Respect!

 

The above CC0 image comes courtesy of Gerd Altmann at Pixabay.com

 

Q:        What is Five Minute Friday?

A:        It is a 5min free write blog event hosted by Kate Motaung. Every Thursday Kate announces a one-word prompt at 10pm EST. The link-up is open for a full week, until the following Thursday evening. For further details on how to participate click HERE

 

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FMF WORD PROMPT: RESPECT

Respect.

I have a lot of time, respect and admiration for those who have walked the Christian path before me successfully. People like my mother. Like Bob Gass (writer of the UCB Devotional*) and my very first pastor and Father in the faith, Archbishop Malachi Ramsay. I have great respect for those who not only talk the talk, but walk the walk!

Respect.

It is earned. Not demanded.

We give respect to one another for various reasons and under various circumstances. However, the fact that certain organisations exist, show that there is a need for people to be forced to give others respect. I refer to organisations such as Black Lives Matter, which exists solely because respect has been withheld from fellow human-beings, simply because of the colour of their skin!

As Christians, do we truly respect one another? And if we say we do, do we only show respect to those who fall within our cultural comfort zones? Do we only respect those whom we like, or are like us?

The Pharisees, Sadducees, priests and scribes did not respect Jesus. They insulted him (he casts out demons by the prince of demons), they plotted against him, and they questioned his pedigree.

[End of 5 mins]

Do you know God shows every single human being on this planet respect? He grants every one the respect to choose. To choose to acknowledge him and live a life that honours and glorifies him, or to go your own way and live your life, as you see fit.

God does not force anyone to serve him. And even when we make that commitment to follow Jesus, to acknowledge and accept God’s magnanimous gift of salvation, he does not force us to obey him. He respects the fact that he has given us a free will and he respects our decision to exercise that free will, in whatever way we choose.

Now the individuals named above (my mother, Bob Gass and Malachi Ramsay) have all passed on from this world but I have no doubt they have entered into glory. Whilst they were here on earth, they respected the gifts and callings God placed upon their lives, they respected the privilege they’d been given as Children of God, and sought to live their best lives, sought to love, encourage and influence those around them. I thank God for their lives. I thank God for their legacies.

But I cannot conclude this post without giving thanks to Jesus. If it were not for him, if it were not for the fact that he chose to despise the cross and endure the shame, if it were not for his choice to leave behind his prestigious position in heaven and come to earth, to suffer a cruel and ignominious death, then my mother, Bob Gass, Malachi Ramsay would not have had the opportunity to be reconciled to God. They would not have had the choice of serving him and blessing the Body of Christ and being an example to those who came within the sphere of their influence.

So today, I pay homage and utmost respect to Jesus, my Lord, my Saviour, my soon-coming King!

 

Son of the Most High God,

You are Heir of all things.

You are King of kings,

Lord of lords,

And the Prince of Peace.

You are Alpha and Omega,

The Beginning and the End –

The First and the Last.

Blessed and only Potentate,

You who dwells in

Unapproachable light,

Receive my humble homage today,

For to you belong all honour,

All glory, and everlasting power.

Amen.

© Carol Hind (an extract from Petitions From My Heart)

Have a blessed weekend!

With love,

Carol (aka Lady Cee)

The effectual, fervent prayer avails much!

 

Are you looking for a resource that will help and encourage you to develop a consistent and confident prayer life? If so, don’t hesitate to check out the links below.

 

AMAZON UK https://amzn.to/3ciUt1q

AMAZON US https://amzn.to/3bj6gM1

 

 

Did you enjoy reading this post? Please share your thoughts in a comment box below. Do you know someone who would benefit from its message? Then please don’t hesitate to share it. Thank you.

 

*Free postal copies of UCB Word For Today (UK and Republic of Ireland only) are available from: FREEPOST RLTX-ABUL-GRAR, United Christian Broadcasters, Westport Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 4JF

For the online version visit: UCB

 

A Heart Full of Praise & Thanksgiving

 

 

Oh, that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

Psalm 107:8 (KJV)

 

I am giving God’s thanks today.

Nothing unusual in that because I am always grateful to my Father God for his loving kindness and tender mercies. But today I am giving him special thanks because it is one year since I achieved my long, long, long-standing dream and published my book.

Whoo hoo!

And I am taking this opportunity to also thank God for something else.

You see, I like to read the entire Bible once a year, and each year I try out a different version. I have so far read the entire Bible in the New Kings James, The Amplified Bible, The Living Bible and The Message. This year I am reading from the New Schofield Reference Edition of the King James’ or Authorised version.

Many of us are mega-blessed to have access to so many different versions of the Bible, and we are especially spoiled, to be able to have so many Christian resources at our fingertips, which aid us in our understanding of God’s Word.

I can remember years ago, hearing about church communities in foreign lands that only had one Bible between them to share with an entire congregation of members.

Can you imagine having to cope with that?

And what about those persecuted Christians who are shut away in a dank dark cell with only portions of the Word of God (which they’ve hopefully memorised), to keep them company?

Recently, during my quiet time I was reading Psalm 107 and was struck by the writer’s lament about the forgetfulness of his people and their ingratitude towards God for his goodness.

It has prompted me to write a thanksgiving post today, so below, I share an extract from my book, Petitions From My Heart, expressing thanks to God for the availability of his Word.

I hope it provides you with food for thought and also inspires thankfulness in your own heart.

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THE HOLY BIBLE

Heavenly Father, I want to thank you for the freedom enjoyed in this nation that allows me to serve and worship you without fear of punitive measures. Thank you for the unrestricted access I have to the Scriptures and other biblical resources.

Lord God I want to thank you for preserving your Word throughout the ages. Thank you for those such as John Wycliffe who translated the Bible into English and William Tyndale, who lost his life making your Word accessible to ordinary people.

Thank you for the many writers, editors and publishers who have used their knowledge, time and effort to compose the various versions available and I also thank you for those who use their language skills to translate your Word.

Finally Lord God, I thank you for the Bible’s ability to cleanse, comfort and encourage me . . . for its ability to instruct and strengthen. May your Word continue to minister grace, healing, hope and peace to your redeemed people and to a broken world.

In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

©Carol Hind

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Have a wonderful weekend!

With love,

Carol (aka Lady Cee)

A Student in His Secret Place (Psalm 91:1)

Need a resource to develop a confident prayer life? Check out my book at:

 

UK https://amzn.to/3ciUt1q

US https://amzn.to/3bj6gM1

 

Did you enjoy reading this post? If so, please share your thoughts in a comment box below. Do you know someone who would benefit from its message? Then please don’t hesitate to share it. Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How COVID-19 Sparks My Gratitude — Journeys of a Homemaker

It is easy to become bitter, fearful, complain, stress, and simply be frustrated during this unfolding corona drama in history. I began a list of things that make me grateful for this experience. I know there are hundreds more bullets that could be added to this ongoing list, so please post your thoughts below! Our […]

via How COVID-19 Sparks My Gratitude — Journeys of a Homemaker 

I wanted to share this blogger’s positive take regarding the devastating drama currently unfolding on the world stage.

Her post reminds me of St Paul’s following words to us:

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

(1 Thessalonians 5:18 NKJV)

Please note we are to give thanks to God in the situation, not for it!

So what point for thanksgiving would you add? Please share it in a comment box below.

