Thursday, June 30, 2011

Day 592 of Giving Thanks

As the sun breaks through the clouds today, I am warmed by the sense of You Lord. I am filled with hope knowing that the storm has gone, and the sun will shine today. Today, I expect to bask in the SON, and celebrate the passing of the storm.

This morning I started my day well and spoke these words to the Father, “Lord as I step out into my day, I come to You for strength to do what I am assigned to do today. Lord, I pray that it is a clear instruction and the path is identified. Thank You for going before me, and being with me on my journey today. All in Your power mighty God, in Your presence and all for Your glory. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.”

This, my friends is a message for you, one that has been marinating in my heart since I accepted his marvelous gift. And, as He dwells in me, and I become who He intends me to be and as I grow more toward Him, the enemy gets angry. Every day we are "sold" lies... and with every lie we "buy", we get farther away in belief of who God made us to be. Ignore the lies of the enemy; you ARE good enough; you ARE loved; you ARE special and amazing; you ARE HIS. So, I say again, ignore the enemy, listen to the word and promises of our amazing God!

Did you know that it is never too late come to God?
Did you know that once forgiven, always forgiven?
Did you know that You have a BIG God, with perfect solutions to your problems?
Did you know that He wants to have a relationship with you?
Did you know all you have to do is ask Him?
He lives -
- you have hope because of Him
- you have freedom in Him
- you have eternity with Him
- you have power through Him

Now, do you know Him? All this assurance, grace, love, joy, hope and more is possible through the love and relationship with Christ.

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” ~John 14:6 (NIV)
“For the word of the LORD is right and true; He is faithful in all He does. The LORD loves righteousness and justice;  the earth is full of His unfailing love.” ~Psalm 33:4-5 (NIV)

It is always a good day when I begin it by going to my Father for forgiveness of all the things I did yesterday, doubted, feared, became irritated about and didn't remember His closeness in need. And a great day when I remember to thank Him for being here at every moment.

And when you are part of His family, you ARE good enough; you ARE loved; you ARE special and amazing; you are forgiven, once and for all and you ARE HIS.

And we can give thanks to Him over and over for His unfailing love and wonderful works in our lives. (Psalm 107:15)

“We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, LORD, even as we put our hope in you.” ~Psalm 33:20-22

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Day 591 of Giving Thanks

My day started out today, and I found myself really wanting to “fix” someone… and heard, “Stop, let Me work here.” So I answered, “Yes Lord yes. Whatever You say.  Help me in my unbelief that You know best.” I continued with prayer. “Father, I pray for boldness of Your children, my brothers and sisters. I pray they stand firm for You, and they too will know Your presence deeply, and come to You for all their concerns and through all Your victories in their lives.”

Taking on the weight of the world is not a virtue, I have learned. It is a never-ending battle between sanity and clarity. Over the years I have “taken on” way too much, and what ensued was havoc, heartache and ill feelings, mostly on my part. By no means have I figured out how to do things completely “right”, but I am surely getting better.

As a woman, I, not only want everyone happy around me, I want them fixed (restored and whole) – I believe I have tried to make everything work perfectly around me and especially being a perfect “Shawn” for most of my own life, which is a great way to drive myself crazy.

I have made the most painful mistakes with many in my life, especially those I love. I am grateful that I have been able to forgive myself, as I grow in my relationship with God. What an amazing process this is. Fortunately, it’s not the pain I reflect upon - it is the growth that has occurred and the blessings of truth that I realize. What I know now is the best way to help others is through loving them and accepting them for who and where they are – still embedding this into my own fabric. 

When I try to “better” those around me, really, what I am doing is dismissing what God created. So, how did I become that hypercritical, busy body who wants to butt in and make changes with those I meet and know? It’s easy, I have spent much of my life on the receiving end of this also; I have known so many people who have “tried” to change me. And, how do I recover from this disorder or being a fix-it gal? It’s easy, I let go of what I know, and become what He is. I allow God to step in and take control. I allow God to do His work in me through the Holy Spirit. I allow God to work on others, in His chosen manner and timing. And, I continue to work on me, and do what I can do toward that, and count on God for His part.

What now? That’s really easy and hard at the same time. I continue to allow God to do what He does in me, and pray for others to know Him as well.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Day 590 of Giving Thanks

There are days when I wish I pre-wrote posts for the blogs... and then, these are the same days that the Lord gives me the greatest blessings with what comes out. As I prayed for, and requested prayer for inspiration tonight, I found my quiet place in our house, and I sank into being still. I find that when my mind has been dealing with too many ‘things’ during the day, and I have not gone to Him often enough, or in today’s case, only a couple of times, writing becomes work, rather than a gift I receive.

Tonight I stopped to thank Him for all He has done in my life. All I have to do is look around me to see what He gives so freely. All His gifts for are treasures.

Before I knew God, I thought I knew so much, needed so much and sacrificed so much. I am grateful for the awareness of needing Him in my life and knowing that I have so much to learn, I have all that I need and He is who sacrificed for me.

Before I knew God, I dwelled on where I came from, I was dependent on no one and my heart ached for wholeness. I am grateful for where I am going, depending on Him and my heart is filled with joy and hope beyond measure.

Before I knew God, I dismissed His greatness, shut the door to who I am and claimed the world’s ways. I am grateful that I desire His presence constantly, that He has opened my eyes and shed light in my life and I am a citizen of heaven.

“The Lord isn’t slow to do what he promised, as some people think. Rather, he is patient for your sake. He doesn’t want to destroy anyone but wants all people to have an opportunity to turn to him and change the way they think and act.” ~2 Peter 3:9 (GODS WORD Translation)

This was one of the verses from yesterday, but it is still marinating and resonating through my heart tonight. How amazing Your love Lord, how amazing Your journey for me. How beautiful Your words. How miraculous is my life now. How thankful I am.

There was a time when I shut God completely out of my life, I told people, “He is not my God. He has done nothing for me”, yet, He watched over me, guided me, sent His messengers, and all along, He loved me and continued to pursue me. And, in the time when I called to Him, there was no trauma or hardship in the present. But it was upon reflection of where I came from - through the challenges, the obstacles, hardships and pain, as the waters rose and took my breath away I saw Him all along the way. Although at the time, I was unaware, dismissive and worldly. As I reflected on my life, at that time, I became very aware that He was with me all along. The heartfelt adoration for a God who has never forgot me or did not leave me for dead. Now I live and realize every day, if there was no pain or sorrow and our existence was perfect, there would be no purpose, learning or gratification... and in the flesh, there is no need for God. It was through all my circumstances that brought me running to His presence, and accepting His gift.

"This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn't go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person's failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.” ~John 3:16-18 (The Message)

It is amazing to think that God loves me so much that every detail is important. He knows the plans He has for me, and I may not know any plans He has, but I can rest assure, that it is perfect for me in every way. And I have all this, because I spoke a few words and believed.

Because if you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord” and in your heart you have faith that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  Trusting with the heart leads to righteousness, and confessing with the mouth leads to salvation. The scripture says, All who have faith in him won’t be put to shame.  There is no distinction between Jew and Greek, because the same Lord is Lord of all, who gives richly to all who call on him.  All who call on the Lord’s name will be saved.” ~Romans 10:9-13 (Common English Bible)

Lord, thank You for this gift of quiet and time with You.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Day 589 of Giving Thanks

It is not about me, yet it is all about me.

