Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thankfulness {Days 24-30} Summary

What a wonderful month this has been!
I love spending time to think about all of the non-material things that I am so very thankful, number one being my salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Our Thanksgiving weekend was very busy - full of family, food and Christmas decorating. Our house looks so festive now! Just in time for the snow that is falling today. It sure feels like the holiday season now! I was having a hard time getting in the spirit when it was in the 60s and sunny outside (although my husband didn't mind it when he was hanging the outside lights).

So let me take some time to catch up on my days of thankfulness and to reflect on this month. I have loved spending this time with my family and finding out what they are thankful for. There were times when, because  of grumbling, complaining hearts, that it was difficult to think of our blessings (an ugly truth). But most of the time, it was fantastic to thing about all the blessings we have.

It was a good feeling to see my six year old run to the calendar so she could fill out the tag for each of us. She loved hearing what everyone wanted to put down each day.

It was very funny to find out what our two year old was thankful for each day. Most of the time her first response was "ice cream" or "cookies", but we'd finally get her to name something she liked or made her happy that was different than the other days. Her big sister was more than happy to help think of something for her.

What a wonderful family tradition this has turned out to be!!

{Day 24}

I am so very thankful for our religious freedom. I cannot even imagine what it must be like in other countries where Christians risk their lives in order to meet for church, learn about God and sing praises to Him. I am so very thankful that the Pilgrims left England during their time of persecution and travelled across the Atlantic to America where they were free to worship God.

Thank You, Lord for the freedom to worship You. Please help me to never take it for granted.

{Day 25}

I am so very thankful for 6 years of marriage to my wonderful husband. He is wonderful (even though I am not always the best at expressing this). He puts up with me, right? We have had a roller coaster ride during the past 6 years (sin, surgeries, babies, forgiveness, love, dislike, screaming, kissing, blessings, and troubles) and all for the glory of God. There is no way we would ever be together if not for the grace and love we find first from Christ, which in turn allows us to grant it freely to one another. God knew that Ed was the perfect man for me and I am so very thankful!

Thank You, Lord, for my marriage and help us to continue seeking You first in all that we do.

{Day 26}

I am so very thankful for the Holy Spirit. What a blessing it is to not only have the Comforter living inside me, but also to have the convictions for the things I should or should not be doing. I have the power of God living in my heart (and so do you if you are a Christian). So when I am watching something on TV and all of a sudden I get the "feeling" that it is not something that is appropriate (sometimes this happens just with commercials), that is the power of the Holy Spirit inside. It is like sitting on the couch with our holy and perfect God.

I need to be sure to actually listen to the Spirit. The more and more a person ignores the prompting of the Spirit, the harder He is to hear.

Lord, help me live my life so that I am sensitive to the Spirit inside me. You have given me the Spirit for my sanctification and comfort and there are just not enough words to express my gratitude.

{Day 27}

I am thankful for the warm days at the end of November. My darling husband was able to put up the outdoor Christmas lights and we were able to play outside. What a wonderful treat when I know we will soon be hunkered down during the long, cold, gray days of winter.

Thank You, Lord for these last warm days in November.

{Day 28}

Laughter. I am so thanful for a sense of humor and the ability to laugh - mostly at myself. There is a danger with comedy and humor that I plan to write about very soon, but for now, I'm just going to reflect on how wonderful it is to laugh!

Thank You, Lord for my sense of humor. Laughter can be like medicine to my soul and I am so grateful!

{Day 29}

I am thankful for the first snow. I love how beautiful it is! I love how each tiny snowflake is so delicate and detailed. I love how God covers the brown and gray Earth in a blanket of white. The Christmas lights are seem to glow even brighter in the white snow. What a wonderful treat! I need to be reminded of this in February. :)

Thank You, Lord for the beauty of each season - and especially now for the shimmering beauty of the first snowfall.
{Day 30}

Today, I am thankful for suffering. When I told this to my daughter, she looked at me all puzzled and said, "Why?!" I explained that I am never closer to God than when I am suffering in some way. As soon as I am hurting, unable to "fix it myself", sad, frustrated, helpless and at the end of my rope, I cry out for God. Just like when Peter saw Jesus walking on the water toward their boat...

