An Uncommon Thanksgiving

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1 thess 5 18

If you were given only one chance to tell God what you are thankful for … what would it be?

Sometimes we can pick and choose our thankfulness … depending on the circumstances, but the Bible tells us to be thankful in ALL things.

It’s difficult to thank God for areas of life that aren’t easy … but it’s in the hard places that we can find an uncommon blessing waiting … if we open our eyes to see.

This thanksgiving I want to thank God for turning my world upside down in 2015. This place thrills and terrifies me all at the same time.

So Lord … here are the uncommon blessings you’ve opened my eyes to see. My how you’ve changed this old girl’s view.”

For the burdens that keep me spiritually alert … teaching me how to pray … and how to trust … Thank you Lord.

For the revelation of truth revealed in your word that challenges yet enlightens me … I am so thankful Lord.

For the peace that leaps with joy on the unknown path … oh the hope that’s growing in my heart. Thank you Lord.

For the surprise breakthrough that hovered over the impossible for too long; yet arrived in the nick of time … increasing my faith. Thank you Lord.

For the tears you collect when heartaches overwhelm and man lets me down, thank you for comforting me Lord.

For the bone breaking truth and conviction you speak into my life … thank you Lord.

For the cares that no longer hold me in bondage … Oh Praise you Lord for freedom.

For the boldness of honesty … and the call to stand … thank you God for filling me with courage.

For the deliverance from man’s greed and envy … Hallelujah for clarity to see oppression.

For the negative judgement and opinions of man … let them rail Lord, because you are for me.  Thank you for being my strong tower Lord.

For healing hurts the enemy tries to use against me … Oh thank you sweet Jesus.

And Lord … because you always give joy to balance the pain … thank you for the sweet places too.

For the spirit of urgency that’s teaching me to number my days … thank you for making me productive.

For the laughter of little children who bring life to weariness … thank you Lord.

For the new kindred souls that dance to the rhythm of my heart, embracing my hand in friendship … how good you are O God.

For the love of words … thank you Lord. Help me to use them for your glory, the rest of my days.

This year …  don’t pick and choose your thankfulness based on your circumstances. I challenge you … find the places that hurt and thank God for “ALL THINGS” He is doing in your life.

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.  

1 Thessalonians 5:18

love mel

 

 

 

 

We have a “GOOD, GOOD, FATHER. Spend some time worshiping HIM for all things.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBwXHpKVS5I

 

Four Signs You Are Living A Life That Matters #MakeItCount Day 2

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past doesnt matter

You know the unsatisfying feeling in your gut that you were created for more?

What about that restless feeling? Or the gnawing sense of feeling trapped?

It’s like being stuck in the movie “Ground hog Day” right?

Day in and day out, you are just going through the motions. Nothing seems to change.

When I was a stay at home mom, the enemy had convinced me that I had no purpose in life besides being a mom. It wasn’t until my kids were becoming teenagers did I realize how very important that season was.

Oddly I felt as though I had wasted opportunities. I even listened to the lie that I would never be used of GOD because of my past.

The enemy doesn’t want you to think that GOD has something for you to do in this life.

Oh beloved…..please don’t  believe him.

Your past doesn’t matter to GOD….but your future does.

Satan maims our outlook by dragging us through our cluttered past.

Everyone is born with a purpose.

I think we miss it too often.

What are you good at?

What obvious talents do you have?

What are your passions?

Who do you think gave you these attributes to your personality?

GOD of course…..weaved straight into your DNA.

an originalGOD made you a one of a kind. No knock offs of you beloved….you are an original.

GOD will never draw you to do something HE has not already given you the ability to do.

ability

HE may desire you to develop those abilities, get more education or hone those talents…so that you can be more effective….but make no mistake….HE has something for you to do.

Today we talk about purpose as we continue in our series of the “Four signs of living a life that matters.” The second sign is….

  1. You live life with a purpose.

Every day that you climb out of bed….know that GOD has something for you to do.

HE not only gives us a purpose for our life…but HE gives you a specific purpose to accomplish for every day.

This life is not about pleasing our flesh…..when we please the flesh…eventually we are dissatisfied…there is no true, lasting happiness.

This life is about being light bearers in the image of GOD.

If you can lighten someone’s burden by giving a helping hand….that is your purpose for the day.

If you can wash peanut butter and jelly off of a precious, chubby faced toddler….that is your purpose for the day.

If you can serve, love, or encourage by dropping off a meal for someone who’s lost a loved one, or just send a note through the mail sharing hope….that is your purpose for that day. The scriptures tell us…..

