Thankful February 22, 2018

Yesterday was an interesting day here in the little town of Bridgeport, Texas. First we had an ice storm move in, so I had to leave work after only working 2 hours and as desperately as I need every penny and cannot afford to miss work, I knew if I did not leave when I did I could end up missing a lot more work than a day or two. So I warm up my car and scrape off the ice that was already covering my windshield and head home. I didn’t make it out of the driveway of the apartment complex where my client lives before my windows were icing up, so I stopped and scraped the ice off again. I didn’t make it a block before the ice on my windows would not be moved by my windshield wipers, and unfortunately the road I was on there was no where I could safely pull over and since there were cars behind me I had to slowly trudge along using the lights on the car ahead of me to make sure I was on my side of the roan. A five minute drive turned into a 20 minute one, but thankfully I made it home safely without any incident. Thankful to be home safe and warm a power surge hit. Electricity went out. I was told ice on the power lines were to blame. Thankful to own thermals and sweats I layered up. Reports of accidents and hearing sirens from ambulances I was thankful to be home safe. Hours later still no electricity I was thankful for my little French press. I had decided to see if any work was being done to fix the electric for the apartments I live in and to see how other neighbors were doing. One neighbor said they were dealing without having power but they sure wanted some coffee. I told them I had a French press and could make them coffee. All I needed to do was boil some water and thankfully our stoves are gas. So they brought over some coffee and their coffee pot. So thanks to my little press we had coffee and they could take some home. Just as I finished pouring the coffee into their pot the lights came on. They took their coffee home and I went to blowing out candles. The second I blew out the last candle there was a loud bang. The transformer blew. Once again we were in the dark. It was hours later before it finally got fixed and the electricity came back on.

There are many lessons that can be learned from this day.

1 The true source of power comes from God alone. Jesus told His disciples He had to return home but that He would send us His Helper. This being his Holy Spirit.

John 14:26  (NKJV) But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

2 That even in the darkest hours of our lives when there is little light or none can be seen at all He is with us.

John 8:12  (ESV) Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

There are many more I could share with you but today the one that is important to me is this. Be thankful always. Not only when the sun is shining and you are happy and do not have any worries. James tells us to count it all joy when we face trials and tribulations.

Ephesians 5:20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Gifts Refused Or Unused

Have you ever refused a gift someone has given to you because you did not like it? Maybe you took the gift but you put it in a closet or up on a shelf. You never used the gift. It just sit in the dark getting dusty. Have you ever visited someone who cooks you a meal but you refuse it because it  is not food you like. I will use fish as an example. (By the way I love fish, actually I love food. Okay most food.) They fried some catfish or baked some salmon but since you do not like fish you turn the meal down.  Now think about the effort that went in to preparing that meal or what may have been involved in getting you that gift. Now think about the gift God gave us in His Son Jesus. How many people rejected Him when He walked on this earth speaking love and redemption to all who would listen?  Now look around the world today. Are people not doing the same thing today? We all have this wonderful gift from God. Given to us through His mercy and forgiveness and all we have to do is to receive the gift and give thanks. Some out right refuse the gift while others say thank you with a smile yet put the gift up and go about their lives forgetting what was given to them. Living their lives and not appreciating the sacrifice made for them.

Take a moment and reflect on gifts and food that have been given to you. I am sure you were thankful for the effort but did you refuse it, or put it on a shelf? Did the food go bad and you had to throw it away? We have discussed the gift of salvation God gave to us in His Son Jesus. Most of you who are reading these words have probably received this gift and are truly grateful. Yet there are other gifts God has given to you that you either refused or put up on a dark shelf and forgot about it. Yet you pray to God for Him to bless you with one specific thing or another, but God has already tried to give it to you. The packaging may not have been to your liking or maybe it was not done exactly like you asked for so the gift is either refused or neglected.  I am not saying the reason we do not always get what we pray for is because of this. I have waited lengthy periods of time for prayers to be answered and sometimes God has told me “No. I have something better for you.” The point I am trying to make is that appreciate the gifts you are given and actually receive them. Then put the gift to use and do not put it away to be forgotten about.

