|A gratitude journal detailing all of the goodness of God in my life and in the universe we share.|
|At the close of another year, I am grateful that I am still here with family that loves me. This has been a tough year. I have had some health issues, lost some family members, and struggled to understand the world around me like so many others. The fact that I am still here is a miracle unto itself because I know I have come close to trying the patience of the God of All Creation many times. But what I have learned is that it is absolutely true that God loves us unconditionally and will stay with us through our fears, doubts, and failures. Whether or not God can use us for His monumental work depends entirely on our willingness to be open and receptive to His loving guidance for our lives. It is possible to live our entire lives and never be all that God intended us to be if we are stubborn and resistant to His will. The greatest form of gratitude we can offer Him for His magnificent gift of life is to yield to His absolute claim on who we are and who we can be. And His very nature of unconditional and transcendent love has left this as a choice for us to make on our own. We must choose wisely.
|"When I fall on my knees,
with my face to the rising sun.
Oh, Lord have mercy,
One of my favorite and most familiar songs from my childhood is the song we sang at Communion time on First Sunday. And even today, it reminds me that God sees me and that Christ is near and He is going to help me. I am comforted and not condemned. I and my family will live and we will "see the goodness of the Lord in the Land of the Living."
Thank you, Lord.
|As the New Year enters quietly I am most grateful that I have the following:
Mobility, Agility, and Rhythm
Intelligence, Wit, and Inspiration
Courage, Strength, and Determination
Faith, Hope, and Love
This is all I need to progress through the New Year. Everything I do and say will be a direct result of these attributes. God has indeed equipped me with all of the characteristics I need to do His work. I am able and most important, I am willing.
Amen and Hallelujah.
|I am celebrating my 49th year of life today. It is hard for me to believe that I have been on this planet for nearly half a century already. Yet, this is what I know to be true about life based on the limited years I have been here so far.
God is in control of everything! From my waking up to my sleeping soundly through the night, God holds me in the palm of His mighty hands. Everything that has happened to me since the day I was born and will happen to me until my final transition into His Kingdom, has His stamp of approval on it. I am not an accident. I was planned, created, cultivated and brought forth into God's world at this exact moment in time with a purpose and a vision. Thus, I am grateful for my life and am determined that God shall continue to have His way with it. I am a vessel in which Christ pours His spirit and then pours forth as living water that satisfies the thirst of this parched world we call home
I am absolutely thrilled to be an instrument of Christ and pray that the rest of my life will be as blessed as the first half. May the God who has sustained all who have come before me and all who will come after me receive all the glory that is in me and manifests from me both now and forevermore.
|Lord Jesus, I thank you that I have such a good life right now. You have given me a family that loves and supports me as well as food, shelter, stability and hope. I apologize for the times when I am discouraged and feel like I don't want to live my life. I know such times are inevitable and a part of living in this world, but each time I am discouraged you lift my heart again to new heights.
Thank you for the trials that build my faith. Thank you for taking the time and care to refine me in the fire so that I will shine forth your light as pure gold. Thank you for your steadfast love that absolutely sustains me through every difficulty and loss of hope. Thank you for creating me in your image and allowing me to be a part of your divine plan for your glorious Kingdom on earth.
I pray that just like right now, when I am discouraged, I will remember your faithfulness and love for me. My life is as it should be. I am content just to be in your presence.
Amen and Hallelujah.
|This beautiful Sunday morning, I am grateful for God's mercy.
I think about how I fail God over and over again. I think about how I am deliberately disobedient to His calling. I think about how I treat the people I say I love as less than I should. I think about the endless mistakes I make every day. I think about my misplaced anger...my prejudices...and the fears that keep me bound.
And still, Christ loves me!
He loves me through all of may anger, resentment, bitterness and fear. He loves me even when He has asked me to do something and I don't do it or do it my way instead of His. He loves me although I consistently fall short of His ideal aspirations for me.
Christ loves me when the world rejects me and I retreat into my own little bubble of self pity. He loves me when the words I say crush the spirit of someone I'm supposed to love unconditionally. Christ simply loves me.
And just when I think I have blown it with God for the final time, Christ's mercy toward me spares my life and gives me yet another opportunity to live for Him. That is why, although I will never be able to offer Christ the perfect love He offers me, I keep trying to live His will for my life. I am His and He has proven time after time that He will never let me go. Despite the fact that I deliberately and foolishly walk away from Him into danger, He keeps me close so that I will not come to ruin. I live because His mercy allows me to live.
"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:6
|So, I was feeling a little discouraged and fearful last night but just now, I read a Facebook post that says, "God is bigger than what I'm facing right now." From God's mouth to my ears. It's as if God has spoken directly into the darkness in my heart to encourage me. I definitely believe in divine intervention into our everyday lives...into our challenges and hurts...into our fears, losses and mistakes. God is not only good when life is good. He is good no matter the circumstances and I am most grateful for His power to lift my spirit when all else seems lost. Sometimes, I feel that if this or that does or doesn't happen, I won't be able to go on living. But God has given each of us the will to live despite the obstacles we face and most important, the will to thrive in the face of seemingly insurmountable difficulties. One thing is certain, life goes on despite the pain and anguish we experience in this world and we can either go on with it or remain trapped in fear and despair. But isn't it wonderful to know that this is not the end God has planned for us. We can face another day knowing that God is there and will be the light that consumes the darkness that threatens to consume us.
|At this early hour, on New Year's Eve 2017, I am most grateful for second chances. Actually, I should say multiple chances. God gives us opportunity after opportunity to develop our righteousness before Him. Just when we think we have blown our final chance with God, He presents us with yet one more. God is both patient and persistent. He continues to pursue us, even after we fail Him, because He loves us that much. I am eternally grateful for God's consistent desire to be intimate with His children. We are forever blessed because He yearns to shower us with His beauty and give us hope for not only an abundant life now, but an eternal life experiencing the glory of His Kingdom. As the New Year 2018 approaches, join me in embracing the magnificent love of our eternal Lord and King, Christ Jesus.
|This Christmas Eve morning, I am grateful for the majesty of Christ. Our blessed King of Kings was born into our sin filled world to offer us a majestic light which guides us to His glory in our true heavenly home. We are all created to worship our King with our time, talents and very breath and often feel lost in life because we are not doing exactly this. We can fill our days and nights with all kinds of meaningful work but if we are not working to bring glory to God, then we have no purpose and nothing we do makes sense. The greatest gift we can give Christ to celebrate His glorious birth is to allow Him lordship in our lives as He leads us in the way everlasting.
May the love and peace of our Lord abide in our hearts this blessed day and every day of our lives. Amen
|This morning I am grateful that I live because He lives. Christ is the reason that I even exist and can call Heaven my home. He came into our mortal reality millennia ago and created life for us beyond this troubled world. We have precious hope for the beauty of eternity simply because He willed it so and backed up His will with His very life and blood.
I am grateful for His presence in our lives and the gift of love that surrounds us throughout our days and especially our nights. And although I fall short of His will for me and perish daily, I remain steadfast and determined to be His light that leads us all to His glory. I will fight for Christ because He fought for me.
"We are soldiers in the army. We have to fight. Oh Lord, we have to fight. We have to hold up the blood stained banner. We have to hold it up until we die."
Thank you, Jesus.