Friday, April 20, 2012

Give Thanks, He is Good, His Love Endures Forever!

I'd like to start this "Thankful Thursday" (I know, I know!  It's actually Friday!) with a Psalm.  Would you take the time to read this Psalm.  Would you think about what your story is?  What can you thank the Lord for?  How has He shown Himself good in your life?  How has He proven His enduring love?  The psalmist exhorts the redeemed of the Lord to tell their story.  Surely, we all have a story to tell.  I would imagine that as you read this Psalm you could nod your head, give a shout, proclaim an "Amen, brother!" because I am certain that ever "sinner saved by grace" has a story.  We've all traveled similar roads.  As I like to say, we all have stuff.  It might look a little different, might be clothed in different attire, it might have grown up on a different street on a different side of town, it might have happened to us or happened because of us or it might have happened in spite of us, but we all have a story.  And thank the Lord, He has a beautiful way of redeeming our stories, of taking what Satan would have used for harm and turning it into something amazing, wonderful, a true masterpiece.  Truly, His love is unfailing.  His deeds are wonderful.  He has been more than merciful to me!

Psalm 107
 1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
   his love endures forever.
 2 Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story—    
those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,
3 those he gathered from the lands,
   from east and west, from north and south.
 4 Some wandered in desert wastelands,
   finding no way to a city where they could settle.
5 They were hungry and thirsty,
   and their lives ebbed away.
6 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,
   and he delivered them from their distress.
7 He led them by a straight way
   to a city where they could settle.
8 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love
   and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
9 for he satisfies the thirsty
   and fills the hungry with good things.
 10 Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness,
   prisoners suffering in iron chains,
11 because they rebelled against God’s commands
   and despised the plans of the Most High.
12 So he subjected them to bitter labor;
   they stumbled, and there was no one to help.
13 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
   and he saved them from their distress.
14 He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness,
   and broke away their chains.
15 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love
   and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
16 for he breaks down gates of bronze
   and cuts through bars of iron.
 17 Some became fools through their rebellious ways
   and suffered affliction because of their iniquities.
18 They loathed all food
   and drew near the gates of death.
19 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
   and he saved them from their distress.
20 He sent out his word and healed them;
   he rescued them from the grave.
21 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love
   and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
22 Let them sacrifice thank offerings
   and tell of his works with songs of joy.
 23 Some went out on the sea in ships;
   they were merchants on the mighty waters.
24 They saw the works of the LORD,
   his wonderful deeds in the deep.
25 For he spoke and stirred up a tempest
   that lifted high the waves.
26 They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths;
   in their peril their courage melted away.
27 They reeled and staggered like drunkards;
   they were at their wits’ end.
28 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,
   and he brought them out of their distress.
29 He stilled the storm to a whisper;
   the waves of the sea were hushed.
30 They were glad when it grew calm,
   and he guided them to their desired haven.
31 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love
   and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
32 Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people
   and praise him in the council of the elders.
 33 He turned rivers into a desert,
   flowing springs into thirsty ground,
34 and fruitful land into a salt waste,
   because of the wickedness of those who lived there.
35 He turned the desert into pools of water
   and the parched ground into flowing springs;
36 there he brought the hungry to live,
   and they founded a city where they could settle.
37 They sowed fields and planted vineyards
   that yielded a fruitful harvest;
38 he blessed them, and their numbers greatly increased,
   and he did not let their herds diminish.
 39 Then their numbers decreased, and they were humbled
   by oppression, calamity and sorrow;
40 he who pours contempt on nobles
   made them wander in a trackless waste.
41 But he lifted the needy out of their affliction
   and increased their families like flocks.
42 The upright see and rejoice,
   but all the wicked shut their mouths.
 43 Let the one who is wise heed these things
   and ponder the loving deeds of the LORD.

73.  I am thankful for navigation systems.  It is so nice to know that I can travel safely and know where I am going.  What an amazing invention!  God gives man such amazing intelligence to think, plan, invent!

74.  I am thankful for a wonderful day spent with my children and a friend and her children.  We enjoyed a wonderful field trip to the Space and Rocket Center exploring and learning.  What fun!

75.  I am thankful for mercy--where would I be without it!

76.  I am thankful for mistakes-it's through mistakes that we learn the most.

77.  I am thankful for news from a friend that she's having a baby boy!  That little prince will be one spoiled little boy, coming into a house with three princesses!

78.  I am thankful for God's healing touch on my mother-in-law and my father, both recovering from surgery.

79.  I am thankful for on-line worship services.

80.  I am thankful for a God who understands everything about me and loves me anyway.

81.  I am thankful for the life of Peter, knowing that even mess ups don't exclude you from God's work.

82.  I am thankful for 3 hours of drive time in a car, all alone.  QUIET!!!!  Time to think, to ponder, to listen, to reflect, . . .

83.  I am thankful for praise music.  Where would I be without my music?  Sometimes when I don't know what else to do, I can simply worship!

84.  I am thankful that God's plan can not be thwarted by man.

85.  I am thankful for avocados--yummy!  These have become my favorite afternoon snack.  :)

86.  I am thankful for my friends at the Mexican restaurant--Gustavo, Rosie, Omar, Ulma, Jessica, . . . 

87.  I am thankful for the opportunity to shop for outreach ministry and imagining what it will be like to use the materials with children and adults, imagining laughs and smiles as we interact.

88.  I am thankful for a friend named Lana who PRAYS for me!

89.  I am thankful for memories of my granny who was my best friend when I was a little girl.  She taught me so much.  She taught me to love life, to love God, to dream big, to love people, to love cooking, to love cooking for people, to love sharing a meal with your family, to love sharing a meal with friends, to love sharing a meal with new acquaintances and old friends alike, to love on ALL the people that God puts along your path. . .  I miss her so very much but I am sure that she is still very much a part of so much of my life and that I will get a chance to dine with her again one day.

90.  I am thankful for playing basketball and jump rope and riding tricycles and motorized Barbie jeeps with my nephew, my girls, my parents, and my husband late on a Friday afternoon.  What joy is found in the simple things in life!

God is Good!  His Love Endures Forever!!!  


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