I live my life for Him, because He died for me. I love others, because He loved me first. I trust Him, because He is trustworthy. I pray in His name, because He brings my prayers to the Father in heaven. I live in hope, because He gave me a reason to be hopeful. I am alive, because He rose from the dead. I pray, because He answers every prayer.

“And I will do whatever you ask for in my name, so that the Father's glory will be shown through the Son. If you ask me for anything in my name, I will do it.” ~John 14:13-14 (Good News Translation)

Yes, I am living in gratitude every day for all those reasons. 

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your path straight.” ~Proverbs 3:5-6 (New International Verion)

Today could have been another one of those days, where I dwelt in the wrong places and focused on the wrong things, because is seemed that all that I started today, is stalled and delayed, which hinders my ability to get my job done. I have to trust that these stalls and delays are in His plan. That the day went according to plan. That is a tough one, but I am getting better. I pray much. I pressed into Him and prayed several times during my day, once with my coworkers (which, that in itself is truly amazing). What an opportunity we have – to believe God. To hang on to His promises and truly believe that He has good stuff for us. That He has an amazing and wonderful and perfect plan for each and every one of us.

It is amazing to think that God loves me so much that every detail is important. He knows the plans He has for me, and I may not know any plans He has, but I can rest assure, that it is perfect for me in every way.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." ~Jeremiah 29:11 (New International Version)

Every day I hear His voice telling me “stay the course, remember I am here, don’t be discouraged, My timing is perfect, you are changing Shawn – just stay with Me, let me lead”. Now is it that cut and dry? Yes, everyday as I read His Word, I am given a little more insight and clarity, and I am learning how to discern what is Him better. But this is only possible, when I seek Him, trust Him, love Him and believe Him.

The Day the Sky Will Collapse -"Don’t overlook the obvious here, friends. With God, one day is as good as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day. God isn't late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn't want anyone lost. He's giving everyone space and time to change.” ~2 Peter 3:9 (The Message)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Day 588 of Giving Thanks

Sitting before You this morning, I am comforted and my heart is joyful in knowing who I am. Being still and in Your presence is definitely Your prescribed treatment for this body I reside in… it is a daily routine that completely prepares me for the day today, and every day. My pastor has been going through a series called, Identity Theft (Who Do You Think You Are?)… and every week since the study began, I am firmly reminded of who I truly am, because of who He is and what He did.

My prayer today, “I ask that He will strengthen (me) in my inner self from the riches of His glory through the Spirit." ~Ephesians 3:16 (CEB)

How can I possibly contain all the emotions I am experiencing at this moment, because I know that I AM NOT ALONE - YOU ARE HERE - I HAVE HOPE BEYOND MEASURE - it is the greatest feeling to be A CHILD OF GOD!  Yes Lord, tear down all my walls. Lord expose all that needs to be lifted to You for repair, confessing, removal, healing and help bring to my attention all things that remind me every day that You are God, and that I NEED YOU greatly.

My friends, whether you realize it or not, when you are in God's presence, you are CHANGING into who He planned you to be. That right there is enough to be rejoicing and praising His name. Through every day, we get to change and become better because He is with us. Wouldn’t you agree that is something to be grateful for?

Jesus is my hero! And, I have so many stories to tell of Him, and His goodness.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Day 587 of Giving Thanks

Today is another day that I will have no problem at all falling to sleep. I am grateful for busy days around the house. We are preparing for a party next weekend, and the list of things has been long and the tasks have been arduous. And, despite the a day of hard labor, it was an exceptional day… lately I feel like days are only good, after all, great days are a choice...

Today, I choose to live my days well and on purpose, and what I have discovered, is that when I live on purpose things are better. I am eternally grateful for the eternal life I now have, and for the opportunity to spend eternity with my Father in heaven...

It is because of my relationship with Him that I have so much hope. And, only that hope can make me this grateful and ready to live life expectantly and looking forward to every day He gives me. It is because of my daily conversations with my Father in heaven that I receive all I need to live out every moment of every day.

I am so grateful for the power of prayer. It is only a mystery to us, but my friends, know this, God knows exactly what everything entails, produces and fosters, so let Him help you, guide you and be with you through your journey. Join Him daily in prayer. Let us remember to praise Him during our good and bad moments and circumstances. Let us remember to pray even when, and especially when we feel hopeful and confident. We must pray, praise and seek Him always... my friends, we must not be complacent with comfort and good fortune, or dwell in the dark places. Be in His presence as often as possible for restored hope, clarity and wisdom.

"Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For though the spirit is willing enough, the body is weak!" ~Matthew 26:41 (NLT)
"Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You'll need them throughout your life. God's Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out." ~Ephesians 6:13-18 (The Message)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Day 586 of Giving Thanks

“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say “thank you?” — William A. Ward

I can honestly say “yes” to that now. How amazing God is to save me from so much and I am a citizen of heaven as well. What a beautiful thought that is. And no matter what, I cannot be away from His presence.

“…in heaven and on earth. There are no secret places where you can hide from me.” ~Jeremiah 23:24 (CEV)

It is amazing how I have seen myself grow and change because Jesus saved me. He saved me from:
- darkness
- hopelessness
- powerlessness
- self-sabotage, self-doubt, self-hatred
- the voice of the enemy
- the clutches of the unknown


‎Quite honestly, there is not a day that goes by that I do not think about what He did for me and what opportunities I have because of what He did. All I want to do is live my life boldly and for the Lord.

"Lord enable me to speak Your word in complete boldness." Andy Stanley, In Touch Ministries

My friends, with a tender heart I share… I believe that you are reading this for a reason. You are who God says you are, and I pray that you believe it. If you know God, know that He is trustworthy and faithful, and will never leave you. If you have not asked Him to enter your heart, I believe with my whole heart He is pulling you and drawing you in. Whatever your circumstance, or challenge, He knows all about it, and is here for you to lean on Him.

He is telling you to call on Him and He will reveal things to you. “Ask me, and I will tell you things that you don't know and can't find out.” ~Jeremiah 33:3 (CEV)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Day 585 of Giving Thanks

This morning as I started my day, I approached the throne of my heavenly Father – and I sat there in the quiet and the still of the morning in my living room. There were thoughts of all the things that “still needed to be done” and an awareness of all the things that He has done.

I love the time I spend with God. Today, the time just flew by. I was quiet, pondering and conversing with the creator of the universe - how cool is that?

The changes that are possible when I allow God to take charge, I believe are the miracles of the heart. They are miracles that only God can orchestrate, and only a life changed can propagate. When my life shines with God’s goodness, the broadcast reach is unlimited. I realize that I will never comprehend whose lives my example will touch.

I have been touched in ways that only my heart can hold onto. Wrapping my mind around all that He has done is not possible to relay in words, so it is a sense, it is feelings and it is having assurance that He is here.

So, as I examine my life, I know that He has much more to accomplish, but I know I can rejoice in what is already complete – I rejoice in the truth that my life has purpose, my hope is determine by what He already fulfilled. And the thoughts just kept coming.

And, time just slipped away - ten minutes turned into thirty, in no time at all, and I thought, “I do not want to leave His presence”; so I took it with me. Lord, thank You for this morning. Thank You for loving me so greatly and passionately. Thank You for giving me life, my life that is really Yours to mold and perfect.

“But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 NKJV

I am a complainer by nature. And, I am grateful that my nature, when combined with the power of the Holy Spirit is made new. My aim is to be grateful in every moment, and when I forget, He reminds me of my aim. For I know that complaining brings death.

