Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day 562 of Giving Thanks by Sue King

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

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

A quick recap on my story… A month ago I shared about my need to be transparent… to show how God is working in my life. I talked about being led by the Spirit to abandon a 38 year addiction to nicotine… my ‘Goliath’… now read on!

In the final few days leading up to my quit day, quite literally- all hell broke loose! I kept feeling in my spirit that I would have a real battle on my hands and to be prayed up and ready… so I fasted, prepared cards with verses of encouragement to carry with me. Read and reread and reread Romans 8. Prayed and spoke words of affirmation. Armoured up and prepared.

Three days before I was bedridden with flu. I had planned to spend day 1 in the house all day with my church family but was too ill! The day before my big day, my 17 year old son announced he was moving out of home on quit day. 2 days before- all three computers in the house and both printers ‘died’ so hours of frustration were spent trying to get accountancy work completed before quit day… alas it couldn’t be done. I’d forgotten I had to take my husband for day surgery the following day. And then the chaos and disharmony really started.

I became really afraid because I knew in my spirit that I was going to be required to fight hard to be free - that this was going to be a ‘test’ of my will and I felt that if it was this hard before I had even started that there was no way I was going to succeed. I went to my Father in tears- “I can’t do this I cried out!” And then the realization hit like a brick wall that this was not negotiable- that if I disobeyed I would be in direct opposition to the spirit- in direct disobedience with no where to go for relief for my intentional rebellion. So, in resignation, I prepared for the following day.

The next morning I rose and took my first step in obedience. What I hadn’t known, hadn’t even thought about, was that the strength and battle I would face would be before that first step… the opposition comes before we take the step. Satan will do everything he can to discourage us… to cripple us mentally so badly that we do not even begin to walk. Once we take that first step in obedience… in blind faith… He is there waiting and catches us. I didn’t realise that if I had to fight my way out of this addiction then the glory would not be my Fathers… I would believe that my strength had freed me and not His.

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” ~John 8:36

From that first step of obedience on the day the spirit designated… I have been free. Free without pain. I have had no physical withdrawal symptoms - no shakes, no fatigue, no mood swings, no sleeplessness, no overeating, no desperate craving. Whenever my mind has thought of my addiction I turn my eyes to my Father and continue to walk in obedience with no discomfort. My job is only to remain in obedience. I have felt actively cushioned from the agitation and unpleasantness of the world around me- much like being cocooned in cotton wool. Protected and safe. And my faith and trust in Him and His protection and knowledge of me overwhelms me.

Today is the 31st of September- World No Tobacco Day and it is the first time in 38 years that I am free. I celebrate the faithfulness of a God that desires only the best for His children and empowers and enables them to be free!

A special thank you to my Pastor who walked this journey with me. I would urge you to find a prayer and accountability partner to stand beside you.

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


Monday, May 30, 2011

Day 561 of Giving Thanks

My vacation is officially over, and it is time to get back to work and the routine. As I prepare mentally for the transition to normal, I am so thankful for the time I had to get away, and shut down from the everyday things. Although we were very busy these past few days, it has been nice just knowing that we were still officially on vacation, well at least in my head “I was”. But now, my mind readies for the week, thankfully a short week, since today was a holiday.

Today we celebrated home ownership with project after project. A day at the Boreta house included, painting, gardening, talking, cleaning, a trip to Home Depot for more paint, laundry and cooking lunches for the week. We definitely don’t take the weekends for granted, we seem to cram as much in as we can. I find it very gratifying to see all the work completed at the end of a busy day.

Physically I have worked harder than I have in years, and Chris and I have worked amazingly well together in all this – transformation has taken place with us as well. Having the hand of God on my marriage has been an amazing experience. Trusting God to be at every turn, and during every change is exactly what I needed, and I am grateful for His grace and mercies through it all. Now, I turn my attention to another area – my “definite aim” for my life – this is the purpose that God has just for me; it is the purpose that I was created for – and this is an exciting time to be me. I am so excited for what is next knowing that God is right here with me.

There was a time, however, that I thought I could do it on my own. When it was all on my own, my life had “its moments” – you know, those that are beaming with victory or overflowing with success; yes, I did have many times in my life that I thought I had arrived. And, as the Old English Proverb goes, “All good things must come to an end.” That is how I once felt. That my circumstances, or better stated, my good circumstances are what prompted my good attitude or good mood. Running after happiness, in a life that was pure busyness was my existence.

I am not running after anything anymore. I am allowing God to direct and correct my path every day. And, the only thing that comes to an end now is the lack of direction, lack of hope and lack of God in my decisions. There are no more lacks in my life, because God has it all covered.

“We're depending on GOD; he's everything we need. What's more, our hearts brim with joy since we've taken for our own his holy name. Love us, GOD, with all you've got— that's what we're depending on.” ~Psalm 33:20-22 (The Message)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Day 560 of Giving Thanks

I heard a pastor say, “Don’t waste your moments”, and that is what I have been hearing from God for so long now. As in most lessons, there are times I have to do and fail, and do and fail, and at some point, the getting good or doing well will come through and it will be a lesson learned. Today, I have great respect for every moment because every moment counts and every moment is a gift.

We all have things that we are concerned about, and up until very recently I was a worrier – I worried about finances, my health, my family and I can’t believe how many “what ifs” I worried about, and now realize that worrying is just another way to lose moments. I am not saying that I “never” worry, but I do recognize when I start to worry, and have a new way of dealing with it. God tells us that He can handle all our concerns and all we have to do is give them to Him.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”  ~ 1 Peter 5:7

Did you know that the enemy enjoys watching us waste time? When we take our eyes off God we are open to things not of God. The more I think about the pastor’s statement, the more I know that the biggest waste of my time, or anyone’s time is spent worrying. What does worrying do? It keeps the focus on all the things we “feel” might happen or have already happened.  We cannot live fully when we worry or go back to relive what is in the past. We must trust the plan, God's will for our lives and in hope.

1 Peter 5:8-9 says, "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings."

The best thing I can focus on is the love of God, loving others and realizing that love is what it is all about anyway. Love is the reason we are here. Love is the reason Jesus did all He did. Love is the reason I was created in God’s image. Love is the reason my eternity is not a mystery, and my life here is purposed. Love is the reason that my God instructs me, guides me and corrects me.

I love His word – every time I read a verse, whether the first time or the 100th time, much is revealed. I am thankful for God’s instruction to focus on the right things and to love Him, to love others and to love this journey, even though and especially since I fail. Through these failures, I learn, and as I learn there is His love to pull me through every time. 

1 Corinthians 13 (The Message)The Way of LoveIf I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love. 
   Love never gives up.    Love cares more for others than for self.    Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.    Love doesn't strut,    Doesn't have a swelled head,    Doesn't force itself on others,    Isn't always "me first,"    Doesn't fly off the handle,    Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,    Doesn't revel when others grovel,    Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,    Puts up with anything,    Trusts God always,    Always looks for the best,    Never looks back,    But keeps going to the end.
Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.
When I was an infant at my mother's breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.
We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Day 559 of Giving Thanks

There truly is no place like home. Our plane landed on time, just the right way to end our vacation. I will start at the beginning of our trip. On Tuesday morning, we awoke at 5:30AM and were out the door with our amazing drive, my daughter, Myranda. We do not travel often, so we always plan with plenty of time – both of us hate to be “stressed out” because we are late, so that was not the case at the airport. We had a leisurely breakfast and I read while Chris played with a new electronic toy. Everything from then on went smoothly and on time.

