Give Thanks

Brief update: I’m back from Florida after seeing Dad with my sisters. I wrote a prayer request about this here. It wasdifficult trip because I don’t travel well any more, and dealing with overcrowded airports and airplanes piles on a lot of stress. However, through it all, I felt God’s presence as He filled me with a calm and peace I sorely needed. I’m convinced that was only because of the prayers of His faithful, so thank you from the bottom of my heart for your prayers on behalf of me and my family.

It was so good to see Dad again. He has changed so much in the several years since I was last able to see him, and it is evident that soon God will call him home. It was difficult saying goodbye but I know I’ll see him in heaven, and that’s soothing to me.

Ps95-2-November 2015 Proclaim Freebie - Give Thanks-50

1 O come, let us sing for joy to the Lord,
Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving,
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
For the Lord is a great God
And a great King above all gods,
In whose hand are the depths of the earth,
The peaks of the mountains are His also.
The sea is His, for it was He who made it,
And His hands formed the dry land.

Come, let us worship and bow down,
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.
Today, if you would hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah,
As in the day of Massah in the wilderness,
“When your fathers tested Me,
They tried Me, though they had seen My work.
10 “For forty years I loathed that generation,
And said they are a people who err in their heart,
And they do not know My ways.
11 “Therefore I swore in My anger,
Truly they shall not enter into My rest.”

I am thankful for so much, sometimes even for things that God is not allowing in my life. I know that sounds strange, but from past experience I have learned that when we pray for certain things and rush ahead of God’s timing on them, we might get what we pray for but it may not necessarily be God’s plan for us, therefore not good for us. I can tell you from personal experience that’s a hard place to be in!

I believe without a shadow of doubt that God desires His very best for each and every one of us. And sometimes that “best” is something so small and seemingly insignificant that it may escape our notice. Let’s try to remember to notice every single thing with which God has blessed us and “come before His presence with thanksgiving.” And then let’s share our joy and thanks with others. We live in a fallen world and all of us sometimes forget those little things in our daily struggles.

Beloved, it is my prayer that all of you enjoy a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!


New American Standard Bible (NASB). Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

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Never Changing; Always New

Never Changing; Always New

By Patricia Knight

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

Since WWII, the Baby Boomer generation, in particular, has adapted to an incredible surge of scientific discoveries and technological improvements.

For the first time, the speed of airplane travel exceeded the speed of sound, breaking the sound barrier, disrupting our lives with loud, shattering booms from the sky. Space exploration sent manned flights to the moon, with astronauts walking on its surface. Established international space stations remain in operation today, accommodating astronauts and conducting research. Unmanned computer-operated Drones gain intelligence information from our enemies and at times deploy armaments. Nuclear energy has provided a clean, efficient alternative to the use of fossil fuels.

The successful separation of Siamese twins divides and saves the lives of two children at one time, providing individual identity and function, while advancing the field of neurosurgery. Organs are now routinely transplanted from a human donor to a recipient, including the replacement heart of a newborn baby.

Cumbersome personal computers were designed, shrunk to laptop or hand-held proportions, and accessible today in the majority of homes. Most corporate and personal data is stored on computers. A click on the keyboard, the opportunity arises to achieve numerous tasks, including shopping, studying for a college degree, or paying bills.

Video cameras and cell phones provide the ability to record scenes that can be sent around the world via social media sites. Depending on the amount of interest the subject amasses, it may “go viral” in a few hours, traveling internationally among subscribers more swiftly than communicable viral diseases.

One electronic book stores thousands of volumes that can be read anywhere by holding a device smaller than a book in one’s hand.

A steadily expanding number of personal vehicles are now equipped with GPS (Global Positioning System), a navigation system that responds to inquiries for vehicular driving coordinates. A mechanical voice guides the driver until his destination is reached.

Consistently, from the earliest time in the history of the world, God has verbally communicated with His creation. His promises remain the same today as centuries ago. God not only hears our prayers, but He listens precisely to each word and to the intent of our heart. He knows what we will say before we utter a sentence. “For the Father knows what you need before you ask Him (Matthew 6:8).

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God developed the marvelous method of prayer, permitting us to talk with Him in a two-way conversation, to glorify His name, to intercede for others, or to request our own needs.

Although God maintains foreknowledge of our thoughts, He still desires to communicate with us as any human father casually talks with his children. God wants to hear what is important and urgent to us, and the long-term goals we present for His input. More importantly, God desires our praise, our gratitude, and glory showered upon Him when we pray.

There are no electronic gadgets associated with prayer. Our messages need not bounce among a succession of cell towers before God’s hears us. Prayer delivery is instantaneous. Jesus, who lives in the heart of a believer, is sensitive to His host, aware of what we intend to say before we speak a word.