Wishing you divine peace and safety,

Love Carol (aka Lady Cee)

 

A Thanksgiving Prayer

The above CC0 image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is good and his mercy endures for ever!

(Psalm 107:1 )

 

Father God,

I want to thank you for waking me up this morning so I can greet another new day. I want to thank you for your breath within me that enables me to live. I want to thank you for my destiny, for the plans and purpose you have ordained for my life. I want to thank you that you are ultimately in control of my future – not me, not any other person, and certainly not the Enemy!

I want to thank you for preserving my life throughout these years. Thank you for preserving me from danger, from terminal illness, from death and destruction. You are a good God, a gracious God, a mighty God—and I am so glad, so blessed, so privileged, so relieved and honoured to be able to claim and boldly say that you are my God!

Thank you for your love – that precious, enduring, extravagant and unconditional love. Thank you for demonstrating that love to me, even before I was aware that you existed, even before I chose to acknowledge you and serve you and live my life in a manner that pleases and honours you.

Thank you for your patience and generosity. Who but you would include me in your plans? Who but you would invite me to sit at the table of your blessings to partake of all that you have to give? Who but you would say and think such marvellous and affirming things about me when you, who are all-seeing, all-knowing and all-powerful, know exactly who I am through and through?

You are amazing Father God! You are beautiful beyond description and as the song goes, too marvellous for words.

And so I take pleasure today (on this day set aside to thank you for your goodness and provision), I take pleasure in acknowledging your prodigious nature, your bountiful provision, your magnanimous heart.

Bless the Lord O my soul and all that is within me, bless his holy name, praise his glorious name. May my thanks and praise to you, rise up as sweet-smelling incense and may that incense be a continually pleasing aroma to you.

Father God, I offer myself afresh to you.

Take my life and let it be

Fully, totally, utterly, consecrated to thee.

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Happy thanksgiving to those who celebrate it!

Love,

Carol (aka Lady Cee)

Author of:    Petitions From My Heart

(If you live in the UK click here)

 

 

Did you enjoy reading this post? If so, please share your thoughts in a comment box below. Tell us what you are giving God thanks for today.

 

 

Prayer – A Precious Privilege!

 

 

When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love. Marcus Aurelius

 

 

Prayer is a privilege and the soul’s sincere desire. We can move beyond routine and ‘checklist’ prayers and engage in meaningful prayer as we appropriately ask in faith and act, as we patiently persevere through the trial of our faith, and as we humbly acknowledge and accept ‘not my will, but Thine, be done.’ David A. Bednar

 

 

This morning, I’d like to discuss the privilege we’ve been given as children of God. You see there was a time when you could not dare to go into God’s holy presence uninvited, or unqualified. If you were not a Levite priest you were not invited and if you didn’t fulfil strict conditions, then you weren’t qualified.

No wonder whenever the High priests entered into God’s presence they went with a sense of trepidation. Would they make it out alive? No doubt, once their offering was accepted and they left the Holy of Holies (the place of God’s presence) alive, they felt relieved.

I thank God that this is no longer the protocol for coming into his presence. Because of Jesus, because his death enabled anyone to have direct access to God, you and I can now enter into the Holy of Holies, into God’s very presence without fear, guilt, or any sense of inferiority.

Prayer is communication with our Father God. And we are privileged to be able to take our cares and place upon his shoulders. We are privileged to be able to share our joys with him. We are privileged to be able to seek his intervention in the affairs of our lives, those of our loved ones, indeed of this world.

Would you not count it a privilege if a famous member of the rich and powerful clique were to take a special interest in you? Would you not feel privileged if a celebrity invited you into their home and made you feel at ease, decided they wanted to bless you with their worldly goods, use their authority and influence to help you?

Yet, sadly, it seems the one who is above all, indeed the one who created all, is not looked upon in the same way… not sought after in the same way.

Dear friends, the God of gods, King of kings and Lord of lords, is the “Celebrity” of all celebrities.

He has graciously invited you and me to share the benefits and blessings of his kingdom. He has graciously invited us to come into the Holy of Holies and visit him without restricted access. He has promised he will never leave or forsake us. He has declared his unconditional and everlasting love for us.

And yet, some of us do not avail ourselves of the tremendous privilege that he offers. Some of us fail to pray, to communicate with Father God on a regular basis. And there are some who may do so, but do it out of a sense of duty or desperation, not from a sense of gratitude, or reverence, or awe.

Friends and followers, where are you when it comes to communicating with your Father God? Are you availing yourself of this wonderful privilege? Have you thanked God for waking you up today? Have you invited him to influence your thoughts, attitudes and actions? Have you sought the riches of his wisdom?

 

Prayer Focus:

Let us pray for ourselves and for our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ that God will stir up within our hearts an increasing desire to fellowship with him through prayer.

PS: Don’t forget to don your spiritual armour before entering the battlefield of prayer!

 

PRAYER:

Father God,

We want to thank you for waking us up this morning to greet another day. We are aware that there are people all over this world who were not so privileged. Thank you for your breath of life which flows throughout our beings. We want to thank you that we are not only alive but we are privileged to be able to fellowship with you. We are privileged to be able to come directly into your presence, to worship, declare our love for you and make our requests known to you. Hallelujah!

Father God, we ask that you draw us with your gentle cords of love into a closer, deeper, more meaningful relationship with you. We ask that you open the eyes of our understanding so that we can clearly see the wonders of your person and the riches of your magnanimous nature. Draw us into that place of joyful communion and utter dependence upon you. Grant us clear insight into your thoughts and feelings towards us and reveal your plans, your purpose and your destiny for our lives.

Father God, whenever we allow disappointments or problems to draw our attention away from you, change our perspective. Enable us to draw upon the measure of faith you have deposited within us. Enable us to trust you, to call upon you for help during times of confusion, fear or weakness. Grant us the boldness and courage to take our place on the battlefield of prayer knowing you have provided adequate protection and that your Word declares that we are more than conquerors!

We thank you in anticipation of victory. We thank you for hearing our prayers and granting our requests.

In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

© Carol Hind

 

Would you be interested in a resource that could help you to pray regularly? If so, please check out my book Petitions From My Heart at Amazon.

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Sunday’s Supplications

Sunday’s Supplications invites you to not only read the posts but also participate in the prayers. Why not become a part of the WoW! community? Let’s pray for ourselves and for each other. Let’s obey God’s command to watch and pray for all the saints (Ephesians 6:18)

Please note, you do not have to be a blogger to join this praying community.

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Women of Warfare followers and visitors have a wonderful and victorious week!

 

 

 

 

 

All Glory, Honour & Praise to You My Awesome God!

PRAISE, PRAYER & WORSHIP WEDNESDAY

 

Whilst I’m most happy to share my good news with all who will listen and rejoice with me, I feel it is only right that I take some time to write a special post thanking my awesome God for enabling me to achieve a long, long, long-standing dream – the completion and publication of my book – Petitions From My Heart.

If you haven’t heard about it, or if you have but still haven’t checked it out, I invite you to do so. Just click on the highlighted link above.

 

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Let your lives overflow with joy and thanksgiving for all he has done.

(Colossians 2:7c The Living Bible)

 

Whoever offers praise glorifies Me

(Psalm 50:23 NKJV)

 

Praise

Father God, I want to offer you exultant thanks and praise for your amazing goodness to me. I want to thank you for your mercies over these past years (indeed, since my conception), which have preserved my life through dangers (known and unknown), through health concerns, through constant opposition from both physical and spiritual foes.

