Monday, March 25, 2013

Day 992 of Giving Thanks

I am grateful for His work for me... for us. I pray that we will all be with the Father in eternity. We must not be concerned with the outcome of this world, but the overcoming of it through Christ. Let us be ready to receive His coming again, by sharing His first coming and the need and reasons with others. Let us be people of action, and in tenderness reveal Him through our love of others.

We are such fickle people... are we really different than those who hailed Hosanna as Jesus entered the gates of Jerusalem? When push comes to shove, will be deny Him, claim Him, edify Him or be more like Him in times of trouble? Will we be the ones who cry out, "crucify Him" or weep at His feet? Let us pray for boldness and faith in amazing strength. His strength. Daily it is our plea and request Father.


We have to know:
Who He is and whose we are. 

We have to know: 
His promises. 

We have to know: 
That He is the way; the only way.

"I am the resurrection and the life... he who believes in me will never die". ~King Jesus

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” ~John 3:16-17 (New American Standard Bible)

The LORD will draw you toward salvation... are you listening? He is calling. He is pursuing you. He desires you to know Him. His blood is new life for us. AWEsome God...

Father God, You are my everything today, tomorrow and yesterday. Thank You for loving me when I did not know this truth. And continuing to love me still.

The testing of faith... I think of Job, or the amazing saints today who fight daily in prayer for the life of their children or their spouse. I think those of faith being held captive in the middle east, and their families. All those who are being actively prosecuted for their faith today - these are exemplary examples of faith and dependence on our mighty God. Today as you go through your day, pray for them - allow the Holy Spirit to move and grieve your heart for these brothers and sisters in Christ. Allow the Spirit to share Jesus more with others, to step out of our comfortable environments, and into the work of our LORD in trust and in hope. Praise HIM FOR the ultimate work of the cross, the journeys yet to face, the lessons learned, the blessings from ashes, the stronger faith from trial. Praise your Creator, your Savior, your Comforter, your Healer, your King today. In the many moments of busyness, stop and praise; stop and pray; stop and reflect; stop and rest in Him.


The Christian can even welcome trouble - "When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives my brothers, don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends! Realise that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance. But let the process go on until that endurance is fully developed, and you will find you have become men of mature character with the right sort of independence. And if, in the process, any of you does not know how to meet any particular problem he has only to ask God—who gives generously to all men without making them feel foolish or guilty—and he may be quite sure that the necessary wisdom will be given him. But he must ask in sincere faith without secret doubts as to whether he really wants God’s help or not. The man who trusts God, but with inward reservations, is like a wave of the sea, carried forward by the wind one moment and driven back the next. That sort of man cannot hope to receive anything from God, and the life of a man of divided loyalty will reveal instability at every turn." ~James 1:3-8 (J.B. Phillips New Testament)

Father, as we continue through our day today, remind us as we cry out, that we not only cry out for ourselves, but on behalf of others. In our own despair or worry, remind us that it's about serving You first and in the process, our needs will be met. Help us to expect You to work in amazing ways on behalf of us. We are victorious, let us live like victors.


"No, in all these things we are superconquerors, through the one who has loved us." ~Romans 8:37 (Complete Jewish Bible)


© 2013 Giving Thanks Daily

Dr. Godspeed - My Identity in Christ Steven Salazar

My friend Steven deals with major depressive episodes and this is one of the tools he is using to speak to the oppressive voice, the lies of the enemy. This is a very near and dear discussion to my heart. Although my depression has not been extreme, and I am so encouraged by this dialog. I pray for those in a similar fight, may the LORD reveal amazing healing.

Thank you Steven, and thank You Father for your faithfulness.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

My dialogue with Dr. Godspeed on My Identity in Christ
by Steven ChristAmbassador Salazar

Identity in Jesus
Me: Dr. Godspeed I am a great admirer of yours and I have a problem. I am a Christian, and I feel as though I am utterly worthless, stupid, and I am nothing. Sometimes I wish I would have died at birth. I need your help.

Dr. Godspeed: Gladly, first of all your assessment of your own identity is absolutely horrendous and fallacious due to these contributing factors; Satan's wanting you to negate your true identity in Christ, and your imperceptibility to the truth and your willingness to feed into these lies, without implementing the very weapon God had given to humanity and that is indeed the Holy Bible. Gods Word has an astronomical amount of information concerning the identity of those who are in Christ, Why don't you utilize these truths against the enemy? Why do you continuously give into defeatism? You're a Royal Priest, you were brought with blood of Christ, which means your value is infinite. With all due respect you're acting like an ignorant fool, like you weren't blessed with Gods word in the first place! I want you to name three "feelings" that have left you so systematically dejected in all aspects of life, and I don't want you to give reasons because your reasons aren't even factors to consider all that ultimately matters is what Gods word says. You'll see has we progress.