And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” 
So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”  
And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him.
Matthew 14:28-31

I need the Lord each and every day, but the times when I am suffering, I am able to see it more clearly. My own abilities are insufficient and my need of God is so obvious. 

I love the hymn, "I Need Thee Every Hour". It reminds me that whether I am suffering or not, I still need Him.

I need thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
no tender voice like thine can peace afford.

I need thee, O I need thee;
every hour I need thee;
O bless me now, my Savior, I come to thee.
Thank You, Lord for the suffering I have endured in the past and what I know I will endure in the future. Help me to suffer well and to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus.

Thank you for joining me during this month of Thankfulness. I hope you were encouraged (as I was). We are to be a people of Thanksgiving, not only during November, but the entire year. We need to thank the Lord for everything - even during times of trouble. Our children are watching our every move and developing their theology, not only on what we teach them, but how we live our lives.

Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands!
 Serve the LORD with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
 Know that the LORD, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
 For the LORD is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.
Psalm 100

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Wonderful Post!

I love to read other Christian blogs and share these from time to time. This is an excellent post from Jacinda over at a Growing Home.

She talks about what it means to be a stay-at-home Mom (or wife) and ways that we are tempted to be distracted and neglect our responsibilities. Even though we are at home, our heart and mind might be busy with our cyber-lives (oh the conviction!) - you know blogs, facebook, twitter, email.....

Click below to read further...you may be convicted (as I have been) and God will be glorified!

Growing Home

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankfulness {Day 23} Heaven is Full of Babies

Did you know that God loves babies? You say, of course. But did you know the Bible tells us explicitly that He does?

Our pastor preached out of Mark 10:13-16, where the people brought their children (the actual words indicate these are infants and young children) to Jesus and then He touched them and blessed them. Why wouldn't He? He created them.

Even though we are all born sinners, babies and young children have no idea they are sinning. They are not at an age where they are accountable for their sins. Therefore, if for some reason a baby or young child does not live long enough to be accountable for their sins, they go right into the arms of their heavenly Father. They spend the rest of their forever in heaven.

So when a young baby or child has an illness and passes away - they are in heaven. When a Mom has a miscarriage and never gets the chance to meet that child, they are in the arms of God. When a woman is deceived into thinking she has a choice about whether the life inside her lives or dies, that baby is alive in heaven with their Creator.

Another place in the bible that supports this is in the passage in 1 Samuel that talks about Kind David grieving the loss of his baby boy (you know the story, right? He had an affair, then had her husband killed and part of the punishment was that the baby they had conceived became ill and then died). When the child was sick, David was terribly upset. It says that he refused to eat and went in to lay on the ground the entire duration of the illness (seven days). When the baby died something strange happened. We find it here in 2 Samuel 12:20-23:

So David arose from the ground, washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house; and when he requested, they set food before him, and he ate. 21 Then his servants said to him, “What is this that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive, but when the child died, you arose and ate food.”    

David's servants were confused, so David explained....

 And he (David) said, “While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who can tell whether the LORD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again?
I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”

So David is declaring that He will one day be with his child again in heaven. What a wonderful blessing to know that heaven is full of babies!!

So if you have ever had a miscarriage, abortion or lost a child to an illness, you can be sure to know that baby is waiting for you in heaven in the arms of our loving Father.

Thank You, Lord for loving all babies,
even the ones that seem to be 'unwanted'.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

We have a winner!

To celebrate more than 50 followers, I randomly chose (using random.org) one lucky winner of the Thirty One fold-and-go organizer.

This is a wonderful case for a Kindle or iPad. It is also nice for just an old fashioned pad of paper (does anyone take notes on paper anymore?).

And the winner is....
Barbara Walker!

Barbara - please message me on Facebook your address so I can get this in the mail. I hope you enjoy it!
Thank you so much for following this blog. I appreciate all of you!

