Monday, January 31, 2011

Day 443 of Giving Thanks

It wasn’t that long ago, that I saw, an insecure little girl – who was so fearful of so many things – who was the victim in so many circumstances – who fought to smile on the inside – whose opportunities were based on my past. Just a few years ago when I looked in the mirror, I saw the flaws – I saw the painful memories – I saw the disappointment and sorrow in my life – and saw what I was not.

A simple look in the mirror and a sincere look into my heart today brought an entirely different feeling than in years past, and brought tears to my eyes. And, it truly is so hard to believe that the person I stand before as I look in the mirror has changed so much. Physically, I have not changed all that much, however as I look into my eyes, I see a beautiful extension of God and security for that person looking back at me.

What He has created is someone totally different than who I once saw in the mirror.

What changed? My vantage point, my perspective – my thoughts – I think differently, because I believe wholly.


“How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!” ~Psalm 139:17

My reflection in the mirror is today, not yesterday and not the future. It is in the “here and now”. Stop today and ask God to show you the true reflection of who you are. As I reflect on Him, I see that amazing transformation from the insecure little girl we started with.


“I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.” ~Psalm 3:6


I live out victory every day now, because He conquered everything that needed to be conquered. "But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." ~1 Corinthians 15:57


From the inside out, I will smile for everyone to see. “The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” ~1 Timothy 1:5

And from the ashes of my past, there is beauty. That is what I see in the mirror today, and as God works “to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair” , there is hope beyond measure.


Isaiah 61
The Year of the LORD’s Favor
1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.
4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day 442 of Giving Thanks

Staying connected and praying continually is “a must” with the world we live in. So many times, I walk out my front door and realize immediately that I have not prepared my mind for the day properly. Today was one of those days –  I am the only believer among many of our friends and family and learning and being one of few who have faith like I do, can be uncomfortable  – that is quite exciting actually, I am on tack.

So, in the car, in silence, I sought God and His protection. I am grateful that it is that easy – that He is that available – that He desires me to do that often.


"Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.” ~Job 1:10 

I have been very fortunate that my world has been quite sheltered in the last couple of years. And, the interaction with the world has been one on one, or in a more controlled environment, like the one on Facebook – and today, God showered me with a calm and connection that allowed me to be around my family – a group that is very much where I once was regarding God.

As I sit here tonight, regrouping, recovering and reconnecting, I find comfort in reading notes from friends and connecting with my brothers and sisters. I am grateful that in this time of being sheltered and in this protective environment, I am becoming more equipped to move through the world with the Holy Spirit within, Jesus’ blood covering me completely and the power, love and truth of God about me.

“May Your unfailing love be my comfort, according to Your promise to Your servant.” ~Psalm 119:76


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Day 441 of Giving Thanks

What an evening. It was a 7:30pm start time, and the expectation was that it would be a “slam dunk”, pun intended. As games go, it didn’t turn out a “winner” for the Warriors, but there were exciting moments. Chris and I arrived at the arena at 6 to be there for a season ticket holder raffle – we had 4 raffle tickets and won 3 prizes… now that doesn’t happen often.

The first was an autographed photo of Vladimir Radmanovic, Chris really wanted a David Lee jersey but we got an upgrade for the game for nearly-courtside tickets, right behind the basket. What a great way to watch a game. It is a much different game from there. We also won 20 tickets and a suite for a game next month – now what we will do with them is yet to be seen, but pretty cool. That was just the beginning.

At the beginning of the game, I noticed that one of the player’s wife and their son was sitting to our left, same row.

While in our seats, during the 2nd quarter and during a time out – I thought about some of the things I had prayed about, and the people I wanted to pray about, so I did. As I did, I also thought about the women’s conference I am praying about doing in the summer. Earlier in the day, when praying about the conference the thought popped into my head that I would love to have a local celebrity to open the event up to more ladies… and I heard “ask her”.


"Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in Him! Make it as clear as you canto all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!” ~Philippians 4:4-5 (The Message)


Learning to be obedient, and doing what God prompts, I walked over and introduced myself – without hesitation, I told her what I just heard – at that very moment, my friend Walter Hoye stepped up, handing us game stats; and said “you are talking to a great lady”, or something along that line to my new friend. I expect great things, not because I am great, but because I have a great God.

So, what am I grateful for? I am grateful for listening and learning to hear God and to learning to expect great things. I have never been more excited about God in my life, or about so many different things. I look forward to living every day.

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.” ~Philippians 4:4

Friday, January 28, 2011

Day 440 of Giving Thanks

In the comfort of prayer is where I spent much of my day. I woke up feeling a little stiff, out of sorts, nothing out of the ordinary aches and pains and moving very slow. In the past, I would have started by going to God asking for energy, strength and an easing of the pain. Today was different. And, I am so encouraged by this.