We arrived at our hotel, unpacked, had a wonderful lunch and we were poolside by 1:30PM. I love the sun, warm weather and experiencing summer. After our fun in the sun, our first night in Las Vegas we did not see a show, walk the strip or really much of anything exciting, but it was something we greatly needed – time together and sleep.

During our time at the pool, I found many opportunities to talk with others, the server, the folks sitting next to us or with those who were standing around in the pool. On Thursday afternoon, our friend sent us a wonderful gift to our room – chocolate, fruit, and more chocolate – that was the night we decided to walk the strip – we looked in the shops, watched the people and had an opportunity to really talk to each other – we had a great time. And another gift was waiting when we returned that evening, six beautiful red roses. It was an absolutely lovely evening, with my absolutely wonderful husband.

There truly is no place like home – where my husband is, my life is and all is wonderful in my world. Thank You God.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Day 558 of Giving Thanks

Lately I have been reading a lot of stories and about stories, as well as learning the meaning behind my own story. For 558 days, I have been sharing bits and pieces of my life, my story. We not only have a story, we also share each other’s stories and that is quite amazing. Every time we cross paths, correspond with one another, introduce someone or even tell a story, the stories intertwine and join, right? Well, really we are already intertwined and joined and have been from the beginning. Our story started with "The story".

One of the easiest things for me to be grateful for is having relationships, people in my life, the ability to connect and just loving others. My entire life has been spent not only creating relationships, but craving them. Being around people always lifts my spirits – and lately, that craving has moved from being around people to being with God.

“So God created humans in his image. In the image of God he created them. He created them male and female.” ~Genesis 1:27

How is that? I was created in His image, right? "He" is actually God, Son and Holy Spirit – the first relationship, the first fulfillment of being relational came before anything came into existence. Now, think of that. Before the heavens and the earth, before the land and sea, before you and me, came the three who is He. With a design for companionship and fellowship, we can always know that we are not alone - yet, we do have an enemy among us – the one that will make an attempt to darken our hearts to our creator. This enemy will work hard to convince many they are unworthy of God’s love or that God does not love them. Feeding lies and weaving the wrong story through their minds.

I am grateful for the relationship that I have with my heavenly Father, the love I have for my savior Jesus, as well as the trust I have in the power of the Holy Spirit in my life. I am thankful that I know that I have come to realize that the story the enemy weaves is one that I was introduced to, and one that I knew well and lived for quite some time is a lie. I am here to tell you that there is another story. And, regardless of how far down "the lie" path you have come, it is just that a lie. Isn’t it time to realize that the real story is one that is created from love and the desire to have relationship with you? It is the real story of a creator and His creation. It is the real love story of truth and tenderness. It is the real story of unending hope and everlasting life.

It is the real story that you are already part of, but just have to believe that truth prevails and there is a hero, a villain and a “happily ever after” for those who choose well. So, who is the hero? Who is the villain? And what does “happily ever after” really mean? For me, it means that I have eternity already settled. It is not a void or a meaningless ending to my life here. It is not a puzzle that is “never solved”. It is a picture that is fully revealed through love. I know this because it is revealed through the relationship I have with my Father, because I chose to believe that Jesus died for me and the Holy Spirit now resides in me and shares with me all that I need to know, when and how. The story is laid before me, ready for me to hear, live and know from the depth of my soul.

Thankfully, I am not the star, but I do have a unique and perfect purpose in this story. I was placed in this role by the creator of the entire story - isn’t that amazing?

Here’s what I know today. If our paths have crossed, there is a purpose. He has His reasons. My prayer for you today, is that He reveal your purpose – your part of His story. That the enemy will loose all holds on your life, and that you will grasp the true story for your life.

Father, as we live our story, may we be wise to Your plan and purpose for our roles. May we see Your path, Your truth and live greatly in Your light.  In the precious and mighty of blood of Jesus, we pray that through the power of the Holy Spirit we can eliminate the life of lies and allow Your hope in truth be embedded deeply in our hearts. In Jesus’ name we pray for these things and for what we don’t know. Amen.

Thank You Father for being my hero always and forever.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Day 557 of Giving Thanks Daily - Guest Writer, Lyn Smith

What an honor to welcome Lyn Smith to our fabulous list of guest writers - she is a wonderful friend (whom I have never met in person, but reap the amazing blessings of her writing and insights). Lyn, welcome to Giving Thanks Daily Writers - Thank you for your beautiful contribution.
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Day 556 of Giving Thanks Daily - Guest Writer, Lyn Smith


One of the most attractive qualities in a person is gratitude. Likewise, one of the most unattractive is entitlement.

When God’s people were embarking on what was supposed to be a short jaunt through the desert, God miraculously provided food they didn’t have to work for. It just appeared. Every morning when they got up, “thin flakes like frost” covered the ground. All they had to do was gather and prepare it. Psalm 78 says, “Men ate the bread of angels” because God rained down manna from heaven.

The bread of angels! Who wouldn’t be grateful for that? 

The Israelites, that’s who. They got tired of it. They wanted something different. Yes, different than the bread of angels.

Hard to believe, huh? Actually, not really. We get the bread of angels everyday.

The very breath we breathe is from God. The fact that we are alive is more than we deserve. He chose to give us life and He sustains it. When we realize how beautiful, perfect and holy He is, and how NOT those things we are without Christ, we can’t ask for anything. All we can do is fall on our faces before Him and thank Him for saving us, for letting us know Him, for letting us be His temples, for letting us serve Him, for letting us speak His name, for letting us experience forgiveness and freedom, for letting us spend eternity in His presence.

Yet, we ask for something different. A new house, a new car, a vacation, more money, a better job, nicer things … and when we don’t get them we are disappointed because for some reason we think we are entitled.


Do we really want what we deserve? 

I’ll take the bread of angels, thanks.
Let me get on my face and say that again … thank You.

















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About Lyn
For more than 20 years, Lyn served in leadership positions with Bible Study Fellowship International (BSF). After years of biblical training under Dallas Theological Seminary's professors and other scholars, she served the last eight years as a Teaching Leader. Each week she trained lay leaders and presented lectures from Scripture to a class averaging 150 women. 
Now speaking and writing in her new ministry, Solid Foundations, Lyn's passion is encouraging, equipping and empowering others to know Jesus intimately and experience freedom in Him.  She co-hosts blog talk radio show "Living Truth" and serves on the Human Trafficking Task Force for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.  
Making her home near Oklahoma City, Lyn is married and has three children. When she's not doing life in her four-inch stilettos, she's being athletic and running in her favorite sneakers.

You can connect with Lyn on Facebook or visit her at her website.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Day 556 of Giving Thanks

I am having a great time with my husband on our Las Vegas trip – and I can’t wait to share some wonderful stories soon. But tonight I want to go back in time to an article that was published last year.

Additional Insights (Original Article, Emerging From the Wreckage, E-Zine)
There are many things that have changed in my life. The word of the year is transformation.

When someone is complaining, whether it is directed at me or in general, I nod, but I am not nodding in agreement with what they say, I am nodding in agreement with who God says I am or what God says is true.

