By: Sacha C.
What are you thankful for? Is it the roof over your head? The food on your plate? Your friends and family? What makes you so appreciative? For me, I am so thankful for Jesus. I am so thankful for the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross for my sins. Without Him, I would be nothing; I would have no real purpose in life.
There are so many things to be thankful for or show appreciation towards, but as Christians, I believe that the most important thing should be our faith. God sent His son into the world to take the punishment for our sins so that we may be forgiven and receive the free gift of eternal life with God in Heaven. Isn't that amazing?
The most important person in our lives should be God. He should be at the head of our household and the sole focus for how we go about our day to day lives. We should be focusing on things above and not things of this world. He is the one who gave us all of what we have in our lives. He is the one who hears and answers our prayers. He is the one who sets us free.
There are so many scriptures in the Bible that talk about being thankful and practicing gratitude towards our God. But how often can you say that you do this? We need to learn to be more thankful and appreciative of our Lord and Savior. As such, here are three simple tips on how to be a more thankful Christian.
1. Read Your Bible Daily
“Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105).
This one may seem pretty obvious, but it is so important to do. We need to read our Bible each day and focus on/meditate on the word of God. Have a look at the various scriptures that talk about thankfulness (you will find that there are many of them in the Book of Psalms). Write down, highlight, memorize, and focus on these key scriptures. This will help you become more thankful towards God once you learn and understand these scriptures.
2. Practice Journaling
"Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer" (Psalm 19:14).
Have you ever done journaling before? Either way, this is a very practical form of practicing gratitude. You can do it in the morning or evening, whichever suits you best. Write down things that you are thankful for each day and connect it back to God. For example, today, I am thankful that I got plenty of rest and have time to sit here and write these tips for you all! How does this relate to my relationship with God? Because I prayed about getting plenty of sleep, and He answered my prayers. Also, He allowed me to have time to sit down and write these tips to share with fellow Christians. He is guiding me on what to say to you.
3. Stay In Prayer
"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God" (Philippians 4:6).
Prayer is the direct communication that we have between ourselves and God. It is so important for us to stay in prayer and to believe in what we pray about. When we do this, we are strengthening our faith in and relationship with God. This will help us to show more appreciation towards Him and be grateful for God to be a listening ear to us and a supportive God in our lives.
Which one of these tips is your favorite? I hope you will start practicing thankfulness today and show more gratitude towards God and all you have in your life. We have all gone through so much this year, and with Thanksgiving coming up later this month, now is the perfect time to start.
Sacha is a Christian blogger and owner/creator of Clothed With Dignity. She's encourages women to be strong, honorable and faithful to God.
By: Tamika M.
As I was walking down the street, leaves crunching under my feet, looking out at the goodness of God's creation, I can not help but be thankful. Although 2020 has been rough, and there have been many challenges all around, the truth we can rest in is that God is God, and God is good! I am reminded of the passage in Psalm 7:17, which reads:
"I will praise the Lord according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the Lord most high." (KJV)
We are to praise the Lord for who he is, not just for what he can do, not only when he moves according to our will; thanksgiving is a state of mind and a choice that we choose to make. We can choose to wallow in our problems, or we can choose to rest in the cross. We can focus on what is going on around us, or we can keep our focus on heavenly things.
If I can be honest, life will give us plenty of things to concern ourselves with: money, relationships, and the economy. We can find these things being our focus and not the work and will of God. But if we learn to be content and to trust God no matter what we are facing, thankfulness becomes our heart's response.
Theres a quote by AW Tozer that says:
"Gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God, and it is one that the poorest of us can make and be not poorer but richer for having made it."
Thankfulness and gratitude are things that we can do even in our lowest times, even when our lives may not look the way we expect them to look. When we practice thankfulness, we point back to the truth that God is greater, God's plan is bigger, and God is still and will always be in control.
So friend, as we go through this holiday season, I encourage you to be thankful. Thankful for life, thankful for health, thankful for Christ. Learn to practice thankfulness even in small things because a heart of gratitude points away from us and straight to the Father.
