Update on my October Gratefulness Challenge

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Back in mid-October I challenged both me and you to be more mindful of the things we have to be grateful for every day.  I don’t know about you, but I haven’t always remembered to do this. However, on the days I do the result is that I am more conscious of my many blessings, and I tend to be more content – perhaps even more patient and kind.

Anyway, I want to share an update on some of the things that I have been considering, which may seem random, but are all worth being grateful for.  Things as simple as warm blankets, soft pillows, socks without holes, working vehicles, good weather for raking leaves, front row parking spots, bills paid, and extra to give to others. Playing games/doing puzzles with my mom, any time spent with my husband, children and grandchildren, a good job, time to relax, Sunday and Wednesday services, insightful Bible teaching, faithful friends, yarn & knitting, and music (both peaceful and victory filled).

Of course I could keep going, but I really hope in some way that you are encouraged as you consider your blessings. I pray that you will also find joy in living a gratefulness-mindful life, and that you both know and experience the love that God has for you.

As the hymn by Johnson Oatman, Jr.  in 1897 says:

When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God has done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.

A Challenge to You and Me

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This challenge is as much for me as it is for anyone else. In the busy-ness of daily life, I don’t pause often enough to really be aware of and grateful for all that I have. It’s not just the things, but the people, places, surroundings, and even circumstances.  I mean not just casually, but to really consider those “things’ and how they impact my life, and to take time to really rejoice.

This all started when I was reading Deuteronomy 26, which is a really great scripture on how to present your offerings.  I highly recommend it. My Pastor, George Pearson’s has taught on it’s importance — it’s about being thoughtful, recognizing the goodness of God in providing for us, and presenting our offerings with thankfulness and joy.

Anyway… it “dawned” on me that I should be more mindful not only when giving an offering, but in my every-day life. I think God is pleased and loves it when we think this way because thankful thinking draws us closer to Him. And because by recalling all that He has done, we become more full of faith and receptive to what He wants to do for us now.

So…for the next 6 weeks (or more) I am challenging me and you. Let’s regularly pause to consider the people, relationships, places, surroundings, circumstances and things that we should be grateful for. Pick just a few each day and take a moment to really rejoice over them, and to thank God for them.  Then, follow it up with a quick prayer and ask the Father to minister and provide for someone else who is in need of those things.

For example: Today i am extremely grateful and thankful for words, for the love of God and for being able to share with you. It fills my heart with joy and I am so blessed to share my grateful grace-full life with you. Blessings, dear ones. Oh how He loves you and me!

And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the LORD thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house, thou, and the Levite, and the stranger that is among you.  Deuteronomy 26:11 KJV

Oh how He loves You and Me

Spending time with the Lord I heard him say this, and I pray it will bless you too:

Draw near, don’t hold back! Oh my child do not fear, I am not the accuser,
I am your father. I love you with a perfect, unfailing, everlasting love.
Who you are is very precious to me.
I call you into my presence to spend time with you.
Not to tell you what you’ve done wrong —
but to remind you of what Jesus did to make it right, to make you right in my sight.
I am longing for intimacy, trust, a conversation with you.
I want to tell you how I love you, and how pleased I am
with the good choices you’ve made, and how I have plans for you.
Plans to fill your future. I want to share myself with you,
to overwhelm you and fill you with my love.
There is nothing about you that surprises me, nothing I won’t forgive.
Do not let the lies of the enemy keep you from me.

Jesus prayed these words for those who will believe in him:

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; …  I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
JOHN 17:20 & 23

Faith Sisters

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Faith Sisters – I think all women need them. They are fellow followers of Jesus, women of the Word, of like precious faith – and yet not religious, but very real women! These are women who will answer my call at any time, listen to anything I need to say (without shock or dismay). They will pray, tell me the truth – what the Word says, set me straight when necessary, and encourage me in the faithfulness of God.

I am privileged to have several women like this in my life. Some are like mothers, nurturing me with the love of God. Others are like sisters, we learn and grow together in grace and faith.  No matter time or distance, the Father’s unconditional love has bound our hearts together. I am humbled by the gift of these Faith Sisters, and so grateful for each one and how God has used them to strengthen my faith. My prayer is that all who read this will find and connect with the Faith Sisters (or Brothers) that I know He has for you.

One of my mothers in the faith wrote this beautiful poem and gave me permission to share it with you. Just as Roberta effortlessly radiates the love of Jesus, I pray these words will minister His peace and grace to you.

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 MOST PRECIOUS TREASURE

Be encouraged, little Daughter:
Your God is on your side.
Draw near. Bask in My Presence.
Let My Love abide.

Allow My living waters
To wash away each thought
That counteracts My promises
And the life that Christ has bought.

You are My precious treasure
Purchased at great cost,
The sheep that I came looking for
Who is no longer lost.

Arise and shine right where you are.
Let’s join in harmony.
Your world awaits your entrance.
Through you, they’ll soon find me.

I find in you, great pleasure.
You’re the apple of My eye
I promise: I’ll not leave you.
I’m always standing by.

By Roberta M. Spinney; shared with her permission.

Be Thou My Vision

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Some of the old hymns are so rich, and this is one of my favorites; according to wikipedia it may have originated in Ireland as early as the 6th century. This is an English version  by Eleanor Hull from 1912.

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Finding a treasure – His peace

 

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The Bible is such a rich treasury! I am reading Rick Renner’s book titled, Sparkling Gems From The Greek 2 (very good!), but I also enjoy digging into meanings of words in the whole bible. For example, the word Peace. In English, I tended to reduce it to “the absence of conflict.” But oh, it is so much more! In fact, understanding this one word has impacted my life ever since I learned it. Dr. Billye Brim taught me about it and I am so grateful!.

The meaning of peace in Hebrew includes: safety, security, prosperity, abundance, health, welfare, to be well, to have favor, wholeness and completeness. Or to put it simply, to have nothing missing, lacking or broken in my life.

I continue to dig in the Word and learn more about this peace. I  believe God’s will is revealed in His Word (and He means what He says). As a result, I choose to believe the Word, expect to receive it, trust Him, hold it close to my heart, and I refuse to let go of His peace.  Here are a few examples:

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27

The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace Numbers 6:24-26