“Hear my prayer, O God; listen to the words of my mouth.” ~Psalm 54:2

Rather than focus on me, I prayed, “God, what do You have for me today. How can I serve You?” I read His word, worshiped and sat quietly and had a wonderful and peaceful time of silence.

As I went to pick out another song, and began to cruise my Facebook page and notifications, like magic, my inbox on Facebook had a prayer request – when I opened it, it said, “2 seconds ago”. So I took His promptings and continued my day in prayer. Two more followed on Facebook and another through text message on my phone. Thanks to technology for helping me serve my purpose.

“Hear the supplications of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven, your dwelling place; and when you hear, forgive.” 2 Chronicles 6:21-22

Do you ever feel like your brain is going way faster than you can comprehend? What is that? My mind cannot possibly wrap around all the goodness of God, but today, it is really trying. I will end with this, a prayer. It is not only for my friends, but what is sincerely in my heart as well.
 
 “Jeremiah’s Prayer LORD, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps.” ~Jeremiah 10:23

Father, we stand before You grateful for the life we have been given, the one we look forward to especially - and we know that Your plans for us are great, for you tell us so in Your word. We thank You Lord for being here with us, right now in our walk - we thank You for protecting us, correcting us and leading us from our past - we thank You for going before us every day as we embark on the purpose You set us out on. We pray Lord that we hear You clearly above the noise and through our own voices that become so loud at times. 

We pray for discernment as we "think", help us to "know", as we "guess", help us to "be sure it's You". Lord, I lift my brothers and sisters up to You who are overwhelmed with Your presence, yet question their steps. We stand before You Lord, humbled from our experiences and sanctioned by Your work for us. Lord, it is Your purpose that is the desires of our heart, help us to put the proper name, task or mission to it. Let us be an example of You even through our mistakes, pain or hardship. We pray boldly Lord for Your hand upon us right now. Let us be still enough to hear Your voice... Through the amazing and beautiful sacrifice of Jesus, we pray for these things and Your will, together for the glory of the mighty kingdom. Amen.

“For the director of music -With stringed instrument - A psalm of David
Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.” ~Psalm 4:1 


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day 439 of Giving Thanks

When I count on my own understanding, even in the area of hope.... I just miss it, unless it is "hope with God" and "hope in God".

T O D A Y there is tremendous hope in my heart. An amazing image of repair and restoration, physically. This is completely new to me – an image of a life without the physical pain is a life that I have dreamed about more than a few times in my lifetime. There is much to be thankful for in my life. Many things that most people would not consider worthy of gratitude I find comfort in today… because I have learned to see past where I am today, to see past my circumstances.

This was not always the case. There have many times that these words of Job resonated completely with what my mind was processing, “If only my anguish could be weighed and all my misery be placed on the scales!” ~Job 6:2, and through all of his pain, his questions, his uncertainty, he is sure that the answer to all of them reside in his relationship with his Mighty God, yet speaking them brings clarity beyond measure. “What strength do I have, that I should still hope? What prospects, that I should be patient? Do I have the strength of stone? Is my flesh bronze? Do I have any power to help myself?” ~Job 6:11-13

My former dwelling places have brought me more pain than the physical pain-itself – many times creating hardship or heartache when hope was right in front of me. As I look at what I dwell on now, it warms my heart and softens my steps. There is a sense of attraction, and I am not talking about attracting the power of the universe in worldly-spiritual terms. I am relating the attraction of being so connected to my God, that I can see, at times, exactly what He wants me to do, where to go, how to do it… when before, the connector wasn’t connected at all, and much was missed or misinterpreted.

“You will bring them in and plant them on the mountain of your inheritance—the place, LORD, you made for your dwelling, the sanctuary, Lord, your hands established.” ~Exodus 6:5

T O D A Y, as I dwell in my God and knowing His presence in my life, and in this very moment, I sense a swelling in my heart – that connection.

T O D A Y, wrapping my being around “hope” like never before. Knowing that as I pray for a miracle, it has changed, just from yesterday. Because today, I see that the “miracle seed” was planted long ago. Sometimes when “I  believe” I need a miracle to happen, God has already sowed that exact seed in my life. I am just waiting for it to sprout, grow and bloom... it is right there in front of me. My eyes need to be open for me to 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

So today, I will thank You Lord for the miracle already performed. “By faith, we see the world called into existence by God's word, what we see created by what we don't see.” ~Hebrews 11:3





© 2011 Giving Thanks Daily, Shawn Boreta                  
Web: http://shawnsgivingthanksdaily.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150327530757809


Bible version used today: New International Version

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day 438 of Giving Thanks

“It is all about me!” were my thoughts as I sat quietly listening for God, this morning, and immediately, I said, “change the thought, that can’t be what I just heard”. Yet, it came again as I arrived at work.

