Saturday, July 30, 2011

Day 622 of Giving Thanks

Energy has been a rare commodity for me for years. Yet, in the last few weeks it has flowed freely. There is an unending influx of energy. I don’t think I’ll be running  any marathons soon, but I am going forward in a different manner; instead of laboring to take that next step, I step smoothly and grace-fully.

Matthew 11:28 comes to mind, as I have prayed that verse and held onto that promise for a very long time.

“Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (Common English Bible)

I have chosen to swap WEARY - W.anting, E.xasperated, A.ngry, R.esistant and Y.earning for energy.

Over the last year, there has been a working and smoothing of the edges within my heart – and the more I know forgiveness, the more I know mercy, the more I know what I receive is so undeserving, so amazing.

Today, I have ENERGY in place of weary – E.nlightened, N.ew, E.ngaged, R.estored, G.rowth and Y.earning – yes, yearning to know forgiveness, to know mercy, and to be thankful for all I receive that is so undeserving and so amazing.

© 2011 Giving Thanks Daily, Shawn Boreta                     

Friday, July 29, 2011

Day 621 of Giving Thanks

In my circumstances, I can cave or I can thrive, in other words, I can ascend or descend.

Getting through the moments of uncertainty or being uncomfortable or, even feeling overwhelmed can all be met head on in full confidence because I do it all with help.

“When, however, the Spirit comes, who reveals the truth about God, he will lead you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own authority, but he will speak of what he hears and will tell you of things to come.” ~John 16:13 (Good News Translation)

It is the help that Jesus left me, and you. And, lately, I am finding that my biggest need for “help” is keeping out the thoughts that are harmful, detrimental and scaring.

We can pray for the voices to stop, BUT it is up to me to command the voices to stop, in Jesus’ name. Jesus came and left the Holy Spirit for me and it is only in His power that all is possible. So, with every thought, I ask, “who am I listening to?”

I must remember there is only one voice that is worth listening to and abiding in, while basking in His glorious promises. The Holy Spirit is my complete and perfect helper; the One who knows my every need, my every desire and my purpose.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. Remember the Lord in everything you do, and He will show you the right way.” ~Proverbs 3:5-6 (Good News Translation) 

Father, Your strength!

God, you may bring me to the desert, lead me into a storm or let me lose my footing on the mountain, BUT I thank You that I don't have to stay in the desert; my feet can be firmly planted in the storm; and I can start climbing up the mountain again.

It is Your help that is ever-present, ever willing and ever able to be with me. Lord, I welcome the times when you show me that I am thirsty.

“He makes my feet like those of a deer and gives me sure footing on high places.” ~ Psalm 18:33 (GODS WORD Translation)

It is Your help that is ever-present, ever willing and ever able to be with me.

Father, Your strength!

I am in the daughter of the King, and I can celebrate and be thankful every day.

“Jesus said, "I know. I saw Satan fall, a bolt of lightning out of the sky. See what I've given you? Safe passage as you walk on snakes and scorpions, and protection from every assault of the Enemy. No one can put a hand on you. All the same, the great triumph is not in your authority over evil, but in God's authority over you and presence with you. Not what you do for God but what God does for you—that's the agenda for rejoicing." ~Luke 10:18-20 (The Message)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Day 620 of Giving Thanks - Tina Wetor

Walk Up the Mountain
by Tina Wetor

As we gaze at the mountain, it can completely overwhelming to get to the top.  Sometimes, the vision of the mountain can blind our ability to clear see where to begin to conquer it.  On the mountain top lies our dreams, desires, and victory but it’s hard to find the path to get there.  When we approach the mountain, it’s there we learn a simple step, we have to climb or walk up to get to the top.  As we get to the top, we realize the journey was overcome through faith, perseverance, and walking the path.

At this moment, I have been very overwhelmed with the mountain of the ministry God was called me too.  It’s beyond my ability to complete, it’s only in God’s grace, strength, and His promise I can stand.  Our pilgrimage of faith will only be complete if we walk it.  It’s a daily choice of walking by faith and not by sight. (Romans 1:17)  We must have daily communion with our Abba Father, so we can have the peace, counsel, and guidance upon our steps.  All of the steps of the righteous are ordered by the Lord.  We don’t have to worry about the next step; we are only to take the first one: trust fully in the Lord. 

During those moments of fear, doubt and insecurity, we must write down God’s promises to us.  As I have been cleaning my office, I came upon my journal of God’s promises for my life.  Also, I found a precious paper I wrote a beautiful dream of what God promised me.  It was an encouragement to me, God lovingly reminded me of His promise.  All of God’s promises are a reminder of His power, His love, and His truth.  Also, it’s reassuring us of His never ending love for us.

Jesus still loves me!  It’s a simple truth but so reassuring in the moments of the enemy’s attack.  Although I fail the Lord, we all will.  His mercies are new every day, His mercies never fail.  He will keep me spotless and blameless until His precious return.  When we dedicate our lives to Christ, He owns it.  He paid with His love, His life.  So, He is about to give up on me but guide me closer to Him.  All of His desires can’t be stopped for me, my life is His.  So, I am so grateful I belong to a precious Savior who has keeping power.  Nothing can separate me!  Absolutely nothing can separate me from His love or care.

So, the mountain may see enormous as we stare at it.  Doubt, unbelief, and fear will keep us at the valley of the mountain.  It’s only faith in Christ that can move it.  We can’t turn back, we have to face it.  So, take the first step...fall flat on your face into the arms of Christ.  The next step is simply trust in Him.  Jesus will never lead you away from Him or out of His care.  It’s time to trust Him, His guidance is promised.

