"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

Sunday, November 27, 2016

ADVENT BEGINS ...

"BECAUSE OF BETHLEHEM"

Because of Bethlehem
LOVE IS BORN - HOPE IS HERE

because-of-bethlehem-god-has-face
[image credit]
Be sure to check out this 

Online Bible Study

and

sign-up

at

Faith Gateway

because of bethlehem max lucado study


November 28:  Kick-off interview with Max Lucado at 9 pm EST (6 pm PST) at Faith Gateway!
Week One (November 27 – December 3)               "God Has a Face"
Week Two (December 4 – 10)                   "Worship Works Wonders"
Week Three (December 11 – 17)                     "God Guides the Wise"
Week Four (December 18 – 24)                    "Every Heart Has a Manger"

Let's 
LET OUR LIGHT
SHINE

JESUS

with more of

HIS

HOPE

LOVE

JOY

PEACE

"Because God became human, we can see and know God in the person of Jesus. We can also rely on the fact that God knows us. He understands how we feel because he has faced what we face, including weakness, testing, and suffering." - Max Lucado

Let's

PREPARE HIM ROOM

by

making room each day

to BE with

JESUS

LET'S DO OUR BEST TO BE JESUS

to a world that needs

Him

and

His Light

in their darkness


John 8:12

[available through crosswalk (dot) com]

There is so much to do in our days 

yet we must take the time to

prepare our hearts

and others

for

JESUS






*all images belong to Faith Gateway (except the last one)



Tuesday, November 15, 2016

BLESSINGS and PRAISE ~ 15

True confession time
(maybe if I was really doing these now daily)
instead of having them 
prepared ahead

I would be BLESSED

however
even though I am finally back in MN
I am not seeing the "blessings" and giving God enough daily "praise"
because 
I seem to be in an onslaught of battles -
if not my own, or with someone near and dear,
 it is with the battles that my other loved ones are facing


Back before I left MX, I really should have done my Book Look Blogger review of a really fabulous book, that I at least shared the start of the study, with good intent to finish the book, but I still haven't ... and when I arrived home, I had another excellent real book awaiting me, which I still have not been able to turn the pages on "...Healing..." (a full year's worth of great devotions of real healing testimonies). I'm sure many of you can relate to not being able to sit down and read with intent those many books waiting for you to crack open ... or scroll through your Kindle. 

Perhaps by now, you noticed that some days or posts are missing {still in draft} ... from these 30 Days of Blessings or Praise.

This post is merely being shared, or mostly being shared, to let you know that I am canceling the rest of these 30 days -online. As good and as necessary as it is to give thanks in all things, it's difficult for me to have time online, with all else that's going on plus I'm sick. I'm surprised I waited until this post to let you all know. I guess I was trying to be hopeful ... 

Hopefully, I can still give much thanks on "Thanksgiving Day" {like for a safe arrival despite all odds-"Thank You Lord for so much!" as a 5 -7 day trip that lasted half the month of Oct., with vehicle problem after vehicle problem, yet still God safely got me and 3 fur babies back-not sure I can say "home", but at least I am here alive.

Trust me I am thankful to God for so MUCH!!! And in our time together, He receives my praise and thanks (just not formally like these were met to focus on). He is so worthy of ALL our praise and thanks! We can never give Him enough [as you will read, this certainly was the appropriate day to let you in on the truth]

So the

Books that I'm was using during November to give thanks to God for His many "Blessings" and a Challenge to give God "Praise" with
The 30-Day Praise Challenge by [Harling, Becky]














30 Day Devotionals
based on Laura Story's song                         from Becky Harling
[images are of the book covers]

* "What If Your Blessings Come through Raindrops?" by Laura Story

** "The 30 Day Praise Challenge" by Becky Harling


DAY 15

* "Giving Endurance a Chance to Grow"

James 1:2-4 HCSB
James 1:2-8; 16, 18 NLT

"Who among us wants to endure trials and troubles in order to develop the endurance that’s described in the second chapter of James? I don’t know about you, but if I could find an easier way to become “perfect and complete,” I’d certainly be tempted to take it. Nonetheless, God has plans for me— and for you— plans that are often difficult to understand. Why, we ask ourselves, must we endure suffering? Why all the pain and heartache? Why, we wonder, doesn’t God simply give us all the good and none of the bad?"

