Saturday, April 30, 2011

Day 531 of Giving Thanks

I spent my lunch hour on Thursday shopping… As I perused the racks of clothes, I realized how much of a chore it is to shop – especially since I was looking for something and I didn’t even know what it was. Last night was the annual fundraiser for ministry I work for – and we were all prayed up, and ready to go with God.

We have a wonderful team at work – we are all good at the right things and complement one another greatly – I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to work with. As we pulled things together, even in the midst of things “not coming together” as quickly as we had hoped, we were laughing, joking and having a great time “just getting things done”.

“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.” ~Romans 12:4-6 

There are so many things I am grateful for, and so many things that I notice in my life today – wonderful people, amazing lessons, His beautiful word and the ability to experience it through the eyes of gratitude. Isn’t God amazing? I have the privilege of spending time with very amazing people from my family to my co-workers to the friends near and far. God has placed all the perfect people in my life, at this time, for the perfect time and purpose.

“God's various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God's Spirit. God's various ministries are carried out everywhere; but they all originate in God's Spirit. God's various expressions of power are in action everywhere; but God himself is behind it all. Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! The variety is wonderful:  wise counsel, clear understanding, simple trust, healing the sick, miraculous acts proclamation, distinguishing between spirits, tongues, and interpretation of tongues. All these gifts have a common origin, but are handed out one by one by the one Spirit of God. He decides who gets what, and when.” ~1 Corinthians 12:4-11

Today I am thankful for the perfect placement of others in my life and giving me so much to be grateful for, and so much to look forward to every day. The dinner went very well, I completely believe the “right” people were there, and the Lord will continue to work through this amazing group of people.

I am a very fortunate woman, not only am I working with other believers, those who know God and seek Him often, but we associate with other believers who know that we are here to serve; that in our service to those needy, we are also asked to lift each other up, to encourage, support and love greatly our brothers and sisters. How awesome is that. I pray that in my working life, I will always have this opportunity – to love and grow – to challenge and hear – to support and encourage.

For He loves me and I grow every day. He challenges me and I hear His pleas for my life. Every day I know that I am supported, both emotionally and physically by his presence, and His presence encourages me greatly.

Every day is  like my shopping experience – many times I am looking and looking, not really knowing what I want or need, yet, the item is right before me. And, it is a chore, because I am depending on my understanding, rather than allowing Him to take control and lead… Lord, lead me onward.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart  and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him,  and he will make your paths straight.” ~Proverbs 3:5

Friday, April 29, 2011

Day 530 of Giving Thanks by Sue King

I was challenged last week by a blog a friend wrote. She closed with the thought that if we believers don’t allow the ‘world’ to see us as we are, how will they ever know the work that Jesus is doing in our lives? Good point Robin! So I am sharing some of my walk today.

I am growing closer to God, falling in love with Him even more (if that were possible!) and am being used in a greater way by Him in my church and community. He has been leading me to things that He wants me to change. Some have been very minor, some a little harder….and then there’s GOLIATH.

I have been a smoker for the last 38 years and have given up more times than I care to count. Currently I am addicted to patches, gum and cigarettes. The last time I tried seriously I was on medication for COPD and was told that my lungs would never fully recover. Over the last three years God has healed them and my lungs are at full capacity. A doctor questioned me recently when I said I was a smoker because she could see no evidence in my lung capacity- and certainly not the expected results of a very lengthy habit.

I have tried every method -but one. I know with every fibre of my being that on Sunday I will begin new life- just as I began new life the day I was reborn. The Holy Spirit says it’s time. He set the quit date and He will hold my hand. The Word has given me verses- told me which ones to declare and Romans 8 to marinate in. Prompting from the Holy Spirit led me to a cyber friend in the same position so we will fight together as a  “triple-braided cord” (Ecclesiastes 4:12)- we- together with the Holy Spirit.

“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” ~ Deuteronomy 31:8

I know that the victory is ours because, in Christ, we have already won the battle. We pray in alignment with His will for us that we put Him first above ALL things.

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well” ~ Matthew 6:33

I seek Him. I want there to be nothing in Heaven or on earth that I seek more.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Day 529 of Giving Thanks - Tina Wetor

 My favorite pastime is a good book, a cup of coffee, and my favorite blanket.  Regardless of what is happening around me, I can always get lost in a great book.  Books have always allowed me to have an imagination, creativity, and capture my heart or caused me to rethink my motives.  As the old saying, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.”  Well, this statement is very true.  My personally library consists of commentaries, quote books, numerous Bibles, and some great authors such as Max Lucado. Currently, I am re-reading, Just Like Jesus, its better the second time around.  In the book, Max Lucado promoted a question I would love to share, “If God is perpetually present, is it possible to enjoy unceasing communication with him?”  After reading this question, I start to think about this, unceasing communication with God.  According to scripture, we are to pray without ceasing but is it possible? (I Thessalonians 5:17)

Everyone who has a busy schedule understands the importance of setting dates, keeping appointments, and struggle to keep life together.  I admit life sometimes can get us so busy, we forget to have those intimate times with God.  My heart can easily be drained from life if it’s not connected to the source of life.  Man became a living being through the breath of God, a breath.  It’s so beautiful and so profound, a breath can transform life.  It allows us to function, to live, and to worship.

During my sophomore year in college, my schedule was extremely difficult with my course load.  Besides attending college, working part-time, ministry, and planning my life with my future husband, I was exhausted.  My dorm room was on the end of the hall, it was the closest room to the prayer room.  So, I would walk past this beautiful room several times a day.  Sometimes, I felt guilty if I didn’t enter this room daily.  On a specific day, I walked with a heavy heart, so desiring to enter this room.  All through the day, my guilt was getting heavier as I passed by.   My heart yearned to close myself with God but my schedule was booked solid.  Inside my spirit, I spoke a little statement to the Lord, “I really miss today.”  Honestly, I was so surprised by God’s statement, “I miss you too.”  At that moment, I quickly unlocked my room dropped all my stuff on my bed and ran into the prayer room.  I couldn’t stand the emptiness inside my heart; I need to be intimate with God. It's those cherished moments of prayer we need to grow, nourish our soul, and belong.

My college president’s wife taught a course class called, “The Minister’s Wife.”  It was a course how to present oneself, her home, and to support her husband’s calling.  During the course, she said a power statement, “Your prayer time with God will change as you marry and have children.”  “It’s not wrong, it just changes.” As a single woman, I didn’t understand what she meant but now as a wife and mother, I understand.  During my single years, I would spend all night with God.  Oh, those days of being able to sleep in until noon, I don't believe will return again.  However, I truly love Max Lucado’s concept of prayer, it’s communication that never ceases.  It doesn’t have to be hours with God but it can be beautiful moments of loving exchange.  It can be a song of worship, a heart of praise, or a cry of desperation.  Whatever the case, I am challenged to pray without ceasing.  My heart’s desires is to with each moment, each breath, and with each step be in unison with God.  As David said, “As the deer pants or streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.” (Psalm 42:1)

As the day tasks function, I can feel the strain of those times; I should have been in prayer.  Although my soul yearns for those quiet moments, I am so grateful God is always with me.  Whether I pray in my secret closet, at dinner, or at my desk my heart is satisfied with a breath of His presence.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Day 528 of Giving Thanks

Not every day is profound or wonderful, but every day has a profound effect on reaching my purpose. Today was an ordinary day. We are preparing for a big event at work, and the days have cram-packed with things to get done – I am grateful to be in a place where prayer is normal, ordinary.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if prayer everywhere was ordinary? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if prayer was commonplace, normal and accepted?

