Archive | January 2012

Day 21…..To continue? Or not?

Today is the 21st day of my Daniel Fast. I stepped on the Wii about an hour ago and I was down another 0.7 pounds since last Thursday! So far, over the past 20 days, I have lost about 12 pounds! I am so excited about that!!

To be able to pull a pair of jeans out of my closet that 30 days ago, I couldn’t even get my legs in, but today they just slide right on and zip and are NOT uncomfortable! What a great feeling!

But more importantly, I have grown in my relationship with God over this past 20 days. I feel my faith is stronger now. I am spending more time reading His Word, though still not as much as I should!!

I just feel better about myself and who do I have to thank for that??? GOD!! I haven’t done anything special to lose this weight. I just ate what He told me to eat, right there in the book of Daniel. Chapter 1: 8-16

8 But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. 9 Now God had caused the official to show favor and sympathy to Daniel, 10 but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your[c]food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.”

11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” 14So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.

15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. 16 So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.

Now, I haven’t been eating just vegetables. I have also had some fruit, whole wheat, lots of water! The things I have done without include my coffee, tea, MEAT, FATS, sugar, flour. How did I have a meal? Well, God has given us so many wonderful things, first being a mind so that I could understand what items were bad and thus excluded! Such as anything that has been processed, sugar added, caffeine, etc. Secondly, eyes, so that I could read the labels and ingredients on packages! And third, God placed it in my heart that I should do this. He asked me to! Trust me, when God says “I want you to do this” it’s not optional!! You don’t tell God, “nah….don’t feel like it right now”! You say, “Yes Lord, thank you!”

So now, as I come to the close of this 21 days, I have to ask, do I continue on or do I stop my fast? Well, simple answer is, I haven’t reached my goal weight, so I’m not throwing in the towel! I don’t expect to keep up the pace of nearly a pound a day, but I do plan to do what I have to in order to continue with my weight loss, and I believe that includes some form of the Daniel Fast!

I am also not where I want to be with my knowledge and understanding of God’s Word, so I will continue working on that as well. And, again, I believe that includes some form of the Daniel Fast! My prayer life is not what it should be, so I will continue to work on that, thanks to Daniel and my wonderful, loving Lord, Jesus Christ!!

Jesus went for 40 days without ANY food or water!! I can make it without overstuffing myself and engorging myself with sweets and junk, surely! Yes, of that I have no doubt!!

My plan for continuing my quest for a healthier temple for, and greater relationship with Christ, is to continue on with the Daniel Fast, but with a few alterations from time to time. I am going to allow myself some meat a couple of times a week. I may even indulge in something sweet, but only once a week.

I have discovered that there are a lot of things that I thought I could not do without, but I can! Such as my morning coffee. Oh, how I love a good cup of coffee in the mornings with some french vanilla creamer in it! Or, even better, when I manage to get by a Starbucks and get a Venti White Chocolate Mocha Cappucino! (sigh) Fortunately for me, the nearest Starbucks is about 60 miles away!

I will also start exercising! Yep, I have not been exercising and still lost nearly a pound a day! Imagine if I had been exercising what I could have done! But, I’m not going to dwell on what could have been. I am going to learn from that and use that knowledge to help me as I continue on my journey!

I know God wants me to continue on this path of getting healthy. I know that because He is the One who led me to this fast! I have tried so many diet programs over the years I could do a commercial! And, I lost weight with some of them, but I always ended up gaining all that weight back, many times with a few extra pounds thrown in.

When I had to take certain medications over the past 2.5 years for my back, I didn’t know that one of them  would cause significant weight gain! But I don’t think it would have mattered. I was in pain and needed the medication. My medication use now, PRAISE THE LORD, is only occasional, and the days I need it are fewer and farther between! God is helping me to heal my back!

God has done so many wonderful things for me, just over the past 20 days, so much more than I deserve! But, He loves me! He wants me to be healthy, so He is helping me!