***Emotional Guide Vs Omniscient Guide***

Me: I am worthless. Everyday that I wake up, I feel like I am just a major disappointment to my family and definitely to myself.

Dr. Godspeed: You "feel?" Let us first address this word, "feel." You are basing your identity on a fallacious perception fueled not by the word of God which is truth, but by your own finite and faulty thinking! You want to know what the Bible says about considering your feelings as objective truth?! "Those who trust their own insight are foolish, but anyone who walks in wisdom is safe (Proverbs 28:26). "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it" (Jeremiah 17:9). "Whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything." (1 John 3:20).

Your emotions, or feelings aren't a reliable guide "especially" in this case and the Bible tells you this on several occasions. Emotions can be a manipulative tactic that Satan can implement; effectively separating believers from God, and what I mean by effectively, is it's success rate is paramount for those whom aren't implanted in the truth of their identity. My proof Satan's methodology is working is you. You're choosing an emotional guide over an omniscient guide. You have a choice of an infinite guide whom always desires the best for you, and a guide of near sightedness and a faulty perception; and you my friend are "choosing" the latter!

***Worthless or Worth it***

Me: So, my feelings are wrong? If I am not worthless, than what am I? I certainly don't feel any different. I am a train wreck. My life reflects and proves my worthlessness.

Dr. Godspeed: Well, you may not "feel" any different but if you believe the Bible is objective, absolute truth, then guess what your feelings are-- unreliable! Anyone can negate their accomplishments and arrive at a "seemingly" accurate conclusion that they are worthless; though it's just an erroneous argument built upon a distorted lens. You look at all your accomplishments and that presents a different conclusion; overwhelmingly shutting down the perspective that your worthless, that your value is nothingness. Let's look at the other side of the argument, in this case ironically, this side "Me" is arguing against your claim which would make my side the "negative" while your side is the "affirmative."

You're a military veteran who has served a tour in Afghanistan; 99 percent of the citizens of this nation can't even truthfully claim such an accomplishment! And within that situation you were proficient at your job, being a what was that called again, "Oh yes, Signal Support Systems Specialist." You managed to overcome an addition to alcohol and I know by firsthand experience that it's no easy task! You've overcome self harming, which again I can attest to the fact, that isn't a meniscal obstacle! And even on a daily basis you are overcoming your depressive disorder to study for your college endeavors; so I know you overcoming Major Depression isn't an impossibility for you, but for some reason you view it as implausible. And you have an illimitable amount of qualities; you're intelligent, handsome, your goals are selfless, you're incredibly talented, and so forth! You were definitely crafted to accomplish an incredible purpose! So look at your accomplishments and your aspirations to get a correct depiction of who you truly are!

Me: Hmm... I guess I really never thought of looking at my accomplishments; I guess I am guilty of just focusing on the negatives. Thanks!

Dr. Godspeed: And that was just from a temporal and worldly point of view which is ultimately meaningless when determining your value and identity! What does the objective and truthful Word of God, the Holy Bible say about your worth upon accepting Christ, and what is it based on? Let's see how God views you! "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light" (1 Peter 2:9) "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). "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).

The objective, eternally truthful Word of God has spoken! You are counted worthy enough to be assigned as apart of the Royal Priesthood of God and you are actually Gods special possession! Who are you to say any different?! Did God say you were worthless?... No! Are you going to disagree with an all-knowing creator?! Let's, see, ah yes, you can do all things through Christ you strengthens you! Do you know the significance of that verse?! Obviously you don't. Christ Jesus is the creator of the universe and you have inherited his strength! And his strength and potentiality is illimitable! And the last and final verse recited, that totally affirms your objective identity and value is the fact God calls you his own masterpiece, that you were created in Christ to accomplish good works! You're his masterpiece, his crowning achievement, his magnum opus! Do you know the significance of this? Let's look up the definition of masterpiece, shall we...

Masterpiece

1. a person's greatest piece of work, as in an art.2. anything done with masterly skill: a masterpiece of improvisation.3. a consummate example of skill or excellence of any kind: The chef's cake was a masterpiece.

Now, compare this to Gods inexplicable display of craftsmanship thus far! Creatio Ex Nilhilo! God created the entire universe; space-time, matter, and energy; the extreme fine tuning of the cosmological constant, the dimensions that sustains our spatial three dimensional cosmos; the imperceptible spiritual realm; the illimitable amount of planets and star within our spiral galaxy alone; I mean it's mind blowing the masterly craftsmanship and design of our universe, out of absolute nothingness! And when you compare us humans to the grand scheme of thing, we seem insignificant, but God out of all creation deemed "us" his masterpiece, his crowning achievement! And since God is Just, Righteous and Holy, he doesn't lie; he only knows truth; he calls us his masterpiece, and in actuality when you study our complex design, compared to the rest of creation we are definitely infinitely more magnificent; research our biological complexity; our intricately designed bodies both macro and microscopically down the compact language of our DNA. And this is further backed by God manifesting himself in the flesh, and actually suffering the most horrific death in all of history for our sake; for your sake! Don't you dare denigrate your worth and value; not after God proved your infinite value on the cross!

