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Archive for the ‘Giving Thanks’ Category

9 Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress;
my eyes grow weak with sorrow,
my soul and body with grief.
10 My life is consumed by anguish
and my years by groaning;
my strength fails because of my affliction,
and my bones grow weak.
11 Because of all my enemies,
I am the utter contempt of my neighbors
and an object of dread to my closest friends—
those who see me on the street flee from me.
12 I am forgotten as though I were dead;
I have become like broken pottery.
13 For I hear many whispering,
“Terror on every side!”
They conspire against me
and plot to take my life.

– Psalm 31:9-13 (NIV)

“Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress…” When we are at our lowest and feel that we have been forsaken, left behind, who is there for us? God! When we are in trouble we call out for God. When all seems to be lost God is there–or rather…He is here. Help me, God, for I need You! May we all need God. 

May your day be so blessed!

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1 In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
deliver me in your righteousness.
2 Turn your ear to me,
come quickly to my rescue;
be my rock of refuge,
a strong fortress to save me.
3 Since you are my rock and my fortress,
for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
4 Keep me free from the trap that is set for me,
for you are my refuge.
5 Into your hands I commit my spirit;
deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.

– Psalm 31:1-5 (NIV)

“Into your hands I commit my spirit”…  Commitment. When we commit, promise, accept… do we fully give our all to God? Or, do we hold back? If we commit to anything, we bind ourselves to that commitment and we must honor it. Hopefully, it is to God and *OF* God. What do are you committed to? May it be OF God and FOR God but most importantly in all things it is TO God. 🙂

Have a most blessed day!

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1 Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.
3 For the Lord is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
5 The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.
6 Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
7 for he is our God
and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care.

Psalm 95:1-7 (NIV)

May your day be so very blessed and your soul touched with the joy for the Lord! 🙂

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15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil …….  Genesis 2 (NIV)

 

This verse is written a little differently according to what translation you use, but here God is giving the command about THE TREE. I am not going into details of all of this. I am not even going to finish the rest of the command.  This is something I whole-heartedly believe is what the fall of man was all about.

 

God first put Adam and then Eve in the Garden. Too simple sounding? Maybe, but that is not the point. God gave life. He created it. Then He gave this ONE command. He said they were free to eat of everything in the Garden except ONE tree, THE TREE. He said, “You MUST NOT EAT…” That was not a choice. There was no freedom to choose. God did not say, “Hey, don’t let me catch you.” He said, “NO!”

 

Take all of the thoughts of what THE TREE really was out of your mind for a moment and just think of the command. That is where we let God down. We disobeyed THE command. There was no freedom of choice in the Garden. Do you see it? We stole that from God. So when you hear someone say that God gave us the freedom to choose, technically He did not. We took that away from Him. The evil one was there to tempt the couple (and not just Eve) – that is what God wanted them to stay away from—the evil one—temptation. That is what He wants us to avoid even today.

 

Today, it appears we have freedom to choose God or not to choose Him. In reality, there is no choice. There is no freedom. The command was, “Do NOT eat…” We can dumb down the command and make it sound less important but it really still applies today—nothing has changed since Genesis 2. Wow! That goes back a ways. Every morning I wake up, even though I have given my life to the Lord or rather because I have given my life to HIM, I choose God. I make that conscious choice each day but in reality, it is not up to me because God chose me first. 😀

 

Did you tell God you chose Him today? If not, please do. This is my reaffirmation of faith I make every day. I encourage you to do the same. May your day be so very blessed! 😀

 

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To most people the Christmas story is so very well told from Chapter 2 of Luke. I remember my father and mother reading this passage like it was yesterday but over the years the true Christmas story to me is this…the story of the resurrection and not only the birth of the Child of God.