 Laura Story, 'What If Your Blessings Come Through Raindrops: A 30 Day Devotional" (Kindle Locations 761-765). Worthy Publishing. 


... Beth Moore quoted...
by Laura Story
"We had plenty of challenges, some of which were tremendously serious, yet God has enabled us to walk, crawl, limp, or leap—leap— whatever way we could progress— toward wholeness." —Beth Moore

Spiritual Growth

{yeah, good ole endurance, perseverance-plenty of practice with this one and "spiritual growth" ... ahem}

Laura shares 6 other really great quotes, but my favorite on Spiritual Growth is the one by
Eugene Peterson

"Growth takes place in quietness, in hidden ways, in silence and solitude. The process is not accessible to observation."

Colossians 1:9 HCSB; Colossians 2:2 HCSB;
2 Peter 3:18 HCSB

Summing Things Up:

"In good times and hard times, through every trial and every setback, God is molding you. He is the Potter and you are His clay."

 Laura Story, "What If Your Blessings Come Through Raindrops: A 30 Day Devotional"

** 
John 20:2

The Invitation
{just opening snippets}

"You have significance simply because I love you. You are My beloved child. That is your identity. Don’t measure your value in terms of how successful you are or what roles you play. You are valuable because I have declared you precious and honored. When life feels mundane and you are caught up in laundry, work, or cooking, it’s easy to doubt your importance in My kingdom. Nothing could be further from the truth. When feelings of insignificance torment you, come and praise Me. As you worship Me, your identity becomes more firmly rooted in Me, rather than in who you know or what you do. Thank Me for the price I paid for you. You are worth everything to Me. When you praise Me, you are more able to let go of worries about your worth and efforts to try to prove yourself. Always remember that you are a royal priest or priestess with a divine calling in My kingdom. It doesn’t get any better than that!from (1 John 3: 1; Isa. 43: 4; Eph. 1: 4; 1 Cor. 6: 20; 1 Peter 2: 9) Becking Harling, "...Praise..."

"Focus your praise time on the truth that you have value and worth as God’s beloved child. Praise God that He calls you precious and honored. Because of Jesus Christ, your significance is ensured for all eternity. Praise Him that you have a divine calling as a royal priest or priestess."

 Becky Harling, "The 30-Day Praise Challenge " Isaiah 43:4


LISTEN
  
to 
"All the Poor and Powerless"
with Sons and Daughters


PRAY {in full}

"Lord Jesus, thank You that my identity and worth is firmly rooted in You. My job doesn’t define me, my relationships don’t define me, and my various roles don’t define me. I praise You for declaring me holy and dearly loved. You paid the highest price for my soul. How I thank You that I have value and significance in You. I am Your masterpiece, and You have gifted me uniquely for the roles You desire for me to play in Your kingdom. Thank You that I don’t need to compare my gifts to the gifts of others in order to feel special. In Your kingdom, I am a royal priest/ priestess. I praise You that I am a coheir with Christ and have inherited every blessing through Him."
(Col. 3: 12; 1 Cor. 6: 12; Eph. 2: 10; Isa. 43: 4; Rom. 8: 17)

Becky Harling,The 30-Day Praise Challenge, David C. Cook

JOURNAL

"Think through your different roles (child, friend, spouse, parent, teacher, musician, and so on). Why might it be harmful for you to define yourself in terms of these roles? How would your life be different if you defined yourself as “the one Jesus loves”? What did you experience today in your time of praise?


No Copyright infringement intended. I do not take credit for anything boxed or in quotes, they belong to the books and authors listed. Both these devotionals are really worthwhile any time of the year!



Monday, November 7, 2016

BLESSINGS and PRAISE ~ 7

Books that I'm using during November to give thanks to God for 
His many "Blessings" and a Challenge to give God "Praise" with
The 30-Day Praise Challenge by [Harling, Becky]














30 Day Devotionals

based on Laura Story's song                         from Becky Harling
[images are of the book covers]

DAY 7

"The Blessing of God's Pursuing Love"
* "What If Your Blessings Come through Raindrops?" by Laura Story

** "The 30 Day Praise Challenge" by Becky Harling
Psalm 148:2-5


After just making this "switch" to PRAISE along with BLESSING, I will not be posting as planned ... although each Day is still in my drafts ... instead I am directing you (a little late, but today is the starting date for the next 2 weeks, over to ...)