Have a very happy Thanksgiving!

Thankfulness {Day 22} Family and Healthy Tuesday

Thankfulness {Day 22} Extended Family

I am so very thankful for my family. Not just the people who live in my house (I have already mentioned that I adore them), but even my extended family. My family is complicated. It would be easy to let time and distance be the wall that separates. I have been fighting this. I love my family and I do not want to be one of those people who looks back with regrets. I want my daughters to love their Aunts and Uncles (even the greats). I want my daughters to adore their cousins.

So why we may not see each other as often as my heart desires, I do the one thing I can do on a daily basis. I pray for them. I enter the King's throne room on their behalf and I pray for my loved ones. I encourage my daughters to pray for their grandparents, great grandparents, great aunts and great uncles, aunts, uncles and cousins.

So thank You, Lord for my family. They are not perfect, but they are perfect for me and I love them!

{Healthy Tuesday}

My daughter is hooked on medicine. She was sick for a few weeks in a row and now she thinks she needs a little shot of something in order to go to bed each night. As a parent, I have to choose the battles that I will fight and this is not one of them. So we give her a placebo - grape juice. Since she has only ever had watered-down fruit juice (I do not think children need to drink that much sugar, even if it does come from fruit), the powerful flavor of grape juice does taste like modern day children's medicine - sort of.

So last week I purchased an individual serving size of grape juice. She only gets a teaspoon (medicine dosage) at night. I grabbed a popular name brand that said grape juice and didn't think twice...until last night (the first night she asked for it since I bought it).

It occurred to me that I did not read the label (which is very odd) and I was shocked when I finally read the ingredient list:

filtered water, corn syrup, grape juice concentrate, fumaric and citric acid (for tartness), ascorbic acid (vitamin C), sodium citrate, red 40 (color), natural and artificial flavor.

OH MY!!! Where to begin?

- Grape Juice Concentrate is third on the list, AFTER corn syrup?

- Red 40? Corn Syrup? Natural and Artificial Flavors? Fumaric and Citric Acids? Why do they need all this additional stuff when grape juice is such a powerful flavor?

Oh, now I see it - this is only 10% juice.

No wonder our children are obese and suffering from ADHD! Remember the adage? You are what you eat!

After her one teaspoon (I don't think one teaspoon will damage her for life), this was dumped down the drain.

I encourage you to read your food labels!

I linked up at Day2DayJoys

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thankfulness {Day 21} Understanding

{Day 20}

I was so very thankful for the day of rest on the Lord's Day, yesterday. I do not recall much "rest", but it is restful, encouraging and refreshing to spend the day with my family at home and with my church family at church. It is a wonderful day when we can spend our mornings as a family in our jammies, eating blueberry pancakes (dairy and egg free), singing worship songs, and then heading off to church. Things are a bit rushed at times (like when we get home and the toddler is starving and tired all at the same time), but we are together and that feels great!

So thank You, Lord for the day of rest! What a fabulous plan to work 6 and take a rest on the 7th!

{Day 21}

I am so very thankful to have a Christian worldview - to see life as God sees it. I am in no way, shape or form saying that I am accurately seeing this life (especially a lot of the struggles that we face) the way God does, but I am blessed with a different outlook than someone who does not have a relationship with the Creator of the Universe. The culture and the world tell us so much that is just wrong. They tell us to please ourselves, climb the ladder of success no matter who you neglect or step on, if someone does not make you happy then find someone else, if your kids annoy you then medicate them, you deserve to have all the things your parents worked years for right now so get it on credit - and much, much more.

Our happiness and joy are found in Christ. He is what makes me happy when I struggle with physical ailments. He is what makes me happy when my kids are screaming at the top of their lungs, dinner's burning and my husband forgot to tell me about a 5 o'clock meeting. He is why I am happy when my daughter is so sick and there is nothing I can do to fix it.

Without Christ, I would be lost. Without Christ, this world does not make sense. Without Christ, it wouldn't be worth it to even get out of bed each morning.


