Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Day 653 of Giving Thanks

There are many days as I begin to write that I get a nudge and then, there is a whisper, “erase and begin again”.

I have learned to listen for that well now. Tonight is one of those nights. I have started and restarted, and I hear, “nope”, “try again”.

As I reflect on my day, which is right where He brought me, I see much resting in His word, much comfort in the quiet. My days are typically very full. I work full time, and often work a bit beyond “closing time”. So, a day off is a great reward, even if I was dealing with a headache.

I was in the book of Matthew today – and I read and read, and dabbled in Isaiah, Psalms, John and Habakkuk as well.

During my quiet time this morning, I heard, “peace” and it seeped deep into my thoughts… ‎"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." ~John 14:27 (NIV)

‎"You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in YOU." ~Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)

And as my mind directed to the world we live in, I was reminded, that peace is not what we experience in the world, but is a sense that we have within ourselves. The world cannot provide what we need only He can.

The only peace we will have is the peace in knowing our mighty God, and knowing what Jesus did for me; wisdom is only given through the power of the Holy Spirit, and that is where our peace lies. Seek Him, let go of the pain and fear AND lay everything before Him. Peace He will give you.

I am grateful for the time God allowed for His word to steep deeply in me today; it was a day filled with so much wonderful reading and aha and comforting moments.

As I read through Matthew, I stopped for some time in Chapter 8...then, on and on I read.

Wow, how He spoke to me. It appears to be subtle, yet it is very clear.  
Healing - Jesus says to the leper, "I want to. Be clean." ~Matthew 8:3
Healing - complying to the Centurion, "Go. What you believed could happen has happened." ~Matthew 8:13

Now I take both of these verses to heart today and for this ‘continued season’ of physical pain. Today, I will go and what I believed could happen (healing, freedom from physical pain) HAS ALREADY HAPPENED… The Centurion believed that deeply, how can I believe with that much conviction and depth. This is the believe I desire wholly and completely. And, last week’s voyage through Mark gave me my next thought, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" ~Mark 9:24 (NIV)

And, as I continued to read, clearly, LIFE is His desire for me. "But Jesus told him, “Follow me now. Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead." ~Matthew 8:22 (NLT)

Right there, Jesus gives me permission to focus on Him… in fact, so much so that if you “can’t”, why bother. Go with Him among the living. Amen, what an amazing word. Let me be among the living, and completely leave the dead.

Then I was reminded… to let this all settle in, and be quiet and still. "But oh! God is in his holy Temple! Quiet everyone—a holy silence. Listen!" ~Habakkuk 2:20 (The Message)

During the times that I was not in the word or quietly absorbing and reflecting, I allowed a distraction, to once again, take hold – I must remember that those in the world will argue perfusely, without avail or respect; and I will be away from what God would have me do. And, yet, more pieces came flooding into my mind. Be like a child (Matthew 11:24-26 & 18:4), the touching of His robe by the woman who bled (Matthew 9:20).

And, now it settles and steeps some more. Thank You Lord.  





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


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Day 652 of Giving Thanks

The distractions are everywhere. The come in pretty packages, as well as distress and challenge. When I focus on what is before me, I cannot focus on what surrounds me. Father, today there have been many distractions, mostly those that typically cause distress and will be followed by a challenge or two. However, I will not fall into the traps of the enemy – where I get so involved in what is going on, that I cannot see what is to come.

Let me remember Your word, when I begin to be somewhere other than where you will me to be. Let me remember, “…I will treat them with kindness. I will watch over them and bring them back to this land. I will build them up and not tear them down; I will plant them and not pull them up. I will give them the desire to know that I am the Lord. Then they will be my people, and I will be their God, because they will return to me with all their heart.” ~Jeremiah 24:5-7 (Good News Translation)

Father I am so grateful for the guide from the Holy Spirit. I am grateful that when I find my circumstances (the distractions) taking over, that I am nudged, pushed or otherwise reeled back into Your presence. I pray for depth; for a sense of purpose is all I read and study. I pray that I will not know distraction for what it once was, but a move toward You in times when things seem to be too much for me. I pray that I am constantly reminded that I am Yours, that I have a purpose and the world and/or enemy have nothing that can take my eyes off of You.

Father, I continue to pray that Your people can be bold and focused on You during trials and challenges. I pray that those who oppose You will get tired of the non-productive work. We pray for protection against the enemy and those who oppose You so fervently. Let us Lord be in Your presence often and depend on the strength, wisdom and discernment of the Holy Spirit as we minister to others and represent You. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

Let me remember, “Let (me) try to know the Lord. He will come to (me) as surely as the day dawns, as surely as the spring rains fall upon the earth.” ~ Hosea 6:3 (Good News Translation)

Let me remember, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” ~2 Timothy 3:16-17 (New International Version)

Let me remember, that God is God, and that is enough. 



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



Monday, August 29, 2011

Day 651 of Giving Thanks

As I drove home this evening, the question came across my radio, “Are you sharing the gospel with others? How are you doing it?” And, I was once again brought back to the day I was asked, “Do you believe in heaven?” That day, although there were many people who ministered to me before then,  that question was the beginning of this journey. Before than I dead among the dead, but believing that I was living greatly.  Life was in order, I had my daughter with me, I was married to the man of my dreams, we had an amazing new house, I was starting a great business and yet, as I answered, “Of course I believe in heaven”, it was the next question that stopped in my tracks.

“How do you get there?” I was a professional, rarely stumped and rarely speechless, however, I could hear myself stumble over my words, “Get there? Heaven? Hmmm. Well, if you lead a ‘good’ life, you will get there.” Before the words even left my mouth, I realized how ridiculous that sounded. And, my mind continued, “How do you define ‘good’?” And, it was that moment, that I knew I needed answers. Answers to questions I had really never asked before. Answers to questions that I know others have asked.

I wasn’t won over with verses or reading the bible, but I did read the bible and stop on verses that caught my attention; I was won over by the compassion of the person ministering to me. Through his love for Christ, he answered my questions or directed me to the answers.

It wasn’t many years before than that I had completely written God off, cut Him out of my life. In fact, I did not want anything to do with “that God”. I was convicted, however, I couldn’t really explain how it all happened, I just know that I had been hurt, abandoned, ill, addicted and was emotionally and physically done with trying to “get to God”, to “win God’s favor” or “learn about God”. “He had his chances”, was my thought, “where was he when…” was another.

