Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 501 of Giving Thanks

I am the world’s deepest sleeper, really! I have a witness. My husband tells everyone that I could sleep through anything. And, most mornings I awake from a deep sleep right before my alarm goes off –there are occasional days, when the cat walks all over me, so a much different experience… not a story for today.

In that moment, when deep sleep and dream-like awake are the equal – I am aware that it is the beginning of a new day – that I have an opportunity to start another new day. I wonder if that is the feeling or sensation, I will feel in that moment, when my life here will seamlessly move into my eternity in heaven. What a thought. Will there be a “moment” when pain becomes bliss, or heartache becomes heart-felt wonder of all before me? Will I be aware of a brand-new beginning? Will I sense that it is home immediately?

But, that day is not here yet for me, so as I live today, I request of my Lord, “Hide me in You Lord. Expose in me You greatly to the world.” Father, let me always remember what it took for me to have assurance, and daily reassurance of my fate, through faith in You. Remind me that I am not alone when I step into the world, into my daily life – Remind me to step into Your presence, and visit and revisit it often – Remind me to step into Your word.

“I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” ~Isaiah 61:10

This very moment, I am standing with the arms of a savior firmly holding me. And, oh so, grateful for the mighty power of the Holy Spirit today, and every day.

Today, as I stepped into my day, I knew that being grace-full would be necessary. As I first stepped into my routine, I “felt” that oh so familiar desire to complain and to focus on things that do not enhance my moments, but engage the enemy. It was time to disengage from those “feelings”, and engage in His word and dwell in what He did for me. Psalm 119:50 says, "My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life."

Remove the pain, and replenish with the hope of the word and His promises.

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws. I have suffered much; preserve my life, LORD, according to your word. Accept, LORD, the willing praise of my mouth, and teach me your laws.” ~Psalm 119:105-108

Grace has been given for the most unforgivable acts of my life yet, He forgave and took the punishment for those acts. Wow - that is love. It is time to be grace-full, and He overflowed my life with His grace. Let me wholly know His will, His ways and His desires for me in the here and now.

Your Love, O’Lord, is a…

Love that is indescribable.
Love that is undeserving.
Love that is unmatchable.
Love that is timely.
Love that is perfect.
Love that is freely given, but came with the ultimate price.

Through my moments in my life, I am trusting I am already captured - and just waiting for that moment when my life here will seamlessly move into my eternity in heaven.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day 500 of Giving Thanks

There is really nothing more relaxing after a day of sitting in a classroom than gardening - no, really! I got home a little early from a long day; second day in a computer class. And, tonight with eyes bulging and my head full of information, I settle in and experience gratitude greatly. As decompression started to sink in, I knew a little brainless activity was in order.

A beautiful and warm Spring night, check - iPod, check – worship music, check – in His presence, check, check and check… and “a pullin’” weeds began and in my contentment, I did the entire front yard and had some amazing time with God’s word, His gift of music and deep reflection.

My life is awesome, which is not a new revelation, but one nonetheless. I love sharing all that is good in my life, all that is a challenge, and my perspective and attitude are the most obvious – WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get), how’s that for using my new computer knowledge? Ha!

“He (Jesus) must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.” John 3:30 (NLT)

O’Lord, let others see You when they look at me. O’Lord, let others hear You when I speak.

Capture my heart Lord; as you repair the cracks and wounds. Capture my thoughts Lord; as you replace the lies with Your truth. Capture my life Lord; for there is nowhere I would rather be than wholly captured by You.

“The life of every living creature and the spirit in every human body are in his hands.” ~Job 12:10 (GOD’s Word Translation)

What has He captured in you?

“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.” ~Psalm 139:7-12

He is a mighty force in my life...
“I just have to remember that at every turn because my God is faithful and has the power to change perspective and remove all the unnecessary thoughts that do not benefit me (and you)” Day 488, yesterday.

I am very opinionated, yet, there has truly been a softening in my approach over the years. I could… tell you my beliefs, harp on my philosophies and tell you how much you need my God and that I’ve got it all figured out; or I can share my life’s passion through compassion for your life, ask you about your life’s passions and love you for who you are…

What really matters? It’s not my opinion, or someone else’s opinion about me, it is my life’s purpose and meeting God along the way. What really matters? It’s not who “likes” me or “follows” me, it’s how I follow Jesus and knowing that He loves me intently. What really matters? It’s only that my thoughts are held captive, and my thoughts should completely and wholly reflect what God says and promises. That’s what matters, and that is what is the heart of the matter, after all.

As I sit here and “reflect deeply”, I am compelled to stop often as I write, to ask myself - So, am I a fanatic all the time, or just as I write? Is my life transparent? Is my live an example, BY HIS EXAMPLE? Do I depend on me to live my life right and appropriately? Do I depend on the Holy Spirit?

Are you a FANATIC too?
F.orever His
A.lways seeking His presence
N.ever listen to the lies
A.ware of His direction through relationship
T.alking to Him all day
I.nterceding for others
C.herished greatly by a mighty God

So, I ask again, are you a fanatic?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 499 of Giving Thanks

I head into tomorrow with trust, faith and anticipation…

Today I was in a classroom learning new stuff… that was a scary thought for me growing up; and this morning I was brimming with excitement to get back into a classroom. I have been in a position that does not utilize my gifts or my skills and was starting to doubt what I could actually do and accomplish – have you ever been here?

As I prepared over the last couple of days for this class, I prayed; and focused on what I could learn, rather than what I may not “get”. I thanked God for giving me the learning style I have, rather than fretting about the challenges that I have. I set my expectations for this class high, rather than pre-determining “being behind” or “not grasping” the materials. I trusted that God would remove the obstacles before me – I trusted that God went before me – I trusted that God knew my needs and fulfilled them completely. And, today I felt accomplished and smart and ready for the next round.

Sometimes childhood memories are strongholds, and for me, being in a classroom brings back memories. But today, was different and it was a great experience. And, strongholds are often memories that are greatly unwarranted and untrue – or based on false information. Do you have a stronghold that hinders you? I have had several over the years – yet, God is faithful and has the power to change perspective and remove all the unnecessary thoughts that do not benefit me (and you).

“If Christ is the wisdom of God and the power of God in the experience of those who trust and love him, there needs no further argument of his divinity.” ~Henry Ward Beecher

Every day I get to start out with these truthful words to myself:

- That you are only who God says you are
- That you have a great destiny
- That you have gifts in areas still yet to be discovered
- That you are loved beyond measure
- That you have the protection against everything not God
- That you are created for a unique purpose
- That you have been given choice
- That you have access to all the answers
- That you have power beyond measure

“But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the LORD’s praise, for he has been good to me.” ~Psalm 13:5-6

What an amazingly beautiful day today - Spring weather – sunshine. Every day is an opportunity to gain wisdom and continue my journey toward perfection in God. Living in the knowledge that every day is a gift from my heavenly Father. How can I not have gratitude for every moment? I also acquired a couple of new friends - that is a gift! Two more wonderful women to pray for and introduce Christ to.