“He must become greater; I must become less.” ~John 3:30

Right now, because I am so focused on what my thoughts are, I am often reminded of how powerful words are. I am still amazed by how much I am encouraged by words and how revealing it is to be encouraged… I don’t know about you, but I can still remember words from my childhood, the challenge is that they are usually, not “words of encouragement”, rather they are demeaning, mean or downright destructive words, and most of the time delivered by “well meaning” people – who probably have the same words in their memory, yet right at the surface beating them up. It is the words that we speak to ourselves that form our lives. Lord, sweet words of encouragement to run through my thoughts.

“She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.” Proverbs 31:26

This is where short term memory comes into play, and taking things one day at a time. Even though the “old” programming was from long ago, and I thought was so deeply embedded is being removed. And, the sweetness of Your words are what renew the mind and spirit.

“Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride; milk and honey are under your tongue. The fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon.” ~Song of Solomon 4:11

I had to learn, and I continue to be trained to reprogram what words I replay in my head – really what is allowed in my head. It is change brought by the power of God’s work in us that transforms our lives. On our own, we can change much in our lives that typically changes right back somewhere down the line. It is through submission and dependence on Him that the reward is experienced.

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” ~2 Corinthians 10:5

What is the reward? IT IS PEACE. It is comfort in all circumstances. It is joy even in sorrowful moments. It is hope as the bills pile up. It is light on the darkest of nights. It is living and knowing that you will not die.

Change – the words of the enemy to the promises of God; discourage to encourage; cannot do to already done; impossible to possible; dark to light; all alone to never alone; ignorant and na├»ve to discerning and wise; sick or ill to vibrant; tired and weary to great power and energy. Words and thoughts that wholly transform are on my mind, and I pray on yours too.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” ~Romans 12:2
“It is all about me!” Yes it is. He died, because I could not live the life necessary to be with my heavenly Father in eternity, so Jesus died for me. And, in my walk, it is all about me realizing what God has planned for me, what purpose has been perfectly set aside for me to do. It is all about me discovering who He made me to be. And, it’s about you too.
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. ~2 Corinthians 3:18

For me, it is living a life that reflects the magnitude of thankfulness because of all He did and does for me. There are no words or works that can repay or can be a reward for God. But He is pleased when we “get it”, and believe that He has given everything for each of us and for that, there are no words big enough, mighty enough, powerful enough or perfect enough to tell the depth of gratitude I have in my heart.

 

© 2011 Giving Thanks Daily, Shawn Boreta                        
Web: http://shawnsgivingthanksdaily.blogspot.com/ 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Giving-Thanks-Daily/290738571406 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day 437 of Giving Thanks

I am grateful that I can hear… the strum of a guitar as the worship music begins. The sound of the shower in the morning, as my husband gets ready. A hello meow from my cat, as I walk in the door. Maybe, it is the sound of a child calling “mommy” behind me at the store. But tonight it is the whisper in the silence. Tonight it is an urging to “let go” of the fight, and give it to Him, and allow Him to orchestrate “what’s next”.

For so many years of my life, I have tried to depend on my own efforts. To research and “do the work” and in many cases “carry the load”, may I just say that is exhausting?

So, in the silence… I ask and wait. Reading through the amazing poetry of Psalm 84, where I can discover the beautiful images of a mighty and faithful God.

“How lovely is your dwelling place, LORD Almighty!  My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she have her young—a place near your altar, LORD Almighty, my King and my God. 

Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.  As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools.  They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.

Hear my prayer, LORD God Almighty; listen to me, God of Jacob.  Look on our shield. O God; look with favor on your anointed one.

Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.  For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. LORD Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you. ~Psalm 84

Thank You Father, that it is one day at a time, and gratitude for every moment within each day. In the noise of the day, and the conflict or memory and the unknown, Father, I ask You for the discernment of the Holy Spirit for my path and my decisions. I pray for wisdom and insight as I live according to Your perfect plan and purpose for my life. Lord, the vision I have had for my dream, all these years, has transformed, help me to hear Your steps before me, and give me the eyes to see what You have before me. Thank You Jesus for going to the Father on my behalf, and the delivery of the Holy Spirit to relay the desires so deep, I have yet to realize them. Amen.

 photo By kgcorbin found on Photobucket.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Day 436 of Giving Thanks

Twenty-seven years ago, an enemy entered my blood stream and altered my life forever, or did it? Regardless of all that has been endured, and what has yet to be “lived through”, I would not change my story a bit. This journey is the journey that was determined long ago.

