Being thankful in the good and the bad times (because we really don’t know which is which)

 Every difficulty that presents itself to us, if we receive it in the right way, is God’s opportunity.


“….there came a lion…” (1 Sam. 17:34.)

Through faith in God David conquered a lion and a bear, and afterwards overthrew the mighty Goliah. When that lion came to despoil that flock, it came as a wondrous opportunity to David. If he had failed or faltered he would have missed God’s opportunity for him and probably would never have come to be God’s chosen king of Israel. This was David’s training ground, and a way for GOD to receive glory in the victory.

We wouldn’t think of a lion being a special blessing. I know there have been lions in my own life that I didn’t think were a blessing at the beginning. Normally, we would only think it a cause for alarm. These “lions” are God’s blessings in disguise.

Every difficulty that presents itself to us, if we receive it in the right way, is God’s opportunity.

When the “lion” comes, recognize it as God’s opportunity no matter how rough the exterior.

I love this quote:

Remember….

just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly 

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The Trade off of Thanksliving

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Enter with the password: “Thank you!” Make yourselves at home, talking praise. Thank him. Worship him. For God is sheer beauty, all-generous in love, loyal always and ever. Psalm 100:4, 5 (MSG

Happy Thanksgiving to you all. May you enter deeply into His presence this week as we all count our blessings.

But, not just that. Not just this week. Let’s live our entire lives in Thanksliving to Him from whom all blessings flow. This practice makes it possible to pray without ceasing. Let’s thank Him in every situation. Let’s remember to pause and thank Him for all the little kisses He gives us throughout our day.

When we are occupied with thanking Him, there is no time to worry or complain

The negative thought patterns gradually fade away to a grateful heart. Bitterness for joy. Worry for peace. The sting out of adversity….GONE.

It’s a trade off. We give Him thanks. He gives us joy.

Thanksliving carries us deeper into His presence. Our thoughts on Him. Though circumstances may remain the same, we have changed.

And then the circumstances do change because the light has been switched on and we see things from His perspective.

That is why the password into deep presence with our Jesus is “Thank you!”

May we all be overwhelmed in the presence of God. My we always be Thanksliving

We Belong To Him {there’s a great joy and peace in that}

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Know that the Lord is God— he made us; we belong to him. We are his people, the sheep of his own pasture ~Psalms 100:3

Shepherds played an important role in the world of Israel. Their work was to find grass and water for the sheep and to protect them from wild animals and tend to their sickness and wounds. It required them to spend long hours exposed to the natural elements. It was not and easy life.

It was to the shepherds the angels first announced the birth of Jesus. This was especially appropriate since Jesus’ famous ancestor, David, had centuries earlier watched the family’s sheep in those same fields near Bethlehem.

It also reminds us that the coming of Jesus is good news for all people, not just those already privileged by wealth and power.

The important role of the shepherd is used often in the New Testament to teach us about Jesus. He is the Good Shepherd who gives His life for His sheep (John 10:1-18).

Psalm 100 is and invitation to enter joyfully into God’s presence. He is faithful and extends that faithfulness to us and beyond our generation forever.

He is ours and we are His.

God is all-knowing and ever present. He is beautiful and desirable. He is Creator. He is good and generous, great and sovereign. Holy, loving, and faithful. He is merciful, forgiving, and powerful. Ready and willing to reveal His will, law, and direction. He is righteous and just, and His Spirit is sweet.

And, He says to us:

I am your God and your are my sheep.

This. This makes me stand to my feet and applaud God. To bring a gift of laughter, and sing myself into His presence. For I know this: Jesus is my LORD. He made us….we didn’t make Him. We are His people, His well-tended sheep. I enter His presence and say THANK YOU! I make myself right at home with Him, and praise Him the whole time.

Thank Him. Worship Him. For God is sheer beauty, all-generous in love, loyal and always and ever.

Psalm 100 (The Message)

Let’s Get Our Praise On {get your feet dancing and that body moving!}

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Dear child of God, sister, mother, brother, father, son, daughter, friend, family or foe,

Let’s get our praise on…

You are beloved of the most high GOD. The One True GOD. You are bought, paid for, redeemed, restored, re-done, repurposed, and worth it. He is crazy about you, mad about you, obsessed about you, His mind is stayed on you.

You are beautiful. His eye is always in you. All heaven praises and celebrates you. If you falter, He will drop what He’s doing and come running for you. Everything He does is a solution for you. There is nothing you can do to make Him love you any less and there is nothing you can do to make Him love you any more. YOU.ARE.SET.FREE!!