On October 30, 2002 (my husband’s birthday), after six or seven months of having my heart and life exposed by God, I heard Him for the first time, “Come to me. I am here. I have been here all along – do you remember?” And the faces of every person who ministered to me flashed before my eyes; every word spoken to me in the love of Christ, was refreshed in my mind from childhood friends to family to people I had met out and about. It was hours of “flash backs” and reflection that could not be explained. I had been attending a church, while all the exploration and open heart surgery was going on  for those many months; and I did recall, John 3:16 and the words, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Did I believe? What did I believe?

I don’t know how it happened, but one day I called my friend who had been guiding me along, and asked, “If I died today, and I was still on the fence, I still have questions, what would God do?” And, my friend’s answer showed so much compassion and tenderness, “Shawn, are you truly seeking Him, and asking Him to guide you with your decision?” I answered sincerely, “Yes, absolutely, I am serious about this.” And, he continued, “God knows your heart, even before you do. He knows right where you’re at. He will lead you the rest of the way.”

As I settled back in, I realized every sin, every sinful thought that crossed my mind. I did not want to have the weight of my entire life unsettled, unresolved, so I knew it was time.

And, if I do believe, what next? Romans 10:9 says, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

I believe that God, who is my God, my creator, knows that I am a sinner, that I can never live up to the perfection to be in His presence. So, the plan all along was for me to be redeemed by Jesus Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. My faith is defined by my daily interaction with God, and being able to learn who He is through every lesson. I am totally and hopefully in love with God. I define my belief as strong, and my stand is firm. I am grateful for His calling so urgently and tenderly to me and the assurance I wake up to and go to sleep to daily.

Where are you? Do you know where you will spend eternity? If you have questions, He has the answers, and He will lead you to the right place to find what you need and desire. My prayer for you today is that you will open your heart and allow that open heart surgery, by the amazing physician, I call God.

If you are tired and weary (Matthew 11:28), you can call on Him (Jeremiah 33:3), He is your hope and joy when everyone else has abandoned you (Psalm 34:18, John 3:16, Psalm 3:3-6)

“For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth.” ~Psalm 71:5(ESV)





















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




Sunday, August 28, 2011

Day 648 of Giving Thanks- Sue King

Who do you love?

It used to be a game my children played before bed each night. Something to postpone that eventual moment when I would say goodnight to them and turn out the lights. At first the names were few- mum, dad, brothers, a sister, grandparents. But as my children’s worlds expanded and their social contacts grew, so did their lists- now including friends, extended family members, teachers. Pets began to be included, favoured toys and once even my son’s precious soccer ball. Anything to delay the moment when the light was switched off and the cosy moment ended.

One night I asked “But who do you love the most?” My son, without a second’s hesitation said “God.” Now that could have been the answer you may have been expecting…but for me it was totally unexpected. I expected my beautiful 6 year old son to say that I was. That it was me who was the most important person in his life- the one he loved most. He rarely left my side and we did everything together. I was the one who nursed him through severe reflux, multiple ear infections. It was me who took him everywhere he needed to go, cleaned up after him, nurtured him, comforted him when he cried. But it was God he loved the most? Our family was not a Christian family. We never attended church; never spoke about God. How did this little boy know who He was? How had he come to know Him well enough to say that he loved God more than me? I was so hurt and confused.

For a long time after that we didn’t play the ‘Who do you love’ game. I bought some new books and we started a new routine, sang some favourite songs instead.

A few years passed and my son began attending children’s church activities on his own initiative. Soon after he led me to Christ. He was 12 years old. As I grew to know the Christ that he seemed to know about by instinct, I began to love and trust Him because of the love He showed me.

“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”~ Romans 5:8

I came to see the God that my son knew. Came to know that I also loved Him the most. Came to understand that He is the one that I must always seek first. Came to know that until I loved God the most, I would never be empowered to love others in the way that God wants us to love them. Until I love Him first, I will never be supernaturally empowered to love the world unconditionally as He requires of me.

“I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”~ Ephesians 3: 16-20




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

Friday, August 26, 2011

Day 647 of Giving Thanks - Tina Wetor


Well, I admit it tonight; I got two black eyes or a sore bottom from my best friend and my daughter.  Sometimes, we need to be kicked in the bottom, to get our head on straight.  At the beginning of the day, I found my bank account in the negative, a job interview didn’t turn out, and my landlord will not make the repairs around our house.   As I balance the check book, I am beyond stressed because of the lack of funds to pay all of the bills.  My father who is battling cancer isn’t doing well, he is a million miles away, and I can’t assist him.  All of these issues have been weighing me down, can you relate? It’s easy to allow the cares of the world to choke us; it stops our breathing or ability to think.  Also, it can choke us from allowing the peace of Christ to dwell freely.                

"The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful."  ~Matthew 13:22

Sometimes as the circumstances rise, we make unwise decisions.  We need to bathe everything in prayer, trust in God’s ability, and wait for the answer.   Prayer isn’t always a simple event, its combat with our enemy.  When we pray, we are entering our battlefield.  So, it’s important to realize our enemy is properly prepared for face to face combat.  As you read Ephesians 6:12, the word “against” is used quite frequently.   So, the enemy has a planned army of rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of the dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

So, in other words Satan has weapons, warriors, and people he uses to come against us.  It isn’t the flesh and blood we fight but the dark realm of Hell.  Well, it’s time to kick some butt, Satan’s.  If we are going to defeat him, we need to be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  We need to be confident as God’s children, we are not defeated.  If you haven’t read the last chapter of the book, WE WIN!!!  Nevertheless, we will have battles with Satan on earth until Jesus comes; we just have to be prepared.

 As we are confident in the Lord, we will have the strength to oppose the attack.  It’s only in the Lord’s strength, it’s not our strength.  In the physical sense, Satan is more powerful, we can’t defeat him.  It’s only through the covering of the blood of Jesus; we have the power to overcome.

When Paul wrote the passage in Ephesians, he was using the metaphor of the battles within their day.  People would come to watch two people fight in battle; it wasn’t over until someone died or was defeated.  It was a bloody battle, so bloody we would tell the children to turn the TV off.  It wasn’t a normal fight, so we need to be prepared with armor.  What’s so amazing, God’s Word equips us for these opportunities.  Now, I am not saying Satan is behind every bush or tree; sometimes we are the cause of our problems.  For example, we arrive late to work too many times, our boss writes us up.  Well, the devil wasn’t responsible for not setting the alarm or leaving late.  When you are in spiritual warfare, God will reveal it.  Sometimes Satan will knock on our front door, we are not prepared.  It’s alright; Jesus will answer it for you.  God will ALWAYS protect what’s His!  He will shelter us under His wings, we have refuge. (Psalm 91)

As I stated earlier, I was very overwhelmed with my day with worrying about money for food, bills, and school supplies.  So, I advised my friends, I would be taking a break from ministry; I needed to clear my head.  Nevertheless, my best friend really rebuked me harshly with truth, I love her for it.  If that wasn’t enough, my daughter approaches me about a passage in the Word, she wanted to share.  Well, I got rebuked from the mouth of “babes” as my daughter read Matthew 6.  God spoke the answer, “I have just been “choked” with the cares of the world, I forgot to breath.  Breathe.  God created us for life to be used for His glory despite the circumstances, our feelings, our failures.   Satan wants us to walk defeated, unsure, and fearful.  It’s time to be strong in the Lord and in HIS mighty power.   Although my day started with fear, it ended in victory.  Our prayers don’t go unheard, God is listening intensely to each one, and they are so precious-He writes them down.  Nevertheless, be prepared when God does answer, He will surprise you with who He uses to answer.