There is no God like you. In fact, there is no other God but you! You are the only true and living God. And I’m so, so, glad to be able to say that you are my God!

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

 

Prayer

Father God, I want to thank you for the privilege of being able to enter into your Holy Presence without fear, or any sense of guilt or condemnation. I want to thank you for making it possible for me to enter into your Holy of Holies through the precious blood of your Son, Jesus Christ. I come with reverence. I come with joy. I come with gratitude.

I thank you Father God that you are able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that I can possibly ask or think. I thank you that you are a God who does not lie and you are an unchanging God. I thank you for answered prayers. I thank you for the achievement of this long outstanding dream. I commit this work (Petitions From My Heart) into your hands to do with it as you will. Use it for your glory and honour. Use it to bless those of your people to whom it has been assigned.

I ask this in the mighty, matchless name of Jesus. Amen.

 

Worship

 

Question: 

How has God come through for you in an amazing way this year? Please share in a comment box below, so we can rejoice along with you.

 

 

A 21-day Thanks-Fest

 

THANK YOU FATHER GOD!

 

 Hello Friends,

In celebration of this new month, I’ve decided to challenge myself by writing a post for 21 consecutive days. And given that we’ve just celebrated Easter, as a token of my appreciation for sending his Son, Jesus, to die for me… for calling me into his kingdom… for redeeming me from the hand of the Enemy and redeeming me from the curse of the Law, I’d like to publicly love on God. So this a 21-day opportunity to send Father-God my thanks. Will you join me?

I’d love it if you would.

You can either share your own post and link back to mine, or leave your contribution in a comment box below. Come on! Why not take some time out of your busy lives and tell him (and in doing so, tell us), why you’d like to thank him? After all, he’s worthy!

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Father God,

Today I want to thank you for your incredible peace. A peace that goes beyond human understanding. A precious quality of peace that cannot be explained.

It’s a peace which calms, ousts, pervades, settles – i.e. it calms my fears (whatever the source), ousts anxieties, pervades my senses with Holy Spirit serenity and settles my doubts.

 And when those cares, anxieties and fears re-surface, threaten to overwhelm me, tries to topple me, floor me, undermine my faith, my emotional pillars of strength, I merely have to call out to you, reach out and cling to you, cling to the Rock of your comforting presence.

 Because when I do this, when your wonderful peace weaves its awesome magic, then I know that you are in control. I know that all is well. Yes, all is well within my soul.

 I thank you Father God.

 With love,

 Carol ♥ ♥ ♥

CREDIT: the above CC0 image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

An A-Z Challenge – Looking back over 2018

 

 

I have to admit that when it comes to the idea of developing an attitude of gratitude, I’m a keen advocate. Particularly since God’s Word warns us that an unthankful attitude can cause us to have futile and foolish thoughts and worse, darken our hearts (see Romans 1:21).

No way do I want this to be my story!

I came across the idea of a Thankfulness challenge from Dainty M. See her post on this at: https://daintym.com/2018/12/30/think-thank-challenge-2018/

Dear friends and followers, there are some who expected to celebrate the New Year but did not even make it to the end of 2018. Remember – if it were not for the grace of God, this could so easily have been me, or you!

It’s easy to beat up on ourselves if we haven’t accomplished the goals we set out to achieve, or to entertain a bad attitude because life didn’t deliver the goodies we’d envisaged. As we prepare to close the door upon 2018 and move forward into a brand new year, let’s do so with a positive spirit. Let’s do so with a heart FULL of thanksgiving to our Father God, for his gracious goodness toward us.

And now for my personal take on this challenge, as I look back upon the year(s) gone by.

First and foremost, I am thankful that recent years have seen me develop and maintain an attitude of gratitude. It’s easy to go through life with a “poor me” mentality. Self-pity only blinds our eyes to the good aspects of our current circumstances.

I am grateful for unlimited access to books.  I love reading and in the past I have devoured books in the hundreds. This year I’ve read 13 non-fiction books and 7 novels. I’m supremely thankful for the various versions of the Bible available, and in keeping with my goal to read the entire Bible once per year, I have so far read 44 of the 66 books in the Amplified version (Yes, I am somewhat behind!). This makes a grand total of 64 books read this year, which have educated, entertained or empowered me. Yay!

I am thankful for Christmas. Not necessarily the baubles, gifts and glitter of the season but for the real reason we celebrate this event – the birth of Jesus Christ! If God had not sent him into this world, I shudder to think about where you and I would be, as spiritual outcasts doomed to damnation.

I am grateful to God for deliverance. Not just for the instant deliverance from the power of sin, received when I entrusted my life to Christ and chose to become his disciple, but also for daily deliverance from the power of the Enemy unleashed within and against my life and the lives of my loved ones.

I cannot thank God enough for his generosity of heart in granting us the opportunity of eternal life. I’m referring here not just to the assurance of life after death, a glorious future in heaven where neither tears nor trials will exist, but also to the God-quality type of life we can enjoy now, right here upon this earth, as an heir of salvation.

I am hoping for many things in 2019 and beyond, should God spare my life! I am therefore thankful for faith (the substance of things hoped for). I am grateful to God that even if my faith is as small as a mustard seed, it is enough to secure my miracle, or a significant breakthrough. It is sufficient for me to be able to withstand the wiles of the devil and emerge as a victorious overcomer!

During the latter part of this year, I have enjoyed the wonderful ministry of two individuals: (Joel Osteen and Rabbi Schneider).  I am so, so thankful for godly ministers such as these two men and the positive spiritual input they have contributed to my life.

I am thankful for the presence and assistance of the Holy Spirit. What a priceless and precious resource to have in one’s life! When I don’t know how or what to pray, when I have no idea what I should do in a particular situation, when I need the back-up of a spiritual heavy weight, guess whom I turn to. That’s right – my confidante and helper – the eminent Holy Spirit!

I am thankful God did not make us robots but blessed us with imagination. Now in the past, I have used this to my detriment, imagining mostly negative scenarios. But what a blessing to be able to use this ability in pursuit of our gifts and calling! What a blessing to be able to use this gift as a visualisation tool for success… to be able to use this in our creative endeavours. Recently, I wrote a poem, Autumn’s Soliloquy (click here to read), which I could not have done without the use of my creative imagination.

And how can I not be grateful for Jesus? He is my Lord and Saviour. He is the author and finisher of my faith. And it is only through him and because of him that I am able to reign over troublesome circumstances.

I am thankful for the gift of kindness. This year, I’ve been on the receiving end of beautiful acts of kindness from two of my sisters, who decided to celebrate me and whom God used to both tell and show me that I am “special” in his sight; as well as through prophetic words of encouragement received from a blogger (meet Holly), someone I have never met! Isn’t God amazing?

I am thankful for love. That is, God’s love! Agapē love. A brand of love that is extravagant and extraordinary. An unconditional love. A love that has been extended to me without reservation. Many people have gone out of their way to show me their disdain. But the one who has every right to shun me, has lovingly embraced me, welcomes me into his presence and wants to associate with me. I can only reiterate with heartfelt gratitude the lyrics of Graham Kendrick’s song, in which he so aptly observes: Such love!

I am thankful for precious memories. Having suffered the loss of my mother two years ago, I am grateful for those memories of when she was here on earth with us. Cherished memories of wonderful times at Christmas and birthdays which she created, are now stored within my memory bank alongside memories of her faithful prayer life, which challenges me to do better in my own spiritual journey.

