Category Archives: Gratitude

Today I am Grateful for:

GOD’S LOVE:

I am so very grateful for how much God loves me. Also, I am amazed and grateful that He still loves me after all the mess-ups of my life.  It has taken a very long time, but I think maybe He is finally getting through my thick skull.

1 John 4-19 SW5

I do not know about you, but I have had a yo-yo relationship with God my entire life. I would like to blame that on the fact that I am an alcoholic (recovered, praise God), but I really cannot say that alcohol was always the catalyst for my chaos. I can do a pretty good job all on my own, even after almost 16 years of sobriety, of forgetting that my life really only works when I lean into God and ask for His help to face all the challenges of this world, and to praise Him for all He has done for me.

I just finished reading an amazing book, Broken into Beautiful by Gwen Smith. Plus I am reading another book Gwen wrote called I Want it All that is continuing to point me to an understanding of who I am in God’s eyes. Even at almost 68 years old, He still has big plans for my life.  In the next few weeks I will share info on a project I began over thirty years ago that God is nudging me to complete.  Prayers appreciated that this time I will stay the course and for protection from the lies of the enemy.

I love you all!

 

Today I am Grateful for:

Evidence of progress: Spiritual progress not spiritual perfection, growth and understanding. I can tell I am making progress in spiritual areas thanks to opening my heart to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

I have gotten myself so busy in reading, studying, praying and attending fellowship with other Christians at church that I just realized it has been almost a month since I posted. I really have to get myself organized. I sat down this morning to write and drew a total blank. A short prayer to ask God to show me if there was something He wanted me to share today got things off to a much better start. I stepped away from the computer and walked into the back yard to bring Molly inside and had my inspiration. God speaks to us in many ways. So here goes:

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There have been many times in my life when the enemy wins a battle, sometimes multiple in a row. At times like this I get very discouraged and my heart feels empty, barren and withered. Picture to the right looks like my heart feels at these times.

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I call this my rebounding phase

Thank goodness during these times God never turns his back on me, but waits patiently for my return.  There is always that speck of life and all it takes is a good soaking in the Word and time on my knees asking for forgiveness to start me blooming again.  I call this my rebounding phase.  Sometimes this phase is quick, and others it is agonizingly slow.

Each day as I talk with God and allow Him to cleanse me and lead me forward, I grow stronger and more capable of turning to Him sooner when the enemy strikes and pretty soon I am growing by leaps and bounds.

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Do you think there might be another analogy in this idea?

I can’t wait to see this beautiful plant in full bloom so I can decide where it should be planted.  Do you think there might be another analogy in this idea?

Prayer Requests:  I just learned this morning that the husband of one of my dearest friends has cancer of the esophagus.  Please pray for them both, S&D

Easter Services: If you live in the Jacksonville area or are visiting here and are looking for a new church home, or a place to worship during this Easter season, I invite you to come and worship with me at:

Deermeadows Baptist Church 

9780 Baymeadows Road, Jacksonville, FL 32256 * 904.642.2200

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Current Bible Studies: 

Today I am GRATEFUL For:

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Faith: During the Christmas holidays, I was so blessed to visit my daughter and her husband in Alabama. More about this later.

When I make the trip to visit them, I break the travel into two half-days each way, allowing me time to visit with a dear, sweet friend who lives just about halfway between Jacksonville and Mobile.  I so love spending time with Carolyn, as she understands me more than most, warts and all, and loves me enough to keep helping me as I struggle to put myself back in a right relationship with God. I can share anything with her.

Of all the people I have known in my life, Carolyn has the most beautiful walk with the Lord I have ever witnessed. I constantly learn from her. When I was there at Christmas she made a comment that stopped me short.  One day she mentioned she was blessed with the gift of faith. Since this has been something I have thought about often over the last 40 years (trying not to be jealous of her walk), I wondered if it was all right to pray for this specific gift.

Throughout my life I have struggled to stay strong when the enemy attacks.  I understand that whenever I am beginning to do what I believe I have been called to do, the attacks get stronger.  I have not done a very good job of resisting – he always knows exactly how to defeat me.

As I research the Gifts of the Spirit on the internet, I find a wide variety of opinion regarding this subject.  This is going to require a great deal of study on my part.  In the meantime, I am choosing to pray specifically for the gift of faith and for a heart of understanding as the Holy Spirit continues to show me new truths in God’s Word.

God’s Forgiveness: Thank goodness that no matter how often I fail, He is faithful to forgive.  I realized today a very big area I need to work on — my temper and frustration in traffic.  Getting angry at a driver that moved into my lane as I was trying to merge onto the interstate this morning on the way to church could have robbed me of the joy I experienced in bible study and church. I quickly realized the enemy’s hand in the incident, rebuked him, and asked God to forgive me for my anger.  Just as quickly as my joy was stolen, God restored me to the right frame of mind to experience the study, praise and worship in peace and joy.  Thank you Jesus!

Bible Study: I want to remind you of an upcoming online bible study that you can participate in wherever you may be.  Check it out at www.gwensmith.net/iwia2018