Here is a parable written in scripture. I have chosen the ESV version because I wanted the simplicity of the wording to help us better understand the story. My personal preference is NKJV.

Luke 14:15-24 English Standard Version (ESV)

15 When one of those who reclined at table with him heard these things, he said to him, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” 16 But he said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. 17 And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant[a] to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’18 But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’ 20 And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’22 And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ 23 And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I tell you,[b] none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’”


  1. Luke 14:17 Or bondservant; also verses 21 (twice), 2223
  2. Luke 14:24 The Greek word for you here is plural

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

The first gift we are given by God is Jesus who is our Savior. One of the acts a person does after receiving Jesus, is they are baptized to my a public statement about their belief in Jesus. Baptism being symbolic of Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection. Then we share with others what He is doing in our lives and how His love is transforming us, making us a new creation. We no longer live our life for ourselves but to glorify Him.  How we now live is our witness to the world.


Think about a gift God has given to you to use.


Are you using that gift or is it getting dusty on a shelf?

If you are using this gift, share what experiences you have had, and how this gift has helped you to grow closer to Jesus _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.


Unyielding Vessels

Instructions have been given to you but you did not do exactly how you were told to perform the task. You thought that you knew a better way. You brought attention to yourself when you were to do the task quietly. Your reward came from men and not from God because of this. How many blessings have you missed because of your refusal to do as you were told to do? How many blessings have you from another because you you would not let go of your own ways.

What areas in your life have you not yielded to Jesus? I know there are things in my life that I have not let go of. I make excuses and reasons that I don’t have to do so right now. I can do it later, or it really isn’t that important, and the list goes on. I am then being an unyielding vessel. My wants, desires and convenience has become more important than doing what God has asked me to do, or not do.

Then there are the things that I have done but instead of doing the task without bringing attention to myself, I announce what I am doing or what I have done. I got the glory when it belonged to God. It was not mine, I was just to be His vessel and carry his message and His love. This does not mean when you have done something for Jesus and someone thanks you that you are wrong, but you should do the task what ever it is without expectation of any reward. Also do it without grumbling and complaining, but do it with a joyful attitude even if what you are called to do is difficult, or you think it is beneath you.

We should be willing vessels. Prepared to do what we are called for at the time we are asked. God will not force you to do it, but then if you refuse, you are the only one keeping you from the blessing He has for you. Remember in the story of Esther, when her cousin sends word to her of how she needed to go to the king to save the Jews who were going to be put to death? He tells her if she does not do this, her fate will be as the rest of her people for she was a Jew. (If Esther approached the king without his invitation, even though she was his wife, she faced death.) He also said that she did not do what was being asked, God would find another. You know the rest of the story, and Esther did save her people. She was obedient even though she put her own life on the line to do so. I have to remind myself of her story when there are things that I have to do, that are unpleasant or even seem impossible for me to do. I then have to remember that even if I don’t have what I need to do what I am called to do, God will provide me with what ever I need to do His will, and in doing this it is truly Him working through me, and not works of my own flesh, or for me to seek reward.

I pray that when God asks me to do something that I will simply obey and know that it His will that shall be done, and that the glory belongs to Him.

Esther chapter 4

Esther chaper 5

Job 22:21 Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you.



Blessings come in many shapes and sizes

Today is just another day, but I was blessed with this beautiful present, by a couple who are so very special to me. It has now been over three years since my Mom died, and I still miss her very much. Yet when I spend time with my friend Janie I am often mistaken for her daughter. Which is interesting since my mother’s first name was Jane, although she went by Keiko. We have both suffered loss of loved ones, for me it is my Mom for her it is two sons. I told her today that we will see them again in heaven someday but while we are on earth, I will be the child for the children she lost and she will be the mother whom I lost. I am so grateful for her and her husbands friendship, they have truly blessed me with more than a kimono but with a friendship that is more like family.