LOVE GOD GREATLY 
(LGG)

for 

Bible Study: David

a community sharing


based on

Ephesians 5:20



Of course, I will be trying to continue in both of my devotional books above ... just not sharing them online on this blog for now ... yet as always, I will praise and give thanks to God for blessings and the "everything" (which means both good and bad) trying to look at it all with such an attitude of gratitude. I cannot emphasize enough how helpful and great these 2 books are in focusing our praise and thanks for "everything" (blessings in disguise and all) ... 

Becky's Journal thought for today: "How does the beauty of God's creation speak to your soul? How does it meet your need for beauty? How does taking a praise time outside and observing God's creation affect you emotionally?"

a side note from me on this last question fresh on my mind - as I came into familiar MN territory (almost home, at least in the vicinity, actually it was on the Interstate right off from where my sister lives) on my trip home from MX, thinking from the previous southern states I had crosses that I had totally missed the color changes of fall ... both sides of the I35 were filled with all the gorgeous colors of fall from oranges, to yellows, to reds and a beautiful blue sky with scants of white wisps of clouds here and there, forming almost the wings of an angel or bird, hearing our Christian radio station with a familiar praise song ... I just burst into tears of such inexplicable joy!!! I have photos in my cellphone but cannot transfer them or get them from it. 

I was overwhelmed with God's beauty, timing and love! 

Immediately I prayed for my sister and gave thanks for her life, then it just flowed from one person to another, sisters in Christ and family members. Later that week I found out my real sister was feeling sick when I prayed. It truly was aMazing and quite emotional combination of everything!


Sunday, November 6, 2016

S.O.S. ~ SWITCH from BLESSINGS to PRAISE

Switch On SONday

{no, this is not what S.O.S. usually stands for}

 This is was the book I'm using during November
to give thanks to God for His many Blessings
{I still am reading}

A 30 Day Devotional

based on Laura Story's popular song
[Audio of Chapter One]

I love this book (so far) and I certainly enjoy Laura Story. However, this is just not working out as I had hoped for this month of November - for "giving thanks". I am very thankful that sometimes our blessings "come through raindrops" and I am sure I will be continuing reading day by day these 30 days of devotionals. Maybe I should alternate ... 

Today's would be "The Blessing of Coming as We are" ... now that for sure is a definite blessing! I heard this quote and then read it in this chapter:  

"...God loves us the way we are, but He loves us too much to leave us that way."Leighton Ford

I might continue to share the daily "Blessings" title from Laura's devotional but I've decided to "Switch" On this SONday, thus SOS. I have found many really wonderful 30 day devotional this past year and the one I have chosen to continue is not intended as one for giving "thanks" but one for giving "praise"! Yet rest assured, I know that they go together ... in fact, this article by E.M. Bounds and the following chosen paragraph proves my point:

..."Prayer, praise and thanksgiving all go in company. A close relationship exists between them. Praise and thanksgiving are so near alike that it is not easy to distinguish between them or define them separately. The Scriptures join these three things together. Many are the causes for thanksgiving and praise. The Psalms are filled with many songs of praise and hymns of thanksgiving, all pointing back to the results of prayer. Thanksgiving includes gratitude. In fact thanksgiving is but the expression of an inward conscious gratitude to God for mercies received. Gratitude is an inward emotion of the soul,involuntarily arising therein, while thanksgiving is the voluntary expression of gratitude."Prayer, Praise and Thanksgiving, E. M. Bounds

So with no further adieu, I present to you 

The 30-Day Praise Challenge by [Harling, Becky]
Becky Harling website and blog


{Becky even includes a playlist of Praise songs near the end of her book}
 
A definite plus for me!

In the beginning of her book, in Part One

"The Challenge"

I was so moved and then I read:

Give Praise a Chance

"... if you long for those CHANGES in your life, I invite you to take the PRAISE CHALLENGE ..."