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” ~Proverbs 19:21

The other day, I saw a video and the commentator spoke of the cards that we are dealt – these are our circumstances. I have had times in my life when I wish for different cards, more pleasant cards, the perfect cards – yet today I know that the cards I carry allow me to live out a life of purpose – to prepare me for the life that He specifically designed for me.

And, stories are truly the greatest way to share a life. So, in the pages of my mind, I go through my cards, and I can assure you that I am grateful for everyone of them – especially knowing that He holds my cards so dearly.

I have learned to look at my circumstances as ways to become the “perfected Shawn” when the time comes and I get to go home. My life, average and ordinary, but I am by far extraordinary because of who dwells in me – my life is a series of stories weaved together to make a my book, where every moment on every page is known and edited and revered by God himself.

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

I  know that the adversary is out there. Trying to steal my joy, squash my dreams and tries aggressively to get into my head.... But I am a child of God, and have an ADVOCATE that resides in me, the Holy Spirit, and with God I can do anything, even conquer my fears and know joy completely.

Isn't it wonderful to be so loved? Know that He loves you immensely. Faith in Jesus sets us free, not faith in faith, and remembering who has the power to change us. It is never me, and ALWAYS Him.

My life is filled with so many blessings. And, today, yet even more to be grateful for. How is that possible? How can I be so fortunate to have such favor?

It is because I am loved so much, and loved perfectly by my creator, the one who knows me intimately, from my beginning through eternity. It is because there is so much hope in every day, in every moment. I know how my book will end, and I am excited about all the pages in between.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." ~Hebrews 11:1

(New International Version used for this study)






© 2011 Giving Thanks Daily, Shawn Boreta
Web: http://shawnsgivingthanksdaily.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Giving-Thanks-Daily/290738571406





Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day 434 of Giving Thanks

There are many times when I look at my life and I am in awe. Have you ever felt so defeated and overwhelmed that you did not know what to do? And, in a flash, you knew victory and were overwhelmed with joy? That is my life.

“LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness  you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago.” ~Isaiah 25:1 (NIV)

In awe of the wonders that have been displayed – in awe of  the miracles that I have witnessed – in awe of the grace and forgiveness I have been given, and that sweeps through my being so often now.  I am in awe, of a mighty creator – of heaven and earth and me.

The awe of events and people revealed by God, even if “for my eyes only”, have drawn me into a life with Jesus – His purpose for my life – the guidance by the Holy Spirit, and every day I . And, in the process of living, I foresee many, many more revelations, many, many more wonders, many, many more miracles. .

“When times are good, be happy, but when times are bad, consider God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future.”  Ecclesiastes 7:14 (NIV)

My life has gone from pain and tragedy to a priceless tapestry of my life weaved beautifully by the hand of my mighty God. It is an amazing thing to know how wonderful I am because of who dwells in me. It is an amazing thing to know that wherever I am, He is already there, preparing the way.

“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? "If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there." ~Psalm 139:7-8 (NIV)

In the moments of being in His presence and His love for me, I am overwhelmed with desire to be more like Christ, more with Christ and dream about a lifetime with Christ. Father, thank You for my day – thank You for giving me purpose – thank You that in a flash, I can go for this earthly dwelling to the dwelling of my heart, my permanent home with You.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Day 433 of Giving Thanks - by Sue King

Questions?

People ask them either directly or from input through the day they present themselves. Today two are on my mind. If Jesus were coming tomorrow what would you do differently? And the second – If you knew you were about to die what would be on your list of must do’s before that happens?

After some soul searching I come up with- Nothing! That’s the answer–  not the amount of content! There is absolutely nothing that I would do differently.

I’m not trying to be smart and I don’t claim to be holier-than-thou. What I am saying is the way I am living is how I want to live, and how I would be living if the end were tomorrow. Either way– I would be going home. I would have nothing to fear. I would have died doing what I was called to do.

“Your eyes saw my unformed body;
   all the days ordained for me were written in your book
   before one of them came to be.”~Psalm 139:16

I’ve given my life to my God. He is the driving force behind everything I do. I look to Him as my guide, my role model, my source. As I grow, under His careful and deliberate teaching, what that looks like will deepen and change- but right now- I am following Him in the best way that my current level of spiritual maturity allows. I am committed to drawing closer to Him, seeking His will for my life, and walking in that calling. Sometimes I get it wrong and He changes the global positioning system instructions (turn left, turn right….. whoops… ok…. turn right, now turn left) and I seem to arrive where I was supposed to be anyway. If I get a little distracted with too many good choices but not the good choice for me, He lets me try on a few for a while and lets me see that they weren’t right for me, or sends in some additional information from some more sources to show me the right way.

I live with joy knowing that my God holds me in the palm of His hand.