"And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel."~1 Corinthians 10:10 (NIV)

Now I never expected to be struck down by an angel for “grumbling or complaining”, but the death, I realize will occur is slowly and it is a sorrowful death; one that eats at the heart. Today’s “destroying angel” is the lull of the enemy; by our own choice. Complaining brings contempt; when we focus on things that are negative, we step into the enemy’s territory. Grumbling and complaining is speaking satan’s language. It is the language of destruction for it tears down our hearts; it is the language of deception for it lies about who God is for us; it is the language of death for when we speak this into our own lives, we speak volumes into the lives of others.

When we grumble and complain, we are obeying satan, and disobeying the Lord God. When we grumble and complain, we invite satan in.

Psalm 106:25 tells us what the Israelites did:
They grumbled in their tents and did not obey the LORD. (NIV)
They muttered in their tents and wouldn’t listen to the LORD’s voice. (CEB)

And the result is distance and a detachment from God. I love the impact that The Message translation of  brings to this verse.

Every day He renews in me the hope for Him in my life; for there is eternity in my heart. How much strength does He have? All I need. There is so much hope in knowing the Lord. It has taken me years to understand how much easier it is when I give it to Him; when I allow Him to take the things not of Him from me.

My friends, He is already in control - so when we push when He is pulling or run when we are to be still, we are out of touch with God – reach for Him, seek Him and boldly request His strength in your life as you do what is necessary to change. He is faithful.

"But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired," ~Isaiah 40:31 (Amplified Bible) 

KNOW THIS, He does not go away from us; we hide from Him.
KNOW THIS, He does not hold back from us because we error; we hide from Him.
KNOW THIS, He is blessing us every day and we cannot recognize the blessings when we hide from Him.

Psalm 139:7-12 assures us that we cannot hide, and every time I read this, I am reassured all over again. “Where could I go to escape from your Spirit or from your sight? If I were to climb up to the highest heavens, you would be there. If I were to dig down to the world of the dead you would also be there. Suppose I had wings like the dawning day and flew across the ocean. Even then your powerful arm would guide and protect me. Or suppose I said, "I'll hide in the dark until night comes to cover me over." But you see in the dark because daylight and dark are all the same to you.”

Go to Him. He is right there before you - picture The Throne, bow down before Him - let Him see you - WHOLLY we come to You Lord and ask boldly for Your presence, Your will and we pray that in our obedience to Your will, we will begin to see You and run to You even more.

Adapted from a teaching on Equip His People, Complaining Brings Death, by Shawn Boreta

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Day 584 of Giving Thanks

I started getting up earlier and planning the details of my days – writing things down has been a great help lately. There was a time when I could remember everything about everything. Well, that was a long time ago, and those days are gone forever. But here is what I do know, I remember what is necessary and purposeful – and when I hear something that rings truth, God or destiny in my ears, I make sure I write it down – so that it can be etched deeply in my heart and mind.

I am an avid note taker. I take notes all the time. I have had a journal as long as I can remember and recently I found a couple of boxes filled with page after page of hand written notes - class notes, seminar notes, notes from church, bible studies and just notes about my dreams and goals. I still keep a journal, but find typing is a much better way for me to keep track of things and easier to go back to.

I love to learn, grow and quite contrary to what I believed about my abilities to learn, I am a great learner. I am learning that what I know about me, is not always what is true about me. I am learning about some new things and relearning some old. What an amazing journey.

"God Gives Us Unity“Everything written long ago was written to teach us so that we would have confidence through the endurance and encouragement which the Scriptures give us.” ~Romans 15:4 (GOD’S WORD Translation)

I am learning who I am with God in me. What His word is about His children – I am learning that words are power. They have the power to build or destroy. Words have the power to encourage or discourage. Satan’s uses words to break us down, distract us and destroy us. God’s words create a masterpiece with our lives.

“Place these words on your hearts. Get them deep inside you. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder. Teach them to your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning until you fall into bed at night. Inscribe them on the doorposts and gates of your cities so that you'll live a long time, and your children with you, on the soil that GOD promised to give your ancestors for as long as there is a sky over the Earth.” ~ Deuteronomy 11:18-21 (The Message)

I am powerful beyond measure, because of who I have in me. Today, Holy Spirit I boldly ask for extended mercies and the strength to step into faith and believe. To believe in the will of God and step into faith that all I need is already given, and all I ask will be received. Thank You Father for giving me the power and strength, not only to ask, but to believe through confirmation and example.

I am grateful for the breakthroughs God has accomplished through my circumstances. It gets hot in some of my circumstances - so hot that it is hard to handle.  All I know is that it is through the fire we are refined. When the storms have come in like tidal waves, He has been there to make sure that I was above water and in the safety of His presence. I am learning that no matter what is going on in my life, He is never far, I am never alone and there is always a plan, a purpose and a process. He has it and me at all times.

“BUT NOW [in spite of past judgments for Israel's sins], thus says the Lord, He Who created you, O Jacob, and He Who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you [ransomed you by paying a price instead of leaving you captives]; I have called you by your name; you are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned or scorched, nor will the flame kindle upon you.
For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt [to the Babylonians] for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba [a province of Ethiopia] in exchange [for your release].”  ~Isaiah 43:1-3 (Amplified Bible)

Just to share how beautiful Isaiah 43 is in The Message translation.

Isaiah 43
When You're Between a Rock and a Hard Place
 1-4 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.
 5-7"So don't be afraid: I'm with you.
   I'll round up all your scattered children,
   pull them in from east and west.
I'll send orders north and south:
   'Send them back.
Return my sons from distant lands,
   my daughters from faraway places.
I want them back, every last one who bears my name,
   every man, woman, and child
Whom I created for my glory,
   yes, personally formed and made each one.'"
 8-13Get the blind and deaf out here and ready—
   the blind (though there's nothing wrong with their eyes)
   and the deaf (though there's nothing wrong with their ears).
Then get the other nations out here and ready.
   Let's see what they have to say about this,
   how they account for what's happened.
Let them present their expert witnesses
   and make their case;
   let them try to convince us what they say is true.
"But you are my witnesses." God's Decree.
   "You're my handpicked servant
So that you'll come to know and trust me,
   understand both that I am and who I am.
Previous to me there was no such thing as a god,
   nor will there be after me.
I, yes I, am God.
   I'm the only Savior there is.
I spoke, I saved, I told you what existed
   long before these upstart gods appeared on the scene.
And you know it, you're my witnesses,
   you're the evidence." God's Decree.
"Yes, I am God.
   I've always been God
   and I always will be God.
No one can take anything from me.
   I make; who can unmake it?"
You Didn't Even Do the Minimum
 14-15God, your Redeemer,
   The Holy of Israel, says:
"Just for you, I will march on Babylon.
   I'll turn the tables on the Babylonians.
Instead of whooping it up,
   they'll be wailing.
I am God, your Holy One,
   Creator of Israel, your King."
 16-21This is what God says,
   the God who builds a road right through the ocean,
   who carves a path through pounding waves,
The God who summons horses and chariots and armies—
   they lie down and then can't get up;
   they're snuffed out like so many candles:
"Forget about what's happened;
   don't keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I'm about to do something brand-new.
   It's bursting out! Don't you see it?
There it is! I'm making a road through the desert,
   rivers in the badlands.
Wild animals will say 'Thank you!'
   —the coyotes and the buzzards—
Because I provided water in the desert,
   rivers through the sun-baked earth,
Drinking water for the people I chose,
   the people I made especially for myself,
   a people custom-made to praise me.
 22-24"But you didn't pay a bit of attention to me, Jacob.
   You so quickly tired of me, Israel.
You wouldn't even bring sheep for offerings in worship.
   You couldn't be bothered with sacrifices.
It wasn't that I asked that much from you.
   I didn't expect expensive presents.
But you didn't even do the minimum—
   so stingy with me, so closefisted.
Yet you haven't been stingy with your sins.
   You've been plenty generous with them—and I'm fed up.
 25"But I, yes I, am the one
   who takes care of your sins—that's what I do.
   I don't keep a list of your sins.
 26-28"So, make your case against me. Let's have this out.
   Make your arguments. Prove you're in the right.
Your original ancestor started the sinning,
   and everyone since has joined in.
That's why I had to disqualify the Temple leaders,
   repudiate Jacob and discredit Israel."
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.”  ~ Isaiah 43:1-3 (The Message)
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.”

