Give Thanks in All Things: Including Pizza

Spiritual Truth:
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
~1 Thessalonians 5:18

9 Days, 2 Hours, and 15 Minutes till the big Thanksgiving Feast! Next week I’ll be eating turkey but today, for the Thanksgiving Challenge I’m thankful for Pizza!

My favorite round food, cut into triangles, then served up in a square box. Soooo Delicious!!!

Psalm 107:8-9 says, “Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” God really knows how to bring a smile to this girl!

Pizza is not just filling, but fun for the whole family. One of my favorite out of town pizza restaurants is in downtown Memphis.

God knew Exactly how to satisfy my hunger one night as I was exploring downtown Memphis with the kids. It was late, we were tired, I made the kids do a lot of walking and as we made our way back to the hotel we saw the glowing light of Aldo’s Pizza!

I was skeptical at first, then the colorful chalkboard sign with the Special, “The Wocket in Your Pocket” caught my eye.

What mom in her right mind walks away from a pizza joint that offers a Dr. Seuss themed Special?!?! Aldo’s had my attention.

As we entered the trendy restaurant the heavenly aroma filled our nostrils, the frowns turned to smiles when we each had a slice of the most amazing pizza I have ever tasted. I couldn’t be more thankful for such a great pizza memory.

Pizza Bliss

The scripture says it is God’s will for us to give thanks in EVERY THING!!! That includes pizza. What are you Thankful for today???

Does God Like Surprises?

Spiritual Truth:
“If you will listen diligently to the voice of the LORD your God, being watchful to do all His commandments which I command you… all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you…” ~Deuteronomy 28:1-2

Only 2 weeks till Thanksgiving! If you are joing me for the first time, I’m counting down the days till Thanksgiving by sharing all of the things in my life I am greatful for.

Today, is Day 7 of the Thanksgiving Challenge and I’m thankful for Surprises.

This morning, I surprised my kids with donuts for breakfast to celebrate all of our UN- Birthdays. You remember the song from Alice and Wonderland, right? It may just be Your UN- Birthday today too?! “So blow the candle out my dear and make your wish come true!”

Deuteronomy 28:1-2 says, “If you will listen diligently to the voice of the LORD your God, being watchful to do all His commandments which I command you… all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you…” which to me means, the LORD likes surprises too!!!

Did you know that the word “overtake” can be translated “to catch by surprise.” God wants to find fun ways He can be good to us and catch us by surprise!

When Was the Last Time God Surprised You?

Last week, I was surprised at work one day when I received a sugar cookie in the mail! Compliments of the cookie vendor, I was more then happy to indulge!

God wants us to be constantly amazed with His goodness and mercy. We must keep our eyes open so we don’t miss the ways He works. Psalm 77:14 says, “You are the God of great wonders! You demonstrate Your awesome power among the nations.”

Each day we should wake up with the attitude of, “I just can’t wait to see what surprises God has in store for me today!” It might be Donuts!

Watch for it. God doesn’t only celebrate us on Birthdays and Holidays. He is engaged 24/7, and 365 in helping us achieve our dreams!

God’s Amazing Grace

Spiritual Truth:

My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. ~2 Corinthians 12:9

It’s Day 5 of the Thanksgiving Challenge and today I’m thankful for God’s great grace!! And a little bling!

I wear this ring as a reminder of how amazing and far reaching God’s grace is in my life. It is a daily reminder of God’s favor over me even when I do not deserve it.

Growing up I tried hard to be perfect. I was in church 5 days a week. I was the star in all the church plays. I spent my weekends at Bible Quiz meets. I attended church camp. The list is endless. I thought I was a good person.

I subconsciously believed that all my hard work to please God was a guarantee that my life would go smoothly, and all my dreams would come true.

The Bible is very clear in Ephesians 2:8-9 that, “…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.” But how can one truly understand the meaning of grace until one understands the depth of one’s sin?!

When life did not go as planned, I became frustrated with good works and I let sin start to creep in. It was so subtle. I gave into bitterness, and jealousy. I let unforgiveness take root in my heart and justified those sins letting them grow into strongholds.

When I was truly confronted with my sin and how much it hurt God, when I truly began to seek out a lifestyle of confession and repentance, I was able to fully understand the meaning of the verse in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”

I definitely do not deserve God’s grace, His forgiveness, and His love but He gives it freely every day. “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).

The good news is God knows we will sin. Isaiah 53:6 says, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” God is so powerful, He doesn’t just offer up His grace, but He can also bring good things from our failures.

