By Kathy Watson
“May He grant you according to your heart's desire, and fulfill all your
purpose.” Psalm 20:4
Thank You, Lord for being my Ultimate Gift. I can never express completely the depth of what You are to me! I am so thankful that I untied the Package You presented to me long ago. That I then lifted off the lid and allowed You to escape and capture my heart.You are my most perfect and precious gift!
Cultivate a Thankful Heart
By Kathy Watson
Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call
upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples!
Sing to Him, sing Psalms to Him; Talk of all His wondrous works!
Glory in His holy name; Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the LORD!
Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face evermore! Psalm 105:1-4
With Thanksgiving just on the horizon, I find myself amazed that it is already November. Where does the time go? Do you feel the same? Do you ever look back over your past day, week, month and question whether you remembered to be thankful to God for the events that took place?
I believe unless I cultivate a thankful heart I will allow time to fly by and miss many precious opportunities to give God praise and thanksgiving for the blessings, answers to prayers and miracles He brings my way. When I fail to be thankful my relationship with Him suffers. To keep our relationship alive I must remember to listen and communicate back to Him how I know He is working in and through my life. Have you ever tried to have a relationship with someone who refuses to join in the conversation? You cannot build a relationship that is one-sided; it takes two people listening, talking, pondering, processing and even questioning. It requires a seeking out to know and be known and discovering you are accepted and safe…free to be who God created you to be.
As I ask myself, “Why do I need to have a thankful heart to God,” my answer is so that my relationship with Him will remain open, alive and grateful. In giving thanks I am acknowledging His power, authority and activity in my life. I am agreeing with Him that He is God and I am not. By placing my life and its outcome in His hands to do with as He wills I am trusting Him to see me through until this life ends. I choose to give Him the right to be my Lord and being grateful that He is!
It is my privilege and responsibility to let people know how God has answered my call and how He has made a difference in my life. His presence, guidance, discipline and love have caused me to mature and walk closer with Him. Not in pride, but with humility and, there’s that word again, thanksgiving! As the years go by I have found myself driven to share how He is active and alive in my life. I look forward to expressing how He blesses me in so many ways and to encourage others to believe that He longs to do the same for them.
With all that said, what are you thankful to God for? How has He made a difference in your life today? Tell someone and let the love of God flow through you and cause a spark to light the corners of someone’s eyes as they hear your story. Be intentional, develop a heart of gratitude for the One who created you and desires to hear you praise His holy name!
“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:17
His Name is John
By Kathy Watson
Today I was driving by
the rehab where my Mother-in-law had been recently before she passed away. I sensed
the Lord telling me to stop, go in and see a man that I'd seen the last couple
of days Mom was alive. I have had this thought, this calling if you will, to go
and see this man off and on for days. I forced myself to obey the still small
voice within, trusting that the Lord had a reason for me doing so.
Let me describe this man that has remained trapped in my mind. My eyes were drawn down as I walked by him sitting outside his room in a wheel chair. He is elderly or at least older than I. Looking back I would describe his face as gentle yet vacant. I don't know why my eyes chose to land on him back then, but they did, and my heart was touched by what I saw.
Today, as I entered the rehab I was anxious to see if he was still there sitting outside his room as before. As I turned down the hallway that led to his room I saw no one and began to slow down looking into each room as I went. The first two rooms interestingly were empty. Beds made up nice and tidy waiting for patients to come stay there. Then I came upon the third room. I slowed down and peeked inside. Sitting in a wheel chair sat a sweet looking older man just like the one I had remembered. I wasn't sure he was the man I’d seen before, because I was seeing him from the side view verses the front. Everything in me wanted to turn and walk back out the front door of the rehab. However, I chose to be bold instead. I tentatively walked in and when he turned his head I knew he was the one. I slowly walked over and squatted down in front of him so we could look at each other eye-to-eye and said, "Hello." I began to make a poor stab at introducing myself and feeling rather foolish since I didn't really know what to say to him. I was praying with one part of my brain to have wisdom in knowing how to converse with this unknown gentle looking man, while stumbling through my explanation of why I was now before him. Once I was silent and allowed him to speak, I was quickly aware of the fact that he either had dementia or Alzheimer. I have to tell you I was not only stunned, but I was also scrambling in my mind questioning the Lord as to why He wanted me to come see this man. My heart broke as I tried to communicate with him. He believed he was in his house, and was considering selling it. I wondered if he had any family that came to visit him and asked if he had any children and he said no. When I left I did not stop at the desk and ask about him for fear they'd look at me like I was crazy for coming to see an unknown gentleman. Maybe they would want to put me in one of those empty rooms?