When the days are not ordinary, when they are extraordinary and full of surprising moments, unexpected challenges or detours, it is comforting to know that I have a God bigger than extraordinary – who has already given me what is necessary to make it through the day, no matter what it delivers.

"I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from?" ~Psalm 121:1

You have already placed in me Lord, all the strength I will ever need. Remind me today that it is present; as I sink into the presence of You.

“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!” - Philippians 2:5-8

We are responsible to show the God in us. To do that effectively, we must know our God. Seek Him often and whole-heartedly. We must know Him to share Him. He loves to be with us. He loves to share Himself through you. All praises and glory to a mighty God.

I am learning that when someone brings something to my attention (a behavior, or action), I have to stop and remember there is a reason. Two questions - 1. Are they correct in their assumption and, 2. Is this something I need to change? God will answer if you seek His guidance.

Truth and honesty. That's it... and that is done only with Him guiding us. When I seek Him in all things, the truth is revealed.

Isn’t it wonderful that prayer is available at every ordinary moment? Isn’t it wonderful that prayer is commonplace, normal and accepted in our hearts?

Today, I am grateful for the poetic journey of my life. Let me share some of God’s word – His poetry – His glory.

”Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom? It's way over our heads. We'll never figure it out. 
     Is there anyone around who can explain God?   
    Anyone smart enough to tell him what to do?  Anyone who has done him such a huge favor    that God has to ask his advice? 
   Everything comes from him;    Everything happens through him;    Everything ends up in him.    Always glory! Always praise!           
                    Yes. Yes. Yes.” ~Romans 11:33-36 (The Message)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Day 527 of Giving Thanks

Another long, yet productive day at work and it looks like it will be a really (really) long week. Thank You Lord for the amazing stamina to complete the many tasks laid before me – for helping me maintain a sense of calm and a sense of humor during a very hectic season – and most of all for being here at all times. Today was not a “test of faith”, but a “showing of His presence”.

I am determined to look at every “given” moment as a gift, as an opportunity to remember that it’s not about me, and “so far, so good”. In the scheme of things, it may be a very small milestone; an accomplishment that is way over due, but I am experiencing so much peace and motivation to be grateful and reflective during my days, that as things happen, I am able to let them go fairly quickly – had a couple of those today. And, yet, it was a very good day.

"Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.”" ~2 Corinthians 12:9 (NLT)

I remember, not so long ago, that one bad thing, then another and maybe even another, would send me reeling into “it’s a horrible day” mode. Oh, how I do not miss that person at all. 

Faith is the champion of new beginnings, fresh starts, renewed outlooks and a change of scenery – what an amazing way to live every day. What Jesus did allows me to put on that fresh coat of armor every day and set out on my mission. As the day goes on, it may be tattered, torn, even patched as the world does its work on me, but the world cannot penetrate to me – I am protected.

“Your strength, GOD, is the king's strength. Helped, he's hollering Hosannas. You gave him exactly what he wanted; you didn't hold back. You filled his arms with gifts; you gave him a right royal welcome. He wanted a good life; you gave it to him, and then made it a long life as a then dressed him in rainbow colors. You pile blessings on him; you make him glad when you smile. Is it any wonder the king loves GOD? that he's sticking with the Best?” ~Psalm 21:1-7 (The Message)

Every day I am amazed by the grace I experience, and the power I sense – there is no reason for fear as I face my day – for God already knows what’s coming, and He’s got me. How could that be anything but comforting? I have spent much of my adult life with knots in my stomach, and today, I can honestly say – that enemy has been loosed.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” ~John 14:27 (NIV)

Thank You Father for Your mighty and amazing presence in my life – in every moment I can know for sure, that the note on my computer screen that says, “I am who God says I am” – and that is way more than the little reminder than when I originally wrote it 3 years ago. Thank You Father for Your every day assurances and confirmations that You are here with me. Thank You Lord for giving me life after death.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Day 526 of Giving Thanks - by Sue King

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

My son is home for Easter and I am rejoicing. He is tall, blue eyed and a joy to be around. He has a deep unwavering love for God and  he radiates calm and peace wherever he goes. He has a keen sense of humour and is a social being. And I see ‘the son’ in my son. His quiet manner, love of children, passion for life and ‘can do’ outlook make me reflect on what Jesus must have been to His disciples- a breath of LIFE.

During our Good Friday Service we performed a play called “At the Cross” by Jasper Raines. It was a reflective piece where different people who had been present at the death of Jesus gave an account. I was Mary, Mother of Jesus……

“These people are out of control. How could this have happened?

Just last Sunday they were lining the streets, calling out "Hosanna"! Now this.

In just five days their cries were no longer “save us oh king” but “crucify him!” How could they change their minds in such a short amount of time?

I can’t believe he is gone. Even as I stood looking up at him I couldn’t believe it was happening. My son. Hanging there like a thief or a murderer. My son. He is the most loving, giving person I have ever known. What could it all mean? Could I have been mistaken? Maybe one day we will understand why.” (Jasper Raines)

As I stood and read these lines I reflected on my own son. The emotions of the mother searching for understanding and the Father surrendering His son for execution…. and I wept. I cannot contemplate the pain. Cannot even begin to understand the depth of the pain and despair.

So as I look at my own son, I am filled with gratitude that I don’t have to make that choice, don’t have to live with that burden. That Jesus has gone before us and that it is done. Forever.

Thank you Jesus. Thank you Father.

To connect with Sue visit her Facebook page:

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Resurrection Day – Day 525 of Giving Thanks - Collaborative

(Collaborative, Sue King and Shawn Boreta)

What has Christ done for me? 

I made a choice; and in that choice – God killed the old, unwanted and undesirable me, and a new me came into existence. He raised me from the dead. Resurrection must be must be proceeded by death. A wonderful exchange happened – I had nothing to do with it, yet it was all done for me.

“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” ~Colossians 3:1-3 (NASB)

A wonderful realization occurred today, as I listened to the Resurrection Sunday message - that all the change I needed were done the instant that I chose to believe that all was done for me. Every request to change my heart, to modify my behavior or believe that God is present is the truth He gave through the cross. Gratitude, peace, assurance and a convergence of the heart and mind takes place every time I think about what He did.

“And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.” ~Matthew 27:51 (ESV)

“Today my savior died for me.  For me, He came down from His eternal throne.  Destined to endure the life of human flesh; pain, cold, thirst, hunger, hurt, humiliation, sadness, heat, sand, dirt, frustration, discomfort, abuse, alienation, betrayal. He freely came down from His Kingdom throne, gave up His position as King of kings to live as flesh with all it’s frailties – for me.  The God of eternity freely allowed Himself to live that way – to be tried and tested and tortured- for me. He freely stood upon a hill in the world He created, He was mounted painfully on the tree He created; humiliated, betrayed and tortured by the life He created. His love did that for me.” ~Sue King

I already have the power I need to do what is best for my life. What’s best is to choose well in my life, to live well in this life and to honor His life. The enemy will continue to speak to and within the flesh, but it is the voice I choose to hear that will give life a meaning beyond measure. To ignore the enemy that speaks to the ‘me that is dead”. It is His words, that I will respond to, “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” ~John 11:25-26

Yes, I believe this… and death does not contain me – for it could not contain Him. 

Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?  By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?  Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. 
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.” ~Romans 6:1-7 (NIV)

That is what Christ has done for me, for my friend Sue, and He has done for you… 

Have you chosen well? 

© 2011 Giving Thanks Daily, Shawn Boreta and Sue King

We are Wonderfully Made (, living to encourage and Equip His People ( and completely committed to believing greatly Psalm 139 with purpose (

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Day 524 of Giving Thanks - Tina Wetor

Life without Christ, I can’t image it.  At this moment, I honestly can’t image what my life would be like except for emptiness and loneliness.  Who am I that He is mindful of me?  Mindful of me, it still rips my heart to the core the depth of the love of God.  Oh, I have seen movies portraying images, read stories of the magnitude but nothing compares to experiencing it.  Experiencing the love of God has changed my perspective, my purpose, and my life.  Love awakens the soul to experience life.

If the greatest need of mankind is love, God has lavishly expressed it to us.  In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were able to daily communicate intimately with God.  As eager lovers wait to see the sight of each other, so was the relationship with God.  In the cool of the day, God would arrive to dwell near them.  Never does the relationship suffer damage or separation until the moment the fruit was eaten.  At the moment, Adam and Eve realized they were naked of the presence of God.  As the cool of the day approaches, fear grips their hearts with bewilderment, what are we going to do?  Instead of dealing directly with the situation, Adam and Eve cloth themselves with fig leaves.

Don’t they realize the fig leaves will give them away?  Don’t they see it as obvious?  It’s a physical garment made by human hands without the ability to cover their nakedness.  Oh, maybe it can cover their physical nakedness from God’s view, so they think.  Yet, they don’t realize their nakedness is plainly exposed before God.  

As they hear the sound of God walking in the garden, they hide behind the trees.  Although they covered their physical bodies, still they realize something is missing.  Inside their heart feelings of fear, rejection, and guilt overcome the ability to comprehend a solution.  So, they hide from Him.   As God enters the garden, He calls out to them.  Eagerly He is searching for their fellowship, communication, and unity.  Where could they be?  While God is calling, Adam and Eve are hiding behind the trees from His presence.  They are already covered with fig leaves, why are they hiding behind the trees?  It seems Adam and Eve started a trend for mankind, we keep trying to cover ourselves with anything to restore our soul.  The voices of fear, feeling exposed, and removing ourselves from God keeps us alone.

We realize God created the world, we accept this by faith.  Nevertheless, our lives are covered with guilt, so we keep God completely distant from us.  We have tried to cover up our nakedness but the fig leaves keep falling.  As Adam and Eve, we try to “fix” our lives so we can approach Him.  Deep within our hearts, we know we have failed or fallen short of God’s purpose-to know God.

What’s so amazing about the garden account, we see God’s heart from the beginning.  Although Adam and Eve try to cover their sin, God is completely aware of it.  According to Genesis 3:10, “He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” Adam completely describes what the destructive power of sin can do-it brings isolation.  Sadly, so many people isolate themselves from God due to the trap of sin and Satan’s lies of deception.  The power of sin has entangled their lives, it’s against all hope.  Or is it?

Have you ever heard of a mediator?  Well, a mediator is someone who goes between two parties to resolve an issue.  A moment’s sin can bring a lasting consequence for our actions.  Adam and Eve’s sin brought a lasting consequence upon them but it affected the entire human race.  The human race suffers from feeling isolated, afraid, and naked or feeling incomplete in life.  Have you ever asked yourself, “Why am I here?”  “What is the purpose of life?”  The purpose of life is to actually quite simple, it’s to know God intimately.  Can we know God intimately?  Yes, we can.

During the consequences of Adam and Eve’s sin, God placed a plan in motion to redeem mankind to Him.  Although she ate the fruit first, Eve was given a promise of life being restored.  Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”  Although Satan tried to destroy mankind with his deception, God would restore them to Himself.  The scripture above is the first prophecy of coming of Jesus Christ who would die to redeem mankind.  Only through His redeeming work could we be reunited to God.  He is the only mediator between God and man who can bring wholeness to the relationship.

1 Timothy 2:5-6 states, “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men-the testimony given in its proper time.”  Jesus is the mediator, He understands our weakness.  He understands?  Yes, He was tempted in all ways, yet He was without sin.  Hebrews 4:15 shows, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet without sin.”

A question could be entering your mind, how could God love someone like me? I can answer this question, He loved someone like me.  Still after many years, the depth of God’s love astonishes me.  He reached me in a horrible place of isolation, pain, and abuse.  He didn’t leave me there, He got me out.

Life hasn’t always been easy but I have the intimacy of God to sustain me.  His love, grace, and truth have guided my life with no regrets.  Only through Christ have I found the meaning of life-love.  Nothing can transform someone’s life greatly except the power of knowing I am loved.  As God searched for Adam and Eve, so He is looking for you.  It’s time to stop hiding in your own guilt; it’s time to meet your mediator, Jesus Christ who can make you whole.  Just call on His name, He will answer.  

To connect with Tina, you can find her on FACEBOOK.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Day 523 of Giving Thanks - Guest Writer, Tymothy Longoria

It is written that in Matthew 27:46:
“Around the ninth hour, Jesus shouted in a loud voice, saying "Eli Eli lema sabachthani?" which is, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Jesus was surrounded by a multitude. Then, just a few. No matter the number around Him, at the ninth hour or 3:00, He was as lonely as any living or dead person could ever be and ever will be.

God, the Almighty Father turned away from His only Son, who was covered, bathed, in the sin of all mankind-past present and future.

He knew why God turned His back, but it affected Him so that He cried out in anguish. The torment He endured at the whipping post, the jeers, the spit in His face-He endured. It was torture. It was overwhelming. It was excruciating. So great was the pain and horrific punishment inflicted upon Him that when the word was first used it was to conjure up the image of a broken and battered Christ.

Excruciating describes what He felt on the tree of pain...the cross. The pain from the crucified one.
It was meant to be for our salvation. No other offering, no other prayer, no other choice would suffice.

Pronunciation: ik-'skr├╝-shE-"At
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): -at·ed; -at·ing
Etymology: Latin excruciatus, past participle of excruciare, from ex- + cruciare to crucify, from cruc-, crux cross
1 : to inflict intense pain on : T o r t u r e
2 : to subject to intense mental distress

A NEW word was invented to describe His pain!

But through it all He prevailed. He conquered death. The sky parted. The enemy wept in defeat. The angels rejoiced…and the history of the world was forever changed.

Jesus, what have you done for ME?

He refused to give in. To give up. To take the shame. To bear the shame. For me. For you. For any and all who believe. The cost was too great for us to ever forget.

Then Jesus said, 'It is finished.' With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit."

Nothing we could ever do or pray will be greater than when He said: IT IS ACCOMPLISHED. The saving of many through My blood is complete.

Because You  l o v e d  Us all. He gave every fiber of His being. Thank you, Christ for enduring and paying the price You did. Enjoy today and live tomorrow -

He will return.
Be blessed!

