Tag Archives: thanks

It’s Less About Us & More About Him

The message of the Cross is more about Jesus and less about us (in terms of qualifications or assets we may bring to the table).  The central theme of the Cross is God’s overwhelming and extravagant love for humanity. Hinged on that love, Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice was displayed for all of the world.

The compelling truth regarding the Cross is that you or I do not have to be “good” enough, as if that were even possible, to become sons and daughters of God.  In fact, we know that the Bible says that our righteousness (if there’s anything remotely good about us) is equal to that of filthy rags.  Wow.  Way to deflate the human ego.  But it’s true.  I think most of us already know that, if we are honest with ourselves anyway.

No, the message of the Cross is less about us and all about Jesus.  His character is compassionate, loving, kind, good, thoughtful, patient, longsuffering.

“The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.”  ~ Psalm 103:8

If we can just grasp those attributes and dwell on those for a moment…It’s overwhelming to consider that the Great God of the Universe thinks about you and me … and prays for us daily.  The Bible says He daily makes intercession for us!  (Romans 8:34)  That is a humbling thought right there, my friend.  He has time for me?  Well, the reality is that God transcends time and space.  His reality is not the same as the confines we, humans, operate in.  He is All Powerful and His power knows no limits, no boundaries.  That is something that is difficult for our finite minds to process.  We must simply believe.

The truth is that none of us are qualified to become followers of Jesus Christ.  Equally true, God calls the unqualified.  That right there should be a liberating thought, my friend.  Grace beckons to our soul to receive such an unattainable and unearned gift.  And because of this great gift, we are then able to show others such grace.  Not that we would become hoarders of God’s gift, but a sieve for it to then flow through.

There is room at the Cross for you today.  It doesn’t matter what your past is.  God can rewrite your life story and create a brand new future for you.  That’s what I love so much about God and the redemptive power of the Cross — It is transformational!

If you fully accept God’s gift of grace, it is impossible to remain the same.  Once you’ve accepted God’s love and understand the sacrifice of His Son, it makes you want to change!

The message of the Cross is all about the love of our Heavenly Father, poured out through Jesus Christ, to reconcile a lost world back to Him.  His message is still the same today.  He is Jehovah, “I Am”, the One Who is the Self-Existent One.  He never changes.  His promises never fail.  When we are faithless, He is faithful.  (Psalm 102)

Rather than focus on your own shortcomings, set your eyes on the unchanging character of God through His Word.  When we study God’s Word, it causes things to fall into the proper perspective.  It sheds light on our darkness.  It gives us wisdom to know which path to pursue.

No, we are not the message of the Cross.  We are merely the objects of God’s unending affection.  In that regard, it makes us kind of special.  But, it’s all about Him.  We are God’s creation and He is the Creator.  May we never allow pride to confuse the two.

“God saved you by His grace when you believed.  And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.  Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.  For we are God’s masterpiece.  He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.”  ~ Ephesians 2:8-9  NLT

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Christian Living

The Smell of Rain

The sliding glass door is open leading to the small balcony off the master bedroom.  Rain has been steadily falling since early this morning and the scent is refreshing.  Nothing like the smell of freshly fallen rain, except maybe crunching leaves in autumn up north.  But, today, it is Florida’s version of winter weather – although fairly mild, of course.

The showers not only replenish the earth but invigorate the senses.  This is not our typical rainy season that occurs during our hurricane season from June 1st through November 30th.  It has caused some dead tree limbs to be strewn across the lawn and our swimming pool to be pretty full.  The creek that runs behind our house has become rather full with water gushing as it makes its way over the large rocks, creating a small waterfall.  It’s always so peaceful to look out at the waterfall.

Water is so soothing, isn’t it?  I think of the ocean with its waves that ebb and flow.  Visitors flock to it and find relaxation.  I also think of a warm bath to calm the mind and body.  Waterfalls in the mountains.  People will hike miles just to catch a glimpse of the beauty of majestic waterfalls.  Perhaps the most famous of falls, Niagara Falls, is the destination of thousands of visitors each year.