I have reached 50 followers!! Woohoo! I thank the Lord for each one of you! As promised, I will be randomly choosing one lucky follower to win a Thirty One Fold and Go organizer. I post the winner of that tomorrow - so check back to see if it is you.

{Christmas Gift Ideas}

Have you visited the Vision Forum website lately? They have some fantastic products that would make excellent gifts for your loved ones. There are some fun old fashioned toys (like this rubber amo 8 shooter for $5.25) and wonderful DVDs, books and even homeschooling curriculums.

They are also running a buy 2, get one free sale! So if you purchase any 2 items, get a 3rd of equal or lesser value for free. Who doesn't like free?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thankfulness {Day 19} Encouraging Scriptures

I am so very thankful for encouraging scripture. I know that if I am feeling discouraged about anything, I can look to God’s word for wisdom and truth. This is one way we can use the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6) to fight off the fiery darts of discouragement and despair from the evil one.

So when I am feeling guilty and ashamed of how I lived the majority of my life (apart from Christ), I turn to Joel and Psalms:

{Joel 2:25}
I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—
the great locust and the young locust,
the other locusts and the locust swarm—
my great army that I sent among you.

{Psalm 103:12}
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

When I am down because of various trials and sufferings, either caused by my own actions (boldness for Christ or even discipline for a sin) or just general sufferings (like sickness), I turn to 2 Corinthians, James and Philippians:

 {2 Corinthians 1:5}
For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance,
so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.

{James 1:2-4}
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,
knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
And let endurance have its perfect result,
so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

{Philippians 1:6}
For I am confident of this very thing,
that He who began a good work in you will perfect it
until the day of Christ Jesus.

When I feel I will never have victory over a specific sin in my life, I turn to Romans:

{Romans 6:12-14}
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body
so that you obey its lusts,
and do not go on presenting the members of your body
to sin as instruments of unrighteousness;
but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead,
and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
For sin shall not be master over you,
for you are not under law but under grace.

And when I am upset because it seems the unrighteous are being blessed while they curse the name of God and the righteous suffer for Christ (I think of this especially when I am praying for the persecuted church), I turn to Philippians:

{Philippians 2:9-11}
For this reason also, God highly exalted Him,
and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow,
of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and that every tongue will confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Thank You, Lord for Your Holy Word. It is perfect, infallible, accurate, and complete.  

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching,
 for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;  
so that the man of God may be adequate,
equipped for every good work.
{1 Timothy 3:16-17}

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thankfulness {Day 18) Christian Science

Ok, now I don't mean the popular celebrity version of religion. Blech.

I mean Science from a Christian perspective. I am so very thankful for men like Ken Ham and companies like Apologia for giving us tools to teach our kids science (which is super fun and cool for kids and adults) that honors God.

Science is studying God's creation. So why do we think we need to teach this from a secular perspective? It is not ok to believe that we evolved from the sludge or that the Earth is a bazillion  years old - and say that you love God. That is calling God a liar.

God gave us the history of the world in Genesis. It is true and infallible, just like the other books of the Bible.

Christian men and women have taken God's word (the starting point) and used that to build their scientific theories and world views. And do you know what they found? It makes perfect sense. Starting with Genesis explains many unexplainables like sea shell fossils found on the top of mountains and what happened to the dinosaurs.

But men reject this because they reject God - and that will be saved for another post.

But I am thankful that I have books and tools to teach my daughter science. I do not have to point out lies in the books. I do not have to say well, this part is mostly true. I do not have to question how much I know about the subjects myself to be able to discern truth from error. I can put full faith in that what I am teaching her (and even learning myself) honors God and His Holy Word.

This year we are studying Apologia's curriculum on Astronomy. It is fantastic! My daughter was reading it and said, "Mom, I think the author of this book loves God."

That just put a smile on my face and warmed my heart.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankfulness {Day 17} Catching Up

I haven't posted much this week. I actually deleted my blog at one point. I constantly wonder if I am investing too much time into this and if it is what God would have me do with my extra time (that's a funny one!). But a couple of things happened after I deleted the blog (thank goodness you can recover it pretty easily) that helped me to realize that He doesn't mind the investment - I just need to keep it in check.