***Glorious Hope***

Me: *almost in tears* Alright, I think that's all I needed to hear. I really never gave that the consideration it needed. I am shocked. What about when I am experiencing hopelessness?

Dr. Godspeed: I noticed you purposely avoided saying "feelings of hopelessness." My dear friend, hopelessness is just a feeling, that's all it is. It's another false and distorted perception of reality. Is God going to abandon you? Is he going to leave you? Is he going to forsake his masterpiece? Here is what God says to you! "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you" (Deuteronomy 31:6). For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to proper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29:11). Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand" (Isaiah 41:10).

So, what in the world do you have to be hopeless about. Truthfully, and honestly a Christian has no valid or sensical reason for hopelessness; you have an eternal, infinitely benevolent, omnipotent, and omniscient God who is continually with you and wants what is ultimately best for you. God is telling you to be strong and courageous! He is telling you don't be afraid or discourage, he is with you and he will never leave or nor forsake you. Jesus said he would be with you, even to the end of age! God is right by your side, literally! Gods promises hold true 100% of the time and you said, he has plans prosper you, "not" to harm you! He will uphold you in his victorious right hand! This is a God who went to the cross and died for you! He has given you impeccable hope in his word, and he has preordained a future for you that is good, in this temporal existence and in the life to come as a joint inheritor in Gods glorious kingdom, how absolutely incredible is that! And again to supply you with that hope and that infinitely glorious future, he died for you! So why are you hopeless?

Me:I guess I am hopeless for no apparent good reason at all; I guess my hopelessness is due to an unwillingness to trust God. What if I don't deserve such hope, or such a future? I loathe myself, I don't deserve it. What do you have to say about self-loathing?

***Self-Loathing: Invalid***

Dr. Godspeed: *chuckles* You're missing the significance of it all. Firstly, we don't deserve what God did for our sake? It would have been perfectly justified for God to leave us in our ignorance and rebellion. Secondly, after everything I've explained to you, there's no sensible reason why you should loath yourself when God, adores you infinitely. And thirdly, even from a temporal perspective you are a shining example to the rest of humanity about perseverance, intelligence, and altruism! But let's take this back to a Biblical perspective, as it ultimately matters; why do you hate yourself when Gods word says; "So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them" (Genesis 1:27). "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come" (2 Corinthians 5:17) "We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life" (Romans 6:4).

First off you were created in the divine image of God; just on that basis alone your worth is absolutely infinite! Why would you hate somebody whom God formed in the womb himself! "I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb" (Jeremiah 1:5) and before you were born you were chosen and preordained by God! "Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born the LORD called me; from my birth he has made mention of my name" (Isaiah 49:1). "Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes" (Ephesians 1:4). God, knew the mistakes you would make in life, and yet he loved you, and appointed you to an ambassador to his glorious kingdom!

So what, you've made mistakes, we've all have; some minors, and some grave; but you are a New Creation in Christ, the "old you" has gone! You were resurrected with Christ from the grave and have new life! You are seated, as we speak, in the heavenly realm with Christ! The Holy Spirit dwells within you conforming you into the image of Christ; you are judged holy and righteous even before the day of judgment. So past mistakes are inconsequential to your identity! This self-loathing and low self-conceptualization is due to unreliable and manipulative feelings brought upon by Satan and your willingness to believe him! You must change your habit of thought!

***The Road to Liberation***

Me: You're right. How does one go about doing that, I mean I've been fighting with this for quite awhile, but it has increased in frequency and intensity, right after I quit alcohol.

Dr. Godspeed: I am far from a neurologist, but I stumbled across a particular bit of information that fits this occasion. And I quote: Any pattern of thought or action repeated many times results in a habit with a corresponding neurosignature, or brain groove. The brain is composed of approximately 100 billion cells, called neurons. A brain groove is a series of interconnected neurons that carry the thought patterns of a particular habit. Attention feeds the habit. When we give our attention to a habit, we activate the brain groove, releasing the thoughts, desires, and actions related to that habit.

The good news is that the brain is malleable. We can change our thoughts and behavior by recruiting new cells to form new brain grooves. Every thought and action is recorded within the interconnected nerve cells, and each repetition adds new depth to the brain groove. If we repeat a thought and action enough times, a habit is formed. Continued repetition strengthens the power of the habit. Inattention and lack of repetition weakens the power of the habit. These principles apply to the formation of both good and bad habits. Positive thoughts and actions create good habits. Negative thoughts and actions create harmful habits.

