Thursday, November 25, 2010

Let Us Give Thanks To God!

As I think about Thanksgiving, I naturally start to think of all the things I am thankful for. Sometimes it was easy for me to say thank you and Amen, but years ago, when I realized that I am desperate every second of the day,and it's God who holds my every moment in His hand, being thankful took on a whole new meaning for me. I understood I didn't earn or deserve anything I have. These blessings in my life were all freely given to me daily by God's grace made possible through Christ. I didn't do enough of good works, and I couldn't buy them because the value of my relationship with Christ, my family, our health, happiness, and safety is priceless. I just simply received what God does best, which is taking delight in blessing His children.

For many years now I have made it a habit to thank God first for all that He has done in my life, what He is currently doing, and for the things He will continue to do. I purposely do this before I ask Him for something because I don't want to take anything for granted, and because I believe it honors God when we recognize His goodness. God is our Father and for those of you that are parents, I am sure you love it when your children come to you and thank you for something you have done for them. I know I love it when Dalton comes up to me and says thank you. Not only does it make me feel appreciated, but it also makes me want to continue giving to him because of his thankful heart. I believe this works the same way for us when we go to God and express our thankfulness.

Philippians 4:6 says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. I love this because to me, this is saying to ask God for what you want, but first come to Him with the attitude of being thankful. Today as you reflect on all that you are thankful for, let's not forget that God makes these things possible for us every day.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and remember to walk in love and speak in peace.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Speak Life!

I was shopping a few weeks ago at a new store that recently opened, and as I was browsing around, I happened to notice a lady that was near by. We were both looking at the same item, and I smiled and said hello. We got to chatting a bit, and she began to tell me how her husband is sick with various illnesses, and cancer was one of them. She explained that it doesn't look very good. I told her how sorry I was to hear of this, and how I will pray that all goes well. What really amazed me was her response. She looked at me so cheerfully and said, "I am going to be thankful for the good times we had together." I thought how awesome it was for this lady to choose to look on the bright side of a situation that may possibly result in the death of her husband.

Her attitude was a reminder to me of how we need to speak life to our circumstances no matter how mild or extreme they may be. I understand how hard that can be, especially when you're upset. There was an issue I had to deal with 2 weeks ago, and I didn't feel like being positive because this particular issue was not going to go my way. I was frustrated and I wanted to say negative things, but I began to realize that some of the things I wanted to say were completely out of anger and not what I really meant. Before I said another word, I stopped and thought about how it honors God when we speak in faith, especially during the times of turmoil. What better way to show God how we trust Him when we can praise Him in the midst of our troubles. That's what I chose to do this time - again, not that it was easy. I can clearly remember tears filling my eyes as I decided to go against how I was feeling by choosing to speak in faith. I started by speaking out loud what I knew was true according to God's Word, the scriptures I know and claim for my life. It's great if you have scriptures that you can speak out loud, but even something simple like saying, "I may be hurting and struggling right now, but I am not always going to be because I will get through this" is fine. Something that simple can begin to change your whole outlook because when you speak positive you are actually beginning to change your mind, even if you don't feel anything at first. I can honestly say that after that night, I was not tormented again with negativity for that particular issue. My feelings caught up with what I was saying, and I felt completely free from the bondage of anger.

Proverbs 18:21 tells us that the power of life and death is in the tongue. I firmly believe that our words have power, and that we can avoid emotional meltdowns by speaking positive. I have met people that will go through hardships and they say,"Oh, well that's my luck so no wonder this happened to me." I think to myself you can't be serious! What can one do with an attitude like that? These people set themselves up for disappointments because they already subliminally decided that nothing good can ever happen to them. Then there are those, like the lady I met, that speaks life. She is fully aware that she may lose her husband and instead of being bitter, she is choosing to see the good by reflecting on the blessings she has been given so far. I am sure she has her moments of grief, and rightfully so, but what a wonderful outlook she has. It's actually contagious because her attitude spoke to me, and now it's speaking to all of you reading this. I'm sure there are many of you going through difficult situations that you simply can't see the good in, but here again you have the choice to speak life, no matter what it is. As believer's, when we praise God and say that our steps are ordered by the Lord, and that all things work together for good to those that love God, we need to believe that in the good times and the bad.

I also believe that there are many people who shy away from being positive because they feel they are being unrealistic. There is a difference between being positive and being unrealistic, and it's important not to get out of balance with this. For example, if I have a cold and it's obvious that I am not well, I would look foolish if I said I wasn't sick. What I could say is that yes I am under the weather, but I believe that I will get better. Being positive doesn't mean that you are oblivious to reality, or that you don't feel the hurt, it's acknowledging the situation in its entirety and choosing to believe that you will be okay no matter the outcome. I would rather be positive and hope for the best, then negative and depressed over an outcome I don't even know of yet. Even if the result isn't what we want, let's not forget that we have a God who is bigger than anything we are facing today or will ever face in our lifetime, and He takes care of us. Let's choose to believe together that God's best is for us.

Have a great day everyone and remember to walk in love and speak in peace.