I am thankful for new opportunities. Every day is a fresh chance to draw closer to God, to become a better version of myself as a disciple of Christ, to improve my relationships, to conquer adverse circumstances.

I am thankful for the various occasions that grant me an opportunity to dress up, meet with family members and friends, or host dinner parties at my home. Concerning the latter, I guess I’m more like Martha in the Bible, who became hot and bothered by all the preparation, rather than sitting and enjoying the company of her visitor. I also love those special celebrations, which enable me to participate in an atmosphere of praise and worship to our Father God. And I’m deeply thankful that I live in a country where I can enjoy such occasions without fear of persecution.

Without the shadow of a doubt, I know I could not survive, or thrive, without Prayer. I am thankful indeed for the opportunity to communicate with my Father God, at any time, without the need to make an appointment, or go through a third party. I am thankful for the privilege of having direct access to the ear and heart of the most powerful being in the universe.  

I am grateful for the ability to quench my thirst – whether literally (I live in a country where I can pour myself a clean glass of water to drink whenever I wish), or metaphorically (I can consult an expert or avail myself of the vast knowledge on the Internet) at the click of my mouse.

I am thankful for Rick Warren’s manifesto on the meaning of life, as revealed in his book, The Purpose-driven Life. This year’s re-reading of Warren’s 40-day spiritual guide has been a huge blessing to me, as I’m reminded of God’s five-fold purpose for my life.

I am thankful to God for a sound mind. There are so many people suffering from depression, or dementia, or some form of mental illness. There are also those of us who ordinarily believe that we are of a sound mind, yet we are being driven by different debilitating fears. I thank God for the lessons he is teaching me regarding maintaining a sound mind.

Today and every day, I am thankful for the Truth of God’s Word. The word of family and friends, line managers, national leaders and world rulers (even our own words), can prove fickle, untrustworthy. God’s Word is stable, fixed and unchanging. He will not break his covenant, or alter the word that has gone out from his lips (Psalm 89:34).

I appreciate and am grateful for the UCB Devotional, Word For Today (you can check out the audio and written versions of this resource at:  https://www.ucb.co.uk/word-for-today). As anyone familiar with my two blogs: A Purpose-driven achiever and Women of Warfare! can confirm, I highly recommend this spiritual resource written by Bob and Debby Gass and often quote from these within my posts.

I’m grateful for the support of various bloggers, such as Shell Vera, who regularly leave a comment in response to my posts. As a blogger, comments are like gold dust. They are the only means by which I can receive valuable feedback to my posts. Equal thanks goes to those who regularly drop by and “like” my posts. You are a treasure!

I never thought I’d find myself uttering these words but I am thankful for my work. It is a job, rather than a career, but I am thankful that through this position, I’ve been able to help pay bills, maintain the roof over our head, enjoy great holidays and give towards the work of God’s kingdom.

I thank God for the X-chromosome that produced me. As Psalm 139 accurately and definitively declares: I am fearfully and wonderfully made! It’s reassuring to know that God purposed I should be born, even before my conception. It is so awe-inspiring to know that God planned every single detail of my conception from the parents who would raise me, to my geographical location. What an amazing God!

I’m not ashamed to admit it. I’m thankful to God for YouTube! Through this channel I’ve discovered motivational speakers such as: Brendon Burchard, Jim Rohn and Les Brown.

Finally, I am grateful for the zealous individuals who come across my pathway whether in the Body of Christ or in secular situations. I am thankful for the inspirational messages of people such as the Apostle Paul, TD Jakes and Maya Angelou.

Thank you dear Father God, for ALL that you have done within, for and through me, in 2018.

 

CREDIT: The above CC0 image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com

All Praise & Glory to My Awesome God!

PRAISE PRAYER & WORSHIP WEDNESDAY

 

I love to worship the Lord. And for me one of the best things about church meetings is the opportunity to enter into corporate worship and get a taste of what it must be like in heaven for multitudes of people directing their attention, their love and devotion to the most High God, to the King of kings and Lord of lords.

And when God acknowledges our sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving by honouring us with his awesome presence, words cannot express how blessed, how privileged and humbled this makes me feel.

Now whenever God answers my prayer in a miraculous way, I cannot help but lift my hands. I cannot help but bow my knees. I cannot help but leap and grin. I’ve experienced one such joyous occasion recently and so, I’d like to share this post in tribute to my Father God.

I do hope that it ministers to somebody out there. If it does, please let me know in the comment box below. I’d really love to hear from you.

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Praise

 

I waited patiently for God to help me; then he listened and heard my cry.

He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out from the bog and the mire, and set my feet on a hard, firm path and steadied me as I walked along.

He has given me a new song to sing, of praises to our God. Now many will hear of the glorious things he did for me, and stand in awe before the Lord, and put their trust in him.

Many blessings are given to those who trust the Lord, and have no confidence in those who are proud, or who trust in idols.

O Lord my God, many and many a time you have done great miracles for us, and we are ever in your thoughts. Who else can do such glorious things? No one else can be compared with you. There isn’t time to tell of all your wonderful deeds.

Psalm 40:1-5 (The Living Bible)

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

You deserve all praise and glory.

What a mighty God you are! I’m so grateful that you are not only a living God but you are also willing to intervene in the lives of your people. You are willing to manifest yourself as our protector and provider.

Thank you for your everlasting mercies. Thank you for your unfailing compassion. Thank you for your right hand of justice and your powerful arm of vindication. Continue to thwart the proud and crafty, so their hands cannot perform their enterprise.

Cause righteousness to prevail and your perfect will to be done, in and through our lives. I ask this in the matchless name of your Son, Jesus. Amen.

 

Worship

 

 

Women of Warfare followers and visitors, have a blessed and victorious week.

 

Love,
Carol ♥ ♥
 

 

CREDIT: The above image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

News! News! News!

TODAY’S BAD NEWS…

 

  • Scramble to recall 700k poison eggs
  • Food expert asks: Can we be sure baked goods are safe?
  • Record high of 4m wait for NHS ops
  • Be very, very nervous… Trump ramps up tension
  • Slavery and trafficking is ‘in every city and big town’

 

TODAY’S GOOD NEWS…

 

My God is alive!

My God is an unchanging God!

My God reigns supreme in heaven and earth!

My God’s thoughts towards me are more numerous than the grains of sand!

My God is able to cause all things to work together for my good!

My God loves me with an everlasting, extravagant and unconditional love.

My God is an awesome God!

 

 

 

Today, fill your heart with the good news of the gospel. Have a blessed weekend!

 

CREDIT: CC0 image courtesy of Gerd Altmann at Pixabay.com

The Scourge of Rejection

The following is a long-playing instrumental music (don’t be put off!). I am not expecting you to listen to the entire album but you may enjoy listening to it playing softly in the background, whilst you read this post. And then when you have finished reading, please don’t rush away. I’d certainly encourage you to sit and listen for just a little while longer. Allow the Lord to minister to your soul and spirit.

 

 

Dear fellow-bloggers, friends and visitors – forgive me!

A few mornings ago, as I was worshipping the Lord, the phrase Praise, Prayer & Worship Wednesday suddenly entered my head. I then realised that I’d missed last month’s feature post. I am not sure whether anyone noticed. If you did, please accept my apologies!