By: Angela Lawley
The air is crisp; the leaves are falling, pumpkins are out and decorated. It's the time of year when we start planning our Thanksgiving dinners and reflecting on what we are thankful for. As we pause and look back on this year, are you going to be thankful? I get that it might be hard for some to see the blessings in this year, understandably so, but they are there. They are there because God is there. During these next few weeks, as we start to wrap up 2020, let's focus on what Yahweh has done for us.
The blessings from giving thanks are clear. Not only does it change your outlook on life, but it also sets us up to be blessed by God. There are blessings when we fill our hearts with thanksgiving even through the bad times. I know that it is hard to think about. Usually, this is the last thing on our minds. It is easy to get caught up in the crazy of this world. But in the crazy is where we need the Father more and more. God wants us to see that when we set our hearts on His goodness, there is no room for selfishness, anger, malice, or envy. It is a pure form of worship.
Ezra 3:11 says, "They sang, praising and giving thanks to the LORD, saying, "For He is good, for His lovingkindness is upon Israel forever." And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the LORD because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid." (NASB)
In the middle of building the temple, they realized that an amazing event occurred, and while the foundation was laid, they gave thanks. An event as simple as a foundation being laid, they gave thanks. Isn't that a beautiful thought? They knew what their Father in Heaven had done for them, and they all shouted together with praise and thanksgiving.
Sometimes I give God a shout of praise when a bill gets paid, when I finish a project on time, or when I get a door opened that has been closed for what seems years. Through my praise, I've learned to see God's hand in every situation as doors are opened to the gates of Heaven.
While it may seem simple to others, I know the prayers I've prayed, and I know the tears I've shed. So when God makes a way where there is no way, even in the little things, I will give thanks! I will worship Him, for His lovingkindness endures forever.
Psalm 100: 2-5 says:
"Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name."
I want to live my life in such a way that I can enter His gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise. In the good and the bad, because I know that My loving Father has provided Heaven for my loved ones and me. Like the songs says, I want to say this is the day that the Lord has made, and I will rejoice for He has made me glad.
Looking at any situation with gladness puts God's hands in it. You will begin to understand James 1:2 that reminds us to count it all joy when facing being persecuted to the point of death.
When we learn to declare through all things that Yahweh is in control, we learn to put our trust in Him and not what's going on around us. Each time I declare this, I am telling God that He is Lord. I promise that it will change your perspective in every situation. And no matter what is going on, in good times and bad, GIVE THANKS!
Angela Lawley Founder of Giving Hope Ministries. Host of Giving Hope Podcast -Teacher women’s Bible Study. Angela is a 2007 graduate of Rhema Bible Training Center, where she graduated with a certificate in Helps Ministry. Angela and her husband Ryan have been married for 20yrs. They own their own business in their home town of Canton, Tx. Angela is the mother of two amazing boys Nicholas and Aiden. Three years ago Angela decided to start a home ministry where women from all backgrounds could come and hear the Word of God. Her heart was to teach and equipped women to fight for their marriages, children and their God given place in this world! There in her living room Giving Hope Ministries was born and is growing day by day. You can join her live every Sunday evening on the Giving Hope Ministries Facebook page. Connect with Angela further by clicking here!
By: Gina Barton Sewell
There was a time in my life that my relationship with Jesus wasn’t quite what it is now. I was raised in the church. I was saved and baptized as a young teenager. I had a clear plan for my life, which entirely centered around Jesus. But then, somewhere down the line, I got a little off track. Rebellious teenager, you might say.
Years later, just as I’m getting back on track, there was a tragedy in my family that just brought me so much anger toward God. My mother, who was the staple of our family, the whole reason I knew who Jesus was and loved Him so much was involved in a terrible accident. A drunk driver hit her on her way home from my house. The ambulance arrived within one minute, and they were able to bring her back. But, unfortunately, her head injury was so severe that she never really came back. She spent months in the hospital, where I stayed with her, and when she came home, I tried so hard to take care of her, with no help, and the belief that she would make a complete recovery. I mean, after all, she did it right. She spent her life serving the Lord.
