"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." ~ from ISAIAH 61 Bible verse for this Blog

Monday, November 30, 2015

ADVENT Starts out with HOPE



"The Greatest Gift"

I think most of us realize what the greatest gift is ...

I missed that
ADVENT
began 
this last
SONday of November
so I had to go back and post this

ANN V.



HOPE

{maybe I have shared this previous years, but it's worth another view}
We can never get enough of "Hope"

Be sure to check out Ann's blog
A Holy Experience
with so many
WONDERFUL
and
Wonder Filled
Blessings
available as freebies

"Come experience a Christmas like never before —
Come experience a Christmas like you’ve always dreamed of…

So come Christmas morning, you haven’t missed Him.
So come Christmas morning — you’ve unwrapped the greatest gift you’ve always yearned for — more of Him.
" Ann Voskamp

Come and enter into this season of preparation of your heart for

CHRIST

in your

CHRISTmas


I'm ready to
UNWRAP
more
this
CHRISTmas


"The Greatest Gift of All"




I forgot to share how I ended up with featuring Ann Voskamp. It was because of watching "Christmas on the Farm" (live event) and I was so touched and blessed by Ann and Liz Curtiss Higgs! {it's on the page but you have to scroll way down to it} I have Ann's Jesse Tree ornaments from so long ago, that I put on felt backing to hang on my tree as ornaments here, unavailing the Christmas story through the Scriptures that goes with each one. The wreath Ann has available is so beautiful since the day I first saw it and the Jesse Tree, I loved 'em! 


THANKFUL CHALLENGE 30 ~ life

[image and challenge credit]

See blog post on November 1 for more

This final day
I give thanks to God for
LIFE

"Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!" 2 Corinthians 9:15 NIV

"You make known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand." Ps.16:11

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life." Jn 3:16


O LORD
God and Giver of all life

How I bow to You as I give thanks for LIFE.

Your Life
gives me reason
every day
to live life to the fullest
giving thanks
for every breath of life
but
that with this life
I have the choice to believe in You
and
my eternal life.

Thank You Father
for giving me a good life
but even more
for giving us Your Son Jesus
so that
I may enjoy an eternal life
with
YOU

[image credit: quotesgram]

My life would not be complete
without
knowing You
through
Jesus Christ

I thank You
for the
GRACE
mercy
and
life
I've been privileged
to have

Life is meaningless
without
the hope of
eternal life.

Forgive me
for the
times
I have not shown
my thanks and appreciation
for life and intentionally living it to the full

Jesus Christ
is
LIFE

Jesus Christ
gave
His very life
so that
I might enjoy
an eternity
with
You


Please
open the eyes, hearts and minds
of others
to believe in
Jesus Christ
so that they will not perish
but have eternal life
and
give thanks
for
LIFE

LIFE
in
You
through You
and with You
eternally

Thank You
for the
gift of
LIFE

mine
and
each life
that
You
have placed
in my life
to share
living
and
Your glory

Life is precious

Thank You

Thank You for all the blessings
in my life
May I never take one for granted


[image credit on image]
The enemy of our lives comes 
to steal, kill and destroy 
LIFE
but
Jesus came so that we might have 
LIFE
and 
have it abundantly
John 10:10



Thank You



update: I had posted above about Hurricane Sandra, category 3, headed this way (so close as it came in) at the end of last week, while you were giving thanks. I asked for pray for Mexico so that this late season strong 'storm' would loose power and for no destruction and I thank God that He was able to do just this,  yet still asking for prayers of protection from flooding, etc.


I guess that this might me the best time to go back to the post I shared on prayers giving thanks ... there's such "power in being thankful"!


As I spent Black Friday, preparing all 30 days of Thanks for publishing ... I came across this site that had a special Grateful to God 30 Day Challenge that I hope continues each year and that I remember to look for it next year. Too late for this year (lol) but my problem with this more Christian one is that I think it was done more on Facebook than on their blog :( since I don't/won't do Facebook or other social media sites just to be social more online ... well, thanks God for another wonderful 30 day challenge. That's life! Thanks LIFE ... thanks God for life, the good and the bad that forms us into becoming more like You. (I hope) :) 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

THANKFUL CHALLENGE 29 ~ freedom

[image and challenge credit]