"I am a mighty woman of God. I am lead to the most amazing situations through my days on earth. No matter what I am going through, my Christ went through the worst. My job is to unconditionally love a man who does not know Christ, and see Christ in me. I am a mighty woman of God, and He strengthens me through every uncomfortable moment, attack or disapproval by anyone else - for that is the enemy - looking for the weak spot to jump in and take me down. I will not be moved. I am on solid ground, here. God has my front, my back and all sides completely. Every arrow that comes to me, bounces back to slap the enemy in the face - take that... "

...or something along this line. It varies depending on how pissed off I am, or how hurt I am.

When anyone is negative, focuses on the negative... yada yada...

Today, I FOCUS ON WHAT GOD GAVE ME. I wake up praising that I get to spend eternity (which is a lot longer than my life here); my husband has pain that I will never know. Guilt that will not go away with his ways, and I know that God in him will transform him, so I pray diligently that the Lord will catch him... take his bitterness and turn it into tenderness. My God will take the pain of my husband and make him whole again. I am only unequally yoked in my marriage, but the husband I treasure is the one who died for me - who takes the hits for me every day, seen and unseen. My job, is to love my husband, like Christ loves me. And, who can turn that away?

Reflections

There is so much wisdom in our lessons; I pray that the grieving is minor; and through your journey God is blessing your honesty and all the giving that is ushered my way from my God through amazing people of God.

Know this, I am hearing God. It is hard, because a big part of me wants to just start over and have a life without all the riff and strife. My heart has been broken so much, and it is a daily exercise to seek God and to lay the words or looks or whatever feels wrong with my marriage at His feet. Through the pain I received, I administered pain too. Over the years, my disconnection has been deep wounds and wounds that were representative of Christ to the ones I love; and my heart's desire is to wipe all of that past from existence, and to create a new Christ for those I love through my example. The enemy works hard in my life... but I will not be moved.

During my walk on Saturday as I walked home after meeting Leo, I was in tears, I felt so much grief and loss for a life I so wanted - a husband who adores me, edifies me, supports my every move... but as I did, I was released. What God has in store is greater. My life is being played out here, for a life I will truly live in eternity. Worshiping and loving in ways that tease the senses now.


Greetings and welcome to my life, at least tid-bits of it. My name is Shawn Delia Boreta, and I am honored that you have decided to read some of my story. My life is average and ordinary, by most accounts. And, yes, I want more and every day I get a little bit better in striving. Since I was in high school, I have thought of writing a book to reflect and grow and share; so for now, articles will have to do - to look back on the humor and substance of it all, even with the pain and the tear filled memories still very fresh and alive in my mind, I laugh and smile. My journey in writing these words is both self healing and self expressive. I believe that everyone has their own voice, a voice that sometimes others need to hear or a vision that must be shared or words that just need to be put down for one's own accomplishment. If these words are only read by three sets of eyes, then my mission is accomplished.

There are many things in my life that I cannot explain, and for the first time, it is okay. The circumstances around my birth; varying stories have troubled me my entire life; and others which will be relayed here in these pages and many that are not. And, today, I can honestly say that it does not matter. Forty-five years ago, I entered into the world; helpless, defenseless and dependent. And nothing has changed today. Everything I need has nothing to do with me. I am grateful that this realization arrived about eight years ago. This realization came through a question - "do you believe in heaven?"


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4801370

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Day 555 of Giving Thanks by Tina Wetor

During gym class or childhood games, many of us can recall two children selecting who would be the best for their teams.  As each child was called out, it usually was from the strongest to the weakest.  Or the most popular to the unpopular child, those dreadful times of waiting to be selected.  Can you recall those innocent prayers?  Oh, Lord!  Please don’t let Suzie be on our team or don’t let them pick me.  On the other hand, the last child remaining would have painful questions what is wrong with me?  Why am I always the last one selected?   
Rejection is one of the hardest pains to overcome; it eats away at our hearts.  The inner turmoil of questions rips the heart piece by piece trying to investigate the cause.  It’s one of Satan’s strongest weapons to diminish our self-image and our identity in Christ.  If he can cause us to doubt our worth, we become confused, powerless, and hopeless.  If we walk in the confidence of Christ, we walk victorious.  So, I wanted to share something with you, God has precious thoughts towards us.  Oh, I don’t think you know about my past or my weaknesses.  God can’t have precious thoughts towards me.  Well, I challenge these questions with the Word of God.  Ephesians 1:4 states, “For he choose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.  In love he predestined us to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.”

Regardless of what time period on this earth we live, we are chosen by God to dwell with Him.  Our Heavenly Father’s complete pleasure is adopting us to be His children.  No one was created as an accident, a misfit, or a mistake in the sight of God.  Although we come to Christ in our sin, we can be transformed to a holy and blameless life so we can resemble our Father.   May this truth enter your heart, God PREDESTINED US TO BELONG TO HIM.  We belong.  Nevertheless, God not only predestined us to belong to Him but to complete His will.  We are not without a home or a purpose on this earth, God is my Shalom. 

What’s so amazing, I once didn’t belong to anyone even my own family.  Besides being rejected by my peers, my family didn’t see any promising potential.  It’s sad but true.  This nagging emptiness didn’t fade until I accepted the Lord as my personal Savior.  In His presence, I belong.  The world can completely pass me by or melt away but my soul will boast in the Lord.  Regardless of the battles of life, I am thankful I belong.  As a child of God, my heritage is secure with a seal from the Holy Spirit.  On the day of redemption, I will inherit my heritage-eternal life. 

Sadly, some people never know who they are or where life will lead them.  I admit, I don’t have life all figured out but I have the most important part complete.  I am a child of God.  Since I belong to Him, I have life and a wonderful future ahead whether on earth or in Heaven.  If that doesn’t make one thankful, I don’t know what else would.  


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Tina is a regular writer on Giving Thanks Daily. You can connect with her on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/twetor or visit her blog, Anointed Manna at: http://networkedblogs.com/ietF3

Monday, May 23, 2011

Day 554 of Giving Thanks

I love that my life at home has produced “I love to be home.” What a wonderful thing. Thank You Lord for repairing this part of my life - now, I am ready for Your instruction for the other part of my life.

Lately, I have allowed myself to be anxious, insecure and angry to the point of tears and it had nothing to do with going away. Frustration is a terrible thing, and greatly unnecessary. My frustration comes because I want to respond better, more intelligently – but I respond, internally anyway, with a child-like, temper tantrum, heartbroken mess. What is up with that?

Today I allowed that rising once again. I truly felt as though I would explode – yes, I prayed, but it was short bursts, or outbursts of internal emotion. And that is how my day went, inside my head and a couple of outward moments. In combination with some of the extra physical stuff that has been going on, I was sure that implosion had happened.

As I was driving to get my pre-trip errands done, I had time to slow down my thoughts; dig all the emotions up from the last several months and lay them before the throne of my heavenly Father.

As I am in the middle of a situation – I am reminded that one of my biggest lessons this year has been to love my enemies and love the unlovable AND the biggest is “love one another”. I know this today, I am to write these words deep in my soul; they should be the first thing I think of if I feel overwhelmed with what others do.