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Day 583 of Giving Thanks

I have an assignment and it is different than I ever thought it would be. I have a responsibility to carry His message; my ultimate goal in life is to carry the message – now, how can I do that? I do that by believing God. I do that by holding onto His promises. I do that by remembering who I am. I do that through holding every thought captive.

“We fight with weapons that are different from those the world uses. Our weapons have power from God that can destroy the enemy's strong places. We destroy people's arguments5 and every proud thing that raises itself against the knowledge of God. We capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ.” ~2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (NCV)

This assignment is the one I am destined to complete. This assignment is the one I am destined to live.

“The LORD will keep you from all harm — he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” ~Psalm 121:7-8 (NIV)
My ultimate goal is to carry the message. And, right now I am living the in between, living toward completing His assignment for me, carrying the message and believing what He has done.

How can I best do that? I do that one day at a time. I do that by believing one promise at a time. I do that by carrying out my destiny.

”God has made us what we are. He has created us in Christ Jesus to live lives filled with good works that he has prepared for us to do.” ~Ephesians 2:10 (GOD’S WORD Translation)

My life up to now has been quite a journey and I today, for the very first time, I can accept the “all of it” and I so look forward to watching “all of it” unfold as I live in Christ and for Christ. And, my journey is not meant to be walked alone. I cordially invite you to join me in my walk with Christ. But, first and foremost He invites you – to accept the greatest gift ever offered. He came, yes. He lived, yes. He suffered, yes. He died, yes. He resurrected, yes and that is what He ultimately came for, lived for, suffered for and died for. With his work, we can live – live for Him.

Again, I ask, will you join me? 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Day 582 of Giving Thanks

Lazy or smart? That was what ran through my mind tonight as I was doing laundry. If you look in my closet you will see, even the t-shirts are on hangers and my socks, they are all the same, so I don’t have to match them, I can just throw them in the drawer, by color of course. So, is it lazy or smart?

I am grateful that I now bring everything to God, even my laundry.

Really the question doesn’t matter, it is the fact that this “idea” came to me after being overwhelmed one day as I was doing a chore I absolutely hate – yep, you guessed it, laundry. Laundry is the one thing I would pay someone to do before anything else. And, now it is almost manageable. I just keep praying for wisdom, and thinking about the Proverbs 31 woman who figured it out. She went to the Father for help too.

I am grateful that everything I bring to the Father is answered, yes, even my laundry.

As I write this I have to chuckle a bit – we definitely have a God with a sense of humor. We have been so busy outside that the inside “chores” have been a bit behind. I sit here tonight with clean clothes in baskets, on hangers and folded, yet not quite complete, and I do realize that what I have done tonight was done in record time… but it is still not finished.

I am not an early riser, however, tomorrow begins a brand new me – a “me” who gets up early, reads her bible and tidies up before heading to work. I could definitely use prayer support for this one.

”She gets up before daylight to prepare food for her family and for her servants.” ~Proverbs 31:15 (CEV)

Chris has lunches for the rest of the week and clean underwear in his drawer. What else could a man want?

“Her husband depends on her, and she never lets him down.” ~Proverbs 31:11 (CEV)

Every night we are up late; I am a “busy body” as Chris says, it is really difficult for me to sit still, so I do things; sometimes I write, sometimes I read, sometimes I create, I just know that I do work hard – and rest comes with much effort.

“… and she stays busy until late at night.” ~Proverbs 31:8 (CEV)

So, lazy or smart was the original question? And, my answer is a little of both, but I am working on the “smart” or “wise”, by working better – and continuing to allow God to direct and correct my works, even the small things. 

Now, my laundry may never be finished, but I do know that the work Jesus did for me is finished. That is such a wonderful assurance and a great accomplishment that I had nothing to do with, but reap all the benefits. I know that I will see many things come to fruition – healing and an eternity with my heavenly Father. Gratitude does not come close to describing how I feel about His love for me; how about you? 

I would love to hear how God is moving in your life; how you have seen Him move you toward Him.

Father, thank You for giving me Your finished work on the cross. Thank You for being with me through my life, even the little things like laundry are easier with Your help. Thank You for giving me a life that is more than ordinary, because of Your extraordinary gift. I lift those Lord up who do not yet know You, and ask for more light to shine on them, for more events to move them toward You, for softened hearts toward You almighty God. I pray for revival in the hearts of other believers. I pray that they too will realize that Your will is the best path. I pray for the power of the Holy Spirit to be deep and wide in the hearts of my brothers and sisters and their love for You will produce great and mighty fruit for the kingdom. All things for Your glory heavenly Father, I pray for wisdom, discernment and clarity as I move closer to You. I ask that You reveal all the things I need to change, work on and do. In the mighty blood of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Day 580 of Giving Thanks

I sit here wrapped in the warmth of a blanket on our deck tonight after yet another day of getting things done around the house. It has been a completely fulfilling and productive day. We are ending it with the quiet of the night.  My life truly is a journey of great moments and events, even amidst times that would normally feel daunting. I feel amazingly blessed to have the sense of purpose in my life – and today I know it is a great purpose that keeps me going, even though I may not know how it will all turn out, I still know that the purpose is worthwhile.

”It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.” ~Ephesians 1:12 (The Message)

There are many things that I am grateful for today. The one that stands out every day is the fact that I have never-ending love extended through never-ending grace from a mighty and perfect God, who also happens to be my heavenly Father.

So every day I am wrapped in the warmth of my Father and it is a good thing I am. As I said the things that were daunting before or minor adjustments today, and only because I have support and strength for getting through this amazing life as I look forward to the next one.

“But there's far more to life for us. We're citizens of high heaven! We're waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He'll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him.” ~Philippians 3:20-21 (The Message)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Day 579 of Giving Thanks

Now more than ever I feel the need to share and the desire to relay my heart. There was a time when relaying my heart meant relaying my pain or sorrow, my complaints or needs – relaying the not so positive. I am learning to bring those things to God, and let Him help me solve what needs to be solved, repair what needs to be repaired and eliminate what needs to be eliminated. I am learning that my Father knows best, now and from the beginning.

‎"The Word of life existed from the beginning. We have heard it. We have seen it. We observed and touched it. This life was revealed to us. We have seen it, and we testify about it. We are reporting to you about this eternal life that was in the presence of the Father and was revealed to us." ~1 John 1:1-2

In every day, His love is revealed. In every day, I see His grace in so many ways. In every day, I understand more, and appreciate the moments more. Today, I relay His love for me and extend that to others. Let me love Lord and remember all that You did for me through the cross and through Your promises in the amazing Word.