Thank You Jesus, for giving me so many reasons to live life greatly.

I head into tomorrow with trust, faith and anticipation… I am grateful for having peace on this journey and hope in every moment, along with partnership that is powerful and perfect.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Day 498 of Giving Thanks

Sometimes I am amazed at how many times God allows the same lessons in my life; and the lessons come once I fail the test. Today, I had one of those repeated tests.

My day started out a little late, but I did not want to give up my quiet time, so I cut some ‘get ready’ time from my routine. I am grateful that I am one of those women who can get ready, start to finish, in twenty minutes.

So, as the test arrived, I did not hesitate even a second, I stopped and prayed, “Lord, take these feelings away. Toughen my skin. Make me respond as you would respond. Keep my eyes on You and allow me to release my feelings.”

"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding." Ephesians 1:7 (NIV)

I am not saying “I have arrived”, I am saying that “I will arise, with the power of the Holy Spirit. And, today was one of them. Thank You for Your mighty presence today Lord."

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Day 497 of Giving Thanks

Today I know that God doesn’t care if I know all the answers are not. And, today, I don’t care if I live up to the expectation of others when it comes to the answers. In the early part of my Christian walk, I did care. In fact, I cared so much, that I was afraid of giving the wrong answer and just not measuring up, that I just wouldn’t give an answer. I am here to tell you, that once we “accept” God’s amazing gift, “measuring up” no longer matters.

Today I know that God is the answer for everything, and I cannot imagine not going to Him to receive them. And at every moment of every day, they are right there at the edge of my thoughts and completely inspired by the Holy Spirit – how does that work? It works perfectly. How do I work? I am a work in process – on track for perfection. Isn’t that a nice place to be?

I am a woman who knows favor. I am a woman whose heart has transformed. I am a woman who has so many gifts. I am a woman who desires to learn what those gifts mean. I am a woman who has a purpose. I am a woman who He treasures. I am a woman grateful for the greatest gift offered.

God sent His son, Jesus.
He gave everything for me.
He lived and died... so that I could be free.
An empty tomb, gives us the opportunity for eternal life.
Who else gave so much for me?
How could I not be AMAZED?
And, really it is all for me.

I am a treasure in the eyes of Christ.

“My help and glory are in God — granite-strength and safe-harbor-God — So trust him absolutely, people; lay your lives on the line for him. God is a safe place to be.” ~Psalm 62:7

Today I know that it is being grateful for what He did (for me), that brings me closer to Him. Today I know that understanding comes when I know it is all about Him because He loves me so much. This was a concept that eluded me for so long. You may be in the same place, I once was.

“Thank you for responding to me; you've truly become my salvation! The stone the masons discarded as flawed is now the capstone! This is GOD's work. We rub our eyes—we can hardly believe it! This is the very day God acted — let's celebrate and be festive!

Salvation now, GOD. Salvation now! Oh yes, GOD — a free and full life!” ~Psalm 118:24 (The Message)

My friends, know this—
God sent His son, Jesus.
He gave everything for YOU.
He lived and died... so that YOU could be free.
An empty tomb, gives YOU the opportunity for eternal life.
Who else gave so much for me?
How could YOU not be AMAZED?
And, really it is all for YOU.

Father, thank You that all this was done for each of us. Thank You for creating us wonderfully for Your purposes, and giving us the opportunity to spend eternity with you. Father, I pray that hearts will be opened and many will know how amazing life truly is.

“GOD, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand. I'm an open book to you; even from a distance, you know what I'm thinking. You know when I leave and when I get back; I'm never out of your sight. You know everything I'm going to say before I start the first sentence. I look behind me and you're there, then up ahead and you're there, too — your reassuring presence, coming and going. This is too much, too wonderful—I can't take it all in!” ~Psalm 139:1-6
Today I know that God is the answer for everything — how about you?

You are a treasure in the eyes of Christ.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Day 496 of Giving Thanks

Discernment and “good” judgment are not the same. I believe the Holy Spirit is in charge of discernment and I am in change of judgment. And, the more I allow the Holy Spirit to guide me, the better my judgment becomes.

“His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.” ~Ephesians 3:10-15

I depend on His guidance so much; there are things in my life I use to “just do”, not think about it or even pray about it, but now it seems even the smallest of decisions are brought to the counsel; a battery of questions, a check of the heart and a nod from my Father. I am learning to wait, rest and to ask questions now, and act later.

I am grateful that I gave myself permission to “let go” of all that is not Him, of decisions that did not go so well, and for redemption of many things.

“If you reason with an arrogant cynic, you'll get slapped in the face; confront bad behavior and get a kick in the shins. So don't waste your time on a scoffer; all you'll get for your pains is abuse. But if you correct those who care about life, that's different—they'll love you for it!

Save your breath for the wise—they'll be wiser for it; tell good people what you know—they'll profit from it. Skilled living gets its start in the Fear-of-GOD, insight into life from knowing a Holy God. It's through me, Lady Wisdom, that your life deepens, and the years of your life ripen. Live wisely and wisdom will permeate your life; mock life and life will mock you.” ~Proverbs 9:7-12

I am grateful for the lessons that come from acting too soon, moving without instruction, using my own understanding, for that is where correction comes, knowingly and unaware. Thank You Father for first, giving me life. Thank You for loving me enough to make me tough. Thank You for always being with me.

How has this impacted my life? It has forced me to evaluate everything. It has stopped me in my tracks on many occasions. It has given me a greater sense of peace. It has reminded me who is in control. It has allowed me to trust my decisions. It has introduced hope daily. It has revealed a greater me through the Holy Spirit.

Thank You for the invitation, for giving me choices and helping me comprehend through Your understanding what it is I need to know and when to act. Thank You for picking me up and supporting my stand.

“Peter said, "Change your life. Turn to God and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, so your sins are forgiven. Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is targeted to you and your children, but also to all who are far away—whomever, in fact, our Master God invites.” ~Acts 2:38-39 (The Message)

The impact is great, the earthly-result is still yet to be seen, but so far so good, and I am sure that the heavenly-result is already determined. And that is truly good.

I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.” ~Isaiah 61:10-11

Friday, March 25, 2011

Day 495 of Giving Thanks

When I look back at this year, the “time”, I see miracle after miracle; I also recognize the times, when God was leading, but I wasn’t following His lead very well – yet, He has blessed my life amazingly. Tomorrow is my forty-sixth birthday, and the gifts I have received are truly priceless and timeless. What an awesome builder my God is.