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

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Day 646 of Giving Thanks

I am alive! And, I am loving life! And, what says how I feel the best for today is through Psalm 116. “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 life!" GOD is gracious—it is he who makes things right, our most compassionate God. GOD takes the side of the helpless; when I was at the end of my rope, he saved me.”

“Lord, help me make my life a prayer, rather than having prayer in my life.” ~Shawn Boreta

What are your hopes for your life? Are they defined? Can you visualize the components, the milestones and the outcome with eyes open, as well as eyes closed? Do your hopes include God?

These are the questions that run through my mind as I ask God to help me formulate His purpose for me.

Does my passion use my gifts? Are my gifts used to help others? How do I involve others? Do others see the same passion oozing from my actions? Do I encourage others? Can I others see God in my life? Will I know when to connect the dots? Will I see the challenges and hurdles as ways to grow?

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2–4 (NASB95)

And, I will repeat, “I love YOU LORD, for YOU heard my voice; YOU heard my cry for mercy. Because YOU turned his ear to me, I will call on YOU as long as I live.” (rev. Psalm 116:1-2, NIV) 

There is no earthly word to meet the definition in my heart for this kind of love. It is not only commanded, but wholly desired.

You are my portion.
You are my strength.
You are my refuge.
You are my comfort.
You are my safe place.
You are my God.
You are my Savior.
You are everything.

"Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'" ~Matthew 22:37 (NIV)


When doubt sets in, I hear these words tenderly, firmly and lovingly, “You are His treasure. It's time that you treat yourself that way. Remember that the words you say to yourself are speaking of God's creation; God's cherished one; God's daughter or son; the one He went to the cross for.

What are your words telling you? Make them count and honor Him...

Remind me often Lord, that when I cannot find the words, that they will be delivered perfectly to You through the Holy Spirit, in Jesus’ name.


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

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Day 645 of Giving Thanks - Shawn Boreta

This was an early morning and as I arrived at work, I knew I had a bunch of time to read before beginning my day. I spent some time perusing through the Book of Acts – today, I saw it as a book of hope, more so than any other time I have read it. I am reminded of how precious the gifts we received from our heavenly Father. The gift of eternal life, with just a calling to the Lord, “Then whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved;” Acts 2:21 and the gift of the Holy Spirit, “Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” ~Acts 2:21, 38-39

Now as I consider these two chapters, I am in awe of what has been left as evidence for us to know Him; for when our hearts are open, and our intent sincere, He is revealed amazingly. That is truly what I am grateful for.

“…but that the world through Him may be saved." ~John 3:17 

Yet, there are many who will dismiss any thoughts of Him being who He said He is. They will not choose to accept His gift, His offering that is so freely given. And, they will miss out on the most wonderful expectation of all – eternity assured – with a simple choice.

“He is the payment for our sins, and not only for our sins, but also for the sins of the whole world.” ~1 John 2:2

I am grateful that I chose well. I could have been one of the many who will go through life, always searching and “missing out” on what is right before them. They will desire change, truth and justice and not see that it is within their grasp. There will be guilt, condemnation, fear and anger for decisions made – as they travel their life’s journey they will not have unending hope, limitless love, forgiveness for the unforgivable acts, mercy in times of brokenness and abundant favor. There will be no “out” once we leave this earth; my prayer every day is for those who do not choose Him.

”He wants all people to be saved and to learn the truth.” ~1 Timothy 2:4

With this simple choice of accepting His gift, I have a life of hope beyond measure, love like no other love, undeserved grace, tender mercy, amazing favor and a journey that is heaven bound. I have life. I know there is nothing I could ever need, want or desire more.

His gift – that cost much, yet free to us, lives within us. At my death, I was baptized with the Holy Spirit, reborn… saved by amazing grace and now I truly live.

“…but wait for the gift I told you about, the gift my Father promised.  John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” ~Acts 1:4-5

“And another baptism He gives - a baptism in love. Our Jesus desires to wash us with a never-ending river of liquid love. A love so deep, so profound that we are 'ruined' for any earthly thing called by the same name.” ~Sue King

“There is one body and one Spirit, just as there is one hope to which God has called you. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism there is one God and Father of all people, who is Lord of all, works through all, and is in all.” ~Ephesians 4:4-6
















All verses are from GOD’S WORD Translation (GW) today.


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

Monday, August 22, 2011

Day 644 of Giving Thanks

Thirteen years ago I married the man of my dreams, and today, I still feel the same way. Chris and I have an interesting start, we met online, through Yahoo Singles on May 10th, Mother’s Day and we were married that same year on August 22nd. We have been on rocky roads to smooth sailing to major detours to completely turned around, but today, we are on the right path and heading on that same path together.

We are still learning and as we go, we are growing together and into better individuals in the process. I am grateful that neither one of us “gave up” when things got tough, or “quit” because things were difficult. We have received many blessings because of our persistence and our stamina.

Today, I am thankful in all areas of my life, especially getting through many storms, maybe a bit tattered, but intact nonetheless. And, today, I am grateful that I can face many more knowing that I have my partner, my husband and my best friend alongside me…

Happy 13th Chris – thank you for putting up with all my nuttiness, growth and (fill in the blank) – I love you more today than yesterday, and am confident that love will continue to grow as we become a better us.  Only hope... so much hope.














“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." ~Romans 15:13

13 year anniversary of our meeting day.

Some other posts about my wonderful life.
DAY 413 -
DAY 553 -
DAY 418 -


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


Day 642 of Giving Thanks by Darci Escandon

Comfort In Suffering....