‎"We should pray that God's Heavenly will for our lives become an earthly reality." I heart this a few days ago from my friend Claudia – who said her late husband, Pastor Phil Busbee use to say it all the time.

Let Me Believe, Even Before I See
I am looking to God for great things...
Let me always extend mercy before it's needed.
Prepare the way...
... Make me strong.
Faith in What We Don't See“The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It's our handle on what we can't see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.” ~Hebrews 11:1-2
 "Yes, Lord!" 
I am here Lord, ready to hear all that You have for me.
When I ignore, I am sure You will get my attention, and I thank You for that.
When my eyes are closed to what is necessary, bathe me in the warmth of Your living water, so I can see all that You have for me to see. Just be with me.
“Yes, Lord!”
Your strength today as I step into the world.
Your eyes today as I see all that there is to see.
Your ears today as I listen intently for every morsel of instruction.
Your heart today as I lean into You to be compassionate.
Your grace extended and given freely as I communicate.
Your mercy handed out as I encounter my circumstances.
You in me, more of You and less of me today Lord.

More than I can ever imagine, or could have imagined, there is a love so deep and heart-felt that my soul sings and rejoices in hope and joy and love and contentment. 
I love You Lord and I know that it is all about the cross. And, You did it for me. You endured so much more than humanly possible, although You were very much human at the time, and all along fully God at all times, and for all times.
My friends, will you join me?
My friends, join me…
… In loving Him and trusting Him.
The blessings are everywhere You are Lord... Let me see my life through Your eyes.
"Yes, Lord!" 

I sure need to say that more, and really, really (REALLY) listen to Him when He says, "move, be still, trust, stay, love, wait, walk, run" and in all of it while I rest in Him and His promises for me; and my life is joyful, hopeful and full. Today I am whole. Every day I am His.

‎".. the Lord takes delight in His people;He crowns the humble with salvation."~Psalm 149:4 NIV

June 17th, Day 578 of Giving Thanks by Tina Wetor

Although we suffer, we can comfort others in the midst of it.  As unrealistic as it may sound, it is completely possible.  Our faith doesn’t just produce godly character; it produces a harvest for others to feast upon.  As we dine together, our hearts can be uplifted, challenged, and united to keep the faith.  It’s one of the beautiful benefits of fellowship within the body of Christ.  As the day of the Lord’s appearing draws near, we need to keep daily encouraging each other. (Hebrews 3:13)

Tonight, I was able to share a beautiful moment with my sister, Tracy.  As sisters, we have shared our clothes, our dreams, and cried some tears.  Since I am the youngest, I have always admired my sister for her beauty, strength, and charisma.  Although these traits opened doors for her, she got to experience life first-hand.  She would share her failures, her lessons, and decisions with me.  Her motives were genuine; she wanted to protect me from failure.  Truly, I am grateful for her love.  Nevertheless, I didn’t always listen to my sister’s guidance for a strong reason; she didn’t know God until two years ago.  So, spiritually speaking, I am the mature one who has to teach her about the Word of God.  It’s a role reversal, one I am so glad to share.

Our father is battling cancer, so our hearts are joined together for his salvation and healing.  As we shared all of the possibilities, it was beautiful to share our faith in Christ.  It brought a peace, comfort, and hope in the midst of the suffering.  At the close of our visit, we prayed together for her personal health and relationship with God.  As I prayed with her, the presence of God entered the room with a sweet wind surrounding us.  Although our hearts are heavy, God’s presence was overwhelming.  It was a beautiful moment, I am so grateful to share with her.  

We don’t always understand the purpose of our trials or tests but God has compassion towards us.  He will comfort us in the midst of our suffering, so we experience a greater revelation of Him.  All of those revelations are precious but it should be shared.  When will it be shared?  Only God truly knows, He will bring the opportunities for He is the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. (2 Corinthians 1:3)  If you are experiencing trouble, God will comfort you in ALL troubles. (2 Corinthians 1:4) We are to trust God with the outcome; He will bring it out for a good purpose.  

Tina can be found on Facebook as well her blog, Anointed Manna.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Irresistibly Sweet Blogger Award

This morning I received an award… me! My beautiful friend presented me (virtually) with the “Irresistibly Sweet Blogger Award”. Wow, and it came from a dear friend (whom I have never met in person), but one who is someone who will randomly come to mind to pray for, and would pray for me too. Robin Prater  is an amazing encourager and beautiful woman of God. Robin, thank you for being a shining light, not only for me but for so many others. You are irresistibly sweet and wonderful.

Friends, if you haven’t met Robin yet, you must. Her blog, Robin’s Nest has insights, guests and her reviews of the newest books and authors - Robin's work always makes me feel good and positive.

There are a few rules in accepting this award. First, thank that extra special person who has blessed you with this  award. Second, share seven random facts about yourself. Third, share the sweetness of passing this award on to some folks who bless you rather sweetly. See, how easy it is? Here is a list of those I am giving this award to. I hope you all will take a few moments and visit their blogs. These are wonderful blogs I go to for encouragement and walk away with a sweet feeling of grace. To them I am giving this sweet award.

1. Tina Wetor@ Anointed Manna 
2. Julie Gorman@ His Love Extended Ministries
3. Tammy Maltby@ A Life Giving Women 
4. Sandy Cooper@ God Speaks
5. Darlene Shortbrige@ Darlene Shortbridge

Ladies, you are my sweet, amazing, smart, encouraging and beautiful friends and sisters in Christ. Thank you for giving me so many inspiring days through your words.

So I am supposed to share seven things about me. 1. I have a great life, full and I expect God things to happen. 2. I am married to the love of my life. 3. I have the greatest and most amazing young woman as a daughter.  4. I love the idea and action of love. I love people – figuring them out and allowing God to help me. 5. I can be quite lazy, although I rarely allow myself to do so. 6. I am addicted to writing and coffee, and very definitely Jesus. 7. I am grateful every day for many things, but most of all the life I have because of the future I have – an eternity in heaven.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Day 577 of Giving Thanks

Tonight would have been one of the times I could have said, “I can miss tonight. I have worked so hard all day and I just ran out of time and steam.” But then I would have an uneasiness in my heart for not writing and not following through with what I believe God assigned for me. I write because I was given this amazing gift from God. The ability to put down in words what I am thankful for. In fact, there have been many times when I just want to be disobedient on many levels – my flesh says “you can stop, you’ve done enough”, “go ahead get angry, bitter or disgruntled”, “eat that burger, it’s ok, you deserve it” or whatever the “thing” is. But Giving Thanks Daily is something that does my heart good to do, and it is an obedience that I have come accustomed to.

Tonight, I am grateful that as I fall to sleep, I can be sure that all the exhaustion will ease into rest, the busyness will disappear and I will shut down, and the Holy Spirit will take over. Thankfully, I am aware of this, and I depend on His discerning power to handle what needs to go to God, and what needs to be worked out in my heart and mind. 

Tonight, In my tiredness and busyness, I come to You Lord for strength and encouragement. Through all my tests and my triumphs, I praise You and thank You for Your presence and Your hand upon my life.

Lord, there are so many things to do and we trust that You will help us accomplish all that we have taken on. We pray that we can be an inspiration to others, even when and especially when we are tapped out ourselves. Father we pray for strength and encouragement as we prepare for the rest of the week. We ask that we can give all our busyness to You as we rest, we pray that all will be deciphered and our needs translated through the power of the Holy Spirit. We pray for all the things we know and all the things that are to come - prepare us, protect us. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

I trust You Lord. 