You can visit Tymothy on His Facebook page.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Day 522 of Giving Thanks

Originally Written for Aspire No More (Tymothy Longoria's blog)

Obsessive Behavior.
This is a year that is turning out much differently than expected – through many “circumstances” a mighty God has shown greatly in my life; my God!And, the question is asked, why do I write? Two years ago, it would not have been asked of me –the only writing I did was an occasional email or notes in my journal, which I could not decipher later on.

I write because God asked me to, and when I refused, He commanded me to. What started out as a simple Facebook post by a friend has turned into my life’s passion – truly an obsession, and the more I write, the more my desire is to write – and the upside to all this writing is that I have to read in order to write intelligently.

I have discovered that words are what form me. When I was a young girl, words scared me. The idea of picking up a book or putting a pen to paper was horrifying. And, talking about what I read (or was supposed to read) would turn me completely inside out.

I have discovered that His word reveals me – I remember the moment when I realized that all of His promises that I had been reading were true for me. It was not the day I was saved and it was not in a moment of complete devastation. It was a moment comprised of many moments leading to that time and place that God had predetermined for me to “get it”.

How many times will I forget that You are with me?

How many ways will I avoid Your presence, absent mindedly?

How many roads will I travel following the detours?

So many more than necessary – but enough times to remember – You arealways with me!

You always direct my path perfectly!
You never fail to show me the right way!

So with You I will travel all of my days, deeply in Your presence I will step and stay.

Words allow me to have a voice when my voice cannot be heard over the noise of the world or distractions of every day life. Hearing His voice above the world is my obsession, and stepping over the threshold of distractions is my daily quest. And in pursuit of this obsession to envelope all that God has for me, He teaches me, He forgives me, He comforts me and He gives me “a me” I can live with now.

“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 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. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.” 2 Corinthians 10:4-6 (NIV) 
In discovering the words He has for me, I am changed and in these changes He, in me, is revealed greatly. His words form me… and the words that flow from me are endless. The rewards of His words for me, priceless.

God in me… (some of my favorite God words over the last year)
“I am worth the endless love of a mighty God…”

“I am not settling for complacency, I desire to realize the fullness of a life through Christ.”

“What we do with the time we have is our choice. How we are rewarded for this time is God’s choice.”

“A positive attitude can help the moment. A hope-filled heart and knowing God’s promises can encourage a lifetime.”

“Lord, keep working on me and shining brightly where I need to see.”

“The moving parts of my life keep changing, but the operator of the machine stays the same.”

“Watching as the work of art is formed. Going through fire to secure the beauty of it all.”

“I love when things are pulled together. God’s surprises are the best.”

“We have the almighty God on our side, we must not fear man. As, they are just like us, in need of an almighty God.”

“We are not competition as brothers and sisters, only compliments to one another. Make it known that all the body parts work together perfectly.”

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

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Day 521 of Giving Thanks

I was thinking this morning that if we want, we can come up with endless reasons to step right into the world – to forget all about the strength we have access to at any given moment – to dwell in dark places and not realize that the light is shining all over our lives – to sink deeply into selfishness and despair because we won’t believe that His promises are real and perfect and for each of us.

I was telling someone today that I have gotten really good at word swapping and thought changing; intentionally I have discovered new words to speak, and what thoughts to promote regularly – the enemy works diligently to keep us in deep and dark pits – the enemy knows what buttons to push to cause that spiral – the enemy uses all of his earthly powers to strategize against God’s will. But know this my friends, God is powerful beyond measure, and if you have chosen to trust Him, to believe Him and to follow Him, you too are powerful beyond measure. The enemy will pursue you, but will be powerless over the Holy Spirit dwelling inside you. 

He is right here... if you reach out, you will touch His presence. If you look deeply into your circumstance, you will see that you are surrounded. If you listen intently, you will hear His direction and consoling words. If you open your heart, He will fill you with His love.

I heard a teaching by Francis Chan today, and as I settled into my chair, after stepping away for a few minutes (and before I hit the rewind key), I heard “All you'll ever need to know about living your life is...  God is in charge.” What a simple and profound statement. My only goal these days is to embed that truth deeply and securely in my heart and mind.

We serve a mighty God. And, our God loves you with everything that He is, ever was and will be. His love is endless and limitless. Whatever you "think" that amount of love is, you are thinking too small. I want you to think about your life today. I have spent the last twenty months seeking God, pleading with Him, thanking Him and waiting on Him to move me greatly to where He desires me to be. He desires me to BELIEVE Him... and to understand that He is the truth, my light and all I need. Through this journey, I have had an exercise of removing the old and restoring to new.

Write down all the things that you do not want in your life, would like to leave behind, have no need for or just want to change. And, keep in mind God's heart and desires for your life. And, know that He is faithful.

Replace complaining about your circumstances with showing compassion toward someone else.
Replace complacency with living committed to loving others as He loves you.
Replace comparing yourself with others to communicating His word through your actions.
Replace thinking that you're common and know that you have been commissioned to serve His purpose.

Now, as you read the thing you want to "let go", replace it with one of His promises or with one of your deepest desires for your life. All along our journey, we must keep God at the center and focus of your thoughts.

Lord I have a longing for home, yet home has not been realized yet.
I have a longing for perfection and complete healing.
But what I long for most is to be in Your presence in my final home.

Father, I pray for my friends today. I thank You for their hearts. I thank You for their friendship. I thank You for placing them in my life. As I lift them up to You mighty and powerful God, I ask that You place in them the desires of their heart, that they can realize how much You love them. How much they have with just that knowledge. May they know Your presence today and as they transform, heal and restore their minds to Your will and purpose of their life. In the precious blood of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

"Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory." ~Psalm 73:23-24 (NIV)

Thank you for being my friend, and such a wonderful gift from God. Know this, I am praying for you and my desire is for you to know who you are in Christ.

Much love in the name of Jesus to my brothers and sisters, sons and daughters of a mighty King. Your friend in Christ.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Day 520 of Giving Thanks

I started this day with addressing my Father; “I need You today. I am feeling insecure in my flesh, but know that with Your covering, everything is assured. I am feeling weak in my body, and know that I am strong because You are in me. Father, I need You today; thank You that I don't have to ask, yet You answer the call greatly to be with me.”

Layer upon layer, moment upon moment He, not only stands with me, supporting my stand and clearing the path when I am ready to take that step forward. In the moments that “just don’t make sense”, I am assured that nothing is without a purpose. Just giving things and circumstances the proper time to fulfill His plan is what it takes…

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

…waiting on Him and resting in the knowledge that He is always with me is enough. He is enough, and He gives in overflowing portions. Every day is a gift... unwrap it with care and accept it with sincere gratitude, and remember to share what is so freely given.

And, why are these gifts given? Because He loves us greatly! His love is abundant, perfect and freely given to all that choose to receive it.

Some of the layers are trials and some are victories, but all are “to God be the glory.” This morning’s layer was a trial and it was faith that moved my day forward; “…if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing”. Loving those around me, during all the moments is how it is done.

Sometimes it is “the music” that moves me from despair to delight. Today is a great day, for the music is moving me from one delightful moment to delightful moment... “His love never fails”. His love is greater than all loves... and HE LOVES ME greatly! “It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13) 

I started my day and will end my day with prayer - knowing that what I think and what I hold in my thoughts is what will be delivered.

