Friday, November 23, 2012

Your Praise Will Go on and on.....

Not just for a day or 30 days.....forever and ever His love endures and I AM GRATEFUL!!!!

"Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations." Psalm 100:4-5

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

An Appropriate Greeting

My oldest son, Joseph, is on the autism spectrum.  We spend quite a large amount of time working on "kind words", "appropriate greetings", and "nice voices".  It is often an exhausting process, but necessary and rewarding for all of us.  I think people this year need to be trained and taught about appropriate greetings.  Quite often during this time of year.....people lose their mind.  They act CRAZY and are rude, selfish and hateful.  Ironic that it happens during the time of year that we are supposed to be practicing gratitude, love and peace on earth, goodwill to men.  Today I would like to challenge us all to practice what the Word says. Ephesians 5:18-20 tells us, " filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

So, if you are a "Black Friday" shopper this is a GREAT opportunity to practice this verse.  As you have to cook a meal for more people than you usually serve...practice this verse.  Sending out a list of Christmas cards as long as your arm....practice this verse.  Another company party or neighborhood get-together....practice THIS verse.

Be blessed today as you actively display your gratitude and continue to practice appropriate greetings.

Monday, November 19, 2012

"Be Thankful"

Yesterday's sermon was on I Thes. 5:18  "in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."  As a part of our "If" series, this sermon was so powerful.  Today I want to share on the teaching of gratitude.  I've been sharing daily (well when I can) things I'm grateful for, but now I have a totally new appreciation for true gratitude.  Let me say that I am grateful for the move of the Holy Spirit and His ability to teach His children.  Praise be to God for using Tim Moore (our pastor) to bring the TRUTH to us.

1.  "Be thankful"- Eucharistate (in the Greek).  As a present and active verb this is to be linear, continual and intentional as opposed to a one time action of gratitude.  So we were reminded that EVERY time we share the eucharist (or Lord's meal) we are sharing a Thanksgiving meal together as a family of God.  The application question here...Am I intentional about gratitude???

2.  "In every circumstance"- En Panti (Greek).  Everything...ALL things (check out Rom. 8:28 and II Cor. 1).  Application-we CAN be thankful in all circumstances.  No pain or hurt is wasted IF given to God to redeem.

3.  "for this is the will of God"- Thelema Theou (Greek).  This is the actual desire of God.  God has deep desires for His children.  Living a life of complete gratitude is God's desire/plan for us.  

4. "for those who belong to Christ"- En Kristo (Greek).  Eph. 1:3 in Christ, as His child, I have ALL spiritual blessings in HIM!  I can take off my heaviness, rest in my Lord and the simplicity of the GOSPEL!!!

I Pet. 3:18 "For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;"  The entire gospel in one verse.  I need to SLOW DOWN, stop pursuing the American "dream" and live a life of gratitude.  My life was designed to be a perpetual display of gratitude for God's love and mercy.  Oh God, make me a display of your splendor!!!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Few Days in the Life....

So I'm a few days behind in this "thankful thing".  Not that I haven't been experiencing or practicing gratitude.  I just don't always have the moments to steal away to my laptop and capture what God has been doing in my midst that day.  Thank you friends and readers for your grace as you read my long(er) posts.

Day 14: Philippians 1:3-5, "I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now."  

I am so thankful for the many wonderful, diverse, uplifting and even challenging relationships in which God has placed me.  Over the years I have had some VERY dear friendships that have dissolved.  It's been one of the most painful and heart crushing things I've experienced.  However, it has brought a depth to my life and an authenticity to my current relationships.  I love the last part of this verse, it isn't about a partnership, a friendship that is self-serving, it's about the gospel.  God has changed my heart AND my vision over the last decade to really understand or GET what friendship is about.  Those friendships that feed me, bless me, encourage me, challenge me, uplift me, ALSO bring honor to Jesus.  Having pure out fun with people is a gift.  Yet, even in the midst of laughter, fun, silliness I LOVE that my true friends can bring me back to Jesus at the foot of the cross, or worshiping at His throne.  So, this day I will celebrate the GOSPEL, and having a true friend and BEING a true friend.  Jesus......change my heart to make me more like you.

Day 15: Psalm 103:1 is our thanksgiving verse for today, "Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name."

I will celebrate the many and complete ways that my soul can praise the Lord!  There is music that speaks to me in powerful ways.  I praise the Lord through journaling, blogging, laughing, talking, mothering, teaching....oh the many ways that I can glorify and magnify the name of Jesus.  I am grateful for the name of Jesus CHRIST!!!

Day 16: Jonah 2:9 is your thanksgiving verse for today: "But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to You.  As I think today of thankfulness in regards to this verse the word SACRIFICE pops out to me.  How can my sacrifice bring you praise?  What do I have to sacrifice?  What does sacrifice look like for me?  Is my heart willing to be willing?  God, today I will revel in the fact that through the Holy Spirit I can give up any form of entitlement or rights that I think I have.  The Lord gives me the strength to shout out gratefulness in the midst of confusion, strife and pain.    

