MRO Family Christmas Waiting For The King {25 Days of Advent Begins December 1, 2020


Hello friends!

I am so excited to welcome you to our 2020 MRO Family Christmas focused on the Biblical account of the birth of Christ.

Waiting For The King -25 Days of Advent

We will continue our God’s Story Series with the greatest story ever told. I will send a daily email with content for each of the 25 days. You can also access @ the MRO CC blog.

http://www.mrocommunitycenter.com

I encourage you to pause using the following steps to create a framework for this special daily moment with your child.

BREATHE:

Step away from the busyness of the season and calm your head, heart, and hands as together you slowly breathe in . . . and out. (Adjust the length of this time according to your children’s attention spans.)

READ:

Spend time in God’s Story by reading the suggested passage from the Bible or from a children’s story Bible. Some days the selections are longer than others. One way to keep all ages engaged is by including them in the telling of the story. You can invite pre-readers to make up an action to do each time they hear a particular word or name. Or assign readers a section of the story to read aloud or have them read the lines of a character as you narrate the story.

WONDER:

Ask questions to reflect on the story. Then encourage your child(ren) to a deeper level of thinking about God and about the lives of the people in the story. Help them use their imagination as you wonder together about these stories. You might want to end this time by asking, “What do you wonder about this story?”

PRAY:

Close your time with prayer using the your own words and ideas in order to seal this time you have shared together. I pray that this will become a very special part of your Christmas and potentially an annual time you share together.

Please let me know if there is any way
that I can support this special adventure!!

2020 MRO Community Mission Christmas Toy Collection

2020 MRO Mission Christmas

NASCAR Ladies: Looking for a safe way to connect and do something wonderful this Christmas for children in the greater Charlotte communities? Join us on December 8 for a night of fun and good will. #MROMissionChristmas

“Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God.” 2 Corinthians 9:11

Ten Days of Thanks {Happy Thanksgiving}

When Jesus Gave Thanks

To everyone who is thirsty, he gives something to drink; to everyone who is hungry, he gives good things to eat. Psalm 107:9 CEV

Roughly half of Jesus’ public prayers in the four Gospels are prayers of thanksgiving for food. He thanked God for five loaves and two fish while feeding the five thousand. When He broke bread for the Last Supper, and when He appeared to the disciples and they fed Him, He thanked the Father. Any time He touched food in the Bible, He gave thanks.

Follow the example of Jesus;
recognize the Lord is our Great Provider.

How has the Lord provided for you today?

Ten Days of Thanks {Day Ten}

Day Ten

God’s beautiful message to you ~His beloved

When you are thankful, you worship Me acceptably—with reverence and awe. Thanksgiving is not just a holiday celebration once a year. It’s an attitude of the heart that produces Joy; it is also a biblical command. You cannot worship Me acceptably with an ungrateful heart. You may go through the motions, but your ingratitude will hold you back.

Whenever you’re struggling spiritually or emotionally, pause and check your “thankfulness gauge.” If the reading is low, ask Me to help you increase your level of gratefulness. Search for reasons to thank Me; jot them down if you like. Your perspective will gradually shift from focusing on all that is wrong to rejoicing in things that are right.

No matter what is happening, you can be joyful in God your Savior. Because of My finished work on the cross, you have a glorious future that is guaranteed forever! Rejoice in this free gift of salvation—for you, for all who trust Me as Savior. Let your heart overflow with thankfulness, and I will fill you with My Joy.

Finding joy in every moment today after recalling a time when God would teach me so much about living out my salvation with great joy in my heart.

Every morning my sweet little military man goes through his “get ready” morning routine. He has always worn a pair of bedroom slippers. Through the years I have grown fond of hearing him shuffle around the house. But that has not always been the case because once he takes those slippers off for the day, he puts them in the same place AND might I add, right in the path I need to walk as I get up to get ready. This morning, I tripped over those slippers just as I do most every morning unless I am up before him. 30 plus years ago this very little thing grew into a huge argument. Of course he thought is was NO BIG Deal. Truth is -it was not and still is not that big of a deal but all I asked was could he please find a better place to put them. And that my friend did not go well. Okay, so maybe I did not say it as kindly as what I just wrote. 🤪 He did his best to oblige and really tried but eventually they were right back where his daily routine ended. Slippers by the dresser, he’d sit on the edge of the bed, put his work shoes on, check himself in the mirror and off into the day he would go.