As I sit and reminisce about the visit my heart breaks for the lost look in his eyes and the fact that I could not communicate with him logically today. I asked if I could pray for him since I didn't know what else to do and how to end the conversation. He seemed confused by my request, but I took it as a yes and did so. With deep sadness and tears in my eyes, I left him sitting there with a feeling of deep sorrow, for here was a man who had no understanding of reality in his eyes or in the thoughts he expressed. He was in another world...yesterday’s world.
I don't know why the Lord wanted me to go see this man named John or why God drew me to him in such a tender loving way. All I know is He said "go" and I obeyed.
Later I heard the song, "The Motions,” by Matthew West. When I put the two events together my heart agrees with the song. I don't want to simply go through the motions of the Christian life. I want to make a difference. I want to look into the eyes of someone who is seeking to know the truth or who desires to be set free of the pain and bondage we can so easily be held captive to. To look into the eyes of someone else who has a passion to share the truth the Lord has to offer as I do.
Maybe I was supposed to
look into those sweet vacant eyes as a reminder that people matter! There are
so many lost people...just waiting to be heard, to know you care, to be
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it more abundantly." John 10:10
Blessed is She Who Believed
“For nothing will be impossible with God. And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word. And the angel departed from her.” Luke 1: 37-38
Powerful, submissive words!
Mary so believed and loved God that she was willing to be used by Him in any way He chose. Can you even grasp on any level the magnitude of what she so willingly accepted? I shake my head in wonder of her immense love and devotion to the Lord. Yes, she was accepting the unbelievable, amazing honor of being Mother to the Son of God! But along with that, she was accepting the responsibility of what went with that privilege.
God, in His amazing grace gave her Elizabeth to run to. Did she go in haste to her because she was overcome with the absolute awe of being Mother to the Son of God? Or did she run because she began to play out in her mind what that honor would cost her? There would be accusations and finger pointing to face when it became evident that she was pregnant while only betrothed to Joseph. Would anyone believe her story?
Elizabeth was the perfect person to run to, for who other than Elizabeth could possibly accept the mindboggling story she had to tell? For that matter, who could possibly believe Elizabeth’s extraordinary one? What a party they must have had sharing their Mother’s hearts and their miraculous stories with one another. No one would understand their questions, their hearts and wonderment like these two. They would be forever bound together as kindred spirits.
These two ladies were truly blessed and God blessed them because of their deep love for Him. He used them in great and mighty ways because He knew them as His. With the blessings they would face many challenges and responsibilities. Heart wrenching pain would one day be experienced as they learned or witnessed the death of their sons. But for now, they could revel in and embrace the awe, wonder, joy and love of being honored and loved daughters of the King!
I would love to ask Mary if, being a Jewish maiden, she knew the Scriptures well. For if she did, she would have known Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” It was prophesized long before that the Messiah would be born of a virgin. What awestruck wonder must have overtaken her when she realized she was that virgin! Her words in Luke 1:46-49 reflect that possibility, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has looked on the humble estate of His servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name.”
Mary took time to allow the incredible honor given her to soak into her very soul. She praised God for that most glorious of gifts. She understood the magnitude of it. She also understood with absolute clarity who her Son would be. The Savior of Israel, the Savior of the world!