Spend 20 minutes intentionally
Praising God
for 30 consecutive days


You might be thinking
20 minutes ... 30 days???

What will I come up with to Praise God about for that long?

well, Part Two, takes care of that

"... Each day
begins with an invitation to
PRAISE GOD 

for some characteristic of
His Deity
..."

(now that should help plus Becky has a basic prayer given)

having this inexpensive book
would help even more

The difficult part for me, is what I should/can share on here ... and where I should start, back at the beginning? or on Day 6?

{Of course, I will read the first 6 days, but I mean, where will I begin to share and how much can I on this blog?}

Trust me, you'll want a Journal

<><><>

Since I have already written quite a bit today
I will try to sum up Days 1-5 briefly
{there are many more scriptures, songs and helps offered}
My favorite part is called "The Invitation" part daily
 written as if they are from God Himself,
then we'll start with Day 6 after this

Day 1 Romans 11:33-34 - Wisdom of God, Song
Day 2 Psalm 28:8 - God's Strength, Song
Day 3 Psalm 139:13-14 - Maker, Creator Song
Day 4 Jeremiah 9:24 - God's Just & Kind Song
Day 5 Malachi 3:6 - *Steady, Unchanging Song
*(my words)

{I had to laugh when I read the verse for Day 5 ... and then today
 I decide to switch ... CHANGE, but so thankful God does NOT}

The devotion for Day 5 was/is meant for me and that One Word
{how I'd love all of you to read it to see}

DAY 6

Revelation 22:13

{I just have to give a sample of "The Invitation"*I so love these!}

"My child, I understand how hard it is for you to wait. You long for Me to move more quickly and to answer your prayers immediately. When you feel irritated and annoyed because things are not moving fast enough for you, take time to praise Me. Praise will help quiet the apprehension you feel. Be still in My presence, and wait patiently for Me to act. I am fully aware of all of your longings and desires. Don’t take matters into your own hands. I am the Alpha and the Omega. I will move on your behalf at precisely the right moment in time. Thank Me that I am using delay to shape and change you. Often the longer you wait for something, the more deeply you appreciate it. Delay helps prune impulsivity from your life. Declare your trust in My timing. Choose to believe that I am on time in your life, your spouse’s life, your child’s life, and your friends’ lives. As you exalt Me, I will strengthen you to wait with grace."(Ps.37:7, Ps.38:9; Rev. 22:13; Ps.90:12)Becky Harling (p.47-48)

Becky then encourages us as she does each day with:
"Begin your praise time today by making a list of all the things you are waiting for. If you’re physically able, get down on your knees and move one by one through your list, praising God that His timing in each of those circumstances is perfect. Praise Him that He is the Lord of all time and that He is working on your behalf, even when you cannot see Him. Praise Him that He will use the delays you are facing to shape you into the likeness of His Son, Jesus Christ."
Psalm 27:14

How can we go wrong, right?

Becky then goes on to give us "songs" to set the praise mood in the section "Listen" (today's Song 1; Song 2) {her choices I generally like} ... followed by a prayer (prompt) in the section "Pray"; then some reflective questions to "Journal".
"What things or circumstances are you waiting and longing for? How have delays impacted your faith in God’s goodness? How have delays worked in your favor?" Becky Harling, p.50.
I find the Prayers to be so helpful and excellent examples to guide us; so beautifully written, with parts to personalize.

<><><>

OK, so there ya' go - at least you know at least two of the books I'm reading during November, while I'm away
Hope you'll pick up one and follow along with me!

JOIN ME
in either or both
and

BE THANKFUL
for every blessing
as we give
GOD
PRAISE
daily



I will be making an unlisted playlist of the songs 
given by
Becky Harling's 
in this book
{some days have more than one}
I'll get this linked as soon as I complete it.

Thanks Becky and Laura!!!


*no copyright infringement intended on either author's work or publisher. All their works are in boxes or quotes. All credit belongs to them. 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

BLESSINGS ~ 5

 This is the book I'm using during November
to give thanks to God for His many Blessings

A 30 Day Devotional

based on Laura Story's popular song
[Audio of Chapter One]

My plan in sharing this devotional each day in November, was not to share so much of the devotional of Laura's "...Blessings..." but rather to use each one as a pivot point of inspiration to help me focus on the many "blessings" we do have and compose a prayer (as I have been doing) ... so less of Laura's devotional, but enough to whet your "thanksgiving", stir up your gratitude and perhaps interest you in getting a copy of Laura's book :) without really pushing it. I'm just not sure how to do this without including some 'snippets' from each day so you have an idea about the theme ...