“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: 9-10


 He is my comfort, my strength, my hope. There is no place that I can go that I am out of His reach; no thing that I can depend on more. He will never let me down. I know that when He comes, He will not leave without me. I know that His love for me has been through all eternity–  never wavering.

I know with full assurance that there is nothing I could do that would take Him by surprise. He knows me full well.

“You have searched me, LORD,
and you know me.” ~Psalm 139:1

 And I know that those He has called and sealed are His forever.

“You hem me in behind and before,
   and you lay your hand upon me” ~Psalm 139:5

So in this certain knowledge I walk. I have no reason to doubt, no reason to question. As I walk with Him I am living the life I was called to live. I am never alone and always loved.

What would I do if I knew it were all to end tomorrow?
Nothing different.
Just continue to walk in His will for me now.
Nothing more, nothing less.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Day 432 of Giving Thanks

As I got ready to push, publish, there was uneasiness in my spirit. It was a really long day, a bit taxing emotionally and God had some things to work out in me. When I sat with Him this morning, I had a sense of purpose – a desire to do so much that if I don’t accomplish ‘it’ I will burst. So, what is ‘it’?

“It” is many things.
“It” is providing hope and showing joy.
“It” is a sharing of God’s compassion with others.
“It” is a desire to seek truth and keeping it visible.
“It” is knowing that His purpose is my heart’s desire.
“It” is having assurance, forgiveness and the Holy Spirit.
“It” is time.
“It” is freedom and awareness.
“It” is a spreading of fire.

I am drenched in the fuel of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the match... and God is the flame.

How is it that I am so fortunate? How can it be that I am revered and loved and cared for greatly by the hand that created, not only me, but everything we see, hear and touch?
How is it that I am so rich? How can it be that I receive rewards beyond measure every day?
How is it that I am so honored? How can it be that I have access to every lesson, every promise and every bit of forgiveness extended?


‎"I'm thanking you, God, from a full heart, I'm writing the book on your wonders. I'm whistling, laughing, and jumping for joy; I'm singing your song, High God." ~Psalm 9:1&2 (The Message)

Father, thank You for lighting a fire in me – for giving me the fuel I need to make it through my days with vigor and steam. Continue to deliver whatever is needed for my compassionate heart, my eyes wide open and my ears ready to hear, even the softest of words.


“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:12-13 (NIV)
It is my daily desire to find joy in the Lord – to let Him shine on my life – to let the “God in me” be attractive and beautiful – to let others see that He is truly the commander of my life - keeping me in alignment with what God has me doing every day. I know He is faithful. I know that I cannot please everyone and I must, in all circumstances keep my focus on the goal – to be like Christ.

“God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” ~1 Corinthians 1:9

Lord, thank You for being with me all day today, even when I forgot that you are with me every day.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day 431 of Giving Thanks

I was the question asker as a kid. If there was a question to be asked I was up for the assignment. There wasn’t anything I didn’t want to know “why” or “how” about, or just to know the details of something and everything. I was very curious, but more than that, I didn’t want to be “left out” of anything. And, really today the same is true.

I love to learn.

Now when I was a kid, my parents were “informed” that they should prepare me to do something simple in my life, since I read so poorly. Little did they know who God had created…

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

There was a time, when I didn’t like to read at all – in the normal sense anyway, like books. Reading scared me. You see, there is this little thing that goes on when I read. The words dance on the page, and I read things differently then what is written or how it is displayed on the pages.

I went all through school, and well into adulthood without ever reading a complete book – cliff notes, help from teachers and friends, as well as summaries of books were a great help in school. And, quite honestly, for years, I just thought that’s how it was done.

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

I learned how to learn differently. How to work the system and with the people who could help me. I am grateful for learning things, “the hard way”, so to speak, I believe it has given me an edge. Even when I did not get in to college, because my writing skills were below high school level, I was not deterred. I was determined to do something great. Be something that no one expected.

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

I always believed that I could do anything. I still do! It’s more than “believe” it’s a knowing that God has purposed me for something special and unique to me. What an amazing truth to live with. I am so thankful for being that special to Him.

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you." ~John 15:7 

When I arrived into this world, I arrived with a life sentence of uncertainty and unknowns.  And, we all know that every day comes with uncertainties and unknowns, yet we continue to make it through – and every morning, so far, I wake up and begin again.

Today, like so many before, I was reminded that my life sentence of uncertainty and unknowns will continue. So, nothing has changed, and everything has changed since that sentence was first given, and I am thankful that I am not alone.

Today, I received news that although I seem to be the same – everything has changed, and most definitely more change is to come, but I can be assured that my God will not change. What is certain? I have a mighty God who has given me a specific purpose and plan; he knows me intimately, and knows everything I do and go through.