"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

Dear God,
Help me today - I am allowing others to influence my heart. Help me today - to know that You are all that my heart needs. That You will direct the hurt, confusion, anxiety and sorrow - but I have to give it to You... so, Lord, here it is. Father, thank You for the reminder today that when my eyes are on You all is good in my world. When I set my heart on the things of You, there is nothing else required.

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

I get all of my worth from my God. No matter what others say to me or do to me, all that matters is what HE did for me... I am special enough and loved in overflowing portions that HE did the unimaginable for me. He suffered, died and rose again, for me... now that is some kind of special, wouldn't you agree?

“For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (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)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Day 519 of Giving Thanks

‎Walking into the office today, I knew that a covering of prayer would be needed; not that we don’t need this every day, but today, there was a sense of heaviness. As soon as I saw my co-worker, and asked, “How was your weekend?” We knew that the enemy was working hard to hit our lives and it was time to get down to business. God’s business of requesting His presence; requesting His protection; requesting His wisdom; requesting His discernment, and it was good.

"Don't let the abundance of God's gifts cause you to forget the Giver. Count your blessings, pray every day!" ~Author Unknown

It started for me as I work up for the first time at 6:15am, and I hit the alarm button and fell back to sleep. I awoke to a horn blowing; the strange thing is that we never hear anything like that. And, as soon as I opened my eyes, the horn stopped. As I grappled to wake up and get my body moving, I felt the heaviness – it was going to be a day of praising the moments when I don’t hurt.

From head to toe, I give it all to You gracious and merciful Father. When there is a good day, I praise You. When there is a tough day, I seek You and praise Your for being here for me. When there is a breakdown, YOU HOLD ME and assure me that I am ok.

Because I was late, my quiet time was cut short – not a good idea, I did pray and thanked God that my movement was getting better and that the hot shower brought some relief. As the water ran over me, I remembered whatever is heavy and unbearable for me, is light and easy for Him. Every day, I remind myself that He desires me to come to Him and no matter how often, it’s never too much. Today and every day, I am to rest in the knowledge that He's got it under control.

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

And, it seems that this was the verse for the day – bringing all of our concerns to Him; coming together and seeking Him sincerely and trusting that He will cover all that we need. What an amazing way to start a workday.

Father, thank You for giving us prayer and showing us what we should do through the example of Your son:
- gathering together
- seeking our mighty God
- giving Him our concerns
- trusting His promises
- remembering what He did
- know much I am blessed
- realizing what my treasure are

What are my treasures? 

My treasures are...
Knowing that I am loved by a mighty God.
Knowing that my eternity is all figured out.
Knowing that I can call Him anytime I need Him.
Knowing that He is here at all times with me.
Knowing that He is my God.

Lord, let me hear you clearly... I know that Your words are always perfect, give me ears that hear... allow me to see what is right before me, give me eyes that see... touch my heart for the things that move Yours, give me compassion for what is important to You.

I do hear You God. 
I do see You God. 
I do know You are present God. 
I do realize Your greatness.
Remove the flesh from my heart and allow me to function in Your Spirit. 
Move me greatly.
And, it will be good.

“I love God because he listened to me, listened as I begged for mercy.  He listened so intently as I laid out my case before him. Death stared me in the face, hell was hard on my heels.  Up against it, I didn't know which way to turn; then I called out to GOD for help: "Please, GOD!" I cried out. "Save my ife!" GOD is gracious—it is he who makes things right, our most compassionate God.” ~Psalm 116:1-6 (The Message)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Day 518 of Giving Thanks

The story behind the table and the stool… on my way home yesterday, I drove by a house I have driven past every day for two and a half years, but “today” they were having a garage sale. As I drove by, I noticed a small green stool right near the curb. I decided to go check it out, so made a U-turn, then another to park in front of the house.

What do they say, “one’s man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” (excerpt from poem, Garage Sale, Tom Zart), but the poem continues, “As one woman's junk gives others pleasure.” That is me in a nutshell, I love to find “treasures”.

As I walked up there were several women and an older man sitting in lawn chairs and I said, “I would love that stool”, and a call to the owner, “Alice how much for the stool?” I heard $2, and responded “Sold.” And Alice began to head into the house.

I looked to my left and there it was; the table that would be my next “project of love”.

I walked toward the two women sitting near the front door and asked, “How much for the table?” And, a loving call out to the owner of the table – “Alice, you’re on again; how much for the table.” Alice again turned to me, and with eyes glistening this time, she said, “that table was my father’s. It’s in need of much repair.” And there was a big pause, “Make me an offer.”

The table is in poor shape, in need of some tender loving care, some wood glue, sand paper and a couple coats of stain. The top veneer is lifting in many areas, and has cracks and scratches. But it is solid and made in the 1930s or so.

I could tell it was an emotional sale. I knew I didn’t have a lot of cash with me, I looked at her and said, “Let me see what’s in my wallet, all I have is $22; I do decoupage and I will make it beautiful." She looked at me and said, “I prayed it would go to someone who would love the table, and it seems that you are the one to take it.”

As I was standing there, Alice’s daughter came up to me and asked what I would be doing to the table. I explained, and she told me that her mom had just broken-up her own home and things were being sold - she had a great philosophy… “if something has to be in storage, it is disrespecting the original owner”, and that’s why they were letting go of such a beautiful and memorable piece.

When the table is done, I will bring it over and show Alice the restored table. What an amazing feeling to know that I can bring a smile to someone in a situation that must be tough emotionally. Father, I pray that I can do the table justice, that I can put much love and heart into the restoration project. Lord, I thank You for delivering me to that treasure yesterday and ask that Your loving and tender care are upon my new friends.

Thank You Lord for the time You give me to create and restore, and use the precious talents You have given me. Let me do the same when it is time to let the table go, let me be as gracious as Alice and know that this treasure restored is to glorify You.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” ~Matthew 6:19-21

Saturday, April 16, 2011

April 16th, Day 517 of Giving Thanks

I am grateful that the things I love surround me. And, the One who loves me greater than anyone else surrounds my every moment, my every move, my every thought, my every hope and my everything – My God surrounds me!

Today I am surrounded by color and God’s wonderful word in print and in images. I look at the photos of the flowers, the intricate details, the amazing colors and the shapes. When my art starts to take form, I don’t always know what the outcome will be, but I know that the canvas will represent what is so deep in my heart for that moment.

It was a fun day, one without timelines, deadlines or headlines. It has been a day with many moments of thought and observation within those thoughts. Tonight I have observed something small, yet significant about myself; I love to be alone in thought, but while alone in thought, I am never alone. As I stroke my brush, or see a verse, or as I am cutting out or capturing an idea, I am often brought to prayer – deep conversations with my heavenly Father.

‘You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” ~Psalm 32:7

As I create, He creates in me a new heart, a new outlook, a new attitude and the destiny He has had all along. What is that? I am still waiting to find out; but I know that all that has happened throughout my life is preparing me through my experiences.

