The “why” of a Grateful, Grace-full life

This is a photo I took while in Caperenum in 2019. I chose it because it’s not perfect – those upside down containers don’t belong, right?
Kind of like our lives, even when the picture isn’t perfect — we can still lift our hands and be thankful for He is Good, and His faithful love endures!

It’s Thanksgiving today, and it has been anything but traditional at our home. Due to my husband’s currently compromised immune system we are not having or participating in a family gathering. As this day approached I made a conscious decison to be thankful and grateful, and I am so glad. The quiet has been good, and I even found time to sleep in, bake bread, and just reflect on the goodness of God — to count my many, many blessings. 

While thinking on this I feel I heard the Holy Spirit whisper that being grateful opens the door to a grace-filled life. It’s a matter of the heart and it’s the “why” that He is teaching me. I see that being grateful/thankful is like having my arms lifted, wide open to the Father. Looking to him and thanking Him for not only what He has already done, but trusting Him with the future. It’s like a magnet, pulling all the good things that He has toward me. He is love, He wants to supply all that we need, and He delights in doing it!

In contrast, being angry and ungrateful is like standing with closed, clenched fists, head down, fearful, unable to percieve or recieve all that God had provided and wants to provide. (Oh, how that must grieve His heart.)

As an example: I was deeply touched to learn of the unexpected home going of the husband of a precious woman I know — have known for years as a woman of faith and a lover of God. Her response today on social media was to write about thankfulness. As she so amazingly and aptly put, “In the midst of intense sorrow and loss the only posture that is fitting and necessary is thankfulness.” She then wrote a wonderful list of the many things for which she is thankful.

What she wrote served as an important reminder to me that no matter how difficult a moment in time or circumstance may be, I have the opportunity to be thankful for things both large and small — I am so very blessed!

I am so very grateful that He has given me the choice! When the enemy comes at me with fear, to make me angry or tries to get me to have a pity party over things that have happened, I will choose to believe in and thank God for His mercies and unfailing love. I will rehearse His goodness in prayers of thanksgiving and worship Him. King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Love incarnate, my savior and redeemer. And in doing so I will open up my heart and receive His great, great grace. Oh how HE LOVES you and me!

Complete Prayer

From my pastor this morning: “Prayer is not complete without gratitude… Thankfulness is an exercise in Faith.” – Pastor George Pearson, Eagle Mountain International Church

Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life, Philippians 4:6 TPT https://bible.com/bible/1849/php.4.6.TPT

We read in the story of Daniel and how he faced the lion’s den – not desperate or fearful. He was faithfilled and grateful. His prayers and thankfulness led to his deliverance . (Daniel 6)

Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house, and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he got down upon his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.
Daniel 6:10 AMPC
https://bible.com/bible/8/dan.6.10.AMPC

Hope in the Lord, Pray for Leaders

I am grateful for good spiritual leaders, the ones I can look up to and want to emulate. Yet I remind myself that they are human and therefore not perfect — and that my hope must always be in the Lord.

Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017, 2018 by Passion & Fire Ministries, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ThePassionTranslation.com.

I am also reminded that all those in positions of leadership need our prayers. If you are reading this will you please join me in praying for our leaders?

  • First – that they come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.
  • Next – that their ears, hearts and minds are open to hear and receive godly wisdom. And they willingly act upon it in every important decision. That they are protected from and refuse to take part in any evil plan.

Thank you! Oh how He loves them, and you, and me!

Higher than the highest Heavens

Thinking on this today:

Higher than the highest heavens— that’s how high your tender mercy extends! Greater than the grandeur of heaven above is the greatness of your loyal love, towering over all who fear you and bow down before you! Farther than from a sunrise to a sunset— that’s how far you’ve removed our guilt from us. But Lord, your endless love stretches from one eternity to the other, unbroken and unrelenting toward those who fear you and those who bow facedown in awe before you. Your faithfulness to keep every gracious promise you’ve made passes from parents, to children, to grandchildren, and beyond. You are faithful to all those who follow your ways and keep your word.

Psalms 103:11‭-‬12‭, ‬17‭-‬18 TPT https://bible.com/bible/1849/psa.103.11-18.TPT

Staying focused

I have been reading and thinking a lot lately. There is a lot going on in our world and in my personal life. I have been feeling more emotional and find myself needing to be more diligent to remain focused, in faith and resting in Him.

I’ve been reading and meditating on Ephesians 6 (in The Passion translation) about warfare and the armor God has given us the right to use. I am sharing the lead in verses below, but I recommend reading to the end of the chapter. I hope you will find strength in it as I have. I needed the reminder of whose I am and the weapons He has provided.