"Time heals almost everything. Give time - time." ~Ron Mcintyre

I so agree, time, does heal, because God gives us time and we have the "choice" to heal or to turn from healing.

Healing – in a way that I never dreamed possible; healing in my heart on many levels – and it is only getting better every day and with every challenge.

And, God is the ultimate healer, my mighty and perfect physician... I am allowing His hand upon me. There is a new me in the mirror; a me that sees hope in challenge – and this has been a year of challenge, change and restoration.

“‘But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’ declares the LORD, ‘because you are called an outcast, Zion for whom no one cares.’” ~Jeremiah 30:17

There have been many times this year, that I have cried out and wondered “why”; and in the engaging in my life, God met me, encouraged me, lifted me, said ‘no’, said ‘yes’, surprised me, led me, showed me, prompted me and held me to a higher standard.

I have prayed, “Let me be done. Let ‘this or that’ be removed. Let the challenges just stop. Let me quit. Let it be different…” – but today, this renewed me, wiser me, called me, knows that it is because I have a purpose that will require toughness, that it is tough at times! How do I know – because He is not done with me yet.

The wounds are truly so many, and I read, "Scar tissue is stronger than regular tissue. Realize the strength, move on." ~Henry Rollins

Add a cold on top of what I am already dealing with, and this week has been a physical challenge – work, home and giving it to God all along the way has been my action – and I have sustained, not gotten any worse, but running through the process. As I got up to head to work today, my husband said this morning, "You are one tough lady, God must have given you something to endure all this and me."

Is he starting to see that my strength and endurance is completely supernatural? I have a wonderful husband, and a mighty God who continues to work in our lives. I strongly believe "time heals" everything, when I listen to Him, and allow it all to work in His perfect timing.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.” ~Ephesians 6:10

Forgiveness – toward people, events; and a true softening of my heart has been an enormous part of healing. For me, giving grace with others is much easier than grace for myself. PRAISE, as God has removed many feelings of hurt and pain and I have been able to move on in many areas.

“Understanding is the reward of faith. Therefore seek not understanding that thou mayest believe, but believe that though mayest understand.” St. Augustine (c.416)

It is because He commanded me to “do”, not for salvation, but for my own good. And that takes obedience.

Obedience – when doing what I want or what is comfortable was much more appealing. And, I am changed, because He gave me the many gifts, the best of which is freedom in Him, protection at its best and favor throughout this journey.

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” ~Matthew 7:24-25

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day 494 of Giving Thanks - Tina Wetor

What am I grateful today?
God is in control of my life even during chaotic moments. By personality, I have to plan my day out; otherwise I will be completely overwhelmed. My personal day planner is filled with work schedules, children’s activities, church events and personal necessities. Organization has always been my strength until I forget to update my planner. Life needs organization to bring direction, clarity and peace.

Although a major side effect is turning into a control freak or life can become ordinary. The idea of life being completely detailed and organized can seem like a fantasy as a married woman, with three children.

Children don’t always understand the importance of organization due to the famous words, “It’s due tomorrow.” My children’s plans don’t work with my planner; so sometimes the planner goes out the door.

After picking up the boys from school, my son’s advised “Mom, we have science projects due tomorrow.” Besides the time-crunch, I still have to pick up my daughter from drama practice, make dinner and pick up ink for the printer. All of activities must be complete in two hours so we can attend the prayer service at church.

Gratefully, my computer just arrived back home after being gone for several weeks for a repair, so I could type their reports. Oh’ what’s for dinner? No time to cook dinner, we must either pick up something or pizza rolls. Finally, the frustration mounts to the point of losing my temper, so my husband and I get into an argument. Where’s the Tylenol? No matter what, I couldn’t fix all of these activities before prayer service. So, we unfortunately missed the prayer service, I am ashamed to admit.

Does this sound like the Proverbs 31 wife? Well, I admit during these chaotic events, I didn’t feel I measured up at all. As bedtime approached, I laid my head upon my pillow with only one thought, “God is in control even if I have chaotic moments”. His affection towards me doesn’t leave because I didn’t make the prayer meeting. Although, it’s the only one I have missed. His Word didn’t change towards me; it’s still my comfort and assurance of life.

My God spoke the world into existence with just His words. Still what I cherish the most, I exist so He will dwell in me. He isn’t far from me, He is always with me. He will not leave me, fail me, or forsake me. I am the apple of His eye, God delights in me! My Shepherd is all I will ever need; I will never be in want. His love is sweeter than honey, it satisfies my soul.


Tina is a regular writer for Giving Thanks Daily, and brings so much charm and character to her stories. And, I do believe, after all, she truly is a Proverbs 31 woman.

“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” ~Proverbs 31:25-31

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day 493 of Giving Thanks

“… he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be a partaker of his hope.” ~1 Corinthians 9:10

Today I look forward, press in to my future knowing I have a mighty God. He's completely got me. No matter how I “feel” or what I “perceive”, everything is covered...

“Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.” ~Psalm 31:24

Hope forward” is how I will live. “Hope forward” is how I will pray. “Hope forward” is how I will expect.

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” ~Ephesians 6:18

I am expectant of many things. And, as I live, I will learn what God’s purpose is for me and lean completely on Him for understanding, while I trust His instruction and direction.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;” Proverbs 3:5

I am expectant of God’s favor and mercy regarding my family, yet I still pray for them; without ceasing I pray for those who have yet to know my God. My prayers are for changed hearts and the desire for God. We must always pray, and we must always start with praise of our Father in heaven and all He is, all He has done and all He is in us.

As I walk out of the front door, I am expectant for a great day, even as the rain begins again. Even with the rain and challenges of the week. I know that it has rained most of the night - the water has become resident all around our yard. I can see from the tulips to the fruit trees to the river rock all around that there has been a storm; but somehow, it all looks fresh and new. Even the dirt seems clean and glistening in the rain.

“The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him…” ~Nahum 1:7

Shower me today Lord with new insights, honed in perspectives and let my thoughts of You glisten from the cleansing rain.

"This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." ~Psalm 118:24

Allow each day to be a new day, and within that day, every moment reflect a new and vibrant faith. Renew me Lord. Let me look at everything around me and see Your hand at work, let me see, even the rainy, dreary days as beautiful and amazing.

"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." ~Psalm 51:10

May I continue to have a beautiful perspective and everyday as I step into the world, storm or not, I am expectant of “hope forward”.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 492 of Giving Thanks - Guest Writer, Shona Neff

Let Us Thank Him
By: Shona Neff

God is great, God is good. Let us thank him for our food.

Most of us have uttered this blessing before digging into our dinner. It is a simple, yet profound phrase power packed with reasons why God deserves our praises and thanks.

