An Offering from Kathy: Abundance

November 1, 2014
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Everything about Me is available to you.  I am not a God of “scraps”, one who doles out bits and pieces to My children according to My whims.  Everything of who I am is readily available to each of My children every minute of every day.

This is difficult for My children to understand because they see Me as a stingy Father, one who gives just enough to get by in their lives.  The reality is I am a God of abundance, and yes, excess, whose greatest joy is to bless and pour out this excess upon My children.

The thing that hinders each of you is your ability and willingness to receive what I have to offer you.  Limits come from woundedness, this is true, but many times the limits are imposed by you yourselves.  You erect boundaries and walls that hinder My ability to give you what you desire and need.

You hinder Me whenever you immerse yourselves in the world, filling your lives and senses with things that, in the immediacy of the moment, I cannot compete with.  I am a God of the eternal.  I am not interested in a momentary fix in your life that will make you feel better temporarily, only to find yourself in need of something more days or months later.

Each of My children are deep, deep wells.  If you attempt to fill that well with things of your choosing, with things of the world, you will never, ever, be full and you will never experience Me as a God of abundance and excess.

WELL0009

I, your God, am the only one who can fill, on a daily basis, that deep well with in you, and not just fill it up, but bring it to a place where it is overflowing within you so that it cannot help but touch others around you.

This is My desire for your lives:  To be a God of abundance and excess every moment of every day.  I love you.  Receive all I have.”

 

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An Offering from PJ: An Offering of Praise

September 29, 2014
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Psalm 8:9, “O Lord, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth!”

During the drive to the ranch last evening an incredible cloud formation greeted us.  It looked like two smooth layers of vanilla cream frosting with the upper edge whipped into meringue-like peaks.  In the wide opening between the layers, piles of fluffed-up white clouds glowed with the waning golden orange light of sunset.  I glimpsed God’s creative beauty, and it took my breath away.

In our frenzied world it’s easy to ignore God’s blessed adornments.  We may not intentionally choose blindness to what sits outside windows and doors, but often we’re simply too busy to notice.  Was it necessary for God to create a world teeming with rich color and depth?  He did so anyway.  His creation reflects divine perfection and glory, and you and I know Him better because of it.

Romans 1:19-20a, “because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.  For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made …”

We have much to look forward to when we stand in God’s presence one day.  Consider the beauty of a spring day fresh from gentle rain showers, a smiling child’s rosy cheeks, the radiance brought forth from Rembrandt’s brushstrokes depicting reflected light, or lush green fields filled with coral, crimson, and canary-colored wildflowers.  Imagine these intensified to infinity, and then we can only begin to realize what will be fully known in eternity.

1 Corinthians 13:12, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.”

Today step outside and behold God’s marvelous works!

Psalms 145:5, “On the glorious splendor of Your majesty And on Your wonderful works, I will meditate.”

“Dear Lord, allow me to be intently aware of Your beauty and glory reflected in Your creative Hand, and praise You for it.  Thank you, AMEN.”

Admiring the Almighty’s Artwork and Soaking in His Splendor, PJ

COPYRIGHT ©2014 PJ Gover

www.PJGover.com (blog)

http://4homestore.com/devotionalbook.html (PJ’s devotional book)

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An Offering from Donnie: Grateful for Good News

November 25, 2013
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How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who…

brings good news.

   Isaiah 5:7

Forty some years ago I was a young woman ready to start a family, to become the mother I’d always dreamed about. But as happens, no babies were given and so I used my nurturing skills in the classroom, loving the third graders as well as little stray animals that always managed to find me.

But soon that was not enough, being a mother was what I wanted most in my life.  I wanted to feel the tender softness of a baby, to change diapers and fix bottles. A friend of ours had recently adopted a baby, so my husband and I began to talk about adoption.  Finally we built up the courage to make an appointment with Catholic Charities.  About nine months later,‘ the messenger brought the good news’ that our prayer to become a family had been answered and we were presented with a beautiful baby girl only 7 days old.  We were ecstatic and settled into changing our lifestyle to accommodate this new little person in our lives.

