28 Days of Thanksgiving in the Book of Psalms – Day 9

Today’s Verse: “So we, Your people and sheep of Your pasture, will give You thanks forever; we will show forth Your praise to all generations.” Psalms 79:13 (NKJV)

I Give Thanks For: Ability to Teach the Next Generation!

Last evening I was teaching a Bible class at a local Chinese Church. A small group of kids gathered to hear something from God’s Word. It’s a joy to teach these kids, our next generation, things about the Lord Jesus Christ. Before class one of the girls came to me and asked a few questions about God’s offer of salvation and how to know for sure that you are a Christian. And for a few moments she had my utmost attention as I simply explained the meaning of salvation and the steps to take in making sure she knows Jesus Christ as her personal Savior. As we were about to part from that conversation and go to class, she looks up at me and says, “Thank you Ms. Kathy for explaining all that so that I could understand it better. You are the bestest church teacher I have ever had and I love that you teach us so much about Jesus. I will think about what you said and come back to talk more another day.” As her teacher my heart was touched! And this teacher, is praying, faithfully and fervently that this young girl would choose to make Jesus her forever friend and personal Savior.

I thought about that conversation all evening. I prayed for her and many other students before I closed my eyes for sleep. Once again, conversations like that, remind me why it is I do what I do. As a Bible teacher, I now have over 40 years of experience in teaching kids about Jesus. In church, in Sunday School, in Vacation Bible School, in Awana, in Bible Study Groups, in camps, in public schools, in weekend retreats, in backyard bible clubs, in discipleship ministry – in all those various venues, I’ve had opportunity to share God’s Word with boys and girls who have a need to know about Jesus and His great love for them. I lost count of how many kids I’ve taught over those years, but its a lot! But I do know for fact that each and every child heard the Good News of Jesus and responded to it in some way. It’s been a joy as a teacher, to be part of that.

I am blessed to have the opportunity from God to teach the children over all these years, blessed to meet and get to know some amazing kids, blessed to have a small part in their lives, and blessed to watch them grow in their knowledge of and their relationship with a God who loves them even more than their teacher does. I’ve been blessed to be their teacher, mentor, encourager, adviser, sister in the Lord, and friend! I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to teach the next generation, to make a difference in their lives – – one child at a time!

28 Days of Thanksgiving in the Book of Psalms – Day 8

(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: “We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks! For Your wondrous works declare that Your name is near.” Psalms 75:1 (NKJV)

I Give Thanks For: Financial Difficulties!

Now, hear me out before you reply, “WHAT?”

Yes, I am thankful for financial difficulties. Our Good Lord knows I have had plenty of them in my lifetime. He knows that because of all the times that I have cried out to Him about them. I’m ever so familiar with living from paycheck to paycheck. I’m familiar with battling over the checkbook, trying to eek out enough money just to pay the month’s bills. I’m familiar with the reality that its only the third week of the month, but the monies for the month are already gone. I’m familiar with the ever growing mountain of debt and the constant wondering if we will ever see the end of it. I’m familiar with the struggle to pay the mortgage payment, the electric bill and all that we owe. I’m ever so familiar with the dilemma of – do I pay for this expensive medicine or do I buy food? I’m familiar with getting that enormous hospital bill and wondering how in the world are we ever going to pay that one. I’m familiar with the breakdowns of the car, the air conditioner, the washing machine, the refrigerator, the…..! Yep, my friend, I have been there, done that, so many times! I am ever so familiar with financial difficulties!

Yet, I am also familiar with God in the midst of those financial difficulties. God has promised to be with me wherever I am – and so He is there in the midst of my financial difficulties. He cares! He stands ready to help! I just need to call out to Him, to honestly share the need with Him, to give it over to Him, and to simply watch what He does with that need. Admitting there is a problem is the hardest part. Giving it over to God is sometimes harder still. Pride has a way of stepping in the way. And yet, I’ve learned that my pride, my not giving the financial difficulties to God, only robs me of seeing God’s “wondrous works” in the midst of those difficulties. Watching God at work, now, that’s the blessing!

Together my husband and I have given our financial difficulties over to our God. We’ve witnessed so many answers to our prayers. We’ve received refunds that were totally not expected, but perfectly timed. We’ve gotten credits applied to accounts where credit was not worthy. We’ve had envelopes of money given to us from strangers unaware. We’ve been gifted with many a gift card to help at times when we needed to fill the empty cupboards or put gas in the car. We’ve had bills completely written off at times when the mountain was just too high to climb. We’ve been blessed beyond measure when we’ve given our financial difficulties over to our God who cares!

And for that, I am truly thankful. God does care! God knows our needs and He helps to meet them! God will provide when we trust Him! God is faithful to His children! God blesses!

