Category Archives: Gratitude

You are welcome

Isn’t it interesting that in english the correct response to Thank you is You are welcome?  You are gladly received or willingly permitted, admitted, accepted.  Where did this originate?  Perhaps a language expert could enlighten us on the true historical details of where this response originated from, but what if we let our imaginations roam for a bit?

Perhaps long ago there was a person or a group of people who truly passed on every Thank you they received to God knowing that anything they had done to deserve the gift of gratitude was from God, so in turn their response to Thank you changed from It was nothing or No problem and became You are welcome as an inspired message from God to communicate with others and let them know that they too were welcome in His Kingdom.

As I stretch my imagination to make this up tonight, I hope that my own responses to Thank you in the future will move away from the personally accepting phrases of No problem, It was nothing, and sure, to His inspired message of You are welcome with a prayer that I am nothing more than an instrument of communication.

 

Returning to innocence…

My grandmother is very sick and will probably die soon.  I don’t live in the same city so I haven’t seen her in a while, but my mom and dad continue to share the details of her days.

Her recent memories have begun to fade, while those from long ago remain.  She is again being fed her meals as she was when she was a little baby, and she is filled with the joy and gratitude of a child when each visitor arrives in her room.  As I watch and listen from a distance, it seems as if the layers, the years, the hurt and the pain are being stripped away from my grandmother and she is returning to the innocence of her childhood and the purity of her baptism.

I am again in awe of our Amazing Father in Heaven and His Amazing Plan that we can’t imagine or understand, but sometimes glimpse when the light of understanding hits the veil at just the right angle.

Thank You sweet Lord and please do what You must to strip us clean and bring us all home to You!

AMAZED

My mind is a jumble of thoughts as I think of infinity buried in a point where everything on the inside is bigger than what is on the outside, and how difficult it is to wrap my earthly mind around this, as I look at the night sky and feel infinitesimally small, but then attempt to accept or believe or have faith that there is something or some place so much bigger buried and hidden from us in a point, in a second, in a planck length.

And then I am AMAZED to the point of tears with an aching joy in my heart knowing that somehow, mysteriously this is TRUE…

 

And Jesus said, “What do you want me to do for you?”

Sometimes we pray and pray and then pray some more, but do we know what we are asking Jesus to do for us?

I am often praying for forgiveness.  Forgive me for this, forgive me for that, forgive my sin from yesterday, forgive my sin from 15 years ago, etc.  This morning I was praying for forgiveness for something yet again, and I thought to myself or He said, “I have forgiven you, and I will forgive you again, and I will continue forgiving you as many times as you request to be forgiven, but when will you release your sin and give it to Me?”

When will I release my sin, when will I give it to Him?  He has already accepted it, He has already died for it, but have I let it go and actually given it to Him by accepting His forgiveness?

Have I become comfortable wallowing in my sin, remembering it, begging forgiveness and then returning to wallow in the comfort  of being an unforgiven sinner yet again?  I am not sure…. maybe?  I am not saying that we shouldn’t be praying for and begging for forgiveness often and more than once, but I think I have been missing a very crucial part to this prayer, a prayer asking Jesus to help me release my sin, give it to Him and enter the unknown territory of forgiven sinner by accepting His forgiveness.

Sweet Lord, sweet Savior, sweet Jesus I am in awe as I see Your amazing work more clearly than ever before through more specific and focused prayers.  I want each beat of my heart to be filled with gratitude and thanksgiving for You and I beg You to please keep opening our eyes to our sins so that we can beg forgiveness, repent and release our sin to You!

The Ancient Paths

Just as impurities should be removed from the original metals during the process of making an alloy to increase the strength and durability of the alloy (the new metal), our impurities should be cleansed and removed before He melts our hearts into one new heart through marriage.

If our hearts are full of impurities, then how can we ever hope for our new heart to be strong.  These impurities will cause our new heart to be brittle, weak, and easily damaged requiring constant attention and surgical repair.

Sweet Lord, we have neglected the need to seek cleansing and purification through reflection, prayer, fasting and confession before the many celebrations of our lives, but most of all before our marriages.  We have turned the time of engagement and preparation into yet another party rather a time of reflection, prayer and a time to seek You.  Please forgive us and help us seek the ancient paths, where the good way lies.

Jeremiah 6:16
Thus says the Lord:  Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.