He bears the weight of our sin so He can bring life from situations that should cause our death. That is true power! Let’s give God glory today for covering us with His Grace.

Praying the Word:
Lord, I want to thank you for Your great grace and mercy in my life. Help me to know and believe that Your grace covers over all of my iniquities. Help me to accept your forgiveness when I sin. Thank You that Your grace covers my weakness. In Jesus name, Amen

Spiritual Stretching

Spiritual Truth:
If you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. ~Matthew 17:20

It’s Day 3 of the Thanksgiving Challenge. Today, I am thankful for the many opportunities I have to stretch outside of my comfort zone and grow.

Stretching goes beyond just the physical. All throughout life we are offered opportunities to stretch ourselves physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. The question is, when the opportunity presents itself do you accept the challenge?

In order to reach our highest potential we must be willing to let God stretch us.

Stretching is a process. Growing up I took ballet. Every day I had to practice several different stretches in order to achieve greater levels of flexibility.

The ultimate goal of a dancer is to be able to do the splits in three different ways! It seemed impossible at first, but with patience and practice the muscles in my body became more flexible and I achieved my goal.

In the same way I learned how to stretch my physical body, I must learn how to stretch my spiritual faith in Christ. God wants us to move into deeper levels of faith and total commitment to Him. In order to do this we as Christians must be open to stepping outside of our comfort zone.

God is in the business of growing us up in the faith and He will never leave us in the same place for long. Just when you think you have it figured out, something will change. We will be presented with situations that test our faith and offer opportunities to stretch.

It is our choice to be open to the pains of growth or stay stuck in old patterns that aren’t working. From experience I can say that stretching pains are not always fun but the rewards are worth the temporary pain.

Praying the Word:

Lord, I want to live my life in a way that is pleasing to You. Please help me not to stay stuck in old patterns that keep me from achieving my full potential. I want to be stretched by You and step into deeper levels of faith and dependence. Help me hear your voice, and give me the confidence I need to stay strong as I stretch and grow in You.

Thanksgiving Challenge

Spiritual Truth:
“…I have come that you might have life, and have it abundantly.” ~John 10:10

Thanksgiving is less then 3 weeks away! I cannot help but feel excited for one of my favorite days of the year!!!

To get into the Holiday spirit, I have created a Thanksgiving Challenge. Starting today, the goal is to take 5 minutes out of each day, and write down something you are thankful for. Save all your notes in a jar and on the big day share them with someone close to you.

This is something you can do on your own, or you can include friends and family. I have decided to make my Thanksgiving Jar our dining room table centerpiece. Each night at dinner, as a family, I will be encouraging my kids to take a few minutes to focus in on the many blessings we have been given.

Big or Small Write Them All

Since I won’t be with you all on Thanksgiving Day, I’ll be sharing each day on my blog some of the things in my life I am Thankful for.

Today, I am so very thankful I live in a land flowing with milk and honey!

That’s right! There are coffee shops on every corner with lattes and mochas in every flavor!

In the Old Testament, when God leads His chosen people out of slavery in Egypt, He promises to establish them in a “land flowing with milk and honey.” Ezekiel 20:6 says, “On that day I swore to them that I would bring them out of Egypt into a land I had searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most beautiful of all lands.” This verse is used to describe the life of abundance and blessings God has in store for His children.

God wants all of His children to enjoy a life full of abundance. He does not want us to settle for less then His very best. John 10:10 says, “…I have come that you might have life, and have it abundantly.” This promise is for every area of life. He wants our relationships to be fulfilling, our careers, our family life, our health and much more.

Do you feel like you are living a life of abundance and enjoying the “milk and honey” of the land? Or are you barely getting by each day, waiting for something to change? Too often, we settle for less then God’s best for us because we live in fear.

The Israelites lived in fear, even with this amazing promise! The journey from Egypt to the Promised land was long. It was through the dessert (where there were no Starbucks) and they were met with many obstacles. The journey was a part of God’s greater plan to teach His children dependence on Him to meet thier needs, and to give up thier desire for the old comforts of Egypt.

God wants to be our greatest comfort and supply our milk and honey. God does not want us to settle in fear, He wants us to turn to Him every minute of every day and give Him all the thanks and praise due to Him. Then He can lead us into our own Promised Land.

Take the Thanksgiving Challenge

I would encourage you today, to find one thing you can give Thanks for. Write it down and tuck it away somewhere safe. Thank God for His provision in that area of your life and you will open the door for God to pour out more of His blessings and goodness.

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