Psalm 32:8 says,  "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you."  When God called me into ministry, I was given this promise.  Write the promise on the tablet of your heart, so you can reflect on the promise.  Also, write it on a journal so when satan whispers doubt, you can shout the promise.    

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Day 619 of Giving Thanks

Many years ago I was referred to as Ms. Optimistic, yet my heart ached for something that was missing. From the outside and to the eyes of the world I had everything under control, yet my heart ached for something that was missing. As long as I could remember what I saw before me was complete to others, yet my heart ached for something that was missing. I was successful and living my life fully unaware that the something I ached for actually existed.

Through the void there was a voice calling to me, telling me that there was more, that life extended beyond what I was experiencing – that voice was always right before me and surrounding me, and called often.

One day, not so long ago, I answered the call and Ms. Optimistic became Mrs. Hope, joy and purpose. Today, I stand firmly on His promises.

Living in Christ is living my life toward a purpose – His purpose for my life... and in the process living this out, He grows me and gives me the opportunity to bear fruit. I must recognize every opportunity to share with others, and often that comes with recognizing the fruit in my own life.

Living in Christ is living my life toward purpose – His purpose for my life… and in the process of living this out, I learn daily to place my fears in Him, and place my trust with Him. I must overcome every day through the power of the Holy Spirit, and place not only what I don’t know or don’t understand before Him, but everything before Him.

Lord, this one area is creating havoc in my heart today. Give me the peace to fully explore what You have for me here. My brain says "no more of this", but my heart says, "What does God say?"... Waiting Lord; not always so patiently, but waiting, nonetheless.

Now, let me step into the world as though I believe and trust all His promises. Today, let me believe wholly what He says, listen for His word for me and share greatly in truth.

Today, my heart bleeds optimism as there is so much hope in my life. I put all my trust in you Lord, I trust you with my heart, my mind, and my soul.

Today, as I look in the mirror, I see the truth in my reflection. Today, I look to see what is inside. Today, I allow the Holy Spirit to see for me, allow my eyes that see as You see Father. Allow me to know that with Jesus in me, what looks back at me is amazing, beautiful and wonderfully and marvelously made. I have a purpose, and it is sanctioned by a mighty God.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Day 618 of Giving Thanks

My cries for You to hear me Lord... help me to change them to "Let me hear You my God".

When I am hiding from You Lord, whether in sin, out of disbelief or lack of understanding, those are the times when exhaustion takes over, when the thought of moving forward is disabling and the cries of my heart are most needy. And, what I know from my personal experiences is that when we dwell in that place of harboring against God, we reap, that which is not God.

I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against You. Praise be to you, LORD; teach me your decrees. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth.  I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.  I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect Your word.” ~Psalm 119:10-20 (New International Version)

It is in the moments that I can be still with You, that I am exhilarated and energized and it is through Your power that I can mobilize all my efforts. It is in those moments that I can see how it is only You and truly You who fulfills all my needs. It is in the power of the Holy Spirit that change will occur, but it is in my own actions that the process will begin, continue and be fulfilled.

“Let Your love, GOD, shape my life with salvation, exactly as You promised; Then I'll be able to stand up to mockery because I trusted Your Word. Don't ever deprive me of truth, not ever—Your commandments are what I depend on. Oh, I'll guard with my life what You've revealed to me, guard it now, guard it ever; And I'll stride freely through wide open spaces as I look for Your truth and Your wisdom; Then I'll tell the world what I find, speak out boldly in public, unembarrassed. I cherish Your commandments—oh, how I love them!—relishing every fragment of Your counsel.” ~Psalm 119:41-48 (The Message)

I never want to “come off” as a “know it all” or even give the impression that “I am wise”. However, I am in a very beneficial position. I am the daughter of the King – highly favored, love unendingly and forgiven once and for all. And, that is something that still blows my mind and is impossible to understand or comprehend, yet it is true. I have an amazing God a Father who never gives up on me; a savior who gave it all for me, how is it even possible for me to repay what has been given? It’s quite simple, I cannot do anything, but I can be grateful and thankful – in more than words, in action – in growth – in sharing.

From the depths of my soul, Lord... let it be from the depths of You that I speak – especially when I run across a difficult person, or a discussion starts to become difficult, I find myself stopping listening to that person (hearing them out), and asking the Holy Spirit to respond, and most of the time, not responding. Just listening.

It is in the power of the Holy Spirit that change will occur, but it is in my own actions that the process will begin, continue and be fulfilled.

I have seen my share of the desert, have you? I have a deep sense of change in my heart about being in the desert, in the valley and even in the middle of a storm – this is not where God wants me, and when I am there, I am there by choice. Let me explain – it is not the challenge I choose, it is how I respond to it, that is my choice. A recent example is living with physical pain. In the past, the more pain I experienced, the more I focused on how “painful” it was. As, God reaches down and wraps His promises around my heart, I began to look at the pain as temporary. Something that went along with my temporary dwelling place called earth. As I started to believe the "temporary” is just that, my thoughts can then dwell and move to the permanency of Him.

“Teach me, O LORD, how to live by Your laws, and I will obey them to the end. Help me understand so that I can follow Your teachings. I will guard them with all my heart. Lead me on the path of Your commandments, because I am happy with them. Direct my heart toward Your written instructions rather than getting rich in underhanded ways.  Turn my eyes away from worthless things. Give me a new life in Your ways. Keep Your promise to me so that I can fear You. Take away insults, which I dread, because Your regulations are good. I long for Your guiding principles. Give me a new life in Your righteousness.” ~Psalm 119:33-40 (GOD’S WORD Translation)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Day 617 of Giving Thanks

Quietly Lord.
Help me to remember that it is when I quiet my mind and settle my thoughts on You that rest will come and clarity will be revealed. This is a daily coming to the Lord. Knowing that He is always there, no matter what, is a great comfort.

