Tag Archives: gratitude

COUNTING ON GOD

Counting on God

by Jan Cox

Psalm 59 (The Message Psalm 59:8-10, 16-17)

“I can always count on You
God in dependable love shows up on time
Strong God, I’m watching You do it
I can always count on You, God, my dependable love.”

I’m in a fight not physical
I’m in a war but not with this world

Those words from Counting on God have been running around in my head this morning. I awoke from a frightening dream. I couldn’t sleep so got up very early. As I read my Bible I realized that Satan loves to plant fear into our hearts and minds.

I had to remember what is Truth. And that came to me from a passage in Isaiah.

“Yet I leave it all with the Lord’s hands
I will trust God for my reward” (Isaiah 49:4 NLT).

God gives me the Truth. Through Jesus I can see clearly. My job is to hear that Truth and allow His peace to reign in me. And through everything Trust in Him at all times.

My “God conversation”, aka prayer, helped me see through the deception that Satan put up.

After that I had wonderful peace and joy. Remembering that He will take care of me always – that puts fear to rest.

The battle is the Lord’s. But as Oswald Chambers told me this morning I can kick out a mood and get back to my relationship with God. So sometimes it needs action on my part, too.

“If you have the whine in you, kick it out ruthlessly. It is a positive crime to be weak in God’s strength. (Oswald Chambers, April 14)

And from that song, Counting on God, here are the words that helped me through:

“just enough strength to live for today”.

Here is the song and the words.

Counting on God

VERSE 1
I’m in a fight not physical
And I’m in a war
But not with this world
You are the light that’s beautiful
And I want more
I want all that’s Yours

PRE-CHORUS
Joy unspeakable that won’t go away
And just enough strength
To live for today
So I never have to worry
What tomorrow will bring
‘Cause my faith is on solid rock
I am counting on God

CHORUS
I am counting on
I am counting on God

BRIDGE
The miracle of Christ in me
Is the mystery that sets me free
I’m nothing like I used to be
Open up your eyes you’ll see

Prayer:

Father, when we are weak – You are strong. Thank You for being my strength, just enough for today. May my strong faith in You help me in the battle against Satan’s lies. I do not need to fear – You will protect me. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

My Gratitude List – counting to 2000. I am at 1235.

Olive Branch at Queen Creek

  • 3 days away with my hubby
  • a hacienda for 2 nights – the room where John Wayne stayed
  • good breathing – hurrah
  • crossing the border to Mexico – fun to meet the people
  • visit to Tubac
  • meeting a watercolour artist – Roberta Rogers; had a lovely chat
  • renewed my love of art
  • took lots of pictures in Tubac – was inspired
  • visited Old Tuscon – the wild west era – more painting ideas
  • so much fresh air for 2 days – and my allergies were under control – praise the Lord
  • ideas for writing
  • getting ready to go home – excitement
  • fascinating new Bible study – SEED by Priscilla Shirer
  • God connections
  • good walking weather
  • smell of garlic and spices cooking
  • Snowball was so excited to see us after our little holiday
  • being able to walk outside in Arizona without breathing problems
  • time with friend at the pool and in steam room
    • learning tap dances using my new IPOD
    • soaking up the Arizona sun (won’t be long now before we revert to spring)
    • a funny mocking bird – such a variety of songs from one little bird (wish I knew how to let you hear these wonderful sounds)
    • a goose who stood up to Snowball

A goose protecting his/her young.

    • boats on the lake

Contributors

Jan Cox

Jan, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. She has published two devotionals and a number of articles for magazines and a Bible study. She is owner of Under the Cover of Prayer and moderates the site. She also writes at A Better Way. Jan is working on a couple children’s books in which she is also the watercolour illustrator.

THANK YOU, LORD

Thank You, Lord

by Jan Cox

As Canadians we celebrated our Thanksgiving last weekend and were reminded that it was harvest weekend – a time for bringing in the bountiful gifts of God. Our church, decorated fully with vegetables and corn stalks, looked glorious.

I’m happy our Thanksgiving Day is celebrated at this time of year. Bright, sunny, captivating colours and bountiful harvests. Thank You, God.

We can see it, feel it, smell it, taste it and even hear it. God opens our hearts to embrace Him fully.

And it also opens our minds to know and see Him EACH DAY. Counting His gifts, an act of thanksgiving.

Have you started a gift list? If not, why not start now? Seeing and recording His gifts daily opens our hearts to His joy.

Ann Voskamp, author of One Thousand Gifts, was given a dare, “Can you count God’s gifts to 1000? I started my list in March 2011 and today I am at 375 and still counting. Ann is still counting too and she is at 2759.

Thanking God is a big part of prayer. My first memorized verse and probably my favourite one is:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV)

“With thanksgiving” – every prayer remember to thank Him.

Eucharisteo means “Give Thanks”.