There is never interruption of prayer service due to a power outage or at times when an internet provider goes down for maintenance. Neither does prayer require financial remuneration. There are no limits to the number of times we can call God each month. We need possess neither address nor password. Our Father easily identifies our voice. Omnipresent, He is everywhere present at one time, capable of hearing and answering an unlimited number of prayers simultaneously, explicitly perceptive to our individual needs.

Prayer need never be uttered aloud. Nor does another person listen to or receive our message in error. Prayer is exclusively between us and our Lord, who has power to act on our behalf.

God is not merely a receptionist who assigns our requests to His angels to handle. We serve a personal, sovereign God who listens to us individually, who delights in each of us (Zephaniah 3:17), who promises to supply all of our needs (Philippians 4:19), and who joyfully lavishes believers with love and grace (Ephesians 3:1).

A computer has no emotions. It is incapable of responding to our most immediate needs. Only God can save and heal, reverse a selfish lost life to a new one of service, transforming us to conform to His command to magnanimously love others.

Prayer need not be formal, verbalized, or read. Free your mind to express your intimate thoughts and questions to God. Silent prayer in which only you and God are involved is preferred. Jesus instructed His disciples how to 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).

All power resides with God. Because He created each of us, loves and cares for us, He utilizes His omnipotence to order and enhance our lives on earth. He strengthens and enables us with talents, and expects us to worship Him in the splendor of His majesty, commanding patience, obedience, and trust from all Christians who claim to follow His Son, Jesus Christ.

As Thanksgiving season approaches, let us praise God for the joys and blessings He has abundantly granted in our lives. Impatience and fear are inflamed by an instantaneous society, one in which our keyboard fingers, rather than our hearts, control our lives. Take advantage of any opportunity to relax your fast-paced life and silently talk with God, pouring out your heart of love and worship to your magnificent, awesome Lord.

Despite countless innovative discoveries that will enhance our material lives in the future, nothing will ever surpass God’s knowledge, power, or speed in responding to His children with action and love.

“’I the Lord do not change’” (Malachi 3:6).

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The God Without … A Thanksgiving Message [Repost]

I want to continue the Thanksgiving theme today by sharing this post from 2012 with you. Enjoy!

I love the website Grace Thru Faith and subscribe to their daily emails. A big thank you to Donna for telling me about this site months ago!

One of today’s entries at Grace Thru Faith really spoke to me, so here it is in its entirety. I know you’ll appreciate it as much as I did.

The God Without …
A Thanksgiving Message

A Thanksgiving Message by Jack Kelley

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.   For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. (Psalm 100)

Each year on the 4th Thursday of November we celebrate Thanksgiving Day in the US.  It’s a holiday begun by the early settlers to express their gratitude to God for a bountiful harvest, and it’s patterned after the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles.

After the harvest Israelites from all over the country would gather in Jerusalem for a week long celebration. This was to commemorate the time God had spent with them in the wilderness and to give thanks for another good harvest. All year they saved up their tithes, the first born of their flocks and herds, the first sheaves of grain, the first grapes, figs, olives and other fruit and vegetables and brought it all to Jerusalem in the fall where they cooked and ate everything in a national celebration of praise (Deut. 12:5-7).

After surviving a very difficult year in the new world, the Pilgrims of New England instituted a similar, though much smaller, thanksgiving feast, again with the intent of praising God.   This event finally became a national holiday in the US in 1863, but it took until 1941 to settle on the 4th Thursday of November as its official observance.

My parents made sure we never forgot that it was the Lord who provided for us and so Thanksgiving was a religious observance in our house. Prayers were offered and each family member gave thanks to the Lord for all the good things we had received.

You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today (Deut. 8:17-18).

We believed, as the Bible tells us, that even though my parents worked hard all year, it was the Lord who had given them their strength and ability and created opportunities for them. In these verses God reminded the Israelites (and us) not to forget that.  After all, lots of people work hard all their lives and never seem to get anywhere.   We weren’t well off, but we gave thanks for what we had because we knew where our blessings came from.

As an adult I got involved in the self-development field and began learning about the “god within”, an internal force I was told I could use to maximize my “creative potential” for success.  This appealed to my ego and made me seem like the master of my own fate. I forgot all about the Lord’s admonition to remember Him. When I was born again at age 40 I finally saw that this “god within” was really the “God without” who had been blessing me all along even though I was taking all the credit.  Once, as I was praying about this, the phrase “God Without” kept repeating itself in my mind. Was the Lord trying to tell me something?

