A Heart Full of Thanks

13 11 2013

DSC03513

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.  I Thessalonians 5:18

Approaching life through the powerful lens of gratefulness is a blessed way to view our lives.  We have so much to thank God for.  We sometimes take for granted the many blessings that keep us through the night, that wake us up each morning and to start each day.  Blessings great and small are extended to us throughout our lives.  No matter what we are experiencing, we have something that we can be thankful for.  In fact, when we are struggling to find that “something”, it is a good time to turn our thoughts to gratitude.  Redirecting our focus from our problems to God’s blessings has a way of transforming our mindset from concerns and worries toward having faith. Gratitude is a state of our heart that recognizes God’s grace and His merciful love in our lives.  Being thankful is a daily practice and a blessed approach to living.   It is hard to think of God’s goodness to us, past and present and not be thankful. God promises to provide for our needs as we walk and trust in Him.  Keeping a heart full of thanks blesses us along the journey.





He Renews My Strength

12 11 2013

DSC04254

He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to His name. Psalm 23:3 NLT

The Lord provides strength when we need it. I am so thankful for this promise and blessing that has come to my rescue so many times. Weariness in body and spirit is often a sign for the need for rest. For many, we carry a super hero façade, pushing our minds and bodies to meet every obligation. Then there are days when our super hero cape feels a little frayed and tattered at the edges. These are signs that we need rest and renewal. We may need planned time to rest, exercise, meditate and spend time talking with our Heavenly Father. I am thankful that God gives us rest; real rest that allows your body to heal and recover from the stressful and busy lives that we lead. I am thankful that He blesses us with a renewed outlook with fresh eyes for His vision for our lives and our walk with Him. His Holy Spirit is a guiding force for our steps and the way we should go. His leading points us in the direction of our blessed purpose. He provides the renewed strength along the journey that allows us to reach our destination. And we are thankful.





He is Able

8 11 2013

Eagles Nest View

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV

We serve a God who created the earth and the heavens. He is powerful, loving and merciful. We are so thankful for the Gift of His Son Jesus Christ who allows us to be in relationship with Him. We may have prayers and petitions before the Lord. They may be needs and desires that we have no idea how they will be accomplished. Once we put our petitions before the Lord, we can have confidence that He has heard our cry and that He is working our prayers together for our good. You may be praying for things regarding healing, deliverance or salvation for those you love. You may be seeking transformation to take place in our hearts and minds so that we can reach our goals and to be used more of the Lord. Whatever you are seeking, our passage is a reminder that He is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine. What a blessing to see the work of His hands working in our lives. Better Health, better devotion and attention to our God –given assignments. He is well able do more than we can ask or think. His response will amaze us and we are thankful.

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
Glory to God in the church!
Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!
Glory down all the generations!
Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!
Ephesians 3:20-21 MSG





Wherever We Are

7 11 2013

IMG_0136

So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. But his father said to the servants, Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found. St. Luke 15 20-24

 

At different junctures in my life, I have found myself in places or situations where I knew in my heart I did not belong. I am so thankful for God’s mercy and love that even when we are running from what we know to be true as soon as we acknowledge and turn to Him, He is there with open arms. Some of us are initially runners – think about Jonah or the parable of the Prodigal’s son, which applies to many of us in some way. But even if we find ourselves in the belly of a whale or eating with swine, God’s love for us is extended to us wherever we are. I have heard so many stories where people feel disconnected from God. They felt their circumstances were too hard, or too bad for God to handle or to accept. But as soon as they took a step of faith toward Him and turned their hearts toward Him, God’s a transformation began that reflected His Holy will for our lives. Wherever you are on the journey – God is available to provide peace, healing and deliverance once we turn our hearts and our will to Him. We can take a step of faith today toward Him. He is waiting with open arms.





All that I Need

6 11 2013

DSC03860

 

The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. Psalms 23:1

 

This verse is familiar with a powerful message for His children.  It is worthy of our meditation and our full comprehension of His role as the Good Shepherd.  He provides for all of our spiritual and natural needs. Food, shelter, safety, peace, deliverance, comfort, healing and joy are all available from the Savior.  He is my Shepherd; I have all that I need. My provisions are met.  What is required for me to achieve my purpose is available to me.  This is a state of abundance and a promise that we should hide in our heart and inhabit our thinking.   Where I am right now with what I have right now is enough.  The Shepherd, our Savior, is leading. His grace for me is sufficient.  He is preparing me at each juncture for the next step ahead.  The Shepherd provides for all of my needs.  I lack nothing, as I follow Him.   And I am thankful.

 

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Psalms 23





Follow the Leader

5 11 2013

IMG_2084

 

The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need. Psalms 23:1 NLT

 

I am so thankful for our Leader, our Shepherd, Jesus Christ. He is our Savior and our guide for every aspect of our lives. A Shepherd is a gentle and effective Director for those who hear His voice and will follow His command. We are thankful for His love for us that guides us into our purpose in Him. His guiding Holy Spirit is for all of His followers. His guidebook is His Word that provides instruction and wisdom for our daily living. We thank God for each direction given in love. We are so thankful for His grace that has given us this day to continue on the journey. We are walking in purpose. We are following our Leader who is leading us into a blessed life that He has created for us. And we are thankful.

The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the LORD forever.
Psalms 23 NLT





November

4 11 2013

Backyard Fall Bloom

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

 

A little less than two months are left in the year and a chance to revisit the “to do” list for what we wanted to accomplish in 2013. Most of us have a list whether it is written down or if we have kept a running mental tally in our head. My list had an itemized outline about how I was going to move forward in my health, relationships, career and my spiritual life. Some things I was able to check off while others still remain prominently on the list. So at the 11th hour or in the 11th month, I review the list to see what is still doable. I have some work to do. Maybe you have a few items left on your list too. Thankfully if there are not things we can fully accomplish, there may be a way to move it to the next level. Maybe we can do the research for the project we wanted to start or maybe you can find out what it really takes to enroll in the class we wanted to take. It might be a good time to reach out to a loved one for reconciliation that should not drag on into the next year. We can ask God for the strength and direction to move where He is leading. I am so thankful for God’s blessings. He provides mercy and grace and the opportunity to move things forward. Thankfully, there is a little more time for the “to do” list for this year.