And Jesus says to not just give thanks when things are good. We are to do it all the time.

give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV)

That’s a tough one. Can I trust God enough to thank Him in all circumstances? Not necessarily “for” all circumstances but know He is there “in” my troubles.

Gratitude – a big word – I’m learning.

Prayer:

Lord, we are at different places in our lives. We put our trust in You, thank You for being here with us in good times and bad. We remember to give thanks – Eucharisteo – in all circumstances. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Other Thanksgiving Posts you might enjoy:

Ann Voskamp  A Holy Experience

Violet Nesdoly – Other Food: daily devos

Marlene Hutchins  Marlene’s Space

Grace Fox Daring, Deep, Devoted

Glynis Belec My Journey

My Gratitude List for the Week:  counting up and up … this makes 375

  • My sensitivities to certain foods – awareness of discipline which leads to obedience
  • That early morning stillness when my brain, body, mind and soul come together
  • Sensing my heartbeat
  • Awareness of my breathing
  • Sensing the love of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
  • A new room for my Mom with a beautiful view
  • A wonderful friend
  • Great kids
  • Patient husband waiting while I spend time with my Mom
  • Snowball’s exuberant nature
  • Rain holding off for the drive home

ANSWERED PRAYERS

Answered Prayers

by Katrina Kaczmarek (reprinted with permission from (jn)courage)

I am writing today from my chemotherapy chair.

It is 2:15 and I have been here getting my juice since 8:00 this morning, but you know what? It is a beautiful day! I met a new patient. I see him every Thursday when here, he sits in a chair off in the corner, and sleeps. I have never spoken to him before, because he is asleep. I too have a regular chair that I enjoy sitting in, and today it was taken. This man’s regular chair was taken as well. We ended up sitting next to each other this morning, and we talked. Big surprise, I can be very talkative!!! I could talk to a tree if I really needed to for some reason.

He has stage IV colon cancer and chemotherapy every single Thursday!!!!! He has been having chemotherapy every single Thursday for two and a half years!!! There is no end in sight for him. His chemotherapy is happening in order to prolong his life. His attitude is amazing. He is young, and he still has younger children at home, so of course he is going to take all the treatment he can get. He just goes with it uncomplaining.

I have learned a lesson. There is always someone worse off than you (that part I already knew ) However, there is always someone worse off than you with a better attitude about life. How humbling for all of us. You can look around at people and think, man they have it bad, how can they be happy? Then you spend some time with them and you learn they are happier than you are!

When you first figure this out, you are getting close, because now you can start looking for true happiness. You have finally figured out you don’t have real happiness! Figuring out you have a problem is always the first step in the correct direction. Some of us go off and try the stuff, a bigger house, better car, more trips, new spouse or more things. If you take this route you will have a longer more painful journey because none of this stuff will give you that true internal happiness that you so often find in stage IV cancer patients.

Happiness comes from within, from God who is always whispering, “I love you, just the way you are. Turn to Me, please, I will wipe all the tears from your eyes, I will make you run without growing wearing, and I will satisfy the true desire of your heart, rest in ME! I alone can give you true peace and happiness”

I have told you this before, but today it bears repeating. When in medical school, I prayed to God, “God, make me a doctor, so that I can go into the cancer wards, and find the miracles. God said, “No, my love, I have another gift in mind, instead you will have cancer, and as a patient sitting in the wards, you will see the miracles that are all around!” My prayer was answered! Not in a way I would have ever imagined or chosen, but answered nonetheless. I am seeing the miracles, and for His glory and Him willing I will be one of those miracles as well!

So today instead of being upset, depressed, or angry, I am crying for joy and the only words I can think to utter are “Thank You God for loving me!!!!”

Happy Loving and Sitting!

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Katrina Kaczmarek

Katrina is a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, and  a friend. She lives in Scottsdale, AZ where she is raising two amazing kids. She was diagnosed with breast cancer two months after starting her blog, “Love Can Sit Anywhere” so she and her family are in the midst of the battle. Originally her blog was started as a journal about her search for God, but if you are interested in breast cancer, it has and will continue to make appearances, as she searches for God in the midst of disease.

FORGETTING TO PRAY

Forgetting to Pray

by Jan Cox

I talk about prayer; I teach about prayer; and then I forget to pray.

Certainly it is a discipline that we can get better at – isn’t it?

I tell others to remember to pray before they start any job and then I start writing this and forget to pray.

The best communication I have with God happens when I am walking alone or driving by myself. The other day I had a wonderful conversation with God while driving to see my Mom. The peace that came over me as I drove reminded me of His presence.

Thanking Him for gentle breezes, dancing shadows of the leaves, blue skies; thanking Him for clear thoughts, good fingers to type, good eyes to see the screen; these are prayers. – being grateful. Check out Ann’s Gratitude Community.

We have discussed prayer methods, with PATH and ACTS.

