THANKS LIVING DAY 33

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PRAYER ABOUT CHURCH
There is a distinct difference between joy and happiness. To break it down even more, there is a huge difference between the kind of joy the world knows and the awesome joy that a Christian has the privilege to enjoy. Did you hear the word I just used – ENJOY. When a Christian speaks of something they ENJOY – it is with a joy that the world does not know and cannot know apart from the love of Christ.

I’ve been happy, but it doesn’t last and it’s certainly not an emotion that I would want to hang my hopes on. Happiness is fickle and largely dependent on mood and is quite emotional. Joy, particularly the Joy of the Lord, brings something more. It’s difficult to put into words because I feel it in my spirit – my soul. The joy of the Lord is my strength. It lifts me higher and gives me courage to do the difficult tasks in life. It lets me know that no matter how much I mess things up, God will never give up on me and He will keep me in His strong, loving hand. I’m in good hands – and it’s not Allstate insurance. It’s better. 😉

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THANKS LIVING DAY 32

 

TL THANKSGIVINGPRAYER ABOUT FRIENDS

My Lord is near me all the time.  What sweet assurance that is – and more so as time goes on.

There’s an old saying among Christians – to get to heaven, you gotta be paid up and prayed up. That’s always bothered me a little because God loves a cheerful giver and that doesn’t sound like a cheery attitude to me. It sounds less like love and more like duty. If we love the Lord we will do as we should because we love Him, not because it is mandatory. Some people think if they do more paying and more praying, it counts for extra credit in the after life. Um… nope – don’t think so, however, if you do extra credit work, it is not in vain because it ultimately helps you in your life here on earth.

Today I am thankful for God’s patience with me. He has forgiven me so many times, and He forgives quickly and completely. I need to be as good at forgiveness as God is! I want to be. I fall down and He picks me up and dusts me off and sets me back on the path. Thank You, Lord for being so good to me. You teach by example how we should treat others. Help me to do better.

In God’s Holy Word, The Bible, Jesus used a familiar phrase when speaking to people. He said, “He who has ears, let him hear.” He also used similar phrases that mean the same thing. All told, He tells His sheep to listen to Him 15 times in Scripture! I think He wants us to listen!

So today Lord – I thank You for being patient with me and I pray You would help me use those ears You gave me to hear You.

I’m so thankful for friends who really pray for me.  Please pray that God won’t give up on me. I pray that God will keep picking me up and setting me back on the path You want me to be on.

THANKS LIVING DAY 31

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PRAYER FOR HELP WITH DIET

It’s too late for vanity.  If I was 30, maybe, I’d say, “Hey, that’s not a good angle.”  But there is no good angle now.  – Clint Eastwood

I don’t have many enemies in life, but my one mortal enemy is my weight! In 1998 I was at my highest weight – 250 pounds!!! That is not good on a 5’2″ frame. The year we had a photo taken with our dog was my Waterloo. I hit the proverbial brick wall – and something had to give. I did not want that something to be my health and well-being.

Emotional eaters are very sneaky. We are unhappy and find our solace in food. Not just any food, mind you – but junk food. The more junkie, the better! Candy bars and regular soda and ice cream and chips and… well, you get the idea.

My self-esteem was non-existent. I wore my hair very short and very styled in an unattractive way.  Who does that on purpose?  I don’t know, but I did.  Back then I definitely had an eating disorder – I ate everything in sight.  If it stood still long enough, it was mine!

I don’t know why I lacked the ability to control my eating back then.  All I know is that I was working a job I absolutely hated, I was not in a good place particularly with my health (I had a very bad case of deniabetes at that time). I’d love to tell you that it was my diabetes that drove me to lose the weight, but it wasn’t. It was vanity. There’s no way I was going to look like that for one more day! OK, now I try to stay healthy for health’s sake, but the first driving force was looks.