Today I laughed so hard I cried. Ever gotten caught up in staying aggravated about something that really does not matter? I remember the day God set me free from wasting time on trivial things- well at least regarding those slippers. I confess I am a still a work in progress after all of these years.

It was around Thanksgiving time AND the day of the “intense” conversation about the slippers. I was packing for my family to go home to NC to visit family when I received a phone call from a church friend. She asked if we could be accountability partners as she prepared to lead an upcoming women’s conference at our church. She was struggling with the team around her complaining and being snarky about everything. She had just had a hard conversation with someone on the team. She said, “I feel like I keep getting tripped up on an old pair of shoes and it is time to move them out of the way.” I want to be grateful but the old way of doing things just takes my joy away.”

I busted out laughing and felt such deep pangs of conviction at the same time. Lord forgive me. I had to share with her authentically that Monty and I had argued over a pair of bedroom slippers that very morning. Isn’t it interesting how God brings hearts together who need each other? In that moment I realized, the shoes were NOT the problem. I was the one with the problem. And perhaps, that “old pair of shoes” she was speaking about was not the problem either. We agreed in that moment to look for ways to thank God and to empower change rather than throw out a perfectly good old shoes. Maybe we could both shift our perspective from focusing on all that is wrong to rejoicing in the things that are right.

I encouraged my friend to make things right by embracing the wisdom the “old shoes” brought to the process instead of so easily tossing them. We would pray for an awakening to the scripture, for fresh eyes for this incredible event and for God’s Grace to see beyond the temporal and set our perspective the way God sees it.

A shift. New perspective. New focus. Rejoicing

The event ending up bringing so much honor to the Lord but more than anything we learned that perspective is everything. When we focused on the Lord instead of what was wrong it led us to what was most important, good, worthy and joy-filling. Needless to say God breathed in us new perspectives and rejoicing in all that is right.

I would apologize to Monty later that night. Don’t get me wrong, I still get tripped up on where he chooses to put them but I have learned to give thanks instead. It fills my heart and comforts me in knowing that if the Lord wills this beautiful man will come in the door tonight and shuffle around until the days end. I am blessed to be his helpmate and give thanks for the incredible husband, father, grandfather, friend to many and best friend to me that he is.

Point of confession, my joy is made complete on the cold days when I eye his slippers not two feet from me. I quietly slip them on and putter around the house secure in keeping them for him to come home to.

My heart is overflowing with thankfulness and joy my friend! This has been a very sacred place to me over the last ten days. I am genuinely going to miss our time together. Thank you to every heart that has taken the time to pause here. I pray this practice of faith in the midst of real life has led you to see with eyes that look for gratitude, ears that lean in close to hear to what God is speaking to you and faith to know that no matter the struggle God loves you and will use all things for good for those who are called according to His purpose. I promise you that no matter how hard things are God has a treasured ending that will be YOUR story to tell just as I have shared a few of mine.

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.—Hebrews 12:28

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.—Psalm 100:4 nkjv

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.—1 Corinthians 13:6

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.—Habakkuk 3:17–18

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:15-17

Ten Days of Thanks {Day Ten}

Day Ten

God’s beautiful message to you ~His beloved

When you are thankful, you worship Me acceptably—with reverence and awe. Thanksgiving is not just a holiday celebration once a year. It’s an attitude of the heart that produces Joy; it is also a biblical command. You cannot worship Me acceptably with an ungrateful heart. You may go through the motions, but your ingratitude will hold you back.

Whenever you’re struggling spiritually or emotionally, pause and check your “thankfulness gauge.” If the reading is low, ask Me to help you increase your level of gratefulness. Search for reasons to thank Me; jot them down if you like. Your perspective will gradually shift from focusing on all that is wrong to rejoicing in things that are right.

No matter what is happening, you can be joyful in God your Savior. Because of My finished work on the cross, you have a glorious future that is guaranteed forever! Rejoice in this free gift of salvation—for you, for all who trust Me as Savior. Let your heart overflow with thankfulness, and I will fill you with My Joy.

Finding joy in every moment today after recalling a time when God would teach me so much about living out my salvation with great joy in my heart.

