One Thing

On Sunday, Pastor George Pearsons read Psalm 100 and a little later in the service, Pastor Terri encouraged us to close our eyes and focus on just one thing and then to express thankfulness to God for it. So we took a few minutes and did just that.

You know what, that act of choosing to be thankful and give thanks for that one thing was very good. But in a really positive way, it wasn’t enough. I couldn’t stop there. More and more blessings, both large and small, came to mind, leading to me being more thankful.

It’s been really good for me all week. Life isn’t perfect. Relationships are challenging, things don’t always go the way I want, and work can be stressful this time of year… But then I remember Sunday and choose to give thanks. By doing that, both my attitude and outlook get adjusted. I feel His grace, peace, and presence, and I am grateful.

Based on this Psalm, here are some things to meditate on or do:

  • Sing joyfully to the Lord
  • Recognize the He is God, He made us, and we are His
  • Know that we (you) are a sheep of His pasture — He is The Good Shepherd (Psalm 23), and He cares for you
  • Enter His presence with a song
  • Be thankful and give Him praise
  • Think about His goodness and mercy (at work in our lives and the lives of those we love)
  • Consider His lovingkindness and His faithfulness to all generations

Serve the Lord with gladness and delight; Come before His presence with joyful singing. Know and fully recognize with gratitude that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who has made us, not we ourselves [and we are His]. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with a song of thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, bless and praise His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy and lovingkindness are everlasting, His faithfulness [endures] to all generations.
Psalms 100:2‭-‬5 AMP

Happy Thanksgiving, dear ones. Oh, how He loves you and me!

Our Father

I’ve heard and said this prayer more times than I can count, and possibly you have too. But tonight I ŕead it in The Passion translation for the first time. Then I read it again and again while thinking on His great love, of the king of the universe, the Almighty, Most High God. And I was reminded that FIRST of all, his desire is to be known as our beloved father.

OH how He loves you and me.

My Shepherd

God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction. Even when the way goes through Death Valley, I’m not afraid when you walk at my side. Your trusty shepherd’s crook makes me feel secure. You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies. You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing. Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. I’m back home in the house of God for the rest of my life.
Psalms 23:1‭-‬6 MSG

It’s been a long night and now its early morning. One of my loved ones is in the recovery room after emergency surgery. I am reading the Word and feeling grateful for the peaceful presence of the Holy Spirit and for the faithful love of God. I read this version of Psalm 23 in The Messsage, and I am grateful to be His. I hope it will encourage you today too.

My favorite, Psalm 103

If Psalm 103 had a scent I think it would be like these roses. When I pray it I hope it brings a sweet fragrance before my Lord.

Yahweh, you are my soul’s celebration. How could I ever forget the miracles of kindness you’ve done for me?

You kissed my heart with forgiveness, in spite of all I’ve done.

You’ve healed me inside and out from every disease.

You’ve rescued me from hell and saved my life.

You’ve crowned me with love and mercy. You satisfy my every desire with good things.

You’ve supercharged my life so that I soar again like a flying eagle in the sky!

You’re a God who makes things right, giving justice to the defenseless.

Psalms 103:2‭-‬6 TPT

Being Still

Being still doesn’t come naturally to me. Most of the time my hands are doing something (like knitting socks) even when I do have time to sit. And I can’t seem to think about “nothing” – ever. It amazes me to think that’s even possible, but my husband says it is. 🙂

Yes, my life is busy. I work full time from home and have been caring for my husband and all of the matters of our household (gratefully with help from family) since November of 2019. But I can’t let “busy” rule my life. It’s not sustainable, it’s not as God designed me to be. As I once heard Mark Hankins say, “we are human beings, not human doings.”

So at times I choose to be still, to pause, to be quiet, rest, and listen. This afternoon I am doing just that. Through my bedroom window. I am enjoying watching the leaves on my maple tree gently sway in the breeze, listening to little birds chirping. I am enjoying the quiet and counting my blessings. I am resting in His care and listening with the intention of being more like Mary than Martha.

I share these scriptures that inspire me in hopes they will minister to you too. Oh how He loves you and me!

Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me.
Matthew 11:28

Surrender your anxiety. Be still and realize that I am God. I am God above all the nations, and I am exalted throughout the whole earth.
Psalms 46:10 TPT

But even if we are faithless, he will still be full of faith, for he never wavers in his faithfulness to us!
2 Timothy 2:13 TPT

The Lord bless you and watch, guard, and keep you; The Lord make His face to shine upon and enlighten you and be gracious (kind, merciful, and giving favor) to you; The Lord lift up His [approving] countenance upon you and give you peace (tranquility of heart and life continually).
Numbers 6:24‭-‬26 AMPC

Fishing for Walleye

Last week Thursday and Friday we went to the other side of Michigan and fished for Walleye in the Detroit River. It was quite an experience with perhaps 300-500 other boats doing the same, plus big barges passing by occasionally. The 1st day was warm but very windy, the 2nd was colder, and I was grateful to be wearing my son’s ice fishing bibs and jacket (I am sure that was an amusing sight since he is much taller 😉). We didn’t get a lot of fish and the guys caught all of them but it was wonderful to have a short getaway. I am very grateful my son was willing to take us. It’s the 2nd time Ed has been out to do something fun in 2 1/2 years.

And Yet He Loves Me

I have been meditating on Psalm 139 and I find it is almost beyond comprehension just how very much God loves me.

Lord, you know everything there is to know about me. You perceive every movement of my heart and soul, and you understand my every thought before it even enters my mind.
Psalms 139:1‭-‬2 TPT

https://bible.com/bible/1849/psa.139.1-2.TPT

He knows me intimately, He knows all the times I have messed up, failed, been unloving, unkind, unfaithful… And yet even knowing everything about me He still chose to love (and still loves) me.

This song says it so well: “When He Was On The Cross I Was On His Mind” I can never forget — He Knew Me Yet He Loved Me.

For here is the way God loved the world—he gave his only, unique Son as a gift. So now everyone who believes in him will never perish but experience everlasting life.
John 3:16 TPT
https://bible.com/bible/1849/jhn.3.16.TPT

I hope you know that He feels the same way about you. You are so very loved by God. It’s about how great He is, not how worthy we are. It’s the precious blood of Jesus that redeems, forgives and gives us the great honor to become His children. Oh how He loves us!

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

This is a photo I took while in Capernum 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

The Glad Game

I enjoy old movies. When recently thinking about being mindful to be grateful, I thought of the movie Pollyanna. I haven’t watched this movie from the 60s again just yet, but I found the story available on Kindle and I am reading it. If you want to learn more about the movie and see some clips, here is a link to Turner Classic Movies.

In the story, Pollyanna is an orphan who was born to missionaries and being sent to live with her wealthy, austere Aunt Polly. Early in life Pollyanna’s father taught her to play the Glad Game. The object of the game was to find something to be glad about no matter the situation or circumstance. To the chagrin of people around her (including her Aunt Polly–who did not want to hear anything about Pollyanna’s father), Pollyanna was very good at it! Although several did not like her positive attitude, eventually many of them found themselves learning to play the game too. She touched the lives of many around her, even the minister of the local church.

Not only do I enjoy Pollyanna’s story, I admire her courage and perserverance to do just what her father said, even when it was difficult — choosing to find something to be glad about. It seems that at the root, the Glad Game is quite biblical. It goes right along with the scripture below from Philippians. And with the following scripture that talks about the Lord being glad.

Keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always.
Philippians 4:8 TPT
https://bible.com/bible/1849/php.4.8.TPT

For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
Zephaniah 3:17 NLT
https://bible.com/bible/116/zep.3.17.NLT

So as we near this Thanksgiving season, I’m making an effort to do just that — to hear and obey the Word of my Father — to choose to fix my thoughts on what’s good, pure, lovely… And no matter the circumstance to choose to BE GLAD, BE THANKFUL, and BE GRATEFUL.

Here’s an example: I would really enjoy being able to sit and talk with each one reading this. That might not be possible, but I am glad to have the opportunity to share my thoughts and my faith with you. Oh how HE loves you and me! I pray you will find many reasons to be glad too!