I hope that answers your question efficiently. And what should you replace thoughts of worthlessness, hopelessness, and self-loathing with?... The emotional and spiritual revitalizing Word of God! I bet you didn't see that coming. *chuckles* Look, Steven, God delivered us his word for a gargantuan amount of reasons; and what you're currently going through now is one of them. Remember, the Bible is objective truth, God doesn't lie, he has nothing to gain for helping us, it's because he loves us that he revealed himself in his word! I gave you a great quantity of verses that can help you on your journey for emotional and spiritual revivification and there are literally hundreds more of those verses that directs a Christian in the aspect of finding his true identity. God is the most amazing guide ever! His word is more than enough! You need to stay grounded in it! The foundation of your identity and worth needs to be built upon the Holy Bible. "When" you accomplish that with the help of the Holy Spirit, you will definitely be set up for success in this life and the one to come.

Steven, as a fellow brother in Christ, I love you, God loves you; and God is hurting at the misery you're allowing yourself to go through. He wants you to realize your worth and actualize your potential that he has given you. I am not talking to you for no reason, our meeting wasn't a fatalistic, random cosmic occurrence; God wanted you to speak with me. I even hurt to the point that I can't breathe because of your pain, imagine how God feels. These words aren't my own. But they were given to me by the Spirit of Truth to deliver to you. God knows your infinitely valuable, he knows your potentiality is illimitable, and he knew your mistakes before you even committed them, and he still loves you and wants you reconciled to himself in a deep and meaningful way. God will "never, ever, ever" leave you nor forsake you!

***Prayer***


Let's conclude our meeting with a prayer led by the Holy Spirit.

Our Father in Heaven, we come to you in the glorious and victorious name of our God and Savior, your Son Jesus Christ whom died for us. Father we come to you to ask that your illimitable wisdom be imparted on Steven, that you guide him through his trails and tribulations. That you revitalize his strength, you align his perception of reality with your eternal and glorious word. Help him to realize his incredible worth. Help him to grow and depend on the amazing and remarkable hope that you've given us through your word, and through the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Help him to realize your absolutely wonderful love for him. My Father I thank you, that I met Steven, and I am confident that through me, you have illuminated his perspective to your ever-enduring truth. In Jesus' glorious and victorious name we pray... Amen.


©2013 Steven Salazar

You can read more apologetic writing at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Apolopedia-a-comprehensive-approach-to-Christian-Apologetics/163286163826705?fref=ts

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Day 991 of Giving Thanks


"And let us not grow weary in doing good for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart" ~Galatians 6:9 (New International Version)

The enemy fights tirelessly to devour your strength and power, but know this CHILDREN OF GOD, our Father in heaven is our UNENDING source for UNENDING STRENGTH AND POWER through the Holy Spirit.

Let us stand firm, bold and in confidence of our Father's work in us.

Do not own "despair"... in fact don't even borrow it. Walk away from it. Pray for strength and lean on God's promises greatly.

There was a big part of me this morning that wanted to do the opposite of what I should do... run, hide, go back to sleep, give in, cry and feel sorry for myself... BUT, I just had to remember who I belong to. Know that I am a favored child of God and with a grateful heart, that would not be honoring to God and very dishonoring to myself.

I will not own or even borrow "despair", how about you?

I have to remember what He did for me. And how much I am loved. We celebrate His resurrection daily. We do it by recognizing our need and abiding in Him for His glory.

In the moments of unknowing, cry out to the All KNOWING and be sure that He will be with you at every turn.

The book of Isaiah foretold of a King to be born... and history proves that He was... A King like no other. A Savior, born to live a perfect life - behold our Lord Jesus AND to die an undeserving death, so we can live.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only and unique Son, so that everyone who trusts in him may have eternal life, instead of being utterly destroyed." ~John 3:16 (Complete Jewish Bible) 

“[The Resurrection of Christ] Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,” ~1 Corinthians 15:1, 3-4 (New International Version)

As my emotions get the better of me, but not the best of me (for that is God’s) I often feel undone. And in the moments that seem to go on too long or not last long enough depending on the emotion, I ask the Holy Spirit to help me be “undone”. As I thought of this, I decided to see what the dictionary said about undone, and the immediate phrase I held onto, and confirmed my thoughts.

Undone: to reverse the doing of; cause to be as if never done (my faults, my bad decisions, my insecurities, my doubts...); to unfasten by releasing; to untie or loose (a knot, rope, etc.)

Undone.
I want to be undone, so I can be Yours wholly. I want to be undone, so I can fully realize You in me. I want to be undone, so You can reveal who I was created to be... New and Yours.

Awesome, wonderful, mighty God... thank You for all You are for each of Your children. Father, we are grateful for Your presence - Your mercy and favor.

I want to be undone. I am new because of You Father. Thank You.




© 2013 Giving Thanks Daily



Sunday, March 17, 2013

Day 990 of Giving Thanks


I have been struggling to write and to be still… and yes, the two are greatly connected. I have had troubling news, anxious moments in my day to day and it is a fight to work through feelings of despair – where they come from I am not sure exactly; but it could be whispers of the enemy, and they are reminiscent of long ago, the moments the phases and the challenges of dealing with too much, and knowing that I was ill-equipped. That was then.

