Friday, December 25, 2015

Believe...He has come!

The angels announced the good news of a Savior..."I bring you good news that will cause great JOY for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the messiah, the Lord." (Luke 2:10-11)

Great JOY for all the people...

Christ is JOY!


Believe and let Him lead us.
Believe and trust His plan for us.
Believe that He loves us and will not let us fall.
Believe that if we choose Him, we can choose joy.

Listen as Sara sings for us...Emmanuel God with us...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Frankl's!


Monday, December 14, 2015

Advent week 3: JOY

"Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you; now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive and your joy will be complete."    ~John 16:20-24

With Christmas comes so much joy and yet for many, Christmas also brings sorrow. To have joy in trials and suffering is not to deny the pain that comes with it. It is realizing that we can have both. As the verse tells us...with the birth of a child comes pain, but with the birth of the child there  is joy in thinking of what is to come. 

Joy is a choice. 

We can choose to live in an attitude of anger, sorrow and fear or we can choose to pursue the joy of Christ! It starts with trusting in a God who promises He is always with us and loves us! When our focus turns to gratitude, we will find JOY.

As my mom always told us ... "An attitude of gratitude can go a long way."

Pre-order Sara's book, Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts today on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Family Christian.

Have a blessed week!


Monday, December 7, 2015

Advent week 2 -- Peace

Peace be with you! Jesus asks us to receive His peace abundantly and thankfully. When we need peace, we only need to say yes to God's purpose for us.

I am re-posting Sara's thoughts on Peace from September, 2008. Just as with Joy, we need to choose peace...and keep choosing it everyday. :)

Praying your week is filled with His peace.


Peace -- [originally posted 9.25.08]

It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.  ~Anonymous

This quote describes where I'm at most of the time. Don't get me wrong, other than the rowdiness of my dog there's not a lot of noise or trouble happening in my house. I'm talking about the noise in my mind, the trouble in my body and the hard work of keeping moving despite the effort it takes most days.

It's taken me a lot of years to get to a place where I can feel accepting of my life as it is and as it will be. There were so many years of fighting to be who I had imagined I would be at this point in my life. And the fighting turned out to be more exhausting than the accepting. It reminds me of a story I heard at church once about a man who didn't want to die and leave his home and his family. He was sitting on a beach thinking about his life and holding on so tightly that when he died, he had in the palm of his hand sand from the beach on Earth.

The man sat outside of the gates of heaven, but they wouldn't let him inside until he had let go of all he had been clinging to. But he refused to let go of the sand from the beach. It was his connection to his life, his family and his loves. One day he grew weary and decided it was time to move on, so he opened his hands and brushed away the sand he had been holding.

The moment he did this simple gesture he found himself on the beach he loved surrounded by everything he cared about. That was heaven. It was everything he wanted, but before he could have it he had to let go.

I found that experience when I let go of trying to be something I used to be. When I let go of my earthly ideas of who I should be and how I should live, I got everything I really wanted. I have authentic relationships that are based on real connections. I am closer to my family. I have opportunities to be creative and expressive, it just came in a different form than a job. I am loved and respected and cared for and cared about.

What else is there that I could need?

Now, the reality is that the noise and trouble creep in all the time. There are moments when I keep the shades drawn because the sunshine outside is just a reminder that I can't be outside and a part of it. There are those moments when I see myself in a new photograph and am startled that I don't see the same face I always knew... it's a face that's a little swollen and medicated and sick. Sick with a smile, but sick nonetheless. There are moments of watching people dance and longing for the days of being carefree.

But that's where the Peace comes into play. If you read that quote at the top of this post, you notice it doesn't say that peace in your heart wipes out the noise and the trouble and the hard work. It just makes them bearable. It makes them the background noise to everything that's important. And what is important is that God gave me gifts and I used them. And if I don't have those gifts anymore I believe it's because He doesn't have a need for me to use them anymore. But that doesn't stop me from seeing the gifts that remain. The gifts that come from the hard stuff. The gifts that allow me to have peace in my heart while the noise and trouble and hard work rumble on.

I got everything I really wanted, once I let it all go.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Gift

See that picture...

