A Grateful Daughter

Vessels Ministry Praise

As a Christian I am not a religion. I have put on the greatest honor of the name of Christ and I am fully clothed in His identity. I do not deserve this honor and I am humbled each and every day that He has offered me His Grace. I am not worthy and the only thing that allows me worthiness of declaring I am Christian is His Grace, great sacrifice, and indwelling presence. This was a costly gift therefore it is not it is not to be taken for granted and it is definitely not about me. It is all about Christ. He has graciously brought me to this knowledge and the end of my “self” and for that I have the deepest of gratitude and thankfulness, and all I want to do is to know and imitate all that He is in the fulfillment of His great purpose and tell others.

This makes me a follower of Christ and endues the desire to be an imitator of all that He is. I know this within my spirit because it agrees with His spirit that dwells within me as they talk with each other. He has generously gifted His Spirit and His Word, and with the help of these gifts I can learn how to imitate Him. In imitating Him I want to please Him, and to please Him I desire only what He desires. He has revealed Himself in many ways but clearly in His Word as it expresses what He desires and commands as Lord.

Love the Lord with all my heart, mind, soul and strength; walk humbly
Love my neighbor as myself; show mercy, do what’s right and care about people
and make more disciples as this experience is shared with others in what I have come to know and experience about Him.

Christ instructs all His followers to go and this does not mean that I have to take a trip. It means that each and every day no matter where I am, what I do, or my circumstance, I am called and compelled to talk about Him and walk like Him in all that I say and do. This is the challenge and my daily cross because of the nature of my flesh and He provides help with this also as I remain focused and devoted to Him, through His Word, by staying in prayer, and spending time with others who mutually desire this same Christ likeness and fellowship, support, and encouragement in Christian love and forgiveness because we are building upon what He calls His church, which by the way is not about a building although we are grateful in support because we do meet there and He is there also. It’s really more about “a building upon” and it’s all about living out the life in His spirit because of His sacrifice and to His great glory.

In other words, when speaking individually it is about Christ living in me, operating through me, as me, as I clothe myself in His identity as a Christian, in honor of His great name in demonstration and devotion and by telling others. Amen: Y
(Galatians 2:20)

A Grateful Daughter – Time to Time

time-is-eternal

“Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my day, what it is: that I may know how frail I am.” Psalm 39:4

 

Time is a precious treasure and this year especially time has been a most precious resource as the year began with two goals in mind. A first goal was to complete the final editing and publication of a book titled A Grateful Daughter; Buckets of Gratitude Bags of Burdens, a devotional study in gratitude in which was in time a grateful blessing. The second goal was just as intensive as it began with a formal academic study in God’s Word and will be in time – a grateful blessing. Without saying, the completion of these goals left a mere fraction of remaining time but the goals have proven worthy. Next time ~

So grateful to draw refreshment in you through your time and treasure from time to time.

~ Amen : Y

A Grateful Daughter – Fingerprints

 

Vessels Ministry Handprints in Colors

 

 

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will. (Ephesians 1: 3-5)

Have you ever stopped to think about all those people who have touched your life?   We have all been impacted by people in positive and sometimes negative ways by those we have encountered along the way during the course of our life journey.

Sometimes we forget to remember.

Perhaps your parents, your dad, your, mother, your sister, your brother, your daughter, your son, your grandchildren, your aunt, your uncle, your cousin, your niece, your nephew, your friends, your in-laws, your neighbors, your boss, your coworker, your ( you fill in the blank), a merchant, and yes, especially a stranger.

Sometimes we forget to remember.

Just as the bees and the butterflies pollenate the flowers, people also can influence and transform our own souls into flowing and beautiful gardens in the sowing of the seeds.

Sometimes we forget to remember that it did not all begin in the garden – in Eden you know. When the earth was touched by Satan and it was he who touched the life of Eve, and Eve the life of Adam. You know that story. But God tells us it all began before Eden, before the foundation of this world. We are not random, a serendipity, a coincidence. God has a plan and in that plan he has a purpose for each and all of our lives. There is a reason in every season of our lives and not a single touch is random.