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

It has been such a long road, and putting a name on this, a name that a doctor can now determine “what next”, is a relief; the entire picture hasn't been presented yet, but I am certain that it is already taken care of. And, I am not deterred. I am encouraged.

The doctor doesn't even know what to do yet - so I continue to do what I have been doing - it has been a hard 'physical' week for me – yet it has also been the greatest for spiritual growth and steadiness of emotion. I am looking forward to learning more to depend completely on God – learning more to trust nothing, unless it is God – learning to be content, especially through the learning and living in uncertain and unknown circumstances.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Day 430 of Giving Thanks

As I opened my eyes this morning, the first thought was, “God, what do you have for me today?”

As I drove to work, I felt a sense of urgency in my heart to trust what my day will bring, to be open to whatever drops in my path.  I am learning how to manage differently, not through effort or habit, but trusting and going to God.

There was a time when effort and working on habits to change “me” were a full time job. Now, I am seeking God more and in the process, I am changing. I am not saying that it is a passive approach. I am actively coming to the Lord and expecting Him to engage with me.

I have come to realize that it is through His work in me, ONLY, that allows the changes to occur. For several days now, I have been chewing on Matthew 13 – most of us are familiar with the parable of the Sower – and think of the three types of ground that the see will fall. “A farmer went out to sow his seed.  As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.  Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants.  Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.  Whoever has ears, let them hear.” ~Matthew 13:3-9

As a follower of Christ, it is my desire to be of that good crop. And what I have been pondering so deeply is the fact that even though there is good soil, the enemy will sow his seeds too. And, as we look out over the field, we see a beautiful crop, but there are tares among the wheat. This is no surprise, Jesus told of these seeds – weeds will look like wheat, will act like wheat – and looks are deceiving and yet are poison, if swallowed.

“Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.“The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’
‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.  The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’” ~Matthew 13:24-28 

And, that is so like me, wanting to “fix me”, and today I am grateful for this lesson, for now I know that I must keep encouraging others and working with my eyes on the Lord, rather than on what others are doing. I am grateful that I can see this passage and be “ok” with growing among the tares and that our Sower is responsible for the harvest. And understand that no matter how “in-tune” to God I become, I have my job, and Jesus has His.

“‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’” ~Matthew 13:29-30

Father, I thank You for extending wisdom and giving this truth, that among the tares we will grow, and we will all look the same – but there are those who are poison in our midst – false teaching, bitterness – the enemy scattered within our field – Lord, it is Your protection and Your nurturing we seek and crave. Help us to have deeply seated roots and to be used to help those who cannot see the difference between the tares and the wheat to help them grow deeply as well. Help us Lord, to be that beautiful harvest.



© 2011 Giving Thanks Daily, Shawn Boreta                     
Web: http://shawnsgivingthanksdaily.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150327530757809

The New International Version was used for this entry.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Day 429 of Giving Thanks - Sue King

Hi God, It’s me…….

What a privilege, an honour to have the One who created the universe to desire us. US. He wants to have an ongoing personal, close relationship but He won’t force the issue. He owns us, made us. He could command that we come to Him- shackle us, bring us to our knees. He could wipe us from the face of the earth completely- eradicate humanity totally. The power is His to annihilate us if He so desired. But that is not His desire. Instead, He yearns for us. Implores us to seek Him, know Him and fully come to Him.

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.”” ~Luke 10:41

He wants our presence. Not as a half-hearted conversation; a token offering. Not the kind of conversation you have with your neighbour down the road when you happen to think of him. Not the quick phone call returning the phone call of the person who’s left a few dozen messages on your answering machine. Not the quick prayer on your way to work or the ten minutes of worship on Sundays. That betrays the richness of what He offers and desires. He has opened communication by ALL methods- the channel is open on all frequencies. There is not a heartbeat when He is not fully available to us. Not a communication method that is not being utilized by Him to woo us. He’s left messages on our answering machine, presents everywhere we look and taste and feel. He’s spoken words to others and asked them to pass them to you. Used events and situations to guide you. He’s written messages down on jotters, letters, in books, emails and songs. He’s even written a whole book to communicate to us through.

He waits. Waits for you to respond to Him in a genuine way. He IS patience. He IS love. Think of a time when you desperately waited for something. I’m thinking of my boyfriend (now my husband) coming to pick me up from university on the weekends. I would have my bag packed, waiting on the veranda. Eyes strained from peering down the road for a glimpse of his car; ears straining for the sound of that car, or the phone to say he’d be late. I remember the profound disappointment on a couple of occasions when I waited in vain.