Every morning my sweet little military man goes through his “get ready” morning routine. He has always worn a pair of bedroom slippers. Through the years I have grown fond of hearing him shuffle around the house. But that has not always been the case because once he takes those slippers off for the day, he puts them in the same place AND might I add, right in the path I need to walk as I get up to get ready. This morning, I tripped over those slippers just as I do most every morning unless I am up before him. 30 plus years ago this very little thing grew into a huge argument. Of course he thought is was NO BIG Deal. Truth is -it was not and still is not that big of a deal but all I asked was could he please find a better place to put them. And that my friend did not go well. Okay, so maybe I did not say it as kindly as what I just wrote. 🤪 He did his best to oblige and really tried but eventually they were right back where his daily routine ended. Slippers by the dresser, he’d sit on the edge of the bed, put his work shoes on, check himself in the mirror and off into the day he would go.

Today I laughed so hard I cried. Ever gotten caught up in staying aggravated about something that really does not matter? I remember the day God set me free from wasting time on trivial things- well at least regarding those slippers. I confess I am a still a work in progress after all of these years.

It was around Thanksgiving time AND the day of the “intense” conversation about the slippers. I was packing for my family to go home to NC to visit family when I received a phone call from a church friend. She asked if we could be accountability partners as she prepared to lead an upcoming women’s conference at our church. She was struggling with the team around her complaining and being snarky about everything. She had just had a hard conversation with someone on the team. She said, “I feel like I keep getting tripped up on an old pair of shoes and it is time to move them out of the way.” I want to be grateful but the old way of doing things just takes my joy away.”

I busted out laughing and felt such deep pangs of conviction at the same time. Lord forgive me. I had to share with her authentically that Monty and I had argued over a pair of bedroom slippers that very morning. Isn’t it interesting how God brings hearts together who need each other? In that moment I realized, the shoes were NOT the problem. I was the one with the problem. And perhaps, that “old pair of shoes” she was speaking about was not the problem either. We agreed in that moment to look for ways to thank God and to empower change rather than throw out a perfectly good old shoes. Maybe we could both shift our perspective from focusing on all that is wrong to rejoicing in the things that are right.

I encouraged my friend to make things right by embracing the wisdom the “old shoes” brought to the process instead of so easily tossing them. We would pray for an awakening to the scripture, for fresh eyes for this incredible event and for God’s Grace to see beyond the temporal and set our perspective the way God sees it. 

A shift. New perspective. New focus. Rejoicing

The event ending up bringing so much honor to the Lord but more than anything we learned that perspective is everything. When we focused on the Lord instead of what was wrong it led us to what was most important, good, worthy and joy-filling. Needless to say God breathed in us new perspectives and rejoicing in all that is right.

I would apologize to Monty later that night. Don’t get me wrong, I still get tripped up on where he chooses to put them but I have learned to give thanks instead. It fills my heart and comforts me in knowing that if the Lord wills this beautiful man will come in the door tonight and shuffle around until the days end. I am blessed to be his helpmate and give thanks for the incredible husband, father, grandfather, friend to many and best friend to me that he is. 

Point of confession, my joy is made complete on the cold days when I eye his slippers not two feet from me. I quietly slip them on and putter around the house secure in keeping them for him to come home to. 

My heart is overflowing with thankfulness and joy my friend! This has been a very sacred place to me over the last ten days. I am genuinely going to miss our time together. Thank you to every heart that has taken the time to pause here. I pray this practice of faith in the midst of real life has led you to see with eyes that look for gratitude, ears that lean in close to hear to what God is speaking to you and faith to know that no matter the struggle God loves you and will use all things for good for those who are called according to His purpose. I promise you that no matter how hard things are God has a treasured ending that will be YOUR story to tell just as I have shared a few of mine.

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.—Hebrews 12:28

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.—Psalm 100:4 nkjv

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.—1 Corinthians 13:6

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.—Habakkuk 3:17–18

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:15-17

10 Days of Thanks {Day Nine}

Day Nine

Nurture well your thankfulness, for it is the royal road to Joy! In fact, no pleasure is really complete without expressing gratitude for it. It’s good to thank the people through whom you receive blessings, but remember that I am God from whom all blessings flow. So praise and thank Me frequently each day. This nurtures your soul and completes your Joy. It also enhances your relationship with Me, providing an easy way for you to draw near Me.

As My cherished follower, you have received the glorious gift of grace—unearned, undeserved favor. No one and no set of circumstances can strip you of this lavish gift. You belong to Me forever! Nothing in all creation will be able to separate you from My Love.