How do I do that? As my 6 yr old would way, "I dunno". But I have seen a few other bloggers write about how they balance homeschooling, homemaking and blogging and I'm gonna do a little research and keep praying.

But, back to being thankful. I did keep up with our daily calendar at home, so I have been thankful to God for at least one thing every day.

Here's the rundown:

{Day 13}

My dear friend, Claire. She is my friend that I asked God to bring into my life. I have many friends at church, but this is the gal that I know will be there, even if via text, when I need someone to pray or tell me that I need to "die to self." I love this gal!

{Day 14}

Our girls have been playing so nicely together this week. They had been at a height of sibling rivalry that was very ugly. Our 2 yr old wanted to be 6 and our 6 yr old wanted to be 2. So I am very thankful to the Lord for the companionship they are developing - even if it is short lived.

{Day 15}

The Reprieve - I am thankful again for the way my girls are behaving. They are not only playing so well together, but they are behaving and obeying much better (this has been a big problem lately). What changed? Well, we have said many prayers and issued many punishments. The one punishment I did not want to give was to take away the electronic babysitter. But I did. I thought life would be SO much harder without the TV or computer, but it has been easier. I am also thankful for the break, even if it is small, from the vertigo. I had a couple days of feeling really good. I thought I was cured. The Lord allowed it to return yesterday, but I am still thankful!

{Day 16}

I am so very thankful for the way my girls love on strangers. My 6 yr old loves people in general (the girl has never met a stranger) but children in particular. She will find a friend at the park and just make that person feel like her number one special friend. I am have been thanked by other parents and grandparents so much for my daughter's loving heart and genuine kindness towards their children. 

Now my 2 year old chooses to love on older women - "Grama's". She loves all the older women at the grocery store and just brings a smile to their face. I am often busy reading ingredient labels and I'll notice a woman looking our way and she'll declare, "Your girls are adorable". That happened yesterday and as we were leaving the store, my daughter is yelling, "by Gama, i wuh you". It is not even that this lady looked like her Grandmothers - she just loves Grandmas.

{Day 17}

I am so very thankful that there is a large number of people who invest in our youth. There are so many kids who need direction from someone other than Mom and Dad (our voices start to sound like Charlie Brown's teacher after a while). There are so many people at our church in our community that love the Lord and love our kids. People who will take time, lots of time, to teach godly principles to the kids and then are examples with their own lives.

Our church has a wonderful youth program on Wednesday nights for all ages. I was there last night and I am just overwhelmed with the number of kids that are running around our fairly small church. I know they are learning God's word and being discipled by many who love God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength.

Another example of this is Christian Youth Theater (CYT). We are going to see one of their plays today (Narnia). This is a company that invests in children, not only to teach them about theater, but to help them to remember Who gave them their talents. At the end of each performance, they end it with all the children pointing one finger up to the heavens as a way of declaring that it is all from Him and for Him. I love it!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thankfulness {Day 12} Beautiful Things

I am so thankful for the ability to appreciate beauty.

I mean, when my cat looks at a painting by Monet, she's not thinking it looks like anything special.
However I know that it is magnificent!

This is a God given gift.Think about all the beautiful things God has made for us to enjoy with this gift.

Sunsets and Sunrises.



Animals, birds and fish.

And children - aren't mine beautiful (I sure think so)?

What a gift! Thank You, Lord for the ability to appreciate beauty! Help me to never take it for granted.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thankfulness {Day 11} Our Soldiers

I am thankful for our U.S. Soldiers.

I am so very thankful that there are so many brave men and women who, for a variety of reasons, enlist into the armed services. When they first go into the Army, Navy, Marines or Air Force, they are basically children - yet they are willing to make a sacrifice to serve our country. Many sacrifice the four years away from friends and family but then go on to live out their lives. Some sacrifice much more. They end up with physical and mental disabilities and some even sacrifice their lives.