“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

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day 576 of Giving Thanks

We have an amazing God, one who orchestrates through the things that seem so messy to us. There are things in my life that are immaculate, tidy and perfectly in order. Although I can at times, feel very scattered, chaotic and quite messy lately.

I am in information overload. I need His discerning word with all the information I am collecting from various articles. I have asked Him to help me know what is real & trustworthy. To help me rely on him more and more and to know that this is nothing; nothing that He hasn’t already thought of; nothing He will not handle; nothing more than another opportunity to come to Him; nothing more than a way to know that He is right here with me in this fight.

There was a time in my life when I “needed” to know everything; and today, even with all the information I am consuming, my hope is to glean what I need to accomplish the physical restoration I want and desire. Shaking out what I do not need, and hanging onto all the good and great pieces and nuggets of the information. That is what I want from this harvest.

For the last week, all this stuff has been filling my mind, taking up space and not allowing me to eliminate anything. Getting quiet has been the command.

I truly need more quiet, more silence that only my God can fill. A silence that is comforting and perfect for the moments that seem too full of thoughts. Father, remove the noise. Again too many moments not in quiet and I am craving the silence that brings Your voice deep into my heart.
"The Lord is fighting for you! So be still!” ~Exodus 14:13-15 (God’s Word Translation)
My life in Christ has meaning BEYOND measure, and I pray that you too can know our mighty God. I pray that you will see that He has plans for you and is here for every step of the way. Step into Him and get out of His way.

”When I tried to obey the law’s standards, those laws killed me. As a result, I live in a relationship with God. I have been crucified with Christ. 20I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live I live by believing in God’s Son, who loved me and took the punishment for my sins.” ~Galatians 2:19-20 (GOD’S WORD Translation)

Finally, early this afternoon, there was quiet in my heart.

Thank You Jesus, for filling me with Your comforts.

And, now I come to You Lord in the power of the Holy Spirit, and once again ask for Your discerning answers for ‘what path’, ‘what changes’ and ‘what next’…

Today I am thankful that He can make all my messes into something usable and worthwhile, look at what He has done with me. Today I am thankful that all the areas to be ‘fixed’ and ‘adapted’ are exposed and He lovingly orchestrates all things into perfect order. 
“You make the path of life known to me. Complete joy is in your presence. Pleasures are by your side forever.” ~ Psalm 16:11 (GOD’S WORD Translation)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Day 575 of Giving Thanks

“Today, I listen more”, is how my thought pattern began today. I started my day on time and spent some time trying to read the bible with some difficulty, so ended up listening to the word, but there was so much noise.

And through the morning, I realized it was going to be a very quiet day externally anyway, while on the inside, my mind was reeling. I had to stop several times and ask God for rest as some of the thoughts would not shut off. And quite honestly, it wasn’t anything but random and non essential tidbits, yet, I was consumed.

“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” ~Exodus 14:14 (NIV)

As I stand firm Lord, move me greatly.

This thought came to me as I was holding strong on a stance earlier today... and in process of that stance, may my heart be mightily moved if necessary for my faith to stand rightly.

Some of the things that have rushed through my mind today were the reassurances that God has shared with me so greatly and will share with you.

“You are wonderfully made. And, your creator is a mighty and powerful God who loves you greatly. So much so that He has a plan, not only to make sure you have a great purpose here, but that you can spend eternity with Him. Do you know your creator? Have you asked Him into your life?”

O'Lord, let me hear You through the noise today. It is quiet where I sit, but the noise of my mind is too much, and I know Your grace is more than enough to take it on. Thank You for giving me the desire to quiet my mind... "Be still", You says so often.

“The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.” ~ Numbers 6:24-30 (NIV)

This is what I know about my creator, no matter what the struggle, whether it is pain, heartbreak or just quieting my mind, He is there to take it on for me or with me, whatever my need.  So I am reassured with His words again, “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” ~ Exodus 14:14 (NIV)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Day 574 of Giving Thanks

We have now formalized our ministry pages and today, I wanted to share the prayer for the group. As well as share how thankful I am to be connected with such amazing people of God. I want to thank God for giving me the gift of writing Giving Thanks Daily, which in the midst of a major life challenge, He gave me the vision for Wonderfully Made, for I needed to be encouraged, so He told me to encourage.

I have changed, and it is all because God is faithful and amazing. I thank God for giving me life eternal and giving everything I lack… Everything I lack is found in Christ Jesus.

           Father, we pray for wisdom as we carry out Your plan and purpose in our individual lives as well as our connection as a group. We thank You for giving us Your word, for sharing Your promises and the opportunity to know You better, as well as sharing what we learn. We thank You for the ability to share on Facebook and the other venues here on the Web. We thank You for the guide of the Holy Spirit as we write, encourage and talk with others. We pray that we can remember who we are as we carry out our callings.
           We lift the readers, visitors and all that are connected to our pages and this ministry - we pray that we can fully understand the amazing grace we are privileged to experience.
           We pray for the things we know to give praise for as well as those we are unaware of; we pray for our families, that our needs will be fulfilled, both known and unknown. We pray for growth, correction, and most of all the connection to You in our every day lives. We pray that our desires to be nearer to You, grow in amazing and divine manner and ways. Thank You heavenly Father for choosing us to be Yours. In the mighty and perfect blood of Jesus, we pray. Amen

My prayer for you, as our readers, every day is that you will know who you are in Christ, and know who He is in your life. My prayer is that you will go to Him for strength, hope and love beyond measure. I pray that you will know how amazing He is for you, and that He is there for every moment.

‎"He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he's there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross." ~Colossians 1:18-20 (The Message)

Come visit all the pages...
The Ministry of Psalm 139 with Purpose:
Giving Thanks Daily:
Wonderfully Made:
Equip His People_Epheisan 4:11:
Psalm 139 with purpose (Prayer and Testimony):

Day 573 of Giving Thanks

“Here we go”, were the words said as Chris and I walked out the back door for our Saturday morning excursion to the backyard; lots of excitement today. It may appear from the outside that we seem to do the same thing every weekend (work, work…), and there is some truth to that; but really what we are doing today, that we did not do last year is to “work: together as a couple. And, as one day moves into the next, I know, really know, that God is with me for the day to day.

“How plainly it shows what he has done! Each day announces it to the following day; each night repeats it to the next.” ~Psalm 19:1-2 (Good News Translation)

Chris took on the hill again, as I wrestled with the ivy that grows through the fence. It is persistent, and thankfully, so am I. Mid-morning, I was ready to begin the work we’ve been doing together for weeks. Removing the hill, moving the dirt, building a wall, then returning the dirt…  so, after shoveling dirt (yes, again), served as a five hour cardio workout - which definitely got my attention… however, not until about an hour ago.

I must remember often to BREATHE, to be in His presence…
My friends B.e still and R.est in Him for everything. He is here for you to
E.ngage with Him and He is waiting.  A.llow Him to do His will in your life,
and experience His T.enderness and you will know a life filled with H.ope.
Your life and His plan and purpose for your life is your preparation for an
E.ternity with Him.

I am grateful for the ability to do what is necessary to get things in order – God has truly given me much favor in so many areas, and physically, is one of them. I am thankful that I had the strength to complete this day – and tonight I pray for his presence as I attempt to do it all again tomorrow. Help me believe in the little things that are possible with you every day, and the big things that are possible with you throughout my life.