But she did not recover...
It took months for me to come to terms with the fact that she was never going
to be the same, that she was never going to remember my children or me, that,
my mom, as I knew her, was gone.
“In your anger, do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” Ephesians 4:26 (NIV)
But God felt differently, and suddenly, I began to see blessings in my life. I began to see that, maybe, there was a way to find God again, which was through His grace. I surrendered it all to Him, and I was happy to know that His arms were still open for me and for all who love Him. Carrying me out of that pit, he gave me a whole new life. God changed my life just in time to spend my mom’s last couple of years with her. Sitting there at her bedside, I held her hand as she passed.
Gina is a mom and grandma from Dallas, Texas. She loves encourage others through writing. She writes about Jesus and her personal journey on her blog, Greatly Emboldened. Gina also finds joy in cooking and spending time with her family. You can connect with Gina further on her Website, or Instagram.
By: Tamika Mahomes
"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27 KJV
As I woke up this morning, I found myself meditating on the word in John 14:27, "let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." As I found myself reflecting on this scripture, I understood that this reminder is necessary for the times we live in today. In this midst of the current pandemic, racial injustice, and even our lives' problems, the Bible reminds us that we have access to the peace that comes from the Father.
The Bible does not say that we will not have problems, the Bible does not say that troubles will not come, but instead, the word of God reminds us that throughout life's ups and downs, as believers we do not have to be afraid. Our troubles, our worries, our fears, they do not have to lead us, but instead, we can rest in the truth that when we walk with the Father, he can give us peace, even when the world is full of chaos.
The Bible says that God leaves his peace with us, His peace, and not the worlds; there is a difference. We can try and find peace in this world, we can try to find answers in this world, but the true peace and rest that our soul needs comes from the Father. We can choose to wrestle with our problems, or we can choose to rest in the promise.
The choice is up to us. And while the choice may be ours, our true answer is found in Christ and him alone! It is not found in this world, it is not found in people, but it is solely found in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Today, before I close out this blog, I invite you to choose the peace that comes from Christ. I invite you to stop focusing on your problems and start focusing on the problem solver. While you are searching for answers, Jesus is the solution. The peace of the world is fleeting, but the word and truth of God is forever. Rest in his peace, rest in his truth, rest in his word. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. v
By: Shakiya Mackall
If we were to evaluate the first half of 2020, I'm sure we can all say it looked different than what we imagined. From a global pandemic to the uncovering of racism, this year has brought on a lot of things. But even in the midst of all of the turmoil, we can still have hope. You may be thinking, but how? Honestly, I have asked myself that question. Personally, when hope would try to spring up, it was often choked by another heart-wrenching discovery in our world.
It honestly felt like I would take one step forward, but be knocked down two more. This was recurring until the Lord began to speak to me about my focus. Because let's be honest, we tend to take our eyes off God in the midst of disaster. In no way is this condemnation, because I have been there more than once in just these last few months. So if you have found yourself in this space, please give yourself grace.
It is so interesting how the Lord works. Being the loving Father that He is, He often prepares us for the things to come. Oftentimes even without us knowing. Earlier this year (pre-pandemic), I had a vision. In this particular vision, I saw a clear blue jewel. I found myself looking at the jewel in fascination not only for its size but it's color; it was something I don't think I've ever seen. The shade of blue was so unique I can barely describe it. Blue often represents freedom, trustworthiness, wisdom, joy, and strength. The closest gem I can try to describe would be an aquamarine, which ironically is the birthstone of March. And can you believe that March is considered to be a month of war?! In moments like this, I have to look up to God and say, wow! I didn't understand why He gave me this vision until these things came together and then I realized how we ALL faced some sort of battle during this time. But the Lord reminded me that to win a war, you must have hope. And that He is that Hope.
See, when we truly see God for who He is, we can experience the hope found in Him. In the midst of being bombarded with everything the world throws at us, we can look to Him for that peace. And as we put our gaze on Him, we can see that there are more sides to Him outside of the limits we give Him.