In the moments of my life, I often consider the past, however, the past does not dictate my future or present. I am grateful for all the moments that have brought me to this one.

This is now. Today I know that I can do all things, and He is with me through it all. I know for years I rejected forgiving others in my life; the pain, I thought, was too deep, too settled in and too much a part of who I was. I was wrong.

Forgiving others isn't a chore or a burden; it is a blessing and lifts all burdens. Coming from experience, I know that peace is a different word all together when forgiveness can be poured out. From where true forgiveness flows is from and through Christ.

Help us LORD to forgive those who have hurt us deeply, and who break our hearts to the core of our being. Help us to remember the outpouring of forgiveness we have received as Your children.

The Righteous Will Live by Faith
“I will stand at my post,
    and station myself on the rampart.
And I will keep watch to see what he will say to me,
    and what he will answer concerning my complaint.
“Then Yahweh answered me and said,
“Write the vision and make it plain on the tablet
    so that it might be read quickly.
“For there is yet a vision for the appointed time;
    it will give witness to the end, and it will not lie.
“If it tarries, wait for it,
    for it will surely come and not delay.” ~Habakkuk 2:1-3 (Lexham English Bible)

Are things a mess, an outcome of not so right choices? As His child, God can undo what we begun by finishing in us what He began and always intended.

"And let us not grow weary in doing good for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart" ~Galatians 6:9 (New International Version)

I have watched people change in amazing ways because of God's work in their life. Knowingly and unknowingly seen my own life transform. I am grateful for the ability to reflect and shine, and to see others reflection and the light of Jesus as well. We are designed to work together, differently, uniquely and together. Let us love one another, encourage one another and focus on the things that god will have us do as His church. Let us work in love and through His love. Let us also be aware of the right path we walk on, and each step we take in doing so.

In the moments of my life, I often consider the past, however, the past does not dictate my future or present. I am grateful for all the moments that have brought me to this one.



© 2013 Giving Thanks Daily

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Day 989 of Giving Thanks


Despair happens when we do not know who we belong to... knowing whose we are is so important. For me it was knowing that because I belong to Him, through Christ's work and my acceptance (my choosing Him), God will NEVER LEAVE ME... will run after me, the "one lost sheep" (Luke 15:4) because He loves me without end.

Do you know "whose you are"?

"We can choose – Will we serve the Lord, or will we serve someone else?
Whoever we choose, we will find that the wages they pay differ significantly.
~just saying. . . ." Ron Mcintyre

This world will present very good cases for serving someone else, under the guise of serving the LORD... May we pray for DISCERNMENT ABOVE comfort and acceptance of others... Let us be known more for the love we share than our opinions about the faults of the world. We can shine God's love by loving people in their circumstances through their issues and be Christ-like in every way.

Let us pray for you today. Let us behold all that our Redeemer has given us to through His sacrifice on the cross and His perfect plan to set us free through His blood. Let us behold whose we are, for we are a chosen people, loved and created wonderfully and amazingly by a tender and loving God. Thank You Father for keeping us. Amen.

Today is a new day, decide right now that it will be different because I will 'think' differently and do my part as God gives me strength to begin, follow through and complete what is necessary for me to heal and grow in the LORD. I am a new creation in Christ and I can do all things through Him, who is my peace and protector.

There have been times in my life when I have had to choose to harm myself, or honor God's creation (me)... it took discipline, strength, but mostly choosing the right way. If you are dealing with addiction, have others pray for you, but work moment to moment to make good choice... Pray for strength and courage to honor God with your life and choices. Get help, you are not alone in this. God is there with you, acknowledge His presence and You will recognize it more and more.

God will do what God does, strengthen you - but you have to do your part... we have free will, we are given every opportunity to exercise it.

It is time for you to move... make the move to heal and change.

Note to self...
Anything and everything that takes my eyes and focus off of God, is a potential idol. Hmmm. Help me LORD to stay on path... the narrow and right one.

Father, we come to You, our amazing Creator, the One who loved us so deeply, that You made a way though Jesus for us to be with You. Thank You LORD for Your grace and mercy. Father, I praise You for Your love. Thank You for saving us and pursuing us, Your wayward and disobedient children. Help us in our weaknesses, in our worry and through our fear to be ever seeking You. Help us to desire You more, and come to You more. In the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.

Isaiah 1 talks of God's disobedient people; His children, wayward, unresponsive and removed from His presence – let us pray that we can see the mighty grace, amazing love and tenderness of our Creator as He loves His children, and pursues us all...

