Giving Thanks

I love Thanksgiving!

I love this holiday because it is the perfect opportunity to fellowship with family and friends without all of the commercialization that have become associated with other holidays. There is no pretense to Thanksgiving, no fake anythings. You just go and visit, eat and fellowship, live and love one another.

I give thanks not only for my God, my family and my everyday friends, but also for my bloggy friends, many of whom I have never met. I give thanks for you. You take time out of your busy schedule to come see what the Lord has laid on my heart. Thank you.

I recently looked at the statistics behind my site and I have so many people visiting from other countries that it amazes me. It’s God that has done this thing. No one else. So, I give thanks with a grateful heart.

Even within the US, where I am located, so many of you visit with me and send me emails or either post a comment here. Thank you. You encourage me to press on – particularly on those mornings when I’d much rather hit the snooze alarm or on those nights when I would much rather sit on the couch and relax after a long day.

I like blogging and give God thanks for His gift which is developing within me. I like sharing the message of the gospel and the hope of the life available to all when lived according to His ways. I thank God that He is not a taskmaster but instead, He is a gracious and loving God. I thank God for being exactly who He is! Amazing – Awesome – life changing.

I still don’t know why He loves me, but I thank Him that He does.

I don’t know why He has blessed me with YOU, but I thank Him that He has.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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Give Me a Reason

Oft times we want a reason. We say to others “give me a reason why I should xyz.” We also point this question to God in the midst of our frustrations. We say “give me a reason why I should continue to follow You.” I know you may not admit to this. But, it’s okay. I know it to be true for some.

I know that following Christ can be difficult at times, especially when our flesh would much desire to be doing something else. I know that to take up our cross daily and bear the weight of it all seems a daunting task at times. I know. And, I sympathize with you. But, I cannot let you off the hook.

If I look around, I can see many people seeming to prosper in the things that I lack and am waiting on God to grant me. But, I’m no fool. God never called me to compare myself with others. The enemy wants me to focus on what they have and what I lack. But, God has already told me that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am unique because I am His workmanship. My path is different – everyone’s path is different and uniquely theirs. That’s what makes it their story.

So, I know what it is to look around and be tempted to compare but we have to resist that temptation. I cannot let you off the hook. We have to persevere in Christ. You want a reason to keep the faith, pick any of these:

1. There is no greater reward than Heaven
2. As Christians, we belong to Him
3. In belonging to Him, we are to obey His commands
4. He knows best for our lives and has left instructions for us to live abundantly
5. He is God. He doesn’t have to explain Himself to us.
6. He has sent us a Comforter
7. He is a very present help
8. He is a wonderful counselor and friend
9. He is the Great I AM
10. He foresees.

I really could have stopped with five – He is God. We don’t question Him. We obey Him. So, He does not have to give us a reason. We need to supply ourselves with reasons found in the Bible.

Why do we press on? Because of His sacrifice.
Why do we press on? Because He is our example.
Why do we press on? Because of His great love for us.
Why do we press on? Because He is our Father.

I press on because at the end of my race, I want to hear , well done. I press on because in doing so, I develop a track record with God. And, as result, my faith increases.

And, that’s the key. When our faith develops strong and mighty, we no longer have to ask God for a reason for anything. We just trust Him.

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Great Jesus!

So, I’ve been listening to my new Kurt Carr CD. I’ve got to say that there are some songs on this collection that I really LOVE. The one that I’m currently hooked on is on the second CD, and it’s called: Great Jesus.
Oh how I love that song!
I love it because it reminds me of how much I do NOT deserve the blessings that I receive. I reminds me of His great and enduring love for me. It places me in the present reality of how unworthy I am and in that stark realization, I come to see how much more He deserves my worship and praise.
He is my great Jesus.
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Read the Word

I got an email the other day and it made me think. The point the writer was expressing was a simple but profound one. Here it is:

Why is it that we question the Bible, but we will readily accept what we read in newspapers?

Interesting huh?

Political pundits, opinion editors, bloggers, newspaper staff, authors, book publishers and those in similar professions and trades would not have a job if no one read what they wrote. Yet, some people, who identify themselves as Christians, will pick up a daily newspaper and read it in its entirety but will also only pick up their Bibles on their way to church – if then – and will only read it when the passage for the sermon goes forth. They don’t read their Bibles during the week but they will not miss an edition of the newspaper.

Interesting huh?

How can we know how to live holy if we never pick up the Manual? How can we know about the One that we serve if we never read His letters to us? How can we be proficient but never study the Book? How can we pass over into eternity having never spent real quality time building a relationship with Him?