See blog post on November 1 for more

Thanking God today for
FREEDOM

"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17



Heavenly Father, More and more each day, I value my freedom and the price paid for me to live freely by Christ and all those who defend freedom for our country. Today, I thank You for the freedom I have in Christ Jesus. I think of so many in the world who suffer for freedom's sake. I hope that in my lifetime, I will always remember how blessed I have been to be born in a place that values freedom. I pray that others will also experience this freedom. To thank You for freedom, when others are not free, seems a little selfish or arrogant. I do not have enough words or the right ones; we have so many freedoms starting with the right to vote, travel, speak, live, but I treasure our right for freedom to worship You and believe in You, which little by little, we are loosing that freedom as Christians; to live it and our Judeo-Christian values. So many nations cannot fathom the freedom we enjoy. Our nation is not rich just because of power and wealth, but the riches we have been given by You. Thank You Lord for our inheritance as Christians. Thank You for the liberty to worship and witness. Thank You for our rich heritage and Christian values, our democracy and prosperity, a nation rich with so many people of differences, but I ask for unity and peace among us. God bless the United States of America and each American. Bless our Christian roots and authority. Bless our precious freedom to love You, worship You and share Your kingdom and the freedom that Jesus Christ gives us. Thank You!


Saturday, November 28, 2015

THANKFUL CHALLENGE 28 ~ family

[image and challenge credit]

See blog post on November 1 for more

Today 
I am giving thanks to God for
FAMILY
(which for me encompasses more than my biological family)
Church Family, Extended Family, Online Family
but for today I am focusing on the personal one

[image credit]


"The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.” " Numbers 6:24-26

"For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,..." Ephesians 3:14-15


Heavenly Father, There is so much to thank You for as regards FAMILY, especially the Christian family that You have placed around my life, both biologically and so preciously online and in church. Before I thank You for my personal one, I'd like to thank You for the way others have included me like their family as a sister in Christ. You know how much each one means to me as I reflect on each one and their Christ-likeness that draws me closer to You. Bless each one and their own families abundantly and graciously as You continue to pour out Your love through them. Multiply Your grace, mercy and favor on each and their family members. There are some very special families that have included me and made me part of their family at different times in my life. I'm sure You remember and that is why I ask for Your abundant blessing on them and give thanks for each one.

And now Father, I ask for each one of the following that I list or even those unnamed in my family that each will come to know You more as their Lord and Savior, and I give thanks for the gift of salvation accepted or yet to be accepted and will consider it done in Jesus' name for: my husband (and his family), our son and daughter and their families and loved ones; my sister and brother; my nieces and nephews; my cousins and their families; my last remaining uncle - Uncle Jack and his wife, Jan. Bless their homes and their lives every day drawing them closer to You. I give You thanks for each one. I also give thanks for Pam my sister in Christ (and her family), Topo, like a son (and his family), and Judith (and hers). There are so many more parts of this family that I give thanks to You for them, You know each one and their part in my life and in our home, those in MN and those in MX ... I pray the the scripture blessing of this song for each, giving You thanks for knowing and loving us this side of eternity and with much hope for the eternal side for each of us.

The Lord Bless You



"The Eternal One bless and keep you.
 
  May He make His face shine upon you
        and be gracious to you.
 
The Eternal lift up His countenance
        to look upon you and give you peace."
(The Voice)



Friday, November 27, 2015

THANKFUL CHALLENGE 27 ~ rest

So today, I've committed to going back and trying to post each of the previous days of this THANKS CHALLENGE since I had each one in draft waiting for me to write each day, but due to technical problems (my laptop's cursor not working), I was unable to publish a post daily as I intended to do when I started this challenge.

My "cyber" project for today - Black Friday, is not black at all, but filled with "gold"en memories and thankfulness as I go back and publish each one, even though on the eve before Thanksgiving Day, I did publish a summary prayer, I'd like to share my thanks as I did do on each of those days; in general, and/or specifically when led, using the prompt that was given.

{If you remember, back on Day 1, I mentioned that I was going to exchange Day 2 with Day 6 and add health for Day 6.}So on Day 2, I gave thanks for a special family member, my youngest brother, who left his earthly home for his heavenly home on Nov. 2, 1990. Other than that exception, I will follow the 30 Days of Thanks Challenge as is:

[image and challenge credit]

See blog post on November 1 for more

Today I give thanks for
REST

""Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” " Matthew 11:28-30

I'm sure many or most of us, need much REST after yesterday's feast or this year in general. The times and all that is happening calls us to take REST and breathe to refresh and regroup to continue pressing on. REST is a key factor and very important, even God took time during His Creation to REST and designated a day each week to REST (many of us fail to do this and now, more than ever we need to) not just for our physical bodies but also our spiritual lives in obedience to God. I find myself more and more needing breaks of REST so I'm sure those of you that are much more active than I, deserve and need REST even more so.