He has given me the wonderful opportunity to volunteer at a new ministry in our local area, the East Texas Pregnancy Help Center. This is a place where young women, some still merely girls, can come when they find themselves unexpectedly pregnant and dealing with issues of self doubt, low self esteem, and just needing someone to genuinely love them! Many of them have never met Jesus! The opportunity that God chose me for, to be a part of this ministry, just humbles me! Who am I that God would want me to be in a place where I am trying to help young ladies learn to love themselves and most importantly, to know the love of God! I don’t know, but God sees something and wants me to use it, so I plan to do just that! I am going to work to reach as many as possible and share the love of Jesus with whomever will listen. That is my main personal goal for the next 30 days.

I have a couple of goals for the next 30 days, or actually I will say the end of February. As I said, I want to work as hard as I can to reach as many as possible and share the love of Jesus with them. I want to become more faithful in reading God’s word and in my prayer life. I want to learn more about my heavenly Father! I want to have a better understanding of what path God wants me to be on, and I want to make sure that I am on that path! And of course, I want to lose more weight.

With God in my corner, I cannot fail!

Thank you Father, for what you have done for me over the past few weeks and for what you are going to do for me and in me over the next few months and on! Lord, I know my success with this fast has only been because of You. You told me I needed to do something and then You showed me what to do! I thank you Father! I ask you to continue to guide me in my decisions and choices I make. Help me to make the right ones. Help me Father as I work at the Center, to follow Your will, listen to Your voice, and to let Your Spirit teach me and lead me! Help me Father to know the right words to use at the appropriate time, help me to be diligent and conscientious about not saying anything that might turn someone away from you! I pray Lord for the young ladies that come to the center seeking help, that you may open their eyes, their hearts, and their minds, to be receptive to hearing about You! I pray you just fill me with the Holy Spirit and that I let the Holy Spirit take full control. Not just when I am at the center, but at all times in my life! Father, I pray that I am following your will for my life and I ask You to please continue to lead and guide me in the ways that You would have me to go. Father God, I thank you for the wonderful things you have shown me over the past couple of weeks! You have given me strength when I was feeling weak. You have opened my eyes to things I didn’t want to see or admit. You have forgiven me of ALL of my sins. You gave Your life so that I could be saved. Simply saying the words “thank you” just doesn’t cut it! I want to honor you God, with my life, my body, my soul, and my spirit! In Jesus’ name, Amen

 

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Family

Some people have no idea just how fortunate they are to have been raised in families who stressed the importance of LOVE and FAMILY, and being together every chance you get, because you never know if you will have another.

I didn’t grow up in a family like that. To my parents, getting together with other family was just something that happened on occasion, holidays were never a very big deal, you never woke up to a big deal on your birthday. There just wasn’t that demonstration of love. I believe there was some love there, just a lack of understanding on how to demonstrate that love. I don’t ever remember hearing “I love you” until my first serious boyfriend!!

I have tried to do things differently with my kids and let them know that they are loved, more than anything in this world. Sometimes I think I did a fairly good job, and others…not so good. But, I believe my kids know I love them, and they know how important to me (and their dad) that they are. They all know that we will do anything we can to help them out at any time. They know how important it is to us for us all to get together from time to time. I pray they never forget that.

This comes up tonight for me because of a loss of a family member. My cousin lost his ex-wife today, the mother of his sons. I have never been really close with any of my cousins, but there are some that I have managed to keep in contact with, and actually see from time to time. It has been a very long time since seeing most though.

I believe God is telling me that I need to make some changes in my life regarding my family. There are some reconciliations to be made, some forgiveness to give and request, hurts to be healed. But I know that God can facilitate all of that.

For many years I have avoided all of the above, but I realize tonight that I have to stop avoiding them. I have to do what God wants me to do, because there may not be much time left, and I certainly don’t want to live the rest of my life with regrets. All I can do is try to make amends with those who have “beefs” with me. It is up to them to receive my apology and give forgiveness if they choose. I know God forgives me, because I have asked Him to.