How often do we hear of a soldier being killed while serving across the ocean and neglect to take time to thank God for this person's service and to pray for their family left behind.

We should be praying often for these soldiers and their families that are left behind. We should offer up prayers of thanksgiving that some are willing to serve.

Where would our nation be without this line of defense?

I am also thankful for so many men and women who have served in the past - either in times of warfare or times of peace. We don't always even know that someone has served when they were younger until we get to know them. I have often been surprised to find out someone is a Veteran.

Today is Veteran's Day. It should not be another basically unrecognized holiday like Columbus (who is dead) or President's Day (and they are also dead). We are surrounded by many Veterans who are very much alive. Let's take time to thank them. They may be at work. They may be at church. They may be your neighbor. They may be at the local nursing home.

I am so very thankful and proud of the men and women in my own family who have served, including both of my grandfathers, my grandmother, my father, my uncle, and my brother.

They might just be that homeless guy on the street corner asking for some help.

What a wonderful blessing it is for our soldiers, current and past, to have the people around them acknowledge their sacrifice and say thank you!

Thank You, Lord, for the men and women who are
(and have in the past)
protecting our country.
Please be with them and their families
as they sacrifice to keep me and my family safe.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankfulness {Day 10} Music

I am so thankful for music. It is truly a gift from God.

For years, I abused this gift. I listened to horrible music that glorified things of this world - debased and sinful things.

Thanks to the convictions from the Holy Spirit, I see that this is a way that I can worship and praise God. Now, I intentionally choose music that tells of His blessings. I choose music that pleases the Lord when I sing.

He gave me this dull, low, flat voice, therefore He has to listen to it. :)

I love it that my girls can be in terrible, selfish, sinful moods, but if I put in some music - they are transformed. They turn into fun, loving, singing, dancing angels.

I know you'll be surprised to find this out, but sometimes I can be a sinful mess - full of complaints and grumblings. But when I put on some wonderful praise music, I am quickly reminded of all my blessings. It is like magic - otherwise known as the Holy Spirit. My heart is happy.

Right at this moment, my girls are going down a list of songs in iTunes and singing along. It warms my soul to hear them sing songs about God.

One other thing about music. You may or may not be aware of this, but our children love music. They will learn and sing the lyrics to any kind of music that we allow them to listen to. It is very important that we help them choose wisely. Our daughter (6) loves, and I mean LOVES, hymns. We got her a hymnal for Easter and it is one of her most prized possessions.

She loves hymns because she sees that her Mom and Dad love hymns.

When singing these each night before bed, she asks important questions like when they were singing the Battle Hymn of the Republic. She is often very frustrated that Jesus has not returned when He said that He would be back soon. She always says, "Soon!? I've been waiting my whole life." But the last verse in this wonderful hymn is:

We can almost hear the trumpet sound, the Lord's return is near;
There are still so many people lost, His message they must hear;
Father, give us one more moment, one more day, just one more year -
With God we're marching on.

After reading this and then in the Bible

"The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise,
as some understand slowness.
Instead he is patient with you,
not wanting anyone to perish,
but everyone to come to repentance."
2 Peter 3:9

she realized WHY Jesus  has not returned. There are many, many people that need to hear the good news.

What a wonderful conversation and teaching moment that was produced from a song!

Thank You, Lord, for the gift of music!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thankfulness {Day 9} God is Immutable

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Hebrews 13:8
Of old You laid the foundation of the earth,
And the heavens are the work of Your hands.
They will perish, but You will endure;
Yes, they will all grow old like a garment;
Like a cloak You will change them,
And they will be changed.
But You are the same,
And Your years will have no end.
Psalm 102:25-27

I am so very thankful that God does not change. He never changes His mind. He is faithful and trustworthy because He is immutable.

If God were not immutable, we could not trust His promises. We could not trust that Jesus' death on the cross fulfills the debt of sin we owe against our Holy Creator. We could not trust that suffering in this lifetime is for our ultimate good. We could not trust that He was always there listening to our prayers. We could not trust that Christ would return for His bride. We could not trust that sin would one day be extinguished.