When you awaken each morning, say, “Thank You, Jesus, for the gift of this new day.” As you journey through the day, be on the look- out for blessings and pleasures I scatter along your path. The greatest treasure is My Presence with you, for I am the indescribable Gift.

I love how every day we share I am reminded of the presence of God and the gift of life we have through His Son Jesus Christ. We have an understanding of having a heart of gratitude and thankfulness. But today leads us back to basic truths that sustains and brings joy to my soul every day. No matter the circumstances, there is unwavering hope in my Lord. I love starting my day with worshipping Him, leaning in to thanksgiving and telling Him what an incredible God He is.

There have been several seasons of my life when I have experienced such deep gratitude that it spilled out into every part of my life. One particular time in my life I felt an earnest desire to grow even deeper in this area. What began as a special journaling idea turned into a very special tradition in my home that started many years ago.

As a military family we looked forward to the annual Christmas cards from family, friends, church family and treasured friends we had made through our years of moving. One year after Christmas I decided to really stay my mind and nurture my heart in the area of thankfulness. By nature I am a very thankful person. So I grabbed a journal, my Bible and decided to do a Biblical word study of the word thankful. My heart was to find ways to incorporate thankfulness to God but also how to share my gratitude for others as well.

I happened to notice a stack of Christmas greeting cards that I had not put away. The Holy Spirit nudged my heart toward them. So I grabbed the stack, found a basket and made a decision to draw a card every other day or so, pray for that person(s) and mail them a note relating my gratitude for our shared story. This would go hand-in-hand with my thankfulness journey. Needless to say this simple exercise transformed my heart to one of praying for ways to encourage people by sharing my gratitude for them with them.

It was a beautiful journey that is still a very special part of my life. We would eventually include it as a part of our family table. We would draw a card, share stories of our thankfulness to the Lord for the friend or family and pray for them as well. This has grown so much, that I now have a larger greeting card holder for my Christmas cards. Why? Because throughout Christmas we use it to display our cards, leave them up all year and continue to add any cards or communications we receive to the card holder as a reminder of our shared journey. Every other day or so I still grab a card and pray as an exercise of thankfulness snd faith.

I want to encourage you to find your own journey of thankfulness. I can still feel the joy that I gained during that year of gratitude and thanksgiving. Made my heart large the more I practiced what I learned by speaking life into others. It might just include your time, a prayer, heartfelt writings, reading God’s word more specifically or genuinely thanking the postal clerk for their hard work and service. People need to know they are valued. Our act of obedience is to give thanks in ALL things AND encourage thanksgiving in others.

Finally, these last eight days have been very special for me. I am so very grateful and want to thank you for hanging with me and for the sweet messages you have sent. I am thankful to God for this journey with MRO and that God has allowed our paths to cross. Every relationship that has communicated with me is diverse and MY heart beats to tell you thank you for being the beautiful complete of the years I have served to date. Your kindness is remarkable. You are beautiful each and every one of you. Beautiful soul deep.

In closing, we have today and tomorrow to lead us into Thanksgiving. I am thankful for freedom. I am hopeful for our future because I know my El Shaddai – the all sufficient one is in control. I am thankful for our families health and how God has protected us. I am thankful for the God’s indescribable gift of His son Jesus. I am thankful that He desires to be in relationships with each and every one of us.

Find your I am thankful for in scripture and in life…… write them down, write them on your heart and share the fullness of joy with every opportunity the Lord gives you this week.


Happy Thank-LIVING!!



Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to Him with songs of praise! Psalm 95:2 amp

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.
Ephesians 2:8–9

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38–39

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
2 Corinthians 9:15 nkjv
Just took all of the cards out today. These
are the first two 2020 Christmas cards.

10 Days of Thanks {Day Eight}

Day Eight

God’s beautiful message to you ~His beloved.


Thank Me for all the challenges in your life. They are gifts from Me—opportunities to grow stronger and more dependent on Me. Most people think that the stronger they get, the less dependent they will be. But in My kingdom, strength and dependence go hand in hand. This is because you were designed to walk close to Me as you journey through your life. Challenging circumstances highlight your neediness and help you rely on My infinite sufficiency.