I have a connection like it has never been before... when I start to get down, which seems to be rare these days, He lifts me with just a simple call to Him. Just knowing that I have eternity all set is such a marvelous – and the ‘feeling’ of it all and it is contagious from moment to moment. It's like good moments feed into great moments... I cannot describe it, but I like it.

So, will this end?

Is this the mountaintop, and it’s all down-hill from here, or can this be what true connection to a mighty God is all about?  That even in the moments that seem desperate or uncertain, or the trials that hit you from nowhere and the results are devastating, the security of knowing who I am, and what He did and that “all of it” has a purpose is enough to keep me focused on the right things? To stay focused on Him is my daily desire?

I have never been so sure that I am ok – and I have never experienced the hopefulness as I do right now.

I have questions and I have desires, yet, my prayers have changed. For years I never understood what “Your will be done” meant, and especially for me. I was so busy telling God what my desires were, that I was missing the point of it all. I truly do not have it figured out, in fact, I probably have more questions today than ever before, but the one question that is settled is, “who am I?” There is no question about that one.

“Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.” ~Psalm 139:14 (New Living Translation)

I am wonderfully made.
I am the child of the KING.
I am highly favored.
I am forgiven.
He is calling your name.
Have you heard Him calling?

A psalm of David. “The LORD is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid? The LORD is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?” ~Psalm 27:1 (New Living Translation)

Sometimes we just have to stop long enough to allow His voice to be heard.
Friends, today, find a quiet spot. Call His name, "Father God, thank You for speaking into my life. For showing me Your presence. Give me ears to hear, in Jesus' name I pray, amen."

Trust me, it works...

...and it will not end, because He is never-ending!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Day 616 of Giving Thanks

 “Your blessings are with him forever, and your presence fills him with joy.” ~Psalm 21:6 (Good News Translation)

Today, a day of reset, yet, my mind is reeling.

It has been a month of healing; a month of God’s work in me showing up in huge ways like no other time in my life. Just when I think, “life is good – how could it get any better”, I seem to shift into the next level in seeing differently. Now, don’t get me wrong, I still have challenges and obstacles just like everyone else but I have been able to look past those and focus on seeing what God is doing. So, that shift I was talking about, I am able to imagine the “better”, seeing how to improve so many areas of my life, and take action.

I would ponder much before, and act very little – I am not sure if anyone else does this too, but I suspect it is a common activity of non-action. I have begun to see His greatness all around me. I am getting better, only because of God’s goodness.

"How great is your GOODNESS! You have stored it up for those who fear you. You do GOOD THINGS for those who TRUST you. You do this for all to see." ~Psalm 31:19 (The Everyday Bible)

I am a blessed woman, a child of God, daughter of the King. With all that, how could I possibly be anything but blessed?

“If you listen obediently to the Voice of GOD, your God, and heartily obey all his commandments that I command you today, GOD, your God, will place you on high, high above all the nations of the world. All these blessings will come down on you and spread out beyond you because you have responded to the Voice of GOD, your God:

   GOD's blessing inside the city,
   GOD's blessing in the country;
   GOD's blessing on your children,
      the crops of your land,
      the young of your livestock,
      the calves of your herds,
      the lambs of your flocks.
   GOD's blessing on your basket and bread bowl;
   GOD's blessing in your coming in,
   GOD's blessing in your going out.” ~Deuteronomy 28:1-6 (The Message)

A few weeks ago, I gave a copy of the last 120 entries of Giving Thanks Daily to a friend, who is not a Christian, but she is very interested in learning about Jesus. She stopped by this afternoon to drop some stuff by the house – and we spent over 30 minutes talking in front of my house; she said how much all of the words made sense, how wonderful it seems to have such security, comfort and faith. How good is God? He is greater than we will ever know or comprehend. Her words to me as she walked away were, “I want what you have”. My friends, it is available to us all. What I have is the Holy Spirit - my confidant, my teacher, my intercessor, my counselor, my shoulder, my power – my God in me. And, I remember saying those same words to my friend all those years ago, “I want what you have”, and it was given.

Are you tired of doing things “your way”, and doing them over and over? Have you come to the conclusion that there is truly something better for you? Are you weary and tired?  

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” ~Matthew 11:28 (New International Version)

He is waiting and is calling your name. And, He knew before you were born that you would need Him, so He did an amazing and wonderful thing.

"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 takes no time to come to Him, and He will draw you nearer as you grow in His strength and power. Go to Him.

“God blesses those people who are merciful. They will be treated with mercy! God blesses those people whose hearts are pure. They will see Him! God blesses those people who make peace. They will be called His children!” Matthew 5:7-9 (Contemporary English Version)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Day 615 of Giving Thanks

I am grateful, not only today, but every day that I have God’s Word and the power of the Holy Spirit as I read the Word. Gaining understanding and living out what I understand through that same power, is what I am living for as I live toward the eternity He has for me. The road to eternity with God is narrow, very narrow...

“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 (Contemporary English Version)

I am quite disturbed by how many leaders – those teaching and shepherding others – are just not “getting it”. My heart aches over the poor information and total misrepresentation of the Word. We all know, the road to spirituality (notice lowercase “s”) is wide, massive and very easy to find and get to. There are many people (here, friends of yours), touting God, but what god, who is their god? Is their spiritual walk leading them to the narrow path, the right path?

Friends do not be misled – do not allow those you are leading to follow the wrong path. You are responsible if you are teaching and encouraging through God's Word to know “who” you are associating with and bringing people to, knowingly or not, it just makes sense to know who you are encouraging.

“Brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers. You know that we who teach will be judged more severely.” ~James 3:1 (GOD’s WORD Translation)

I am also very encouraged by all those who are true to His Word and stand firm. I love hearing the truth delivered; I love seeing a brother or sister standing firm on the Word and seeing those who do not waiver in their discussions with others. Our lessons come every day as we live out our life, and we listen to God correct us. That has been my greatest joy – to learn and grow every day. And, as the Word is read, absorbed and filtered for His purposes for me, I live in hope and gratitude. My prayer is, that even though I live in this world where stumbling is possible, to live greatly in His power, and be a blessing to those I know. Living in community, loving and learning, while basking in the power of the Holy Spirit - looking at and living out in amazing favor. It is all about community - our family of those who devour the Word, live for Christ and hold on tightly to the truth of a mighty God.

“Real wisdom, God's wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.”  ~James 3:17-18 (The Message)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Day 614 of Giving Thanks

“What does the Lord say?”
“Well, I haven’t heard anything yet!”
“Then wait, simply wait.”
“How long?”
“Until He speaks. Until you hear Him.”
“But I want it now. I can’t wait. I have waited for too long already. What have I been doing all this time?”
“Wait on the Lord. What He has for you is worth the wait. Trust that He knows your heart’s desires and will do what is good for you.”

Have you ever had dialog like this? Sometimes we have it with others, other times we have it in the mirror. Has your heart been so set on something that no amount of pleading from reason would change your mind? And, did you look back on your conversation, especially when you took “your way”, and wondered “what was I thinking?”

"Love is never tired of waiting." ~1 Corinthians 13:4 (New International Version)

I believe we are swooned by the world and by the lure of things that “look good”, “sound good” and “feel good”.  I believe that all along, God’s voice is right there pleading for us to listen, just a little harder for Him, and a little longer for His reason. Because He loves us so greatly, He may ask us to “wait”.

“You also must wait patiently, strengthening your resolve, because the coming of the Lord is near.” ~James 5:8 (Common English Bible)

It is in the “wait” that He is building us up. It is in the “wait” that we are gain stamina. It is in the “wait” that we grow patient and steadfast in our faith. It is in the “wait” that we become grateful for the “ready set go”.

“I hope, LORD. My whole being hopes, and I wait for God’s promise.” ~ Psalm 130:5 (Common English Bible)

I am to wait on the Lord. And, although my flesh says, “no” and at times, “no way”, I will wait in His strength. I will give up the flesh and be moved through the strength of the Holy Spirit. I will be diligent in my efforts to count on the power that has been freely given, and sacrificially offered.

“He answered me: “This is the LORD’s word to Zerubbabel: Neither by power, nor by strength, but by my spirit, says the LORD of heavenly forces.”” ~Zechariah 4:6 (Common English Bible)

When we look toward God, He will reveal the goodness in our lives, He will show us that what is from Him is good, and often what we desire, is less than His goodness. I have found that when I doubt that God’s way is better, I will search for the “my better”, the enemy is there to show it all to us – all that the world sees as “good”. Lord, keep me from being deceived; the enemy weaves the story much differently than that of truth. I  may be looking right into the eyes of a sincere blessing, but the enemy has weaved his story. I am learning that I must never take my eyes off God; I must look through my circumstances with eyes that see truth, listen for His word and, let go of what is not God. It is for my good, it is good and it is all for His glory.

"When I was waiting quietly for the Lord, His heart was turned to me, and He gave ear to my cry." ~Psalms 40:1

“…endurance brings God's approval, and his approval creates hope. This hope does not disappoint us, for God has poured out his love into our hearts by means of the Holy Spirit, who is God's gift to us.” ~Romans 5:4-5 (Good News Translation)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Day 613 of Giving Thanks

Today, in the middle of the hustle and bustle of things, I noticed "calmness in my spirit", and a sense of excitement and anticipation that has not presented itself as it is now. You know that feeling you get when Christmas morning is the next time you will wake up as a kid? That’s where I am right now. There is an anticipation of something great and knowingly wonderful is about to happen.

Although I have never had anyone prophesy over me, or tell me, “God says”, in regards to my healing, I know it to be true. I believe the healing has less to do with my physical body and everything to do with my spiritual state. As I prayed last night and as I wrote endlessly during my quiet time with God, these words came flooding out, almost automatically.
  • I believe I have been created to encourage others, through helping them believe that they have a purpose. 
  • I believe I have been created to teach others the truth, not only about God's word, but what God has to say about them. 
  • I believe I have been created to move others to discover their purpose.
Because of my relationship with God, through Jesus, I become stronger every day. I can only do so much on my own, but I must do all that I can do; and as I have been dealing with this “thing”, which from the outside seems like everything is A-ok, but there are times when the inside is not so, A-ok. There are times when if I were turned inside out (physically), it would scare me. Thankfully the Holy Spirit is in control of orchestrating that which is good for me, and helping me to be inside-out perfect, I know that there is no choice but for my body to let go of what is ailing it, and hang on to what is availing it.

Thank You Father for giving me a new inside and teaching me to reveal from the inside-out what is “You” and true for my life. Thank You for the opportunity to share what You share with me.

Comparatively speaking, my pain is nothing when I think of some of my friends who are in the middle of their own battle with the enemy of pain. For years I referred to the physical pain as the enemy in my cellular structure, but today as I prayed for a friend who is experiencing pain on a level 10, I thought of how God has used my pain to move me through to a different place in my life. How the enemy of pain has become the blessing of awareness. This awareness is not one that has come easily, but it has been easy to go to God in the midst of it. I do not take any of this lightly.

