Gratitude (part one)

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I was challenged this morning to take the next two weeks offering up thanks to God for how He has abundantly and lavishly cared for me this past year.

Here is post one… (more thoughts will follow over the next few days)

James 1:17
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

(my paraphrase of James 1:2-18)
Rejoice, my friends, when your life is full of trials and tests. Those trials are being used in your life to grow your faith in God. That faith will result in a more steadfast trust in Him as your Provider, and the end result of that is you being most perfectly changed to reflect the glory of His image.

When life doesn’t make sense, ask God for wisdom. He lavishly gives without reservation to those who ask. But don’t doubt His goodness, or you will find your emotions being tossed on the sea of trials. When this happens, you lose your stability and look around hopelessly for an answer.

When God has brought you to the end of yourself, rejoice. When you are rich in blessings, look to Him as the Answer because your physical blessings will pass away like grass. When the next trial of heat comes, that gift could be gone. If you live for temporary answers, they will fade away like flowers in a drought.

But if you remain trusting in the Lord in the midst of trials, you will be blessed. The result of your faith will be a beautiful, unfading crown of life that God promised to those who actively pursue and love Him. Don’t look at your trials as temptation from God. Don’t accuse God of tempting you, but rather, acknowledge that your own heart is what is drawing you away from your True Love. Your heart will deceive you subtly but will ultimately bring death.

Don’t allow your heart to deceive you like this. Every good and perfect gift is from God. He does not change like the seasons do. He brought you to life and has given you an inheritance far beyond what your deceitful heart promises.


God has been working OT in my heart this past year. When I look back, it is hard to believe that Na07 was only a year ago – it feels like 5 years! I believe that God has been working through me to display His power. I think in order to do this, He had to make me weak first though. That’s not a fun process, and I feel like every day I go through the same thing over again. But He promises that His power is made perfect in weakness. He’s been showing me that my weakness is not merely a suggestion, but that He designed me to be that way. His plan for me is to be nothing on my own so that He can be everything through me. His desire is that my desires match His instead of seeking my own self-advancement (aka idolatry). But He’s also been reminding me that He is loving. That He is good and kind and delights when I come to Him needy and desiring Him to fill me. It brings Him joy to answer that prayer.

God’s blessings today in my life:
A really cool roommate. :) God has really changed the friendship between Christa and I from the apartment days where we didn’t understand each other and tolerated or made fun of each other’s differences to one where we really enjoy each other. Its been a subtle shift but dramatic nonetheless. God has used her in so many areas of my life – teaching me what discipline and grace motivated change looks like, to see what steadfast trust and hope-filled faith looks like. I’ve enjoyed seeing the world through a different perspective (if we look at the same thing we always come away with two vastly different views). Its been helpful as I work through areas in my own life, seek to serve others and seek to love all my friends more.

I will miss the Thomas family when I move on. When I moved in there, it was because I needed a place to go and they had a room available. How that has changed. I am grateful for Lucia’s input as she pours into my life. I’m thankful for Rick’s caring leadership and sensitivity to my weaknesses. I’m actually having fun with the kids too!

More blessings later…

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