When circumstances are tough and you rise to the occasion, trusting in Me, you are blessed. Hope is seasoned in us when we go through challenges that we think are too much to bear. When you do so in reliance on Me, our relationship grows stronger.

Your success in handling difficulties also increases your sense of security. You gain confidence that you and I together can cope with whatever hard times the future may bring. You are ready for anything and equal to anything through the One who infuses inner strength into you.

Rejoice in MY sufficiency!

Pause right here friend. This is a linger longer moment.

While you are tryin to wrap your head around all of that- let me share my heart as it knows the sufficiency of God who carried me THROUGH the valley of the shadow of death. We walked in God’s sufficiency and are grateful for our El Shaddai- the all sufficient one.

Rejoice in MY sufficiency.

Our story~

1985 was one of the hardest years that I have ever journeyed. On May 2, 1985 my 42 year old father had a massive heart attack while asleep. There was nothing they could have done if a doc had been right there. He was light and love in this world. We would bury him on May 4- my daughter Ashley’s 2nd birthday. We all moved in a fog for weeks. We lived in Pennsylvania and drove 12 hours “home” every weekend to try and help my mom and sister navigate new and difficult days.

I was 34 weeks pregnant and was about to head to the restroom just before bed. I took one step, had a major contraction and then my water broke. I went immediately into labor and things were progressing very fast. The neighbor came over to sit in our home while Ashley slept. On May 31 @12:27am our son Ryan was born. My placenta had ruptured and After my c-section, Ryan was in grave danger at delivery. He would need help breathing and went immediately to the ICU. To spare you the details we spent a long week fighting for his little life. But praise be to our 23 inch long almost 6lb baby boy was a fighter from day one. They warned us he may have some delays and we listened respectfully. God would show Himself as sufficient in ways we had never known before. Did we battle through delays? Yes. But we pushed through believing God for HIS strength with every challenge. And He was gracious.

You may not know my son but he beat every statistic, graduated college and is now a Walgreen’s manager in Denver, NC. Stop by and tell him his mom sent you! We refused to believe the enemies lies because we knew the sufficiency of our almighty God.

My friend, I know that there are some of you who are battling giants right now. Maybe you have known or are suffering. There is pain or no end in sight. There were days when Ryan was growing up that I doubted and worried and relied on my own sufficiency. You too? It is fair and real that we will sometimes wrangle through and find our way back to Him. I have heard from some of you who are hurting, broken-hearted, lonely, grieving…. Pause right now and name what is weighing you down. Please know that I paused and am praying right now that this post will draw your eyes toward heaven and our Lord. That you will find comfort in the following truths. Claim them as your own and thank Him for always being trustworthy, faithful and steadfast. God is calling us now to let go of our circumstances and cling to the all-sufficient one.

I want to end with the following truths. Through the years, I kept one journal of just truths about God’s sufficiency. Every time that I was given the opportunity to be swayed to MY sufficiency and learn more about HIS sufficiency, I would simply write it down as a covenant to walk in HIS sufficiency anew.

God Is:

Sufficient wisdom and knowledge
Sufficient strength
Sufficient grace
Sufficient mercy
Sufficient power
Sufficient over heaven and earth
Sufficient provision
Sufficient peace
Sufficient joy on every side.

God’s sufficiency became very real to me while I was doing a Bible Study on 1 Peter not long after my dad’s death. I still cling to this verse fondly because it is truth that we have stood firm in a number of times throughout our lives. Giving thanks for the truths that we have learned along the way.


Rejoicing in HIS sufficiency…….

After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace [who imparts His blessing and favor], who called you to His own eternal glory in Christ, will Himself complete, confirm, strengthen, and establish you [making you what you ought to be]. To Him be dominion (power, authority, sovereignty) forever and ever. Amen…….I have written to you briefly, to counsel and testify that this is the true grace [the undeserved favor] of God. Stand firm in it!
1 Peter 5:12-14 amp


And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
2 Corinthians 9:8

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides.
James 1:2 msg

But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me. Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love. Psalm 31:14–16

I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency.
Philippians 4:13 amp

Not that we are sufficiently qualified in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency and qualifications come from God.
2 Corinthians 3:5

10 Days of Thanks {Day Six}

Day Six


God’s beautiful message to you ~His beloved.

