Truth Tuesday – A Week of Praise Worthy Thoughts

Thanksgiving is next week!  Can you believe it?!  Preparing for it will begin in my household this week.  Recipes need to be pulled out. There is a shopping list to make.  My husband and I are adding on some extra food preparation as God has put before us a family in need.  During the next few days, it will be busy in our household.

This is the time of year that is so easy to forget to take time to truly be grateful.  We find ourselves running around with our to do lists and when we finally sit down to the Thanksgiving table we find it hard to shift our minds into grateful thinking.

A couple years ago, a wonderful Christian author, Holley Gerth, posted on her blog a list of seven questions, one for each day of the week leading up to Thanksgiving, as a way to intentionally practice gratefulness.  Perhaps you would like to use these and enjoy participating in a week of being thankful while preparing for Thanksgiving.  You might even want to ask these questions to those around your Thanksgiving table. This is such a great idea for thinking praise worthy thoughts during a busy week of holiday preparation.

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Truth Tuesday – The Benefits of a Grateful Heart

We truly have so much to be thankful for in our lives each and everyday.  But in reality, life’s demands, struggles and concerns can cause us to feel quite discouraged and overwhelmed with defeated hearts instead of thankful hearts.  Or, we simply forget just to pause and give thanks because busyness has our heart wrapped up in getting things accomplished.

Perhaps what we need to remind ourselves is this – having a thankful heart can make a lasting difference in our life.  Consider these 10 benefits of a grateful heart:

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Truth Tuesday – Goodness and Mercy Are Right With You

Psalm 23 is a well known Psalm to many of us.  In fact, you may have it memorized.  It is a Psalm that has brought me comfort in my greatest times of need and reminds me of the care and protection of my Good Shepherd.

Let me encourage you to take just a few minutes to read this Psalm slowly.  Meditate on the words.  As you do, think of word pictures that are being portrayed in this Psalm and write them down.

Psalm 23 (NLT)

The Lord is my shepherd;
    I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
    he leads me beside peaceful streams.
    He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
    bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
    for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
    protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
    My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
    all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
    forever.

As you read it, did you find yourself exhaling a bit and letting some of the concerns of your day just melt away?  There is such comfort found in this passage.  What words came to your mind?  These are words that I wrote down:

  • Rest
  • Peace
  • Stillness
  • Satisfied
  • Provision
  • Guidance
  • Relationship
  • Refreshment
  • Comfort
  • Purpose
  • Protection
  • Restoration
  • Assurance
  • Contentment
  • Confidence
  • Security
  • Goodness
  • Mercy
  • Blessing
  • Anointing
  • Belonging
  • Hope

Notice this Psalm does not promise us freedom from concerns and difficulties.  However, we are promised comfort, care, and the compassionate watchful eye of our Shepherd, Jesus Christ.  We are welcomed with favor to a place right at His table.  A place of secure belonging and contentment.  Our path may not be easy at times, but we are promised rest, goodness, refreshment and mercy along the way.

Stop for just a moment and thank Him for what words came to your mind today as you read this Psalm.  These are His precious gifts to you.

Now, before you go on your way today, go ahead and take another big breath and exhale.  Let the words of this Psalm go with you today.  He’s with you.  There is no need to be concerned or fearful.  Trust.  He’s leading you on for the purpose and glory of His great name!

Have a grace full week knowing that goodness and mercy are right beside you.

Truth Tuesday – Seeking Him Is Essential To My Wellbeing

There are days, when my time spent reading God’s Word and talking to Him are so rich and encouraging, my heart overflows with joy.  However, there are also days when I feel as though my time with God feels awkward, unfocussed and lacking.  It is on these days, that I have learned it is necessary to stop and get very still, asking God to reveal the reason behind these feelings.

Here is what He often shows me:

  • There is unconfessed sin in my life.
  • I am harboring a bad attitude that is in need of an adjustment.
  • I’m allowing fear and worry to consume my thought process.
  • My mind is filled with long to-do list of all the things that I want to accomplish that day.
  • I am simply going through the motions of my quiet time, checking it off the list, but not truly seeking Him and taking the time to want to hear what He has to say to me.

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Truth Tuesday – Where Is Your Dwelling Place?

Through out the Psalms, David would often refer to God as his fortress, refuge and strength.   In David’s world, the fortress was often walled off from the rest of the city, and was supplied with food, water and ammunition where people could be protected and defend the city.  David knew he didn’t need to fear anything because he had found God to be a fortress stronger than any attack he would ever face.

We all have our own fortresses we run to when we face difficult circumstances.  Our fortresses can be people or things, which we think will protect us, bring us happiness or take our minds off our problems.  These people and things are not always bad or wrong for us, but we must be careful to not make them our “go-to” priority for comfort and neglect trusting God, our true Fortress, Defender and Protector.  He is the only One who is stronger than any attack we will ever face and will faithfully provide us with direction and strength to go through the attack.

Take a moment today to read Psalm 91 and reflect on the goodness and power of God that is promised to us when we dwell (stay) and abide (live and rest) in His presence.

Psalm 91 New Living Translation (NLT)

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
    will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
    he is my God, and I trust him.
For he will rescue you from every trap
    and protect you from deadly disease.
He will cover you with his feathers.
    He will shelter you with his wings.
    His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
    nor the arrow that flies in the day.
Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
    nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
Though a thousand fall at your side,
    though ten thousand are dying around you,
    these evils will not touch you.
Just open your eyes,
    and see how the wicked are punished.