                   
“And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. 13 For everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ. 14 And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear.” ~Phillippians 1:12-14 (New Living Translation)

“For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him” ~Philippians 1:29 (New International Version)

Suffering. It’s not something we look at as being a positive experience. Most people do not look at suffering as a privilege. I know I sure don’t…well, let me rephrase that, I didn’t used to. This morning, I am reflecting back to the beginning of 2010. 2010 was a big year for me. It was the year I truly started to grow in Christ and I faced some of the most challenging times in my marriage. However, when I started writing in my journal, I had no idea what I was going to face. I came across an entry that was written on January 2nd 2010 and just kind of shook my head. Have you ever done that? Stumble over something you read years ago and wonder?

As I read over my journal entry for the beginning of 2010, I read about my reflection of the previous year and how hard it was. Without going into great detail, let me just say that there was a lot of suffering and trials in our lives. I had lost a job, we lost our house and our car and our lives had totally been turned upside down. I remember being so alone, but I wasn’t. I had written:

“ I begged and pleaded with God to get me through things, and with His strength, I survived. I'm not saying it was easy in any sense of the word, but my family and I survived and are still surrounded with the love from friends and family that many people only dream about. “

2010 was the beginning of my decision to set aside God time every morning. I was bound and determined to spend 30 minutes a day, just me and God. I wanted to be still and just be in His presence. I remember wanting to go out and buy a journal, new pens, highlighters and a few different Bible studies…but I remembered what God was asking me….He wanted me to:

"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." ~Psalm 46:10 (New International Version)

I realized that I didn’t need to go out and spend all that money…I didn’t really need  the thoughts and words from a bible study series based on what I think God is trying to say to me...What I need to do is just sit in his presence and letHhis word guide me to what He wanted me to learn. I need to open my heart, sit down and listen. Let God's words flow through me, into my heart and mind....and that is what I did.

“Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.” ~1 John 2:15 (New International Version)

In doing that, I recognized that I was restless...I wasn’t at peace..I wasn’t at a peaceful place in my because I didn't uphold my commitment to God...I was just starting my serious walk with the Lord but still had one foot in the world. I wanted my relationship with God, but I also found myself wanting to please the people that I had in my life as well as not loose what I thought I needed. In doing that, I made a lot of enemies. I realized that I was serving 2 masters. I was trying to serve Man and God. It was like mixing water with oil. As I started working on my relationship with God, I realized that I had developed a conscious in the Holy Spirit who indwells in each and every one of us.

Things that used to be “no big deal” became a “bid deal”. Things that would blow off because I didn’t want to deal with them, became so big that I had no choice but to face them and deal with them. And, most importantly, I realized that the things I had started to loose, were things of this world. I started to recognize that I had friends who were really not friends. That was ok. Because now, I know, that I allow God to bring people into my life, rather than go out and find those that I think I should be with.

“All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” ~Matthew 10:22 (New International Version)

My salvation is worth more to me than anything else in this world. My relationship with God is number one in my life. What does all of this have to do with the suffering that I wrote about at the beginning?  It was through my suffering that I was drawn to God. It was through my suffering and my heartache at the loss of so many things in my life that I got to know God on an intimate level and it was through that suffering that I was able to see my life as God saw it. It was because of suffering that I was able to dedicate and surrender each and every part of my life to God.
 
God never promised me a life full of roses and butterflies. God told me that life will be hard. That I will suffer and that bad things will happen. That’s life. God also promised me that He would be faithful. He promised me that I would never be alone and He promised me that He would be active and alive in my life and give me the strength I need to face any situation head on! His Word is alive and speaks into my life. All that I need, I can get from Him.

“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” ~Hebrews 4:12 (New International Version)

As I look at what is left of 2011, I am full of praise and Thanksgiving for Him. I am reminded of His faithfulness in the past and look forward to the future and to the wonderful things He will reveal to me. I look forward to growing through suffering and the peace that having Him active and in my life brings.

Thank you Lord, that you work in me. Thank you Lord for the relationship you have with me. Thank you Lord for your faithfulness and for your mercy and grace!! Amen.

© 2011 Giving Thanks Daily, Darci Escandon
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, August 21, 2011

Day 643 of Giving Thanks by Tina Wetor

As I started to reflect on what I am thankful today, love is true.  God is love.  As a child of God, I am thankful to be loved unconditionally.  Without God’s love, I wouldn’t be whole or forgiven.  It hasn’t been an easy journey but I can’t escape the depth of gratitude as I reflect on the cross.  Sometimes, during my weakest moments, I am still amazed how far it will reach me, change me, and uplift me.

As an abused child who constantly feared rejection, I wouldn’t allow anyone to be close.  If I allowed someone to be close, it would allow the opportunity to hurt again.  Hurt again!  No, thanks!  I would rather walk alone instead of giving love a chance, although I desperately wanted it.  Love was only possible for the beautiful, smart, or kind people.  Sadly, abuse will always paint a picture of disfiguration of image, love, and truth.  It’s one of Satan’s greatest weapons to destroy who we are or who we can become.  Love was impossible to receive, until one night alone shaking from fear in my bedroom.  Deep within my soul, I wondered, “Does anyone really care about me?”  “What’s wrong with me, why can’t anyone just love me?”  Honestly, I wanted to hear it, “I was loved.”  As I shook in my room, God spoke to me, “I LOVE YOU.”  What was so amazing, God didn’t speak in a still small voice, He spoke to me personally.  At the moment, I didn’t know who spoke it, so I was just still.  Who was that?  During this time, my father was passed out drunk on his bed sleeping.  So, I knew it wasn’t him.  Who could love me?

As I started reading the Bible I started to understand my worth, my reason for being, and the love I craved was apparent.    What’s so powerful, love breaks all the barriers if we allow it in.  Yet, I understand the pain for those who “fear” the thought of it.  Fear will always bring chains of punishment, love brings power of deliverance.  Deliverance is needed from the bondage of Satan’s slavery of sin, his lies, and fear.  What’s so amazing, God said, “Enough!”  Although my people run from me, insult me, curse my name, “I LOVE THEM!” So, my Son would will be anointed to bring healing the broken hearted and bind up their wounds.  (Psalm 147:3)  As Jesus ministered, He healed all those who were oppressed by the enemy.  (Acts 10:38)

Recently, I was on a thread on Facebook with several classmates or alumni’s from college, we were discussing about marriage/divorce.  Sadly, some of these precious people have experienced the pain of divorce within ministry, some even shunned from the church.  As I read the conversation, my heart broke for those feeling neglected, especially during painful times.  So, I posted a comment, “Do you remember the woman at the well, she was divorced five times but Jesus went to her.  Also, He used her to bring salvation to her city.”  As the conversation continued, I was brought to tears as a woman said she hated to enter a new church, she had to explain her story again.  So, I posted there is no longer a need to share it, it’s forgiven.  Later, another college student attacked me, “Are you divorced?  How do you know our feelings?  “How dare I tell her not to share, that’s not encouraging?”  So, I remarked back, politely, you have misunderstood my comment.  “Why does she need to share it?”  If she is washed in the blood, she is forgiven.”  She can walk in confidence; God is with her regardless of her past or mistakes.  God has a bright future, her life isn’t over.” “Whatever her past, God will still use her.”