 “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” ~Hebrews 11:1

The challenges that ended in defeat, as well as those that turned into an amazing victory.
The wrong turns that were exactly where He wanted me all along, to those turns that I am still asking Him to show me the way.
The heartbreaks that showed me He was there and those that feel like they will never mend.
The “no” that was actually “wait”, and the “yes” that  is “YES”…

Prayer for Protection “The light of God surrounds me;
The love of God enfolds me;
The power of God protects me;
The presence of God watches over me.
Wherever I am, God is.”
-James Dillet Freeman - 1941

Almighty and amazing Father, thank You for surrounding me so greatly, so securely and so perfectly every day. My prayer today Lord is that I can always know that you surround me and that is a perfect thing to praise.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Day 516 of Giving Thanks - Sue King

Just been talking over facebook with some friends and the tears are rolling down my cheeks as we laugh together about little things that have happened. It is a beautiful sharing of hearts and I am feeling so encouraged and lifted by it.

"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a brokenspirit drieth the bones." ~Proverbs 17:22.

The saying that ‘laughter is the best medicine’ is truth. When we stop to see the lighter side of things it is hard to be stressed, upset, tired or angry anymore. Laughter is a beautiful gift from a loving God who knew that His children would need it. Since we are made in His image, I believe that He also sees the ‘funny’ side of life- like some of the strangely put together animals He made.

Laughter is like a safety valve. When we are stretched to the absolute limit we can either laugh or cry! Sometimes tears are the only option but often….that ray of humour exposes itself and the laughter runs free.

I love the way children laugh so freely and so often at the smallest things. And why are they so ticklish all over??? It’s like God knew that once the cares of the world descended we would lose our ability to appreciate the funny side of life so He gave us a double dose when we could really enjoy it. Pronounce a word wrong, wear an odd piece of clothing, pretend to walk funny and the fits of laughter begin. God’s beautiful medicine for the soul.

Humour breaks down barriers. It relaxes people….shows their humanity. Crying works the same but I’d rather have a laugh to achieve the same objective. In life we just can’t take ourselves too seriously. We live at God’s leading by God’s grace. We are told to take on the cares for this day only. We are told not to worry or fret about what might be.

Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. (Philippians 4:6)

“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” ~Matthew 6:25

He has it all under control. He has it all covered. So let’s lighten up…hand the cares over to the one who has real control and power, and share a laugh and love with family and friends.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Day 515 of Giving Thanks

May I just say, that on my own, I had an ordinary life – and with God, it is truly EXTRA-ordinary. Thank You Jesus!

With this said, it does not mean that everything in my life is perfect, it means that I am guided perfectly by a God who loves me perfectly. For many years of my life, I consulted one to make decisions. Today I check with the One, for many decisions and learning that He is the only One to consult for every decision – large, small, major or minor. I have realized that even the things that seem small, can turn into big.

And, recently I have been praying to, consulting with and leaning on Him for this one thing in particular – asking for wisdom, clarity, discernment, comfort and confirmation. In the silence, there is comfort, for in the silence I remove my own desires to answer my cries and pleas. As I sit here now, in silence allowing Him to comfort a sorrow, I know that every tear and every jolt of pain is important to Him.

My constant questions have been…
Do I...
...move through my life like everything is normal?
...give the exhaustion a new name, like vitalization, and allow the mind to re-educate my body’s cells to believe that exhaustion does not exist?
...continue to plead my "case" with God; continue to remind Him why removing it makes so much sense to me and pray I can convince Him of the same?


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

As I sit here now, in silence He reminded me of my prayer this morning.

As I prayed for someone else in pain this morning, it was my prayer for many, including myself. Sometimes I believe it is asking God to show me ways to see something besides the pain, to give me His eyes so I can see past the pain and through to what He has for me... I am learning, that I can dwell in the pain, or rejoice in all the moments I can remember who I am.

Father, thank You for answered prayers, the delivery of hope and prayer. Thank You for giving us the opportunity to share our hearts with You, to pour our pain out of our bodies, to give you our loneliness and hide our sorrows in You. Father God, we lift those in pain up to You today and ask for Your mercies in our lives, with any illness. We pray for Your will to be done, and healing to occur. Father, we praise You that You are the ultimate physician and sometimes we cannot understand why we are sick, but trust greatly that You are in control. We ask for a lifting of your children's spirits, that there can be many moments when they can set their eyes upon You, that the illness will be far from their thoughts. I pray for the mighty power of the Holy Spirit to intervene in our day, to bring things of joy to light and things that will lighten the hearts from this burden. Mighty and glorious God, we call to You and ask these things in the precious blood of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Why is my life extraordinary? Because I am never alone and I have access to the best consultant, physician, counselor, mentor available, the One who cares deeply, compassionately and perfectly for me and always has.

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

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

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

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day 514 of Giving Thanks

April 13th, Day 514 of Giving Thanks
Sometimes I cannot believe how much has changed in my life. There was a time when my life didn’t seem to change very much. It really was the “same ole, same ole”.

What I have come to realize is the world is always changing around me, and I have opportunities every day that would promote change, however it is a choice to grab onto that change or dismiss it.

“Observe always that everything is the result of change, and get used to thinking that there is nothing Nature loves so well as to change existing forms and make new ones like them.” ~ Marcus Aurelius

"Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." ~Romans 12:2 (NLT)

Heavenly and gracious Father, I pray for clarity today. I pray that I will know where You want me to be; that I will see the people I am supposed to interact with; that I will not miss what You have for me. I pray Lord, that as I follow Your lead, that I am able to continue delivering greatly to the kingdom with what I am called to do right now, as I learn to recognize Your leading. Help me change in the appropriate ways. I am grateful for this life that is leading to my perfecting. Thank You Lord.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”  ~Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

I am finding that there is so much freedom in change; a freedom that eluded me before. Freedom in that, I can see things not seen before, like many things are much clearer in my mind.

Today, I know I can trust that the Holy Spirit will intervene greatly in my life that my walk will attract others to the word through my actions.

As a child of God, I get excited when I learn new things. I remember when I was a kid, the day I learned how to do a cartwheel, I did it once and it was good – but as the day went on I repeated my effort over and over and it became very good -and over time it was perfected. That is what I want my life to reflect – keep going after His word, learning to hear His voice and have my actions match His desires and He will say, “it is very good…” and over time, I will be perfect.

"And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." ~Matthew 18:3 (NIV)

I am grateful again today that not only am I changing, but that I can recognize as things around me change. I am grateful that I can see the Holy Spirit working and I am grateful that I am His child and graced with His favor.

Dear God, 
I sit here quietly waiting for You tonight. And, in the waiting, I am settling in to knowing that You are God, and when You speak, I will know. That when You move in my life, I will know. 
Tonight as I dwell on Your word... I seek clarity of heart and direction. I seek Your will for so many things, and expect to hear You. In the depths of my mind, I am changing, transforming and becoming... 
Lord, thank You for loving me tonight and every day of my life. Thank You that my life matters, my dreams and desires are important to You and that You are with me as I become who You intend me to be. 
As I sit here quietly waiting, my heart is full of hope and expectations for Your purpose in me being fulfilled. 
Your child.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day 513 of Giving Thanks

It was one of those days, where prayer kept me going… busy is an understatement.

Dear God... thank You for being with me all day and keeping me calm in all the busyness. Thank You for taking my hand, and calming my heart when I felt anxious about all the deadlines. Thank You for giving me the strength to speak up at the right moment. Thank You for being with me all day and getting me through a touch day.