It has been a long and difficult road to travel, but those are the trips that teach us the most.  If there is an easy fix, we don’t seem to appreciate the victory as much, do we?  I assure you, I relish this victory and do not take it for granted.  Today we celebrate BEAUTIFUL DAY!!!!!!!!!!! Today I celebrate beauty – in myself and in others. Here are the lessons I learned:

  1. God does not make junk.  Not you, not me, not anybody.  If God sees me as a special person, then who am I to take that person and try to destroy her – stuff her with food?
  2. I’ll never be a super model.  I will never be six-foot tall.  I will never have legs that extend into another zip code.  My thighs will always be very close friends – they will continue to meet often when I walk.
  3. I have to save my health above all else.  Let the rest of this stuff care for itself.  Be positive about the weight loss from a health standpoint.
  4. The words “comfort” and “food” are no longer used in the same sentence by me.  If I begin to think of food as something that brings comfort – then I have given food more power than it deserves to have in my life.  Food no longer has any power over me.  Comfort comes from someone I love, not a Twinkie.
  5. I am worth saving.  I’m special to my Creator.  I know this because He says so.  He made me on purpose – and I choose this day to live the life He wants me to live and be happy in this body and put a smile on my face and embrace each new day as it happens!
  6. I will not wallow in my past and I will not fret about my uncertain future.  I will live in this present moment.  This moment is a “present”.  Drink it in!
  7. There are better ways to cope with boredom than eating.  I finally know when I’m truly hungry – Eureka!  When I’m upset by something or bored with something, I find a more constructive way to manage it, such as exercise or music.  This one lesson has made my health very happy!

One last thing: It sure feels good to wear blue jeans again! Today is BEAUTIFUL DAY!!! I’m getting there… I’m getting there. ❤

THANKS LIVING DAY 30

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PRAYER ABOUT SITUATIONS

The cost of living is getting out of sight! It seems like we can’t afford to stay home, but with the price of gasoline we can’t afford to escape and go anywhere either! Some days you just feel like you can’t win either way, don’t you? Me too!

Tough times don’t last – tough people do!  – Unknown

Did you know that when we are at our weakest, God is at His strongest and that is when He wants to help the most? It’s tempting and human nature to want to stop praying when times are not good. We despair and decide that God has abandoned us and does not care about us anymore. That’s a lie the enemy wants you to believe – but don’t buy into that notion. God cares very much – keep praying and keep reading your Bible. There is a solution and God will take you to it.

http://youtu.be/okkvR484KF0

More than once I’ve been at the bottom looking up and if I stay faithful to God, He works everything out. Once I had a refund check show up in my mailbox in just the nick of time. That is how God works. Now, I’m not saying He is a Santa Claus that you can take a list of stuff to and He will magically make them appear! That is not how God works. God does good things for His children because He loves us. If we are going through a difficult situation it could be because there is something we need to learn. Ask yourself what the lesson is. When you come out on the other side, that’s when you lift your hands and thank God for seeing you through and for making you tougher and wiser than you were before.

If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire—then you got a problem. Everything else is inconvenience. Life is inconvenient. Life is lumpy. Learn to separate the inconveniences from the real problems. You will live longer.   – Sigmund Wollman, quoted by Robert Fulghum, Uh-Oh, 1991

Humbly ask God to help. He loves you and wants to see you safely through your dark and lumpy days.

THANKS LIVING DAY 29

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11-18 PRAYER ON MICKEY'S BIRTHDAY
11-18 HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICKEY MOUSE (2)
(11-18) HAPPY LIKE MICKEY MOUSE
11-18 JUDY'S MICKEY MOUSE CAKE

On the subject of good and evil, there is definitely both in the world.

I do feel a little bit like Walt Disney’s evil twin!  After all, I’m the guy who invented the clown that eats children…  but Disney had his Stephen King side – he was the guy who gave us the forest fire in Bambi.  And there’s the Evil Queen in Snow White.  – Stephen King

Today we want to focus on the good in the world.  Yes, we are thankful for Walt Disney!

I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.  – Walt Disney

Today’s Thanks Living is a little different. I’m thankful for the gift of laughter. Childhood innocence is precious and I could not imagine a child not knowing a certain mouse who wears red shorts year-round, yellow shoes and white gloves! I’m thankful to God for talented people like Walt Disney who bring cartoons like Mickey Mouse to us and give us a break from reality which is entirely too scary.

Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse in the late 1920’s. His film début was “Steamboat Willie” in 1928.  The cartoon was inspired by a 1928 movie with Buster Keaton called “Steamboat Bill, Jr.”  Interestingly, the movie is in the public domain, but it doesn’t look like we will ever be able to post the cartoon due to the very strict copyright laws on Mickey Mouse.