So, tonight, or whenever you are reading this, make sure those closest to you know how you feel about them. And if there is a distance between you and any family member other than just miles, an argument between you or something else, see if you can make amends. It may not be fun, may even be painful, but in the end, you will feel so much better. It will do your heart good. And God will be smiling.

I love you Billy, Dustin, Jeffery, Donna, Elaine, Kim, Bobby, Mike, Lisa, Lucille, Chris, Kane, Emily, Melissa, Stephanie, John, Johnny, David, Aunt Cynthia and Uncle Frank, Aunt Alice and Uncle Skeeter, Mom, and yes, even my brothers Robert and Lewis, and so many other cousins, (I would be here for a LONG time).

Father, I pray for your strength as I do what I need to do over the next few days. Lord, you know the circumstances in some of these relationships and you know how difficult some of the conversations will be, but I just ask for your guidance. Give me the words to say and help me to approach the subjects in a way that they will be accepted by those who need to hear the words. Father, I just ask for your blessing on those that are hurting right now. Give them peace and comfort. Wrap your loving arms around them tonight so that they might get some rest. Father, those who hold a grudge, I just ask that you lay it upon there heart to prepare to release that grudge or anger. Let forgiveness and love flow freely between family members. I ask you father for more opportunities to see and visit with each other on happier occasions. I ask you Lord to remove any roadblocks that may prevent any of the family from attending a reunion this summer. Bring us all together and let us all enjoy each other’s company! Thank you so much Father. You have blessed me beyond measure and I cannot thank you enough. I thank you for your son, whom you sent to die on the cross at Calvary so that I, and all who believe in you and your son, may have everlasting life with you in heaven. I love you Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Day 15….Still going….Energizer bunny style!!

Well, today was day 15 of my 21 day Daniel Fast. I didn’t start off too well as I woke with a killer headache, headed to the scales to weigh in for the week and was NOT happy with what my scales had to tell me! Thought maybe a little coffee might help the headache, so I get a cup, have a couple of sips and by the second sip, I’m getting nauseous!! So, now I’m thinking this might be a migraine headache. Haven’t had one of those in a VERY long time!!

We have been fairly stressed lately, with the concerns we have going on with our house, (in need of numerous repairs, or just flat out replacing! It’s a 25+ year old mobile home that was used when we bought it 10 years ago!) and job concerns. My husbands normal job concerns, or at least what seems normal these days. Hopefully things will smooth out in the next few months. And then, I have decided to go back into the work world. So, I am now on the hunt for a job.

Due to some of my health issues this job, if it exists, will have to be one with particular exceptions. I feel like I am being greedy or impossible when I say it, but I cannot stand for hours on end because of my back problems and surgery. I can’t go to work for minimum wage, (well I guess if it comes down to it I can, just would rather not!). Minimum wage will most likely barely pay for my gas to get to work!! Of course, that depends on the location of the job I find.

Anyway, I went back to bed for a bit after the coffee making me feel ill, and slept for an additional hour or so. Still had the headache when I got up, but was hopeful it would ease up as I woke up. Went to the bathroom to weigh….looked like I was down a pound or so!! So, I go to the Wii…where I have been keeping up with my weights and such. DOWN 2.6 pounds!!! That makes my total in 15 days, slightly over 10 pounds!!! I am very happy about that!!

So, I know God is with me through this walk on my fast. I know He is with my husband and I as we seek direction on what to do about our housing situation. (We live on family property and hubby will not leave this property! Plus 5 of my grandkids live within 300 yards or so of us. Can’t leave those grandbabies!) So, whatever happens, we will be staying in the same place, just in a different ‘place’, if God so desires! We are trusting in Him to lead us into the right decision and right situation.

So, as I continue my final week on the Daniel Fast, before making some slight modifications, I plan to spend more time in God’s word and in prayer. I know God knows what tomorrow holds and I am leaving it in His hands. If you feel so inclined, I would really appreciate additional prayers!