As often happens, ‘the messenger’ had not finished His work, and a few years later, I found myself pregnant and we began to look forward to adding another little person to our family.  Our second daughter was born and we were now a family of four, rejoicing and dealing with all that two little girls bring to your heart.  We loved telling each girl about how they came to be a part of our family; how Catholic Charities with God’s help found just the right baby for us and how God in His wisdom gave us another ‘just right’ baby.

When our oldest daughter was in her twenties, she decided, with our support and assistance, to try to find her birth mother.  Again, Catholic Charities was contacted and with their help and the help ‘of the messenger’, the birth mother was found.  She was also looking for the daughter she wasn’t able to keep.  A meeting of our daughter and her birth mother was arranged.  At the same time a meeting of all family members (numbering 13) took place.  Our little family was expanding by leaps and bounds and we were all filled with joy.

A loving friendship developed between our daughter and her birth mother, one that we could not be happier about.  Over the years we’ve been reminded about how blessed we have been to be the recipients of the ‘good news of the messenger of God’ giving us the experience of adopting a child and giving birth to a child, a blessing for which we are eternally grateful.

Divine Messenger,

I will carry the glad tidings

Of your abundant and abiding love

To all I meet and greet today.

Joyce Rupp

 

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An Offering from Eunice: A Prayer of Gratitude

November 22, 2013
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Prayer of  Gratitude

In the busy-ness of my life, O Generous God, I can forget to take time to say “thank you” for the abundance in my life.  As the Season of Thanksgiving approaches, I am reminded of  all those good things with which You bless my life.  I am sincerely grateful to You for faith and all the people, events, and opportunities that enrich my life.   (pause)

 

My heart is filled with thanksgiving for the gift of living,

for the ability to love and be loved,

for the opportunity to see the everyday wonders of creation,

for nourishment, sleep and water,

for a mind that thinks and a body that feels.

 

I want to have a grateful heart even when those things in my life are less than I would hope them to be – when my circumstances feel challenging, unfair, or even painful.

When life becomes so difficult that I feel afraid, stretched or empty

help me to be grateful that I am not alone

for You are as near to me as my next breath

and that no matter what, You never leave me.

In this quiet moment, I am thankful most for your unconditional and everlasting love.

Amen.

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An Offering from Evelyn: Gratitude

November 18, 2013
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Exodus 33:14  God said, “My presence will go with you and I will give you rest.”

I’ve always loved the Thanksgiving holiday. The gathering of the larger, extended family around the table filled with special food was always unifying and grounding.  My Thanksgiving traditions have changed.  Now I share the holiday with a smaller part of my family. We still gather at the table which is filled with special food.  I still find it unifying and grounding.  In reflection on the transition of tradition, I find the essence of what provides unity.  It is God’s presence.

God’s presence allows me to be content in my circumstances.  This awareness allows me to live authentically.  God’s grace abounds when I shed pretense and realize that I have enough.  Gratitude follows.  Gratitude becomes not only a response but an attitude that infuses all areas of my life.  Gratitude opens my heart so God’s love flows.  A deep sense of inner peace results.

Looking forward to this year’s Thanksgiving celebration, I am grateful for God’s presence in the past.  I am grateful for God’s presence now.  God’s grace surrounded me through the years.  God’s presence has gone with me.  My awareness has increased over the years. In this moment I am filled with love and resting in God’s inner peace.

Take a minute to reflect on your awareness of God’s presence as you prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving. How do awareness, grace and gratitude blend to form the foundation for true Thanksgiving. What might result?

Gratefully,

Evelyn

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An Offering from PJ: Thanksgiving

November 14, 2013
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Have trust in God

Above, that this day will bring His

Promises and

Peace upon each of

You and your loved ones.

 

This Thanksgiving season let our

Hearts be full with grateful

Adoration and praise for God.

Nothing can separate us from His love,

Kindness, joy, faithfulness,

Saving mercy and amazing

Grace.

Include in our prayers today

Volumes of thankfulness for

Incredible blessings that are ours

Now and forever though

God’s Son, Jesus Christ.