I cannot believe how fast the month has flown. So fast, in fact, I hadn’t even realised that the last Wednesday of February had come and gone.

Now, I obviously cannot roll back the time. So for the benefit of anyone who did notice and perhaps missed this feature and, because I truly want to honour God on this blog, I’d like to focus today’s post on doing just that. I want to praise and glorify my Father God.

 

***     ***     ***

 

thankyouheartpda 

I have come across many in my life who for various reasons have rejected me and systematically seek to rob me of my dignity. They do not welcome me into their presence.

And there are those who, whenever I happen to be in their midst, never miss an opportunity to show me their contempt, to subject me to mockery, ridicule and scorn. Yet who are they? Are they not fellow human beings? Are they not fallible flesh and blood individuals, just as I am?

However, for some reason, these people have elevated themselves above me in their thinking, in their behaviour toward me. They have lifted up themselves in their own estimation and chosen to exclude me from their ‘acceptance’ club. They continually seek to hurt me. And they often succeed.

But I thank them. Sincerely!

Why?

Because the weight and constancy of their unkind treatment has opened my eyes to the expanse of God’s continual grace, lovingkindness and mercy.

Yes. My wonderful Father God, who is God indeed, who is exalted above the heavens (you can’t get higher than that!), finds it in his generous, loving heart to include me, to make room for me in his life, to even want to share that life (eternal life, abundant life) with me.

I know from personal experience that when I enter into that atmosphere of sincere praise and worship, when I enter into God’s awesome presence, when my spirit connects with my Father God’s—I sense the holiness, the loveliness, the majesty of his awesome being. And when I reflect on the privilege that this wonderful being has granted, in inviting unwanted and unworthy me into His throne-room, I am overcome and overwhelmed.

Charles Green, a contributing author to the Spirit Filled Life Bible (NKJV), says:

Man was created to live and breathe in an atmosphere of praise-filled worship to his Creator.

My first thought as I read this was of a fish taken out of water, taken out of the ideal environment in which it was created to survive and thrive. To fail to offer God the fruit of our lips, and our free-will sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving, is to be like a fish out of water.  It is removing ourselves from the atmosphere and environment in which we were created to survive. And guess what? The Enemy of our souls, is always seeking to discourage us from praise, prayer and worship, because he knows that therein lies our spiritual strength.

Satan, my enemy, (and yours!) has sought to surround me with pack-bullies. He has worked hard at promoting an atmosphere of contempt around me. But I refuse to be hemmed in by thoughts of intimidation, fear and rejection. I refuse to be defined by the words and actions and attitudes of those whom the devil deploys to come against me, who walk in the counsel of the ungodly, choose to stand in the path of sinners and sit in the seat of the scornful (Psalm 1:1).

I refuse.

And so Father God, today I want to celebrate your goodness. I want to praise you:

 

I will extol You, my God, O King;

And I will bless Your name forever and ever.

Every day I will bless You,

And I will praise Your name forever and ever.

(Psalm 145:1-2)

 

And I offer you my heartfelt prayer:

Father God,

Thank you for your unconditional love. Thank you for your acceptance. Thank you for that wonderful sense of peace that your awesome presence exudes. Help me to bask in that holy presence, to allow your peace to soothe my soul.

I worship you today in spirit and in truth. Accept my humble sacrifice. May my offerings of praise, prayer and thanksgiving, rise like sweet incense to your throne. Amen.

 

Have you been hurt – by a colleague, church member, wife, husband, close relative or friend? Then use that hurt to propel you into the arms of Jesus. He is able to relate (remember Judas!). He is able (and willing) to comfort, strengthen and restore. Just ask him!

Why not accept today’s invitation to visit with your Father God?

Image from: M. Maggs - Pixabay.com
Image from: M. Maggs – Pixabay.com

It is an open invitation. Spend time saturating yourself in his presence. Spend time cultivating an atmosphere of praise, prayer and worship around you, so that your Father God can heal and restore you. So that he can lavish his love upon you – the way you deserve. So that you can become the person, the victorious overcomer, God created you to be.

Fellow Christian bloggers and visitors may I encourage you to make God’s presence in your life a priority?

Have a blessed weekend.

♥♥♥

Minted or Bankrupt?

thanksheart-gerdaltmann-pixabay1577791_960_720
CC0 Image – Gerd Altmann (Pixabay.com)

 

Hello dear reader,

Thank you for joining me on day 5 of my “thanks-fest”.

 

And now just as you trusted Christ to save you, trust him too for each day’s problems; live in vital union with him.

Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him. See that you go on growing in the Lord, and become strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with joy and thanksgiving for all he has done.

Colossians 2:6-7 (The Living Bible)

 

goldpixabay-744468_960_720None is more impoverished than the one who has no gratitude. Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy.

Fred De Witt Van Amburgh

 

SELF-SCRUTINY:

Are you minted or bankrupt?

 

Best wishes,

Carol

 

 

Reasons to be thankful (Part 3)

CC0 Image – Pixabay.com

 

Do you know how blessed you are?

You have made it this far in the year – others planned to yet they have not!

If you are celebrating Thanksgiving today with family and friends, I wish you a joyous and memorable occasion. I pray for peace, unity and journeying mercies for you and your loved ones.

 

***     ***     ***

 

Welcome to day 4 of my “thanks-fest”. Thank you so much for joining me here.

In my posts (Reasons to be thankful Part 1  and Part 2) we saw that when it comes to our relationship with God, it is vital we develop and maintain an attitude of gratitude. We discovered that when we habitually express our appreciation to the Lord, we are able to make a sober assessment of ourselves and our achievements.

We learned that the practice of thanksgiving magnifies our Heavenly Father’s ability, attributes and authority above our personal circumstances, enabling us to transfer our focus from pressing needs, overwhelming fears and personal limitations, to the one who is the ultimate solution to our dilemmas, distress and disappointments.

Today, I’d like to get on with the business of thanksgiving.

Dear Father God,

I want to thank you for the following:

  • For watching over me throughout last night and keeping me safe from harm, danger and evil

  • For waking me up this morning to greet another new day

  • For your unconditional, everlasting and extravagant love

  • For accepting me as I am, despite my failures, faults and shortcomings

  • For rescuing me from the realm of darkness and translating me into your kingdom of light

  • For your promises to supply all my needs

  • For miraculous answers to my prayers

  • For divine protection in accordance with Psalm 91

  • For sending your Son to die for me, redeeming me from Satan’s clutches and from the curse of the Law

  • Because you have given me power (authority) over the Enemy and you’ve promised that when I exercise this authority, absolutely nothing shall hurt me

  • Because you have promised that no weapon forged against me will prosper (i.e. be successful in its intent to destroy me)

  • Because you are a covenant-keeping God

  • Because you are the only true and living God and yet you deign to visit me, help me and pursue a relationship with me

  • Because you are my God!

  • Because you have promised you will never leave or forsake me

  • Because you have promised that when I am fearful, you will be with me to strengthen and uphold me

  • Because you have promised to keep me in perfect peace, if I keep my eyes on you

  • Because you know the plans that you have for my life and those plans give me hope for my final outcome

  • Because you are able to do super-abundantly above all that I would even dare to ask or think. You are able to do infinitely beyond my highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes or dreams

  • Because you are able to cause ALL things to work together for my good (i.e. for my benefit, progress and welfare), no matter how bleak or impossible to resolve those situations may seem!

thank-youoberholstervenita-971644_960_720Finally, I thank you Father God for the everyday blessings of shelter, food and clean water. Thank you for my husband, our house and our jobs, which enable us to maintain our home and bless the work of your kingdom.