“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord:
though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool.
If you are willing and obedient,
you shall eat the good of the land;
but if you refuse and rebel,
you shall be eaten by the sword;
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” 
~Isaiah 1:18-20 (English Standard Version)

"By His stripes, you are ALREADY healed"... meaning you are covered by His blood for all sin. WE just have to remember that HE LOVED us enough to endure... we just have to believe He has a plan, even through our trials and pain...

Father we pray for Your presence to be recognized by Your children tonight as they seek Your face... as we hope and trust in Your promises. Thank You for never leaving us, always leading us closer to Your will for our lives as we live in obedience and abide in Your direction and instruction. Thank You amazing, awesome, Holy and merciful God for loving us so intimately and intensely. Thank You Jesus for being our advocate and revealing who You are for us through the Holy Spirit. We love You and pray to honor You through our lives, along this path toward perfection in Your strength. Amen.

Every day I am convicted in a new way... It is "by His stripes" I have every opportunity to experience victory and a desire to watch Him complete me through His leading. As I read through Isaiah 53 tonight, my heart grieves for my Redeemer, as I rejoice in what He endured. And with this welling up inside me, I know that He did all He did, so I can endure because of Him. My heart sings and wails all at once, and it is good, for it is finished.

"He was despised and rejected and forsaken by men, a Man of sorrows and pains, and acquainted with grief and sickness; and like One from Whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we did not appreciate His worth or have any esteem for Him.
"Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy].
"But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole." ~Isaiah 53:3-5 (Amplified Bible)

It all has to do with thought... Let me honor God's creation – through seeing myself as He sees me through the blood of Jesus – loved and created to love Him wholly, for He will never leave me.


©2013 Giving Thanks Daily

Friday, March 8, 2013

Day 988 of Giving Thanks

Daily I find a new way to be grateful… a new reason to thank God, some days, many reasons. I remember when I first started writing I thought I would run out of things to be thankful for in two posts, well, our God is good in every way. He gives me so much to be grateful for, and to look forward to. For me, the fact that I get to grow and learn daily, is a great motivating truth. I do very well with seeing change. It’s when I can recognize the changes in myself, I seek Him more and the more I seek Him, the more encouraged I am. The more I seek Him and His will, the more change I recognize all around me – and change is good, according to God’s will, of course.

This walk, my journey, is definitely not about "self-evaluation" but evaluation as I become selfless through God's grace and mercy. I am learning to look at who and whose I am more than where I have been… I truly believe He has amazing lessons waiting right at the parameter of what is next, as well as what is now. It truly has been a very humbly time in my life. Between working in a job that is outside of my God-given gifts and challenges that come up so rapidly at times, I barely have time to figure out which are immediate needs and which ones can be ignored. I am trusting my Creator, for He knows what He has for me... I am trusting my Savior, for only He knows how greatly I need Him... I am trusting my Healer, for I am in need for restoration and repair.

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” ~Matthew 6:34 (English Standard Version)

I am so grateful for God's grace and mercy as He moves me daily toward perfection, and knowing I will not be perfect here, but in eternity. Thank You God.

So much to pray about and so much to be grateful for... doing both tonight, and thankful for being able to come in faith and hope so freely to our Creator, our Redeemer and in unending strength. How fortunate a people we are. I want come together and lift those in need tonight; those in our group, and our members. Help us Father to submit everything to You in pure and whole heart for through the Holy Spirit is this even possible - we are in AWE LORD God, mighty Savior for all Your gifts. Help us to be in step, to step out from our fear, anxiety and circumstances into Your will and as You desire us to do so. We thank You for our petitioner and presenter, Jesus and for the translator, the Holy Spirit that all our prayers when sought in obedience are heard and answered. Help us to see Your ways O'LORD, Your path and shining light before us. We come to You in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.

Exposure...

God's Word pursues, convicts, grieves, saves, refreshes and renews.

I am alive in the LORD, and thankful.

If you are not in the Word, you will not be convicted to renewed through God... Do not lean on your own understanding; allow His understanding, grace, mercy and favor.

The "world" views "Saints" as holy, above others, better than... this is a very inaccurate view of anyone who is or was human - meaning, outside of Jesus, NO ONE is holy, above others or better than... The term, "oh, she is a saint", as said today, does not mean, "Oh she is a major sinner"... because my friends, we all are.

But as children of God, those saved by the work of Christ, we are saints.... I am a child of God, saved by the work of Christ redeemed by His blood but holy and righteous because of His work, not by anything I have done... "a saint".... absolutely! Although a sinner in flesh, I am holy for what He has done.

Work within your strengths and your weaknesses will be strengthened in the process. Lord, help me with this, for others work so desperately to keep me going in the wrong direction. ARGH.

"One who breaks open the way will go up before them; they will break through the gate and go out. Their king will pass through before them, the Lord at their head." ~Micah 2:13 (New Living Translation)

I hear many say that "this life is hard", which I do agree with, however, I prefer to affirm... "this life is temporary and, although it may be challenging at times, we know that the challenge is for and toward a purpose... " HIS PURPOSE, my obedience, let it be.