COPYRIGHT ©2012 PJ Gover

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An Offering from Diana: A Sense of Wonder

November 11, 2013
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November is the time of Thanksgiving, a time we want to cultivate a grateful heart.  In the class I am currently taking in ministry I learned a great way to do this.  In discussing the healing ministry of Jesus, the professor asked, “do we see miracles today?”  The class was fairly quiet as we pictured Jesus’ miracles that caused the blind to see and the dead to rise and tried to relate those to today.

Then he said, “what if we use the word “wonders” to describe what Jesus did?  Where do we see wonders today?”  We realized we see wonders everywhere: in nature, in the love of families, in people who have gone through heartbreaking situations and are now living  joyful new lives, formerly rebellious teens who are now living responsible, productive lives, people changed through faith, the loyalty of our pets, music and art, creative moments.  The list can keep growing  the more we think about.

Take a moment right now to reflect on where you have seen wonders recently.  Take time to thank God for them.  Looking for wonders, for the many generous gifts that come across our path, can change the way we look at our lives.

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An Offering from Rhesa: Grateful for Waiting

November 4, 2013
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Today kicks off a month-long series on the spiritual discipline of gratitude. We hope you’ll join us in giving thanks to God.

 

Simone Weil wrote, “Waiting patiently in expectation is the foundation of the spiritual life.”

Nobody likes to wait. I sure don’t. I get frustrated when my smart phone cannot keep up with my swipes. I hate sitting in traffic. I find it difficult to understand why someone cannot respond immediately to my text or email.

But I am grateful for the opportunity to wait for things that truly matter.

I waited for six months for a real date with my now husband of fourteen years.

I waited for four years, and through one miscarriage, to celebrate the arrival of a beautiful little girl.

I waited for sixteen years to live into the promise of a call on my life from God. This was the waiting that changed me. It was hard waiting. Waiting on this call to get some legs and take a firm shape challenged my identity and my theology. This waiting pierced my heart and left me questioning the very soul of the matter.

Wait here

But the waiting also left me helpless to bring about the results I desired. The waiting took control from my hands and eventually even the desire to control. The waiting brought about a deeper surrender than I had ever known; a moment when I could truly say, “Whatever You want God; that is what I want.” And strangely enough, I really meant it.

Waiting has carved deep places into my soul where God has filled in the holes and that causes gratitude to well up in me.

The waiting itself isn’t pleasant and the moment to moment, nitty-gritty day-to-day living of the waiting doesn’t feel holy. It feels downright profane. The waiting feels like drowning, every day, in a sea of doubt and hurt. Hope was forgotten and faith felt fake.

But still, I will give thanks for the waiting and for the changing as it brings me closer to the One I love.

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An offering from Debra: 65 Steps

November 26, 2012
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65 STEPS

I live in a big house.  A really big house.  When we built it and moved in ten years ago I rejoiced in its spaciousness.  One time I even counted the steps from our bedroom to the laundry room (65!) and saw the distance as a way to increase my exercise.

Times have changed.  The kids are grown up, the hubby has retired, and we are much more aware of the environment and our impact on it.  We’re more than ready to downsize.  Those 65 steps have become burdensome.

Recently I carried a load of clothes to the laundry room, only to have my husband call out, “Did you get the shorts I left on the floor of the closet?”  Resisting a snarky response I retraced my steps, muttering the whole way under my breath.  But then a remarkable thing happened: I was overcome with gratitude-

-gratitude for having a husband who needed his shorts washed

-gratitude for knees that were a bit creaky but still moved me when and where I wanted

-gratitude for the beauty of the house I walked through

I thought how much of life is like that “journey” between my bedroom and the laundry room.  I can focus on the negative or I can actively look for God’s presence and grace.  Willie Nelson may sing “and there was darkness on the face of the earth,” but as for me, I prefer the psalmist’s words of hope:

“Darkness is not dark for you, and night shines as day.  Darkness and light are but one.”  (Psalm 139:13)

With the Light,

Debra

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