28 Days of Thanksgiving in the Book of Psalms – Day 20

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 sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving and declare His works with rejoicing.” Psalms 107:21-22 (NKJV)

I Give Thanks For: Prayer Partners

“Good morning, Ms. Kathy, I’m just wondering how I can pray for you this coming week?”

That is what I heard at the end of the telephone line so many times. A smile would break across my face. It was a voice I recognized. It was a call that I could count on, every week. My beloved prayer partner was touching base with me once again.

Prayer Partners. When you are in full-time Christian ministry of any kind, you count on prayer partners. They are those very special people who are called by God to pray, for you, for your family, for your ministry. They pray on your behalf before the throne of God. And together you watch God do some amazing things in your ministry. You wait together for answers to prayer. Together you grow closer as friends as you both grow in your prayer walk of faith with God.

Personally, I would be lost without my prayer partners. God has blessed me with many of them over my years of ministry. Each special in their own way. Yet, I know that no matter what my prayer request may be, I know I can count on them to pray!

Earlier this year, I lost, through death, one of my dedicated prayer partners. While I am glad that she was now released from her cancer and pain, and rejoiced that she was in the presence of her Lord and Savior in heaven, I knew I was going to miss her greatly. I miss our conversations about ministry. I miss her friendship. I miss her faithful support through prayer. I remember thinking, “God, who is going to take her place as prayer partner for me?”

Just a few days later I got this message, written on a little torn piece of paper, tucked in an envelope and sent in the snail mail. The note simply said: “Ms. Kathy am I too little to be a prayer partner for you? Cuz I think God wants me to be that for you. Will you please accept me for the job of being a prayer partner to you as you tell others about Jesus? I would be honored if you gave that job to me.”

All the sudden I realized, there were tears rolling down my cheeks. I wept! How precious is that note! How priceless a request!

Who is that new prayer partner? That note came from the same student who has challenged me to do “28 Days of Thanksgiving in the Book of Psalms.” My new prayer partner is one of my students who is just learning to pray, who is learning what answers to prayer look like, who is depending on God to listen and hear their requests, who is experiencing God’s answers to their own prayers. And in the midst of that, this student wants to be Ms. Kathy’s prayer partner.

How cool is that? I just smile at that precious thought. And I realize that I am blessed. Thank you God, for all the special prayer partners that you have sent my way. Each one, from the youngest to the oldest, are special in Your sight. They are special to me because they are a gift from You.

I am truly thankful for prayer partners and the wonderful ministry that they have in and through my life as a missionary teacher. Truly thankful!

28 Days of Thanksgiving in the Book of Psalms – Day 19

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! For He has broken the gates of bronze and cut the bars of iron in two.” Psalms 107:15-16 (NKJV)

I Give Thanks For: My Home!

“A house is built of bricks and beams. . . “ I like our house. I love the way in which God provided this particular house for us. It’s our place of shelter from the blazing summer heat and the cold winter storms. It’s the four walls we come back to every night, where we relax and unwind from a busy, stressful day. It’s the address where an enormous amount of junk mail and bills arrive faithfully. It’s our house! Lately my husband and I have been reminded in several different ways just what our house is built of. A lot has been happening to the house of late. Carpet has been ripped out and new flooring installed. A fresh coat of paint applied to some of its horrendous looking walls. Manufacture repairs have unexpectedly been done to the heater. Plumbing leaks quickly plugged and meticulously repaired. All of that led my husband and I to talk about the things that we still want to do to this old house. The windows badly need an upgrade. The bedrooms and office need to be painted. The water heater needs replacing next year. Oh, and we need to have another look at the roof. Could we maybe think about remodeling the bathroom? And whatever are we gonna do with the yard? When you have a house, there’s always something that needs your attention, that needs fixing, that needs HELP! A house is a house is a house, but. . .