But we can trust in all of God's promises because He is immutable.

Here is something I found when researching how wonderful it is that God never changes. It is perfect so I thought I'd share it with you.

The immutability of God is an assurance for Christians

Assurance provides stability and confidence in times of uncertainty and circumstances that appear threatening. Because our God is unchanging, His promises and His purposes are certain; they cannot, and they will not fail. We have an incorruptible sacrifice, the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has accomplished eternal redemption for all who receive it (1 Peter 1:3-9, 17-21; Hebrews 9:12). We have a “kingdom which cannot be shaken” (Hebrews 12:28). We have a God who deals with us consistently with His character and His Word (see James 1:12-18). We have a Great High Priest who “abides forever and holds His priesthood permanently” (Hebrews 7:24). Our hope and confidence is not in the “uncertainty of riches” but rather in “God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17). The prophet Isaiah contrasted the “changing creation with the unchanging Creator” as an encouragement to endurance and faithfulness, even in the dark days of history (Isaiah 50:7-51:16).
Excerpt from Bible.org

I am so very thankful that God is Immutable. He never changes.

I am thankful for one big change - the Change of Seasons.

The fall leaves are being blown off of the trees as I type. Although Fall is a beautiful time of year, I am excited for winter this year.

I am excited for our girls to play in the snow, drink hot chocolate, sing Christmas carols and be excited to see all the decorated houses. I am looking forward to another year to teach them about the birth of Jesus and how amazing it is that God came to earth and dwelt among us.

I am thankful that God never changes, but the seasons do.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Thankfulness {Day 8} Forgiveness

First and foremost, I am thankful for the forgiveness for all my sins from yesterday, today and all my tomorrows that I find in the Lord Jesus Christ. I can never do enough "good" to pay that would outweigh the horrible sins I have committed (even the ones just in my own mind). I am not worthy of the sacrifice that Jesus made for me, but  He made it nonetheless. I am eternally grateful!

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

It is hard to forgive. I have had to forgive a few things that have caused me a lot of pain (some because people asked me to forgive them and some I had to forgive without their asking). It is hard!

But I forgive others because He forgives me for everything!

But I am also thankful for the forgiveness I find from other people. I mess up a LOT! I act out of emotion and my sinful flesh takes any opportunity to react quickly. This is unfortunate and the results are that I hurt others. I hate it! I need to think before I act more often. I need to take things to the Lord in prayer.

But I am thankful for the forgiveness that others have granted me. My darling husband is at the top of the list. I am thankful for the grace and mercy he gives me when I have said or done something hurtful. I am thankful that my girls forgive me when I snap at them.

I am so unworthy, but ever so grateful to God for the gift of forgiveness!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thankfulness {Day 7} Other Pastors

I have a hard time taking my thoughts captive and keeping my mind focused on Jesus. If I listen to my random thoughts based on my experiences and emotions - I can quickly end up angry, frustrated, unthankful, complaining, sad, depressed, and just plain ugly.

One thing I do is try to immerse myself in sermons and teachings from gifted pastors on the radio and podcasts.

I love Moody Radio!

I can have the radio on in my kitchen and listen while I am cooking or cleaning. What a fantastic treat to have such wonderful teachers and worship music at my fingertips.

At 9am most weekdays, I am doing the breakfast dishes and listening to my favorite online sermon series - Today in the Word. The current series is on prayer and Joe Stowell's sermon on the "Muchness of God" is fAnTaStIc!! If you ever wondered how or why prayer works - you should definitely go online and check this one out (past programs).

I love Podcasts!

This is an excellent way to catch those sermons that I have missed. I podcast our own church (Centennial Bible Church) sermons when I have to teach Sunday School or miss because of a sick kiddo (that happens a lot it seems).

Some of my other favorites are Wisdom for the Heart, Truth for Life, Today in the Word, Albert Mohler, Janet Parshall's In The Market and Family Life Today.

You can find most of these at OnePlace.