I am blessed!

28 Days of Thanksgiving from the Book of Psalms – Day 7

(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 praise the name of God with a song and will magnify Him with thanksgiving.” Psalms 69:30 (NKJV)

I Give Thanks For: Thunderstorms!

At the time I sat down to write this blog, we were having a thunderstorm here in Southern Arizona! And yes, that’s a pretty big thing around here. If you are at all familiar with Arizona, or never been here before, you need to know that its desert. And we don’t get a whole lot of rain! It’s dry, dusty, and hot most of the year. This year’s “summer monsoon rains”, well, to be honest were disappointing at best. And usually when the weather forecast says its gonna rain, we all know around here, there is a better chance that it won’t rain at all. So, when I actually woke up to a thunderstorm in progress this morning I was so excited. We actually got RAIN!

Our little dog, (whom we’ve had for just four months now – he’s a rescue dog!) Max and I were getting our breakfast. While I was busy in the kitchen, he was busy racing through the house, going from door to door, window to window, trying to figure out what was going on outside. It was so funny to watch!

Thunder rumbled in the distance. A few flashes of lightening spread across the grey skies. The house lights flickered, threatening to go out on us. And then came this almighty clap of thunder. Max literally jumped off the ground. He didn’t bark, which is what I would have expected him to do. Instead, he let out this really loud moan/yell and ran straight for his momma, begging me to pick him up! Poor little guy! Together we sat, enjoying breakfast and my morning cup of tea, watching the rain come down, and the storm rage for a little over an hour.

And to think, our great God made all that! It was a sight to behold. I love watching thunderstorms from our big picture window (I don’t love to be out in them!) And with every storm I experience, I am truly thankful that God sends the rain to water our dry, hot desert.

And then, I just happened to look out the window again. This is what Max and I saw next:

“Oh wow, Lord Jesus, that is one awesome sight! Thank you God for sharing that with us today!” What a joy it is to behold our God’s handiwork. Every day it is something BEAUTIFUL to brighten our day! Thank you God!

We stood in awe, watching the rainbows fade from view. “Come on Max, I’ll teach you about puddles!”

28 Days of Thanksgiving in the Book of Psalms – Day 6

(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: “Offer to God thanksgiving and pay your vows to the Most High.” Psalms 50:14 (NKJV)

I Give Thanks For: Promises Kept!

I have made a lot of promises throughout my lifetime. Some I have kept and others, sadly, I have broken. Various other people in my life have made promises to me. Some of those promises were kept and some were broken. No one likes broken promises. They mess with your mind. But God. . . !

God makes a promise to His children, and He keeps it! He keeps all of His promises, all the time! God never breaks a single promise made – NEVER!! Wish I was like that.

This morning I was reading Psalm 91. I would like to say that it is my all time favorite psalm, but then there are so many of those. But it is definitely among my favorites, that’s for sure. Why? Because those verses hold all of God’s protective promises. There are some very precious promises there. I greatly encourage you to take the time, sometime today, and read through it. But for just now, let me share this part:

God says this to His child, “Because he (or she) has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him. and show him My salvation.” (Psalms 91:14-16

Did you notice all of the “I will. . . ‘s in that portion of Scripture? Those are God’s precious promises to His children! Care to read them again? They are for YOU, if you are His child. I read through those verses, and I realize that my God has kept every one of those promises for this, His child! Not one has been broken! Not one will ever be broken! For our great and holy God is incapable of breaking promises. And for that I am truly thankful.

28 Days of Thanksgiving in the Book of Psalms – Day 5

(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 give thanks in the great assembly; I will praise You among many people.” Psalms 35:18 (NKJV)

I Give Thanks For: Many Friends in Many Places

I was thinking this morning how amazing it would be to gather together all of my friends that I have had over the six decades of my life. Gather them from all the different places in the world – Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland, Norway, Belgium, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, India, Africa, China, Taiwan, Japan, Honduras, Mexico and all throughout the United States. Oh, if I could just gather them all together. It would be a LOT of people. I am blessed with an abundance of friends! I can just see, in my mind’s eye, all their precious faces! What an amazing reunion!!

And then, if we could all raise our voices in praise to our God! Can you imagine the sound? It’s already giving me goosebumps! Let’s sing some of my favorite hymns: like, “How Great Thou Art” or “Amazing Grace/My Chains Are Gone” or “It Is Well With My Soul” or “Like A River Glorious” or “My Jesus, I Love Thee” and then finish with “When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder.” Ahhh, I can just hear it! All the people, all the voices, all the languages coming together! What sound! What praise!

That is how I envision today’s offering of thanksgiving!

That is how I envision Heaven!