By 1930 Mickey was featured in a comic strip that ran for 45 years. In 1955 the famous “Mickey Mouse Club” was seen by millions on television. When the Mickey Mouse club came to an end in 1996 we didn’t hear much from Mickey. Of course when you go to Disneyland he is front and center, along with his girlfriend, Minnie, dog Pluto and friends Donald Duck and Goofy.

We need more people like Walt Disney in the world. It’s so important to learn to laugh once in a while. I do wish Mickey a very happy birthday – ! I thank God for the 85 years of happiness he has given us!

M-I-C… K-E-Y… M-O-U-S-E. MICKEY MOUSE!!!!!!!!!
(admit it – you sang the theme song, didn’t you???)  Wink!  😉

THANKS LIVING DAY 28

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PRAYER ABOUT FOOD

Today I’m thankful for runny eggs – and everything else that is the color yellow! I’m so crazy about yellow that I once bought a new pair of sneakers one half-size too small just because they had yellow in them! I enjoyed attending Wichita State University because their colors are black and yellow. Some people say black and gold but it is not gold – it’s yellow. I drove a 2004 Chevy Cavalier and guess what color it was? Yep – it was yellow!

Yellow depicts happiness and happy is what I want to be. The perfect background for yellow is a medium shade of blue. If it’s too dark it makes me sad, but if it is just the right shade it brings a smile to my face. The first sign that Spring is around the corner is when the Jonquils in our back yard begin to bloom. That gives me a sense of hope that Winter will not last forever. I sometimes think it will.

There are some beautiful yellow leaves blowing around in our back yard now. The red foliage is my favorite, but the harmony of the red and yellow leaves is very stunning.

There is one thing I do not like and that is the song about Yellow by Coldplay. Ugh… am I just getting old? Maybe.

I’ll continue to eat an egg in the morning for breakfast. I’ll dip my toast in the yolk and be thankful that God saw fit to make it yellow. Pair it with a cup of coffee and I’ll smile for sure! 🙂

THANKS LIVING DAY 27

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CHASING STEEPLES
STEEPLE PRAYER

I am obsessed with steeples on church buildings. Strange? Well, maybe. I grew up in the baby boomer 1970’s generation. In our youth group we used to point up and say, “ONE WAY”! We looked up for inspiration and guidance and I don’t apologize for that. It was not unusual to see my friends stand up in Sunday night church to testify that God kept them from getting high the week before. Our generation kept it real and we still just tell it like it is.

I believe steeples gently whisper to us with voices of hope. Are you listening to them? Can you hear the steeple telling you, “Look up! God is on the throne and He is in control of everything. He wants to control you and your life too, if you will let Him.”

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Some steeples are constructed in four sections. From bottom to top: Tower, Belfry, Lantern & Spire. While the fancy ones are pretty, I also like the more simple ones. They don’t speak as loudly and they are not seen from as far away, but they are beautiful in their simplicity. They have a charm all their own.

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Of course a church is not the building, but the people inside! I’m reminded of a little verse I learned as a child:

HERE’S THE CHURCH
HERE’S THE STEEPLE
OPEN IT UP
AND SEE ALL THE PEOPLE!

Some of you did the hand motions, didn’t you?

Christians see the steeples and we hear what they say and we see where they point. I’m afraid the world around us has gotten so used to seeing them that they take them for granted, or they just don’t care.

So hear me now. On the day when our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, breaks through the blue and snatches the Christians up in the twinkling of an eye – then the world will notice the steeples – then the world will hear them saying, “Here – this is the place where hope could have been found.”

That makes me very sad, because you see by then, it will be too late.

If you don’t know Jesus as your Savior today, please pray to Him. That just means you sincerely ask Him to forgive you of your sins and come into your heart to live. God loves you and wants you to belong to Him. Jesus died on a cross so you could spend eternity with Him. You don’t have to understand the why of it – you have to understand that you need to ask Jesus to be your personal Lord and Savior to make heaven your eternal home. You don’t have to beg Him – just ask and use that bit of faith to believe. God will do the rest – I promise.

Let me just say, while I have a thing for steeples on churches – that’s NOT what the church is all about! The church is made of people and is about people – period!

We talk about prayer a lot here. Praying just means you talk to God – and you listen for Him. Yes, He talks back but He talks to your soul. God does not want anyone to perish and spend eternity in Hell. He wants all to come to a saving knowledge of Him. I hope you will make Christ your King today.

Peace be with you. Show some love today. 🙂