God certainly knew water would bring mankind peace and nourishment against life’s stresses.

Although it’s very overcast and rainy today, I am thankful for the precipitation.  Everything has a season and today’s season is rain.

Some complain when the weather prevents them from participating in outdoor activities or dulls their mood.  Instead, why not take advantage of a rainy day to do something indoors that you’ve been putting off?  I like to turn on the lights and play some cheerful music on days like these.  It sends a signal to the mind that we still have cause to be happy, despite the weather.

So, today I will enjoy the fresh scent of the rain.  Tomorrow it will be gone.  The sun will be out along with a few clouds, but the rain will be over.

Ah, to breathe in this invigorating fragrance is a beautiful blessing!  You see, there is beauty in the rain.  Yes, unpleasantness too.  Like when you step into a deep puddle.  Isn’t that life?  You take the good and the bad, mix it all together and it is a beautiful gift.

 

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under Miscellaneous

15 Things I’m Most Thankful For

074

  1. My personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the Word of God and the great hope of heaven
  2. My family and their love
  3. My children’s spiritual growth
  4. The gift of motherhood
  5. That my siblings are also my best friends
  6. Wonderful friends
  7. My husband’s job
  8. Good health
  9. Our home
  10. Freedom
  11. A godly heritage
  12. Music
  13. The ocean, flowers and all of nature’s beauty
  14. Photography
  15. Fabric, quilting, sewing machine

Gratitude chases away feelings of discontentment.  It’s difficult to be disgruntled and thankful simultaneously.  Why not compose your own thankful list and reflect on the many blessings of God in your own life?  We serve a faithful God and His blessings are endless.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christian Living

An Attitude of Gratitude

Have you ever found that sometimes it’s far easier to grumble and complain than to accept what is and be grateful for it?  I certainly have.  It takes an intentional mindset to simply resolve to be thankful rather than discontented.

Some circumstances we can do something about.  For instance, we may get frustrated with ourselves because we’d like to lose weight.  In reality, there’s an action on our part that can change those ugly numbers on the scale.

However, many times in life there are situations beyond our control.  It is in those times that it is prudent to give thanks to God while placing our concerns in God’s hands.

“In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”  ~ I Thessalonians 5:18

Then, there’s just a general attitude of life.  Have you ever met someone that had such a sour expression and just exuded such discontent?  I certainly have.  Are those people happy?  No!  And they make everyone around them unhappy as well!  Who wants to be around a sour puss?  Life is too short to see the glass half empty all the time!

Did you know that you can do most anything you set your mind to?  It’s true.  If you have a made up mind to change, with God’s help, you can do it!  Today, you can decide that from this day forward you will stop complaining all the time and, instead, thank God for the positive things around you.  Thank God for waking you up this morning, for giving you breath in your body, for full function of your limbs, for your family, for resources, for provision, for the hope of Glory!  There are countless blessings we can praise God for!  And, before long, you will see a pattern forming.  Your heart will be full of happiness when gratitude is in your soul and expressed through your lips!  It is hard to stay disgruntled and upset when your heart is thankful.  Ponder that for a moment.

You can either dwell on all the things that aren’t right about your world or you can determine to focus on the good things that God has blessed you with.  Perhaps there are some things you can change to make your world better.  In the meantime, cultivating an attitude of gratitude will bring tremendous fulfillment to your life!

A tool that can help you to do this is a notebook where you write all the things you’re thankful for.  Keeping a journal of answered prayer is also a great reminder of God’s blessings and increases our faith.

When we are constantly grateful to God for His many blessings, for the sunshine, for the rain, for another breath to live … don’t you think it’s His good pleasure to further bless us?

“I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

 My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.

 O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.

 I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” ~ Psalm 34:1-4

 

6 Comments

Filed under Christian Living

Wanted to Say “Hey” to New Followers!