The word “without” applies to lots of things where the Lord is concerned, and as I continued to pray several of them came to mind. If you’re looking for things to be thankful for (even if you live in a country where Thanksgiving isn’t celebrated) try some of these “withouts”. I’ll bet the Lord will bring more to your mind as you focus on them.

Love Without LimitsFor God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believed in Him would not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

Forgiveness Without QuestionAsk and you will receive. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks the door will be opened (Matt 7:7-8).  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

Performance Without ExceptionAll that the Father gives me will come to me and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. And this is the will of Him Who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that He has given me, but raise them up on the last day (John 6:37, 39).

Promise Without EquivocationI make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times what is still to come. I say, “My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please … what I have said, that will I bring about and what I have planned, that will I do” (Isaiah 46:10-11).

Blessings Without NumberYou will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country (wherever you are). The fruit of your womb will be blessed (your children), and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock-the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks (your work). Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed (you’ll have plenty of food). You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out (when you come home at night and when you leave in the morning) (Deut 28:3-6).

Mercy Without Measure …. It is because of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassion fails not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-23).

Faithfulness Without FailingKnow therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands (Deut. 7:9).  And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

Redemption Without RetractionIn love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will– to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding (Ephesians 1:5-8).

Salvation Without MeritBut when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life (Titus 3:4-7).

Grace Without GuiltTherefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. (2 Corinthians 5:17-19)

So in a time when mankind has all but forgotten that the Lord is the Giver of every good and perfect gift, the Author of all our victories, who arranges every opportunity and fashions every blessing, these “withouts” might serve as good reminders to give thanks where thanks is due.

And now may “The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26) Happy Thanksgiving. 11-17-12

http://gracethrufaith.com/selah/holidays-and-holy-days/the-god-without-a-thanksgiving-message/

 

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Grateful in All Circumstances [shared from Abandoned To Christ]

Can we truly be grateful for every single thing in our lives? The good and the bad? Today I decided to share a wonderful post about this from Abandoned to Christ. It speaks about this better than I have read anywhere else. Thank you, Sunny Shell, for showing us that it is very possible to be grateful for all things in our lives!

Grateful in All Circumstances

What does it mean, to give thanks in all circumstances?
 
In First Thessalonians chapter five, the Apostle Paul closes with a list of things that every Christian ought to do (vv. 12-22), but can’t do in our own strength or by our own sheer will. Perhaps we can accomplish some, or all that’s on this list, but it would only be a temporary appearance of godly character rather than a faithful and continual walk. For we know if we do not abide in Christ, we will not bear His fruit. And any true godly quality we exhibit is a demonstration of the power of the Holy Spirit within us (1 Cor 2:5), not from our flesh that continually desires the ways of this world.
 
I often refer to my physical trials as a gift from the Lord and something He has seen fit to work in my life for my greatest benefit. And often, I get questions and comments from people who are outraged by my proclamation that a good and loving God would bring pain into my life. They tell me I’m rather foolish and audacious to claim God would do anything besides make me healthy, wealthy and happy. But that’s not what God says.
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Read the rest here.

 

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Thanks Living

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Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;
speak of all His wonders.
—1 Chronicles 16:9

 

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Thanks Giving

1Chron-16-9-sing-praise-thanksgiving…..

Last Thanksgiving, I shared “The God Without … A Thanksgiving Message” by Jack Kelley from Grace Thru Faith . It is so good that it bears a repeat performance. You can read it here.

I am thankful for so much, sometimes even for things that God is not allowing in my life. I know that sounds strange, but from past experience I have learned that when we pray for certain things and rush ahead of God’s timing on them, we might get what we pray for but it may not necessarily be God’s plan for us, therefore not good for us. That’s a hard place to be in!

I believe without a shadow of doubt that God desires His very best for each and every one of us. And sometimes that “best” is something so small and seemingly insignificant that it may escape our notice. Let’s try to remember to notice and “speak of all His wonders,” and share them others. We live in a fallen world and all of us sometimes forget those little things in our daily struggles.

Beloved, it is my prayer that each and every one of you enjoy a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!

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AnnaSmile………

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Thankful for Everything

.1Chron-16-8-GiveThanks-autumn….

Since today is the first day of November, and since November is the month we celebrate Thanksgiving Day here in the United States, I will be sharing thankful autumn images and Bible passages with you here this month. I won’t be posting everyday but am aiming for several times a week. And with each post, I’ll share one thing for which I’m thankful.

So let me start: By no means is this a “little thing” — I am first and foremost thankful that God loves us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to take the punishment for our sins.

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. —1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

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Beloved, how about a huge AMEN?

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AnnaSmile…..

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