I think about those people. The ones who touched my life, and I think about all those people, and how I may have touched their own. It can be a convicting remembrance.   What fingerprints did I leave on the lives of others? Did I touch them with good, or in harmful a way.  Was it the print God intended for me to leave, or did I smear my prints in willful disobedience.

Yet it is God who touches the life of all and in Him there is remembrance in all good things. His fingerprints are clean and sure. They leave no smears. He does not make mistakes and in his mercy he will forget to remember our own. So how will you touch the lives of others?  What fingerprints will you leave behind? What gardens will you sow when you touch the lives of others?  Will you forget to remember?

Stay Focused

Vessels Ministry Pink Pearls Perfume and Prayers Rose Colored Glasses

 

“For our light affliction is for the moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are temporal, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 5:17-18)

 

God’s views and visions are not like ours. His eyesight is eternal and He gives us peace through that eternal vision. Amen. Just sit for a minute and soak that in.

I don’t know about you but there are those times when I can get stuck in the temporal, in the here and now. My vision is short sighted and the focus becomes limited. In these times it is the mind that is the culprit of this shortsightedness; and the body will no doubt react in kind. But it is the spirit that overcomes, and the vision of God penetrates the circumstance and reigns in eternal glory.

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us” (2 Corinthians 4:7)

I am so grateful for this treasure. ~ Amen: Y

Believe – Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace

As the guests departed I noticed a brightly wrapped present on the counter.  The gift  was silently given and caught up in all the wonder of the food, fun,  and fellowship I had scarcely noticed who had brought and left it there. I picked it up and noticed it was very heavy, very substantial. As I slowly removed the gift wrap what I saw took my breath away. I wept as I gazed upon the words knowing the cost of this priceless gift I have been given in the expression of these two words  ~ Amazing Grace~

In these two precious words ~ Amazing Grace ~ I am so blessed.

Each year as I draw nearer to God through His word I notice how each year becomes “The Best Year Ever”. Do you know Him? My prayer for you is that you do, and not just know about Him, but really become intimate with Him through His word. He has so much to abundantly share.

Believe and experience the miracle of His Amazing Grace.

He loves you so much.

“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2 Corinthians 13:14)

Wishing you the “Best Year Ever” in the miracle of His Amazing Grace ~ Amen:Y

 

America – What are your thoughts?

Vessels Ministry Liberty

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

(2 Corinthians 10:5)

America is a great country and I am so grateful to have been born in America. I also possess Native American heritage so I like to say that my ancestors helped others ancestors off the boat when they arrived in America.  But truthfully, I cannot boast about being born in America, and there was a time when it certainly would not have been a good idea to claim Native American heritage.  But in this great land of America we have so much in which to be thankful and in which to be grateful. I am deeply humbled, and know that this gratitude was enabled and purchased at a cost, and that cost was priceless American lifeblood. American patriots know this, and it is not something to be taken for granted.

Above all else in America we have the freedom to worship God and as Christians claim his Son as our savior. ~ Amen. This great inexpressible privilege also came with the high cost of priceless lifeblood, the precious lifeblood of Christ. This is something to be so very deeply cherished and not be taken for granted. Christians well know this, and it is not something to be taken for granted.

With all the recent attacks both domestically and throughout the world it is difficult not to think about war. All these reports of attacks and war are daily reminders how we must prepare for battle in order to be victorious. And daily we are to be reminded that God is already victorious and as Christians so are we. ~ Amen

All my life and all of your life we have been at war. Did you know that? Since the creation of the world, and certainly since the discovery of America, war has been a way of life. But in America we can look back and witness all the American victories in all these wars, over all her young years. And many may not realize, or simply choose not to acknowledge, but it has been God’s good grace that has made America victorious in battle.

So with that in mind let’s together take a look at all the American wars and let’s together take a look at her victories, and let us not ever forget the great cost of battle, priceless lifeblood. First to get ready for war you will need to be dressed for battle. Are you dressed for battle? (Ephesians 6:10 – 19) In Christ, we are now well dressed.