All of my life, I have been able to work with others and work things out. And, for some time now I have allowed the enemy to work me into emotional chaos and as he does, my insecurities arise. I have allowed myself to be angry within these circumstances – often times allowing the emotion of a moment to take hold… This is not what God wants for me. He wants me remain in Him at all times. And, if in Him, these emotions cannot take hold, not even for a moment. it is not love my enemy or love one another, it is “all things are possible with God”. And, what is possible is my changed heart – and I am truly of the belief that many times in our lives the people that create the most chaos in our hearts or in our lives should be removed or reduced in our life. And, until that time, I will “Bless those who persecute me”.

Father God, I know that my prayers have been many and often lately and I am so grateful that I can come to You for everything. Tonight my thoughts and heart are a mess of emotions. There is the deep and beautiful thankfulness I have for the time I will spend with Chris on our ‘get away’. I come to You Lord and lay all the ill feelings I have in my current circumstance. Grant me peace as and resolve as I wait for Your instruction for ‘what to do next’. I know you know I am ready in my heart, I ask You make me ready in all other areas. Lord, thank You for the good days I have had, and help me to get through the days that challenging. Remind me, with whatever means necessary, to come to You for help and strength and thank You for answering my calls. Thank You gracious and merciful Father for showing me how to love in the midst of what is not so pleasant, and know that my love for You grows stronger with every day. All these things Lord, I pray in the mighty blood of Jesus. Amen.

Romans 12:7-21 (GOD’S WORD Translation)
7If your gift is serving, then devote yourself to serving. If it is teaching, devote yourself to teaching. 8If it is encouraging others, devote yourself to giving encouragement. If it is sharing, be generous. If it is leadership, lead enthusiastically. If it is helping people in need, help them cheerfully.

9Love sincerely. Hate evil. Hold on to what is good. 10Be devoted to each other like a loving family. Excel in showing respect for each other. 11Don’t be lazy in showing your devotion. Use your energy to serve the Lord. 12Be happy in your confidence, be patient in trouble, and pray continually. 13Share what you have with God’s people who are in need. Be hospitable.

14Bless those who persecute you. Bless them, and don’t curse them. 15Be happy with those who are happy. Be sad with those who are sad. 16Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be arrogant, but be friendly to humble people. Don’t think that you are smarter than you really are.

17Don’t pay people back with evil for the evil they do to you. Focus your thoughts on those things that are considered noble. 18As much as it is possible, live in peace with everyone. 19Don’t take revenge, dear friends. Instead, let God’s anger take care of it. After all, Scripture says, “I alone have the right to take revenge. I will pay back, says the Lord.” 20But, 
   “If your enemy is hungry, feed him.
      If he is thirsty, give him a drink.
         If you do this, you will make him feel guilty and ashamed.”

21Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil with good.


© 2011 Giving Thanks Daily, Shawn Boreta
Web: http://shawnsgivingthanksdaily.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150418958162809

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We are Wonderfully Made (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wonderfully-Made/130178720330362), living to encourage and Equip His People (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Equip-His-People-Ephesians-411-13/170487976325407) and completely committed to believing greatly Psalm 139 with purpose (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Psalm-139-with-purpose/183264461708034).

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Day 553 of Giving Thanks

I am grateful for time with my husband and we are spending a lot of time together lately. I absolutely love it. Last night, we went to a concert and today we went to the Giant’s game. In 32 hours we will be heading to the airport to start our first vacation in nine years. It has been a pretty revealing few months. It truly has been like we are starting over – and that is all God’s doing. All I want is to know that I have always done the right thing when it comes to my marriage. It seems that I am on the right track.
 
Today, my desire is to simply to pray for my marriage – for my husband and our life together.

Father, thank You for where you have brought me; for giving me the opportunity to begin so many parts of my life again; thank You for all the certainties in my life and in all the moments that I know You are right here with me. Father, as we move into our time away, I pray for Your protection from the attacks of the enemy as we continue to restore our marriage. I pray for Your favor. Lord, I am grateful that You go ahead of us through all of our journey. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Day 552 of Giving Thanks

Hanging on to the past is a deeper problem than I ever realized. God has been telling me to live today like the pain of yesterday never occurred – I believe He is, not only referring to the emotional and mental memories, but the physical as well. It has been an amazing journey of giving all the emotions that are unnecessary to God. Learning to give all that is not helpful to God has been a journey, that is less of trial and error, and more of trial and victory. Often, I refer to God’s restoration of my heart as a completely successful open-heart surgery.

I am normally quite transparent, yet I try not to dwell on any one emotion, referring to everything at a distance, while still revealing my heart. Today, as I sit here I am compelled to dig a little deeper; to be not just transparent, but to have “see through” clarity. I have had physical pain as long as I could remember – and today, I believe it dulls only because it is “normal”. This is not meant to boast or to make anyone feel sorry for me for it is what it is. I am grateful that, for the most part, the non-physical pain is resolved, even as new emotions come in, I now know how to handle them. I give everything to God.

“Suffering is a test of faith… God’s love calls you in suffering, respond by self-surrender, and you will learn the mystery of love.” ~J. Messner

For two nights in a row, the pain has been intense and non-stop - as I fall to sleep, I have a sensation that is indescribable and has only subsided with deep conversations to God. The sensation is one that is very familiar to me, it is a pressure which seems to be between the skin and the muscle, aching and sharp pains that are sporadic, and ever moving. For years I pleaded, “make it stop Lord, give me rest”…

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” ~Psalm 73:26
“You're all I want in heaven! You're all I want on earth! When my skin sags and my bones get brittle, GOD is rock-firm and faithful. Look! Those who left you are falling apart! Deserters, they'll never be heard from again. But I'm in the very presence of GOD—oh, how refreshing it is! I've made Lord GOD my home. GOD, I'm telling the world what you do!” ~Psalm 73:25-28 (The Message)

Evolution does occur, and “in me” it seems to be a steady stream of evolving in how I communicate with my heavenly Father – He so desires us to “talk” to Him. To carry on a conversation with Him as I do a friend, a parent, my creator – He so desires me to not only revere Him, but to see Him as approachable and someone I can trust with my deepest concerns, desires and yes, even my pain.

He is my physician, and I must learn with His guidance to become my own best practitioner by listening to my doctor. 

I am given so many reassurances of God’s hand in my life – and I hear Him often through reading His word, listening to His word and just watching those around me. I have learned to not only, “pay attention” but to be “in tune” to that which surrounds me – He surrounds me.

“When I walk into the thick of trouble, keep me alive in the angry turmoil. With one hand strike my foes, With your other hand save me. Finish what you started in me, GOD. Your love is eternal—don't quit on me now.” ~Psalm 138:7-8 (The Message)

So do I still plead with God to “take it away”? On occasion, but for the most part, I just talk to God, share my day, my heart of gratitude and as I drift off to sleep most nights, I feel the lifting of pain and pressure, the infusion of the Holy Spirit taking it away so that I can rest. And every night as I talk to my God, in the power of the Holy Spirit, I know that He knows my needs, my desires and my heart better than I do, so words and pleading for the removal of pain is no longer necessary, but relief is already given.

“He who believes in Me [who cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] as the Scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water.
But He was speaking here of the Spirit, Whom those who believed (trusted, had faith) in Him were afterward to receive. For the [Holy] Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified (raised to honor).” ~John 7:38-39 (Amplified Bible)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Day 551 of Giving Thanks

‎I once thought that I knew what my life would look like, how things would play out. I was a huge planner. Dreaming and planning was my MO. My husband says, “you can dream up the craziest stuff.” Yet, I kept dreaming, planning, waiting and doing and through the years, I became greatly disappointed so many times when things didn’t come out as I dreamed, as I planned, so much waiting and all that effort. Wow!