What a gift it is to be able to hear so many gifted preachers and teachers anytime and anyplace!!  Thank You, Lord!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Thankfulness {Day 6} Our Church

I am thankful for our church. When I usually speak of the church, I am talking about the global church - the body of Christ. This time, I am still referring to the body of believers; but more specifically, the people who attend Centennial Bible Church.

Is it a perfect church? Sure looks like it from the outside. That is one gorgeous building!

But no, the people are not perfect. They are all sinners just like me. I can expect to be let down. I can expect for the programs to be flawed. I can expect many opportuntities to complain (which unfortunately I do way too often - gulp).

But I love these people. We are knit together with a love for Christ and therefore a love for each other. My soul feels so refreshed when I am sitting in the blue chairs (ok, not my head because of the vertigo, but my soul is refreshed FOR SURE). I know I am sitting in a room of people who truly care about me and my family.

I get to praise and worship our Lord together.

We sit under the teaching of a wonderfully gifted Pastor.

We get to serve with the kids and teach them about God. More importantly, we are forming relationships with the kids and loving on them.

What a wonderful gift when family is not close (either in distance or in heart)!

And when I am not there, I miss it.

God had a wonderful thing in mind when He thought of the local church and I am ever so grateful!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Thankfulness {Day 5} Other Writers

I love to read.

I love my beloved Bible.

I love other books.

I love magazines.

I love blogs.

I am so very thankful for other men and women who take time out of their days to contemplate and do the research to write wonderful, heart-touching blogs. I can easily lose many hours just reading everything out there about Christian living, crafting, sewing, loving your husband, loving your children, and healthy lifestyles. I love the bond that seems to form between other bloggers. Soul Sisters (and brothers, although I don't seem to read many written by men).

So a big thank you to all the people who are writing diligently each day.

I am so thankful to have such great wisdom on my little black laptop in my own warm comfy living room (that's another thing - just think about how readily available "information" is these days. I'm so spoiled!).

A few of my favorites are:

A Holy Experience
A Martha Heart
Three Thinking  Mothers
Unplug Your Family
Women Living Well
Time Warp Wife
Clarke Family Fun

I love it when someone takes time to comment on my blog so that I can visit theirs (if they have one). It is such a special treat for me to "meet" someone new. I get to read about their walk with the Lord and see how He has gifted them an a wonderfully, unique way to bless the (global) church.

This morning (as I visited a new friend from a comment) I was touched by a poem on Catherine's blog, Simplicity of the Soul. She posted this prayer from the Valley of the Vision, a Collection of Puritan Prayers (which has been on my wishlist on Amazon for about forever).

The fifth line of this prayer was like a kick in the gut. So powerful! I pray that you are touched as well (it is listed below).


"O LORD of Grace,
I have been hasty and short in private prayer,
O quicken my conscience to feel this folly,
to bewail this ingratitude;
My first sin of the day leads into others,
and it is just that thou shouldst withdraw thy presence
from one who waited carelessly on thee.
Keep me at all times from robbing thee,
and from depriving my soul of thy due worship;
Let me never forget
that I have an eternal duty to love,
honour and obey thee,
that thou art infinitely worthy of such;
that if I fail to glorify thee
I am guilty of infinite evil that merits infinite punishment,
for sin is the violation of an infinite obligation.
O forgive me if I have dishonoured thee,
melt my heart,
heal my backslidings, and
open an intercourse of love.
When the fire of thy compassion warms my inward man,
and the outpourings of thy Spirit fill my soul,
then I feelingly wonder at my own depravity,
and deeply abhor myself;
then thy grace is a powerful incentive to repentance,
and an irresistible motive to inward holiness.
May I never forget that thou hast my heart in thy hands.
Apply to it the merits of Christ's atoning blood whenever I sin.
Let thy mercies draw me to thyself.
Wean me from all evil, mortify me to the world,
and make me ready for my departure hence,
animated by the humiliations of penitential love.
My soul is often a chariot without wheels,
clogged and hindered in sin's miry clay;
Mount it on eagle's wings and cause it to soar upward to thyself."