"WHEN FAITH DISAPPEARS"

Mark 9:24 NKJV

"Have you ever become so discouraged by life’s hardships that you felt your faith in God slipping away?"

"The only way to learn a strong faith is to endure great trials. We learn faith by standing firm amid the most severe of tests."George Mueller
Psalm 55:22

"When Doubt Creeps In"

Quotes by Joni Eareckson Tada, Lee Strobel, C.S. Lewis, Warren Wiersbe and Catherine Marshall

"More from God's Word about Overcoming Fear"

Isaiah 41:10; Joshua 1:9 (NCV)
1 Chronicles 28:20 (NIV)
Psalm 27:1 (KJV)
Psalm 34:4 (NIV)

"One Thing is Certain"

each devotional's setup always starts with the scripture
and ends with this: 

"Summing Things Up"

(and the in-between shares inspirational quotes, more biblical words and Laura's devotional parts)

"When doubts creep in, as they will from time to time, remember that God isn’t just near, He’s here . . . and He’s ready to talk to you right now." 

perhaps these two parts are all I should share
and then my prayer
{but the wisdom of God's Word is often needed for the prayer}

The sum was a good reminder ... but we know this, right?

O God, Merciful Father

Thank You for such encouragement to overcome fear.
Doubt is out. Fear to the rear.
Thank You that in a world of uncertainties
we can count on You and Your Love
being with us and making a difference.
Thank You for making "the valley of trouble, a door of hope".
Thank You that when faith disappears or grows weak,
You are near and desire to strengthen us.
Lord, we do believe; but help us with our unbelief.
Thank You that nothing is too big for You!
Thank You for each trial and test,
 You change into a testimony.
Thank You for helping us
stand firm to grow
strong faith as
we lean
on
You
and ask 
that You help us
endure always
in Jesus


Friday, November 4, 2016

BLESSINGS ~ 4

 This is the book I'm using during November
to give thanks to God for His many Blessings

A 30 Day Devotional

based on Laura Story's popular song
[Audio of Chapter One]

"What If Your Blessings Come Through Raindrops?"

{they have; and a very special, dear friend just opens her umbrella to cover me 
and at times we hold on ever so tightly through the 'storm' in prayer,
 until we are assured that the SON(sun) is coming once again}

Isn't this why there are RAINBOWS!!!?



James 1:12 NLT

"Have you ever experienced a bitter disappointment— or even a personal tragedy— that later turned out to be a blessing? Have you ever experienced a temporary loss that, in time, was transformed into a permanent gain? And, do you believe that God has the power to use all your experiences— the good, the bad, and the in-between— for His purposes? ..."Laura Story, "What If ..."

"... GOD USES EVERY CLOUD ..."
Oswald Chambers

Romans 12:12 HCSB

"About Tough Times"

More quotes from Oswald Chambers, Elizabeth Elliot, Franklin Graham, Lloyd John Ogilvie, Charles Stanley ... and Max Lucado

"More from God's Word about Adversity"

2 Corinthians 4:8 (HCSB)
Psalm 71:20-21 (NLT)
Psalm 146:5-6 (NIV)

"SUMMING THINGS UP"

"When raindrops begin to fall and hope begins to fade, we can be sure that God’s love remains. And, we can be sure that His blessings do, at times, come through raindrops." ~Laura Story

Thank You Lord
for the raindrops and even the storms.
Thank You for the friends that You send to help us 
weather through them
Thank You that if or when our hope fades,
we can depend on You as our anchor
and that Your love remains.
Thank You for the times
that "blessings" do
come in the rain
as each drop is 
sweet reminder 
of You, Lord
Jesus

Thank You that in the tough times
You are there with us.
Thank You for every drop You place in a bottle.
Psalm 56:8

Thank You that after the rain, 
You provide a rainbow 
as a reminder of Your Promises


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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