And the more I dreamed and planned, the more I waited and did. The longer the time, the more disappointment occurred. Now, I am not saying that there were no successes or victories in my life were not what I have dreamed and planned.

"Life is God's novel. Let him write it." ~Isaac Bashevis Singer

I once thought that God was too big to care about me. That my life was just many in the “flock”; that my cares and concerns were just too insignificant to be in His sites.

“Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” ~Luke 12:6-7 and “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” ~Matthew 10:19-20

But in this part of my life’s journey, I hear God. I covet His word; I covet His promises and I believe that every part of me, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually is His. And in being His I am truly cared for. Through His love and tenderness, I have changed. And, most recently, my thoughts are thoughts of God, always, foremost and most importantly. I cannot imagine my life any other way. There is a security in who I am like never before.

I will admit, that when I first became a Christian, I thought “I better do this (accept Jesus), because what if I die, and I haven’t?” And, He still pursued me, loved me, allowed the Holy Spirit to work in me; but I wanted what I am moving toward today – deeply, sincerely and whole heartedly. How about you?

Are you in the waiting arena? Are you waiting for God to do everything? Are you waiting for God to prove that He is there by answering all your requests to get and receive things or to get “your way”?

Or are you sincerely leaning in and moving toward Him?
Do you want to wait until standing before God to realize what it takes to get to heaven? We can do nothing to earn our way - because Jesus did it all. It is what we do with the knowledge of the cross that "gets us in". Reject His gift. Accept His gift. Your choice.

I hear people say every day, “God has never done anything for me”. Oh how my heart breaks, and my prayer is that they can look to the cross and know that that “God” they refer to, did that! Humbled Himself by coming to earth in the flesh; lived a perfect and sinless life; suffered and lived through horrendous torture; He took on every sin ever to be lived out (past, present and future) and carried that weight as He hung on a cross and experienced excruciating and deadly pain; died to rise again. That, my friends is what your God did for you. And, because of “what He did”, you can choose to be with Him in eternity. What a gift. What a choice.

Thank You Lord for doing it all for me, and loving me now and forever, even before I loved and believe in and believed You. Thank You Jesus for doing it all.

But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the authority (power, privilege, right) to become the children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name--” ~John 1:12 (Amplified Bible)

I am Yours Lord, write my life greatly and let me see Your hand as You do so. Let that be my dream and let it be Your plan.




Thursday, May 19, 2011

Day 550 of Giving Thanks

“I feel so lonely sometimes, God. Thank you that even when I have no one else, I always have your Spirit’s presence. Amen.” From the book, Light My Path

At different periods in my life I received a lot of attention, affection and recognition, and felt very lonely and isolated. There have been many times in my life where loneliness, even when being around a bunch of people was prominent in my life. In my younger years, I spent much of my time “running after” approval, acceptance and a sense of belonging and being “liked”. I think of the song, “I can’t get no satisfaction… ‘Cause I try and I try and I try and I try…”, by the Rolling Stones. But don’t ask me to relay all the words, but I do realize that the point of that song is that even though we “try and try and try”, there is still – “no satisfaction”.  It is a song of rejection, as well as self dependence which gets the songwriter nowhere, and always seeking and going after “more”.

“But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today, and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you, O you [people] of little faith?And you, do not seek [by meditating and reasoning to inquire into] what you are to eat and what you are to drink; nor be of anxious (troubled) mind [unsettled, excited, worried, and in suspense]; For all the pagan world is [greedily] seeking these things, and your Father knows that you need them.  Only aim at and strive for and seek His kingdom, and all these things shall be supplied to you also.” ~Luke 12:28-31 (Amplified Bible)

And, I see this all around me today. We, as a society, run after this and that. And as we move onto the next thing we continue to be unsatisfied. I see this even among believers, I have seen it in myself, and I am thankful that I do see it. I am thankful that through prayer and petition to the Lord, He is identifying these areas to me.

This and that, needing attention, recognition and being “needy” all stem from a void – a void of purpose, belonging and knowing where you come from. My life changed dramatically when I knew, truly knew that I am not alone, who I am because of God and where I will be going.

“Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I…” ~Isaiah 58:9

As a citizen of Heaven, how can I not be satisfied? Today, I wake up every day and ask for strength in the moments that “the needy me” surfaces again and I remember that I am happiest, most content and find the most joy in my days when I am serving others.

“Love is the greatest thing that God can give us; for He himself is love; and it is the greatest thing we can give to God” ~Jeremy Taylor

It is our service toward others that will show our love for God, how else could we do it? We are to love like He did, through the cross and does through His abundant grace, and the unlimited mercies and favor in my life. I have never known love like I now know love. It is a love that warms the cold, brings light to the darkest of moments and overflows me with purpose in every day. I know that as I live my life out, even when I "try" and fail, every experience I have will bring me to who I am designed to be. My life here is all in preparation for my life with my God in heaven. My sites, my desires and my life are all purposes for that day when I arrive and live the way I was always meant to live. SATISFACTION.

“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand.” ~Colossians 3:1

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me.” ~John 15:18-21 (NIV)

As a citizen of Heaven, I know that whatever I need will be given, and whatever I desire, that is in the plan will be provided to me – that is not only satisfying, it is comforting. Thank You Father, that you know best, and I have the greatest opportunity to “do” all things in honor of loving You.

“Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.” ~1 Corinthians 1:7 (NLT)

I am satisfied... and eagerly await the rest of what He has for me here...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Day 549 of Giving Thanks

This morning as I began my day, I knew it was going to be one of many calls to my heavenly Father. As my feet hit the floor, it was definitely not a marathon day, but a slow methodical push forward, with a grateful heart for what I am able to do every day because He planned it.

“We plan the way we want to live, but only GOD makes us able to live it.” ~Proverbs 16:9 (The Message)

As I reflect on my day while I wind down for the night – I am grateful for a great day. I am grateful that every day I can choose to “do”, even when things just aren’t moving like I would like them to, or expect them to. There is great comfort in knowing that He watches over every step and when I can no longer step, He carries me to my destination.

“The steps of a [good] man are directed and established by the Lord when He delights in his way [and He busies Himself with his every step].
Though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord grasps his hand in support and upholds him.” ~Psalm 37:23-24 (NIV)

Even though each step came with great effort today, both physical and mental, I had You there. I am glad I will never experience anything in my life alone. Physically and mentally, I am energized and ready for every step.

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." ~Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)

I am grateful for the changes He has allowed in me through all these steps of my journey. As I look in the mirror today, I realized that there is so much change. It is a beautiful sight – as I take a long look and see the Jesus looking back at me. Now, you do it. Take a long look and see the Jesus looking back at you. It is a wonderful image isn't it?

I have only been changed through the work of the Holy Spirit in me. What seemed to be an impossible task at one point in my life, was accomplished because of who He is and who I am because of Him. Every day I find strength when strength should not be possible, and hope is a daily occurrence and an enormous part of my vocabulary today.

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” ~Philippians 4:13
”But Jesus looked at them and said, With men this is impossible, but all things are possible with God.” ~Matthew 19:26 (Amplified Bible)
Grace abundantly. 
Mercy over and over again.
Favor without question.

