28 Days of Thanksgiving in the Book of Psalms – Day 27

(This is a challenge between student and teacher. Rules of the challenge are found in the posting entitled: “A Challenge Has Been Presented Using the Book of Psalms.”)

Today’s Verse: “Surely the righteous shall give thanks to Your name; the upright shall dwell in Your presence.” Psalms 140:13 (NKJV)

I Give Thanks For: God’s Abundant Blessings!

As I sit down to write this blog on the day before our Thanksgiving celebration, I think it only appropriate to give thanks today for God’s abundant blessings. For they truly are abundant! And He is so worthy of all praise for showering me with those blessings!

The student, with whom I am doing this 28 day challenge, and I decided to make this our combined item to give thanks for on this particular day. The student suggested that we sit down with a piece of paper and pencil. Across the top of the paper write these words: God’s Abundant Blessings to Me! Then set a timer for 10 minutes, and in that time write down as many blessings that we can think of that God has given us. The student and I would like to challenge our listeners, our readers, our fellow bloggers to do the same and just see how many blessings we can list. Are you up for that challenge?

Our results: Student listed 102, Teacher listed 127 How about you? How many blessings from God can you name off in just 10 minutes? (If you do this little 10 minute challenge, could you write a comment to me and share how many blessings you listed. My student and I are curious if others will do it and what their results were. It will be fun for other bloggers to read your comments as well.)

Doing this fun little challenge, brought to my mind an old favorite hymn that I have sung oh so many times over the years. Count Your Blessings is the name of the hymn. Are you familiar with it? It’s a great hymn and an amazing reminder of how great our God really is. The hymn reminds us that no matter what our circumstances may be, we can find God’s blessings there. It also tells us that if we name our blessings, one by one, it will surprise us what God has done for us. That is what this challenge has been all about. Praising God for all His abundant blessings!

And should you want to burst forth in song or just have a good read – here’s the words to that precious hymn:

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done. 

Refrain:
Count your blessings, name them one by one;
Count your blessings, see what God hath done;
Count your blessings, name them one by one;
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, ev’ry doubt will fly,
And you will be singing as the days go by. (Refrain)

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings, money cannot buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high. (Refrain)

So, amid the conflict, whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end. (Refrain)

28 Days of Thanksgiving in the Book of Psalms – Day 26

(This is a challenge between student and teacher. Rules of the challenge are found in the posting entitled: “A Challenge Has Been Presented in the Book of Psalms.”)

Today’s Verse: “Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven, for His mercy endures forever!” Psalms 136:26 (NKJV)

I Give Thanks For: Home Awaiting in Heaven!

Yesterday, a very dear friend of mine, met Jesus face to face! What a blessed day for her! Her short, yet viciously painful battle with cancer was done. It was her time to meet her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This special lady was my good friend, my sister in the Lord, one of my ministry prayer partners and financial donors. She was a part of my ladies bible study group. Oh, I can still picture her, sitting with us around my dining room table. Always a smile on her face, always chewing a piece of gum, and always ready to learn from God’s Word together with the other ladies in the group. She was filled with laughter and always made us laugh over something that was funny to her. Her laugh was contagious! Whenever she opened her mouth to share, the whole room listened, cause it was usually something really good, something worth listening to, something to consider. When she said she would pray for you, there was no doubt that she did just that. She always came back and wanted to know the answers to her prayers that she offered up for you. And her hugs – I will always remember her hugs – they were genuinely sincerely and warm to the heart. She was one very special lady in my life. I am going to miss her greatly!!

My friend’s passing reminded me once again that all those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord, all of us have a home waiting for us in Heaven. My friend went home yesterday! Her journey in this life was done. She no longer has cancer! Her pain, gone. Her days of suffering, gone. Her crying, gone. Her struggle to walk, gone. There is none of that in her new home in heaven. She now dwells in the land of perfect peace and rest, with her Savior Jesus. She got a big, warm, and sincere hug from Him as He welcomed her home!

Jesus leaves those of us still living in this world a very great and precious promise. It’s found in John 14:1-6:

Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In my Father’s house are many mansions; If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know. . . I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

I am so thankful today that I know Jesus as my personal Savior! Thankful that He is preparing a home in heaven for me too. Thankful, that one day, at His perfect timing, I too will go to that home in heaven. Thankful that one day I will reunite with loved ones and friends who have gone before me. Thankful that I shall spend eternity with my Savior and Lord!

I can’t wait to go HOME!

28 Days of Thanksgiving in the Book of Psalms – Day 25

(This is a challenge between student and teacher. Rules of the challenge are found in the posting entitled: “A Challenge Has Been Presented in the Book of Psalms.”)