Interesting huh?

Being a blogger, I love it when you stop by. I especially love to see my readership growing. It makes me feel pretty good. I feel especially good when you leave a comment. But, I’m just me. I’m just flesh. And, well, I don’t have much to offer. I try to be a vessel for God’s use but sometimes I fall short. Imagine how God would feel if you stopped by and read His Word – daily. Imagine how He would feel to see the readership of the Bible growing. I think He’d feel pretty good! And, He’s God. He has everything to offer!!!

So, thanks for stopping by today. Pick up your Bible and read it today – read it again if you’ve read it already. And then, if you wanna, let me know what you read. Who knows – we may be reading the same thing!

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Warm Hearts

Everyone has issues that have to be addressed in their lives. Everyone has their own road to walk, their own hill to climb.

But, once you are on the road, you will encounter various circumstances and situations. And, how you handle then depends on the condition of your heart and the level of your faith.

If your heart is cold, then you will treat people the same way. If your heart is warm, then you will exhibit Christian characteristics toward them and treat them with kindness. Everyone arrives at a place where they have the option of loving others with the love of Christ. We have an option to be kind, one-to-another. It’s a matter of Christian maturity. When we reach a certain level of maturity, on our road, we are able to treat each other kindly.

How we treat one another also depends on our level of faith. We can be kind-hearted but if we believe that someone has treated us unjustly, we may try to exact our own revenge or we may put up a wall against that person. We, as Christians, shouldn’t do this. We have to exhibit the love of God. We can do this by believing His Word which tells us that vengeance belongs to Him alone. So, we have to have faith in knowing that His Word is true and that we don’t need to strike out against any one, but instead to trust in the Only One.

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Pay Attention to It

A new day…
A new start …

You wiped away my tears…

A new day…
A new start …

I can’t get this song out of my head. I wish I could tell you the artist, but unfortunately, that’s not sticking in my head.

Have you ever experienced this? Something just keeping running around and around in your head. It’s like there is a repeat button for this image or song or thought that keeps looping.

When this happens to me, (like today – like the beginning of this post) I try to think about the ultimate meaning. I try to find out if there is a message in this for me – and if so, what will I do about it.

I think it’s important to pay attention to the things on our minds. (I know, that sounds funny). But, you know what I mean. We have to pay attention to what’s trying to get our attention. (That sounds better) For in paying attention to what’s trying to get our attention, we know how to respond.

So, don’t discount the things in your mind when something starts reoccuring. It may just need your prompt attention. It may just be a message or an answer that you’ve been waiting for!

Have a great weekend!

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Navigate Your Way to Him

Have you ever gotten really pumped up about something?

I mean, really super duper excited…ready to explode with joy?

Have you ever felt like you were walking on air – like gravity didn’t know your name or how to find you? Like nothing could hold you down?
And then reality struck and struck hard? No more floating on the clouds. No more super duper excitement. No more nothing.

Have you ever been disillusioned? Lots of doom and gloom in your emotional weather forecast.

Well, let me tell you, I’ve been down that street too. And, if you are lost on the disappointment highway, I’ve got a roadmap for you to get you back on the street called Straight that will take you to the highway to Heaven.
First, get your GPS out. That’s your Word of God.

Plug it in to power it up. That means, yes, you do have to open the Bible and read it to know what’s in it. Just because you go to church does not mean that you know what’s in the Bible – especially the portions that are waiting to be read just by you.

Now, that you are plugged in to your power source, key in your current address. That is – tell God about your problem. Tell Him what sucked the wind out of your balloon. Tell Him what has stolen your joy.

Wait for the instructions ….

Here they are…step one, turn to Psalm 42:5-6
Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.

Follow this for a few miles until you hear another prompt…

Oh, here’s one now…step two, turn to Proverbs 28:13
He who conceals his sins does not prosper; but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.

Tell God everything. He already knows but He wants you to confess it – yes, even that…

Follow this for a few more miles until you hear another prompt…
Oh yes, here’s another one…step three, turn to 2 Corinthians 4:8-9
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

It’s all about perspective, trust, obedience – FAITH. Times will get hard – everyday is not an easy day. But, with God you can make it! Believe this!

Now, if you look up, you will see the signs for the highway to Heaven.

Stop holding your head down. You have to look to Him to see which way to go. And, He is not dwelling around at the top of your sneakers or in the dirt. He is God. Look up to Him – not in a proud or boastful way, but in an expectant way because He has what you need for life and liberty. Besides, how are you ever going to see with your head in the ground?