There was a time in my life, now so long ago, that dwelling in the “what I could not do”, was normal – and it’s amazing, how much is possible because I am confident that I have a helper with everything, including my steps.
”Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It's God's gift from start to finish! We don't play the major role. If we did, we'd probably go around bragging that we'd done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.” ~ Ephesians 2:7-10 (The Message)

I am thankful for the bursts of growth from the ashes - for all the lush among the debris and that is what my Lord has done for me. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Day 548 of Giving Thanks

It is done by being still, quiet and waiting for His instruction. What is “it”? Life. Life as I know it today was busy – over stimulating – my work was confusing – a little dull – yet, it is life as I know it. And then I get my time with my King... awe the extravagance of this time.

Simply said, I cannot do life without the guide of the Holy Spirit, and the power of our extravagant God. How do I describe a God who created me and knew of me from the beginning? How do I describe a God who loves me completely and unconditionally? How do I describe a God who is all-powerful and all knowing who has always been here? How do I describe a God who thought of everything? I just did, but it is only a minor description.

A Prayer for the Ephesians “For this reason, I kneel before the Father, from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name.  I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.” ~Ephesians 3:14-21 

You do not describe an extravagant God by going to a man-created and limiting dictionary that is for sure.

ex•trav•a•gant
1. spending much more than is necessary or wise; wasteful: an extravagant shopper.
2. excessively high: extravagant expenses; extravagant prices.
3. exceeding the bounds of reason, as actions, demands, opinions, or passions.

He lavishly delivers everything I need and everything He desires for me are freely given. He pours out favor abundantly. His passions are revealed through my life, and His desires for my life will only be completely known to me when my journey is complete here. He is generous beyond measure, because He has loved me immeasurably.

"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 11:33-35 (The Message)

It is an honor to live my life that is truly Yours. And, it is an amazing journey I live through in my moments to days. Father, I trust You for everything and am so grateful that I have the opportunity to learn about You every day, through my moments to days. Thank You for Your extravagant love for me, and the extravagance throughout my life. It truly is an honor to know where I come from and who I am. 

I am grateful to be the daughter of an extravagant King who gives the greatest of gifts - simple and extravagant.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Day 547 of Giving Thanks

Sometimes I just need more sleep, and this morning was one of those times; and sleep did I and rested am I. I took the day off from work to rest up and refresh. I slept until 11am. This is the first time I have done that in a very long time. It felt good to wake up and feel like I had actually slept. Thank You Lord for this day of rest that was needed so much.

We have been so busy these past few months with all the home improvement projects that weekends are cram packed that I look forward to work to rest, obviously, said “tongue in cheek”. Today, I was able to spend some quality time doing "catch up" around the house - which, by the way, I am not a great “house wife”, although I really love things in order, neat and clean; in the busyness, I tend to let the neatness part go a bit. But today, I have a top notch house (except for two rooms).

As I went through my day, slowly and methodically, stopping by the dry cleaners, grabbing a few groceries and doing things here, I think of the Proverbs 31 Woman and believe that by the time I am done with my life here that truth will for me, be fulfilled. “Her house is run”, which infers she has help – hmmm, now that is a thought – I have been there before, and yes, so much more is accomplished when one can focus on the things more enjoyed.

Father, whatever You have for me, my prayer is that I am of “noble character”, that Chris “has full confidence in me”, that one day, I will “get up when it is still night” and “my arms will be strong for the task” You have for me. Let me recognize the needy around me and have open arms for them. It is my hope that as I represent You, I am clothed with strength and dignity, I can laugh at the days to come that I always “speak with wisdom, and faithful instruction on my tongue.” Lord keep me “watching over the affairs of the household” and Your ministry and let me “not be idle” or unproductive in my life. Let it be that people know that “I fear the Lord”, and revered as a mighty woman of God before everything. Let it be Lord that when my work is done here for You, that I will have honored You and Your kingdom.


Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character
(Proverbs 31:10-31)
10 A wife of noble character who can find?    She is worth far more than rubies. 11 Her husband has full confidence in her    and lacks nothing of value. 12 She brings him good, not harm,    all the days of her life. 13 She selects wool and flax    and works with eager hands. 14 She is like the merchant ships,    bringing her food from afar. 15 She gets up while it is still night;    she provides food for her family    and portions for her female servants. 16 She considers a field and buys it;    out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. 17 She sets about her work vigorously;    her arms are strong for her tasks. 18 She sees that her trading is profitable,    and her lamp does not go out at night. 19 In her hand she holds the distaff    and grasps the spindle with her fingers. 20 She opens her arms to the poor    and extends her hands to the needy. 21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;    for all of them are clothed in scarlet. 22 She makes coverings for her bed;    she is clothed in fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,    where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them,    and supplies the merchants with sashes. 25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;    she can laugh at the days to come. 26 She speaks with wisdom,    and faithful instruction is on her tongue. 27 She watches over the affairs of her household    and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children arise and call her blessed;    her husband also, and he praises her: 29 “Many women do noble things,    but you surpass them all.” 30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;    but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. 31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Day 546 of Giving Thanks

I had the strangest dreams last night. One in particular left me feeling ready to let go of something I have been grieving for quite some time. Don’t get me wrong, I am not pulling out the “What Dreams Mean” books and diving in; but I do believe that the Holy Spirit works things out 24/7, as we sleep especially.

The Dream
As I was being prosecuted, taunted and belittled. I had a great sense of calm in my position, even though I stood immobile and unable to move and unable to speak – slanderous statements, charges and insane words came at me. None really that I could make out or understand why they were being said (yes it was a dream).

All throughout the dream I could hear and sense God’s tenderness. “Don’t listen to them,” was repeated in a soft subliminal voice, “I am with you”. Awake, this would have been a complete mess of feelings and words meshed into my surroundings, and in my dream I knew it was all “so strange”.

“Let this be done,” was the cry in my heart. I could “feel” the pain of the words and the sting of the moment in my dream. I wanted to cry, but could not and I knew that each tear on the inside was important to God.

When I got my voice in the dream, I “let them have it”. Although, honestly not sure what it was all about, what I said, or how they reacted. I did have a knowledge that I was concise, clear and direct. Then I was in my car and driving away.

I woke up after my dream, and laid there pondering, “What just happened?” I remember recognizing the “players” in my dream – people that have deeply hurt me at some point of my life. And, without any hesitation, I knew that life would begin again; that all that hurt was handled, that the loss I have been grieving, is not a loss I will reflect on with a grieving heart any longer, but a joyful heart, ready to receive my future with open arms. And, I was driving again…

Awake
I hadn’t been awake after all. Wow – I am thankful that “life” is not like a dream. I am thankful that my life, when I look at all the pieces, I know that the power of the Holy Spirit will bring understanding and order to it all. I am thankful that even though my circumstance may “feel”, just like my dream, God is in control, and I never have to wonder why, but realize that “why” is not the wonder at all. The only why I ever need to know is why He did His work on the cross – so I can understand and my life will have order and His purpose will be fulfilled as I live out my life.

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

Day 545 of Giving Thanks

I got to talk to my mom today. She moved from Colorado to Nebraska about a month ago, and I haven’t had a chance to talk to until today. She sounds happy and amazing. She is 86 years old, and recently decided to move back to Nebraska, which I was completely against in the beginning, mostly because I was placing my values and opinions and expected it to be the priority position. I am grateful that I was able to visit my mom a couple months before she moved; hear her reasons and know that in her heart, it was the right thing for her to do.