I have had pain for so many years, that most of the time I forget that it is pain, because it is so normal. I have had a reprieve lately. I am living the miracle of a freedom that is incredible, and so amazingly welcome. Regardless of what God has for me, whether this is a complete healing or just a reprieve, I am filled with resolve for healing ... I will receive it, here and eternity or just in eternity. Either way it is all good.

Father, I realize that through my pain I know that I am truly not meant to be of this world, and I depend so greatly upon Your mercies in my life here in this earthly body. I  thank You Lord that I get up every morning, and for all the things that so many others take for granted, I thank You that I can push toward You in the effort to do my daily tasks. At times it's the simplest of things that You strengthen me in that I am most grateful for. I thank You that I have You almighty and perfect Father to lean on, cling to and run toward. I come to You Lord thankful for the removal of pain, and the reprieve that is so welcome. I pray for those who suffer around me Lord. For those in physical distress, muscles that don’t function, with hearts that desire to be “normal” again. I lift my brothers and sisters up to You for healing of the uncooperative limbs and we pray for an outpouring of relief in the pain as they place all of their hearts into Your promises of becoming pain-free in our eternal bodies. 

I pray that although the muscles atrophy that there be unexplained strength and stamina. I pray Father that through all our experiences we will shine Your light brightly and abundantly, as much as the grace and mercies we receive so freely. Father, we cannot know what You have for us, but we know that it is good and Your plans are perfect in all ways. We pray for the power of the Holy Spirit to be a continual experience for us, as we walk in Your light. In the mighty blood of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

© 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 (

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Day 612 of Giving Thanks

Tonight, as I sit in “my spot” with the cool evening air filtering through the window, music playing in the background and thoughts of my God, my life and the ramblings of those thoughts across the keyboard, I am grateful for the outlet of writing, the gift of music and the many favors of a wonderful God. 

Today, it seems that all I can do is allow the steady stream of words, and “come what may” was the thought as I started to type. In the lack of organization, there is order and compassion – a word for my soul tonight, a word from my heart to “take to heart”.

How many times have I sat in this exact spot, and done the exact same thing? How many times have I thought of my amazing God and all the blessings that He has granted me? How many times have I placed my cares, concerns and dreams before His throne without hesitation? How many times have I known, from the depths of my soul, that there is nothing greater than what I hold deep in my heart?

I enter. 
You are already there and waiting. 
I leave. 
You are already there and waiting. 
I ponder. 
You are already revealing what will be. 
I pray. 
You are already revealing what will be. 
I am here Lord, grateful that You are all things to me.
No matter where I go, there You are. And, Lord where You are is where I want to be. The thought of a never-ending presence, and a time of worship through all moments of my day lies on my heart. I have a job - it is to serve, to grow, to learn, to hear, to abide and to be His wholly. I am with Him and He is in me. How much strength is there with this truth? More, than I can ever realize! 

“That's plain enough, isn't it? You're no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You're no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He's using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he's using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home.” ~ Ephesians 2:19-22 (The Message)

Yes, it is all about You Lord. Help me to see YOU in all I see... YOU in all I hear... YOU where ever I go. It is Your goodness I hold on to. Help me to see the goodness all around us. Help me to see how You are working things out so perfectly for me... give me eyes to see.

Draw me near Lord... 
For I understand I will face giants, go through mighty waters and be mocked and scorned. For I know I will not face any giant alone, and You are the mighty waters, so will be with me through them all, and You were mocked and scorned for me, so in all these situations, circumstances and challenges, draw me near.

“The Living Stone and a Chosen People 
As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him—you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house[a] to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says:   “See, I lay a stone in Zion,    a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him    will never be put to shame.” Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,   “The stone the builders rejected    has become the cornerstone,”  and,“A stone that causes people to stumble    and a rock that makes them fall.”    They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.” ~1 Peter 2:4-8 (New International Version)

I do not want to wonder what stone I am… How about you?

There is a better way. We can sit by and "wonder" about this mighty and awesome creator, or we can start to talk to Him, get to know Him through His word, and listen for His response. He is eager to answer your call to Him, but you have to call first. Be open for the possibility that you have never been alone, that He has been "here" all along - be open that He is listening, and will answer when your heart is ready.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Day 611 of Giving Thanks

I have so much to be thankful for, and so much to write about, yet it is one of those days, when I wait to hear Him speak. Today He has given me the same word many times.

HUMILITY – my definition today is HUManIty in his LIghT for You

Today I heard from and had an opportunity to talk with a couple of friends who are also my mentors; godly people who I learn from every day, and who stretch me and help me learn more about who I am with God. That is an awesome thing. I am grateful for the journey I am on, and the amazing people I come in contact with every day. In my growth of becoming less of me, and more of Him, I find many moments of praise and reflection.

The objective in all this is humility.

It is a “me thing” to learn to be humble and act in humility, it is a God thing to be humble at heart. Being humble is not something I can do on my own. In an effort to “be” humble, I believe my focus shifts too much on myself, rather than my heavenly Father. And it is only with Him that I will be the best me.

There are many ways to do something, but there is only one best way.
It is my objective is to find that “best way”… and the best way is His way in His timing.

‎"It is beautiful how God has done everything at the right time. He has put a sense of eternity in people’s minds. Yet, mortals still can’t grasp what God is doing from the beginning to the end of time." Ecclesiastes 3:11 (GOD’S WORD Translation)

Without Him I am breathless, with Him I breathe for the first time.

I love to soar Lord... and I know that with you, with me, that is exactly what I can do.

