New Thanks

Grace to you, and peace from God, our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God whenever I remember you, always in every request of mine on behalf of you all making my requests with joy, for your partnership in furtherance of the Good News from the first day until now; being confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. It is even right for me to think this way on behalf of all of you, because I have you in my heart, because, both in my bonds and in the defense and confirmation of the Good News, you all are partakers with me of grace. For God is my witness, how I long after all of you in the tender mercies of Christ Jesus.

This I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and all discernment; so that you may approve the things that are excellent; that you may be sincere and without offense to the day of Christ; being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.        Philippians 1:2-11 (WEB)

It is Thanksgiving 2009. It is a celebration of what I am to do every day – GIVE THANKS!

God has been extravagant to me in the many, many people that He brought into my life to show me who He is. They have truly been His ambassadors.

There are two groups of women, Sisters in Christ and Sisters of the Vine, who have prayer warriors, giving their time and gifts in abundance. They go quietly into their closets and cry out to God, often for people they have never met. Thank You, Lord.

My husband, Henry, has encouraged me to follow my Lord into deeper wells of His love through study and obedience. I do not believe I would have had the courage to do so many things these last ten years if I had not had my gentle, strong husband by my side. Thank You, Lord.

My daughter, Janet, a woman of profound faith who shows me the power of faith – whether mustard seed size or simple faith of a child. She also brought Chris, her husband, who has shown me the balance between my personal relationship with God and putting that relationship into active evangelism, watching for God’s opportunities in all aspects of my life to share His Good News. Thank You, Lord.

My son, John, who has had to travel many diverse roads. The apostle, Paul, shared in 2 Corinthians 1 that he was sent down a path and then – oops! – no, God sent him down another. John, and his family, have had to be flexible. That is a hard path to walk. It can seem very unstable and comes (as God’s plan does) with a heavy cost. John has a tender heart which is the kind of heart where God likes to live. Thank You, Lord.

Grandchildren show me the best of my Lord as they have such hope and joy and trust. I have five grandchildren. I think we sometimes discount a child and think they have ‘easy’ lives. Each of my grandchildren has a life of ups and downs and they, too, are learning to trust God when they cannot always see how or why He is doing (or allowing) what is going on in their lives. In some ways, they may even have less control in their lives because they are children! Thank You, Lord.

I am blessed with children of my heart like Erin and Kyle, Brett and Shauna, Amy and Aaron, and Geoffrey and Liz and all of their children. God gives in extravagance and brings me tangible evidence of the the many, many facets of His love. Thank You, Lord.

So many have gone before me and on this day I remember them with great joy and many thanks. My parents laid a foundation of faith that while I did wander away, it was those roots that I believe brought me back. James who showed me the importance of embracing opportunities because I do not know when my journey here on earth will be done. I have also learned that death does not separate us because Jesus connects us.

I hope this is a time of new thanks for all of us. May God’s Spirit reveal His love in big and small ways. May our hearts be open and our eyes be clear to see our wonderful Lord. Thank You, Lord!

Jody note:  See you back here on Monday, November 30th.

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