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5

HE made us to share HIS love. But…those talents and attributes that are unique to you….HE wants you to use those gifts for HIS GLORY.

If you determine to find your purpose for each day…..everyday…something along the way happens.  As you seek to be the light for someone….you are learning to be sensitive to the leading of the HOLY SPIRIT.  Stay with me here……

As you respond to that urging of the SPIRIT….using your gifts in some simple way….HE starts leading you to new places. I promise you!

When you give more of yourself to GOD….HE takes delight, and sees your obedience.

The more obedient you are to HIM…the more HE will trust and use you.

Start where you are at…using what you have….for whoever GOD has put in your life for that day or season….and you will be amazed how GOD will bring you to the purpose you were created for.

And be mindful…there are different seasons for your purpose. Just because you may be limited or feel stagnant for a time….be faithful….just like the Winter, Spring, Fall and Summer brings change, growth and new life…. the same will be for the purpose you were created for.

Determine to live every day with a purpose….make a difference…be the light.

See you tomorrow sweet friends!

love mel

“The Romance Of My Senses” How Do You Worship The Creator?

The creator romances my senses like no other can.

Fall’s autumnal color wheel enchants my soul to the point of ignorant bliss.

Early in my youth I would drink of these delights, guiltless and unaware of the spiritual connection nature afforded.

Bejeweled perfection was constantly evolving all around season after season, yet I was oblivious.

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I knew I loved being in the midst of His artistic backdrop; however, I never stopped to question why the amber foliage or brilliant periwinkle skies made my heart sing?

I took the giver for granted.

For example, one might argue the sunset with every color of pink and salmon explodes in visual rapture because that’s the natural order of things.

But how can that be when every single evening sky since the beginning of time has never been duplicated by the master painter?

And why pink on a Tuesday?

Why the occasional yellow with a hint of orange the day after?

Could it be He remembers how color is an aphrodisiac to my soul?

Does He consciously think about tickling my senses….all for my pleasure?

Could it be He is that sensitive, caring and loving?

Could He possibly love me so much He devises the perfect fall day with vivid intense color and a host of rustling leaves whispering joy in my ears?

It’s just a fall day you say, He didn’t make it just for you.

Maybe so….but how could it have such a profound effect upon my soul unless He knows and cares about how it makes me feel?

God is ever pursuing me like an old fashioned suitor.

As time goes by, I become more and more aware of these priceless pleasures wining and dining me.

They make me stop what I am doing and look up.

My master creator, the ultimate artist is ever awakening my soul…showing me His handiwork….longing for me to praise Him…..so I do.

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I believe He specifically fashions my pleasure every day.

With every cornflower blue sky He tints, I close my eyes and smell the Indian summer.

My mind is catapulted back to my prayer warrior grandmother who loved October’s parade of colors most, just like me.

I remember her spaghetti with baseball sized meatballs and the velvety yellow daffodils I picked every spring blanketing her hillside farm.

I recall animated bed time stories and sweaty, bareback pony rides.

All one of a kind memories and experiences no one else can claim.

Just a blue October sky you say, the natural order of things.  I say nonsense!

He orchestrates my pleasures right down to the detail.

Oh yes He is the God of detail who puts stripes on the wooly worm, mistletoe in the tree tops and polka dots on the butterfly.

He knows the detail will catch my eye, jog my memory, and take me back to a sweet, sweet time.

Every pleasure from His hands pluck the senses like a gentle harp…and when this divine moment happens…the sensory perceptions of our world can go a million different places.

And you can be sure we won’t all go to the same place.

The essence of our DNA the creator has tailor-made in each of us, is beyond vast even before the sensory journey begins.

As the seasons spin, let him awaken your heart in the crisp evening breeze kissing your face.

Listen to the bluebird banter as the morning frost glistens.

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Close your eyes and feel the pleats on the bumpy pumpkin.

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Let the creator take your mind to a place only He can….and worship Him for His worth.

Are your senses dulled by the natural order of things?

How many tailor-made pleasures have you rushed through?

How many have you exchanged for man-made moments like TV or social media?

This season let the master creator romance your senses in a way like never before.

Let His creative handiwork give you wild pleasure…..and then give Him pleasure back.

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“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.   Revelation 4:11

Are Life’s Struggles Karma…Or God?

It was only a box of diapers and a few bags of groceries but to me…it was gold.  The gift of love my sister provided meant my babies would be comfortable and their bellies would be full for another week.