I believe we spend so much of our life trying to figure out what we are all about. And, quite simply, for today’s purpose anyway, I believe it is all about what we can do for others. I believe it is all about what we can learn as we grow in our relationship with the Father. I believe it is all about how we do our life.

Build others up and live an amazing life. Regardless of what others do for me... it is wise to do so. And, as I hear these words pass from my mind, to my mind’s ears and to the page earlier today, I asked myself, “Is this what I do? Do I encourage others to the “best” of my ability? Do I build them up with the guide of the Holy Spirit to ensure that I am doing it in honor of His word?

I have thought many times about the last year – a year to be grateful for – a year of lessons – a year of challenge, fear and pain for sure, but most of all it is the lessons that have delivered blessing upon blessing and miracle upon miracle. There truly are no words to describe what God has so beautifully orchestrated in my life. Lord, when I have a loss or a challenge, there are so many moments in the moving through, when it has been too hard to move forward. But as I move, I remember that when I move toward You, You move with me and have already prepared the way.

And as I continue this walk with You, I don’t want to miss a thing – and I invite you, my friends, to do the same. Don't miss out on something great, because it looks hard. The rewards of hard are often the greatest gifts of all. He is the giver of great hope, abundant grace, unending love and His life for yours. So, every morning as you start your day, don't forget to "rest in Him". Come to Him and thank Him for the things He does, the times He waits and the answers He gives. Rest in Him, for it is the “best” thing.

“The fear of the LORD is discipline leading to wisdom, and humility comes before honor.” ~Proverbs 15:33 (GOD’S WORD Translation)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Day 610 of Giving Thanks - Guest Writer, Ron McIntyre

I Make The Opportunities

Never doubt. Have no fear. Watch the faintest tremor of fear, and stop all work, everything, and rest before Me until you are joyful and strong again.

Deal in the same way with all tired feelings. I was weary too, when on earth, and I separated Myself from My Disciples, and sat and rested on the wall. Rested--and then it was that the Samaritan woman was helped.

I had to reach renewal of Spirit--force rest of body to My Disciples. Then, as your Example, I lay with My Head on a pillow, asleep in the boat. It was not, as they thought, indifference. They cried, " Master, carest thou not that we perish?" and I had to teach them that ceaseless activity was no part of My Father's plan.

When Paul said, "I can do all things through Christ, which strengthens me," he did not mean that he was to do all things and then rely on Me to find strength. He meant that for all I told him to do he could rely on My supplying the strength.

My Work in the world has been hindered by work, work, work. Many a tireless, nervous body has driven a spirit. The spirit should be the master always, and naturally use the body as need should rise. Rest in Me.

Do not seek to work for Me. Never make opportunities. Live with Me and for Me. I do the work and I make the opportunities.

Strength and Honor

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Day 609 of Giving Thanks Daily - Guest Writer, Tom Jasinski

Father, we come to You and pray for our family in Missouri and all those who have gone through simlar disasters this year. We lift the Jasinski family up to You, as well as those surrounding them. We pray for Your great presence, moments of victory to be shared and healing and restoration of all that has been lost. We pray for the ministry of Tom and Anne-Lise for strength, perserverence, mercy and help as they need it, both emotionally and financially. We pray that through this storm's aftermath, You will be glorified and your favor revealed over and over. In the mighty and healing power of the Holy Spirit we pray in Jesus' name. Amen. Thank you Tom and Anne-Lise for your friendship and faithfulness. You are amazing examples. 

“It’s Time to Plant Like Birds Do”
By Tom Jasinski

May 22nd, 2011 started out as normal as any day, but at around 6PM, a few seconds changed everything.  I had done nothing to prepare myself for the EF5 tornado that ripped right through the center of my town and my home.  When my family and I emerged from the bathtub where we had taken cover, we were greeted with the sights and sounds of war:  Houses toppling, fire, gas lines leaking, cars bombed out, people wailing.  I would later hear from several armed forces veterans that it reminded them of places like Baghdad, and that this was the only place they had been where you could turn 360 degrees and see nothing good.

After the initial shock wave passed, my first thought was, “We can start over!  We’ve started over so many times, we can do this.”  Friends who called to check up on us were stunned at my upbeat and confident demeanor.

As the weeks have passed since that fateful day, I have been challenged beyond my comprehension.  It’s one thing to start over, but it’s quite another to be slammed into that mode in a matter of less than a minute.  Not to mention the fact that we are doing this right alongside more than 20,000 other Joplin residents who are in the exact same boat we are.

In the struggle to find some solid footing in our “new normal”, as we call it around here, there have been many moments of frustration.  It’s hard to convey the feelings:  Moving through peanut butter, everything is harder, nothing seems to flow…  More than once, I have found myself at the end of my rope, overcome with the difficulty of trying to operate under such extenuating circumstances.

But out of the ashes of destruction, hope springs eternal.  We have watched a whole nation gather around our city and rush to our side.  The Church showed up, and the hands and feet of Jesus have been busy helping since moment one. We have personally received resources from absolute strangers (but friends now!) from Louisiana, Wisconsin, North Carolina, all over Missouri…  The list goes on (and hopefully we can find the list when it comes time to write thank you notes!)

The lesson that really sticks out in my mind right now is that we need to plant like birds do.  Matthew 6:25-34 says not to worry about the day to day stuff of life.  If God can provide for the flowers and birds, who don’t do anything to secure their well-being, how much more will He look after our needs? They just exist as God’s creation without trying to manipulate Him.

I can confidently say, almost two months after this catastrophe, that God has handled every detail.  If you have experienced a major disaster in your life, I am sure you know what I have learned so recently:  As you look back over those initial weeks, you see how little you were in control and how much God was.  That is a truth I don’t ever want to forget.  I am thankful my family and I experienced this tornado.  My ability to comprehend the direction of Matthew 6:33 is so much clearer. As I seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, as I live for relationship with Him and my neighbor, all the details get taken care of.