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Jesus Saves!!!!

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

That's what I celebrate today, day 13 of my "30 days of gratitude".  I have been rescued from an eternity of desperate separation from my creator and God!!!  Jesus saved me from sin, hell and death.  He saved me from myself.  Oh, how grateful I am for the gift of life, love and redemption.  More than just a "cop out", a fantasy or an excuse, Jesus is REAL, alive and my Savior!  I am different because I daily choose to submit my will, care and life to the loving embrace of Jesus.  I'm not perfect, but I'm forgiven and I'm learning to walk daily in the newness of who Jesus is making me.  Praise be to GOD!!

Let's celebrate together with Travis Cottrell's "Jesus Saves"

Monday, November 12, 2012

Declaring Your Name

Day 12:  "We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks! For Your wondrous works declare that Your name is near." Psalm 75:1

Oh that I would declare Your name.  My heart's cry is that our family would be a vessel, salt and light, a beacon to declare your name is NEAR!!!  Today I'm grateful for the opportunity to home educate/disciple.  Now this is a really odd day to be grateful for that.  See, we ALL ended up in tears today.  There were harsh words, tears, yelling, crying, you name it.  Not a stellar day in the lives of the Flint family.  Yet, I'm grateful that we get to wake up tomorrow and try it all again.  Lord, your wondrous works....the trees, the stars, the birds, the wind, they all declare YOU!!!  My five snot-nosed, coughing, sick kids...declare YOU.  I'm so blessed and I thank you for reminding me today that you are NEAR.  

Practice makes.....

I'm not going to be perfect.  However, I am redeemed.  The beautiful mess of my life has been atoned for by the blood of Jesus Christ and I'm ever so grateful.

Day 11: Hebrews 12:28-29 today, "Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our 'God is a consuming fire.'"  A kingdom that cannot be shaken.  Oh what a great reminder for my heart today.  I still struggle with the fact that my world, this world feels, seems IS so out of control.  I personally was NOT pleased with the results of last week's election.  But God's kingdom is unshakable.  My God is a consuming fire and He will take care of me and He will consume all those that are against Him.  I KNOW the end of the story and I know that God WINS!  So today I will take heart in that and cultivate gratitude.  

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A week of challenge

This has been a tough week.  A week full of sickness, challenge, emotionally draining parental moments, financial worries has left me drained.  I am exhausted, discouraged and feeling anything but grateful.  I am a wreck, BUT I know that this is just a feeling.  God's Word reminds me " But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. (2 Cor. 4:7-10)  These promises are what I cling to and know that things are different than what they appear to be, and my safety and security is in Jesus!!!

So to combat my anxiety, sadness, "stinkin' thinkin'" and poor pitiful me "party" I am going to share gratitude.  Thank you for your grace as I "catch up" on my gratitude journaling.

Day 7: "I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14.  Knowing that I am wonderfully made is quite a difficult thing for me to still grasp.  I look into the mirror and EVEN in spite of a 100 pound loss I see a woman that is "short. round. brown. plain.".  I think that I will always be a fat, flabby, wrinkly, graying, plain-looking woman.  Quite often it's difficult for me to find anything "extraordinary" about me.  Other people are more beautiful, talented, creative, intelligent and charismatic.  This is a character defect of mine.  I struggle with the thief known as comparison.  So this day I will celebrate that God uniquely, wonderfully and fearfully knit together ever part of who I am.  This day I will take joy in the fact that I AM the best Janelle Flint that could ever be, I'm the only Janelle Morgan Flint that could ever be and that God makes no mistakes.     

Day 8: 1 John 3:1 "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! "  I'm a woman.  I'm a wife, mother, sister, friend.  I'm a college graduate.  I'm a musician.  NONE of those are as important though as being known as a child of GOD!!!  Thank you Lord.  This day I will celebrate and meditate on God's love to adopt me as His own and to lavish His good love upon me. 

Day 9:  "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28 All things.  Every thing.  The "good".  The "bad".  The hard, challenging and upsetting things.  The things that make me laugh.  The things that make me cry.  The things that cause my heart to grieve so much that I can barely breathe.  ALL of these things are used by God.  This day I will be thankful that God has called me for HIS purpose and so I can rest in the fact that no hurt, no tear, no pain will be wasted.  

