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Dreading this year's Holiday Season? Set the atmosphere for a harmonious family gathering.

Updated: Nov 22

family together having thanksgiving
Happy family gathering

The holiday season is approaching, and some are dreading this year's family gathering. Many are contemplating an escape plan, hoping to avoid running into a particular family member they had a fallout with at the last holiday dinner. What was it, Trump or Biden, the conversation starter that whirlwind into not-so-nice superlatives? Maybe this year is just another year of your absence. Let's look back. Was it you who turned over the table because everybody laughed at your sweet potato hash? Could it have been you who was spreading rumors about your cousin's strange girlfriend? Was it you questioning your brother's new car purchase? No, maybe it was you who promised to bring the turkey and decided not to get it and didn't tell anyone. Your answer could be no to all of the above, but you can play a part in the solution to this year's holiday event. Here are a few ideas to try.

Have you ever thought by starting with yourself can change the atmosphere at the dinner table this year? While everybody's stuck in a rut, you can be the one that brings fun and laughter. You can be the one that cuts the tension in the room when a certain person arrives. Try this: You can be the first person to confess your wrongdoings. What? "I didn't do anything," you say? We've all done or said something knowingly and unknowingly. Pray and ask the Lord. I'm sure that he will reveal it to you. Do it and sit back and watch. Others will join in. Confession leads to forgiveness and healing. Let's wipe the slate clean this 2023 holiday season with forgiveness.

1 John 1:9 – If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

James 5:16 - Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

Here's the last idea: Incorporate Jesus in your family gathering. He is the reason for the Christmas season. In the last chapter of the book of Joshua, he gathered all the tribes of Israel, and they presented themselves before God. He spoke the word of the Lord. The Lord gave them a rundown of what they went through and how He brought them out. During hard times, they got together and cried out, even though many of their circumstances were due to their choice not to listen and obey the voice of the Lord. But God answered their cry! He brought them out of the land of Egypt and gave them land for which they did not labor and cities which they did not build and to dwell in them. They could eat from the vineyards and olive groves, which they did not plant. Then the Lord commanded them to Fear and Serve Him! Joshua told them that they needed to remove the gods of their fathers. Today, that can also mean idols or anything that we put before God. During the holidays, it is essential to leave the cares of this world and look at the many blessings that God has given us. There is power in unity in marriage and family. Finally, Joshua said it best to the tribes of Israel.

Joshua 24:15(NKJV) And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!

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