"The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. But I, God, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be." ~Jeremiah 17:9-10 (the Message)

As I sit here tonight, I marvel at how God works all things for His good. How He takes a heart and changes it when appropriate.

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

I am the baby of the family, yet I grew up alone, because my brother and sister are 17 and 19 years older than I am. Quite honestly, I believe that it has been a total advantage throughout my life because of it – according to others, I missed the sibling situation, but according to where I have ended up, I really had the best of both worlds.

I have been the voice of reason in many circumstances and it is only because I have a mighty God swaying my opinions. So, why was I so against her moving in the first place… She is eighty six, I felt strongly that a move would take too much out of her – that maybe she wasn’t coming up with the right reasons and I was listening to the wrong people when it came to my mom’s situation. So, God worked it out. He got me to Colorado at the exact perfect time – and I knew that the move was right, and my heart was changed completely toward the situation.

I am thankful for how God works. I am thankful for my mom and her joy in her circumstances right now. I am grateful that my God has orchestrated all of this so wonderfully. There is more to the story. There is a story of redemption for someone very special to my mom. A chance to make restitution for things done in the past, which caused much hurt and heartache. And, this same God, allowed an amazing act of forgiveness toward that same person from me. There is an amazing story behind every moment. Often times I take advantage of so much, and limit what God can do regularly. Recognizing this and recognizing how God does it all, seamlessly, perfectly and with His purpose in mind.

My mom, is in a great place, both emotionally and physically. Her journey, at least this part of it, is sanctioned and directed by our heavenly and tender Father.

All I want Lord is to do the right things at the right times – to know Your presence and to follow your lead. Thank You for being here at all times and giving me the opportunity to do so.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Day 544 of Giving Thanks

Some of my favorite verses, the words that He has melted to my heart from the fire of my lessons, and now from the fire that burns so hot inside of my soul. Father, I thank You that You can use me; every day I learn something new about me, about You about my journey. Every day I am grateful for every aspect of my life and I am grateful that these truths are embedded deeply and tenderly within me.

A good friend shared this verse with me when I was a baby Christian, but I did nt fully comprehend what it was for me until last year. “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” - Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV)

I have been tired, more tired and overwhelmed with physical pain than I could bear in the last few years, and coming to God, knowing what Jesus did for me and having the Holy Spirit to guide and direct my every moment has been such a comfort. “Come to me, all who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (GOD’S WORD Translation)

Over and over, I have called, and every time, He has answered. And every day, I learn more and more. “Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognize, have knowledge of and understand).” ~Jeremiah 33:3 (Amplified Bible)

I dwelt in Isaiah for months while God reaffirmed that I am special and I count; that no matter what my past is, it is the now with Him that matters because He loves me. And, I am in His favor always – He comforts me always.
Isaiah 61:1-3
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.

Know this my friends, if you are experiencing a time that is tough, seems hopeless He is Your hope. He delivers on all His promises.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Day 543 of Giving Thanks

I was feeling very tentative again today. I felt a little apprehensive and unsure until I truly quieted my heart and allowed God to settle in and take control. Have you ever felt like that? Have you had moments, hours, even days of feeling unsettled or unsure of what your next step would be? It is quite unnerving, isn’t it?

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." ~John 10:10 (ESV)

Softly and tenderly, He calls.
Mightily He delivered.
Passionately He draws me nearer and nearer.

It has been a long time since I had those moments, and seems forever that it lasts longer than a couple hours. During the last few weeks, I have had a stirring. And, this stirring is creating a sense of urgency in my spirit to do something new. To really dive into what God has next for me. This has been my “sense” for the last year, however, it hasn’t felt necessary – and now it does.

Now, there is a difference between these stirrings and the unrest I once had – unrest that kept me unsure of who I was, where I came from and not knowing that I was loved beyond measure. Now, these stirrings are knowing that He has a plan for me and that my purpose is specific to my uniqueness as a daughter of the King.

There was a time in my life when change occurred often; it was an addiction of sorts; change of job, change of relationships, change or scenery, in fact, I changed the furniture around compulsively. I have waited my entire life to “do what I was designed” to do – and I cannot wait to see it realized. There is an excitement in knowing that He made me, and is equipping me through all I have been through, using both what He chose for me, and what I misshaped toward to see His plan through.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
The Lord God is always with me... He is my shelter, my protection and provision. It is a wonderful and amazing thing, isn't it. All of my life He is here and in eternity we will sing His praises. “The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” ~Psalm 46:7 (NIV)


Today, as He softly and tenderly, calls me – I HEAR HIM. 
Mightily He delivered on His promises – I AM GRATEFUL. 
Passionately He draws me nearer and nearer to His desires for my life, His plan to glorify Him through what He has for me – I KNOW HIS PRESENCE GREATLY.
O' let me hear You Lord over and over.
Let me abide through the love I have deep and wholly for You.

In the moments of quiet today, I hear Him calling -
Dear Child,
Be calm, I am here to sooth your fears.
Be assured, I have already done all you need.
Be still, I have great things planned for you.
Be with me, for I am the only way.
Your heavenly Father

How can I not trust my God?
How can I not know that my life is special and purposed?
How can I not believe His promises?
How can I not revere all that is great and awesome in my life?

If I go through my life “believing” that I am walking a tight rope, then the fall will be painful. I must go through life understanding it is a journey. A journey where the ground is solid because my guide is solid, then I will move through my journey gracefully.

It’s time to step on to solid ground, and never forget who is with me. I am grateful that in the tentative, apprehensive or unsure moments, I remember to call on Him to be with me, to comfort me and hold onto to me in a way that life is never in the balance, and always definite and complete.

DEFINITE AND COMPLETE“All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.  For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” ~John 6:37-40 (NIV)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Day 542 of Giving Thanks

There have been several things that I have allowed to get “under my skin” in the past few months. I have been praying for clarity and wisdom, yet my heart has been irritated and not so quiet. I am thankful that even through my troubled and wounded heart the Holy Spirit translates the appropriate message to my heavenly Father. I believe He hears my pleas and He has already answered my prayers. Now I wait for it all He will reveal.

It has truly been a fight daily to stay focused on the “right” things and to hear the “right” voice. I find it so easy to be sucked into chaos, negativity and strife – lets just say “old habits die hard”.

"When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. 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.

Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." ~Psalm 73:21-26 (NIV)

Another day ends Lord, and I come to You and I am reminded that it is not my fight, but Yours and it has already been completed. It is my thoughts that I fight with, not my surroundings. For my thoughts are the only thing I can control, all other things are out of my control. Father, it is impossible for me to know what to do, and yet I keep trying on my own.

 “The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” ~Psalm 46:7 (NIV)


Thank You Lord for Your whispers, urgings and nudging that keep me coming back to You moment after moment. Thank You for my friends who also fight through similar challenges, although very different circumstances we can relate, hold one another up and even cry together - thank You for my sisters Lord. Help us see the possibilities that You have already laid before us. Allow our minds to free the past, eliminate the noise and hear You, truly hear You.

Draw us nearer mighty God, we plead that You pry the door open, give us the strength to lean in, push forward and see the light on the other side, as well as the light right before us. Minister to us Jesus through Your work on the cross and show us sacrifice in our lives worthy of You. Let us walk through our lives in humility and confidence knowing that You have already done it all for us.