He can be whatever we need Him to be at that moment. Whether that is: Strong tower, Healer, Provider, Father, Savior, Miracle worker (Insert yours), know He can be that for you.
Be encouraged in knowing even in this time of crisis; He is being exalted.
Shakiya is a content creator and social media influencer who is passionate about faith, beauty and lifestyle. On her platforms which includes a blog and YouTube channel (Purity Vanity), she inspires women to grow their faith, maintain their inner and outer beauty, and balance this journey we call life! She hopes by doing so, God’s daughters will realize their true beauty in Christ and how much He loves them.
By: Tamika Mahomes
One of the most common questions I get is as a Pastor's wife is do I feel the need to be perfect.
And while the answer I could easily give is no, and carry on with the persona that I do not deal with this type of struggle, I am here to share the truth that I like many others often struggle with, the need to be perfect.
But the truth is, the need to strive towards perfection I have found is not limited to my role as a pastors wife, but rather my walk as a Christian.
I wonder, if I don't respond a certain way, will I cause someone to miss Christ?
If I get upset or let things bother me, does that make me less of a Christian?
If I fall short, will I lose my witness?
If I make a mistake, big or small, will I miss it, will I miss someone, will someone miss Christ?
Have you been there? Have you wondered? Have you found your strive to perfection is one that is missed?
Maybe it's not your relationship with God; maybe it's your parenting, or perhaps it's on your job, or even in your marriage.
Whatever it is that you are striving toward, whichever role you are looking to be perfect it, I want to share this truth with you...WE ARE NOT CALLED TO A LIFE OF PERFECTION!
I know that truth might be hard to grasp, I know that truth might be hard to understand, but the only person who calls us to perfection is US!
I love this verse from Philippians 3:12:
"I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me." (KJV)
Did you catch that? Paul didn't say that he was perfect, and he didn't say that we are called to any level of perfection, but he says, I follow after the one who is. And out of my relationship and love towards the one who is perfect, I strive to be more like him.
I don't know about you but, that gives me hope, that reminds me of truth, that tells me that I can lay down my desire to strive to be perfect, and I can instead press toward the one who is! Walking in perfection, is not my job, walking in perfection is not your job, there's only one who is perfect, and that is who we strive towards.
So friend, If you are reading this, I encourage you right now, to stop striving toward a title we are not called to, and instead, look to Christ, and find rest in Him who is perfect!
By: Tamika Mahomes
Here I am...
Sitting back at the computer, writing yet another blog...
If I am honest it's hard, with everything going on, I still feel it is not the right time to come back...
But while I realize that it might not be the right time, I know that in this time, especially in this time, the gospel must be preached...
God's word must go forth...
And this blog must continue.
For on this blog, I share Jesus, and on this blog, I invite others to share Jesus, and while there is a world full of chaos the truth is that in the midst of the chaos Jesus is still moving, he's still working, and he is still calling us to him.
So here I am one more time, resting on God's truth even in the midst of the hardest times.
Friends, I invite you to reflect on this very scripture that brings me hope even in a time such as this.
"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27).
The peace of this world is fickle, but the peace that comes from our Father is everlasting, and in God's peace, we can find rest.
While this time is hard, and while we are desperately searching for change, let us find rest in the truth that God and God alone is in control.
By: Dawn Beauchamp
Many times as we manage the land of motherhood, all we say is NO. The days are full of no, stop, don't do that, and not now. We say it so much it is often our children's favorite word. They are only repeating what they hear incessantly. The true nature of motherhood is a lifetime of saying YES. Saying yes when things are easy and yes when they feel impossible, knowing our yes is what sets the pace on our path and the paths of our children.
Saying Yes To The Impossible
The perfect example of an impossible yes is Mary. Think about the immense courage it took to say yes to God. What if she had said no? Would anyone blame her? When the angel Gabriel came to Mary, she was young, unmarried, and inexperienced in the ways of the world, but smart enough to know the path would not be easy. What if Mary was not the first woman Gabriel visited that day? Maybe there was an Abigail, Ruth, and Laura who said no thank you, that path is too hard. Gabriel came with a request that involved an immeasurable amount of trust in God.