I hunger and thirst for You Father and daily, I am quenched in new ways... the living Water of my Redeemer for whom, there is no match.

Thank You Father for truth and conviction of the deepest levels. I love You.

You can do all things through Christ Jesus, HE PROMISES YOU THAT.

The narrow road can be rough at times, but with the Holy Spirit as our guide and teacher, and although we may misstep, we will not fall off the cliff, for Jesus' hold is mighty and perfect. Let us always allow Him to determine our steps, our path and our periods of rest. Thank You Father for restoration, mercy through the process and grace unending, in this unfolding life toward perfection.

AWESOME, WONDERFUL, AMAZING.... cannot even begin to describe my God, my Creator for you. But it's a start. Let's praise Him in the best way we can.

“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 (New Living Translation)


© 2013 Giving Thanks Daily


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Day 987 of Giving Thanks

The "world" defines "a saint" as more holy than others, above others, better than”... this is a very inaccurate view of anyone who is or was human - meaning, outside of Jesus, NO ONE is holy, above others or better than... The term, "oh, she is a saint", as said today, does not mean, "Oh she is a major sinner"... because my friends, we all are, sinners that is…

But as children of God, those saved by the work of Christ, we are saints.... I am a child of God, saved by the work of Christ redeemed by His blood but holy and righteous because of His work, not by anything I have done... "a saint".... absolutely! Although a sinner in flesh, I am holy because of what He has done. I would finish with I am definitely holeyer than others.

I am strengthened daily in Him – my strength and power is endless as He is in me. “For Yahweh is good, and His love is eternal; His faithfulness endures through all generations.” ~Psalm 100:5 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

My mind is reeling this morning... as I think about sin and His salvation these are my ramblings.
Sin, no matter the size is what keeps us from God's presence; we cannot be in God's presence because we have sinned, we will sin... no doubt, not matter how hard we try, we will sin. So whether a little 'white' lie or murder, we are not 'fit' in the flesh to be in God's presence.

Now, with this said, God knew this, but desires us to be in His presence - absolutely mind-boggling, isn't it? So, Jesus, He who lived the perfect life we could not, suffered and died the death we should have died and conquered death covers our sin with His perfection and completed work...

Any amount of His blood covers the most egregious of sin when we ask Him to do so... His blood allows us to be in God's presence.

Think about this. God prepared a way... and when we choose HIM that "way" is our hope for eternity. Really, are you thinking and pondering and praising God for this? There is no greater gift than life... a life chosen through a Savior, Jesus.

Awe.... settle in to this truth and be sure to call on Jesus if you have not already done so...

His Steadfast Love Endures Forever
“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.” ~ Psalm 136:1 (English Standard Version)

“Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story—those He redeemed from the hand of the foe, those He gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south…
“Let the one who is wise heed these things and ponder the loving deeds of the LORD.” ~Psalm 107:1-3, 43 (New International Version)

I am giving thanks daily, over and over... for His love endures forever!

©2013 Giving Thanks Daily

Friday, March 1, 2013

Day 986 of Giving Thanks


I AM HIS“Only God is my rock and my salvation—my stronghold!—I won’t be shaken anymore.” ~Psalm 62:2 (Common English Bible)

God's love for us is universal and complete, but our salvation comes through a clearly defined action - not all ways lead to heaven - the action is to accept that, "I am a sinner".... "I cannot be holy and righteous in my own power and strength"... "I cannot live a perfect life and will always sin in this body of flesh"... first and foremost there has to be an acknowledgement of "MY NEED".

The next action is to believe that, "Jesus lived a perfect life for me"... "Jesus died in my place for my sin, even though He sinned NOT"... "Jesus suffered greatly because of my present, past and future sins"... so I must acknowledge "I NEED JESUS".

Finally, I must know that He died and rose, overcame death, so "I CAN LIVE"... "Jesus lives, so I can live"... so "I MUST CHOOSE HIM".

God’s Love for the World
"For in this way God loved the world, so that he gave his one and only Son, in order that everyone who believes in him will not perish, but will have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world in order that he should judge the world, but in order that the world should be saved through him. The one who believes in him is not judged, but the one who does not believe has already been judged, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God." ~John 3:16-18 (Lexham English Bible)

Randy Alcorn in his book Heaven says it very well, "God then poured out his wrath on Christ instead of on us. Christ, who stood in our place, conveyed his righteousness to us so that we are declared innocent of all our sins and declared righteous, so we may enter the very presence of God in Heaven and be at home with him there...
..."Only when our sins are dealt with in Christ can we enter Heaven. We cannot pay our own way."