We depend on You Lord, and trust Your plan for our lives. We pray that our experiences give us the wisdom necessary to walk Your path in strength. In the power of Jesus’ blood we pray, and thank You for carrying us to glorify You. Amen.

“God is good, a hiding place in tough times.
He recognizes and welcomes anyone looking for help,
No matter how desperate the trouble.
But cozy islands of escape
He wipes right off the map.
No one gets away from God.
Why waste time conniving against God?
He's putting an end to all such scheming.
For troublemakers, no second chances.
Like a pile of dry brush,
Soaked in oil, they'll go up in flames.” ~Nahum 1:7-10 (The Message)

I sat here tonight and vented, poured my heart out and, I felt no better… I knew that what I needed to do was pray – pray for those who prosecute me, right? I am to love others because He loves me. And, just like He created me in tenderness and love and compassion, He also created others in the same manner, in tenderness and love and compassion.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” ~Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV)

© 2011 Giving Thanks Daily, Shawn Boreta
Web: http://shawnsgivingthanksdaily.blogspot.com/
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*****************
We are Wonderfully Made (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wonderfully-Made/130178720330362), living to encourage and Equip His People (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Equip-His-People-Ephesians-411-13/170487976325407) and completely committed to believing greatly Psalm 139 with purpose (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Psalm-139-with-purpose/183264461708034).

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Day 541 of Giving Thanks

Thirteen Years and Counting
On May 10th, 1998 my life changed – I was a single mom and career woman. I had been single for a few years, dated a little, however, found that most men were immature, self-centered and without a clue of what a “mom” needed. I had not dated in about six months and I was quite content, or was I? I believe I spent most of my adult life looking for someone who would make me feel special, amazing and the “best thing”. I answered a Yahoo Singles ad – something about him looking for his soul mate, enjoys sports, outdoors activities and fires on a cold day… now a couple of these are true – just kidding.

It was Mother’s Day, and my daughter and I were spending our day at home with one of her friends – so I was playing mommy to both of them; as they played, I was working on a proposal that was due the following week, cruising the internet researching data for a feasibility study. In the process, I thought it would be fun to find some folks to “jam” with. And started looking at the personal’s ads for someone who played guitar, “yeah right”, you say.  Well, whatever my internal motive, I answered one ad and within an hour, I was chatting back and forth with “Chris”.

Through the afternoon, in between pizza for the girls, finishing up a proposal and folding laundry, Chris and I chatted for hours. And, by 8pm, once Myranda was in bed, we decided to talk on the phone. We spoke until very early in the morning. We “just knew” after talking, sharing stories and talking about dreams, that there was a connection – similar backgrounds, likes and goals. Within three months and twelve days we were married… yeah I know, sounds far-fetched, but true.


Today, in honor of the love of my life, I am going to share one reason for every year we have been together, and I know that I am with the perfect mate. These are things that I am grateful for.

One – He has stuck it out through all my craziness.
Two – We have been through many storms, and are still making it.
Three – He has a wonderful sense of humor, and I “get it” most of the time.
Four – We have realized forgiveness in our lives.
Five – We complement one another, what he starts, I improve, what I start, he finishes and vice versa.
Six – My daughter loves him and he loves her.
Seven – He understands me better than I understand myself at times, and shares these insights often; I am finally listening.
Eight – We have a great time hanging out.
Nine – We agree in many areas, decorating, entertainment and home.
Ten – We are a miracle couple, only God could have done what has been done.
Eleven – He is caring, giving, loving and encouraging, especially when I don’t deserve it…
Twelve – We are realizing that we are right for one another.
Thirteen – He is my best friend, the love of my life and who I pray for every day.

Lord, it is because of You that my life is what it is – though I have been disobedient, evasive and haven’t listened to Your instruction, You have given me a marriage that I covet and honor. Thank You for Chris, my life and giving me hope daily. Thank You for being part of my marriage and my life.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” ~ Ecclesiastes 4:9-12  


 
Our Twelfth Anniversary http://shawnsgivingthanksdaily.blogspot.com/2010/08/day-286-of-giving-thanks.html


Monday, May 9, 2011

Day 540 of Giving Thanks

As I read through the first part of Genesis, I stopped and contemplated all the possibility of this beginning. I have been in some pretty deep and, frankly very much "out of my comfort zone" conversations with some people who believe very differently than I do, in fact other end of the spectrum "belief". And, as I continue to read, and with the love in my heart for my God, the one I whole heartedly believe is the creator of the heavens and the earth and all things, my heart breaks for a heart that is so hard that any form of light is shaded and shut off.

Before I became a Christian, I was full of light, an open heart to things spiritual - but you mention God and I became defensive dark and antagonistic. My life did not reflect a "God in it", according to me at the time. With failures and abuse, and wrong thinking, and wrong seeking I was very dependent on what “I could do”.

I scoffed, laughed and mocked all my friends and family who were "Christians", if not to their faces, behind their backs, to what, make myself feel better about where I was? You know, those were times that I felt the worst about myself.

My personal claim is that if I am right, then God is pleased. If I am not (which believe me, I have no doubt at all), then all I have done is live a life of edifying others and living in a hope of so much more than a life of void and skepticism. And, truly that is what the "gotcha" was for me. "What if... what the bible says is true?" was my first question - opening the door, allowing God to infiltrate into that little gap. Then the wall would appear, and the light would shut down. My "mind" "reason of the unproven, most of the time" took over.

I am grateful that I am who I am, and have become who I am today. It is a “me”, I would have never dreamed to exist, yet, here I am full of light, and a heart filled with God.

I love everyone. When I was younger and served in a restaurant, my daily goal was to get a smile from every table. And, in my mind, I never failed - does that mean everyone smiled? Actually, I believe they did. I would imagine them leaving and getting into their car and chuckling at the "nice girl" who waited on them. The other side, is the cynical one "everyone is mean, unfriendly a major pain" - and although these views are probably true, doesn't it just feel better to have the first outlook?

Really, not much has changed, I still like to make people smile – there is one change however, I also want people to know the truth and to see hearts transform.

My gifting is compassionate care and relationships, loving people comes naturally. Edification no matter where they come from. But I do expect respect, as I will give it as well.

I can be completely battered and bruised, and just like a fighter, after binding the brokenness, salving the wounds, icing the injuries, I can go right back at it. And the more I know I am not alone, the more I know that my life is purposed, that I am a mighty woman of God, the more I can take on in the ring. The more rounds I can take and the stronger and tougher I become.

So, back to my reading in Genesis. What else besides a compassionate, loving caring God would create us? How would we all be so individual and unique? A big bang did occur and it was when God said "Let there be light," and there was light."

        “So God created man in his own image, 
       in the image of God he created him; 
       male and female he created them.” ~Genesis 1:27

Or the world was made into existence with a boom, and random acts of atoms and molecules came together and created everything you see today….

Father, we live in a world of so much confusion – we know that there is one truth, a truth that has been over and over revealed. Lord we pray for the hearts that are hardened, that if there is movement to be made in softening their stance, their views that You move them. Almighty God, in Your presence I ask to be, confident in Your word, words relayed and lessons to absorb. Lord, I ask that I be strengthened in conviction through the Holy Spirit, that my understanding is SOLID, clear and perfect. Thank You Lord, for my life, my journey, my convictions and You in it.

In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.



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.