Friday, the 13th

Today is Friday the 13th. To many people that is a very bad thing! It is a Friday and to be the 13th, OH NO!!! Bad things will happen to all who are not VERY careful and do not fear the unknown!! HAHAHAHA!!!

Friday the 13th is just a day that follows the 12th and comes before the 14th. It is a day that God has made just for us! If we truly believe bad things are going to happen, then there is that possibility; but if you go into this day expecting great things, appreciative to God for this glorious day, then guess what? Great things can happen!! You do not have to fear the unknown when you ask God to walk beside you through your day!

Such a simple thought, yet so many ignore it! WHY? Why do so many professed christians fail to begin their day with a simple conversation with our wonderful, almighty God? There are several reasons that I know of…

1. They forget— Now, how do you forget if you are truly a faithful follower of Jesus Christ? Easy,  you aren’t as faithful as you should be. You have not taken the time or made the committment to make your day begin and end with a conversation with our Lord! It takes approximately 21 days to create a habit according to some researchers. So here is challenge #1 for you. If you do not already, make it a point of talking to God EVERY SINGLE DAY, BEFORE YOU GET OUT OF BED!!! And then talk to Him again, every night, BEFORE LAYING DOWN TO SLEEP! EVERY DAY for 21 days. Then see what happens on the 22nd day. I bet you don’t even think about it. You will just lay there awake and have your morning conversation with God.

2. Laziness — We are too afraid of getting lazy by sitting for any amount of time and praying, talking to God, so we get busy with our day and tell ourselves that we will pray later. RIGHT!!! Usually does not happen. Again, start your day with a conversation with God!! HE WANTS YOU TO!! 21 days…..

3. Too busy — We jump out of bed and get our day started and before you know it, supper time has come and gone, you are exhausted from all you have done in the course of your day, and you have not once spoken with God. Stop right there. Consider this. How would you feel, if someone you loved dearly, spouse, child, friend, etc., went an entire day without speaking to you, AT ALL!! Not very good huh? Maybe like they didn’t really love you so much after all? Well, how do you think God feels when we don’t take the time to spend with Him? We leave Him out of everything! He is like the poor little wallflower at the school dance, just standing off to theirself, noone paying them any attention. And they go home feeling lonely and unwanted. Let God know you love Him!! TALK TO HIM!! 21 days….

4. Your afraid — Either you are afraid of not saying the right things, or you don’t know how to pray or you are afraid of what your family might think of you if they hear you praying. First of all, your family should KNOW you pray!! You should be praying WITH your family!! Not always, you need that alone prayer time with God, but you should definitely involve your family in your prayer life. Afraid of not saying the right things or how to pray? It’s simple. Just start talking to God, just like you would your best friend. After all, isn’t He your best friend? He should be. As you start talking to Him about what you expect from your day, ask God to lead you through this day. Thank Him for what He did for you yesterday and last night, (you slept didn’t you?) Thank Him for waking you up this morning. Thank Him for any and all things in your life, even the BAD things! Yes, I said even the bad things. Because those bad things, those trials and tribulations that we go through, are being used by God to teach us. There is always a lesson in what God takes us through. Notice I said TAKES us through and not PUTS us through. Because, everything we go through, if we ask Him, God is right there with us. But He wants you to invite Him. 21 days…

5. “I tried and nothing changed” — The problem there is that we expect immediate results. We have become a society of instant gratification. We want warm food, zap it in the microwave; need to get a message to someone, send them an IM or text message. Need to know some facts about something, google it! God doesn’t work that way! He does everything in His own time and we have to be patient and wait upon the Lord! That in itself is a lesson on patience, something we can all use a bit more of! Keep talking to Him. He is there and listening. God always answers prayer. His answers are either, yes, no, or not right now! 21 days….

Talk to your Father in heaven, about anything and everything. He already knows, but He wants to hear from you!