‎...and how do I thank my God for all He does? I remember what He did through the cross. I love others, and share the goodness of my mighty God. I remember Lord. My heart aches with gratitude for the life I have and the eternity I am promised.

Thank You Father for doing all you do, and reminding me to do what I can, and that I am required to do what is my responsibility so I can watch You to do what I cannot. I look forward to everyday and the adventures of my life. Thank You for all I have.

“O GIVE thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever.” ~Psalm 136:1 (Amplified Bible)

I am greatly inspired because I know I am a child of God... Just think what will be lived out when I truly BELIEVE I am a child of God.

And, tonight, no more thinking, pondering or figuring out. It's time to settle in and give it ALL to the Holy Spirit. "to He I go... "

Friday, June 10, 2011

Day 572 of Giving Thanks

‎...and heal, He does.

I am expectant of complete healing. My day did not really begin until around noon today; there are times when being still is necessary – and today was one of those times. I am grateful that I was able to stay home today, get some rest and recover from the last few days.

“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”” Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

With all this time on my hands today, I have struggled to write; and my thought is that I have already received the word for today. That even when I seem to have all this time to do things, I really only have one thing that is important and that is to connect with God - to listen for His word for my life.

It is always to be still. 

“Be still”, He says, over and over, as my life moves quickly and often times, in a manner that is overwhelming to my senses.
As I close my eyes and settle my mind, I begin to quiet my heart and mind – as I hear the noise around me start to dwindle and become part of the background, I know it is close. It is close to the time when I can “be still” and listen for His voice.
“Be still”, repeats like an echo, as my mind tries desperately to hang onto the distractions of my mind and come into view.
As I hear the pleas in my mind to turn off the tasks and responsibilities that swirl through my thoughts, I hear “it’s ok, I am here”.
“Be still”, takes hold and I am in His presence once again. As I hear the silence, all the worries of the week, dissipate; the concerns for tomorrow wait on the sidelines… and in the still of my mind, under the power of the Holy Spirit, His presence overwhelms; like a flood of water through my fingers; wonderful to know, yet, unable to capture and store for later.
“Be still”, flows through my mind and tonight I leave the details to my God in heaven. 

I am expectant… wonderfully and perfectly expectant of my God to move and capture me wholly.

“In the morning (ALL DAY), LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning (IN THE EVENING) I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.” ~Psalm 5:3

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Day 571 of Giving Thanks Daily

I have become accustomed to my walks and my extra time with God. Tonight I was unable to walk, and felt a bit like I had missed out today, especially with my alone and precious time with my heavenly Father.  Yesterday, as I was on my walk, I saw this on a bumper sticker... "Honor the past. Live in the present. Prepare for the future." That is truly how I intend to live my life.

I will honor my past by taking allowing God to use it all, good and bad for the good of His kingdom and my growth into who He designed me to be. I will live in the present… truly live with Joy and hope. I will allow God to do everything to prepare me for His purposes.

I am here to tell you that you will make it through if you trust God to take the lead. Step out of His way, so you can step into the life He has for you.

I prayed for years that God would bring a dream I had to fruition; and in, what seemed like an instant, the possibility of that dream was gone - poof... But, He did answer the prayer for "MY OWN GOOD". My desire, turns out, was not the best for me, but His answer is - hands down, every time, in every way.

I am learning that I have to be open to hear, see and sense what He has for me, and not be short sighted. I have to be consistent with my prayers.  I have to continue to realize that I can go to Him with everything.  I have to continue to realize that He answers my prayers every time. I have to continue to realize that living for Him will bring to life, the life He has for me.

“Though I walk through the midst of trouble, you preserve my life. You stretch your hands against the anger of my foes with your right hand, you save me. The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever…” ~ Psalm 138:7-8

As I was finishing my walk last night, and bring many prayers and thoughts to the Lord, I was comforted in knowing how great my life is, not that it is “a wonderful life”, it is a great life full of anticipation and expectation, because He pours so much in me. Pour into me Lord. Fill me with hope, joy and the sweetness of Your grace, until I overflow with Your mercy and favor. Help me see that this is what you do, whether I ask or not. Help me recognize this is what You do for me. Help me stay on the right path; help me to remember that it is Your love Lord that will bring me through everything.

“Go in through the narrow gate. The gate that leads to destruction is broad and the road wide, so many people enter through it. But the gate that leads to life is narrow and the road difficult, so few people find it.” ~Matthew 7:13-14 (Common English Bible)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Day 570 of Giving Thanks

Wow, I was reminded today, that when you remove things/people that are negative from your life, there is more energy to do things worth while, rather than fighting emotions. Thank You Father for giving me the strength and insight to change my own environment. Thank You for choice.

This morning during my quiet time this morning, I had a flashback of a high school acquaintance who found me on Facebook. After months of once-in-a-while connecting on Facebook, remembering school, talking about our families and just catching up over the past twenty years, we started to carry on some dialog. I was still fairly new to Facebook, but was writing my blog and just starting the Wonderfully Made page. It didn’t take long to know his stance on ‘religion’ and ‘Christians’. He is an atheist, and used every opportunity to share his opinions, argue his side and demean those of faith; often requesting friendships with my friends, and commenting on their pages as well.

Many times, I asked him to comment with respect, and not post rhetoric over and over, arguing the same thing; I never went to his page to post my opinion, or anyone else’s page for that matter. I acted in love and kindness, yet, he would offend, apologize to continue blazing through my posts, or my pages and even my friends’ page. Friends, we do not have to put up with people like that. I am thankful I have learned to remove the negatives from my life; I still have a few, but have found other ways of dealing with them, until my circumstances can change.

As I thought of “this friend”, I remembered some other people who I have eliminated from my life due to excessive verbal battering or negativity. Believe me this does not come easily. My husband says, “Shawn is so nice, she would be a friend to Attila the Hun”. Now, I wouldn’t say I am that nice, but I do, or at least, did give people way too much leeway.

While talking to a friend tonight, which was basically on the same subject, I realized a few questions to ask when I am in a circumstance that is negative or dealing with a person who is not so nice. Not taking things personally is an area I really focus on. First, ask, “is this from God?” And, by the way, you already know the answer, if it is negative, not edifying or encouraging, it is not God, and if it is not God, who is it? The enemy, Satan, the devil… NOT GOOD. Second, thing to ask is, “is this a valuable statement? Is it true?”

Again, I was assured that when you remove things or people that are negative from my life, there is more energy to do things worthwhile, rather than fighting emotions. Thank You Father for giving me the strength and insight to change my own environment. Thank You for choice.

When we listen to the world (the enemy, Satan, the devil), we dismiss what God has for us. I don’t want to dismiss anything else. Give yourself permission to remove all that is not God… and hang on to what is His.

“The world is unprincipled. It's dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn't fight fair. But we don't live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren't for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.” ~2 Corinthians 10:3-6 (The Message)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Day 569 of Giving Thanks

I am grateful for the times when “getting quiet” come easily, and I am as grateful, if not more grateful for the times when it does not. For it is those times that the effort to be still and “get quiet” bring forth a beautiful time with my Lord. This morning, in the silence of an empty house, it was one of the easy times. In my moments this morning, I relayed to Him…

“Thank You for a restful night. Thank You that You will be with me today, all day - in every task, every moment. Let me be mindful of those around me. May I remember to pray, instead of getting frustrated or angry. May I honor You through my walk to day.”

Today was a good day. My evening was spent running errands, store to store, and finally I was home - ready to be overwhelmed with the Lord and to be still and quiet.