Getting home exhausted has been a normal occurrence for several months now and finding excuses to “not do” ________ (fill in the blank) has been a fight within my Spirit.

In the past week, I have had a few days that I have thought about not writing or modifying my writing schedule because I feel like I am having a difficult time writing, too tired or just wanting to “not do”. And, every time I submit to not having a thing enter my mind… I stop to pray and get into a time of conversation with God. Today has been no different. I have spent the past few hours pulling my collection of images together for my art. And, again the though hit, “do I change how much I write? Is it time to stop writing every day?”

“Stop and get quiet”, is all I need to do, and the thoughts of what to say come flooding through. Tonight, as I sat on my couch, my usual morning quiet time spot, I had deep thoughts of home. How I love being home – a home that we have poured time and energy into – a home that I spend time in with the husband, my best friend.

“Home is not where you live, but where they understand you.” ~Author unknown

I have a great life - a life that is not exceptional, but is extraordinary. My extraordinary life – a life that is His – special – unique – crazy – busy – strange – common – simple - remarkable – temporary - amazing – surprising – transforming - purposed.

“It's the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary; only wise men are able to understand them.” ~Paulo Coelho 

My husband had I have been together almost thirteen years, and all the words above, and more, describe life so well. I am grateful for all the times of our life together – and home truly is our life together, while we are here, in this time. But my home, the one I long for, and look forward to is the wonderful homecoming with my Lord.

Thank You Father for the assurance of my home and life with you through Your word. Thank You for speaking to me in brief moments, for creating in me this desire to keep speaking from my heart and sharing with You all that I feel. Thank You Lord for helping me, making me at times, staying honorable to my promise to be grateful daily. Thank You for keeping me in Your care. Thank you for creating in me the most amazing desire to be in Your presence.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Day 512 of Giving Thanks

I heard, “Christ will measure my life by the compassion I show”. And as I went through my day, I thought of the message yesterday. “My relationship with others will show how evident Christ is in my life,” the message continued.

What does that mean for my life? To me, it means that I will show love first – and that is the message I have received from God my entire Christian walk. There are some things that I just “don’t know”, or that I will never memorize everything, but I do know that the Holy Spirit will never leave me and will always advise me toward the right path. I am grateful for my heart; and who has my heart; who I wholly belong to.

“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” ~John 15:12 (NIV)

“Love each other”, simply said, yet it is one of the commands that so many miss – I remember when I was first saved, I did not feel that love from other Christians; I experienced, judgment and correction, more than tenderness and compassion. And, a prayer I pray often is, “Father, thank You for revealing Your love so graciously; thank You for giving me Your example through so many brothers and sisters who are in my life today. Lord, give me Your eyes so I can see through to compassion and through pain and hurt so that I can truly be loving, even to those not so loveable.”

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  ~John 13:34-35 (NIV)

Today, my pleas are for those who see their Christian walk as a license to judge and correct above the command to love. “Give them eyes to see through to compassion and through the pain and hurt, so that they too can be truly loving, even to those not so loveable.”

“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)

And, I would like to make sure that I understand my Father’s command – that I can love like Jesus. I know that many times, this is only possible with the power of the Holy Spirit – who gives me strength to love, compassion to love greatly and the heart ready to change so I can love those I cannot love on my own.

“Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.” ~1 John 4:20 

Help me see You and love like You on this path.

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?” ~John 3:16-17 (NIV)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Day 511 of Giving Thanks

I am grateful that my mighty and powerful God surrounds me, and His gift to me is wonderful friends. I had a wonderful fellowship time today, spoke with a new friend and worshiped with my church family. Once a month I have the honor to greet those that walk through our doors at church – I love it.  I get to see all the kids, hug my friends and make new comers welcome. What an amazing way to start out a beautiful day.

The message was very simple today – we are commanded to love one another as Jesus loves us. We are to show compassion for our brothers and sisters. It was a wonderful reminder. I believe strongly that so many of us are broken, that we cannot properly show others how absolutely wonderful God is in our lives, because we have not fully grasped it ourselves. I am grateful for God’s work in my life, for giving me outlets and venues to share and grow.

I am grateful for friendship and I pray for deeper, more compassionate showings of Jesus’ work in my life. I pray for those whose hearts are torn apart, and the lives that have shattered and they too can dwell in the hopeful thought of repair and restoration wholly in their lives. I pray for those who are lonely and who feel abandoned, that they can be reached by the loving arms of Christ through His children. I  pray Lord, that I can be Your ambassador on many occasions, and I can carry appropriately Your compassion, love, tenderness and hope in my heart and it is displayed and received.

“God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we're free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ's. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.” ~1 John 4:17-18 (The Message)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Day 510 of Giving Thanks

In August God forced a major change in my life – which has been a major shift in lifestyle; and since then He has been instructing me to completely “let go” – to purge the emotion of that change. Wow, I guess I have been avoiding it for the most part. It seems that every week or so, I toss something out or pack something up – but I am not really addressing the complete purge or the issue of the loss. So today, I did it. We have this room in our house that we call the dungeon – this room has been my daughter’s room briefly, my art studio and a couple of years ago we had a young woman living with us who was helping us out with things around the house. However, for the last year, it has been the “catch room” – it catches everything we don’t want to deal with, or rather, I don’t want to deal with.

So, where am I going with all this? This room was where I stuffed all my emotions – the major change in my life was walking away from a business I worked for over eight years – I didn’t just love the business, I loved what I did – however, I loved it more than I should have. And, even though I told God that I would make the change, somehow in the back of my mind, I thought I would somehow “begin again”, so have been hanging on to “all the stuff”; all of my history.

God’s idea of “begin again” was much different then what has been in the back of my mind. And, I can tell you that He is much smarter than I am, that is for sure. Even though it was August that the change began, it was way before than that He began to encourage me to make the change. I am so grateful, that even though I ignored Him, disobeyed Him and I constantly justified my actions with things like, “God found me here”, “this is the only way we will ever get ahead”, “God wouldn’t take something away that I love so much”… that was the one that truly got me.

I am grateful that God set me straight, that I now have my priorities in order – Him, my marriage, my job and my ministry. This change allowed me to “begin again”.

As I tossed and purged today, it became very symbolic for me. With every hour that passed, I knew that I was doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing. And, I cleared I prepared – isn’t that what God wants for us? To let go, so He can give us what He has for us.

The room, which is once again my art studio, is not quite completed, but I did get through most of the purging, and have an idea of how my new space will be arranged, organized and be completely useful for a designated purpose – no more “catching” for that room.

As this new beginning continues, I see that room as my room, not only to create the art that God gifted me with but as a room in our house that is just mine and where I can meet God while I create. I am grateful for this amazing day of “letting go”. I am grateful that He is creating in me a desire to “begin again”, as you so graciously instruct me to do.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Day 509 of Giving Thanks Daily

I have not had a spare moment to even think about what I am grateful for today – and, after working a twelve hour day, I am pressing the creative button about now. So, before leaving my office, I decided to settle in to some worship music and sit still for a bit. Help me see You today Lord. Let me know Your presence in amazing ways.

And the first words I hear… “it’s all about Him!”

I have been extremely fortunate for the last several months, as I am rebuilding my health, and God is restoring so many other areas in the process, I have had the amazing opportunity to learn what “being still” actually means.
It is letting go… 
It is holding on to His word -
It is remaining in His will  -
It is watching Him work in me -
It is forgiving myself and others over and over -
And, it is just realizing that I can have nothing without Him. 