075

If you’re a new follower to my blog, I just wanted to say “Hey” and offer a big welcome to theenglishrose2014 world!  They say “Hey” in the south a lot in place of the normal “Hello” or “Hi”, and despite the fact that I now live in the north, that catchy greeting remains with me.  So, “Hey”! 😉

Things have been a little hectic with caring for my dad lately (on top of attempting to juggle life with my own family) so I haven’t devoted as much time to my blog and checking out other blogs as I’d like, but I definitely plan to pop in and check yours out soon!

It means so much to know that you’re here!  So, thank you very much for your interest in my musings and hopefully you’ll find a good dose of encouragement as well as laughter around here!  Please make yourself at home.  I love making new friends and am interested in your input and comments always.

If you lived close enough, I’d whip up a batch of yummy banana pudding and pour you a glass of sweet iced tea.  🙂

God bless, my friend!  🙂

5 Comments

Filed under Miscellaneous

In Everything Give Thanks

Do you feel as though some pieces of the puzzle of life are out of place?  Like you need more?  Have the storms of life been battering at your vessel?

“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” ~ I Thessalonians 5:18

Sounds simpler than applying it actually is.  Even through the storms of life, we can choose to focus on God and thank Him for the many blessings in our lives despite circumstances being less than perfect.  It’s a matter of perspective.

Do we keep our eyes on the things beyond our reach or do we focus on the infinite ways God has already blessed us?  On the possibilities of faith?

I am convinced not every blessing is tangible.  It cannot be held in your hand or touched or felt, but it’s there.  For instance, I know God has protected me countless times from car accidents in our busy area.  Many close calls, but, thankfully, we have been shielded.  Just yesterday, I was stuck in bumper to bumper traffic and the black sedan behind me didn’t allow sufficient time to brake.  I looked in my rear view mirror in time to see he had slammed on his brakes so much that his brakes were smoking!  I was just thankful that he didn’t hit me because he was coming at a fairly fast speed!  God’s hand was surely with me and I thank Him for His protection every day!!

God blesses our family all the time.  He gives my husband the wisdom, knowledge and expertise to perform his job to the best of his ability.  Proverbs 13:4 says, “Those who work hard will prosper.”  God is so faithful to us.

Beyond the countless blessings God has bestowed on us, we are instructed to praise Him just for Who He is.

“Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!  Worship the Lord with gladness.  Come before Him, singing with joy.  Acknowledge that the Lord is God!  He made us and we are His.  We are His people, the sheep of His pasture.  Enter His gates with thanksgiving, go into His courts with praise.  Give thanks to Him and praise His name.  For the Lord is good.  His unfailing love continues forever and His faithfulness continues to each generation.”  ~  Psalm 100 NLT

We can never thank God enough for what He has done, but we can certainly try!  Our time on this earth is merely warm up for heaven.  For it is there we will worship the King of Kings and Lord of Lords in all of His majesty!

“And they lay their crowns before the throne and say, ” You are worthy, O Lord our God to receive glory and honor and power.  For you created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased.”  ~  Revelation 4:11

“Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse standing there.  Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war.  His eyes were like flames of fire and on His head were many crowns.  A name was written on Him that no one understood except Himself.  He wore a robe dipped in blood, and His title was the Word of God.”  ~ Revelation 19:11-13

The Creator of the Universe, the Almighty God and Everlasting Father is so infinitely worthy of our praise!  He is looking for those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24)  He is so deserving of our adoration.

If praising God is a challenge for you or you don’t know where to begin, may I suggest reading through the Psalms and making them your offering of praise?  Before long, you’ll personalize your offerings of thanksgiving and worship.  God is not like man, He is not interested in flowery words.  He looks at the heart, the intents and purposes of man.  Won’t you spend a few moments worshipping Him today?

“I will praise the Lord at all times.
I will constantly speak his praises.
I will boast only in the Lord;
let all who are helpless take heart.
Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness;
let us exalt his name together.”  ~ Psalm 34:1-3

4 Comments

Filed under Christian Living