The provision was just in the nick of time. I was in a dark place of life….a place where I was living day to day.

For me the period was in the Spring of 1990, just weeks before my husband found salvation. Some days all I could do was just exist in meagerness.

But God always came through…..somehow….some way….he sent the vehicle to show me mercy.

Mercy is a sweet gift isn’t it?

We don’t always deserve it.

We don’t always give it either.

Recently I was faced with the choice to give someone I know…. mercy.

By the world’s standards, this someone didn’t deserve mercy…..and a few told me so.

I kept thinking none of us deserve mercy……yet Jesus gives us mercy everyday…..not to mention what he did for us on the cross.

There have been numerous desperate times I needed mercy…and when it came…..I recognized it…..and I was grateful to God.

You see because I’ve needed it so many times…..I don’t mind giving it.

I can’t keep from thinking about the scripture in Galatians.

“Do not be deceived; God will not be mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.   Galatians 6:7-9  

 

reap what we sow

 

This familiar passage is both encouragement and a warning.

If we want mercy….we need to practice giving mercy.

But what about the other things we are sowing in our lives everyday?

We sow many things…..

kindness…..

hatred….

joy….

oppression…..

bad habits…..

dissension with others….

unwise choices……

love…..

sorrow……

good deeds for others……

wise choices…..

discouragement…..

faithfulness….

unfaithfulness…..

laziness….

jealousy…..

dishonesty…..

strife….

hope….

doubt….

and these are just a few……some actions we are not aware we are sowing everyday.

But it makes sense doesn’t it?

Just like the farmer who collects the harvest of planting….we collect the results good or bad from our season of sowing.

 

Hosea 8:7 says…..

“They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.”

 

sow the wind

 

I don’t know about you but I don’t want to reap a whirlwind.  Life is just to darn hard to reap a whirlwind!

But Dr. Charles Stanley says……

“We reap what we sow, more than we sow, and later than we sow.”

 

Reaping more than we sowed and later than we sowed sounds like we can be swept right up in a whirlwind doesn’t it?

The farmer knows he can yield much even from one seed…..

yet unlike the seasons of the harvest…

Life has its own seasons….and many times we have no control over those seasons.

So what are we sowing in our lives today?

Perhaps it’s time to examine our lives…..because tomorrow we are all going to be reaping today’s actions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“When Life Brings Unexpected Change”

Aside

Nothing stays the same.

Everything changes in this vacuum of time called life.

The babies grow up, the loved one passes away, the job ends, the divorce becomes final,  the friends come and go.

Resistance is the human reaction we all grapple with.

The seasons of life can bring great joy as well as great pain.

The good changes are easier to deal with, the scary changes with consequences not so easy.

With every change the uncertainty of life as we know it becomes a distance memory and if we’re not careful…..it can cloud or stall our future…..but be cautious because our faith is our future.

Don’t get stuck living in the past…….it can be a miserable place to exist …I know….I’ve wasted too much time living in the past.

GOD allows change for good….even though we don’t like how it comes sometimes.

We may face life events that seem catastrophic or heartbreaking….but if we are abiding in JESUS….HE will work it all for our good.

The fact that HE allows change….regardless of how it comes….. shows HE doesn’t want us to stay as we are….HE knows change can bring us closer to HIM if we will let it.

Its when we resist HIS change that we stumble and stray….getting lost in the foggy circumstances.

We can choose to stay the way we are….. where we are at……or we can embrace the change….and become more.

More like HIM is the change HE wants.

I know many are wrestling with big changes in your lives……but instead of dreading and fearing them….let GOD’S peace rest in your heart.

Take time to grieve or regroup…..but …don’t linger too long in the pain because that’s the place Satan uses to trip us up……the pain can cause us to become bitter, hardened….hopeless.

The bible says there is an appointed time for everything….for every event under heaven.  Ecclesiastes 3:1

If change wasn’t part of life there would be no long summer evenings on the porch….we wouldn’t have the splendor of fall to look forward to…..there would be no winter for the earth to rest…and without the rest….the spring wouldn’t bring new life.

The same is true in our spiritual life.

Fervently trusting JESUS will change the shades of our faith, making them more brilliant…..no matter what season…. be it the hurts and the joys…. seasons of change spin abundance from GOD’S heart.

Change hurts…. but somewhere along the path….the evolution of the heart finds a harvest of mercy, healing, joy and new life.

Hold on tight to JESUS… embrace the change….and see what HE does next.

Streams in the wasteland scripture picture