“A Home is made of love and dreams!” I loved the day that we moved into our house and began to make it our home. Home! I just love the sounds of that word! Our home is our little haven of refuge, of comfort, of rest. Home is where we live life and where we gather with friends and family. Home is where we can leave the bed unmade, where we can scatter our clothes all over the place if we want to, and where we can make a royal mess in the kitchen. Home is filled with all our stuff – years and years of collected stuff! Our home is where we have brought American and British cultures together and created a beautiful space. Our home is where we can safely let off steam, cry our hearts out or curl up for a nap. Our home is all about love and laughter; respect and honor; forgiveness and kindness; hugs and warm feelings; it’s about peace and blessing. Our home is where God dwells with us; where, as a three strong cord, we do this thing called life together. Our home is our home is our home. And I love it here!

Thank you God that our amazing house became a beautiful home!

28 Days of Thanksgiving in the Book of Psalms – Day 18

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! For He satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul with goodness.” Psalms 107:8-9 (NKJV)

I Give Thanks For: Greeting Cards!

Now I know, that may just sound like something odd to be thankful for, but I truly am thankful for greeting cards and the ministry to the heart that they bring.

In our society of today, with all its modern ways of communicating – emails, text messaging, social media – I believe that we have lost touch with one of the most special ways of communicating. The hand written note tucked inside a greeting card. There’s just something special about receiving (and sending!) such a communication to a friend or loved one.

Someone purposefully decided to send you a card. So they go to the store and begin the search through the selection of cards available. They very carefully go through a bunch of cards, reading the various messages contained within, searching for just the right one that will say what they want to say to someone special to them. They purchase that card. They take the time to write their own little message inside the card and sign their name. They address the envelope. They pay the postage for that greeting to be on its way to you. Your greeting card is all ready to be delivered. All that took time. Time that someone invested in you.

Although you don’t know that it is coming, there comes the day when that special greeting card is delivered to your mailbox. It might be a birthday card, with greetings for your special day. Perhaps its a retirement card, honoring all your hard work over the years. It could even be a get well card, wishing you better days ahead and a speedy recovery. Perhaps it’s a thank you card, letting you know that they appreciated something you did for them. But you know what greeting card I love the most? It’s the one that wasn’t one bit expected. The one that surprises you when you find it among the bills and junk mail that gets delivered to your door. The one that, once you open it, surprises you that someone took the time to write a heartfelt message of love, of honor, of thanks to YOU! It’s the one that brings a smile to your face in the midst of a difficult day. It’s the one you keep going back to, to read its loving message over and over again. It’s the greeting card, sent from someone special, designed to bless your day.

I received a greeting card like that this past week. I was so thankful for it. It was a delight to find it waiting for me in my mailbox. And the person it came from, is a very special friend that has been a part of my life for years. The message, well, it was very personal, it was heartfelt and it blessed me to no end. I received it on a day when I needed to know that someone cared. I’ve read that card at least a dozen times now, and its still blessing me. It will be a greeting card that I cherish for a long time.

Yep, I’m thankful for greeting cards and the ministry to the heart that they can do!

28 Days of Thanksgiving in the Book of Psalms – Day 17

Today’s Verse: “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy.” Psalm 107:1-2 (NKJV)

I Give Thanks For: Being a Redeemed Child of God!

“Let the redeemed of the Lord say so” – I just love that part of today’s verse. If we are redeemed by the Lord, then we have a story to tell, and we should share that story with others.

But first, what does it mean to be redeemed? The word “redeem” means “to buy back, to free or pay a price for.” I have been redeemed! The Lord Jesus Christ paid the price to fully redeem me. What did He redeem me from? This is the exciting part of redemption. Christ redeemed me from all of my sins. He paid the price for all the wrong things that I have done and things I will continue to do. That price was paid once and for all. He freed me from the bondage of sin that Satan uses to ensnare me. Christ freed me from the grip of Satan’s hold upon my life. Free from sin. Redeemed by my Savior Jesus. How did all that happen? Jesus Christ willingly and lovingly went to the cross and there, in great pain and agony, he bore my sins, the sins of the whole world. He died on the cross for my sins! He shed his precious blood; it was the price He paid so that I could be redeemed. I stand in awe whenever I think about all that Jesus Christ did for me. And yet, with a very grateful heart, I know that I have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ!