The Creator of the sun, moon, stars, day, night, land, air, sea, mountains, trees, seasons, and mankind has you in the palm of His hands. You are the apple of His eye. He created you in His image to reflect His love to this world. You, my friend, my sister, my brother, are His love song to this world. The Word That Became Flesh became you on that cross so that you could become Him in this world.

He is mighty, He is power and He calls you friend. He goes before you, behind you, stands beside you, makes your paths straight, and directs you. He covers you, protects you, and shelters you.

You.Are.His.


He spoke the world into existence, and the sound of your voice turns His head.

He takes the unlikely and makes them the one. He takes the unqualified and gives them power and position. He takes the unworthy and gives them a crown. He takes the humble and gives them a seat of honor; love and acceptance to the unlovable. He takes the sick and makes them whole….hope to the hopeless. Trades sorrow for joy, pain for pleasure, fear for perfect peace. His burden is light.

He.Is.Yours.

Hear that beat? Here that music thumping? Come on, get up! Let’s get our praise ON!

Rich, poor, comfortable, uncomfortable, first world or third world this principle remains true: the presence of God comes to those who seek Him..

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There is a woman in Haiti that goes outside her tent everyday, raises her hands in the air and praises God for everything she has. Out loud….in front of everyone. This dear woman only has about 5 things in her whole possession (AND lives in a tent!). 5. 5 things, yet she praises God with everything in her. All around her are people living just like her. Want to know her secret? Her security doesn’t lie with her circumstances, but on the promise and presence of God. She is passionate for His presence. Rich, poor, comfortable, uncomfortable, first world or third world this principle remains true: the presence of God comes to those who seek Him. I have way more than 5 things. You have way more than 5 things. We need to walk around everyday praising God. We need passion for His presence!

The Lord recently brought a sweet girl into our family. Her name is Bella. Although she has a lot of hurt, and a lot of pain in her young 6 years of life, we stand on the promises of Psalm 103 and see His healing, redeeming, crowning. Oh, the crowning of love and compassion. That brings tears to my eyes for her. Every single day I tell her she is loved, treasured, and wanted. He is faithful and He is healing her heart and her body and is redeeming her from where her circumstances could have taken her.

Want to get in the presence of God? Praise Him. Remember all that He has done, who He is, and what He will do. He forgives. He heals. He redeems. He crowns. He satisfies.

We have a compassionate, loving, gracious God who is crazy about us. We talk about the benefit packages we have with our jobs. The benefits of a child of God are listed here in this Psalm. When you feel as though you have nothing for which to praise God, read David’s list and worship. God’s love is overwhelming, all consuming, and everlasting. He wants to overwhelm you now with His loving presence.

Go ahead…..walk outside your door, raise your hands in the air, close your eyes and praise Him with everything in you. People may say your crazy, but deep down they want to do it too 🙂

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A Door To Hope ministries does a great work in Haiti. We are very impressed with them and encourage you to click the link and get involved.

Everyday (Not-so) Ordinary Gifts

To pause and give thanks for every gift God blesses is a good thing. It’s a great thing.

“This giving thanks–this is what we are made for: To give Him more glory. More thanks. This is more joy!”

Not only do I want to thank Him for all the huge ways He shows up in my life, but also the little ways….the “kisses from Daddy” as I like to call them. All blessings no matter the “size” are kisses from Daddy!

For that favorite bird that flies in my path, that favorite flower I see, that encouraging phone call or text from a dear friend, that Bible verse at just the right time, that hug from one of our sweet darlings, that pleasant greeting and smile, that…….

“God’s presence is always present. And He is the gift, the One I can’t stop giving thanks to.”

The world is full of reminders of how cruel things can be. I want to off set that every day by listing the gifts of grace He brings. Ann Voscamp has inspired me to do just that.

In her book she introduces a way of seeing that opens your eyes to the ordinary amazing grace, a way of living that is fully alive, and a way of becoming present to God that brings deep and lasting joy.

I plan everyday to tell about a gift in whatever form I’ve received it….A verse, a kind word, a gift, a smile, a show of kindness, whatever. Won’t you join me? Let’s hastag them #1000Gifts and spread the joy.

Let’s sling open our arms, and throw back our heads and dance in praise to the Giver of the ultimate Gift and say……..Thank You! Thank You! Thank You and tell others of His great goodness!