The woman who attacked me, turned her back on the church and God, what a heartbreak.  As one of my professors use to say, “Hurting people will hurt others.”  Obviously, this woman was still in pain from an abusive marriage.  She wanted to attack me because she hurt.  So, we spoke privately but she still wanted to attack me.  God loves you, He never stopped loving you.  He longs to be near you, so I will remind you.  Have I ever experienced the pain of divorce?  No, I haven’t but I have experience a love of God that’s changed my life.  As a child, I witnessed two of my father’s wife’s be physically abused, also a sibling.  So, I have experienced deep pain but I have experienced a great love.  So, I will reach out to the hurting, regardless of what it costs.  So, I wished her well.

Right after this conversation, I felt I must stay on my pages for ministry to be “safe.”  Sometimes, we don’t want to witness because of the backlash of the hurting but we must.  LOVE IS CALLING OUT, ENOUGH!  Maybe it’s time for the church to quit wanting to be “safe” and reach those who are oppressed of the enemy.  If Jesus was willing, so should we.  My heart is still broken for this young woman, she is being prayed for whether she realizes it or not.  Somehow, I believe God will anoint my words to catch her attention or heal her heart.  So, keep in mind whether we know Christ or not, we all hurt.  We need to be lead to the cross, it’s only through the death of Christ, we receive life.

On this earth, we will have hardships, trials, and tests.  However, I am whole, re-born, and my face is uplifted because I belong.  I AM LOVED!  As I allowed Christ to heal the past, my future is so bright.  There is nothing hindering me, God is with me.  So, I close with a thought: We all have sinned or sinned against someone. We all have hurt, we experience. It’s difficult. It's heartbreaking to all involved. If Christ who had no sin was able to minister to anyone through compassion, my heart is the same. I want to encourage others to see their worth, ability to overcome the scars, and see life's potential-God has a brighter future.



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

*****************
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).

Friday, August 19, 2011

Day 641 of Giving Thanks

‎Change for all of us is a step-by-step, moment to moment change in our behavior. That's all... and with and in His strength, we just move forward. Reminding ourselves often of who we are in Christ, and shine, shine, shine...

It was a normal day. As I headed to work today, I just knew it would be very busy, not busy where you don’t stop working, but a busy day that you know if you do stop, things will not get completed. Yet, as the day progressed, and the “tasks at hand” seemed to be unending, I did make it through, and was out the door and onto my evening. I love Fridays, mostly because it is a day that things get finished. But this has not been the case for quite some time. My desk is as stacked on Friday afternoons as much as any other day. It seems the stacks are just not going down, little is accomplished – until I look back over “the list”, my friends, it is “the list” that shows the truth.

But, I was writing about change, wasn’t I? Bear with me. You see, without my list I cannot see what was accomplished all week, if I look at the piles, it all looks the same, familiar and unchanged. “The list” is also necessary so I can see change in myself - my list is my writing - my journal, where I write my prayers, what I want to change and the praises. And over time, I can go back and see what God has accomplished in my life. A normal day in the life of being God’s child. What an exciting time it is to go back and see His changes in me.

‎"He loves me the way I am and loves me enough to help me change. " ~Me

“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)

He loves me intentionally and that is why He gave me the Holy Spirit... So I too can be intentional as I come to Him. "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." ~Romans 8:26

Sometimes we believe time will not be provided amply enough to do “all” that needs to change. I am assured, He is the power we have to do the changes and thankfully, He knows not time as we do... so all is done effortlessly for our mighty God.

I have changed, because of His work in me; and He has worked in me because He knows my voice and I am learning to hear his and oh, how I love to hear His voice and to do what He requests of me.

"To love God means that we obey his commandments. Obeying his commandments isn’t difficult because everyone who has been born from God has won the victory over the world. Our faith is what wins the victory over the world. Who wins the victory over the world? Isn’t it the person who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" ~1 John 4:3-5 (GW)

I find great comfort in knowing that our prayers are not always answered with a yes or right now, however, God can answer them with "not now" and "no". Those are still answers. We don't know when He will answer, but He will.

I find great comfort in knowing that God gives us what we NEED, not necessarily what we WANT/DESIRE. He tells us to bring our desires to Him. To allow the Holy Spirit to intercede for us. When our prayers are of a pure heart, pure intent and in gratitude, He hears. He knows what is best for us. "YOUR WILL LORD be done", "Your timing", "Your plan". In Jeremiah 33:3, He says, “Call unto me,” and that has been instrumental in the changes in me.





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


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Day 640 of Giving Thanks

Today I don’t have any revelations or stories to tell. But I always have my heart to share because of His story, which is embedded so deeply in my life. If someone had told me a few years ago, that I would be spending my days in anticipation for when I could sit down quietly and read, then write I would have laughed. Then if you said, I would be “chatting” with people, writing to atheists, encouraging “nay-sayers” and making a difference through my writing, I would have laughed even harder. You see, I had always heard of God using people in big ways, showing gifts where once there was no hope… My reading and writing had always been the things I avoided most. We do have an awesome God, because now I crave them both.

When I first became a Christian, and for many years, I didn’t pray, I would try, and get “hung up” on the process, the “how to do it right”. And finally, in a moment of desperation to be heard, it all began. The “prayer” that changed prayer for me, forever. It wasn’t flowing or beautiful, and definitely was not gracefully put, in fact, I was stumbling all over my words, but I poured my heart out. It seem every emotion that had been bottle up came rushing out, it was real and genuine – IT WAS REAL. And, that is what God wants, He wants our true emotions to flow through to Him. And, really sensing that He was there with me.

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. 

The closer I get to God, the better I see and hear Him. And, the more I see how He is working in my life. There was a time when I thought praying was like throwing a penny in the fountain. He has to know us, He has to recognize our voice - the voice of gratitude for what we have - the voice of expectation that He is there when we pray - the voice of His child... just a thought or two. I have been writing a blog for 630 days. Where I find something to be thankful for every day. And, He (GOD) has been so faithful. Sometimes, we just don't see the answers because we are onto the next want or desire.... I pray you can hear Him and see His work around you.

"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of him" ~1 John 5:14-15


He really does answer all of our prayers in His time. He has the perfect communication reception... We may not always like the answers or the waiting for the answers, but know that He has your best interest in mind.

