A Simple Thank You

Our first grader had a special assignment this week. She was asked to write out things she’s thankful for. Here is what she wrote:

I am thankful for my family and friends. I am thankful Jesus loves me with all His heart. I am thankful Jesus is my Savior and lives in my heart. 1 John 1:9 says, “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our sins.” I am thankful Jesus forgives me when I sin.

So, what are you thankful for?
~M & J

Advertisements

Blessings Through the Storms…

This past year has been one of my hardest ever. I have struggled and struggled with countless illnesses, vehicle troubles (both vehicles having dead batteries on the same day…flat tire that had to be replaced and only the dealership could order and put a new one on…both kids having surgery (our son (age 5) had his 4th set of tubes, our daughter (age 6) had her tonsils out and her first set of tubes)…foundation on house had to be repaired…our dishwasher died, our air conditioner’s control board fried (had to get new one and was without central air in south Louisiana for almost a week)…my dad having a stroke (and not being able to go see him due to my illnesses)…and several more things.

There were times when I just wanted to throw my hands up and say, “Lord, I give up! I can’t take it anymore!” But, I kept enduring the storm because I knew that the Lord was growing me through this time. If you focus on the negatives, then you allow Satan to take your joy away. Now, some positives that I experienced…Our children aren’t near as sick as they were, foundation has been repaired, an anonymous donor purchased us a new dishwasher, our air conditioner could be fixed and we found a window unit to keep us cool as we spent extra quality time together as family, we grew closer to the Lord and closer as a family unit. God has sent people in our lives to encourage us and to hold us up when it felt like our world was crashing down. To those people, “Thank you! You will never know how much that meant to us. You are a blessing to our family and to the Kingdom of God!”

During this time of struggle, God led me to several scriptures and directed me towards this song called, “Blessings by Laura Story”, that just described what I was going through so well. It truly ministered to me. I even set this song to replay in my van for a year. I hope these scriptures and the lyrics to her song bless you as much as they me.

James 1:2-4 – “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Ezekiel 36:26 —“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

1 Peter 5:10 – “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”

Lyrics from Blessings by Laura Story

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise

Let your blessings rain down, Lord!! Be blessed and be a blessings to others!
~M

What’s Your Top Ten?

A Question To Ponder…
Recently a childhood friend of mine asked me to make a list of ten ways that I would want others to treat me. So here is my list. Top 10 ways: Lovingly, Respectfully, Seriously, Compassionately, Mercifully, Forgivingly, Gently, Kindly, Encouragingly, and Gracefully. After compiling my list of the top ten I was feeling pretty good about myself. Until he said something to me that I did not expect. He said with a firm voice; now ask yourself one Question. “Is that how I treat all people?” Wow I was taken back by this question. It caught me off guard. I wasn’t sure if I could answer yes to all ten or even to just a few of them. Because he wasn’t asking how I treat people who I love, but for the treatment of all people. The longer I pondered on this simple question, the more I realized that the first question was not nearly as important as the second one. My answer to all ten toward all people was; No, not always. At this point in my conversation with my friend I prayed these words.”God forgive me of this sin and help me to treat others how I want to be treated even when they don’t treat me the way I desire. Thank You Father for this insight and revelation In Jesus Name I Pray Amen.” The Bible tells us in Luke 6:31 (NIV) “31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.” So I’m asking each one of you to take time and write your own top ten ways that you want to be treated. Then ask yourself, is this how I treat all people? A Question that all of us need to honestly answer before God. How do you treat what God has created?

From Your Pastor’s Heart,
~G

True, Funny Stories of Ministry

My husband and I have been involved in some form of ministry since we got married over 11 years ago!  So, I would like to share with you some of my funny stories.

We were serving at this Church that had this mischievous little boy.  I don’t know how many times I argued with him about believing everything he watches on TV.   He was a sweet kid, but always up to something.  You NEVER knew what he was going to say.  One Sunday, he was so excited about getting to  participate in his first Lord’s Supper.  He got his little cracker and his cup of juice.  First, his eyes got big–is that really blood??!!   Then he chewed and chewed and chewed his cracker.  He leaned over and said, “Hey, does this come in chocolate?”  During this serious time, it took everything I had not to giggle.

Matthew 19:13-15:  “Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.  Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.

While on the subject, I will mention a sweet story from our oldest child.  When she was about 4, she told me, “Mom, you want to know something??  God comes down to Walmart every night and fills the store with all the things we need and TOYS, too!!  So, how about we go see what toy God wants me to have?!”

Matthew 21:16 “”Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, “‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?”

**Make sure to encourage your children.  Let them talk and ask questions about God.  Never hinder them from praying (even for their dog).  They come from such a pure place when they pray.  Our daughter can bring you to tears when she prays!  She has such a sweet spirit.

Now, a funny story about our son.  He was only about 2 years old.  He had been sick with ear infections and I decided to just hold him during the worship service.  Well, he did great through the singing.  Then, daddy got up to preach.  So, did our son.  He stood up there for about 15 minutes.  He stomped his foot and shook his finger.  Then, he turned to his dad and said, “I think that’s enough for today.  I’m hungry!!!  Let’s go!”  G didn’t stop preaching, so our son decided to sit down on the steps in front of his dad and kept mumbling, “that’s enough dad.  I am starving!!”  G said he never heard him, but the rest of the church sure did!

Psalm 126:2 “Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.”  Don’t take things so seriously.  Laughter is good for you!   Ecclesiastes 3:4 reminds us, “a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,”  Life is tough enough.  A good laugh is medicine for the soul!!  Dance and get silly with your children.

Be a blessing,

~M.