It's a picture of "the book"...

The book that Sara dreamed about sharing with each of you. 
The book with her wisdom, her charm and her wit.
The book that would not have been possible without the gift of Mary Carver (co-author) and Ruth Samsel (agent).
The book that is all about Him and what He can do in your life.

As I sit and write, I think to myself, what would Sara want people to hear? What message would she want people to be left with?

The answer..."It's not about me, It's about Him."

So, as I think about the Christmas season, I also reflect on the meaning and purpose of giving gifts. Christmas is a season for giving gifts. And it’s no wonder that we give gifts to loved ones at this time, since Christmas is really the celebration of God’s Gift to those He loves—His perfect Gift of Jesus to you and me!

So, in this gift giving season, you can make it about Him by giving the gift of Jesus to others. You can be part of His discipleship by sharing Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts. The all about finding hope, purpose and ultimately joy by choosing...choosing Him!

And, since the book isn't officially released until January 5th, you can download a Christmas postcard by clicking on one of the links below. We wouldn't want you to show up empty handed, so a postcard is the next best thing, they'll have to just wait a little longer. :)

Choose Joy Gift Post Card -- Joy to the World
Choose Joy Gift Post Card -- Tidings of Comfort and Joy

May this season of Christmas be a blessed one for each of you and may your 2016 be filled with Joy!



Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Advent -- HOPE

As we begin this advent season, I am reminded of the following post that Sara wrote. A good reminder that because Joseph and Mary said yes to God so many years ago, we have HOPE.

Re-posted from December 13, 2010

“You gotta just try to do every thing you can, when it’s your time to do it.”

I was watching Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, who is from a small Iowa town not far from me, receive the esteemed Medal of Honor for bravery shown in active duty. Sal had told President Obama that he was just doing his job, and following advice he had gotten when he first became a soldier.

During his first tour of duty in Afghanistan, his Team Leader said to him:

“You gotta just try to do everything you can, when it’s your time to do it.”

It struck me as the most profoundly simple statement. And while I’m sure it is essential advice for a battlefield, it also occurred to me it’s advice that works in every circumstance for every person trying to follow in Jesus’ footsteps.

And those of his parents.

I am thinking of Mary, frightened and scared, not knowing what to make of this angel standing before her. But she said yes. She did what she could when it was her time to be asked.

And Joseph. Being asked to marry a woman who was pregnant – and not with his child. He was being asked to sacrifice his life and all he had been taught… and he said yes. He did everything he could when it was his time to be asked.

They did their duty. They traveled for the census to be counted. They continually did the next right thing – not because they were promised riches or status or rewards. They traveled, they suffered in a stable to bring a baby into the world without any idea of how they were going to manage next. But they did everything they could, because it was their time to do it.

I hear the story so many times that I begin to assume they knew what the end result of their sacrifices would be. Sometimes I lull myself into thinking I would have made those sacrifices if it meant the Savior of the world could come to do His work.

But then I remember that Mary and Joseph knew no such thing. They knew no more of their future than we do. They didn’t know Jesus would get lost in a temple. They didn’t know he would turn water into wine and heal the sick and bring sight to the blind. They didn’t know their precious baby boy would be beaten and ridiculed and hung on a cross.

They were simply doing everything they could, when it was their time to do it.

It pierces me. It pierces me to know they simply said yes because it was the right thing to do. It pierces me that I, in this life, have so many chances to say yes. It pierces me that every moment of my life could be my time to do everything I can. I may not change the world, but I might change a life. I might be called with an urging in my spirit, and if I choose not to pay attention and act on it, I might miss my moment.

My time to do what I can.

That’s what I am thinking about this Christmas. I’m always overwhelmed and grateful that Jesus came to this world as a baby to save me – thousands of years later – a simple soul not unlike any other.

But this year, I’m wondering how I can be more like Mary and Joseph. How I can do everything I can… now… when it’s my time to do it.

Will you take that challenge with me? Will you look beyond the celebrations and the wrappings and the carols we hum as we busy about our lives – and pay close attention to the little details in the lives of those around you?

Because you never know when it may be your time to do everything you can.