God is Great

God IS great! He is mighty and omnipotent. He can move mountains both literally and figuratively. He has the power to change the earth’s landscape, but his might can also change the contour of a believer’s heart.

I love this description of God’s great nature:

“To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. Yet the Lord set his affection on your forefathers and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations, as it is today. For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt. Fear the Lord your God and serve him. Hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name. He is your praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes” (Deuteronomy 10:14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21 NIV).

God is indeed great and he gives us many reasons to praise and offer him our thankful hearts.

God is Good

God IS good! During the dedication of Solomon’s temple, the Israelites worshiped and showered the Lord with their thanks:

“He is good; his love endures forever.” ~1 Chronicles 7:3

The list of God’s goodness is as eternal as the heavens, but it is amazing that a good and perfect God chose to share his goodness with us, sinful man.

• Hope, joy, and peace: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” ~Romans 15:13

• Love: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” ~John 3:16

• Grace: “From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” ~1 John 1:16-17

This list is just the beginning as to why God is so good, but it is a wonderful place to start to when offering him our choruses of thank you.

Let Us Thank Him

The original blessing encourages us to thank God for the provision, food, he provides. And, it is right that we do. In light of the recent earthquakes in Haiti, New Zealand, and Japan, we are reminded that food is not always easy to obtain. Food shelves empty fast when communities are faced with natural disasters or the flow of goods and services is interrupted. We need to always be thankful when food is plentiful.

It is good to thank God beyond his provision of food:

“Give thanks to the lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” ~Psalm 107:1

“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”
~2 Corinthians 9:15

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.”
~Hebrews 12:28

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
~1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17

God is worthy of and deserves our praise. I’ll admit, when we are in the pit it is not easy to lift our praises and words of thankfulness, but that is what is called a sacrifice of praise. In all circumstances, we need to share our thanks to the Master of the Universe for all he does for us.

Shona loves to inspire people with God’s Word and help them pursue God’s call on their lives. She is Senior Editor of Rooted Living digital magazine, co-founder of StepUP Writing and Speaking Services, and maintains a personal blog,, which includes audio devotions taken from her radio show, Practical Christianity. She is also an editor, writer, speaker, and personality consultant.

Shona Neff, StepUp Writing and Speaking

Editor~Writer~Radio Host
Certified Personality Trainer

Monday, March 21, 2011

Day 491 of Giving Thanks

I am constantly reminded that God has gifted me with discernment; and the ability to know the right path – now choosing the right path every time, He is working on daily. I am grateful that He will never give up on getting me to perfection. Today, I was able to share my heart, a conviction; deeply Lord I want to share the truth and be Your reflection of the truth through my life.

I am grateful for the amazing words He gives me in my quiet times with him.

We Are Soldiers
Wake up soldiers, get up out of the fox hole.
Get your armor on, and get in agreement with the Holy Spirit.
Rise up - show those needing to escape the enemy's snare His presence in you.
Rally - sharpen iron with those who are in the same fight.
Be still and hear His instructions for your mission.
Prepare in the word constantly.
Set out into the world, get out of the churches and let your light shine.

“A psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” ~Psalm 23:1-3

There is a place called complacency, which if you visit too long it will become harder and harder to leave.

It is quite comfortable and warm and inviting and everyone visits, many stay.

There is a moment when complacency becomes the status quo and many don't realize that moment has passed.

  • It is the moment that the world’s ways seem appropriate and right.
  • It is the moment that God becomes watered down.
  • It is the moment that your dreams are just not important any more.
  • It is the moment that life is ok the way it is.
  • It is the moment that just enough is all you expect.
  • It is the moment that opening the blinds is an effort.
  • It is the moment that a smile is rare to see in your own reflection.

All these moments occur – and at some point they collide and crash – it is when we can separate from our moments and connect with God that complacency becomes extinct. And, extinction is an awesome thing.

  • It extinguishes the enemy’s plans.
  • It extinguishes sadness.
  • It extinguishes helplessness and hopelessness.

Extinguishing complacency is my moment to moment objective. Removing the things that are too comfortable and too warm and too inviting to so many and replace with a presence that is not always comfortable, but very comforting - is not always warm, but wraps me gently - is not always inviting, but the invitation is freely given to everybody.

I share an invitation from my savior - for He wants to comfort you and wrap you securely in salvation with a flooding of warmth over you.

Be present in my life Jesus.
Be my strength when I face opposition.
Be here when I am alone.
Be everywhere when I am nowhere.
Be the cushion when I fall.
Be warmth when I am cold.
Be everything, when I feel nothing.
Be Lord, be for me.

“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.

I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.

I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.” ~Psalm 63:1-5

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Day 490 of Giving Thanks

What is the color of my life?

As I sat in front of the fire earlier this evening, that was the question that popped into my heart. And, as I watched the flames, I could see Red, yellow and orange, and blue.

The colors that I see for my life are the true colors of God, which are all the colors of life.

I can’t wait to explore all these colors – and continue to learn all He has for me.

“Let all creation rejoice before the LORD, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his faithfulness.” ~Psalm 96:13

Lord, thank You for all the colors and all the things that allow me to recognize Your colors and what represents Your colors. Let all these things be vivid reminders of You great and mighty Father.

Red - “Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep…” Hebrews 13:20

Yellow and orange - “I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.” ~Revelation 3:18

Blue - “And they saw the God of Israel and under His feet there appeared to be a pavement of sapphire, as clear as the sky itself.” ~Exodus 24:10

Today, I reflect on where I am, and know that my life is full of color – what is the color of my life? My colors are many – all shades of red, yellow, orange, blue and silver and gold.

(New International Version used for this study)

© 2012 Giving Thanks Daily, Shawn Boreta

We are Wonderfully Made (, living to encourage and Equip His People ( and completely committed to believing greatly Psalm 139 with purpose (
Originally shared on Equip His People, Ephesians 4:11-13 on Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 1:35pm

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Day 489 of Giving Thanks

‎Just thinking about how much God loves me today; so much so that my life is important and valid enough that He is intimately involved with even the simplest of details. There are details of my life I will never be aware of, and details I feel are simple, that God holds dear. Today, I am grateful for all the details.

"But now, God's Message, the God who made you in the first place, Jacob, the One who got you started, Israel: "Don't be afraid, I've redeemed you. I've called your name. You're mine. When you're in over your head, I'll be there with you. When you're in rough waters, you will not go down. When you're between a rock and a hard place, it won't be a dead end—Because I am God, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Savior. I paid a huge price for you: all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in! That's how much you mean to me! That's how much I love you! I'd sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you.” ~Isaiah 43:1-4 (The Message)

we must all have it....