Now let’s take a look at the following statics of wars involving America. Be prepared to be astonished. Be prepared to be amazed. But bear in mind; always be prepared, and properly dressed for battle.   Okay- hang on. Here we go.

Since the founding of America out of a total of one hundred and ten wars America has been victorious in ninety eight of those wars. And if you can hold your breath for this – in one of those wars there was amazingly a compromise, and in one of those wars there was a resolution. Imagine. A war that ended in a compromise, and a war ended in a resolution.  (Highlight this phrase. It is noteworthy.) So conclusively, out of one hundred twelve wars America was victorious in one-hundred of those wars. Folks, this is astounding. This means reportedly the remaining ten wars ended in either a defeat, indecision, in conclusion, or stalemate.

America cannot boast about these one hundred victories. And some may, or may not choose to willingly acknowledge this, but God’s good Grace has been the reason for a victorious America. Did you hear that? If so, say it out loud. Let you ears hear the reason for victory in battle. God’s good Grace has been the reason for a victorious America. (Highlight this phrase. It is noteworthy.)

And oh yes, in America there are four wars which are currently ongoing. Did you hear that? Did you know that? Four wars are currently on going in which America is involved and in addition to these four wars involving America, there are the following three “unofficial” wars.  So what about these so called wars?

The Cold War – 1947 – 1991

After WWII – political and military tension resulting in economic sanctions.

Ronald Regan and Mikhail Gorbachev will long be remembered for ending this war.

 

The War on Terror – September 11, 2001 – Present

A term coined by President George Bush. Wikipedia calls this the War against Afghanistan and notes that it ended victory. But President George Bush named it first, and President George Bush named it correctly. We are still in battle with this war. (Highlight this phrase. It is noteworthy).

 

The Cultural War – 1990 – Present

Politics and cultural tensions.

The issues are abortion, gun laws, global warming, immigration, separation of church and state, privacy, recreational drug use, gender wars, moral wars, law enforcement and censorship. We are still in battle with this war. (Highlight this phrase. It is noteworthy.)

What are your thoughts?

Whose side will God take in these wars?

Will America be victorious?

Will America have the privilege of God’s good grace?

All war is ugly and all war comes with the high cost of priceless lifeblood and acknowledge it or not, all war involves spiritual warfare.

Will God Bless America?

What are your thoughts?

I don’t know about you but I want God on my side in any battle, and I desire to be victorious. So I will properly dress for battle, in Christ I will “armour up”,  and I will prayerfully take – “every thought captive”  because all I eternally desire is obedience in Christ.   ~ Amen: Y

A Grateful Daughter – The Singing Savior

Vessels Ministry - Amazing Grace

The Sweet Sound of the Singing Savior

There are those times when I am drawn into God’s Word and just sit in the stillness of the awe of Him.

Do you have the gift of voice – the gift of song?

I was not blessed with the gift of voice but I do have a heart for song.  I do so appreciate those who were blessed to sing and I am amazed by this gift  There are so many times when I would like to express my joy in worship and just burst out in song in the delight of my Lord. Regretfully, I know this would not be appreciated by those around me,  so I save this joyful urge to sing when He and I are alone. He knows my heart.

One day in my study I was drawn to a scripture and was so touched by what I saw – the image of Jesus singing.   I was drawn to a particular scripture that set before me an image of delight. In reverence and joy I now refer to these passages as – “the Singing Savior”. Have you ever imagined this – the sight and the sound of Jesus singing? I don’t know about you but that just leaves me in breathless awe. Just sit for a moment and reflect in this scripture and in the  image of our Savior singing.

“And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.” (Mark 14:26)

“And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.” (Mathew 26:30)

Oh beloved, this is a most precious and tender story!

Jesus and his disciples have just taken part in the institution of the Lord’s Supper. They were on their way to the Mount of Olives where Jesus would pray, and encourage His disciples to pray. In Gethsemane, Jesus knows “his hour is at hand”. He fully knows what is about to take place in His betrayal and in His suffering; yet He is singing – offering up a hymn of praise and thanksgiving. And he is praying. And scripture tells us the soul of Jesus is sorrowful and troubled. (Mathew 26:36-40) Yet he is singing and praying and seeking the will of His Father in the midst of His sorrow.

