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!

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!