Tag Archives: Thankfulness

Thoughtful Tuesdays – How we can make joy bubble over

Thoughtful Tuesdays – How we can make joy bubble over


My thoughts during the bout of flu were “how can I make this joyful”? During that time I tried to pray but really felt so bad I couldn’t do it. But I did read my Scriptures, and some blog posts. I did sing praise songs while soaking in the tub. I found I could accept what was happening if I just rested in God and thanked Him for little things.

It reminded me of the years that I would count the gifts. Ann Voskamp has a wonderful site where she encourages us to count the gifts, daily. I did that and now have many posts to show those weeks. Check out Counting Gifts.

And Margaret Feinberg has written a book and Bible study to show us how to Fight Back with Joy.

So my little picture came to me as I thought of joy. Joy that bubbles over. If we can have that joy – then others will see it. And they will be led to wanting to know more about Jesus.

I am creating something new in you: a bubbling spring of Joy that spills over into other’s lives. Do not mistake this Joy for you own or try to take credit for it in any way. Instead, watch in delight as My Spirit flows through you to bless others (Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, June 13).

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, JOY, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness (Galatians 5:22, NIV, my emphasis).


I learned a song while in Poland. The English words are:

Jesus’ love is bubbling over.
Jesus’ love is bubbling over.
Jesus’ love is bubbling over.

Have a great week.




Be thankful so the JOY of Christ can bubble over in you. (click to tweet)

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What are The Icks?

What are The Icks ?

by Brenda Wood


Thanks to free bible images.org – Words are Brenda Wood’s

I laughed out loud when I saw the cartoon.  The Israelites were in the centre of a major miracle, crossing the Red Sea on dry ground as banks of water towered over their heads. One person looked down and cried, “Ick! A fish!”  

It made me think of the lovely party I had attended the day before. Unfortunately I was seated beside an “Ick”. The food was too spicy,  her children never visited, and so on…..and so on…….and so on….!

It only takes one doesn’t it? One negative crank whose negative comments spoil a party. One undisciplined child who will have what it wants or else. One seeker of all that is negative quickly poisons the attitude of a crowd.

Only a few months after the Red Sea crossing Moses found himself leading an entire crowd of “Icks”, each and every one polluted with the spirit of complaining.

The whole company of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron there in the wilderness. (Exodus 16:2, The Message).

Any “Icks” where we live? God forbid that any of them would be us! By the way, the tried and true method of tuning Icks into Likes is prayer.

May God help us catch His vision instead of looking for herring and catfish along our path.


Any “Icks” where we live? God forbid that any of them would be us! (tweet this)

May God help us catch His vision instead of looking for herring and catfish along our path. (tweet this)

Brenda J. Wood

A popular motivational speaker, Brenda, of Barrie, Ontario is known for her common sense wisdom, sense of humour and quirky comments. Brenda especially enjoys speaking at women’s retreats and conferences, community events, Mops, World Day of Prayer, and Stonecroft Ministries.

A prolific author, her current books include:

The Big Red Chair: a children’s book dealing with the loss of a grandparent.
Meeting Myself: Snippets from a Fractured Mind:  the author’s recovery from abuse and eating disorders.
Hearts Under Construction: A motivational cookbook designed to feed both body and soul
Heartfelt: 366 Devotions for Common Sense Living.
God, Gluttony and You: a Bible Study dealing with our relationship to food.
Read more at:
facebook – www.facebook.com/brendawoodspeaker

How Far Have I Come?

How Far Have I Come?

by Ramona Furst (a guest post)


The instructions were straight forward. “You must submit a photocopy of your passport, drivers license….” The list was lengthy.

I searched through the filing cabinet, the desk drawers in the office and found most of the documents. Wedged underneath some old folders I found a stone. I picked it up and held it in my right hand. My fingers curled around the stone until I made a fist.  I thought about the person who had given me this smooth and irregular object.  Since I still had to find two more documents, I shoved it into my pocket.

It was when I picked up a box filled with miscellaneous items, I noticed a yellowing photograph album on the bottom of a shelf in the closet. One that I had kept during my early teens. Oh dear, those wing tip glasses!  That dress, I thought it was so beautiful…. And here’s a school picture. What was his name? He was so mean me to me and oh yes HER!  I wonder whatever became of…

Much later, with the needed documents ready to be photocopied, I sat down in the living room on the sofa, pulled  the stone from my pocket and placed it on top of another album I had found from my past.

I had begun my search for the listed documents frustrated and upset with myself. “How could you forget where these important documents are kept? You don’t normally have a problem remembering things!”

Now I see that my past and present had collided into each other. “When life is getting really messy” my friend years ago said, “Put this stone in the palm of your hand and remember what God has done in your life so far.”