Are you not just awed in humility to know this was all for you? This was all for me – for us.  I just sit and imagine Jesus singing and can’t help but know the sound is sweet.This is the salvation story you know and there is a salvation song. And our Lord sings – over you.

“The Lord your God is in your midst,
A mighty one who will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness;
He will quiet you by his love;
He will exult over you with loud singing.
(Zephaniah 3:17)

I am a grateful daughter for the Grace in the hearing of my Savior’s Song. – Amen :Y

When Words Viciously Attack

Vesselsministry Conversations with God ~ More than Words June 13 2014Have you ever been under attack by slander or a slanderous person?

We see slander everyday displayed in various forms of media; such as the news, television, internet. Sadly sometimes we are visited by slander among our neighbors, friends, and in some cases our own family. An onslaught of offensive words typically spewed as vicious, quick, venomous and unwarranted utterances of vile untruths – lies. Slander may certainly seem mainstream in today’s world.

But as followers of Christ we are called to recognize and know that all gossip and slander is nothing more than a vile, disgusting, and a demeaning act of rebellious behavior. Did you know the Greek word for slanderous is diabolos. Yes diabolos; which means devil. I don’t know about you but this thought alone should send high alerts to anyone in the midst of slander; and offer immediate recognition in the knowledge that where there is slander there is Satan – the devil, and there is sin. We should turn away from all slander, and never allow our ears to hear, our eyes to see, or our lips to utter. If we are not vigilant sometimes we are simply caught off guard, especially if the slanderous act comes from a neighbor, a friend or a brother. 

Ephesians 6:10 instructs us,

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might put on the whole armour of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”

Did you hear that? The last five words – “the schemes of the devil”. So everyday we must be vigilant and “Armour Up” to the possibility of slander and the very schemes of the devil. We must prepare ourselves for the attack and avoid being caught up in the fray.

So how does “the devil” use these slanderous schemes? Robin Schumacher expresses this well in an article titled “The Heart of Slander”.
In these following words the “slander scheme” is perfectly outlined from a human nature perspective.

“If you cannot attack the argument, you attack the person in some way. Either assault the character or attack the circumstance, which results in diverting the issue or distracting the topic of discussion. It is driven by Pride and says, “You have to listen to me, but I don’t have to listen to you”.

Sound familiar?

Charles Spurgeon who was often slandered was quoted as saying:

“You cannot slander human nature, it is worse than words can paint it.”
But this outline does paint for us a clear picture of the “scheme of slander” .

Just how serious is slander among followers of Christ?  EXTREMELY –

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as good for building up, as fits the occasion that is may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you.   (Ephesians 4:31)

What about non-believers?

“You are of your father the devil and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is not truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)

What are non-believers to do?

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.” (John 3:14)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

Christ Conquers our Accuser – Satan the Devil (Diabolos)

“Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night.” (Revelation 12:10)

As Christians we can rejoice and be grateful in knowing that through Christ and His word we can “Armour Up” every single day. Christians are called to vigilance; as trusting and loving people but we must prepare for battle and not be taken by surprise attacks of the devil. In Christ we can conquer all slander and slanderous acts in a way that honors Him.

~ Amen :Y

Charles Spurgeon also had this to say about slander:

“If there were not grateful hearers of ill reports, there would be an end of the trade of spreading them”.

Measuring Up – What percentage are you?

Vessels Ministry Measure

Have you ever heard of the Pareto Principal?   Perhaps you have heard it as the 80-20 rule or the law of the vital few. In business it is a common rule that 80% of profits come from 20% of clients. Or you may have often heard that 80% of work is performed by 20% of the workforce, or top performers. Or 80% of complaints come from 20% of clients.

What about thankfulness. Does the Parento Principal apply to our gratitude as well?

Unfortunately, it may seem even less than so.

Jesus sadly demonstrates a similar rule in the story of the ten lepers healed by Jesus in Luke 17:11-19.

On the way to Jerusalem, he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices saying, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests”. And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at Jesus feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed?” Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And he said to him, “Rise and go your way, your faith has made you well”.

