Thanks Christmas

2 Corinthians 9:15 might be considered a Thanksgiving verse, but I had this color page from a Christmas book.  Since Jesus came to die to provide salvation from sins, His birth is the ultimate gift.

Merry Christmas!

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your amazing gift of Jesus Christ.  I praise Your name!

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good!

Praise and More Praise

I am ending Thanksgiving week with the ultimate praise passage.  I want to find every way possible to praise God.  Psalm 100 gives us reasons: We are His; His steadfast love endures.  The longer I know God and the more I learn about Him, the more I understand how praiseworthy God is.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for giving Your steadfast, faithful love.  Thank You for allowing me to be a sheep of Your pasture.  I praise Your name.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Thankfulness to Show the Gospel

I chose the gospel as my word for this year. This verse is part of the reason why. I am thankful that God saved me from my sins through the death of His Son, Jesus Christ. I want to live so others see how good God is. If people know the truth of Who God is, I believe we would see a drastic change in our world. The goodness of God overcomes the ugliness of sin.

Today I am thankful for the gospel and the difference it can make in our lives.

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for providing the gospel through Jesus Christ. Thank You for being so good. Please help me to show Your goodness to others. I want others to see Your goodness in my life. I praise Your name.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Thanksgiving and Praise

Can you believe it is November?  There have been times the last two years when it felt as time stood still; however, as usual, time flies by and I wonder what happened.

I want to take November to talk about thankfulness again this year.  When times get tough, I find it much easier to complain.  I want to be thankful more often.  Writing about thankfulness helps me do that.

Today I want to start with thankfulness for God’s Word.  Today’s verse tells us about the usefulness of the Bible.  We have a whole list of how the Bible (Scripture) prepares us to do good works. 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us Your Word.  I am thankful for the instruction it gives me.  I praise Your name!

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Take Time to Praise

I have often caught myself spending more time in prayer asking God for things than thanking Him.  I also know how easy it can be to complain instead of praise.  God tells us multiple times in His Word to be thankful and give praise to Him.  I appreciate verses like Psalm 100:4-5 that not only remind us to praise, but also give us an easy reason to give praise.  God’s steadfast love (Hebrew word hesed) and faithfulness are readily evident (when we are paying attention).

I need to pay attention for the many ways to thank and praise God, but I know when I get stuck that God’s Word will give me the help to get started.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your steadfast love.  You are unchanging and Your love is always available to me.  I praise Your faithfulness.  I am in awe of the endurance Your love and faithfulness has.  You are worthy of praise and honor and glory.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Willing to Receive

I am willing to receive what You send,
lack what You withhold, 
relinquish what You take, 
suffer what You inflict;
To do what You command and
To be what You require.

Elizabeth Elliot

I know I much prefer receiving the “nice” things in life.  Something that warms my heart like a friendly greeting or good news.  I find it much harder to receive difficulties.  Going through appointments and surgery for a pre-cancerous tumor hit my introverted personality hard.  There were many difficult things along the way.  However, I spent so much more time praying.  I have also been convicted to watch for and write down the joy God sends throughout the difficulties.  I have found it fun to share the stories of the blessings.  I found it easier to make it through the tough times by looking for and enjoying the positive things.

I want to be willing to say what Elizabeth Elliot did – to be willing to have what God wants.  I know God’s gifts are always best.  Prayer and thanksgiving are two great ways to receive what God gives.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the many blessings You send my way.  Thank You that the difficulties are a gift to help me draw closer to You. I ask for help as I continue to navigate the challenges of life.  Please help me to share hope, love, and faith in You with those around me.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Thankfulness to Heal

I know I can struggle with being thankful.  This week was extra hard.  Work is tough with our new computer system issues and I had a coworker out on vacation.  I also faced a health issue that went a direction I didn’t want.  I was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ.  It sounds kind of scary, but in situ is my new favorite term.  It means the carcinoma is believed to be contained. I will be facing surgery to remove the tumor and possibly some other treatment after (to be determined based on surgery results).

As I faced this week, I knew I would need God’s grace.  This was my first mammogram, and I knew I was likely to need a biopsy.  Not an easy thing for this introvert.  There is also the emotion of dread if the results are bad.  I struggle counting trials joy because it can feel like we have to lie.  Brutal honesty – the biopsy wasn’t exactly fun.  There were several hard things for my introverted personality during the tests.  I didn’t want to take my worry out on the medical professionals providing my care.  I spent a lot of time praying, both before and during the appointment.  I asked God to show me His grace and make me aware of the ways He sent it.  God came through with His usual generosity.  My interactions with the medical professionals that day and after have been wonderful.  They showed great compassion and care.

When I find it hard to thank God for a mammogram and biopsy or a diagnosis that requires surgery, I can easily thank God for the many evidences of His grace through trials. Medical research shows that thankfulness helps with healing.  I will need that in the next weeks.  

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the kindness, care and compassion that You sent through medical professionals this week.  Thank You for friends and family who are joining me on this journey.  Thank you for the joy and comfort Your grace provides.  Please help me to honor You throughout this journey.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Thank You to Hard Workers

Today I want to take time to thank all of those who work hard in their jobs, no matter what the job is.  This year we have had a lot of talk about “essential workers”.  While I understand the concept at the time, anyone who provides an income is essential.  And sadly, I have seen some in the “essential” roles who have not worked hard.  I believe that is true in every profession.  Some people work hard and sadly some are lazy. 

I am thankful for all who work hard.  Whether in stores, distribution centers, truck drivers who provide us with products we need for life or medical professionals who work hard to take care of our health and learn as new things come along.  The single parent who works doubly hard to provide for family, the caregiver who is navigating new circumstances and so many others.  All of you are a blessing to me.  I have worked with both hard workers and lazy employees.  I much prefer the hard workers and I know that God is pleased with hard workers (Proverbs 14:23, Acts 20:35, 2 Timothy 2:6).

Again – I say, “thank you”, to all of you. 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for all who work hard.  Their effort brings things necessary for life and joy to the recipients.  Please help those who do not work hard to see the benefit and joy of putting more effort in.  This will bring glory to Your name.

I pray this in Jesus’ name. 

God is so good.

Happy Joyful Noise

Has 2020 been an easy year to sing praise and be thankful?  I have often found it difficult.  It is too easy to fall into complaining.  That is why I wanted to spend extra time expressing gratitude this month.  The Bible often tells us to be glad and rejoice. Even when there is a difficult time, there is reason to praise God.  God would not have asked us to praise Him if there was not.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us the Bible with reminders to be joyful.  I want to serve You with gladness and to sing in Your presence.  You are so good!

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.