And there, in black and white, photographs that reminded me again the many times God had showed up and helped me through, what I had thought then, were insurmountable  situations.

I need to improve on my short term and long term memory. I want to refresh and refurbish my memory bank with all the wonderful things God has done in my life so far. Giving Him the much needed thanks and praise due Him.

Samuel took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanath. He named it Ebenezer – “the stone of help” – for he said, “Up to this point the Lord has helped us” (1Samuel 7:12, NLT).


Thank you for what you have done in my life. Help me to actively look to the future without fear and anxiety because I can trust in You. Rejoicing that I am “the apple of your eye.” (Psalm 17:8 E.S.V.)


Put this stone in the palm of your hand and remember what God has done in your life so far.

Samuel took a large stone … He named it Ebenezer – “the stone of help”. 1 Sam. 7:12.

Ramona Furst

Ramona resides in North Bay, Ontario. She has spent many years in Pastoral Care especially in Palliative Care and in Bereavement support groups. Ramona is a member of TWG (The Word Guild) and considers it an honour to be a part of the TWG prayer team. She divides her time water colouring (www.ramonafurst.com ) and writing and makes effort to enjoy God’s creation and each season throughout the year by hiking, kayaking, and cross country skiing.

How to be Thankful Throughout the Year

How to Be Thankful Throughout the Year

by Stephanie Nickel


One of my Facebook friends took a challenge in 2013 to list 1,200 reasons to be thankful. When my mother-in-law gave me a journal for Christmas, it didn’t take long to decide what I would use it for.

I got a jump start and listed the first 100 reasons in December.

If you need a little direction, below are some ideas to get you started:


The first month of the year is typically a month of new beginnings. What “new beginnings” are you thankful for? (i.e.: the events surrounding your new birth in Christ; the start of your family; new jobs; new homes; etc.)


The month the world is focused on love is a great time to think of the people you love. Don’t just list their names. Also list specifics about what you love and appreciate about them. (You may even want to take the time to touch base with them and let them know they’re on your mind and in your prayers.)


No matter how you feel about winter, you may be getting tired of the cold, grey days. Recording why you’re thankful for winter can help turn your thinking around.  (i.e.: clothes, a warm home, places to go even though you have to brave the elements, your favourite hot drink, etc.)


Springtime, a time when new life bursts forth in the Northern Hemisphere, is a wonderful time to look to creation and thank the Lord for things you may not usually notice. (I never watched the progress of budding trees before my hubby pointed them out to me.)


The nicer weather is upon us. Like a warm hug, it reminds us of those things that bring us a sense of peace and security. What a great springboard for gratitude!


School is winding down for the summer. Parents and teachers are encouraging children to end strong. Let’s think about “the golden years” and ending our lives strong. What are you thankful for now that you’re “older”? If you’re not considered a senior yet, think of those who are. What reasons to be thankful come to mind?


Sunshine. Blue skies. Warm weather. What reasons do you have to be thankful this summer – and from summers gone by?


August means holiday time for many. Even if you are not able to get away, think about how you can step back from the busyness of the day-to-day and think of the many things there are to be thankful for.


Back to school . . . Think back over your years in school. What are you thankful for? Plus, we never stop learning (or we shouldn’t, at least). What new discoveries “blow your mind”?


Autumn is my favourite season. I love the colours, the nip in the air, the smell of fallen leaves. It takes me back to my childhood. Childhood memories—though some may be difficult—still bring many reasons to be thankful.


I read a very good argument about why we shouldn’t say, “It was a God thing.” Since He is sovereign, everything that comes into our lives was ordained by Him for His purposes. Though it can be extremely difficult to be thankful for challenging situations, it is a wonderful discipline to look for those reasons to praise and thank Him through it all. Trust Him and thank Him for working in even the darkest seasons of life.


As the year winds down, why not record 50 things that stand out about 2014 and 50 things you are looking forward to in 2015?


Find out countless reasons to be thankful. #UTCOP (click to tweet)

Here is a free PDF 0f Countless Reasons to be Thankful if you wish to print out Stephanie’s ideas of how to be thankful.

Steph Beth Nickel

Headshot 1 Stephanie 2013

Steph Beth is a wife of over 30 years and the mother of three grown children. Steph’s eclectic interests include writing, editing, fitness, and childbirth (she is also a labour doula).
Steph’s was honoured to co-author former Paralympian Deb Willows’ memoir. Living Beyond My Circumstances is scheduled for release at the end of November 2013.
Steph edits for Christian Editing Services under the leadership of Karen Burkett. She is a long-time member of The Word Guild and a recent member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship.

Steph blogs at Steph’s Electic Interests. Her new author website, Steph Beth Nickel , is a work-in-progress.