Tonight, that is exactly what I have had to do. Let go of the stress and worry of “what needs to be done” and “what didn’t get touched. Hold on to His amazing promises for my life, know that this life is temporary – and I have so much to look forward to as I press in, and journey through. Remaining on this steady path of obedience and trust – trust is so difficult, but He is truly faithful. Watching as everything is different in my life – restoration, miracles and abundance of hope. Forgiving the many mistakes of my past, allowing forgiveness toward those who have hurt me. Realizing day after day He is everything in my life and wondering how I was before.

God Is Present Among You “Jerusalem will be told: "Don't be afraid. Dear Zion, don't despair. Your God is present among you, a strong Warrior there to save you. Happy to have you back, he'll calm you with his love and delight you with his songs.” ~Zephaniah 3:16-17 (The Message)

And, how I was before was a woman starving for hope and love. Today, even in the midst of “so much”, there is “so much of Him” to wash away what doesn’t belong, because I belong to Him!

I am grateful for God’s nudges – I was moments away from excusing away writing tonight, and within 5 minutes, these words flew across the keyboard. Thank You Lord for keeping me faithful to Your calling – and always keeping me going.

“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” ~Jeremiah 29:11-12 (New International Version)

It’s all about Him – and I am so honored to serve such a mighty God. I am grateful to know that He is able to use this woman, who has been broken beyond repair, yet He restored me to being whole, while on my way to perfection. All glory to my creator, my teacher, my healer, my encourager, the love of my life and soul, my savior. It’s all about Him!

My verse for the year bode well for tonight…
Isaiah 61
The Year of the LORD’s FavorThe 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, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 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.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Day 508 of Giving Thanks

I went to work today after being home for 5 days. I feel like I am rounding the corner to “getting better” – I am grateful that I made it for a full day at work, and I actually accomplished things too. Although I have been “home sick”, I have had time to just be alone, pray and catch up on some reading, and yesterday started and finished a couple of art projects. I love creating.

If I could make a living creating my art, I would do it in a minute. But for now I am grateful to have it as an outlet.

I love looking at a blank canvas. With my glue, pictures, words and tissue paper it is blissful – I turn the white surface into a blend of colors and images. If I make a mistake, I blend and add a bit more – and all is good. And, as I watch the transformation, I feel so fortunate that God has given me gifts of creativity. 

Tonight, I am reminded that God does the same with me. He created me from nothing. And through my life He blends experiences and circumstances; joy and sorrow; pain and victory; love and loss and is creating a masterpiece with my life – and all is good.

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” ~Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)

I have watched the canvas of my life change many times; and every time I am amazed at how He takes every circumstance and makes it work – and through my circumstance I get to know Him more and understand me better. And, every day I can look at the day as just another stroke of color. 

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

I pray for boldness in my life and I have great expectations for my life, His masterpiece – and that my circumstances, my responses and the outcome are pleasing to Him. And, I again I say the theme of my life can be summarized with one prayer that I have repeated over and over – “Lord, I am ready for my dream, if I am not ready, please continue to prepare me.”

It is only with the connection of the Holy Spirit that I will get anywhere. At this juncture, the dream is not yet defined, and I trust that it will be laid greatly on my heart, and the desire will be overwhelming. Until then, I will be overwhelmed with the desire to be in His presence – as often as possible. 

He instructs me to be still in Psalm 46:10 - "He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Day 507 of Giving Thanks

We build relationships, we share our lives, and people see Christ...

When I thought of that statement earlier tonight, so many things came rushing through my mind.

He touched my life, and nothing will ever be the same. So, I am to touch someone else’s life, and through loving them in Christ, their life will never be the same; not because of me, but because of Christ in me.

What does that look like? It is friendship – loving, caring, tender and compassionate friendship. It is living my life on purpose to touch the lives of others. How do I do that? I keep God in charge and the Holy Spirit my guide and Jesus the reason for it all. Jesus did what He did so that I can have a relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit – a perfect, in harmony and amazing relationship.

Today, I cannot imagine my life any different. My life has changed and I am transforming. Life exists now. My life is not perfect, however my purpose is. In fulfilling my purpose, I will build relationships with others – and God will use them for his purposes.

“The plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations.” ~Psalm 33:11

In this life, I will be challenged and grow; challenged and changed; challenged and rewarded. In this life, I will stumble and get back up; stumble and be trampled; stumble and He will pick me up. In this life, I will praise where I am and keep stepping into my days.

I will build relationships because He is relational with me; I will share my life with others, because He gave His for me; I will live my life grateful for what He did, and others will want to know who this Jesus is "in me".

Let my life be an example Lord. Let me find my strength in you. Let others see your light in me.

“Light is shed upon the righteous and joy on the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous, and praise His holy name.” Psalm 97:11-12

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day 506 of Giving Thanks

I have had several quiet times with God today; and my thoughts are still a little foggy. But through the fog I will hear Him whisper…

And, I waited. 

Once again, He used a wonderful friend to speak what He has for me today. And, through the tears and the exhaustion I hear “I hear you Shawn”. All along, I am waiting to hear Him, when today, I just needed to know that He hears me.

“Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.” ~Matthew 9:12

And, He is faithful. 

"The Power That Brings the World to Its Knees“Every God-begotten person conquers the world's ways. The conquering power that brings the world to its knees is our faith. The person who wins out over the world's ways is simply the one who believes Jesus is the Son of God.” ~1 John 5:4 (The Message)

As I sit here in my favorite spot on the couch, with His music surrounding all my senses, as the emotions stirring inside me and I know He is powerful. I read His word and hear His loving tone with me, His daughter and beloved. That is a thought to hold onto.

"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

In these moments of worship, my heart yearns to be here often. Again I am reminded what He did for me, and the I hear “at the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light and my burden rolled away…” and my heart aches for what He endured and, once again I know that He heard me, well before I called to Him.

This day, today, is just another day of tests and another day of becoming who He desires me to be. I am grateful that He desires me to come to Him and request His strength. And, as long as there is breath in this body that will be the drill. Every day I live under His grace, is another day that He is in me. What an awesome and amazing thought. I am never alone. I am never on my own. I am always in His sights and in thoughts and always have been.

“Then Hannah prayed and said: “My heart rejoices in the LORD; in the LORD my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance.” ~Samuel 2:1

I too rejoice in all that He has done for me; a life full of miracles seen and unseen, known and unknown, but there nonetheless; a life full of gifts that He delights in giving me; a life full of hope where He is the provider of through His promises; a life full of confirmation through growth. I am grateful today for “waiting”, “receiving” and “glorifying” He who came, and He who gave. In great anticipation, I will wait and in the many moments of worship, my heart is fulfilled in Him. I joyfully wait for His instruction and direction.

At The Cross, Ralph E. Hudson, 1885
Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sov’reign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

Thy body slain, sweet Jesus, Thine—
And bathed in its own blood—
While the firm mark of wrath divine,
His soul in anguish stood.

Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

Well might the sun in darkness hide
And shut his glories in,
When Christ, the mighty Maker died,
For man the creature’s sin.

Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt my eyes to tears.

But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give myself away,
’Tis all that I can do.

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.