Thank you for your gifts and abilities invested within my life. Thank you for the opportunities (both current and future), to use these abilities and gifts for your glory and in service of your kingdom.

I am grateful that I live in a country where I am free to worship you without fear of persecution and that I have access to the Bible and other resources, which aids my growth and development as a follower of Christ.

Lord God, for all the above I thank you.

 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

 

Best wishes,

Carol

https://apurposedrivenachiever.wordpress.com

https://plus.google.com/collection/Qw96cB

“…If you love what you are doing, you will be successful” – Albert Schweitzer

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I do hope you are enjoying these posts. Why not share your response with me in the comment box below? I look forward to hearing from you.

Reasons to be thankful (Part 2)

 

Hello precious readers!

It’s day 3 of my ‘thanks-fest’ and we are half-way through this 6-day event. Thank you so much for popping over to my corner of cyberspace. I invite you to join with me in celebrating the goodness of our Heavenly Father.

Yesterday, we looked at how expressing our gratitude to God on a regular basis, stops us from taking his goodness and undeserved mercies for granted. It stops us falling into pride, walking through life with blind arrogance, believing that our status and good fortune has been acquired solely by our own efforts or greatness.

Today, I’d like to focus on another aspect of gratitude.

When we take steps to reflect on God’s provision and protection, this allows us to magnify the Lord in our hearts and minds. We also stir up our faith and expectations regarding fulfilment of outstanding prayer requests and regarding those promises upon which we may be standing.

Now don’t get me wrong here—when I say God is magnified, I do not mean that our praise and thanksgiving makes Him any bigger. He is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. You can’t get much bigger than that!

No. When I say we magnify God, I mean that in our own hearts and minds, we have an increased perception and awareness of his greatness, goodness and glory. I mean we have deliberately chosen to enlarge and elevate our perception and experience of God, above our egos, petty whims, disappointments and undesirable circumstances.

When we think of a magnifying glass, it is designed to make something you cannot see clearly with the natural eye, appear magnified. But has that item you are observing been made physically bigger? No! It is the instrument used that increases our capacity to see the item better. In the same way, our praise and thanksgiving to God, our expressed gratitude does not make him bigger. Our praise and thanksgiving increases our capacity to see him better! Our praise and thanksgiving shifts our focus from the stuff we own (which can lead to pride of life), or the stuff we want (which promotes discontent).

When dealing with the Children of Israel, God orchestrated special times of remembrance, so that his chosen nation would not forget who He is and what He had done for them. Perhaps we should do likewise and set up our own mechanisms for memorialising personal milestones.

If you are familiar with the Bible, you’ll be aware of its many accounts regarding the nation of Israel and how they’d forgotten what the Lord had done for them. As human beings, we tend to have short memories! There have been times when I’ve looked back through my devotional diaries to see accounts of breakthroughs and answered prayers, which I’d completely forgotten about. Some of them have been so meaningful and momentous to me, I would never have believed that I could have forgotten them. And yet I did. The evidence testifying that I had done so, was recorded in black and white.

Now, if they hadn’t been documented, those wonderful acts of God, those precious answers to prayers could not have been recalled, and would not have been remembered. But because they were recorded, I was able to give my amazing Father God, jubilant thanks for past triumphs and miraculous answers to prayer. And that same evidence, enables me to give thanks in anticipation of His miraculous intervention, or wonderful provision in the future.

Before I close, I’d like to worship the Lord with the following song, which goes some way to expressing my gratitude to the Lord, for his unconditional love, abundant mercies and faithfulness. Won’t you join me?

 

 

Dear reader, do you have a way of memorialising significant milestones in your walk with the Lord? If not, may I challenge you to consider setting something up? It could be a journal, or a “forget-Him-not” jar, or whatever you wish.

Please share your response to this post in the comment box below. I look forward to hearing from you.

With heartfelt best wishes,

Carol

https://apurposedrivenachiever.wordpress.com

https://plus.google.com/collection/Qw96cB

“…If you love what you are doing, you will be successful” – Albert Schweitzer

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Reasons to be thankful (Part 1)

 

 

thankyouheartpda

 

 Welcome to day two of my personal ‘thanks-fest’. I appreciate you joining me.

Without further ado, let’s jump right into those reasons why we should be thankful to God.

The following pointers provide us with a biblical perspective for maintaining a heart of gratitude.

 

Reason 1:

The failure to be thankful darkens our hearts and causes us to entertain confusing and futile thoughts.

…because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. (Romans 1:21)

Chambers 21st Century Dictionary defines futile as follows: unproductive, unavailing, foolish, vain, or pointless.

Actions, are in effect, enacted thoughts, so if your efforts are consistently unproductive, or unsuccessful, perhaps the underlying cause is an unthankful attitude.

 

Reason 2:

A habitual failure to be thankful encourages a murmuring spirit, which God hates (see Numbers 21:5-7). God sees grumbling and complaining as ungodly traits (Jude 1:15-16).

 

Reason 3:

A thankful heart keeps us humble. We recognise that it is because of the goodness of God that we are able to enjoy whatever benefits and blessings we have. We acknowledge that if it were not for his breath within us, keeping us alive, we would not be in a position to work, or possess the capacity to make our efforts fruitful and productive.

Again and again, the Bible clearly shows that pride will deceive us into thinking that our achievements and accrued blessings are the sole result of our own efforts. We should take warning from the stories of Nebuchadnezzar and his son, Belshazzar.

Although both were influential Persian kings with great wealth, they were each humbled by God because of their boastful failure to acknowledge and glorify Him as the one who had exalted them (see Daniel chapters 4-5).

In direct contrast, we see that Daniel was accustomed to praying and giving God thanks, so God prospered him. (Daniel 6:10, 28).

God instructs us to:

…remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth… (Deuteronomy 8:18).

How do we remember him? By expressing our thanks and appreciation. By maintaining an attitude of gratitude.

 

Reason 4:

A thankful heart moves us towards wholeness and opens the door to experiencing the miraculous. Remember the 10 lepers? I love reading this account in the old King James’ authorised version. It reveals that whilst the 9 ungrateful lepers were cleansed from leprosy, the one who returned to express his thanks, was made whole.

To me that means those who were cleansed no longer suffered from the cause and accompanying symptoms that marked them out as lepers (i.e. rashes, sores and infection). However, I believe the one who was made whole, probably experienced a supernatural miracle – the re-growth of lost fingers and toes! And all because he expressed his appreciation to the Lord. What a wonderful fringe benefit!

 

Reason 5:

Finally, thankfulness when combined with praise or prayer requests, produces a dynamic and effective spiritual life and promotes confidence in the presence of God (Psalm 100:4; Philippians 4:6).

The Bible is replete with exhortations to thank God. In Psalm 107, the following words are repeated four times:

Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!

 

In light of the above, I would encourage anyone who does not currently maintain an attitude of gratitude to the Lord, to repent and make immediate amends.

Meanwhile Women of Warfare! followers and visitors, may the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; may the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. Amen.

Best wishes,

Carol

 

“…If you love what you are doing, you will be successful” – Albert Schweitzer

https://apurposedrivenachiever.wordpress.com

https://plus.google.com/collection/Qw96cB

 

My 6-day Thanks-Fest

Dear Father God, I thank you!