Today’s Verse: “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Oh, give thanks to the God of gods! For His mercy endures forever. Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords! For His mercy endures forever!” Psalms 136:1-3 (NKJV)

I Give Thanks For: Sleepless Nights!

The clock says it is 1:18 am. Really? Yep, I’m wide awake!

I roll over on my side, curl my legs up underneath me, and pull the covers around me tighter. Surely, I will go back to sleep.

Nope, I’m wide awake! There is only one thing that I like to do in times like this. I roll onto my back and only for a few seconds do I stare at the ceiling. Almost immediately, prayer items start coming to my mind. I think of how good God has been to Andy and I and how He is helping us with so many things right now. My prayer contains lots of praise to Him for what He has already done to bless us. I think of all the different friends and relatives who have various needs that I can bring before the Lord. Many missionaries that I know who are serving the Lord throughout the world need my encouragement through prayer. I also pray for various churches and their pastors that I know. My ministry, my kids within that ministry, our financial donors and prayer partners. I begin to pray! I pray fervently! I pray boldly! God is right there with me, listening to me. I pause often, to listen to Him. Our sleepless night fellowship is sweet indeed!

I love those times of quiet prayer with God. In the quiet calm of our house at nighttime, its a great thing to do. I don’t dare get out of bed, or else I would begin to see too many things that need to be done, right now! And I would miss out on this precious time with God. No, I stay in the warmth of my bed, in quietness and calm, I cry out to God. That prayer time brings peace to my soul. It brings me closer to God as I feel His presence right there with me, listening to my every word. It strengthens my relationship with the people that I am praying for. So, its a good thing to do on this sleepless night.

The last time I remember looking at the clock, it read 3:47. Our dog Max, wanted to go outside to do his thing. “Hurry up little dude, its cold outside!” It isn’t long before I crawl back to bed, curl up under the covers, say goodnight to God, and fall fast asleep.

I know God heard my sleepless night prayers. And while I slept, I also know that He was working on the answers to those prayers. And for that, I am truly thankful for those sleepless nights!

28 Days of Thanksgiving in the Book of Psalms – Day 24

(This is a challenge between student and teacher. Rules of the challenge are found in the post entitled: “A Challenge Has Been Presented Using the Book of Psalms.”)

Today’s Verse: “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go into the house of the Lord’ . . . to give thanks to the name of the Lord.” Psalms 122:1 and 4 (NKJV)

I Give Thanks For: The Church – my Brothers and Sisters in Christ!

From ever since I can remember, I have gone to church. It’s something that my family always did together. For me, its never been a drag to get me there, I always went voluntarily. I really don’t like to miss it. And over the years, I have been a member at many a church, in many different places. I just love being in the house of God, to be among His peoples.

There is something just so special when brothers and sisters in Christ gather together in Christian love to fellowship and worship God. The body of Christ lifting up their voices in praise, or coming together to serve one another. Pastors and teachers opening the Word of God and sharing God’s message that is meant to teach, inspire, convict, and challenge. There’s usually something there for all ages. Yet, I have to say that personally, I am partial to what is happening among the children. That’s our next generation, and I am passionate about making sure our children know and love Jesus.

Today I just want to give a shout out to all my brothers and sisters in Christ as you worship together in God’s house. Worship passionately! Worship loudly! Worship boldly! Lift up your voices in the most powerful praise you have within you! Our God is worthy of that kind of praise! He will be listening and He will be blessed by our corporate worship. To Him be the glory of our praise!

And as the church gathers together, may we all take to heart the words of the Apostle Paul to the Church at Colosse – (Colossians 3:12-17 NKJV)

“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long-suffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

28 Days of Thanksgiving in the Book of Psalms – Day 23

(This is a challenge between student and teacher. Rules of the challenge are found in the posting entitled: “A Challenge Has Been Presented Using the Book of Psalms.)

Today’s Verse: “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever!” Psalms 118:1 and 29 (NKJV)

I Give Thanks For: Hand Drawn Pictures from the Kids!

I am at my friend’s house, visiting. And all of the sudden I am greeted wildly by a tribe of kids – her kids and some friends of theirs – almost too many to count. Their house seems to be the most popular place to play in the neighborhood. And that’s a good thing. Mom says to me, “There is always someone else’s kids with my kids and believe me, its beyond crazy at times. But I love it. At least I know they are safe here.” Within seconds you could hear the laughter, the screams of delight, the cheerful chatter as they play together. It just warms your heart to experience that kind of innocent fun. Yep, its truly something special and I’m ever so glad that this mom opens her door for children to safely play together.