We are no Longer Separated…

I was talking with my daughter today, and we started talking about Jesus.  As we were talking about why He had to die on the cross she answered the question with ease and simplicity by saying, “If He didn’t die on the cross, we wouldn’t have God, because we would still be separated from Him.”

We don’t take our children to church, we don’t send them to bible studies or Sunday school, and despite our failures, He speaks with our children loud and clear and WOW do they listen… I am awe of how He has opened their ears, their eyes and given them such a deep understanding greatly surpassing mine.

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You sweet Lord… there is nothing else to say but Thank You!

Trampled Pearls

I spend a lot of time thinking about things I have read, watched or discussed and wondering about interesting or different connections. I love to call these long and extended thought processes my secret thoughts.  My sweet husband always listens faithfully, and sometimes I share them with others, but not often.

One passage in the bible that I have been thinking about on and off for a while is Matthew 8:28-32.


And when he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men met him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one could pass that way. And behold, they cried out, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” Now a herd of many pigs was feeding at some distance from them. And the demons begged him, saying, “If you cast us out, send us away into the herd of pigs.” And he said to them, “Go.” So they came out and went into the pigs, and behold, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the waters. 


What is the point of this?  Why are the pigs included? Originally I thought of it as a followup to Leviticus when the Israelites were told not to eat the flesh of the pig.  I figured that this was further confirmation on how much God dislikes pigs, but this explanation never really felt right.

Then this passage came up again and I was thinking about it immediately on the heels of reading, Matthew 7: 7-8…


Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.


And it occurred to me that the demons had asked Jesus to send them into the herd of pigs, and He had given them their request.  Maybe what God is demonstrating in this passage is that if even a demon can ask and then be given his request, then we must realize how much more Jesus and Our Father in Heaven desire for us to ask so that They can give us our request.

Obviously I don’t know the answer, but I know my thoughts and I know the time put into pondering and developing this secret thought can be thought of as time spent polishing a little pearl God buried within my heart.  When I did share this thought with someone new, I finally experienced what it was like to cast my pearls before swine.  My thoughts were trampled and dismissed and I was upset and hurt for a little while, but now after the hurt has passed I am left regretfully wondering whose pearls have I trampled?

Sweet Lord, please help us to tread gently so that instead of trampling the pearls of others we might have a chance to discover them, learn from them, admire them and cherish them!  Also please help us to ask YOU with full faith that YOU will give!  You have proven it time and time again… it is our memories that constantly fail!

Pray with confidence

Sweet friends, we must pray with confidence in our Sweet Father’s ability to do anything and believing in full faith that our sweet Father in Heaven longs to answer and provide the purest desires of our heart!

Do not pray in fear, instead pray in confidence. In our minds and hearts we must release Him from whatever box we have tried to build around Him and place all confidence, trust, belief, faith in Him.

We might watch the news, see the homeless, see the refugees, see the slaves or look in the mirror and see our greed, see our sin and then for a moment teeter on the brink of despair, but look up, look up and see Him, the biggest, bravest, strongest and most amazing Father who knows it is all worth it, everything is worth it… and then smile as the sweet Holy Spirit renews our confidence in Him.

Thank You sweet Father for everything, thank You sweet Holy Spirit for our renewed confidence and faith moment by moment, thank You sweet Jesus for being YOU!

Our powerful tears…

So many believe our tears are a sign of weakness, because they don’t know Your secret sweet Lord.  They don’t understand that in the moments of our tears, we are powerful as You fill us with Your Holy Spirit and He fills us with Your strength!

Lord,  thank you for all of the tears that flow so freely from my eyes in moments of both joy and sorrow. I feel so close to You in these extreme and powerful moments of my life and I long to fill these moments with gratitude and prayer.

Please soften our hard hearts sweet Lord, and release the flood gates of the tears that so many hold back in fear of what the world believes.

Broken

I always find it so interesting that we are broken and living in a broken world, yet there is still so much more within us that must be broken in order draw closer to God.

He wants to break us slowly, like a mighty cliff that is gradually broken down by the ocean into individual grains of sand, but so often He comes across our resistance and it is then that a great rock from our cliff will come crashing down all at once and oh how it hurts.

Oh Lord, please remove our resistance so that we might all one day flow within your great ocean.

Thy Will Be Done, Oh Lord!