Now my beloved ones, I have saved these most important truths for last: Be supernaturally infused with strength through your life-union with the Lord Jesus. Stand victorious with the force of his explosive power flowing in and through you. Put on God’s complete set of armor provided for us, so that you will be protected as you fight against the evil strategies of the accuser! Your hand-to-hand combat is not with human beings, but with the highest principalities and authorities operating in rebellion under the heavenly realms. For they are a powerful class of demon-gods and evil spirits that hold this dark world in bondage.
Ephesians 6:10‭-‬12 TPT
https://bible.com/bible/1849/eph.6.10-12.TPT

We must gird ourselves with the belt of truth, put on the helmet of salvation, pick up the shield of faith, arm ourselves with the Sword of The Spirit (the Word of God), walk out the gospel of peace, and pray passionately.

WE ARE SOLDIERS OF THE LORD!

Higher, Greater, Farther, Endless Love & Faithful

Take a few moments to reflect on these words and be encouraged dear one. Oh how He loves you and me!

Higher than the highest heavens— that’s how high your tender mercy extends! Greater than the grandeur of heaven above is the greatness of your loyal love, towering over all who fear you and bow down before you! Farther than from a sunrise to a sunset— that’s how far you’ve removed our guilt from us. But Lord, your endless love stretches from one eternity to the other, unbroken and unrelenting toward those who fear you and those who bow facedown in awe before you. Your faithfulness to keep every gracious promise you’ve made passes from parents, to children, to grandchildren, and beyond. You are faithful to all those who follow your ways and keep your word.
Psalms 103:11‭-‬12‭, ‬17‭-‬18 TPT
https://bible.com/bible/1849/psa.103.11-18.TPT

We Choose What We Believe

Day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment. We choose by what we say and by what we believe. Will we choose faith in the goodness of God and that he has a good plan for our future? Or will we choose to allow fear and worry to preplay a “dreaded outcome” in our future?

Consider this….

Faith based on the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus (that he has set me free from the law of sin and death), believes more in the ability and willingness of God to save and keep me than it does in the ability of anyone or anything to harm or hurt me.

Faith receives. For it was only through this wonderful grace that we believed in him. Nothing we did could ever earn this salvation, for it was the gracious gift from God that brought us to Christ!
Ephesians 2:8 TPT

Now faith brings our hopes into reality and becomes the foundation needed to acquire the things we long for. It is all the evidence required to prove what is still unseen.
Hebrews 11:1 TPT

Faith empowers us to see that the universe was created and beautifully coordinated by the power of God’s words! He spoke and the invisible realm gave birth to all that is seen.
Hebrews 11:3 TPT

And without faith living within us it would be impossible to please God. For we come to God in faith knowing that he is real and that he rewards the faith of those who passionately seek him.
Hebrews 11:6 TPT

This is what I choose. I hope you will too!

We look away from the natural realm and we fasten our gaze onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection. His example is this: Because his heart was focused on the joy of knowing that you would be his, he endured the agony of the cross and conquered its humiliation, and now sits exalted at the right hand of the throne of God!
Hebrews 12:2 TPT

Draw Near

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 with joy. 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.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:11‭-‬13 Berean Study Bible

Rest

I was inspired to write this poem several years ago. It fell out of my Bible today and reminded me of the many benefits of my relationship with Jesus. I hope you know Him too and are experiencing the benefits of trusting in Him. 

Rest
I am your deliverer and salvation,
You are my covenant child,
I have justified you,
I have made you righteous,
I have made you holy through the blood of my son.

Rest
You are hid in Christ,
My Spirit is in you and with you always,
I am at work within you,
I am causing you both to will and to do my good pleasure.

Rest
Trust in my love,
I know the plans I have for you,
I planned them before your birth,
I see the end result,
I am focused on your future, not your past.

Rest
I am your Lord, I am King of Kings,
I am working all things together for your good,
I am the author and finisher of your faith.

Rest
I am faithful to My Word,
My promises are true,
You are a branch of The Vine,
Rivers of living water are in you.

Rest
I am your life and light,
The strength and might of my Spirit are being imparted to your inner man, along with My wisdom and My ability.

Now My beloved child, rest.

Hebrews 4:3a For we who have believed(who have adhered to and relied on God)do enter into that rest.

Learn more about Jesus…pick up a Bible and read the book of John, then see Romans 3:23 and Romans 10:10.

I’m praying that you find rest in Him. Oh how He loves you and me.

Finding Beauty, Goodness & Grace in Every Season

The peonies are blooming, the end of spring coming and summer is near. Some days are cold and rainy, and then suddenly we have warm and sunny days. Both are needed and beauty is found in fragrant blossoms even as they soak in the rain. Soon the hot summer days will take over and plants change their focus from blossoms to bearing seeds and fruit. The cycle of seed, time and harvest is in motion, it happens every year, just as the Father designed it.

In every season He is always good and He wants to reveal His grace, goodness and faithfulness. Just ask Him. Oh how He loves you and me!

 For the Lord is always good and ready to receive you. He’s so loving that it will amaze you— so kind that it will astound you! And he is famous for his faithfulness toward all. Everyone knows our God can be trusted, for he keeps his promises to every generation!        ~Psalms 100:5 (The Passion Transkation)