During my visit, I walk into the kitchen and I notice something so very cool. Posted on the walls and all over the refrigerator, even on the kitchen cupboards are hand drawn pictures that these kids created. “Oh, those were just done yesterday by all these kids. Each and every day, I have more to put up.” And then with somewhat of a chuckle in her voice, she adds, “I’m really running out of places to put them all.” The teacher in me just couldn’t stop the smile that broke across my face. I simply had to meander my way through the art gallery, taking the time to enjoy each and every picture. It truly was a special sight to behold.

Before I left that day, I had several pictures in my hand, drawn by the kids that I had met that afternoon, for me to admire and enjoy. Over the years as a teacher, I have received many such pictures. From a child who loves to draw. From a child who wanted to share with me something special that they created. From a child who longed to see my appreciation and hear those words, “This is so pretty. You did a good job.” That brings a smile to the child’s face. And that my friend, is a beautiful sight.

I am so thankful for the children that God has placed in my life! I love the joy and laughter and talk that we can share together. I love the little notes, cards and pictures that they write and draw. I love to teach them about Jesus. I just love the fact that God gave us children to help brighten our world. I am thankful for the imprint they leave upon this teacher’s heart!!

28 Days of Thanksgiving in the Book of Psalms – Day 22

(This is a challenge between student and teacher. Rules of the challenge are found in the posting entitled: “A Challenge Has Been Presented Using the Book of Psalms.”)

Today’s Verse: “I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the Lord.” Psalms 116:17 (NKJV)

I Give Thanks For: The Listening Ear of God!

“Call upon the name of the Lord” is a phrase that has been going through my mind a lot the past few days. Its a phrase we offer hear used in church sermons and various biblical teachings. Its a practice of many a christian believer within their personal relationship with their God. But what exactly does it mean? In Hebrew, the word call means to call out to, to cry unto and in the Greek the word means to invoke a person, to call a person by name. To me, it simply means what it says, call upon the name of the Lord.

The idea of “call upon the name of the Lord” is basic for salvation. It is fundamental to corporate worship. It is essential to experience God’s forgiveness. It is personal in sharing with God our uttermost needs and desires. It is comforting in the crying out for help in the midst of trouble. It is what brings hope in the midst of despair.

Whether it is our first time to call on the name of the Lord for salvation or it is something we continuously do as our relationship with God progresses, the practice of doing it is a really good thing. It gives us opportunity to surrender our lives to His will. It brings vitality to our spiritual growth. It encourages humility and it is a sign of our dependency upon our great God!

What I have learned, ever so often, in my walk with God is this. Whenever I call upon the name of the Lord, He, joyfully and lovingly, gives to me His listening ear. God hears that call. And it doesn’t really matter how often that call comes out of my mouth, God hears it. Regardless the circumstances that comes with that call, God hears it. At the very mention of His name, He is listening to His child.

I am so thankful that today I can call upon the name of the Lord!

Jesus! Jesus! Jesus! Just the mention of His name!

God is listening!

28 Days of Thanksgiving in the Book of Psalms – Day 21

(This is a challenge between student and teacher. Rules of the challenge are found in the posting entitled: “A Challenge Has Been Presented Using the Book of Psalms.”

Today’s Verse: “Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! Let them exalt Him also in the assembly of the people and praise Him in the company of the elders.” Psalms 107:31-32 (NKJV)

I Give Thanks For: The Bible!

The Bible is God’s Holy Word! – – – – and I love it!

The Bible is my Basic Instruction Book for Living Everyday! – – – – and I love it!

The Bible is the Living Powerful Word of God! – – – – and I love it!

It has been my #1 book since the day I started reading. I enjoy nothing greater than to sit down with God’s Word in my hands, read it, meditate upon its words, study what it means, apply it to my daily life. – – – – and I love it!

The Bible is a Book of Grace (Acts 14:3). It shows me what God’s grace and love is all about.

The Bible is a Book of Inspiration (2 Timothy 3:16). It is the inspired word of God and it inspires me.

The Bible is a Book of Light (Psalms 119:105). It is the light that shines brightly on a dark pathway through this evil world that I live in.

The Bible is a Book of Leading Steps (Psalms 119:133). Its very words help to lead me on the right path to do the right thing.

The Bible is a Book of Eternity (Matthew 24:35). The Word of God will stand firm through eternity and it leads me to eternal life with Jesus.

The Bible is all that and so much more! – – – – and I love it!

The Bible, God’s Word is my Rock, my Foundation, my Hope! – – – – and I love it!

I am so very thankful for the Bible, God’s Holy Word because it is living in me! – – – – and I love it!