26 “Fellow children of Abraham and you God-fearing Gentiles, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent. 27 The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus, yet in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath. 28 Though they found no proper ground for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have him executed. 29 When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the cross and laid him in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from the dead, 31 and for many days he was seen by those who had traveled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now his witnesses to our people.  —  Acts 13:26-31 (NIV)

I say this quite a bit but I look to Easter at Christmas. At Easter, I look to Christmas. The birth of a child is not the story. The gift is the story but the gift is not complete without the resurrection. And, the resurrection means little if we do not remember the gift of love from our Heavenly Father.

 

Have a very Merry Christmas and may God answer all of your prayers giving comfort to you always! 😀

 

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Dear Most Gracious God, Heavenly Father, and Blessed Savior, I come to You with heavy heart. Your mercy is abundant and more than I will ever fully understand. I seek not understanding but peace. I seek not retribution but love. I seek not vindication but hope for a better world and brighter tomorrow. I cannot put a face on evil because it lingers everywhere and not just in the hearts of a few lost souls. I cannot ask why because I know why. You do not promise a perfect world here and now. Bad things happen to good people and it will continue until You return. You do not wish bad things on us but when they happen we need to pull closer to You and not separate ourselves from You. You are our Joy, our Longing, our Love. You sustain us when all else is dark. You give us hope when the Light seems to be hidden. Help us to reach out to each other not separating ourselves from one another, not judging, and not seeking justice. We are fallen—each one of us. We cannot judge one another and we are no better than the other for we all bear sin. Help us to seek forgiveness for our sins, our misgivings, our spiritual lacking, and for rushing to judgment. Purify our hearts, cleanse our minds, and immerse our souls in the peace that only You can give. Let us not rise above one another but seek to be equal and shoulder responsibility for all mankind. May Your Love bind us to one another and help us to live within Your shadow. I pray this in Your Holy Name,

Amen.

 

This prayer was written in light of the tragedy of 14 DEC 2012 and the aftermath. It was to appear in My Letter to God (morningletters.wordpress.com) but will appear across all 4 of my wordpress blogs today… I have seen injustice not only in the deaths of precious children but by adults lashing out from all angles including nasty media coverage. Love is what God is about. Please embrace this as it is meant. We all fall short of God’s glory but through HIM we are made whole—each one of us. May your day be blessed and may we all thank God each and every day for our many blessings!

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Is it simply coincidence that things happen in the way that they do? Do they happen truly by chance? I don’t believe so—maybe sometimes but not always. I believe there are times when God speaks to us through these things if nothing else but to let us know He is there and that we need to take notice. For me, it is further proof that I am on the right track.

 

I posted the previous post this past Saturday, “Great Is the Lord” with scripture taken from Psalms 96. My soul needed scripture to study, to dwell in, to quench my thirst. This scripture is what answered my need and I wanted to share it. When searching in the Bible next to the computer, I first started in a passage from Job–chapter 21. Job and I have become so close in “buddyship” that I am ready to leave him (sorry ole pal). I moved on. The next devotional was Psalms 96. Oh, what words! What a beautiful Psalm-such meaning and fervor.

 

Some other things have happened since Thanksgiving that have shown me God’s hand. I am trying to follow His lead as He lifts me up over the briar thickets. As I listened to the scripture being read at Sunday morning worship, what was the passage for the day? Psalms 96! Coincidence? Chance? I don’t believe that for one second! God had a message for me. My message is not the same as for others but we must do our best to discern what God is saying in order to follow HIM. This message was so great that my heart leaped for joy and if anyone knows anything about me, there has been very little joy around for all of the pain that has been caused in my family.

 

I don’t know what lies ahead in my life (or anyone else’s) but I know that without God so many things would have never happened. What does this really mean? To me, this means that God has enveloped me so great as my Protector. Thank you, God! You have given me everything I need. Just as I moved from the passage of Job into a new devotional of Psalms so shall my life imitate the Word. May God continue to be a bigger part of my life each and every day that I walk with Him. Please watch out for those little times in your life where God is speaking. Sometimes is it is through times of coincidence. People refer to these things by different names but I believe they are special. Please take care and love the Lord!

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