Each path is unique from this point and nobody gets there the exact same way. But, be encouraged to know that even when you lose your way, get knocked off the path or simply give up on finding the way, you always have a GPS system at-the-ready that will lead you back to God – the Holy Bible.

So, don’t fret when you get turned around on your journey or when something comes along to attempt to steal your joy and drain your excitement. Look to your Heavenly Father and His gift (the Bible – basic instructions before leaving earth) and He will get you back on the right path.
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The Right Perspective

Hey! I’m back from PT. This time, it wasn’t so bad.

Now, on to the good stuff. Bible Study last night.

Pastor talked about a lot of good things but the one thing that sticks with me today is the perspective that we have on things. We discussed how you may get a bad report from your doctor or even from your job or a myriad of other places – no matter what, you get some bad news.

At that point, once you’ve heard the news, you have a choice. You can either go down in defeat or trust in God.

I never really thought about limiting my choices. You know I like options! But, if I limit my choices to just those two things – having a defeatist mentality or having a trusting-in-the-Lord-no-matter-what mentality, then guess which one I’m going to choose?

Now, this is easier said than done. Not too long ago I got some rather interesting news myself. But, praise be to God, everything is working out. I refuse to believe that my faith has to bow down to any bad news. How about you?

It’s when we go through that our faith needs to shine through us. That makes sense doesn’t it?

Feeling blue? – let your faith shine through! (Hey, I like that – the Lord just gave it to me!)

Anyway, I guess the whole point of this blog post today is to encourage you to keep the faith. Have more than a little trust in Jesus. He is bigger than your circumstances and obstacles. Afterall, when those winds and waves were beating those disciplines on that boat – Who came out walking on the water – none other than Jesus – demonstrating that He is Lord over everything. (God gave that to my Pastor to give to us last night!) So, cling to the One that knows how to really control your life and it’s issues. If God tells you to move on something or to go somewhere – just do it. He’s in control.

Following God is not a difficult thing to do when you just do it. Get the right perspective!

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A New Thing

What’s going on bloggy friends? It’s Tuesday and I have to say that I woke up with a headache. But, it’s all good. Gives me something else to pray to God about. Yesterday, I reluctantly closed a chapter in my life. I did so believing this decision to be the will of God. And, though I don’t know what the future may hold for me, I do know that God is in control of everything concerning me. So, onward I go – more pressing towards the mark of the high calling…well, you know.

I purchased a new journal too. The old one – scarcely used like I originally intended, is now waiting to go to Journal Heaven – with all the rest of my journals throughout the years. I usually get a new journal at the beginning of each year, but this time, the change has come in November. Change has come to America, so why should my journal be excluded?

I believe God is about to do a new thing. I believe that personally and nationally. I believe not only will it happen to me, but it will also happen to you. It already is. For each day represents a new opportunity to be better for the Lord.

Here’s to new days – new beginnings and new chapters!

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Love ’em? Tell ’em.

If you love someone, you should tell them.

I have oft times been afraid to let people inside. I have been the victim of senseless hurt. And, as a result, instead of clinging to my Jesus, I clung to my wounds – fearful of letting anyone else inside, just in case they might hurt me too.

But, then one day, it really, really happened. I fell deeply in love – quick too. But, the problem was that I couldn’t communicate it. I hid my love behind a wall, only letting small portions out at a time.

Okay, let me rephrase – only letting itsy, bitsy, portions out at a time. The end result was when I was ready to let my burning love flow like a river – the relationship was over. Go figure. That was years ago and I can still remember my shock – and the ocean of tears that followed. So, what have I done since then?

Well, honestly, I built another wall – only this one was stronger, more sturdy, made of the finest “keep-folks-out” fear-harboring material I could find with a “built to last for eternity” guarantee. This was the wrong move.

Okay, let me rephrase – DON’T DO THAT! It’s the wrong thing to do.

I’m not saying pour your heart out without regard for the consequences. Afterall, the Bible says to guard our heart with all diligence. I am saying that when you venture out to love someone, let them know. There’s nothing sweeter than an “I love you” from someone that you care about.

Don’t let fear govern your life. Let God rule it. Build your relationship with God and He will certainly make sure that your heart is protected. No need for a strong wall, as specified above. I’m tearing mine down – and as I do, I’m sifting through all of the time and energy wasted in the false hope of protection.

I don’t want you to have to sift through the rubble. So, if there is someone that you love today, stop reading this blog and go tell them.

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