If you make the Lord your refuge,
    if you make the Most High your shelter,
10 no evil will conquer you;
    no plague will come near your home.
11 For he will order his angels
    to protect you wherever you go.
12 They will hold you up with their hands
    so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;
    you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
    I will protect those who trust in my name.
15 When they call on me, I will answer;
    I will be with them in trouble.
    I will rescue and honor them.
16 I will reward them with a long life
    and give them my salvation.”

Have a grace full week dwelling in shelter of the Lord ~

 

Truth Tuesday – How Long, O Lord?

Have you ever asked God how long?  Or felt the raw emotions of feeling as if God had forgotten you?  In Psalm 13 David ask God that same question and also felt abandoned by God.  In despondency, David fell on his face, pouring out his heart to God.  As he did, he determined to trust God and the covenant of His unfailing love.  In the midst of the struggle with no end in sight, David meditated on God’s goodness and grace.  Through reflecting on God’s character and past dealings with him, David journeyed from crying to confidence, from despair to dependence to delight.

The next time you feel that the waiting is too long, you can do what David did:

  1. Call out to God and voice your concerns.
  2. Reflect on God’s character, trusting and rejoicing in His covenant of loyal love and His salvation gift for you.
  3. Sing a song of praise to the Lord, remembering all the times that God has been good to you.

Psalm 13

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
    How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
    and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
    How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
    Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
    and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

But I trust in your unfailing love;
    my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
    for he has been good to me.

Have a grace full week waiting on the Lord ~

 

 

 

Truth Tuesday – Being Completely Satisfied

All too easily and quickly, we look to people – our spouse, kids, family, friends, bosses, boyfriends, teachers and mentors –  for their approval and affirmation. We may even find ourselves looking for recognition in our possessions or position.  Do you ever catch yourself thinking, “if only I had or could…..then I’d be fulfilled.”  I know I have. But I have found that no matter how much I do or get, it’s never enough to fill me up and make me feel satisfied.  And it’s not suppose to!  Why?  Because the empty places in our hearts were created to be filled by God alone.  The deepest thirst of our souls can only be quenched by Him.  We will only have this thirst satisfied as we read His Word, meditate on the Word, pray, and spend time with Him, desiring to know Him more and more.  As we do this, we will come to know that His love for us is better than life itself….and be completely satisfied.

Spend some time today reading this passage  ~

Psalm 63

O God, you are my God;
    I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
    my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
    where there is no water.
I have seen you in your sanctuary
    and gazed upon your power and glory.
Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
    how I praise you!
I will praise you as long as I live,
    lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
You satisfy me more than the richest feast.
    I will praise you with songs of joy.

I lie awake thinking of you,
    meditating on you through the night.
Because you are my helper,
    I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you;
    your strong right hand holds me securely.

Have a grace full week longing for and earnestly seeking God…and sing for joy!

Truth Tuesday – God Wrote the Story of Your Life

Perhaps you have recently been caught off guard by something….a medical diagnosis, a change in a relationship status,  a loss of job, a pay cut, a loss of a dear family member, a friend that greatly wounded you.  It is during these times that we should remind ourselves of the truth that God is never blindsided or surprised by anything that happens to us because He wrote the story of each one of our lives.

God is well-aware of each and every “caught off guard moment”, and because he has already gone before us, he has also made a way for us to get through it.  As we travel these steps, following in his wake, we can be confident God will also walk beside us in the present and guard us from behind.  Truly, God knows us like the back of his hand, and we can rest and trust in the truth that his powerful presence hems us in on all sides Continue reading “Truth Tuesday – God Wrote the Story of Your Life” »

Truth Tuesday – Unshakable Focus

Are there days when your focus is more on your difficulties… your fears… your worries?  There is a Psalm that I have come to love when I need to be reminded where my focus must be.

Psalm 16. 

Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
    I have no good apart from you.”

As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones,
    in whom is all my delight.

The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply;
    their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
    or take their names on my lips.

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
    you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
    in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the Lord always before me;
    because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
    my flesh also dwells secure.
10 For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
    or let your holy one see corruption.

11 You make known to me the path of life;
    in your presence there is fullness of joy;
    at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

In this Psalm, David doesn’t focus on the situation from which he needs refuge, or that which threatens to shake him.  Rather, David celebrates God’s help in difficult times and His presence that keeps him safe and makes him joyful.

Take a look at verse 8.  It says, “I have set the Lord always before me.”    I am reminded here that not only did David know that God was always with him, but he chose to intentionally live out this truth.  Leaning on Him.  Trusting Him.  Talking to Him.  Surrendering to Him.  Instead of living in a way that believed God is distant…instead of focusing on the problems and challenges he faced, David chose to live in the light of the truth of God’s persistent presence.  As a result, David proclaimed that he was not shaken and had found joy!

Like the Psalmist, you too can choose to live in the light of the truth that God’s presence is always with you.  When you live this out, you will not be shaken  by the inevitable disappointments and detours of life.  You will stand firm in the midst of suffering or opposition.  You will find strength to press on in service to God as you live for His kingdom in this world.  You will find fullness of joy!

Wishing you a unshakable grace full week as you find joy in His presence ~

Truth Tuesday – The Lord is Good

Rather than being bogged down by our concerns today, perhaps what we really need is to think about how good and great God is.  When we remember His greatness, righteousness, patience with us, nearness, steadfast love, splendor, abundant goodness to us, wondrous works and awesome deeds our hearts and minds can trust and rest.

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