Wow – only one returned to thank Jesus. Not even 80-20 percent. There was only one to return to show gratitude for the healing he received from Jesus. This is an amazing story and in this one brief paragraph we discover so much about Jesus and about ourselves. ~ Amen

Jesus is on the way to his final destiny in Jerusalem and I love how the scriptures depict him passing between both the Gentiles (Samaria) and the Jews (Galilee). The lepers knew “who” Jesus was as they called him Master. They also knew that he would be the one to have mercy on them. The Master and his mercy takes his time to speak to them and then gives them a command. He is testing their faith and their obedience. “Go and show yourselves to the priests,” says our Savior. This was the law of the day. A person exhibiting an infectious and possibly viral disease must be seen by the priest. But what I really love about this story is once they obeyed Jesus he healed their disease. They knew they were talking to the Master. He is our high priest. So the lepers go on their way but only one stops to notice his physical healing. Only one stops long enough to realize he has been touched by the Master. And this “one” turns back. Did you hear that? Listen, this is important. The leper is physically healed but he “turns back” to seek Jesus and as he turns he is praising God – loudly – and he falls on his face at the feet of Jesus giving the Savior thanks. I don’t know about you but that just gives me goosebumps. And you know what else – this leper, this Samaritan was considered a foreigner, a social reject, to those back in the day. But Jesus did not reject him. Oh no. This Samaritan was accepted by Jesus. But then Jesus asks what he already knew, “Were not ten cleansed?” What about the other nine? They were physically healed yet did not seek to turn to Jesus, to give him thanks, to give him praise. But Jesus is pleased to have this one as he says to him, “Rise and go your way, your faith has made your well”. Did you hear that? Not only did he receive physical healing but spiritual healing as well. And he was thankful and he was loud, and he was bowed down with his gratitude. Goosebumps ! – Amen. Don’t you just love Jesus? He makes it clear he desires our gratitude. Are you in the 10 percent of remembering to thank Jesus?
How do you measure up in gratitude?

Joybursts

Gratitude is Joy

Hallelujah ~ “Praise God Joyously“
“My lips will shout for joy,
When I sing praises to you;
My soul also, which you have redeemed.”
(Psalm 71:23)

When our Lord speaks of joy with praise, it is out loud. The lips will be parted, the Joy will be LOUD and the Praises sung, with our body and with our soul. For it is after all, for him we have been made, a vessel, to praise him, and our soul joins in rejoicing in thankful praise for its own everlasting redemption ~ HALLELUJAH~ and we Praise God Joyously !

The book of Psalm ends in chapter 150 with the Psalmist exclaiming everything we need to know to Praise our Blessed Lord. The Psalmist poetically illustrates, in pithy terms, the who, the where, the what, and the how of Praise.

• WHO do we praise ~
“Praise the Lord”

• WHERE do we praise ~
“Praise God in his sanctuary;
Praise him in his mighty heavens!”

• WHAT do we praise
“Praise him for his mighty deeds;
Praise him according to his excellent greatness!”

• HOW do we praise ~
“Praise him with trumpet sound;
Praise him with lute and harp!
Praise him with tambourine and dance;
Praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with sounding cymbals;
Praise him with loud clashing cymbals!”

• WHO Will Praise Him ~
“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!”
(Psalm 150)

Lord, please forgive me when I allow my prayers, my praise, to be offered methodically.

This is not what you desire, nor what the Psalmist intended. The prayers in the Psalms are more than “How to Instructions”, to be offered to you as a ritual ~ lukewarm. We must open our hearts in prayer, with song, and great gratitude, so that we can express the Praise for which you are worthy ~ the “Hallelujah” Praise.

Blessed Lord, how humble I am that you would even accept my praise. For I am not worthy. All I have is already yours ~ I have no gifts to bring, only prayers of gratitude. Thank you Lord for allowing the refection of Christ in me to offer you praise. For without His reflection there is no worth. For you alone are worthy Lord ~

“Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!” (2Corinthians 9:15)

“I humbly offer my gratitude and they transform into “joybursts” ~ Amen :Y
A Grateful Daughter