Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 382 of Giving Thanks

As I sit here listening the swish of the dishwasher in the background and a Warriors game going on downstairs, I know that that my life is good. I know that this time is not what I had pictured or imagined it to be, but I am content with all the things that are present in my life.

For the first time, I am able to stop and step back away from my life and rest. I am grateful that God has placed the physical limitations that He has, and I look forward to realizing His life for me that is already in motion.

Faith Brings Joy
“Therefore, since I have been made right in God’s sight by faith, I have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ my Lord has done for me. Because of my faith, Christ has brought me into this place of undeserved privilege where I now stand, and I confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.
"I can rejoice, too, when I run into problems and trials, for I know that they help me develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens my confident hope of salvation.  And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For I know how dearly God loves me, because he has given me the Holy Spirit to fill my heart with his love.” Romans 5:1-5 (New Living Translation)

Quiet and still are my nemesis. I have gone “thirty ways from the middle” my entire life.  Because of God’s will, I am being forced to stop and step back from the life I’ve known to rest and be still. But going like I have for so long was creating an enemy that was taking over. Pain and exhaustion have become too much a part of who I am right now, so now I rest and wait… and hold on to the promises of a mighty God.

‎"But first, be concerned about his kingdom and what has his approval. Then all these things will be provided for you." ~Matthew 6:33 (King James Version)

I know that I must keep my eyes on God, my Abba Father, my mighty creator.... as I live through my circumstances. And as I start my day, I give Him praise and worship for everything in my life and as I close out my day, I give thanks for the amazing life I have.

I am grateful for the challenges in my life, and especially those in the last year. The moments of devastation, as well as the moments of great accomplishments have given me insight like I have never experienced before. You see, my perspective about many things has changed. There is a new sense of desire to fulfill what God designed specifically for me. There is a sense of purpose and a life so full of hope because of what God has done in my life, that I want to share that with everyone.

His purpose for me is big... His work in me is significant – everything counts and everything in my life has a purpose – I will live well - work with passion - love completely – and give as my heart directs of my time, talent and treasure.




© 2011 Giving Thanks Daily, Shawn Boreta                     
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Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 381 of Giving Thanks

I wrote something completely different earlier in the day, sent it home to review and, just like that, there was an entirely new topic. There is always a fine line when I write – how much information is too much, how much is too little to get the lesson or depth of gratitude that is present in my life.

“Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the LORD."  ~Psalm 31:24



For today, I definitely know that everything in my life is to prepare. The stretching of emotional breaking points to immeasurable and, at times unbearable physical pain to heartache repairable only by my creator, and through it all hope so great that my heart leaps at the thought of an eternity with my heavenly Father.

I am more confident than ever, that the Lord has been preparing me for this chapter of my life - that my thoughts and words reveal the work He has been doing deep inside my soul. 


Blessed be God—he heard me praying. He proved He's on my side; I've thrown my lot in with him. Now I'm jumping for joy, and shouting and singing my thanks to Him.” ~Psalm 28:6-7 (The Message)


I am grateful for true friends and prayer partners. I know that healing is right on the horizon, and regardless of the test results, God is in control and His plan is perfect. And, even in the moments when my heart and mind are in conflict, I have faithful friends who will remind me of the honesty and truth that is embedded so deeply.

I have heard it every day for 30 days. And, today I heard it again. 
Be still. Trust in the Lord. Rest. Rest in Him. 

An answer of "no" or "not now", as well as "yes" is the perfect answer. Today, and every day, I will remember who is in control and be grateful that all prayers are answered according to His purpose, not just for me, but for His purpose.



“The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him." ~Psalm 28:7


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Day 379 of Giving Thanks 2nd Post


I am on day eight of a lower back spasm; and I must say, God truly knows how to force rest; that even though I am not moving around very well, I am having a great time with my husband. We have been “hanging out” the entire four days. We have caught up with our movie watching – bantering is at its peak – we have enjoyed snacks together, and our funky meals.