I believe God also feels that disappointment. He waits for us- and we don’t come. He wants to share with us, guide us, teach us. He waits. Is He waiting for you? Are you a believer with a busy life who can’t seem to find time to talk with Him? Are you relating on a shallow level not building a deep relationship? Have you not introduced yourself yet?

It’s time-
Hi God,
It’s me…


Hi God, by Sue King

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Day 428 of Giving Thanks

I love coffee, and I love how just sitting and having a cup of coffee can do so much, especially when I can have a cup of coffee with a friend.  I love when God orchestrates friendships. Today, I had a great cup of coffee and heard a wonderful story of faith and healing.

Today I made a new friend. We have seen each other at church for a couple of years, and did the normal, “hello, how are you?  Have a great week,” but we never really connected. Today, for a mere $3.50 at a coffee shop today, a new relationship began.

For many years, the first thing I would do is grab my favorite cup and fill it with coffee, in hopes that it would get me through the day. I love coffee and for years I said, "I need my coffee".  And, now every morning when I get up, I come to my heavenly Father, and I sit quietly before Him - and instead of filling my cup with a dark liquid, I am filled with a light that lifts my spirits, restores my heart with hope, gives me joy abundantly - because I am completely filled with the Holy Spirit.

Thank You for giving me endless hope and filling my needs so graciously and completely and for the enjoyment of the little things in life, like coffee and the major things, like You.

We sat and talked, and closed in prayer - sharing a moment with God in the middle of many others, but very intimately revealing commonality and the treasure of fellowship.

With what is normally just spare change, I had a priceless experience of sharing and many moments with God.

 "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." ~1 Thessalonians 5:11

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Day 427 of Giving Thanks

Tradition or Love?
While growing up, my life was surrounded in tradition, family, religion and community – and the most prominent tradition was church. We went to the very large, very traditional church much like the one my mom went to as a child. An immense building, with stone pillars and statues with an echoing presence, even when the pews were full – but it was the foundation of the tradition inside the heart that made the biggest impressions, in the long run. It was the morning prayers. The traditions, I so often called rituals, imbedded deeply in my heart and my memories.

For many years, the words and prayers that I learned as a child, the traditions that formed these memories, would replay in my mind. There was a time, in the dawn of my early adulthood where I made a conscious effort to drown what was so deep in my subconscious. What I see in the mirror now was so different, not so many years ago. The thoughts of a God that was “bigger than life itself” were left in the parts of my heart and mind that I had closed off for many years.

Years ago, I believed that the God I heard of as a child, was a god that I wanted to deny in the memory of my adult mind. But from my child’s mind, it was the God that was “bigger than life itself”, but unapproachable – and yet, I know that there was a yearning, somewhere in the recesses that I had closed off.

When I look back over this journey from darkness to light, I can see all the times when the God, who is bigger than life itself, reached deeply into the recesses of my heart and mind – and over time, He grabbed on and held tightly. He not only reached down, He reached deep.

I am grateful for the awakening that the Lord has so graciously given me. When I look back, it was like I was drowning in the traditions that made up my childhood, yet somehow they spoke to me through the years, as I so adamantly tried to drown them out. I am grateful that the God I know is truly the God who is truly bigger than life itself, because He created life itself.

Tradition or love, as this journey today so eloquently asked. Love was the answer. The love of a mighty God who brought me home – who forgave me of all the times I dismissed His existence and denied Him – the love of my heavenly Father who spoke to me through the years and never gave up on me.

And it is that love that is so dear, and is my new tradition. The truth that dwells deep in my heart and mind, and it is the love of that God who so graciously gave life to one that was dead in so many ways. And, it is the truth in me today that builds a new church, not of stone and walls, but of faith and hope and a mighty God, so much bigger than life itself.

Day 427 of Giving Thanks

Tradition or Love?
While growing up, my life was surrounded in tradition, family, religion and community – and the most prominent tradition was church. We went to the very large, very traditional church much like the one my mom went to as a child. An immense building, with stone pillars and statues with an echoing presence, even when the pews were full – but it was the foundation of the tradition inside the heart that made the biggest impressions, in the long run. It was the morning prayers. The traditions, I so often called rituals, imbedded deeply in my heart and my memories.

For many years, the words and prayers that I learned as a child, the traditions that formed these memories, would replay in my mind. There was a time, in the dawn of my early adulthood where I made a conscious effort to drown what was so deep in my subconscious. What I see in the mirror now was so different, not so many years ago. The thoughts of a God that was “bigger than life itself” were left in the parts of my heart and mind that I had closed off for many years.

Years ago, I believed that the God I heard of as a child, was a god that I wanted to deny in the memory of my adult mind. But from my child’s mind, it was the God that was “bigger than life itself”, but unapproachable – and yet, I know that there was a yearning, somewhere in the recesses that I had closed off.