Thank You Heavenly Father, for setting aside and directing us time to REST. I am so grateful to You that I can find the REST I need in You. I depend on You, and REST in that. Your REST brings Peace and Comfort and the strength I need each day. I come to You and find REST as I lay any burdens I have at Your feet and learn from You. REST in You refreshes and restores my soul and me. Help me to know when I need to REST and obey quickly, setting aside this time with You, reminds me that You are here with me, making it easier on me when I let go and REST. Thank You, Lord.

Sorry Lord that the prayer is so short and the rest is so much but it was needed.


Note from Peggy: so on this note, let me explain again, that I will try to finish this month's posts and then I will post them ALL, but not unless I complete this task. I will try to do the forthcoming as each day goes on. If I don't complete this, however, just know that I intended to do so, but perhaps God called me away or my time ran out ... and my computer and I just needed some more REST. Both of us, are in need of some fixin' ... and some resolution. Not too worry. My burdens are light, especially compared to many of you. Hope you are relishing in that after-the-holiday glow of enjoying a blessed Thanksgiving and all those leftovers :)

update: I am making progress on these previous posts and have completed to Day 15 but have not published them yet. I may just publish what I have finished today and the others on another day, OK? That's 10 left of the previous and 3 more. Pick and choose, you certainly don't need to go back and comment on each one, just enjoy and pick up some new facts about me (maybe) and my thanks!


THANKFUL CHALLENGE 26 ~ shelter

[image and challenge credit]

See blog post on November 1 for more

Today I give thanks for
SHELTER

So much goes through my thoughts as I thank God for shelter. First of all, the words of Psalm 91, come to mind immediately ... for the Most High is my Refuge, my Shelter, my Fortress, in whom I trust. (verse 2)

" Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” " Psalm 91: 1-2

From there, I recall all the "shelters" that I have been provided with throughout my life, from childhood to now. My home here in MX and my home back in MN, are good shelters for every day and from the storms. Clearly, I prefer our home back in MN but I am so thankful for the one I rent here also. 

When thinking about "shelters", I cannot forget the blaze of our house fire and thank God for lives saved and insurance that compensated for some of the losses.
I thank God for the reconstruction of our house through insurance. You begin to appreciate "shelter" in a whole new light.

Thus, that brings me to the many people who live in "shelters" here or the homeless who have had to go to shelters for a place to rest or eat and I realize how blessed I am. This is why my Project Hope (in above page tab) is so important to me - for someone who never had a "shelter" of their own for 50 years of life. And I know that there are so many more. I see them start out and establish their territory and put together what I call a cardboard shack, but to them, they make it a home until they are able to build. How can I not be ever so grateful that I was born in the USA and my father worked hard to give us a home, whereas by chance, these individuals were born here and are thankful for any shelter they have, too. What a difference! Yet we all share the same Heavenly Father, who promises to cover us ... read on in Psalm 91 to see how - and how much.


Thank You Father
for being my
SHELTER
and 
providing me with
earthly shelter
MN

MX


Thursday, November 26, 2015

THANKFUL PRAYERS


This video is unlisted that I put together to capture 
all the beautiful prayers from
Joyce Meyer's
devotional
"The Power of Being Thankful"
that
I shared here from a You Version reading plan
(hope my video works)



Once again
I thank God for you and am praying for you and yours
as we give thanks and ask God to cover us
with His Protection and GRACE!
Simple Things
[images from Crosscards]
Happy Thanksgiving
Peggy



* no copyright infringement intended on JM prayers, YV or even the background music of "Give Thanks".  #2626 bp

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

THANKFUL CHALLENGE RECAP


I was not able to post my "thankfulness" here on my AG blog daily, yet I did give thanks to God for each of the suggestions given in the "30 Days of Thanks Challenge" and for so much more ... in prayer, praise and thanks to Our Almighty God just as I shared on day 1 (November 1st).

[image and challenge credit]

Here is a brief capsule of those 30 days of thanks prayers to Our Abba Father:

Heavenly Father, 

Giving thanks to You each day is as easy as taking a fresh breathe and saying thanks. I rise each day with thanks upon my lips to You, just as I starting this challenge with FRIENDS, I continue to thank You for each one and the beautiful blessing each one is, asking that You would bountifully return the blessing to each as they have willingly blessed and given to me their wonderful friendship. Thank You for FRIENDS and FRIENDSHIP, past, present and future!