We just totally disconnected from the rest of the world. I am grateful for Chris – for his companionship, partnership and love. I believe there are times that disconnecting is necessary and boy did we do that this weekend.

Day 380 of Giving Thanks

As I sat quietly this morning, the term, “Cog in the wheel”, popped into my head – and from the worlds view the term really emphasizes a person’s lack of importance – really, it is impossible for machinery to work without all the cogs in place. Every cog is necessary and important. I am grateful to be one of the cogs in the body of Christ; that my role is significant and I know that my role has already been determined. And all things work together for His good.

“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God—those whom he has called according to his plan." ~Romans 8:28

I am grateful that I am not disillusioned when things don’t go well, sometimes I am surprised, upset, angry, hurt or disappointed when circumstances are different than what I expect – but in the long run, God’s perspective is much greater than mine and always perfect. I am learning to question differently. Instead of “why this is”, I can now ask “how can God use this?”

Lord, my part can be confusing, and at times, unsatisfying. Help me to see the great in my life, every moment, of every day I am here. Continue to remind me that there is a big picture, that my part is small, yet significant.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Day 379 of Giving Thanks - Guest Writer, Mary Jean Marquez

I was so blessed when asked to write this short writing with regard to having a thankful heart, and I most certainly have so much to be thankful for!  When I think back on what my awesome God has delivered me from, my heart is filled with such love and compassion toward my Heavenly Father God and others.  My life as a child and young adult was filled with fear, hatred/bitterness, poverty/lack, depression, ignorance, abuse (verbal, physical, sexual), and so much more, but when I gave my life to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ 20 years ago, my journey toward a better life began.  


I have an endless list of things and people to be thankful for.  I do not exaggerate when I make that statement! God has blessed me with people, family and a fabulous church to help me in this journey of restoration and wholeness in HIM!  God has done above, beyond, what I could think or ask according to the power working within me in every area of life (Eph. 3:20).  He has restored to me the years of blessing that the enemy stole from me (Joel 2: 23-27) and has dealt wondrously with me!  For so many years I had no joy; I actually did not know what true joy was, and my faithful God has blessed me with such JOY THAT IS MY STRENGTH (Neh. 8:10). This God kind of joy flows out of my soul like a bright light touching others!

My heart and message is that, if God has restored my life, He will restore yours!  I take joy in ministering and encouraging people to live their lives to the fullest, beginning within my own home; my sphere of influence.  With God, all things are possible to those who will believe (Mt. 19:26) and I believe good things for you.  I am thankful to have had the privilege to touch your heart with my life on this page.  I pray blessing, comfort, joy, and peace in your lives.  

With much Love! God bless you!

Mary Jean Marquez :) 
Mary Jean is one of the most positive people I know. If you want to lift your spirit, hop on her page and you will be truly lifted and blessed.

http://fabulouslypeachydarling.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=335607651809&ref=mf
http://twitter.com/MaryJeanMarquez
http://facebook.com/maryjeanmarquez


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 378 of Giving Thanks - Guest Writer, Heather Palacios

A while back, our family went to Sea World for "Dine with Shamu." While my husband took the boys to the bathroom, Shamu jumped out, right by our table & scared the poop out of me.

I honestly can't believe I captured this pic!

Afterward, I kinda found myself empathizing with the big whale in his small tank.  I pondered to 10 years back when I was taken out of my big world & admitted to a psych ward because I was found in a parking lot committing suicide

Sometimes, in the world we're meant to live in, we are a danger to our own selves – and God needs to put us in His smaller, safer place of care. As whacked as it sounds, today I am thankful for the 72 hours when God took me out of my big sea and put me in the little tank of an 8x8 psych-unit cell. 'Cause it was there that I found Him again. 

God, you always know where we need to be. And I just can't thank you enough.

