Thursday, October 22, 2009

Joy Challenge - Day 34 - Overflowing with Thanksgiving

"We are all debtors to God's common blessings, beginning with life and breath and health and strength all the way down to the specific ways He is working in our lives this moment - forgiving us of our latest sin, bearing with us in our growing pains, providing for us in ways that bring us joy, teaching us insight from His Word that nurtures and sustains us in trial, giving us the ability to love and be loved, comforting us with His Spirit's voice, and drawing us into closer fellowship with Him. Gratitude sees it all from God."
James MacDonald

I know that I have written about gratitude before for my Joy Challenge, but I just had to do it one more time. Not because I couldn't think of anything else (honest), but because today my heart is just filled to overflowing with thanks to the One who has given me everything and so much more. The above quote from my Bible Study, "Lord, Change My Attitude" sums up my feelings perfectly. I am so thankful for this study and for Pastor MacDonald, who has taken spoken to my heart over and over again in such a powerful way. He makes me laugh too - a wonderful trait in a Pastor I think.
We measured over three inches of rain in the rain gauge this morning. I am so thankful for the rain. It has come in abundance this month, but in such a way that there was no flooding or damaging storms - just life-giving rain for a drought thirsty land. Thank You Lord.

A cold front blew in during the morning hours, sweeping away the clouds and humidity - leaving us with cool, crisp air. Oh the joy of open windows and fresh breezes blowing through the house.
I think we appreciate it a bit more after months of 100 degree weather, windows shut tightly against the oppressive heat.

I am so thankful for:

- little birds who sing their hearts out - with gratitude, perhaps, for a beautiful day

- rain water gurgling down the ditches along the side of the road - making beautiful music

- refreshing breezes moving us along on our walk

- realizing anew the amazing gift of love the Father has extended to me - I who have done nothing to deserve it.
"In this is love, not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and gave His son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."
I John 4:10, 11

- for the verses I have hidden in my heart this year. Had it not been for Beth Moore's challenge, I would never have begun. I honestly thought there was no way I could memorize scripture at my "advanced" age, but we are on verse number 20 working toward the goal of 24. Every single one of them has ministered to me in one way or another. The word truly lives and breathes and has the power to change us.

- for the grace and forgiveness that brings such joy and peace. I cannot measure the enormity of such a gift. The burden and the guilt of a life -time of sin cleansed and washed away. Nor can I measure the cost - "...He gave His only begotten Son..."

- for help and strength as we walk through difficult times.
"Do not fear for I am with you. Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; surely I will help you; surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."
Is. 41:10

- for safety for my loved ones as they travel

- for health

- for laughter

- for the firm foundation under our feet, no matter what the circumstances in our lives or in the world around us.
"The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation."
Ps. 18:46

For all these things, and so much more - Thank You Lord.