When I look back over this journey from darkness to light, I can see all the times when the God, who is bigger than life itself, reached deeply into the recesses of my heart and mind – and over time, He grabbed on and held tightly. He not only reached down, He reached deep.

I am grateful for the awakening that the Lord has so graciously given me. When I look back, it was like I was drowning in the traditions that made up my childhood, yet somehow they spoke to me through the years, as I so adamantly tried to drown them out. I am grateful that the God I know is truly the God who is truly bigger than life itself, because He created life itself.

Tradition or love, as this journey today so eloquently asked. Love was the answer. The love of a mighty God who brought me home – who forgave me of all the times I dismissed His existence and denied Him – the love of my heavenly Father who spoke to me through the years and never gave up on me.

And it is that love that is so dear, and is my new tradition. The truth that dwells deep in my heart and mind, and it is the love of that God who so graciously gave life to one that was dead in so many ways. And, it is the truth in me today that builds a new church, not of stone and walls, but of faith and hope and a mighty God, so much bigger than life itself.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Day 426 of Giving Thanks - Guest Writer, Mary Jean Marquez

Create Your Fabulous Life
by Mary Jean Marquez

God has placed within me the gift of exhortation (Rom. 12:8) to uplift people, applying God’s truths through encouragement.  I am the ultimate optimist and I love to see people’s lives change when God’s word touches their hearts.  It is God’s word that is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Heb. 4:12).  All God and not me!

I also believe in common sense and practical thinking, and because God loves you, He will correct you (Prov. 3:12).   I receive God’s correction with open arms!  We must take responsibility for our own lives and not play the blame game, excuses, or fall into a victim mentality.  Allow God to heal and restore your life!  

With every New Year comes the excitement of a new beginning, putting the old habits and failures behind.  The possibilities are endless with a renewed and refreshed attitude.  I want to encourage you to seek God for every area of your life.  To make the quality decision to move ahead in life with the strength and conviction, that you are going to believe what God’s word says about your life, and take action! Be a doer of God’s word and not just an observer… (Jas. 1:23)

We all have areas that we need to improve or change.  For some, it is getting organized.  Perhaps you need to get your home in order.  Make a plan and then do it! Break that task down into small daily tasks; tackle one room at a time.  For some, it is health. Start exercise and eating better; Be a good steward of your body, which is the temple of God (1 Cor. 6:19). You can improve and change, because God says that you can do all things through Christ who is your strength (Phil. 4:13).

I am the ultimate optimist and I truly believe that there is greatness in each and every one of you!  Your past does not define your present life, and you have the choice and the power to create your fabulous life now!  God has placed within you all that you need to succeed in life.  He also says that if you lack wisdom, to ask of Him and He will give it to you freely (Jas 1:5).  God also invites you to boldly approach His throne of Grace, that you may obtain mercy and help in time of need (Heb. 4:16).  That literally means, go to Him without reservation, approaching His throne not of a place of judgment, but to receive mercy, grace, & help! Wow! God will lead and guide you every step of the way. He will back you up with His power and blessing! As I say “God’s got your back!”

The question that comes to mind is!  Why, with all that God has provided for us, do people not move on in life?

Some reasons may be:  Slothfullness/laziness, fear of failure or success, Low self-esteem, no direction, lack of funds, etc…the list can go on and on.  Be careful not to fall into the trap of self-pity, blame, or victim mentality. 
Rise up as the conqueror that god has made you to be (Rom. 8:37).  Get yourself off of the path that has led you where you don’t want to be, and onto God’s path that leads to the victorious life! 

Whatever the reason is in your life for not moving on, know that God has the answer for you.  Take God’s word to heart and confess that word over your life.  Get rid of stinking thinking, and replace it with God’s word, allowing it to renew your mind (Rom. 12:2).  You have the ability and free will to make the changes you need to for a better life. Not one of us is perfect, and I humble myself knowing that I need God’s help and guidance in my life everyday!

Change the way you speak about your life.  If life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21), how are you applying that power in your life?  The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much (Jas. 5:16) and God says that you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, therefore use that power to create good in your life!

I pray that you understand, believe and receive the fact that God, in your obedience to Him, has made you the head and not the tail, above only and not beneath, blessed in the city, blessed in the field, blessed going in and blessed going out (Deut. 28).  God has met your every need according to His riches in Glory by Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19).  God has crowned your head with Glory and Honor (Ps. 8:5), and all that you set your hands to prospers abundantly.  God daily loads you with benefits of salvation (Ps. 68:19).  That, right there, is everything to be grateful for.

God is for you, who can be against you (Rom. 8:31).

Create your fabulous life and live life big my friends. God bless you!


To learn more about the wonderful Mary Jean Marquez visit the following links:



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.