"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered, "May your word be fulfilled." Luke 1:38 NIV
When I look into my heart, I see true strength and ultimate trust in our mighty God. A resounding Yes to motherhood is a lesson in saying Yes no matter how difficult the road appears.
Saying Yes To The Possible
Some yeses in motherhood are simple, easy, and natural. Yes, I want to snuggle on the couch and watch my sweet baby sleep. Laughing through silly toddler play is also a pretty easy, yes. Happy, silly, full of fun days are simple yeses. Motherhood is full of natural yeses, but there are also impossible yeses; times, we would rather say NO. It is at these moments that we need to trust God and say Yes to what is possible, even when the path is hard. NO – I do not want to watch my child struggle and feel helpless and inadequate. YES – I will stand by my child as she struggles and seeks ways to lessen her struggle and find some semblance of peace and stability. The following words are my motherhood mantra and how I say yes when I want to say no:
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight" Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
Like Mary, I've learned to trust that the Lord will help me do hard things. God knew what He was doing when He made me a mother, and I will say yes to the good, the bad, the hard, and the scary. I will say yes to all of it.
Remember, Mommas; God knew exactly what he was doing when he placed these babies in our care. He knew we were strong enough, smart enough, and full of Love. Mommas, we all want to say No sometimes. The fact that we keep saying Yes is what makes motherhood the hardest job you will ever love. Love your life, trust in God, and follow your path.
Dawn Marie Beauchamp is a wife and mother of three residing in the great state of Michigan. She currently owns a business with her husband, blogs at Embrace Controlled Chaos, and enjoys spending crazy amounts of time in the kitchen or outside enjoying all nature has to offer. You can connect with Dawn via her blog, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
Motherhood. There is SO much behind that one word. Think back to your pre-kiddo days. (If you don't have children, keep reading – motherhood is not a role solely for women with children in their home) What kind of mom did you think you'd be? Did you feel ready? Most of us probably had no idea what we were in for! And, for most of us, all preconceived notions went out the window real quick. Because once that baby was in our arms, everything changed. Priorities changed. Schedules changed. I/You changed – physically, mentally, and emotionally. There are great days, and there are hard, hard days. But on all days, "mother" is one of the most important roles we will play.
So, what does motherhood mean to me? It is my mission field. Stewarding my children well, according to the Bible, is something I can do every single day. Motherhood is a constant opportunity to teach God's word, to show His grace, and to reach the generations to come.
Let's be real – motherhood is often overwhelming! I have to repeatedly remind myself that I am not responsible for my child's salvation nor their future choices. While I am honored to play a role in these aspects of my children's lives, I am only called to take advantage of opportunities to teach and model the fruits of the spirit. Children provide MANY opportunities for this! When I am in God's word and praying regularly, it is easier for me to see disobedience as an opportunity to remind my son to "obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right." (Ephesians 6:1) I become thankful that God allows me to witness my children's sins so that I can help them see it and remind them what God says about it. I don't do this perfectly. In fact, I probably fail more than I succeed…but God! His grace applies to me, as well. So when I fail, when I lose my cool, He is there with abundant grace. And these failures provide another opportunity for me to share with my children that I am not perfect, that I too struggle with sin. I get to model asking for forgiveness, and they get to show grace. God can even use my failures for His glory! The mission field of motherhood is a field laden with roaring rivers to cross and land mines to avoid.
I'd love to leave you with a few of my favorite resources.
Missional Motherhood by Gloria Furman – It shows how motherhood is a calling for all women, not just those who have children in the home.
Praying the Scriptures for Your Children by Jodie Berndt – This has helped me focus my prayer time and has aided my whole family in scripture memorization. So good!
1000 Generations: A Record of our Faith by Sara Haddox – This beautiful heirloom book provides a place to document how God has been faithful in your family in a way that can be passed down for generations. (picture courtesy of 1000generationsbook.com)