This Thanksgiving take a moment to dig down deep into the depths of your soul and rediscover reasons to give thanks to the great, awesome, loving God...who so faithfully resides there. 


Heather Palacios

A pastor's wife, mom and all around fun lady. Heather is energetic, quirky, transparent and loves Jesus and shares her life through laugher, joy and experiences on her blog, Twitter and Facebook pages. 

She has become one of my favorite people, and I know that you too will enjoy her spunk and flare for making people laugh.
Leadership leading from wherever u r 4 whatever God wants





Day 377 of Giving Thanks - Guest Writer, Paulette Brown


When Shawn asked me to write for Giving Thanks Daily, I felt so honored and then I thought, “what on earth could I share?”


As I thought and prayed, so many things came to mind.  I am grateful, thankful for so much.  I’m thankful for what God has given me, things I could have never earned on my own. 
- I’m thankful for all the delightful miracles I’ve experienced
- I’m thankful for the blessings in my life that only He could give. 
- I’m thankful even for the air I breathe and the sunshine on my face.
- I'm thankful for God's adoption through my family's abandonment.

Orphan to Adopted 
 God adopted me on Easter of 1992.  Through the years, I’ve been through a lot and He has been ever-faithful even when I haven't been. 

In 2000, I faced the hardest decision of my life - it was to omit my mother from my life.  I believe she has NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) and her life-long abuse toward me got too hard to endure.  At this low point in my life, God intervened in a big way

God shared two visions with me.  One was when my heart was utterly broken with the thought of being without a mother, yet I felt like an empty shell because of her abuse; deep in prayer and days of sobbing. He looked at me and said, “I love you with a depth of love you cannot begin to imagine.  I will never, ever, ever, ever leave you or forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5) There is nothing you could ever do that will ever change the way I feel about you.” (John 10:28-29)  The words spoken hit me to the core of my being.  I knew He could be trusted, I will never forget that.  

In the other vision, He said, “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.” ~Psalm 27:10; it wasn’t until years later that I found this verse in scripture!  Even now when I read this verse, it chokes me up knowing that I would one day face this! ...

All my life my mother rejected me, failed desperately to love me as scripture describes love.  She failed at affection and empathy – and recently I told my family about the pain and rejection I felt, and then I endured even more rejection,  and more hurt from my earthly family.

To anyone, this would be excruciatingly painful.  And it was at first, but it was as though God prepared me and strengthened me for what I call, ‘my being orphaned day.’  But truly, my heart rejoices.  It really hit me recently that when God spoke those words that ‘when my father and mother forsake me’ ...He knew what was coming before I ever did – and He made sure I never forgot His Words, or His presence. 

I am reassured even when rejected by everyone in my family, that I am accepted by the most adoring and wonderful Father of all! What benefit it is to me and my children when these chains of abuse break with me!  

My life could have gone a whole other direction – a real ugly direction.  He changed my life dramatically and He is still changing me into someone who is discovering her value after years of abuse..

So even when the people who should love you and support you reject you, it is not so hard to endure with God who is our Advocate (1 John 2:1), our Comforter (I Cor. 1:3-4), our Helper (Hebrews 13:6.)  God makes up for what was lost ... He loves deeper and wider than you could have ever thought possible and nothing can sever us from that love. There is nothing that can separate us from the love of Christ (Romans 8:39.)

I don’t think anyone can say they are thankful for being orphaned by their family, or look at it as a good thing ... but it goes to show how God can take the bad and crappy things in our life and turn it into beauty, good and wonderful ... all for His beautiful glory!   And if He be glorified, I am thankful, grateful, and forever His.  For all He has done for me, my life is His!