A ministry friend of mine from The Work of the People came up three weeks after the storm and made a film about what we are experiencing.  I have included the link here for anyone who is interested:

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Day 608 of Giving Thanks

There is so much excitement in the discovery of who I am with God in charge. I can look back, not so long ago, and see a very different outlook. I know this is something I mention quite a bit. And, it all really comes down to one thing in my life. And, it is spelled, g.r.a.t.i.t.u.d.e!

Every moment of every day I will find reasons to be thankful... living in gratitude is honoring what Jesus did for us. And, for the gift of giving thanks daily, that God prompted me to do, and pushes me to continue and draws me nearer because of it, I am eternally and wholly grateful.

“His voice shook the earth then, but now he has made a promise: Still once more I will shake not only the earth but heaven also. The words “still once more” reveal the removal of what is shaken—the things that are part of this creation—so that what isn’t shaken will remain.  Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that can’t be shaken, let’s continue to express our gratitude. With this gratitude, let’s serve in a way that is pleasing to God with respect and awe, because our God really is a consuming fire.” ~Hebrews 12:26-30 (Common English Bible)

Pleasing God comes with loving God wholly, and trusting His promises. And, all those things are possible, because He loves you perfectly and completely. No matter what you have done, where you come from, with an open heart you can turn to Him and away from your past.

God, You are truly what I needed... then, today and tomorrow. Thank You for being here for me. Thank You for knowing that I would need you, and would be with You.

And, Lord, another day continues... a day that began by coming to You; It was my hope that I would come to You often today – and I have. It is my yearning, that when I do come to you, it’s not just to whine or complain, but to share my inner-most thoughts and desires, to be consoled by the knowledge that I am Yours, to hear Your promises as I start to doubt - to be in Your presence.

Over these days of writing, I have learned many lessons, yet the greatest of all is that I am Your, I am wonderfully made for a purpose that You have engineered just for me. And, even in the hardest of times, I know that I have the greatest opportunities to see You, God.  It makes sense to look toward You in all times, in the good times too, so You will recognize your voice.

Pleasing God comes with loving God wholly, and trusting His promises. And, all those things are possible, because He loves you perfectly and completely. No matter what you have done, where you come from, with an open heart you can turn to Him and away from your past.

There is a great satisfaction being at home and doing just the "normal" things - sweeping the floor, straightening up and making things look nice. That is what God wants us to do with our life. Sweep the things we don't need out the door. Straighten up by listening to Him. And, He makes our existence nice and secure...

My friends, His lessons for me have been logged, journaled and shared, and they are lasting reminders of where I came from. I know that when I look back, it is for reflective purposes only. Looking back is to provide me with perspective and insights to how I thought, and how I have changed my thinking.

If you are standing by to see what you can "get" from people, and "receive" from God... here's a thought... start giving to others and thanking God for what you already have - and you will be amazed at how blessed your life is.

We give because it's right and it is so rewarding to give, especially when the blessing is the joy of seeing someone else blessed in the process.

My friends, His lessons for me, may or may not be a lesson for you, but my hope is that through them, you may find a reason to seek Him more. My hope is that you will know Him intimately and love Him wholly. Today, find a reason to thank Him and honor Him through a life lived in gratitude.

Did you know that you are all wonderful and amazing children of God. And, God is speaking right now, He has something for you to hear. Keep your ears sharp, your eyes open and your heart ready.
My only wisdom is in You Father. My only comfort comes from You Father. My only joy is because of You Father.

God, You are truly what I needed... then, today and tomorrow. Thank You for being here for me. Thank You for knowing that I would need You and would be with You.

Do you know God personally? He knows you intimately… 

God's Love
"For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten ([a]unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.” ~ John 3:16 (Amplified Bible)
God's Plan
"Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent" ~John 17:3 (NIV). 

What is keeping you from knowing God personally?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Day 607 of Giving Thanks - Guest Writer, Connie Wetzell

If you don't already know Connie, this will give you a peek into her character... a beautiful and godly woman... talented, and my friend. I will let her words speak for themselves. Thank you Connie.

By: Connie Wetzell

“Dance with me Lord, lover of my soul
 To the song of all songs
 Romance me O lover of my soul
 To the song of all songs”

Song by: Robert Stearns

You know how life takes twists and turns that just come out of nowhere?  I’m sure you can relate.  A few months back, I woke up one morning and realized that I had lost my voice.  For me, this is a tragic thing because I make my living predominantly as a voice over artist.  No talk…no mula!  Yikes!  My left vocal cord ruptured and I needed to be on 2 weeks of vocal rest…complete silence.  For this out-going, Italian woman, it was a real challenge.  I was determined to live my life as normally as possible walking around with a dry erase board and marker to communicate with people.  I’d go into the Starbucks and order my Grande, Soy, Cappuccino in writing and the clerk would “sign” back to me as if I couldn’t hear.

In the midst of my silence I would sit before God asking Him what I would do if my voice was not restored as it was.  How could I make a living?  Who would provide for me?  But during this time I had a real sense of peace and felt His presence surrounding me like never before.  I spent a lot of time in the Word and journaling…trying to listen to what God was saying.  One night after praying about all these things and drifting off to sleep, I had one of the most profound dreams where God was addressing ALL of my concerns…and I want to share it with you because I believe that this word is for you as much as it is for me.

In the dream I was dancing with Jesus.  I didn’t see his face, but I knew it was Him.  It was truly the most romantic experience ever…in a pure sense.  All  I know is I never wanted the dance to end.  In the dance, He was holding me. I felt so safe.  He was showing me that He is my husband and protector.