"God is faithful, and He will not let you be tested beyond your strength but with your testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it." ~1 Corinthians 10:13 
Now I pray to live, and live to pray. I cannot image a day where there are many moments in His presence.






I saw this earlier today... 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqINgxJ6b8k


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

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Day 639 of Giving Thanks

In everything I do, there is an underlying nudge or urge to learn more, to hope more and to live more intensely. There is an overwhelming sense of drive toward what is right and good. But it is truly an easy “drive”, and easy road. Every challenge, every turn, every victory is one that is closer to becoming who He created me to be. There is so much hope in knowing that everything I do is accomplished with such intense purpose.

Paul stated it so eloquently, that I will borrow it, “For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die.  For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. 22 But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better.  I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me.”  ~Philippians 1:20-23 (NLT)

Let us be light, love and encouragement for each other. Live like Christ is in us - because He is.
“I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding.”  ~Philippians 1:9 (New Living Translation) 
And, here is what I know about our prayers:
Yes, our prayers count.
Yes, He hears all of them.
Yes, He has your best interest at heart.
Yes, there is so much hope.
Yes, He answers every single one of our prayers.

Oh wonderful and merciful God. Thank You that every prayer is answered. Thank You for knowing what is best for me. In Jesus' name I hand my day over to You for clarity, confirmation and hope in Your plans.
Let Me answer the tough questions.
Let Me hold you when you are sad.
Let Me confirm your path, when you are unsure.
Let Me be near when no one else is.
Let Me see you grow.
Let Me see your aha moments.
Let Me be a part of you.
Let Me assure your eternity.
Thank You Lord for giving me the "Let MEs”.

Let us be light, love and encouragement for each other. Live like Christ is in you - because He is.

Today Lord, I come to You and thank You for this life I have and this life eternal. I pray that as I live, I will be healed of all that is not Him and I will be changed – this is my humble request.

And, constantly God says, "Hear Me, Trust Me, Abide in Me", and constantly, I am comforted!

Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me.” ~John 15:4 (Amplified Bible)

I love the relationship with my God, and I am so encouraged by those who share my life right now. There are blessings upon blessings, lessons upon lessons, strength upon strength.

“Meanwhile, live in such a way that you are a credit to the Message of Christ. Let nothing in your conduct hang on whether I come or not. Your conduct must be the same whether I show up to see things for myself or hear of it from a distance. Stand united, singular in vision, contending for people's trust in the Message, the good news, not flinching or dodging in the slightest before the opposition. Your courage and unity will show them what they're up against: defeat for them, victory for you—and both because of God. There's far more to this life than trusting in Christ. There's also suffering for him. And the suffering is as much a gift as the trusting. You're involved in the same kind of struggle you saw me go through, on which you are now getting an updated report in this letter.” ~Philippians 1:27-30 (The Message)

















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

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Day 638 of Giving Thanks

A collective word on praying…
By Shawn Boreta, Sue King and Tina Wetor, Giving Thanks Daily

How do we pray? 
We pray from the heart!

We keep it simple, conversational and real. Everything we do is essentially a prayer - intercession, praise, cry, plea, complaint, affirmation, justifying and just talking – you and God, that is it!

“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matthew 6:6 (NIV)

Quietly and privately, seek His presence. Prayer is more than words of repetition; it is an expression of desire. Whether we come to Him out of desperation or through pure gratitude, it needs to be genuine. According to the Word, we are to worship the Lord in Spirit and in truth, so it must be in prayer.

When you go to or through others to reach our mighty God, I believe we dilute the importance of our ability to go to our heavenly Father ourselves. I think more than that, we place the one we are praying through above God. You are praying to an entity other than God and asking them to pass the prayer along to God. If that person is Jesus, then we have it right! We've been told to pray through Him because He is the covering that ALLOWS us to go to the Father.

Learning to pray is as easy as saying, “Lord, teach me to pray” as the disciples did (Luke 11:1). And, through His word, you will find the answers.

In Matthew 6:9 and Luke 11:2, Jesus instructed, “This is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, let your name be kept holy.” It’s amazing to know that we can talk to the Father directly, we never go through anyone else.

Because our connection to God is through our thoughts, and as we come to Him, the Holy Spirit intercedes and brings all things to Him in perfect order. When you go to/through others to reach our mighty God, I believe we dilute the importance of our ability to go to our heavenly Father ourselves. It really dilutes the relationship. There is no great power than the relationship between us and our Father. Oh what a wonderful gift He has given us - relationship.

What am I thinking? What actions am I taking? Everything relates back to thought. Our whole process of life is what we think… my entire life is becoming a prayer. I use to believe that when I prayed it should be all lined-up and in perfect order before delivering it to the Lord. But what I learned from Hannah through her heart felt prayer for a child, is that the Holy Spirit works out our mutterings and delivers them in perfect order to God. Do our words have to be perfect, tidy and well thought out?

“Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk.” 1 Samuel 1:13

"The significance is not for me to receive accolades or recognition; it is for me to know that a difference is measurable in God’s eyes with the work He accomplishes in my life." ~Shawn Boreta

How do we process what occurs, what God does, what is right in front of us?

Essentially everything we do is a prayer - intercession, praise, cries, pleas, complaints, affirmations, justification, curiosity or thankfulness.

“You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” ~2 Corinthians 9:11

Interestingly the psalmists prayed with various emotions in many seasons: depressed, joyful, frustrated, angry, thankful and confused. Spoken and given to God as the truth within their souls, they were honest. God not only encourages honest prayers, He desires them.

We must also come expectantly to God, expectant that He will meet our needs during our moments of prayer. There are so many times we pray but do we really expect God to move, to answer or to respond at all?

"Seek Him…..first and above ALL things.


So I am learning to go to Him first on all things - to seek His voice first, and to be careful that I don’t allow anything to come between us." ~Sue King

All of our prayers are brought before the Lord; they are as incense before Him, the prayers of the saints. So, He is completely aware of our desires, needs, and wants. It is true, that God doesn’t always give us our wants but He desires to give good gifts to His children. What we must realize is that we are worthy of God’s blessings; we are adopted into the family of God.

“Recently, the Lord convicted me about the unwillingness to receive God’s best. And, don’t we deserve His best?” Tina Wetor 

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

We are learning that as we work together to bring glory to God, we are blessed beyond any measure and life is an amazing journey when you walk the path with those you love, and we love all of you in Christ.

2 Corinthians 13:14 says, "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all." May you all realize the power and strength you have with who indwells in you, intercedes for you and prays independently for you.