TODAY.....Day 10: "For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer." 1 Timothy 4:4-5  This verse is hard for me.  I had to read a commentary on it to "get" it.  Now that I have a bit better understanding of this Scripture I love it even more.  I've been working hard to lose weight the last two years.  I've had to basically change my lifestyle and learn what foods are true sources of fuel for my body and which foods are just fun/pointless.  Yes God created white powered donuts, but they sure don't fuel my body like salmon and broccoli.  I am thankful though that as Scripture reminds me that food is clean.  God made food for me to eat and enjoy.  I can eat meat and not feel badly about it.  Now maybe I should feel badly about the half a bag of chips I devoured today.  ;-)

I'm learning.  I'm growing.  I'm changing and praying that God will continue to cultivate within me a heart of gratitude!!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Manic Monday and Time-Out Tuesday

Yesterday was quite busy and I FINALLY went to the doc. I've been sick in some shape, form or fashion since late Sept/early Oct.  A different antibiotic, an inhaler and a cough med. Bronchitis, the official diagnosis. I digress and share with you SWEET BROWN

Ok.  Now that we've all chuckled let's get on to the gratitude.  No I must confess that yesterday AND today are certainly acts of sacrificial gratitude.  I'm in a FOUL mood.  I can't find anything good with anyone or any thing.  I'm sick, grumpy and feeling sorry for myself.  Unappreciated, unloved and generally bah-humbuggish.  


Day 5: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4:6

Anxious about anything....God does that mean my illness?  YES!  What about Joseph's autism?  YES!!!  Finances?  Uh-huh!!!  My marriage and children?  YES I think I was clear!  What the future holds? YES JANELLE!!!  O.K. Lord, this day I will celebrate and take a moment to be grateful that in any and every situation I can rest in God's Sovereignty and trust Him that His plan will prevail.  When it doesn't feel good, sound good, look good, it IS for MY good and His glory.  I am grateful that I can take all of my requests, petitions and needs to God in prayer WITH a thankful heart.  I'm glad that the Lord continues to lovingly mold my heart into one of gracious thankfulness and not self-serving motives.  This day I'm so glad that God's perfect love casts out all fear and I don't have to be anxious.  

Day 6:  "Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods." Psalm 95:2-3

You are the GREAT God.  The King above all gods.  That's good news on TODAY...election day.  Today I'm grateful to be an American, and to have the right to vote and make my choice.  More importantly I'm so glad that I'm a dual citizen and my lasting residence is in HEAVEN.  God is my King and I am so grateful for THAT!!!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

For This I Am Grateful

Day 4: "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 3:17

Whatever I I'm grateful for whatever I do and that is being a wife and mother.  I am so thankful that God has called me to the high privilege of being a wife and mother.  There are days I shake my fist at Him and ask...why.  Why five kids?  Why two sets of twins?  Why a husband that struggles with depression and anxiety?  Why does Joseph have autism?  It is a lot on my plate, but I'm grateful.  Loving these children is making me more like Him.  Staying with Nathan through better or worse is causing me to love like Christ.  These trials grow me, mold me, change me, break me and purify me and for THAT I'm EVER so grateful.


Several of my friends are posting "30 Days of Gratefulness" as their FB statuses daily during the month of November.  Also one of my favorite authors (Lysa TerKeurst) is posting a Scripture daily.  So I'm going to combine those ideas and include it here in my blog.  Should be a fun month....Remember the Scriptures are Lysa's choice, but the gratitude is ALL mine.  Starting a few days late, but I've had a nasty virus/flu and I am WELL below par.  If you're reading this, maybe you'll pray for me???

Day 1: "But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in Your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for He has been good to me." Psalm 13:5-6

The Lord HAS been good to me.  Words can't express my gratitude for my salvation and I've talked about it often, so to I don't want to minimalize it or make my gratitude sound too small.  So today I will focus on His unfailing love and goodness to me.  Having five kids is often challenging.  The past few days during this illness have been extremely tough.  What I'm grateful for specifically is that Joseph (against his wishes) fixed breakfast for James and Jonathan.  He even said "You're NOT welcome", but he did it.  He made their breakfast and got them juice.  So, I'm grateful that in God's love, even in the midst of my sickness He showed me that He holds Joseph's heart and is changing it.  Although it seems slow to me, the progress is happening according to God's timing.

Day 2:  "November 2: "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever." 1 Chronicles 16:34   

His enduring love.  A love that lasts through financial ruin, marriage trouble, years of obesity.  His LOVE.  This day I will celebrate His love that carried me through my breaking point and two years of journeying toward health and wholeness.  I am 100 pounds lighter than on October 31, 2010 and for THAT I'm grateful.  I'm grateful that I've learned to work hard, exercise, jog, and enjoy sweating.  I'm grateful that I'm a size 14 and not a 28.  I'm grateful that I prefer broccoli and salmon over fried chicken wings and smothered fries. 

Day 3:  "The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him." Psalm 28:7

With my song....This day I celebrate music AND the ability/gift to create it.  I am so glad to have the knowledge and talent to play the piano, flute and sing.  I am still honing my craft and have plenty of room for improvement, but my abilities have provided MANY opportunities and I'm so happy to have had them.  Music is a gift, it stirs the soul and evokes emotion.     Some of my most precious memories involve music, for this I am grateful.

I will do my best to keep up with my daily blogging.  Life around here is busy, but even that brings thankfulness.  Although feisty and often precocious, my children make life interesting.  Have a GREAT day everyone and be BLESSED as you create and receive THANKSGIVING!

BTW Lysa hasn't posted today's Scripture, so I'll be posting again later.  Stay tuned.