"He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand." ~Psalm 40:2



About Paulette
I am a content woman of forty-something, married with three children. In His mercy and grace, God extended His hand to me, which I gladly embraced on Easter Sunday of 1992, He gave me a whole new & wonderful life, its been the greatest romance of my life and I've never looked back. Since 2002, I lived with Multiple Sclerosis, which I refer to as "my little lovely" which is anything but lovely. I love summer and sunshine - its makes me feel alive.  My fellow believers have tagged me, 'the Joy Lady. Past circumstances do not define me, only God does  ... and ... 'no one can snatch me from His hand!'  (John 10:28-29)


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 376 of Giving Thanks

As I sit here, I realize that this is a wonderful time in my life. As the evening turns to night, I know that it is time to be still and settle my mind on my heavenly Father.


“But you will cross the Jordan and settle in the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, and he will give you rest from all your enemies around you so that you will live in safety. Then to the place the LORD your God will choose as a dwelling for his Name—there you are to bring everything I command you…” ~Deuteronomy 12:10-11


Today and many days like this in the past would have left me “feeling” very unsatisfied with my accomplishments or progress, as the physical limitations I am experiencing in this chapter of my life, are unfamiliar territory. I now have the privilege to develop a new skill, which is to rest, and rest in Him.


Right now, my enemy is exhaustion and I find great comfort in being rooted in a mighty word. It is a true faith that will strengthen me as I live for Him and Him in me.


"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” - Colossians 2:6-7


I believe today, as I have never believed before, that my God is faithful – that my God is trustworthy and all my needs have already met. I will show my gratitude daily, in all ways possible and I am thankful for these truths.


Philippians 4:19 says "And my God will meet all my needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."


What do I give in gratitude? I give it all – and not for what will be given because I give, but for what has already been given to me. It is true joy to worship and honor such an amazing God! 

 

“Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” ~Luke 6:38

 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 375 of Giving Thanks

Today I have started and restarted my post at least five times. I start, He erases; and I step back, sit still and ponder.  I am grateful that it is up to God to direct my fingers on these keys and my heart to know when it is right and it is His. 


Here it is!


Our life is what our thoughts make it.” `Marcus Aurelius


My thought life has changed, and that has changed everything!


“Thoughts are boomerangs, returning with precision to their source. Choose wisely which ones you throw.” ~ Author Unknown ~


Lord I place all my concerns and responsibilities at your feet today, take them and help me make sense of all this. Father, You control, I abide.


“Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." ~Matthew 19:26


Years ago, I was where many of you are; trusting, yet not fully trusting, because I hadn’t been able to trust others before – believing, yet not completely, mostly because I was not focused on the right things.


“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 3:13-14


Today, I trust God fully – and I believe completely.


I would like to share some truth – God's word comes in between the pages of The Bible. If you cannot validate a word here, in the Bible, it is not truth. If you are seeking the truth, or prophetic words of wisdom, let God do the job. Remove the known obstacles from your sights – the gimmicks, astrology and online fortune-tellers are just a few of these obstacles – these diversions will keep you from the truth and open to the enemy’s ploys.


Christians, the word is truth, the only truth. All those other things are the games of the enemy; remove them from your life. Be careful what you share, as others are watching. And, truly there is so much at stake.


But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” ~ Philippians 3:20-21

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 374 of Giving Thanks

When I hear a word after praying, how many times do I dismiss it? How many times do I confirm, in my head, that there is “no way” that could be right? God knows that I will doubt, and He tells me to believe anyway – to believe little, and that is enough.


“You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “How long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.”Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment.


He replied, Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” ~ Matthew 17:17-20


As I awoke this morning, the first thing I did was pray “Lord, I believe that I will be healed, give me a word.” I usually sleep through the night, and wake up tired anyway; last night I woke up often during the night, and woke up refreshed. What was different?


As I lay awake at various points during the night, I praised God for my life, for the opportunity to praise Him freely and come to Him often. I thanked Him for the awesome prayer time we had last night and the peace and hope I felt. I dreamed a lot, and was awake at 6:30AM, which is much earlier than normal for a weekend.