Shawn, Sue and Tina

"Something I learned early in my Christian walk is to come to the Lord and praise Him, give Him glory, call Him by His names to edify Him – give thanks – ask for forgiveness – and lay your request before Him… and today, I give thanks and more thanks and yet, more thanks. Father it is Your will for my life that is trustworthy and that is worth holding onto and waiting for." ~Shawn Boreta




© 2011 Giving Thanks Daily, Shawn Boreta, Sue King and Tina Wetor

Web: http://shawnsgivingthanksdaily.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Giving-Thanks-Daily/290738571406


Monday, August 15, 2011

Day 637 of Giving Thanks

Silently, I sit and wonder how to process “life” at times. Through my eyes today, I cannot see. As the tears stream down my cheeks I wonder, will the tears stop? But in this pain, I know that all I need to see is the assurance of a wonderful and merciful God who endured pain beyond measure for me - this moment will pass, my tears will dry and my heart will mend. And, it is a great thought to know that until that time, He is here to comfort me and share my grief.

“…Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.” ~Luke 6:21 (NIV)

Nothing is anything without You Lord. In painful or sorrowful times, as well as all the beautiful times I experience, You are everything.

Lord help me in this world. As I interact with others, help me to "recall" Your word - to encourage, when the world beats us up, and to share Your grace and mercy when we are being attacked. Let me be the light no matter what my circumstances are.

“Remember, I will be with you and protect you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done all that I have promised you.” ~ Genesis 28:15 (GNT)

Capture me Lord over and over. In times of trouble, capture me. In times of victory, capture me. In times of trepidation, capture me. In YOUR power and strength, CAPTURE ME!

Change my unbelief to "trusting Your word". Change my weakness to "strength in You". Allow all my circumstance to lead to the one promise that I hold onto so tightly. I give this to You Lord, wholly and completely. You are so timely Lord, and during this time, I am counting on You.

Hear my pleas to be close to You Lord. Hear my heart, feel my soul's desires to be near and give all my feelings to You. Help me indwell deeper and deeply. Help me Lord to remember that my confidence is in you only, that it is all in You, my trust, my strength and the power to overcome, is all in You.

  
“Praise the Lord!Praise the Lord!Praise God in his Temple! Praise His strength in heaven! Praise Him for the mighty things he has done. Praise His supreme greatness. Praise Him with trumpets.Praise Him with harps and lyres.Praise Him with drums and dancing.Praise Him with harps and flutes.Praise Him with cymbals.Praise Him with loud cymbals.Praise the Lord, all living creatures!" ~Psalm 150 (New Living Translation) 

© 2011 Giving Thanks Daily, Shawn Boreta

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Day 636 of Giving Thanks - Tina Wetor

A message to the heart is what I cherish, especially spoken from God to me.  Always, I am amazed of God’s creative ways to get my attention; He always puts a personal stamp on it.  Our Heavenly Father will leave the ninety-nine to reach one, the one in isolation.  Usually, the one in isolation removes themselves for feeling inadequate or a failure.  Sin will always cause us to carry a back-pack full of shame, guilt, and fear of punishment.   Regardless of where we go, it comes along with us.  Instead of coming to Jesus to remove it, we decide to carry it to prove we are worthy of punishment.   Although the longer we wear it, we realize it’s too much for us to carry.  Yet, we will still try to carry it even with our knees buckled.  Our spirit is about to collapse, all our strength and peace is gone.  Nevertheless, God is in constant pursuit of loving us, especially when we feel “unlovable”.  
   
Have you ever felt unlovable?  So, unworthy of eye contact or someone to shake your hand, it’s difficult to image acceptance from others.  I admit, during my adolescence, I struggled with this very issue with my difficult childhood.  Just recently, I have been starting to feel the same with my Heavenly Father because I wasn’t spending time with Him.  Yes, I wanted to be with Him but I felt so unworthy to approach the throne of grace.  Our unhealthy image of God will drive a wedge deep into our souls to bring emptiness.  So, I was amazed how God used my children’s church lesson to show I am still loveable, wanted, and belong.  The actually title of the message was, “From Failure to Faithful Servant”, a wonderful story of a great patriarch of the faith.
   
A man tries to separate a quarrel between two men who desire to destroy each other.  As he reaches out to stop the quarrel, one of the men asks a question, “Are you going to do the same to us, as the Egyptian man you buried?”  How did they know?  Did they see him?  So, he runs away from all of the guilt, shame, and punishment of Pharaoh to escape the horror.  Yes, he committed a horrible crime, lost all of his inheritance, and family. Who would want him now?  On all accounts, Moses is homeless with no future, no money, and wanted for murder.  He is a wanderer, alone out in the middle of nowhere.  Besides all of this, he stutters.
   
As the cries of the Israelites reach the heart of God for their oppression, God deals with the wanderer who is alone.  Moses tries to cover up his mistakes with a new life; no one knows who he is or what he’s done.  It’s better this way or is it?  Guilt, shame, and isolation draw us away from the problems temporarily but it doesn’t solve the problem.  As the presence of God draws him, Moses discovers something profound, a burning bush.  Who wouldn’t be curious about a bush on fire but not burning?  As his curiosity sprouts, the fire draws it to the source, our God who is an all-consuming fire.
   
Moses had to remove his sandals at God’s request, he was on holy ground.  Only the humble can be near the face of God, He will show Himself-the Great I Am.  As God explains the problem, he advises Moses, he was the solution.  Did Moses feel inadequate?  Of course, he did.  Moses offered other solutions, gave excuses, but finally realized his worth in God’s presence.  Moses was able to understand who he only through communion with the Great I Am.  God promised Moses, He would always be with Him.  God was always with Moses, He never left His side.  Moses was a murder, who was used mightily by God for the following: to write the first five books of the Bible, write the Ten Commandments, deliver a nation from oppression and a family man.  From a failure to a faithful servant, Moses shows the power of communion with God anything is possible if we are humble.
   
As my eyes water during the lesson, I realized I can’t run from God.  It’s only those who pursue God’s presence who can do the unthinkable, transform obstacles, and lead others to God.  So, I am very thankful for God’s creative way to get my attention, He longs for my heart.  So, I will humble myself on holy ground to see the majesty of His presence.  God desires to transform our lives from all the terrible sins to give us a new life.

Psalm 32:1-5 “Blessed IS he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.  When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.  For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.  Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity.  I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”-and you forgave the guilt of my sin.” 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Day 635 of Giving Thanks - Darci Escandon

Don't define yourself by what happened in the past. Define yourself by the hope you have in Jesus.


“I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for My own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” ~Isaiah 43:25 (NIV)

When we ask for forgiveness, it is granted. We need only ask once. Why would we want to hold onto it? When we don’t forgive ourselves after asking God for His forgiveness, it’s like we are telling Him what He is offering is not good enough. Don’t live in the lie of the enemy. God has forgiven you and He has blotted it out as promised in His word!