I came to realize this truth when I was just seven years of age. My sisters and I were attending “Vacation Bible School” at our church. Going to church for our family was not unusual at all; Mom and Dad took their little family to church every week. I heard a lot of stories and teachings about Jesus. But on this one particular day, it all just seemed to make sense to my little child-like mind. I knew that Jesus loved me. I knew that Jesus died for my sins. I knew that Jesus wanted to be my Savior. But I knew, on that day, that I wanted Him to be my Savior. And so, I talked with the Pastor, he prayed with me. I remember so clearly, yet so confidently, confessing my sins to Jesus and asking Him to be my Savior. That day is when my journey with Jesus began.

Over the years, I have grown to understand so much more about Christ’s redemptive work in my life. I still stand in awe of it! He is my blessed Redeemer! I could never thank Him enough, certainly not often enough! But what I can do – – “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!”

I will gladly tell my story! I will humbly teach and encourage others to join me in the journey of the redeemed. I will forever give my praise to the One who gave His life for me. Thank you, my Blessed Redeemer!!

28 Days of Thanksgiving in the Book of Psalms – Day 16

Today’s Verse: “Save us O Lord our God, and gather us from the Gentiles, to give thanks to Your holy name, to triumph in Your praise. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting! And let all the people say, ‘Amen!’ Praise the Lord!” Psalms 106:47-48 (NKJV)

I Give Thanks For: Lunch Dates!

There’s nothing better to brighten up your day, than to meet up with friends for lunch! Looking forward to that speeds up your morning work. Afterwards, it blesses the rest of your day. But the lunchtime, well, it’s precious time spent.

Gathering for lunch, friends share good food, fun stories of their day, frivolous laughter, fond memories of past lunches together, and form plans to “do it all over again!” It’s just a good time spent together.

I am grateful for those times. Mainly because I love my friends. But more than that, those lunch dates remind me just how blessed I am to have friends to hang out with and to share life together. Today I give a shout out to all of those friends. You are all the best friends ever!

Now, if you will excuse me, I’ve got a lunch date to get ready for!

28 Days of Thanksgiving in the Book of Psalms – Day 15

Today’s Verse: “Praise the Lord! Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” Psalms 106:1 (NKJV)

I Give Thanks For: Technology!

“W H A T ????? You want me to give thanks for W H A T ?

Yes, even on days that I despise technology so deeply (like today!) I will still muster the courage within to give thanks for it.

Blame “technology malfunction” (computer glitches, hacking and virus’ left undetected – ugh!) for today’s blog posting being out so late. Oh, I just love this technology thing. Can’t live with it! Cannot live without it! But, finally I have our computer back up and running. Took me most of the day to figure out what was wrong, but God…!

I gotta tell you, I cried out to God so much this morning while fuming and laboring over my computer issue. I’m ever so glad that He hears and understands those kinds of cries. But I also had to spend some of that time chasing Satan out the door. Oh, I hate it when he shows up and interferes in things; his darts of woe are not pretty! I am ever so thankful that the frustration over my computer, the battle with Satan and the cries to God only lasted for a short spell of time. And thankful, God Won! (I knew He would!!)

What would I do without God’s help in fixing the computer problem – God’s gift of patience to me – God’s giving me wisdom along the way to figure things out – God’s winning the battle over Satan once again – Thank you God!

And, okay, okay – – yes, I will say thank you for the technology!

For now, I can get back to work!

28 Days of Thanksgiving in the Book of Psalms – Day 14

Today’s Verse: “Oh, give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples!” Psalms 105:1 (NKJV)

I Give Thanks For: God’s Great Outdoor Playground!

I have always loved to hike! Out in the fresh air within God’s great outdoor playground!

My favorite place? Well, thinking about it, I’d have to say I am really partial to Arizona’s Mount Lemmon. Not that far from home, it’s a great place to enjoy God’s creation, get some good exercise and spend time with friends. It’s also a great place to spend time alone with God – whether its to pray, to read His Word, to meditate on the handiworks of our Creator, or to simply sit in quiet and awe at the surrounding views – it’s an awesome place to be, right there in God’s great outdoor playground. There’s nothing better. Here’s some of my favorite pictures from there.

View from on top of Mount Lemmon
Sitting on a rock, I find it so easy to connect with God from this vantage point
A great mix of mountain and trees – all of God’s great creation!
My favorite meditation spot, right up on top of those rocks!

So, who’s up for a hike?