I love warmth – yet I heard “ice”. And the thought of Elijah, and the tenderness of God when He dealt with him comforted me greatly – the Lord sent angels to care for Elijah’s exhausted body, then spoke to him in a whisper. In the past, God had communicated differently; and what was expected – wind, fire, earthquake - did not happen.  Just because something was done a certain way in the past, does not mean it should be done that same way today or anytime in the future.


“The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.


Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.” ~1 Kings 19:11-12


As I take note to the word, “ice”, I try an approach that put my body into even greater distress in the past. And, as the rain poured outside, and desires to be warm put aside – I grabbed ice and placed it on the pain-filled area. And, in that moment, as I felt the chill, I also felt warmth rush through the rest of my body. I am grateful for the warmth of a faithful and merciful God.


I got to thinking, about a saying so many of us use, “God bless you”, and what a wonderful thing to say and project. In actuality, God is blessing all of us, it really is that we are not seeing the blessings or recognizing them in our lives. So, today I say, “May you recognize all the Lord's blessings today”. Lord, through trials, I come to You more, through pain, I seek Your comfort more, help me to recognize all of how You communicate with me – make the unfamiliar ways, familiar. 


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 373 of Giving Thanks

Tonight four women of God, daughters of a mighty King, came together and came before an amazing creator. What an incredible time in fellowship and worship through prayer and petition. Listening to the prayers and pleas, was music – the most beautiful combination of the unspoken and the spoken words.

Through whispers and tears, we spoke praise and worship and we peered into tenderness, grace and mercy of a creator who loves us greatly. God lives greatly in my heart and the thought of the life I have with God as my guide truly amazes me. As we prayed for others, there was a sense of purpose; a sense of gratitude and hope for restoration, healing and softening of hearts and the ultimate winning of souls in the future.

As we talked about what we would pray about, it was like the prayer time had already begun – before they arrived, I was able to come before my Father and be quiet and still and pray for our time together. That is a new concept for me – prayer before prayer.

“But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God's love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life!" Jude 1:20-21

Earlier today, I met with the publisher for getting Giving Thanks Daily into book form, a daily devotional – as I reflect on my day, I am humbled by how so much works together for God’s good. I understand so many things much more clearly. I am grateful for confirmation.

“And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirite pleads for us believers in harmony with God's own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are all called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” ~ Romans 8:27-29 (New Living Translation)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Day 372 of Giving Thanks

Today is turning out to be very productive. I love life!

Now, from my perspective – a recovering type-A and workaholic – that is a powerful statement, considering only one project was removed from my list today. Right now I would have to say that my life is pretty darn awesome, as well as revealing – I know that “life” as we know it doesn’t always match our expectations. But I do know this, through everything, my God loves me perfectly. All I have to do is pay attention to my environment and keep my eyes and focus on God.

I will live greatly every day and part of living this way has come from having the ability to laugh at myself and to find joy in all things – which has been one of the greatest-gifts my heavenly Father has given me.

I will also remember that rejection comes at us from the outside, acceptance lives deep within me. I choose to live from the inside out, rather than the outside in.


And through faith, I will get to know my creator on levels that were once unbelievable. There have been some challenges that I am working through, and this morning I asked myself, “Am I confronting my life, or submitting it?” And today I know that I can only confront challenges in my life, once I have submitted.

"Faith is trust. Trust is action-oriented and it’s manifested often in confidence. That is to be bold, but in accord with wisdom, which is discernment." ~ Steve Wickham, Epitome

It is my habit (and choice) now to live with a great attitude. In this life we are dealing with the flesh, which fights against the heart. So, in the flesh, I must find ways to remember to seek God always by staying in His word, by always being grateful for what I have regardless of my circumstances. And, most importantly, know who is in control.

My beating heart Lord is Yours; this is the heart that You created with a plan and purpose, that You knew about as time was created, and this is the same heart that You will work on for all of my life. I am grateful for this heart of mine, this heart of Yours.

  

Shawn Delia Boreta

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