P.ersistent faith
A.bounding grace
S.aving knowledge
S.overeign God
I.nfinite wisdom
O.verwhelming love
N.ever ending God

‎"I am putty in Your hands... "
me to God.

Looking back on the week, I realize it could have turned out so differently. I started out complaining and getting sucked into my circumstances – and toward the end of the week, God sucked me into what I am supposed to do. I stopped, reflected and remembered all that He did. All that He did, the details. The realization that we/I would need a savior; knowing that only He could be that savior; devising and executing that intricately engineered plan for us/me. Yes, I am grateful for all the details.

I am wonderfully made –
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you.” ~Psalm 139:13-18

Friday, March 18, 2011

Day 488 of Giving Thanks

I love mornings when I can get a half hour quiet time in and don’t feel rushed or pressured by the clock. My objective is to start each day by His calm and collectiveness.
Heavenly and wonderful Father, it is in the dark of the morning that I seek You. In the silence of the house when I am all alone. It is in the moment between sleep and awake that I grasp You are near; am I yet awake, or nearly dreaming of Your presence? And, I realize that my life with You is greater than a dream - it is hopeful, joyful and restful.
I am in Your grasp, O'God. In the grips of my life with You in it, about it and over it.
Wholly with You O'God. In confidence and hope O'God. Through my life O'God wholly Yours - grateful for the firm hold.
As I drove to work this morning, the winds were blowing everything and gave a sense of the impeding storm. Yet today, as I woke up, I had a sense of hope and accomplishment for the day. I knew I had a lot today, but I was determined to keep my head down and just get focused.
Safely inside as the wind roars outside.
Safely inside as the world rumbles all around.
Safely inside as darkness searches for light.
Safely with the Holy Spirit within in, and my God wrapped securely around me and the blood of Christ completely covering me.

Twelve hours later, and mission accomplished. My desk is clean and organized. Although there is much to do, and very little time to do it in, I know that with everything laid out and identified, the tasks will be easier.
I am overwhelmed with a sense of accomplishment, and all I can do is be hopeful that there is some sort of order as the tasks, all 46 of them, are executed next week. But now, I rest. I will go home and spend time with my wonderful husband – a weekend without chores or places to be. A time that we can just be and be together.
Tomorrow, on the is earth, is not promised.
Tomorrow, in heaven, is a choice you make today.
Make the most of your today, by knowing what your tomorrow will bring.

So, here is my hope for you - Depending on where "in the world" you are, your weekend has already started or is just beginning. Take time to be with your family. Let go of work. Have fun. Worship together. Break bread together. Talk intently and with hope. Take a walk. Cuddle and enjoy the tender moments of the ones you love. And, thank God for them.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 487 of Giving Thanks

Absolute overload – my senses, my body, my days, my life…

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” ~Matthew 11:28-30

When I was a kid I often heard my mom and dad say, “just sit still”, “quit fidgeting”. Well, not much has changed and it is about forty years later. I have spent my life, learning and re-learning how to “just sit still” and “quit fidgeting”.

As I ponder these two words, or three words conjunctively, I am amazed that the simple word “search” came to mind as I finally sat quietly tonight.

Absolute overload - so, with this description so readily on my tongue, and so many things “feeling” this way, how can I look at this differently? How can I start changing how I think about “feelings” that pop into my head and cloud my vision of what is real?

I break it down, I re-define, refine and focus on looking at what’s going on around me differently, and change my perspective – and ultimately my life.

I am grateful for, and God’s quiet nudging to expand and change my thought pattern on this one.

Absolute - free from imperfection; complete; perfect; something that is free from any restriction or condition; something that is independent of some or all relations; something that is perfect or complete.

Over – preposition - above in authority, rank, power, etc., so as to govern, control, or have jurisdiction; so as to rest on or cover; on or upon; reaching higher than, so as to submerge:
Adverb - beyond the top or upper surface or edge of something; so as to cover the surface, or affect the whole surface; from beginning to end; once more: adjective - upper; higher up; higher in authority; serving, or intended to serve, as an outer covering; remaining or additional, surplus, extra.

Load – to supply abundantly, lavishly, or excessively with something.

“A psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” -Psalm 23:1-3

I am grateful to see things new, and to be refreshed with this approach.

“The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.” ~Psalm 19:7

Thank you Father for instructing me to “just sit still” and “quit fidgeting” tonight.

So, Lord, it is You that is my “absolute overload”, my God, “free from imperfection; complete; perfect”, who is “my higher authority, my perfect covering, my beginning to end” who loves me so much, that I am “supplied abundantly, lavishly, and excessively with everything”.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” ~James 1:17

So, I am grateful today to be absolutely overloaded with an amazing and perfect God.

"He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he." ~Deuteronomy 32:4

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Day 486 of Giving Thanks

My morning thought was –
“Greetings World,
You may think you've got me, but you don't. I may have momentary lapses of insanity as I look at what you offer, but deep down, it is NOTHING, no really nothing. I have God. He gave me His son (amazing, right?). He's promised heaven just because I believed.. and although you are right in front of me, He dwells IN ME (awesome, right?). But this greeting is NOTHING, the "farewell world" is EVERYTHING.”

And in a moment, I realized that the grieving process continues, but I revel in the changes and the outcome already determined. How about you?

When I first started reading the old testament, specifically those going through the grieving process or coming to God with the ripping of the sackcloth, I originally though, “how uncivilized”. This morning as I ponder that thought of mourning and grief, I know “how fragile, human and real” that act truly was. Let me be fragile, as then I know that I can feel; let me be human, as I know that it is a temporary state to be perfected one day; let me be real, so that I can see real and understand real.

It has been a pretty tough the last couple of weeks, and even through it, I have had a since of hope and confidence like never before. I would assume that it would be a time of standing in the street, and ripping at my sackcloth for sure. But I have God’s grace, in a moment of silence, a time of reflections, I already have His attention.

There are a couple of things in my life that are “up in the air” currently – stability type things – health and income and ‘what next’. I have cried a lot, which has been more of a release than grief – and I have prayed even more, which has been a soothing and calming activity – and I am growing immeasurably, which is a growth in patience and perseverance, with great hope of the possibilities that come to mind in the waiting.

Patience is not something I have to do, but something God will make me acquire through my circumstances. My responsibility as God grows my skills in patience, is to recognize that I am filled with the Holy Spirit and have unlimited resources with that power, and waiting is just part of the process.

  • Learning: among man, my opinion means nothing... with God at the controls, His opinion of me means everything.
  • Realizing: I cannot seek approval from ANY man... that I am already approved in God's eyes.
  • Establishing: a new personal approach that keeps me learning and realizing “what” to establish for God's work in me.

