Tuesday, January 14, 2014

DID YOU KNOW?

"For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize
with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, 
yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of 
grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in 
time of need." -- (Hebrews 4:15-16) 

Did you know that you are a Divine original, created for a special purpose that no one else can fulfill? (Job 10:8; Psalm 139:13-16; Matthew 10:30; Ephesians 2:10)

Did you know that you are a child of the King of Kings, and that no matter what anyone else may think about you, you are special in His sight?  (Acts 17:28; 1 John 3:1)

Did you know that you are the apple of His eye?  (Zechariah 2:8)

Did you know that your name is engraved on the palm of His hand, and that He rejoices over you with singing?  (Isaiah 49:16; Zephaniah 3:17)

Did you know that God desires to lavish His love on you simply because you are His child and He is your father, and that He wants to show you great and marvelous things?  (Jeremiah 33:3; 1 John 3:1)

Did you know that when you feel brokenhearted, He is close to you, and that he saves your tears in a bottle?  (Psalm 56:28)

Did you know that no matter how things may look right now, His plan for your future has always been filled with hope?  (Jeremiah 29:11, 31:3; Romans 8:28; 1 Corinthians 2:9)

Did you know that no sin is too big or too terrible for God to forgive, and that when you take your guilt and shame to the foot of the cross and turn control of your life over to Jesus, the slate is wiped clean? (2 Chronicles 30:9; Joel 2:13; Luke 18:27; John 3:17-18, 10:10, 13; Romans 8:1-2, 28, 10:13; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 3:20; 1 John 1:9)

Did you know? 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

DON'T LET INGRATITUDE STEAL YOUR JOY

"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever
is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent
or praiseworthy--think about such things."
(Philippians 4:8)

I've been reading a book by Ann Voskamp, entitled One Thousand Gifts, which has jolted me back to reality.

I started reading it at a time when I was trying to extricate myself from a bout of depression and my mind was a whirl of negative thinking.  How I wished, in vain, that I could go back in time and rewrite the story of my life, how I wallowed in self condemnation and regrets for the poor choices made that led me to where I am today, and in all that wishing and wallowing, it never once occurred to me that I was indulging in a form of ingratitude.

Ingratitude, that first sin of humanity, that stealer of joy.  Instead of focusing on my many blessings and the positives in my life, I was seeing only what wasn't.  I was hungering for something more or other than what I have, which in turn, was leading to envy, as I allowed myself to fall into the comparison trap.

One of the main themes of this book, the one speaking loudest to my heart, is that thanksgiving precedes blessings, and that leads me to believe it wasn't chance that caused it to show up on my radar screen when it did. The timing was too perfect.

I had already started practicing, to the best of my ability, the advice found in Philippians 4:8 (above), and to help me out, had set up a blog, Glimpses of God's Grace, on which to record all the special grace moments in my day.  Now I was being given confirmation that I was on the right track, confirmation of what I'd already started to discover, that thanksgiving creates abundance of joy.  When we give thanks, we start to experience a miracle of multiplication.  The more things we find to be thankful for, the more we will continue to find.

Ann writes that the habit of discontentment can only be driven out by hammering in one iron sharper.  The stick pin of gratitude.  So in addition to my blog, I have also taken up her challenge to make a list of 1,000 gratitudes.  My joy is returning, and I find that I don't have time for all those gloomy thoughts anymore.  I'm too busy adding to my list.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2/22/2009 REVISITED

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not
consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your
faithfulness." -- (Lamentations 3:22-2)

February 22nd, 2009 was the date of my first post--Why This Blog.  I needed to revisit it today to remind myself of where I was almost five years ago.

Somewhere along the way I seem to have lost sight of what used to be most important in my life.  It happened so gradually, I never even noticed.  Like the frog in the proverbial boiling frog story, I was on my way to being "cooked."  Distracted by the worries of life and a desire for better things, I was allowing the word within me to be choked, just as Mark 4:19 warned it would be.  My eyes were growing dim, and my mind was clouding, as I turned my focus outwards instead of up.

Rescue came in the form of a friend who asked me to do a Bible study with her, a study that soon shook me out of my stupor.

I am very grateful to my friend, Tammi, and also to have revisited my blog today.  I needed this reminder that at the foot of the cross there is mercy and grace. There is forgiveness, healing, and deliverance. This is the place where the slate gets wiped clean and you can have a fresh start.