I thank You for many OPPORTUNITIES that You have made happen for me throughout my life. I thank You for the recent one of going home to MN and safe return to Mexico. It indeed is an opportunity to do this. I thank You especially for the OPPORTUNITY to visit with my last living uncle, my dear Uncle Jack and Jan, as well as 2 of his daughters, my cousins, Pam & Carrie, also his great grand daughter, Lulu, a true 3 yr. old delight. And all the other many opportunities you provided for me this trip. I give You thanks and glory!

If I continue giving thanks for each of these 30 in this way, this prayer (post) will be really long ... so here's an even more brief capsule:

Thank You Lord for ...

each experience; every teacher especially the one I married; for each talent; for every family member - my youngest brother was the one I had to choose for this day, but I am thankful for my sister, my other brother, my mom and dad, my uncle, my cousins, my church family and friends; for problems solved and even those yet to be solved, give Your wisdom and direction; for the comforting thing I acquired for my 'plane' neck massage which served as a reminder of a soft furry friend too; I give thanks for every person that has influenced my life; for the financial blessing of having insurance to rebuild our home and compensate for some of our losses; for each pet but especially Toby, who suffered and died while I was away; I thank You for the bilingual skill of Spanish and English You have given me; and who knows what "unique quirk" I have like my smile or nervous laughter or whatever puts others at ease to share with me; giving thanks for most of the movement that has returned to my left arm for a rotary cuff impingement (tear) - never again will I take any movement of my body for granted from a toe to lifting arms in praise; there is so much in nature that I love to thank You for but I especially thank You for the deer I was able to see back home at just the right time; each challenge that You see me through and use to grow me and completing any challenge is the triumph for which I thank You!

Thank You for the safety You gave me in my trip and time away and here always; I am ever so grateful for my daily sustenance.

I thank You for the relationship I have with You and I pray to better my earthly ones with Your help. This is one of the reasons, I give thanks for my faith but as You know there are so many more reasons for faith, especially for things yet unseen or unknown. 

I thank You for community online, here in Mexico and both communities in which I live here and there, as well as my church community.
 
Every morning when I rise, as I mentioned above, I give thanks to You for each breath, for my first and my last may it be with You and Your name ever on my lips, in my heart and on my mind.

Thank You for Your wisdom that I may grow and increase in wisdom through Your Word and hearing You, then following it.

I thank You for the lessons You teach me through every trial and from each trail. Hopefully I am learning them better and quicker. I am so grateful for the ones You rescue me in. 

I am thankful that You are my Shelter and the shelter You provide for me in this earthly living. In both places, I have good shelter. However, my shelter in You seems to be more and more necessary every day.

I give You thanks for times of rest! (whenever I am able to rest in You, I am so blessed!)

Once again, I give thanks for family, freedom (as we once had in USA) and life (my eternal life in You mostly) and that others may soon come to receiving this gift of life. Thank You for the gift of life, may I use each day wisely and give You thanks for all and in everything! I take none of these blessings for granted but ask that You gently remind me to lift my thanks daily in Jesus' precious name. 


A VERY BLESSED and HAPPY

THANKSGIVING!
Love and Grace
Peggy


THANKFUL CHALLENGE 25

[image and challenge credit]

See blog post on November 1 for more

Today,
I'm giving thanks for a
"lesson from a trial"


"On a practical note, I find that it’s often more difficult to give thanks for minor frustrations and irritations than for the major trials that come. When major trials hit, I’m usually aware that God is dealing with me. So I stop and pray and try to figure out what He wants me to learn. But in the minor, day-to-day sort of hassles, I tend not to bring God into the picture. Why is this slow driver in front of me when I’m in a hurry? Why did my baby keep me up all night when I’ve got an important day at work? Why am I getting repeated interruptions when I’m trying to meet a deadline? In those kinds of minor frustrations, I’ve got to stop, acknowledge God’s sovereignty over them, and thank Him in the midst of them. I’m still working on that lesson! "~Steven J. Cole, Bible org


Be thankful for Trials
Devotion

Billy Graham
shares
"How to Be Thankful in All Things"

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance ... ” (James 1:2-3, NIV).


