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

Advertisements

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.

—————-ooo0ooo—————-

 

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

—————————————————————————-

 

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

—————————————————————————-