28 Days of Thanksgiving in the Book of Psalms – Day 4

(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: “To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent, O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.” Psalms 30:12 (NKJV)

I Give Thanks For: Every Opportunity God Gives Me to Share About Jesus!

I love telling others about Jesus Christ! Who He is, what He does, what He means to me, and what is doing in Heaven right now. I love sharing that and so much more with people who need to know Jesus. Whether it is in a simple conversation, teaching a children’s Bible class, teaching a women’s Bible study group, writing curriculum, posting on my blog, or writing a Bible verse on a greeting card – I just love to share Jesus with others! When it comes to sharing about Jesus, I cannot and I will not be silent!

So, today I have to tell you that I am thankful for every opportunity that God gives me to do what I love to do! I take those opportunities very serious. I actually look for them every day. And when I realize that I have a God-given opportunity right in front of me, I offer up a word of thanks to God for giving it to me AND I pray for wisdom and guidance in saying the right thing. In doing that, I am learning that God always steps in to give me just what I need in that moment.

For me, the most exciting opportunity has been taking place over the last five years. God gave me an opportunity to share that started out small, but grew into something that is totally amazing for me. Here’s the progression: (1) God gave me the opportunity to teach Chinese elementary children the story of His Son, Jesus. Their interest and desire to learn, their questions, their responses to the lessons about the life and times of Jesus inspired me! (2) I was challenged, by one of those students, to think about putting my teaching into writing to share with others. (3) I began the task of writing a bible study on the Life of Christ, using the Gospel of Mark. I had such a blast reading various commentaries, studying the Scripture, researching the questions, and writing the manuscript into an incredible bible study. (4) I began to teach that Bible study to two different groups of ladies. It took us quite awhile, but we finished the study, having learned so very much about Jesus that we didn’t know before! (5) The ladies challenged me to publish that curriculum. “You just gotta share this teaching with others!” (6) April 2019, Christian Faith Publishing, officially published that manuscript into my first book. “The Servant Among Us” began to hit the market in June. To learn more about the book, go to the top of my home page, on the menu running across the top under our logo, look for the tab “book release”, click on that and read more about the book.

God has given me lots of opportunities, in a variety of formats, to share with others about His Son, Jesus Christ. But this opportunity – well, it was truly life changing for me. I never thought I would be a published author, never! I never thought that God could use something that I wrote in a powerful way, but He is! All I want is for the God that I love so dearly, to be honored and glorified in my telling of His Son’s story. I want for Him to use it however He chooses, put it into the hands of whomever He chooses, and that someone’s heart and life will be touched by my telling of this precious story. Today, I just say “Thank you God, for giving me such an amazing opportunity. May YOU, O Lord my God, be glorified in my telling of Your Son’s story!!”

28 Days of Thanksgiving in the Book of Psalms – Day 3

(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: “Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His Holy name.” Psalms 30:4 (NKJV)

I Give Thanks For: My Family!

For Grandparents, Parents, Siblings, Uncles and Aunts, Cousins, and the Dog! I am thankful for you all. Each one of you have had a part in making me the person I am today! Each one of you have left an imprint on my heart! And I am truly thankful for that!!

28 Days of Thanksgiving in the Book of Psalms – Day 2

(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: “That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving and tell of all Your wondrous works.” Psalms 26:7

I Give Thanks For: My beloved husband, Andrew!

Married now 29 years to my English Sweetheart!

Who knew when I went to Britain as a missionary teacher that I would meet my “Mr. Right” – who knew? I wasn’t looking for him, but there he was. Within a very short time, I knew, without a doubt, that Andy was God’s special gift to me!

People ask me all the time: What was the one thing that drew you to Andy? Oh, you mean, besides his love for God, his good looks, his British accent, his big, bright eyes, his quirky smile, and his loving kindness. One doesn’t have to know Andy very long before you learn of his big heart and helpful spirit. This guy sees needs before they are ever spoken and he immediately gets to work in helping to meet that need. I love that characteristic about him. He’s made many a friend through his kind acts of helping others.

October 20, 1990, as we first walked down the aisle as Mr. and Mrs., I said to him, “Come on Mr. O’Brien, together with God, we can do this!” And that became our marriage motto. We have said that to one another so many times – in sickness and in health, in riches and in poverty times, in the good and in the bad, and in the joyful and in the difficult. We’ve been there together! We’ve done life together, with God as our helper, our guide, and our source of wisdom. It’s been a fantastic journey with Andy! I am so thankful for this man! He truly is God’s gift to me! And it is my prayer that God gives us many, many more years to keep on loving each other and grow old together. Thank you God for sharing this special man with me! Thank you Andy for making it so easy to love you!

28 Days of Thanksgiving in the Book of Psalms – Day 1

(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: “Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the Gentiles, and sing praises to Your name.” Psalms 18:49 (NKJV)

I Give Thanks For: My Relationship with a Holy God!