“For your maker is your husband – the Lord Almighty is His name – the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer.” ~Isaiah 54:5

He showed me that I am secure in His arms.  He is my provider.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!”  ~Luke 12: 22,24.

In the dance He was showing me a love that is endless, unconditional.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord..” Rom 8: 38 & 39.

He showed me that He is committed to our relationship.  He is not going anywhere.

“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  ~Hebrews 13:5

And in the dance He was leading me, ordering my steps and setting me on the right path.

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way.” ~Psalm 37:23“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”  ~Proverbs 3:6 

In the dream, I pulled back to look at His face and I said “Jesus! My voice is back and it sounds so beautiful.”  He said, “Your voice is always beautiful when you praise me.

I woke up worshipping the Lord for this incredible dream.  How sweet of Him to address all the things I prayed about…all of my concerns.  I don’t know what you are facing today.  But, whatever it is, He is there…holding you, protecting you, providing for you, loving you, committed to you and leading you. I want to encourage you today to hold on to the promises in His Word, living your life with purpose and exuberance for God.  And bask in the Romance of the dance…with Jesus.


All About Connie: 
Connie Wetzell is a voice over artist, author, speaker, producer, and an engaging communicator.   You’ve heard her versatile voice on numerous commercials, popular audio books, or even while you were “on hold”--her client roster ranging from Sprint, to USA Today, to Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Enterprise Rent A Car, Bank of America and a host of others.  Connie received an A.I.R., Achievement in Radio” award by the March of Dimes for having the Best Morning Show on a popular syndicated Christian Radio station in Nashville, Way-FM, in 1998. It was evident then as it is now that Connie has a gift of humor and at the same time eloquence in expressing the joys and sorrows of life. She is an author of Live Laugh Love Again (Warner Faith) and the powerful audio series “The Healing Word of God” where she poignantly delivers the words of faith, comfort, peace and hope found in the Bible.   Collaborations include, “God’s Survival Guide”, “God’s Survival Guide For Women” (Elm Hill Books/Thomas Nelson)  In addition, she has also voiced and produced “Devotionals For Women On The Go”, an audio devotional for Women of Faith.  Having gone through many difficulties including life debilitating panic attacks and a devastating divorce after 26 years, she passionately and vulnerably communicates the message that through faith in God and standing on the promises of His Word, there is hope.  Connie says, “The Word is medicine for the soul. It’s the medicine that doesn’t have any negative side effects.  You can’t overdose on it.  It’s guaranteed to work every time.  And, it’s absolutely free.”  Her desire is for you to know that whatever difficult circumstance you may be facing-- you are not alone.  You will live, laugh and love again.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Day 606 of Giving Thanks

“Thank You Lord, for understanding my lack of understanding, especially with where I am right now,” Were the words I muttered as I left my office today; honestly, “feeling” a bit dismayed and disheartened and disappointed. I was loaded down with things to deliver to a volunteer group tonight, so I stepped into the elevator – completely forgetting to push the button to go down, but pressed in to continue my prayer, “Lord, help me to maintain the proper perspective. Help me to not care what others think or say about me; help me to be honest and see truth through the haze of my circumstances. Help me keep my eyes on You at all times.”

“But if any of you lack wisdom, you should pray to God, who will give it to you; because God gives generously and graciously to all.” ~James 1:5 (Good News Translation) 
I finally realized I had been standing there, yet the elevator had not moved. Getting things moving took just a push of the button. As I stepped out of the elevator, and through the doors toward my car, I felt a sweep of emotion – it’s not that anything is all that bad, or my circumstances are not bearable, they are just not changing as fast as I would like. There is a part of me that wants to just push a button for things to move - to choose the place where I will land, comfortably, safely and on track to move forward. I believe we all have things we’d like to “skip”.

My spirit is stirring... I am grateful for all of God's persuasive nudges and pushes to the truth and WHAT IS RIGHT. And, doing what is right, even and especially when I am not comfortable, but satisfied.

“Because I have lived right, I will see your face. When I wake up, I will see your likeness and be satisfied.”  ~ Psalm 17:15 (New Century Version)

I have allowed “feelings” to stir and activate an uneasiness that seems to consume my thoughts, and I am grateful for these stirrings – as well as my deep sense of urgency to bring it all to my heavenly Father. There are things that I know for sure, which give me an advantage:
I am a child of God.
I have a wonderful purpose for my life.
I will be “here” as long as He desires me to be.
I am not alone on this journey.
My creator, my savior, my Father and God is with me for every step.

I am a slave to the work of Christ on the cross, yet I am free... and that gives me perfect freedom.

“But you aren’t self-centered. Instead you are in the Spirit, if in fact God’s Spirit lives in you. If anyone doesn’t have the Spirit of Christ, they don’t belong to him. If Christ is in you, the Spirit is your life because of God’s righteousness, but the body is dead because of sin. If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your human bodies also, through his Spirit that lives in you.” ~Romans 8:9-11 (Common English Bible)

As I close out this day, and come to my God for guidance tonight, I pray for clarity of purpose; the delivery of my thoughts and prayers through the Holy Spirit in a manner that represents my heart, my desires and my purpose. I may not know all that God has, the specifics of becoming who He designed me to be, but I do know that I never have to worry about the outcome.

The Holy Spirit is my guide. I must seek His assistance always. The Holy Spirit is my translator, I must ask for His input and discernment with everything I do. Thank You for this freedom. 

Father, I continue to come to You wholly and seek Your wisdom, reveal to me all that You have, through the power of the Holy Spirit and in the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011