There is so much noise today, and “getting quiet” has been an enormous challenge and I so look forward to shutting the light, and in the quiet before I go to sleep, I will “get quiet”. As I sit here, there is a playoff basketball game going on downstairs and I can hear cheering, bullhorns, buzzers and the announcer, yet I have no idea what is going on… Isn’t our life just like that at times?

We have all this “noise” going on around us, so much so, that we cannot focus on any one thing, not to mention the right thing, and “getting quiet” is nearly impossible; nearly, I said. Nearly, just about, almost, not quite… the possibility is to exchange the noise from chaos to calm - worship music or some kind of instrumental - and sink in and seek Him. Perfect!

When I find myself in “noise” and unable to “get quiet”; the solution is grabbing my iPod and plugging in to something that will soothe my heart, redirect my mind and lift my soul?

In my new quiet, I make the noise that pleases the Lord. I talk to Him, I bring my concerns to Him, I praise Him for all of my moments, I thank Him, I pray for others and all the while, I inquire about my future and ask for direction and clarity.

Tonight, Lord, as I embark on some new territory of the mind, changing my thoughts, improving my imagination about the desires of my heart, as I implore the Holy Spirit to bring all of this coherently to my heavenly Father, I am again, encouraged.

“O SING to the Lord a new song, for He has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm have wrought salvation for Him.The Lord has made known His salvation; His righteousness has He openly shown in the sight of the nations.He has [earnestly] remembered His mercy and loving-kindness, His truth and His faithfulness toward the house of Israel; all the ends of the earth have witnessed the salvation of our God.Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth and sing for joy, yes, sing praises!Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre, with the lyre and the voice of melody.With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord!Let the sea roar, and all that fills it, the world, and those who dwell in it!Let the rivers clap their hands; together let the hills sing for joyBefore the Lord, for He is coming to judge [and rule] the earth; with righteousness will He judge [and rule] the world, and the peoples with equity.” ~Psalm 98 (Amplified Bible)
After “getting quiet”, this time and every time, I am always reminded of all the promises of the Lord. I am so thankful for the desire to “get quiet”.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Day 568 of Giving Thanks

Despite a very long day, I am not tired; not like the “normal tired” I usually experience. A typical Monday, cram packed with plenty to do. I told my husband today through an email, that I need a new title at work, Champion of Interruptions and Unexpected Tasks. An hour into my workday, I was already divvying up the tasks through the week. I can bet more will come tomorrow. I almost feel normal. Yet, I started my day at 7am; read and prayed; spent a little time writing, worked a full day, my weekly doctor visit and massage therapy tonight. When I got home, I took my walk, which tonight, as I walked, I read, listened to worship music, prayed and thought about many things.

Thought is an amazing gift. Thought can change everything. I definitely have a lot to think about, but that is not what I mean. I am greatly aware that my thoughts are transmitted to God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, often times, my thoughts are deciphered and delivered. It is an amazing thing to think about, actually.

My life’s experiences and all my circumstances are leading to where God wants me… the overwhelming theme is the power of thought – what I think about (focus on God) is what I will get (a life with God that God sanctions).

Through His word and His promises, I hear...
“Take my hand. I promise to lead protect and deliver you safely. You will be continually blessed. Trust me.”
~Your Mighty God

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.“You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; 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.” ~ Psalm 139:1-10 (NIV)
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”  ~Psalm 32:8
“If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.” ~Psalm 91:9-10
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a]; believe also in me.” ~John 14:1
Blessed are those who dwell in your house;  they are ever praising you.” ~Psalm 84:4
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

I am so encouraged. I may fail, but I am NOT a failure. I may have losses, BUT I am not a loser. I am the daughter of a King and the benefits and inheritance is amazing.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Day 567 of Giving Thanks

I could call today’s post, Receiving Grace Daily because that is what has been resonating with me quite a bit. And, my pastor picked it up this morning during his lesson. My thought right before the lesson began, was “Forgive me Lord for not believing at every moment that You have a great purpose for me; for not believing every moment that as your child You will never direct me where I would ever be alone”. With that thought and with His truth, how can I ever fail?

A great question to ponder is, “What makes grace so amazing”?

Grace is God's love for the unlovable.
Grace is God's power on behalf of the powerless.
Grace is God's Kindness toward the undeserving.

I have to understand this completely to accomplish the amazing things that God has for me, not only to do, but to experience. So, understanding grace, from God’s perspective for me is where I am heading.

“But nothing, not even my life, is more important than my completing my mission. This is nothing other than the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus: to testify about the good news of God’s grace.” Acts 20:24 (CEB)

I was more lost than I ever dared to believe.
But, I am more loved than I ever dared to believe.

I am grateful that God made me alive, together with Jesus! God makes me alive! He wakes me up, He chose me. And, I have never been alone, and I will never be without Him.

"We all live off his generous bounty, gift after gift after gift. We got the basics from Moses, and then this exuberant giving and receiving, This endless knowing and understanding—all this came through Jesus, the Messiah. No one has ever seen God, not so much as a glimpse. This one-of-a-kind God-Expression, who exists at the very heart of the Father, has made him plain as day." ~John 1:16-18 (The Message) 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Day 566 of Giving Thanks

Our weekends are so full of “things to do”; and this one is no different. I thought we were going to take it a little easier since it was raining… I thought wrong. Chris spent the afternoon taking down more of the hill in preparation for the continued building of the retaining wall. I did some housework, not much mind you, and painted one of the four doors in the house and the frame.

And, it wouldn’t be a complete weekend without me doing something new – today, I used a powered post-hole digger with Chris. What took him 2 hours to do manually, we did in under five minutes with the amazing piece of equipment. Our list, of “things to do” goes on and on, however, after all the work we did last week with what will be done by tomorrow, the list is getting smaller, and finally feels achievable. Thankfully, we have been able to do all the work ourselves, and we are learning how to do things together.

How things have changed. How we have changed.

Almost a year ago, we were two married people living very separate lives. And today, with a major change – one which was forced by God – we are living and building a life together.

Wow, how things have changed. Amazing, how we have changed. Because of God’s wonderful grace, God’s tender mercies and God’s outpouring of favor, I have changed.

If you had looked from the outside, all would have “looked” normal and right. I played my part well; the wife of an unbeliever, living a tough existence in my mind. Reality was, I was living a life of resistance; resisting this urgings of God, through my husband. But all along, inside, God was doing a major work on me. I was justifying many things, and the more I justified, the more things were not working well.

Do you know the enemy loves strife and disconnection in marriage? The more those two things happen, the more in-tune to the couple the enemy becomes. During this time, I was using my faith as justification for many things, like I said. Then, one day (or in a season), God made it very clear what I needed to do – I am grateful that I was cured of my disobedience, my idolization of something in my life, for the opening of my eyes and most of all, the changing of my heart.

How did all this happen? It happened as an answer to prayer – my prayer was, “Whatever it takes Lord, show me how to fix this”.  I placed my life into God’s hands, willingly, completely… It is something I work on every day.

Place Your Life Before God“So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” ~Romans 12:1-2 (The Message)

No matter what I need to go through physically, due to this illness, “it” is all worth it, because today, I have something back that I would have otherwise lost.

Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new.” ~2 Corinthians 5:17 (CEV)

How things have changed. How we have changed. How I have changed. How God has stayed the same, never changing and always changing me.

Every good gift and every perfect present comes from heaven; it comes down from God, the Creator of the heavenly lights, who does not change or cause darkness by turning.” ~James 1:17 (GNT)

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.