Of course we also have the Holy Spirit who teaches us when and what to pray. It is those urgings in our spirits that can prompt us to pray for others.

What I want to talk about today is – Can we talk to Him all the time?

Yesterday we needed to take the boat out of the garage. It is a very tight squeeze – very very tight. My hubby is in the truck – I am the eyes checking that the boat will make it out safely. I yelled … STOP many times. Finally I remembered – PRAY – I did and then inspiration – and out the boat came.

Why couldn’t I pray first – and not when I needed help? When will I get to that point? When can I say a quick – be there through this?

Is it just a case of acknowledging that He is here all the time – is that all I need to know? Can I think, act, and live with Him right inside me?

That certainly would help when I come up against trouble, wouldn’t it? At that moment, in that time period – I would automatically reach out and whisper, “stay with me, and thanks for being here.”

My Gratitude List

    • HP warrantees their printers (quite a story)
    • wonderful women in my Bible study groups
    • a garden roto-tiller
    • a good dinner – fast quick pizza that I didn’t have to prepare
    • white blossoms on our trees – they don’t last long
    • nice technicians at HP
    • my sister’s wonderful sense of humour
    • cottonball blossoms on another tree
    • rain that makes the air fresh
    • hot porridge with blueberries, raisins and bran – my morning purple delight
    • friends praying together

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Jan, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. She has published two devotionals and a number articles for magazines and a Bible study. She is owner of Under the Cover of Prayer and moderates the site. She also writes at A Better Way. Jan has written a children’s book in which she is also the watercolour illustrator. She hopes to publish it this year.


SAYING THANKS

Saying Thanks

by T. L Wiens

    “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 KJV).

I listened to Charles Price talking about giving thanks in our prayers. How often don’t we resort to pleading? But this verse says our requests should come with thanksgiving.

When my son lay in bed, his small body being ravaged by meningitis, the pleads went up. Watching your one year old hang one step from death is hard. I didn’t feel any peace. Then I started to sing praises to God. His Peace followed.

That was more than twenty years ago and I’d forgotten how much thanksgiving changed my prayer life until Charles Price reminded me.

Thanksgiving should be a major part of our prayer life. For me, the reminder hit home and my prayer life is taking a turn back towards thanksgiving.

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Tammy Wiens

Tammy lives in Saskatchewan with her husband. They have four children. She enjoys gardening, walks along the beach and being on the farm. She has a passion for her faith, studying the Bible and prayer.

She has published two books; Where a Little Rain Comes Down and Making the Bitter Sweet. A short story, “Vi’s First Christmas” will appear in Christmas Chaos coming out in October of 2010.

Visit her website.

ARE WE GRATEFUL?

Are We Grateful?

I read an article in the paper the other day about Captain Mark Kelly, the husband of Gabrielle Gifford, the senator shot in Tuscon, Arizona. He said, “I hadn’t been a big believer in fate until recently. I thought the world just spins, the clock just ticks and things happen for no particular reason.” USA Today

Captain Kelly knows that people are praying for his wife. He sees their faith. He sees God at work in the life of his wife and the lives of all the people touched by this tragedy.

He continued on in his thought process, recalling all the words of comfort, the flowers, the candles and the prayer vigils when Gabrielle was in intensive care. He says, “You pray when God is there in your heart. And prayer isn’t just asking. It’s also listening for answers and expressing gratitude, (my emphasis) which I have done a lot lately.” AZ Central

All of this reminded me again of Ann Voskamp’s Gratitude Community. Taking each day and giving thanks, each day no matter what – find things to thank God for. It builds in your hearts. It makes that connection to God closer and closer. In her first post for the One Thousand Gifts, Ann states that research says:

At the end of the 10 weeks, participants who’d kept a gratitude journal felt better about their lives as a whole and were more optimistic about the future than participants in either of the other two conditions. To put it into numbers, according to the scale we used to calculate well-being, they were a full 25 percent happier than the other participants. Those in the gratitude condition reported fewer health complaints.

People who kept a gratitude journal reported feeling more joyful, enthusiastic, interested, attentive, energetic, excited, determined, and strong than those in the hassles condition. They also reported offering others more emotional support or help with a personal problem— supporting the notion that gratitude motivates people to do good. And this was not limited to what they said about themselves. We sent surveys to people who knew them well, and these significant others rated participants in the gratitude group as more helpful than those in the other groups.

If you blog, Ann says feel free to join the Gratitude Community. If you don’t blog you can still journal your thankfulness.

holy experience

Watch for my list to start next Friday as I join others in being grateful.

To view the trailer for One Thousand Gifts,

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Prayer:

Father, we thank you so much for this opportunity to look for gifts. Sometimes I know that I get sidetracked with stuff and forget to look for You all around me. Keep my eyes open and my heart sweet to see Your gifts each day. In Jesus’ name. AMEN