 

CCO Image - Gerd Altmann (Pixabay.com)
CCO Image – Gerd Altmann (Pixabay.com)

 

Hello dear readers,

I’m pretty sure that many of you are engaged with preparations for your Thanksgiving meal. Since we in the UK do not celebrate this holiday, I (thankfully) am not occupied with such preparations!

However, I’ve decided that I will join you all with my own brand of thanksgiving celebrations and to that end, I intend to post daily for the next 6 days on the theme of gratitude. I do hope you will find time to check in with me and that you will enjoy the thanksgiving fare I plan to dish up for your consumption.

But before I leave you with today’s offering, may I confide in you?

I hope by now that people who are familiar with my posts will agree that I’m generally a thankful person. For those of you who are new followers, let me hasten to say that I’m truly grateful to God for his goodness and I do appreciate the kindness and thoughtful deeds of others toward me and my loved ones. I express that thankfulness to God, daily.

However, on reading past entries in my writing journal, I discovered that most of these entries reflected on the negative aspects of my life. I noted that my attitude of gratitude (a good thing), was being undermined by a habitual mindset, which leans heavily towards negative thinking (a not so good thing).

Now, since maintaining an attitude of gratitude is supposed to improve my general outlook on life, I don’t want this state of affairs to continue. Perhaps there’s someone out there who, having examined their life, feels similarly? If so, why not join me on my 6-day thanks-fest? I’d appreciate the company!

Without further ado, I have pleasure in serving you with our first course. Enjoy!

 

 

WoW! followers and readers – until tomorrow, au revoir!

Boost your psychological well-being

Hello dear followers and visitors,

A new day brings a new opportunity to express our gratitude for God’s goodness. I read somewhere that expressing praise to God is beneficial to our psychological well-being.  So get stuck in!

Whether today finds you feeling on top of the world, or down in the spiritual dumps, our Father God is still worthy of our praise.

PraiseTheLord(picmonkey)

 

Shout Hallelujah, you God-worshippers;

Give glory, you sons of Jacob;

Adore him, you daughters of Israel.

He has never let you down,

Never looked the other way

When you were being kicked around.

He has never wandered off to do his own thing;

He has been right there, listening.

(Psalm 22:23-24 – The Message)

 

Will you take time out of your day to bless the Lord? Will you set aside your schedule to offer sacrifices of praise to our Father God?

WoW! visitors and friends – have a blessed and victorious week.

 

Praise Anthems

PRAISE PRAYER  & WORSHIP WEDNESDAY

Oliver&HenPritchard-Barrett(Unsplash)-1428535172630-fb1c050ac3e0
Image by Oliver & Hen Pritchard-Barrett (Unsplash.com)

 

Praise

What a beautiful thing, God, to give thanks.

To sing an anthem to you, the High God!

To announce your love each daybreak,

Sing your faithful presence all through the night,

Accompanied by dulcimer and harp,

The full-bodied music of strings.

(Psalm 92:1-3 – The Message)

 

Prayer

Abba Father,

What an honour you have bestowed upon us, in bringing us into royal relationship with you… in deigning to bend your ear to listen to our prayers… in scattering our paths with your bountiful blessings.

Thank you Father God for your manifest presence in our lives. Thank you Heavenly Father for your daily mercies and unconditional love. Help us to glorify you with sincere hearts and joyful lips. May we magnify you in our minds, celebrate you with our songs and exalt you with our praises. I ask this in the matchless name of your Son, Jesus. Amen.

 

Worship

 

Women of Warfare! followers and visitors, have a blessed and victorious week!

A Grateful Heart

PRAISE PRAYER & WORSHIP WEDNESDAY

 

ThankGodcolorful-1191076_960_720

 

Praise

You are my God, and I will praise You;

You are my God, I will exalt You.

Bless the Lord, O my soul;

And all that is within me, bless His Holy name!

Bless the Lord, O my soul,

And forget not all His benefits

(Psalm 118:28; Psalm 103:1-2)

 

Prayer

Father God,

Forgive us when we murmur and complain. Open our eyes to see the wonderful blessings you have showered upon our lives. Open our hearts and enable us to appreciate your goodness and mercy toward us. May we acknowledge in humility that we have done nothing to deserve your unfailing love and kindness. Open our mouths that we may speak with tongues of gratitude and glorify you in the manner you deserve.

Amen.

 

Worship

 

Have you deposited into your “Thank God account” today?

Women of Warfare! (Wow!) followers and visitors, I wish you God’s joy, peace and favour throughout the coming week.

 

 

We Exalt and Worship You O Lord

  PRAISE PRAYER & WORSHIP WEDNESDAY

 

sunset(Werner22brigitte)-142698_960_720

 

Praise

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and the earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and Yours it is to be exalted as Head over all.

Both riches and honour come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hands are power and might; in your hands it is to make great and to give strength to all.

Now therefore, our God, we thank you and praise Your glorious name and those attributes which that name denotes.

1 Chronicles 29:11-13 (Amplified Bible)

 

Prayer

Awesome God, I come into your Holy Presence with heartfelt praise and thanksgiving. Thank you for making me worthy through the precious blood of your Son, Jesus. Father God, I choose to magnify you today. I choose to magnify you above those circumstances which have distracted and broken my focus. I choose to hand those situations over to you, to trust you and not lean on my own understanding. I choose to recall that your mercies are new every morning and to remember you as a covenant-keeping God. I choose to exalt you above my fears, inadequacies and insecurities. I choose to worship you in the beauty of holiness. Be exalted O Lord God most High. Thank you for welcoming me into your throne room and thank you for hearing my prayer. Amen.

 

Worship

 

Women of Warfare followers and visitors, may the Lord bless you and keep you safe, may His grace and favour surround you and may His peace that surpasses all understanding be yours throughout this week.

 

An Awesome God!

PRAYER PRAISE & WORSHIP WEDNESDAY

choir(Joergelman)-840987_960_720

 

Prayer

Awesome God, You are worthy to be praised. I bring to you today my sacrifice of joy and thanksgiving. Grant me O Lord an ever-increasing sense of your mighty power… an ever-increasing revelation of your glory and might. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.

 

Praise

Who among the gods is like you, O Lord?

Who is like you—majestic in holiness,

Awesome in glory,

Working wonders?

(Exodus 15:11 NIV)

 

Worship

 

 

Women of Warfare, may the peace of God be with you – have a blessed week!

 

Be Thankful! (Re-visited)

rainbow-675832_640

Do you remember the hymn “We plough the fields and scatter the good seed on the ground”? It’s been a long time since I sang this.  I recall that this song was a firm favourite at Harvest Festival services. The days have come and gone so fast, I didn’t even realise this annual church event (which provides a prime opportunity for thanksgiving) had already passed.

Towards the end of this month, US citizens will celebrate Thanksgiving Day. And another occasion, which provides us with good reason to be thankful, is Remembrance Day, or Veterans’ Day (depending on whether you live in the UK or the USA).  After all, if it were not for these war heroes, war veterans and serving officers of the armed forces, perhaps we who currently enjoy the privilege of “free speech” and live in a democratic society, would be suffering like other unfortunate nationals who live in countries oppressed by communist rule, or unscrupulous dictators.