I want you to linger in gratitude. This is a most delightful place—where the Joy of My Presence shines warmly upon you. ☀️ You often pray
fervently for something until you receive the
answer you desire. When I grant your request, you respond joyfully and thankfully. But your tendency is to move on rather quickly to the next matter.

I want you to remain for a while in an attitude of grateful Joy. Instead of experiencing only a short-lived burst of gratitude, let this pleasure flow freely into the future by training yourself to recall what I have done.

During Monty’s tenure in the Air Force, we lived in a 150 year old historic house at the top of a mountain that looked down over Morgantown, West Virginia. Winter was cold as winters are yet filled with beauty. Every flake of snow would bring change to our view as if gently shaking a snow globe. It was a magical day like that when God gave me pause.

I had put the kids down for naps. After closing the last bedroom door quietly behind me, I turned to see a prism of radiant light beaming through the window at the end of the hall. I was immediately drawn to it. The laundry could wait. So I grabbed my Bible, a chair and just sat in the warmth of the light. It was joyful just to linger there. I felt the Lord’s presence and found refuge in the oneness I experienced with the Him that day. I was a baby Christian with two children under the age of two. I was struggling with finding time alone and quiet time with the Lord had become the last thing on the “to do” list.

I opened my Bible, laid it on my lap and vividly remember reading but I could not tell you what I read. It was just nice to warm up in the rays of sunshine. Over the next hour God would give me pause and four words that I call the four “L’s”. He had beckoned me that day and it was so contrary to any other experience that I had ever known. Out of obedience I faithfully wrote down each word in my journal because I knew this was special and something that would be a huge catalyst in transforming my journey of faith.

Lean
Listen
Linger
Lift

We must make time for pause in our lives. Shut down the noise of the world and pursue the presence of God.

LEAN in close to your Heavenly Father
Listen intently for His instruction
Linger just a little longer in the stillness
Lift your heart and remain in gratefulness

God impressed upon my heart to end every time alone with him with this practice. Many days I listen to worship music in the last moments and LIFT my hands to Him in praise. I have nurtured and gained spiritual health through the years through this practice because it became my habit. The longer I serve Him the sweeter this time has become.

Now don’t get me wrong, my faith walk has ebbed and flowed through the years. There have been seasons when life has handed me hard things, found myself spiritually low from giving to others and then wrangling through life moments that have demanded every little piece of me. If you are there, I am simply here to encourage you to find that place again. He has not let go of you. He sees. He knows. God is a good and compassionate Father. If you are a prodigal, His arms are open wide. Maybe it is time to run home. It is never too late to get started again.

Lean in my friend- He is there.
Listen for His voice- let the Holy Spirit comfort you
Linger there and wrap yourself up in His love and light Lift up your heartfelt cry to Him and express the deep and hard place you are in. His forgiveness comes with deep compassion and His love will lead you to deep gratitude. This I know.

I looked forward to my daily retreat during nap time. Some days we lingered long and others I’d simply lean into His presence as Father God. But one thing that would remain was ending with a time of thanksgiving for His great love.

I still find joy leaning in close to the Lord. I know it brings joy to Him when I express my gratitude for His goodness. At this time in my life I experience a deep desire to sit quietly and wait to hear His still small voice. To linger in His presence cares so perfectly for my soul. Worship and adoration are the wellspring of life. Lifting Him up keeps my eyes on Him and stays my way in serving Him.

I know God is saying much to us all this season of thanks-

He reminds us gently and lovingly. Keep bringing your gratitude to Me. A thankful heart will remind and guide you in all that really matters. Keep focusing on your faith walk. Out of love and gratitude find ways to serve others. This thankfulness will bless you doubly—with happy memories and the delight of simply sharing life with Me.

Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
Psalm 95:2 nkjv

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.1 Corinthians 15:57

Remember His marvelous works which He has done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth.
1 Chronicles 16:12 nkjv

Ten Days of Thanks {Day Five}

Glimpses of Glory

Day Five

God’s beautiful message to you- His beloved.

A thankful attitude opens windows of heaven. Spiritual blessings fall freely onto you through those openings into eternity. Moreover, as you look up with a grateful heart, you get glimpses of Glory through those windows. You cannot yet live in heaven, but you can experience foretastes of your ultimate home.

Such samples of heavenly fare revive your hope. Thankfulness opens you up to these experiences, which then provide further reasons to be grateful. Thus your path becomes an upward spiral: ever increasing in gladness.