Heavenly Father, One of the most difficult times to pray is in the trials of life. It is also the time when we need prayer the most but often are so preoccupied that we forget to go to You with our trial and honestly turn to You as our Problem Solver. After the trial is over, we find it much easier to come to You and thank You for seeing us through the trial or asking for further guidance and direction in the days ahead. Honestly, Lord ... it's really hard to consider a trial pure joy ... 

I thought about some of the trials that I've seen in my lifetime personally and tried to focus on the lesson I learned in that trial. It was not easy. I believe the most heart wrenching trials for me in this last decade of my life have been the loss of our home back in MN to a fire that totaled it and the loss of a dear close friend to suicide. Lord, help me to see the lessons in every trial of my life but especially these two. Clearly, Father, the lesson on our house was "not to hold our earthly treasures too closely" for they are not more than ashes and soot in comparison to treasures stored up in heaven, where we should focus. I thank You that You protected lives in that fire and sealed off my personal belongings in that upstairs closet even if the attic ones were incinerated, You watched over some sweet memories that I had saved. Thank You for the years I spent learning many lessons along and with the friend who ended his life far too soon. I cannot think of what lesson there is in loss truthfully because every loss has caused me much pain and grief, at times, not knowing if I will ever see the rainbow again. Father,, You know me ever so well and certainly have seen the many trials I have gone through in life, yet You still have not revealed to me, the full recovery and healing of the immense loss of loved ones and the purpose. I always have had a sense of urgency for the salvation of each individual that has crossed my path and earnestly pray that it happens before their lives are finished. Trials teach us much on the other side of them but in the interim of going through trials, I am sure that most of us are not thinking of the purpose of the trial or what we should be learning, rather we question You or the why. Forgive me Father, if I have done that more than seek the life breathing lesson and I give You thanks for always being there to see me through the trial - big or small. Mine seem so small in comparison to so many. I lift each one facing trial(s) right now and ask that they sense Your Presence and help at this moment. See them through their trial with love and compassion. Hold them close when they feel abandoned, forgotten or so very desperate and let them know You are there and You do care as You have for me. I thank You and my heart is full of thanks and love for You in and through and after every trial. Help me consider it pure joy more. Strengthen my faith and teach me to persevere no matter what ... 

 
[image credit]
for both images




Tuesday, November 24, 2015

THANKFUL CHALLENGE 24

[image and challenge credit]

See blog post on November 1 for more

Today I give thanks for

WISDOM
[34 Bible Verses]


"If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." James 1:5


[image and prayer credit: rachelwojo]


Could not have prayed this better -thanks Rachel!

There is a difference between wisdom and knowledge.

Lord, Thank You
for more godly wisdom




Note: I am publishing this one today and explaining more about this on Fri. so hope you come back for more THANKS after Thanksgiving and I actually have some more posts lined up and publishing this week. Ya-hoo!

Monday, November 23, 2015

THANKFUL CHALLENGE 23

[image and challenge credit]

See blog post on November 1 for more

Today I give thanks for
"Breath"
Your breath ... living ... in me

"The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life." Job 33:4

Lord,

"You are the air I breathe ... thank You for each breath!"


"This is the air I breathe"



"Let everything that has breath ... praise the Lord"
Psalm 150:6

[image credit]


How can I go about any day without
thanking You, God for
BREATH


Sunday, November 22, 2015

THANKFUL CHALLENGE 22 ~ community

[image and challenge credit]

See blog post on November 1 for more

Today I give thanks for
"CommUnity"

This includes
YOU

"What is Community?
The short answer is that the word “community” is a compound word; “com” means with and “unity” means what the word says…unity or being unified or having a common union.  In short, God wants believers to dwell in union and in community having the same mind that is in Jesus Christ (Phil 2:1-11). "

Father,

I thank You so much for community
online, back home in MN
even here in MX

I pray Lord that more communities would come together
in unity for peace, justice and good will for all.
I ask that our communities indeed would dwell and 
have the same mind that is in Christ Jesus.

Thank You for the church community
that keeps our fire burning
by the power of the
Holy Spirit
"we are One...
in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord"

Help us Lord to lay aside
any differences and join together
to better this world and Your Kingdom
be glorified in our
communities

May a spirit of grateful hearts
be revived in our communities and lives
with peace
"let it begin with me"


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This blog is ALL about HIM, for HIM, not about me!
I hope that is what you see
this is why I am



To my faithful visitors;
all of you who spend your valuable time here with me
I do appreciate you so much!

Thank you for taking your time to visit!

Love, Sweet blessings & Hugs!

DIOS TE BENDIGA
GOD BLESS YOU

always

Peggy