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” ~1 John 1:9 (ESV)
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” ~Romans 8:1 (ESV)
“Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” ~Luke 15:7 (ESV)

We all have a past. There is a phrase that says “My past has come back to haunt me”. I think this happens to everyone…I know it has happened to me. When that happens, when those memories come flooding back, it’s so easy to get pulled into the emotions that are triggered in me. But, it’s those emotions that steel my joy. Do not let the enemy steal your joy!

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10 (ESV)

The last thing the enemy wants is for us to recognize the forgiveness that has been extended to us. He doesn’t want us to know:

“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”  ~1 John 2:1 (ESV)
“He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” ~Micah 7:19 (ESV)

God loves us so much, that He sent His Son to die for our sins. That deserves praise. I know it’s hard to praise God when we are feeling guilt… Yet, the one thing we should cry out in thanks for every day is the fact that Jesus died for our sins and because of the bloodshed on the cross, we have been given grace and mercy and forgiveness. If you are living in guilt and beating yourself up over some choice or action that you made, let it go. Lay it at the cross because God has forgotten it already… and so should you. Praise His name today!!!


© 2011 Giving Thanks Daily, Darci Escandon



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Friday, August 12, 2011

Day 634 of Giving Thanks

I was looking back at some old writing, and came across this one... I had not shared it on the page yet, so thought I would tonight.

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 totally dependent on what I could do.

I happened to see a statement yesterday on a friend's page about one of these uncomfortable discussions - and what catches my attention the most is when someone has faith in no faith, that there is an enormous need to sway one with faith to their side. To make them see how irrational they are by believing the unseen. Christians are seen as delusional or even crazy, half cocked, not all there, because what I feel or know to be true is not shared by them. I cannot judge the world because they "see" things differently or incompletely. Where is the hope? Where is the love? What is the appeal? A life of VOID, when compared to a life of fulfillment that comes from a perspective of so much more.

I scoffed, laughed and mocked all my friends and family who were "Christians", if not to their faces, behind the scenes and to what did that enhance my life. 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 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 in the a_ _)" - and although these views are probably true, doesn't it just feel better to have the first outlook?

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 Genisis this morning. 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.

Everything in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.



© 2011 Giving Thanks Daily, Shawn Boreta

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Day 633 of Giving Thanks

As I got ready to write tonight I was thinking about all that I have been these last several years to “get healthy”. For me it has been a constant battle, both emotionally and physically, for most of my adult life I have “dealt” with the enemy in my bloodstream – and for years, fighting this enemy on my own has been futile.  And despite my best efforts, the enemy was winning – until one day last fall, when I said, “enough is enough”.  And, I heard God say, “I am enough”.

“Don’t you know that your body is a temple that belongs to the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit, whom you received from God, lives in you. You don’t belong to yourselves. You were bought for a price. So bring glory to God in the way you use your body.” ~1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (GOD’S WORD Translation)
 
And it was on that same day, that the fear and I gave that enemy completely to the Lord.

“The LORD created Jacob and formed Israel. Now, this is what the LORD says:  Do not be afraid, because I have reclaimed you.I have called you by name; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1 (GOD’S WORD Translation)

My growth is truly His accomplishment, and a work I can admire, not for what I did, but that He first, gave me the gift of change and the gift of Him. As I look back, I see His work and I know very well today, it is in the painful moments that I can actually stop and recognize the great days. Today, I know that a great day can be every day that I focus on what He did and what I am grateful for.

Getting healthy began with trusting God. Being healthy continues by dwelling in Him. Staying healthy is the only choice.

Don’t fear, because I am with you; don’t be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will surely help you; will hold you with my righteous strong hand.” ~Isaiah 41:10 (Common English Bible)

God is my medicine of choice. And, there is no doubt with His potency and no uncertainty today through eternity. Every day, I turn to Him for strength, courage and clarity, and every day He pours hope into me. My thoughts are on His promises and His faithfulness never waivers.

 
© 2011 Giving Thanks Daily, Shawn Boreta

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Day 632 of Giving Thanks

We, (the body, the church, brothers and sisters, believers) are all part of the most amazing movement ever created, and the most amazing thing is that it all began at the beginning. As I sit here trying to decide, decipher and determine the path of my writing tonight, many thoughts come to the forefront, my first verse this morning was in John 1, “in the beginning”. When I landed on John 1:14, it hit me, as it does so often, that my creator, who is my savior, became like me to save me. There is no greater gift.

‎"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." ~John 1:14 (NIV)

John 1 is a rapidly progressing chapter. It starts at the beginning (of every story), Jesus was identified as the Lamb of God, and it ends with Jesus’ illustration of what is to come; talking about where He had come from and where “we could” be too, with Him.

“Then He said, “I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth.” ~John 1:51 (NLT)

Alone, getting to heaven is impossible – it is standing at the bottom side of a cliff and looking up. It’s perfectly smooth in areas, in others there are thorns and spikes, and in other spots black holes. As we climb alone, we slide, get marred up and are completely lost. But, when we choose Jesus, we move up right along with Him, a guaranteed arrival to our final destination. To me, knowing that I have a guaranteed spot makes the climb easier, even if there are bumps in the path or detours. Personally, I am fascinated with Jesus’ work, His life and how He did it all so that I could be with Him in heaven, and so fortunate that I know.

What an “absolutely” amazing love story I am in the middle of, and if you know Christ, you too can tell the same story. Are you encouraged?

Well, get this with Jesus, “it is finished”. Nothing more is to be done… now does that mean we are idle, it means we work for the kingdom in gratitude of His finished work. Wow!

“From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi,lama sabachthani?"—which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” ~Matthew 27:45-46 

Isn’t this what loves stories should be? I have a God who loves me endlessly and perfectly. And I am reassured by getting into His word is where I hide in Him. Closing my eyes as the safety of Him rushes over me with the knowledge of His power for me.

‎"To the faithful you show yourself faithful; to those with integrity you show integrity."~ 2 Samuel 22:26 (New Living Translation)

In Your words Lord, I find out who I am with You. Today I am grateful for the memories so full of life and full of promises. Thank You Lord for Your words so appropriately given.

God's grace is my clarity during times of trouble. God is truly faithful. I have the presence of a mighty God, and that is truly awesome. I am secure and my soul soars.

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek." ~Hebrews 6:19-20

We, (the body, the church, brothers and sisters, believers) are all part of the most amazing movement ever created. Wow! Are you encouraged? 
































© 2011 Giving Thanks Daily, Shawn Boreta

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.