I find I cannot help but continue to reflect on the subject of gratitude and appreciation to God. As we saw in my previous post (Be Thankful!), the writer in Psalm 107 bemoans the fact we humans tend to forget, or choose not to be thankful to God. And so may I ask you – on average how thankful to God are you most of the time – 80%? 75%? Less than 50%? Now another question – how often do you express your gratitude?

If I spent time, effort and money on a gift for someone and they simply took it, said their thanks within their hearts but did not verbally express this to me, how would I know they appreciated it?

Now I know God is omniscient and knows us even better than we know ourselves. I realise he can read our thoughts anyway (Psalm 139:1-4). But this does not excuse a habitual failure to express gratitude and appreciation to him. As we also saw in my last post, God expects us to remember his goodness towards us and express appreciation for his provision and protection.

So again, I ask (my apologies if I seem to be labouring the point), how thankful are you and how often do you verbally express that gratitude to God?

I don’t mean the careless, formulaic, superficial, said-out-of-duty or politeness type of thanks. And I am not referring to the auto-pilot response made to a praise and worship prompt in a church setting.

I’m talking about genuine, deep-hearted gratitude. The type that stems from a sense of wonder and questions what you have done to deserve such blessings and favour. The type that makes you marvel at God’s goodness towards you and feel doubly grateful that he is – despite your failings and unfaithfulness (Psalm 8:3-4). The type that brings tears to your eyes, as you remember God’s goodness at a time you least deserved it. The type of thanks that causes your voice to break as you recall what he has done for you, particularly those miraculous answers to prayers, which you had no idea how they could possibly be answered when you sent them winging towards his heavenly throne. I’m referring to the heartfelt expression that forms a lump in your throat, as you attempt to voice your appreciation to Father God for His mercies and unconditional love.

Do you need convincing about the benefits and impact of maintaining a thankful attitude – not only to yourself but also to the lives of others?

Let’s turn to Genesis 6:5-8; Genesis 8:15-22; Genesis 9:8-17.

When Noah leaves the ark after the flood, the first thing he did was to offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving. It so pleased God that he made a covenant to never again destroy every living thing, even though he was aware that men’s hearts will continually incline towards evil. The rainbow was God’s physical reminder of the covenant promise he made to Noah in response to this man’s expression of gratitude.

Now when you consider God wiped out Sodom and Gomorrah, when you consider that the antediluvian world was utterly destroyed and when you consider the darkness and depravity of our own world today – if it had not been for Noah’s act of appreciation, how many more times would the wrath of God have been incurred? How many more times would both man and beast have been annihilated from the face of the earth? A sobering thought.

Does  it not make you thankful?

Be Thankful!

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Protocol:

  • The customs and regulations dealing with diplomatic formality, precedence, and etiquette (Dictionary.com)
  • The forms of ceremony and etiquette observed by diplomats and heads of state

Or

  • A code of correct conduct (The Free Dictionary)

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When Queen Esther walked into the king’s presence without being summoned, she breached the protocol of Persia’s royal court. Doing so, could very well incur the penalty of death. Aware of this, she declared with boldness and determination “…if I perish, I perish!” (Esther 4:16 NKJ).

Fast forward to today’s world, with particular focus on the United Kingdom and Commonwealth, and we discover that an archaic code of conduct still operates within the Royal circle. So when it comes to greeting members of the British Monarchy, the media have been quick to report breaches of protocol by individuals who touch the Queen, or other members of the royal household, in what is deemed to be over-familiar ways. At best, it is seen as a faux pas, at worst, a lack of respect. So bystanders were amazed when the Queen herself dispensed with royal etiquette and placed an arm around the US First Lady, Michelle Obama, at a Buckingham Palace reception.

Did you know there is a protocol for entering into God’s Holy presence?

When instituting the laws of sacrifice, thanksgiving and worship, God gave the Children of Israel a set of rules for approaching him. If breached, the penalty was instant death (see Leviticus 10:1-3 NKJ). Later, when Jesus was crucified at Calvary, his death brought an end to the fear and trepidation associated with God’s presence. Dispensing with protocol (only an appointed priest could enter into his presence), God tore the temple veil from top to bottom, granting unprecedented access into the Holy of Holies, into His royal throne room (Mark 15:37-38 NKJ).

Psalm 100:4 highlights the protocol for entering into our Heavenly Father’s presence. Over 2,000 years later, I believe this instruction is just as valid today.  We are commanded to:

“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,

And into His courts with praise.

Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.”

We are being asked to come into God’s Holy presence with grateful thanks for what He has done. We are being asked to acknowledge and appreciate Him for who he is.

In Psalm 107, the psalmist complains no less than four times about the common tendency of mortals to take God’s goodness for granted (see verses 8, 15, 21 and 31). Unfortunately, it would seem that just as it was in the days of antiquity, so ingratitude to God features as a failing of our modern times.

Now, if people fail to thank me for a gift I’ve given, or a good deed done, it offends me. I’m pretty sure that you are no different. Well, if we, as fallible humans, appreciate common courtesies and recognition of our benevolent acts, then how much more our Heavenly Father, who is unstinting in his unconditional love, care and provision? In fact, we know from the laws set out in Leviticus that acknowledging his goodness and expressing gratitude to him was something He expected from the Children of Israel (see Leviticus 7:11-15).

The thanksgiving (or peace) offering was a free will sacrifice (Leviticus 19:5). In other words, although God expected his chosen people to be thankful to him, it would be their choice whether or not they actually expressed this. After all, nobody wants to be on the receiving end of token appreciation, or enforced thanks.

Which brings me to the point of self-examination. If we are honest, whether in our private or public devotions, there are times when we do not always feel thankful, or overflowing with gladness and gratitude. We may be feeling bewildered by circumstances, devastated by broken dreams, frozen with fear. And so we become preoccupied with protecting, or licking our internal wounds.

It is at such times that the offering of joyful thanks and praise to our Father God becomes a sacrifice – something that costs us mentally and emotionally – yet something that God highly prizes. At times like these, we need to resist our pain and swallow our disappointments, in order to “bless the Lord at all times” and allow genuine praise to flow continually from our mouths (Psalm 34:1 NKJ).

Do you regularly offer thanks to the Lord? Do you frequently express sincere appreciation and gratitude to him?

Hebrew 13:15 (NKJ) exhorts: “…let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name.” During Biblical times, sacrifices had to be the very best you could offer. Anything less was considered an insult to God (see Malachi 1:6-8, 13-14). In today’s context, as worshippers, even though there may be periods where we are depressed, disappointed or disillusioned, this cannot and does not justify us offering lacklustre praise to the Lord.

So ask yourself – have I been, or am I guilty of auto pilot praise?

In this dispensation of grace, what a privilege we believers have been given that we can come without prior appointment, without the need of a third party, into God’s holy presence and in the knowledge that we are both acceptable and welcome.

What a blessing that we can step into our awesome God’s throne room without fear, without guilt and without an inferiority complex, knowing we are worthy because of the precious blood of his Son Jesus.

What a prestigious honour we’ve been granted, to be able to have an audience with the Holy One, with the Most High God, appeal to him for our needs, intercede on behalf of others and share our desires, dreams or problems, knowing that instead of incurring his wrath, He will place his loving arms around us.

On that note, let me close with the following:

I will extol you, my God, O King;

And I will bless your name forever and ever (Psalm 145:1)

Oh, magnify the Lord with me,

And let us exalt His name together (Psalm 34:3).