I remember daily as I go to the word, God’s blessings are in abundance... I just need to recognize them when they are in front of me, and grab on to what He has for me; His courage when I am fearful or anxious; while remaining faithful as I do.

“The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him.” ~Nahum 1:7
And, with God, and the Holy Spirit in me… I know true courage is possible, because it…
C.omes from God
O.vercoming all obstacles
U.nderstanding He is in control
R.eleasing all anxiety and fears to Him
A.rmed in His grace and with His word
G.iving Him all the glory for the win
E.verything is given to Him
My faith is…
F.reely and openly loving God
A.lways seeking His guidance
I.nspired by His word daily
T.hankful for His grace eternally
H.olding onto His promises every moment

As I shut down for the evening, physically, I prepare mentally for my nightly talk with my heavenly Father.

Goodnight God – I am come to You for rest, comfort and the perfect sanctuary. Give me harbor in Your port tonight. Keep the waters calm in the days to come, or keep me in the boat during rough waters. Remind me to look toward the son and let His light shine about me for all to see.

“When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever.” ~Proverbs 10:25

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Day 485 of Giving Thanks

I gave heaps of glory for God as He woke me up today on time... After another sleepless night and my best sleep was between 3AM and 7AM, I had the greatest time with God all around those hours... Thank You God for giving me comfort and company last night.

Oh what a wonderful thought, honesty - liberation like nothing before. Lord, help me to be honest with myself and to see myself through Your eyes. There was a huge desire today to respond badly, shut down and just quit. I settled in, turned on some worship music and made a choice – A choice to respond to a bad situation, the right way – so I shut down the bad attitude and quit whining.

The music and the indwelling truly is what got me though the day. Father, bring me into Your presence... grab hold of me God. As the flesh is resisting to be comforted and my true feelings surface – I can’t see clear. Loose the fear and anxiety and help me to know Your grace this moment, Your mercy in this plight and Your tenderness greatly. Bring me deeply into a state of You.

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” ~Colossians 3:12

my speed, "Will I ever arrive?"
God's speed, "Always perfect timing!"
my speed with God, "Awe! Resting in that one."

I am grateful for the reminder to pray and settle in to God’s presence. I neglected to put on my armor today, but know that He’s still got me’. Lord – keep me protected, safe and harboring You and nothing else.

We are adults right? So let’s quit whining about all that is wrong in our lives and grab onto what is right. What is right is all that is God. What is right is all that is not wrong. Which should be a majority of our lives, we just need to switch the focus...

By the way, I am totally speaking to myself first and foremost here, thought I would share, just in case there are any other "real" people out there...

I have been reminded to pray so often over the past year, and for this I am very grateful. I get to connect with my God; fully exposed and wholly His. It is an amazing and glorious time.

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” ~Ephesians 6:18-20

Friends, we must remember:
He knows all.
You have questions, ask the expert for guidance.
He is all.
You need strength, request it from the source of all strength.

“Peace to the brothers and sisters, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.” ~Ephesians 6:23-24

Monday, March 14, 2011

Day 484 of Giving Thanks

I can pray, “take it away”, but I am realizing that that is a non-productive prayer, so I continue to pray for healing and today, “Give me strength", and God will answer. “I will give you strength to get through". And, simply I continue, "And continue to equip me through Your perfecting. Raise my threshold mighty God!” I have the ability to endure everything and all of life’s circumstances because He is who strengthens me, He is who is driving me to through perfection.
“Secret, fervent, believing prayer lies at the root of all personal godliness.” ~Ron McIntyre, Strength and Honor
Stepping into God today, so I can step up from adversity. As I melt into His presence, I hear the whisper "shhh, just be still". And, in that I know that He's got me, as usual. Stepping into God today, and stepping out of me.

I ask myself many questions throughout the day, “How do I get better?” And, I know that when I focus on what will make me better and I focus on who made me in His image... for when I focus on perfection, I will become perfected. “How can I accomplish so many things Lord?” One day at a time, and often times, one moment at a time and always asking for Him to lift where I need lifting, hold when I need holding and shape what needs to be changed.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.” ~Ephesians 6:10
Father I come to you with thin skin, and a desire to be liked and accepted by others. In this world that is a rough combination. As I walk in Your steps, may I be protected perfectly by Your words, allow the judgment of others to be like water on my back and let it run off. I ask You Lord for protection as I hear others speak to me and about me, let me filter in only what is of You. I pray Father and mighty God that my life is completely covered by the power of Your promises and Your word and Your desires in my life. I pray that the negative of the world be so minor in my thoughts and my memories, and Your words be prominent. In the power of the blood of Christ, I pray these things for myself and for so many others. Amen.

Greatness comes from above, as He is within... I cannot lose – I’ve got His calling on my life, so I am expecting greatness. I have gone through my life with my grip slipping so often. Turning the other cheek or the thought of that is a hard concept for me, because it's like saying, ok, "do it again..."

So what I do is sink in to God first. Go to Him and ask for His protection and His comfort and His covering all upon me, then turn the other cheek.

And now, God has such a tight and perfect grip on me, and is changing so much of what I see that the changes are hard to keep up with. This week has had the lowest of lows in some areas, but has allowed for deepest conversations with God. It is good. God is good. And, expectation is a wonderful word and thought pattern to stay in. It has allowed me to be more tightly bound to my heavenly Father.

At moments, I feel as though I am popping in and out of my life. But know that I am greatly being ministered to, being pushed, probed and prodded in so many ways right now - that my head seems to be spinning. But, it is all good, for I am being changed by His perfect plan and purpose.
“Because of Christ and our faith in Him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God's presence. So please don't lose heart." ~Ephesians 3:12-13

for a mighty and wonderful God... a purposeful path and beautiful friends.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Day 483 of Giving Thanks

Every day of my life I am required to make choices – it can be a little choice or it can be a huge choice – and sometimes it is the smallest choices that change everything forever.

“We plan – and God steps in with another plan for us and He is all-wide and the most loving friend we have always helped us.” ~Nettie Fowler McCormick

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”” ~Isaiah 30:21

A choice is C.hanging the direction that I am currently on or staying on course (it truly is as easy as that) – each direction is a choice; today, I trust the H.oly Spirit to guide and to be there at every turn as I make these choices. Often it is a choice out of O.bedience and love; through this obedience, my I.dentity in C.hrist is being secured and I am greatly E.ncouraged that the right choices are becoming easier to make.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” ~Proverbs 3:5-6
The best choice and the greatest changes are yet to come. I am excited. I am encouraged. I am expectant.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” ~Romans 8:28

My job is to make choices that are in alignment with God’s word and His word for me. I am grateful that He is on my side, that when my choice may be a degree off, He straightens out my path and is with me in the process – what an amazing assurance to go through life with. What an amazing comfort to know that I am always in His perfect care.