It makes perfect sense on this first day of our “28 Days of Thanksgiving Through the Book of Psalms” to share that the number one thing that I give thanks for is my relationship with my God. And why not, He is after all my Creator; the One who knows me better than anyone else. He lovingly placed me in a family where I could learn more about Him. Together, we not only learned about God, but we loved God, worshiped God, and served God. So God has been a very key figure in my life and thus it seems like I’ve always known God.

I am thankful that God not only knows me, but He loves me. Just the way I am. Faults and all. God loves me unconditionally and eternally! God is always there for me, through thick and thin, good and bad, ugly and beautiful times of life. He promises to never leave nor forsake me – and I’m mighty glad that over many years, He has never once failed in that promise! I cherish the fact that I can talk with God anytime I want to and anywhere I am. He’s always got His eye upon me. His ear is forever tuned to listen to my cries and hear my prayers. His almighty right hand is always ready to hold onto me or pick me up when I fall. God is my strength, my rock, my shelter, my refuge; God is everything I need! I’m so thankful that I am still learning about Him; thankful that I desire to learn so much more. I am so thankful for the relationship I share with my God. It’s personal, it’s powerful, it’s profound and it’s peaceful. One thing is for certain: I could never, ever do this thing called life without knowing God!

A Challenge Has Been Presented Using the Book of Psalms!

Get ready to think CHALLENGE my blog readers! Because, it is on!!

As a teacher, I am always challenging my students with challenging questions to answer, challenging thoughts to ponder, and challenging activities that help them learn more. I tell them that “Challenges are excellent brain food!” And so they are! It’s good to be challenged no matter what age the student is. Get ready, the challenge is coming!!

I particularly love it, when one of my students challenges me, as a teacher, to think outside the box. Or when they ask me a question that I don’t know and together we research the answer. Or when they ask me to participate in a challenge, whereby we both can learn together and have a little fun while we do that. And right now, I have such a challenge before me. I warned you, a challenge was coming!

An 11 year old student of mine, attends a Christian school here in Tucson, Arizona. He has a project that he has to do in preparation for our upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. For those of you who are reading this outside the United States, this might not make sense to you (and that’s okay!) But I think you will still be able to follow this challenging activity and learn by it along with the rest of us. Anyway, this student presented the challenge to me. And me, being me, simply couldn’t resist it. It actually sounds quite fun.

He is calling the challenge – “28 days of Thanksgiving in the Book of Psalms” – I’m liking this already. The challenge is to start on November 1st and runs through November 28th, the day we Americans celebrate Thanksgiving Day. Here are his rules for the challenge:

  • Choose only one version of the Bible to use for this challenge. I have chosen to use the New King James Version of the Bible. My student will also be using NKJV. Already we both have learned that there are exactly 28 verses within the Book of Psalms that are appropriate to use for this challenge. How cool is that?
  • Every day (November 1-28) you need to share with other people your answers to this challenge. You may share them in whatever format you choose. I have chosen to share my challenge on my blog-site because I am already writing posts about my journey and thoughts through the Book of Psalms. My student will be sharing the challenge with his school teacher and classmates each day during their “Class Devotional Time.”
  • Every day you must share a Bible verse from the Book of Psalms that includes the word thank, thanks, or thanksgiving. You can’t use a verse from any other book, only Psalms.
  • Every day you must share something that you are thankful for. It can be something serious or something fun. Just make sure you are truly thankful for it.
  • Every day you must write a paragraph or two about either (1) the verse and why its important to you, or (2) what you are thankful for, telling why you are thankful for that particular thing.
  • You must share this every day for 28 days. I want to see if you can be thankful for 28 straight days. Then, according to statistics, after 28 days, giving thanks should become a habit in your life.
  • You must share it with others. By sharing it with others, perhaps they too might want to join us in taking the challenge.
  • “Those are my rules Ms. Kathy. There really is no winner in this challenge. There really are no right or wrong answers to this challenge. I just want to see what you will come up with and what I will come up with. I also want to see if anyone else, on the platform we share it with, will respond to our challenge in any way. Wouldn’t it be great Ms. Kathy if through this challenge, you and I together could teach people to be a little more thankful themselves. I hope that will happen.” Well said kiddo and I hope that this challenge will produce those results as well.

And so, my blog readers, I have gladly accepted this challenge! I am excited about it and I am ready to begin! Who’s ready to read my blog for the next 28 days??

Might I suggest that you click on my “follow” button, or sign up to receive notification by email whenever that days posting has been made. And please, feel free to leave comments along the way. It would be nice to know that people are actually reading my blog. I know for certain one student will be checking in every day. Will you join us for our challenge?