"Salvation is found in no one else [but Jesus], for there is no other name under have given to men by which we are saved" ~Acts 4:12 (New International Version)

As believers we are to allow the Spirit to be our discerning power, not our own understanding from our past or hearsay. I am saddened by the lack of truth that is out there from many who "claim" to be followers of Christ... unsure of something? Pray, seek His Word and ask Him to reveal His truth... He is faithful that way, every time. This is what we are called to do from the beginning of our faith throughout our walk.

Since all scripture is true, all here are chosen to teach through the Holy Spirit in love, concern and wisdom. It is by the authority of my Creator, He who gifted 'us' with teaching of others, not authority of others in the church, but we do all have authority over evil. We are all the church.

So many have the wrong concept of "getting into heaven"... It's not getting into, it's accepting God's gift and we will go home. Let us [let me] share rightly the message of the gospel Father. Help others to have open eyes and hearts that move toward You. We pray for those seeking You tonight, that tonight will be the night of choice, the night that conviction sets in, and God is called out to, and called on. We pray it's you, the one waiting for the right moment, the right push or the right sign... take this as it.

“When I had a sour attitude
and felt stung by pained emotions
I was too stupid to understand;
I was like a brute beast with you.
Nevertheless, I am always with you;
you hold my right hand.
You will guide me with your advice;
and afterwards, you will receive me with honor.
Whom do I have in heaven but you?
And with you, I lack nothing on earth.
My mind and body may fail; but God
is the rock for my mind and my portion forever.
Those who are far from you will perish;
you destroy all who adulterously leave you.
But for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made Adonai ELOHIM my refuge,
so that I can tell of all your works.” ~Psalm 73:21-28 (Complete Jewish Bible)


©2013 Giving Thanks Daily


A Provoking Thought - REAL Service to God by Gerry Brinkman



REAL Service to God
by Gerry Brinkman

Phillipians 2:7-9 says “[Christ] emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name…” (NASB)

When people serve in a church, they rarely ask for a position where nobody can see what they do.  Usually, they want to be “in charge” of something.  I don’t really see a problem with that, because someone has to head the committee or the study group, or ministry.  What I want to focus on is that God calls us in those places to have the heart of a true servant.  I believe that God wishes our motive to be to give glory to Him and not ourselves.

That is the very slippery slope we face as God’s servant - the moment we start to listen to the compliments and attach importance to them, the temptation is to start attaching importance to yourself.  This changes the focus of your service a little at a time so that in the end you are not working for God’s glory, but for your own - and all that implies.

We must always remember that it is God that called us to serve Him, and He puts us where He wants us to serve.  Okay, I hear the objection out there that goes something like, “but you don’t understand!  These people are so unreasonable!  How can this be what God wants?  How can I serve these heartless and unreasonable individuals?”  I know that particular line of reasoning too well, I have uttered those words myself on multiple occasions.  However, the Lord called these words to my memory:

“You have heard that it was said, AN eye for an eye, and A tooth for A tooth.  But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.  If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.  Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two.  Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.”—Matthew 5:38-42 (NASB)

This particular passage was spoken by the Lord Himself as he taught people from the mountain.  He went on to embody every word He said here, including dying to pay for the wrongdoing of the entire world.  With this realization God allowed me to have came a question:  How can I do any less than He?  Any REAL servant of God knows the answer to that, no matter how young they are in the faith.  And with that answer comes a further revelation:  God has given us His grace to endure whatever He has called us to.

Remember those harsh, unreasonable people you were called by God to serve?  God knew all about that when He called you to serve Him there.  And He promises this:  1 Corinthians 10:13 - “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” (NASB)  That way of escape is His grace.  Like that saint of old, our brother Job, there is nothing that you are going through that God hasn’t already approved for the sake of your perfection.

Servant, you are in His hands.  He sees you and knows where you are and what you are going through.  Trust Him for the outcome.  I must tell you truthfully that it may not look like a good ending.  Remember, out Lord was executed most painfully.  However out of that death came life for many!  And we, as His servants must learn the lesson of how to die to ourselves, whatever the implications of that, to bring life to many.  There is a very long list of names, beginning with Stephen, the first Christian Martyr, and includes 11 of the 12 disciples, men like John Huss, burned at the stake for translating the divine Word of God into the common language, Jim Elliot, martyred at the hands of the men of the tribe he had gone to the Amazon to reach (who were later saved by Jim’s own testimony and death), right down to you and me.

The writer of the book of Hebrews tells us this in Chapter 11:  ”Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection;  and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment.  They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill- treated  (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground.”

Our Lord never promised that our lives would be rosy.  He DID promise that if we would be faithful to Him, it would be WORTH IT.  Serve Him with the grace that He provides, looking to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith as our great example of what it means to be a Servant of God.

© 2011 Giving Thanks Daily,  all rights remain with the author

Read Gerry's testimony

To connect with Gerry on Facebook 
visit his blog: Meditations from a Servant's Heart
"But the greatest among you shall be your servant."
-Matthew 23:11 (NASB)



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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.