Thankfulness is not some sort of magic formula; it is the language of Love, which enables you to communicate intimately with Me. A thankful mind-set does not entail a denial of reality with its plethora of problems. Instead, it rejoices in Me, your Savior, in the midst of trials and tribulations. I am your refuge and strength, an ever-present and well-proved help in trouble.

Many of you know about the tragic loss our family experienced in May 2018. No matter how difficult our circumstances, I can say with a pure heart that our family has never lost hope. The rainbow photo above was taken the day our nephew left the ICU and was placed in a regular room. He and our sister-in-law’s survival was an absolute miracle. We thanked God and continue to do so daily for their lives, for those who survived and prayed for complete healing. Rainbows were commonplace throughout 2018 and appeared to spill down from heaven as glorious light on very special occasions just like this day. As we walked to the parking deck, the view of this beautiful rainbow became the first of many that would seal our hope in our Heavenly Father. I still smile at the thought of a gracious God who gave us of glimpses of glory and hovered right over our nephews room. My friend, His promises are true and trustworthy and on this day we were reminded to find our hope in God alone. Hope that we still cling to today.

So I come as a way of encouragement today. This I know, giving thanks with a grateful heart in spite of your circumstances will sustain you through the darkest days of your lives. And every now and then, our loving and good Father encourages our hearts because He knows this will lead us to places of increasing gladness.

My grandfather used to say it this way: Being grateful isn’t hard. Forgetting to be grateful is what makes life hard. Thanks Papa Spell for your wisdom.

Today, I choose gratitude. I pray you will be encouraged to do so as well.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. —Ephesians 1:3

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. —Habakkuk 3:17–18

God is our Refuge and Strength [mighty and impenetrable to temptation], a very present and well-proved help in trouble. —Psalm 46:1 amp

10 Days of Thanks {Day Four}

Day Four

God’s beautiful message to you- His beloved.

Thank Me throughout this day for My Presence and My Peace. These are gifts of supernatural proportions. Ever since the resurrection, I have comforted My followers with these messages: Peace be with you, and I am with you always. Listen as I offer you My Peace and Presence in full measure. The best way to receive these glorious gifts is to thank Me for them.

It is impossible to spend too much time thanking and praising Me. I created you first and foremost to glorify Me. Thanksgiving and praise put you in proper relationship with Me, opening the way for My riches to flow into you. As you thank Me for My Presence and Peace, you appropriate My richest gifts.

My friend, trusting God and walking in His peace and presence is giving Him His rightful place in our lives. We were created by Him and for Him to bring glory to Him. To give glory to Him is to live our lives in such a way that we give a correct opinion of who He is. We bear His imagine in a world longing for peace and His presence.

In the center of Hiroshima, Japan, the twisted ruins of the former exhibition hall remains as a memorial to the death and horror of the atomic blast. On a small monument, one word is inscribed in large, bold letters: PEACE. Man has long desired peace, but found it to be elusive because he does not know how to acquire it.

In the Old Testament peace indicated material prosperity or physical safety. Yet for the new-testament church, that is those who have trusted in Christ as their savior, peace means so much more: spiritual well-being, completeness, fulfillment, well-being, security and stability of mind.

“Believers rejoice. Be made complete [be what you should be], be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace [enjoy the spiritual well-being experienced by believers who walk closely with God]; and the God of love and peace [the source of lovingkindness] will be with you.” 2 Corinthians 13:11 (AMP)

True, heartfelt peace is not merely the absence of or restraint from conflict, but a life-giving, proactive, heartfelt peace that comes with completely yielding to God.

Because of Jesus we have been brought into oneness with the Lord. His presence and peace are the well from which we draw life. Out of the abundance of a life of peace with God, we can do nothing less than to pour out our praise for His presence and beautiful peace that permeates every part of who we are.

Walk boldly into this day beloved of God. May Jehovah Shalom- the Lord our peace who goes before us make a way for His presence to lead you and fill you for the kingdom work that can only be done by you. The world is waiting. Keep praising. Keep singing. Rejoice always. Make time for worshipping God and listening for His still small voice. The fruit of God’s spirit is alive in you. Share the love and speak peace for the glory of God.

“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal” Isaiah 26:3–4

While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” Luke 24:36

“And teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name. Hebrews 13:15

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!”
2 Corinthians 9:15 nkjv
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park