“The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.” ~Psalm 37:23-24
"But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life." ~Jude1:20-21

"For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.” ~Psalm 48:14

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Day 482 of Giving Thanks

Another day Lord, that You have brought me through greatly.

I am on a journey and my journey will not be like any other journey. It is a journey defined by my beliefs about my purpose and my actions based on what I believe – my faith.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” ~Romans 8:28

And His revealing of my life’s purpose is what I wait for – and as I wait, I learn and grow. I am probably the most impatient person I know – when things are not moving fast enough, I jump in, take over and get things done; well that was before. Today, I wait, to allow God to go first; I wait, so I choose the right path; I wait, to hear His instruction. But getting to today hasn’t been as easy as “wait”. It has been a road of me stepping in before God, hitting detour after wrong road and starting to build without opening the manual. This is not something I would recommend, by the way.
Throughout my life, I have put my faith in many things that have completely let me down. I have put my faith in people, systems and my own strength and wisdom.

Today, I put my faith in my creator, who strengthens me and already knows the way.

God is in the business of restoring and reshaping our lives – I am so glad He’s got my life in mind. He guides me so that I will understand that He is right there with me. When I make a mistake, I shake it off and start moving toward Him again. Often times, He is the one lifting me up.

My job is to stay in step with what He has instructed. He will illuminate the way, and I never have to seek that light as He placed it within me; my guide on this journey is the Holy Spirit; and the path He set before me is never dark, yet it is narrow. Thank You Lord for leading me perfectly!

My job is to speak only truth into my own life. When others tell me things that are not edifying or encouraging – I need to remember whose voice I listen to. I need to hit the delete button of my mind, so I will not replay the things that are not of God. Ask God who you are - and He will tell me (every time), that I am are worthy of His love, so much so that He did an amazing work just for you on the cross.

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~ Psalm 139:14

O'Lord how my heart aches for those who have yet to know You. For those whose thoughts and fears cloud their deepest desires to connect with You, our creator. The desire that was born in us. The desire that burns deeply, and can be fueled in other ways too.

O'Lord speak to Your people - give us wisdom and the ability to share.

My job every day is to be grateful for every part of this journey and to continue to wait on God. Lord, I am grateful that Your instructions are impeccable. I am grateful for these days that You give me. I am grateful to know You and that I am greatly loved. I am grateful for my life today. And, I am grateful to wait on You.

Another night Lord, that You have brought me to, may I honor You greatly.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Day 481 of Giving Thanks - Guest Writer, Tammy Maltby

Friends, I have the honor to introduce my wonderful friend Tammy Maltby. Tammy is one of those ladies who lets you know that you are "at home" when you are with her. God truly delivered the right ministry to her. She is a beautiful woman of God with an amazing spirit - she is the real deal.

Discovering the Secrets to a beautiful life.
by: Tammy Maltby

Last week I was scurrying around my home preparing for a dinner with some of my close female friends. The glow of candles warmed each room. Soft music played. The aroma of cranberry chicken enveloped the air with a come-hither temptation. As my friends arrived they were immersed in this lifegiving moment. We feasted upon delicious appetizers and talked of our love for beauty, wonderful scents and magnificent looking food! We laughed, ate and connected. The energy was high. The air was light. Our hearts were full.

It was life to us.

Women everywhere long for beautiful lives. Lives of substance and loveliness. Lives that find splendor in the mundane…glory in the commonplace. While that picture looks as different as the woman holding the yearnings, it is none the less a strong magnet. Women intuitively sense they were made to bring life to their surroundings.

Pick up a National Geographic and see women from every walk of life, color of skin and socioeconomic level celebrating life and beauty. Lifegiving is more than an idea is a breathtakingly beautiful way to live and love. It's the essence of who we are as women… a mindset, a lifestyle, and a beautiful touch. It is the place our soul finds it's truest purpose and passion.

But, why?

Why do women have such a need to give life, to breathe in beauty, and to give their lives away in meaningful ways?

I found the answer in God’s Word.

I grew up a good Baptist girl and read the creation account 100 times…(okay 700 times). Amazingly enough, on the 701th reading I discovered a revelation that amazed me!

You know the story. God created a beautiful garden. Then he scooped up some dust, created Adam, and placed him in the garden. (Clearly explains their love of camping!) But when God chose to "fashion" a woman He formed her from Adam’s flesh (relational aren’t we) and then placed her in the center of the most beautiful place this earth has ever known-the magnificent Garden of Eden.

Imagine as Eve opened her eyes for the first time and saw perfected beauty, tasted exquisite fruits, listened to singing birds and touched the softness of a lily. God instilled in women this desire to create, celebrate and give life. Eve’s name (which means Lifegiver) and her nature where shaped by the place God formed her-- a luscious, perfect Garden.

Because we are daughters of Eve, we, too, long to give life and to surround ourselves with beauty. Woman was created in beauty for beauty.

We were God's beautiful idea.

So why does this matter to us as twenty-first century women? Because it validates our calling to be lifegivers. It resonates within our very being. Our purpose is to give life and to infuse beauty into life around us whether we are single, married, young or old. When we live a lifestyle of lifegiving we begin to understand it is not something we do, or another thing to put on already long lists of demands, rather it is living a passion filled intentional life of loving, risk and care.

As I often say, the domestic divas of the day may tell us how…but Lifegiving tells us why.

Lifegiving is God’s fingerprint on the heart of women. It’s a mindset, a lifestyle, a beautiful touch. It’s who God created us to be.

About Tammy Maltby
Faith, Food, Real People, Real Life

I also have an author page on my personal facebook is full..

Tammy Maltby is a speaker, author and media personality with a heart for helping women to live rich, authentic lives. Her multifaceted life can be summed up in one word “encouragement”. Tammy’s graceful and transparent style of communication inspires women to live a more honest and real lifestyle. Her passion for beautiful living and relationship-centered hospitality shines in her most recent book, The Christmas Kitchen: A Gathering Place for Making Memories. Tammy is also the author of Confessions of a Good Christian Girl, Lifegiving: Discovering the Secrets to a Beautiful Life, and A Discovery Journal to a Beautiful Life, is coauthor (with Tom Davis) of Confessions of a Good Christian Guy, and is hard at work on The God Who Sees You.

A ten-year cohost of the two time Emmy-winning NRB TV talk show of the year Aspiring Women, Tammy has also been featured on hundreds of radio and television programs, including Focus on the Family, Family Life Today with Dennis Rainey, Life Today with James and Betty Robinson, The 700 Club, Midday Connection, 100 Huntley Street, and CBN’s Living the Life.

