Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thankful for the prayers of others

Long ago, when I was a teenager, a wise woman once told me, "You can ask the Lord to move people to pray for you."

That stuck with me.

Often though, when in need of prayer, I am unable to ask either God or others for help.

I will be forever grateful for Matthew 6:8, which tells us that our Heavenly Father knows exactly what we need, even before we ask Him.

I am so very thankful for people who pray for me, and for the God who moves them to pray, placing the need on their hearts so they respond.  I am thankful when they call or email or text to tell me that they are praying, or that God placed my situation on their hearts at a certain time.  I am thankful when they write out their prayers for me, so I can see what they are asking God on my behalf.  This doesn't happen often; it is rare and precious.  I remember each time.

I am thankful for the prayers of others, and I am thankful that when others pray for me, it teaches me what a blessing we can all be to one another, through our prayers for each other.  To pray for someone is to give a blessing.  I am thankful that I can both pray and be prayed for.  I am thankful that there is a God in Heaven who hears and answers prayer, with pleasure, because He loves us, and our prayers rise to Him like the aroma of incense (Revelation 5:8, 8:3-4).



Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Thankful today

I may decrease the thankful posts, but not because I am not thankful.

This morning I am thankful for a nice sleep in my comfortable bed, delicious coffee, a hot shower, bright morning sun, respite, a kitchen full of ingredients for a Thanksgiving feast, and most of all, the safe arrival of this beauty from Boston, yesterday:




Friday, November 17, 2017

Thankful for new beginnings

Today was a hard day.

The sky was gray, the air was cold and wet with mist.  Bare fields spread, blackened, finished.  Done.

"They've been shorn of their corn, shorn of their corn, shorn of their corn," my mind chanted silently as miles passed.

It was a hard day but a good day.  The sun has set now, and the mist thickened into a real rain that dashes against the sides of my house.  Within my house, lights are on, and heat rises from the vents.  Within my heart, peace and joy rest quietly, soft peace, subtle joy.  For once, I am not striving to claim my promised peace and joy, not begging God to replenish them.  No, they are simply here, quiet and still.

I'm exhausted, but I have hope, hope that a tide has turned.

Usually I think of new beginnings in the springtime, when the days lengthen, the crocuses poke up, and Easter draws near.

Who would think of the miracle of a new beginning in the middle of November?

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest," says the Lord.

"Behold, I am making all things new," says the Lord.

Amen.  I am thankful.







Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thankful

Today I do not feel thankful.

I wasn't going to write.

I don't know for certain what has happened or is happening, but signs indicate that circumstances are bad.

Certainly, I do not know what will happen next.

It's strange to think that before long, this post will be in the past, and if I look back on it, I will know many of the things that I don't (didn't) know while writing today.

God knows it all, the end from the beginning.

I wasn't going to write.

However, I felt compelled to express thanks.  To give glory to God.  To praise Him in the storm.

I am thankful that He is eternally faithful and loving, even when my sense of His faithfulness and love is weak.  His truth does not depend on my perception.

I guess I'm thankful that His power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).  His grace is sufficient.  His grace breaks the power of sin.

Yes, I am thankful for that.





Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Thankful for washers and dryers



I don't have a stylish Pinterest-worthy laundry room.  But my laundry room works fine.  It is adequate--nay, luxurious--for just the two of us, Shawn and me.

I'm thankful for how easy it is to throw clothes into the washer, and then the dryer, and come back to fresh, dry, fluffy, clean things.

If only it were as easy to purify a heart as it is to launder a towel.

I'm thankful for washers and dryers, and especially thankful that I have one of each in my own home for my own convenient use.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Thankful for the constant, abiding presence of the Holy Spirit

Today, at a critical point in time, I asked the Lord to fill me, top me off, fill to the measure and overflow me with the Holy Spirit.

You need to ask for that regularly.  Not because He leaves in-between times, but just because we live in a temporal world and we need regular refilling.  Maybe it's just the consciousness and the reminder that we need.  Whatever it is, it is necessary.  I remembered to ask.

Not long after, I happened into a spiritual battle.

There is a spiritual war going on, but the skirmishes are relatively rare.  I don't have to engage in active combat very often, other than prayer war.  The prayer war is daily, and sometimes multiple times per day.  However, today there was some active combat, a confrontation.

It wasn't warlike in the human arena.  Not really.  The Spirit of God was powerful and there was peace.  Kindness.  Miraculous lack of anger in the face of a very challenging conversation.  In the physical world, a passerby may well never have known that there was a battle raging.

In the spiritual world, blows were flying.  I'm not sure what all happened, but I am exhausted now.

Exhausted.

I don't know what happened.  It seems pretty clear that I didn't lose, but I'm not sure I've gained any territory yet, either.

The fact is certain, though, that God was there, and God was powerful in me and around me.

I am thankful to my Lord and King, the One who made me, the One who died for me, the One who rose victorious from the dead, the One who never slumbers or sleeps, the One who is my help.

The One who lives in me and is my help.

Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.  (Psalm 31:24)

Surely God is my help; the Lord is the One who sustains me.  (Psalm 54:4)

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.  (1 John 4:4)

I am thankful.


Monday, November 13, 2017

Thankful for wildlife sightings



A fox lives in our neighborhood, or maybe more than one.

Since Daylight Savings Time ended, when we're coming home in the late afternoon, turning our car off the main road and into our neighborhood, a small golden fox sometimes sits calmly in the middle of the street.  As our car approaches, she rises and saunters away into the brush, her tail swinging heavy and thick behind her.

Perhaps she is a grown kit from the litter born here last year.

Schubert doesn't care for foxes.

Shubert doesn't care for Honey-Bear, the golden retriever who lives next-door, either.  In fact, his hatred of Honey-Bear knows no bounds.  "I do not like that Honey-Bear," he tells me, indignant, whenever she comes into view.  Or, he screams.  Have you ever heard a dog scream?  It's sort of like a yelp, only more intense.

This morning, Schubert was on self-appointed guard duty, as per usual.  Shawn was in Detroit.  I was trying to make my own coffee in Shawn's absence, which is particularly difficult for me, because (1) Shawn has me spoiled on his really good coffee, and (2) I simply lack the wherewithal to make coffee before I've had any coffee.  I used to think Keurigs were a silly gimmick, but I am starting to understand.  No, Keurigs don't produce the best coffee.  But they are designed so that those-who-cannot-make-coffee-before-they-have-had-coffee can actually get some coffee.  There's more justification than I thought.

I digress.  Back to the wildlife.

I was in the kitchen, trying desperately to find a pair of reading glasses so I could decipher the marks on the coffee maker water gauge so I could start some coffee before I got a migraine.

Suddenly, from the front hall, Schubert began to scream.  He screamed, yelped and howled while his little paws went scritchy-scritchy-scritchy-scritchy-scritchy on the sidelight window.

Figuring it was on account of Honey-Bear, I headed up the front hall to do some damage control for the woodwork.  Over the weekend, I cleaned up the front porch, removing the hanging baskets of ferns and clearing most of what was left in the flower patch.  Thus, I had a clear view out to the yard, where I expected to observe the reddish fur of plodding Honey-Bear.  Instead, I saw, right in front of my porch, what at first appeared to be a horse.

A deer was ambling by, perhaps exploring diet options.  At the sound of Schubert and the sight of my appearing shadow, she--it was a huge doe--picked up her pace, loped out of our yard, across the street, and into the neighbor's yard, where she lept about five feet, excessively clearing a fire-hydrant.  White tail high, she cantered up the boulevard.

I'm thankful for such a breathtaking sight.  You don't see something like that every day.