of Honor, at the G3 Ministries website.  Facebook Twitter

Costi Hinn – Costi is the Pastor of Preaching & Teaching at Shepherd’s House Bible Church in Chandler, Arizona. He is the author of several phenomenal books (one of which I had the pleasure of writing an endorsement for). Though not one to capitalize on the family name, much of Costi’s background and expertise that uniquely qualify him to address the blight of the prosperity gospel and New Apostolic Reformation, stem from his personal experiences as nephew and ministry assistant of NAR faith healer Benny Hinn, and his zeal for sound biblical doctrine is contagious. Check out all of Costi’s blog articles, videos, and his podcast at For the Gospel.  Facebook  Twitter Instagram

Jerry Bridges – Jerry Bridges spent most of his professional career in parachurch ministry, serving in a variety of positions and capacities with The Navigators. He is remembered for his clear and easy to grasp writing style which has endeared to the hearts of millions his books The Pursuit of HolinessThe Practice of GodlinessTrusting God, and over twenty others dealing with topics in theology and discipleship. Get a list (with links) of all of Jerry’s books, listen to his sermons, talks, and interviews here and here, and watch his videos on YouTube.  Twitter

Mike Riccardi – “Mike Riccardi serves as the Pastor of Local Outreach Ministries at Grace Community Church, which includes overseeing Fundamentals of the Faith classes, eight foreign language outreach Bible studies, and evangelism in nearby jails, rehab centers, and in the local neighborhood…He also serves as Assistant Professor of Theology [at The Master’s Seminary]. He has the privilege of serving alongside Phil Johnson as co-pastor of the GraceLife fellowship group at Grace Church.” Check out Mike’s sermons, his books, his articles at the TMS blog and his videos on YouTube. Facebook Twitter

Martyn Lloyd-Jones – “David Martyn Lloyd-Jones was a Welsh Protestant minister, preacher and medical doctor who was influential in the Reformed wing of the British evangelical movement in the 20th century. For almost 30 years, he was the minister of Westminster Chapel in London… Lloyd-Jones was well known for his style of expository preaching, and the Sunday morning and evening meetings at which he officiated drew crowds of several thousand, as did the Friday evening Bible studies.” Listen to Dr. Lloyd-Jones’ many fine sermons (or download the app), or purchase his books. You might also wish to watch the excellent documentary Logic on Fire: The Life and Legacy of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Facebook


You can always find these – and more great Christian men and women to follow – at the Recommended Bible Teachers tab in the blue menu bar at the top of this page.