Today, along with ministry partner, Michelle Borquez-Thornton, Tammy is spearheading a movement encouraging women to “Start Simply but Simply Start!” As President and Co-Founder of “It’s a Good Life” organization, Tammy and Michelle together are inspiring women to use food and faith as a tool to create community and connection. Once upon a time women cooked together. Now Tammy, along with partner Michelle, have launched the It’s a Good Life Cooking Club to inspire women to invite their friends to come and cook with them and discover great recipes, ways to save, and God Life conversation starters. Ladies night was just given a whole new meaning! It’s not just about how to cook, more importantly it’s about why we cook!

Tammy is the mother of four grown children, two of whom are adopted internationally. She is a doting grandmother to beautiful three-year-old Cohen and lives in Colorado with her husband.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day 480 of Giving Thanks

On days where my heart is completely broken over a loss and what is no longer, I reach deeply to find the comfort; I reach out to my Father, and plead for the ache and pain to go away. I have written in the past about allowing the grief process to occur, yet that is something that I would love to skip today.

All it took was a glimpse, a look at something that I was, once, head over heels in love with - my idol, possibly - my passion, deeply - my life's ambition, completely. But these are all things, the possibly, the deeply, the completely were results of selfishness and disobedience. And, I am not saying that that dream was not good and awesome and godly, I am saying that although I embarked well, I sailed poorly through the waters of that particular journey - and today I truly believe that when we put our dreams ahead of God, the outcome is greatly altered as a result. So today, I embark anew and I trust that He will lead me to a desire and passion – to a new dream.

I expect God to do great things in me. I expect a great life. I expect to change.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.” ~Ephesians 6:10

… with God in the lead, I cannot fail.

“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” ~2 Peter 1:3-4

So for a brief moment today, I grieve and I cry for what is no longer and for the parts of my life I miss so greatly. But I also revel in the fact that in every loss, there are gains – for with this loss has come a greater gains – and that is wisdom and clarity of who I am, why I am important and that I am powerful beyond measure – because of who I am. I wipe away the tears, that I know He so wonderfully collects, and I step in to His presence, and I put on my armor and press in. “You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book? ~Psalms 56:8.

Tenacity is more than hanging on, which may be but the weakness of being too afraid to fall off. Tenacity is the supreme effort of a man refusing to believe that his hero is going to be conquered....Remain spiritually tenacious.” ~Oswald Chambers

Suffering excruciating pain; spiritually, when His grace was not known to me; physically, when I knew no purpose in my life; and emotionally, when hope was for others. The pain of change is priceless and the pain of regret is devastating. God knows this path I choose, and all the decisions I made in my past – “May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he'll do it!” ~1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 – He is greatly aware of the healing needed and the timing that is perfect according to His plans for me. I expect God in all aspects of my life.

“But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’ declares the LORD, ‘because you are called an outcast, Zion for whom no one cares.’” ~Jeremiah 30:17

And, there is hope in my surrender and in His tenderness of these lessons. Today, I will end with one of my favorite sayings, “I can’t wait to see what God has next.”

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Day 479 of Giving Thanks

I expect God to do great things in me. I expect a great life. I expect to change.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.” ~Ephesians 6:10

I am grateful that I know that change is necessary and I am so thankful for the way God has decided to relay truth to me, and share insights into my life. I am grateful that God is greatly using my gifts on this journey – having the ability to discern and see things differently is such a great gift, and I love to share them with others. My total obsession is to find ways to attract people to the person I am through God and with God. And, the only way to do that is to know Him and see the world and people through His eyes. My obsession, for sure.

"But you, Israel, are my servant. You're Jacob, my first choice, descendants of my good friend Abraham. I pulled you in from all over the world, called you in from every dark corner of the earth, Telling you, 'You're my servant, serving on my side. I've picked you. I haven't dropped you.' Don't panic. I'm with you. There's no need to fear for I'm your God. I'll give you strength. I'll help you.I'll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you." ~Isaiah 41:8-10 (The Message)

Your voice I seek.
Soft whispers I detect.
Toward silence I dwell.
Your voice O' God.
I hear it now.
In my soul is peace.
In my heart I rejoice.
In my mind triumph.
Just so much hope in You.

It has truly been a week if thickening of the skin, keeping my head up and completely submitting to hearing what God has for me. In the process of submitting, I am learning to listen more, sit quietly much more often, pay attention to my surroundings and to watch out for what He wants me to see. Many times this week, my eyes were closed tightly – and after a few days of doing things my way, I knew it was time to open wide to His ways.

The advice that came again yesterday was to “Put the armor of God, Shawn” – putting on that armor and making decisions daily in "the knowing" that I am protected and sheltered and tenderly loved. Allowing the grace to flow even when I forget to put on the armor, along with removing what I am concerned with; and remembering to turn to the needs of others, and the care of others, because I am already take care of.

Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” ~Ephesians 6:11-17

So, after visually putting on my armor this morning, sitting once again, listening to the things that bring me into God’s presence. I am grateful that God’s presence is always here - He waits - it is truly up to me to step in. Thank You Father that You are so readily available.
  • Let my eyes see what is You.
  • Let my ears hear what is You.
  • Let my senses know what is You.
  • Let my heart dwell in what is You.
  • Let my soul rejoice in what is You.
He planned, executed and gave it all for me. He resides in me through the power of the Holy Spirit, soooo -

Now that is true love.

“Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.” ~Psalm 143:10

In my obsessive moments, I love to pray – prayer for me is so uplifting and time literally stands still in those moments. I can, however get overwhelmed with my inability to remember everything and everyone to pray for, but I am certain that all I have to do is go to God, through the Holy Spirit and say, "Father, you know all those people I met, ran into, etc.", and the Holy Spirit will take over. In Jesus name. Amen.

Oh, Lord, how there is so much to pray for... it truly is a very good thing that my God is bigger than all the need.

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” ~Ephesians 6:18-20

Keep teaching me Father, while helping me become equipped for Your tasks… help me to understand my circumstances as I go through them, if not in the moment, in its entirety.

Every word you give me is a miracle word—how could I help but obey? Break open your words, let the light shine out, let ordinary people see the meaning. Mouth open and panting, I wanted your commands more than anything. Turn my way, look kindly on me, you always do to those who personally love you. Steady my steps with your Word of promise so nothing malign gets the better of me. Rescue me from the grip of bad men and women so I can live life your way. Smile on me, your servant; teach me the right way to live. I cry rivers of tears because nobody's living by your book!” ~Psalm 119:129-136 (Msg)

I expect God to do great things in me. I expect a great life. I expect to change.

Shawn Delia Boreta

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I love people. My life has been spent seeking new friendships and helping others. God's gifting is being worked out into His plan for me. I am excited to share insights of His leadings and lessons.