Thank you Lord for another beautiful day you have given us! Father you give us so much that we fail to thank you for. You are so good to us, much better than we deserve. Father I thank you for the continued blessings you give me and my family. You bless us each day with food to eat, clothes to wear, a roof over our heads, and other material things that are above and beyond what we really need. Father, YOU are my hearts desire! I pray for your guidance throughout each and every step I take. I ask you to lead me and keep me from all temptation. Forgive me Father, for the things I may have said or done that were disappointing to you. Help me Lord to forgive those who I feel have treated me badly. Help me to be the loving and forgiving person you want me to be. Lord, it is my desire to be the representative for you that you would have me to be. I want there to be no doubt when someone sees or speaks to me, that I am YOUR CHILD!! I love you Lord God, my wonderful heavenly Father! I love you so much and I thank you for all the wonderful things you have planned for me in the future. I thank you for taking me and my family through the trials of the past year and helping us to see You, Lord, at work in those trying times. I see you still working on those things and I know that all things come together for good for those who love the Lord. I know that good things are coming for my family and I thank you so very much for that! I ask you again Father to forgive me where I have failed you. Help me to be a good disciple for  you and to give you all the honor and glory Lord. Thank you Father, I love you. I pray all these things in Jesus precious name, AMEN.

21 days….. Not as difficult as you think.

Still plugging along!

I meant to post this two days ago, but just never got to it! I am now on day 9 of my Daniel Fast. My goal is to make it for the entire 21 days, and I do believe with the Lord’s help, I will make it.

I have lost 3 pounds! But more importantly, I have been spending much more time in God’s word!! I am actually doing more for my Lord than I was. I have had a lot of realizations over the past week.

First realization; I can’t go an entire week without coffee. I finally had to break down and make some on Friday morning, but I made half-caf, and I only had one cup. Started a second one but it got cold before I could drink much at all, so I just tossed it out! Took care of the horrible headache I had. I can tell it is getting time for another cup soon. Since it is pretty chilly here today, and I have plenty to do should it keep me awake, I may go ahead and make me some!

Second realization; I am not going to learn everything there is to learn in the Bible. I am learning much more than I ever have, but even if I have a marathon study session and spend a couple of weeks of doing absolutely nothing but Bible study, I won’t know it all. And, I am okay with that!!

Third realization; I don’t think God expects me to know everything there is to know about Him or what is in His word! I do think He expects me to try to learn as much as possible, and to continue that learning process as long as I continue to live on this earth, but I don’t think He is going to condemn me because I haven’t learned all the stories there are in there!!

Fourth realization; There are A LOT of things, very interesting things, in the Bible!! I don’t mean to sound like I have never read the Bible before. I have, in bits and pieces, sporadically. But now, I am just so HUNGRY to learn more!! I crave hearing the Holy Spirit speak to me through the word. I desire to be able to memorize some passages that I can share with others when the time is right.

I am happy about the weight loss, but I am elated about the way God is working with me and on me right now!! I know He has great things planned for me and I believe He is grooming me for whatever those may be right now! So I say, groom me Lord! Show me what you would have me to do. Lord, lead the way and I will follow. Whatever you ask of me Lord, I will give it 100%.

I am so grateful to God for the way He is working with me, but also for the way He is helping me with this fast. If it weren’t for God, there have been several times when I would have already been off this fast. I’m not going to kid you, it’s tough!! But, I can already see the benefits of it and everyday I feel a little closer to my Father in heaven, which makes me want to just continue on with this fast, no matter what! So, thank you Lord, for all you are doing with me and for me!

Father, I beg your forgiveness for the times I have disappointed you by words I have said, or something I have done, or something I have left undone that you wanted done. I ask you to forgive me Father for any time that I may have caused anyone pain or discomfort in any way. Lord, I ask you now, please show me if there are other areas that I need to ask forgiveness for. Father, I forgive those who have hurt me in the past, in any number of ways. Whether the hurt inflicted by them was intentional or not, only you know that, but I wish to forgive them. I ask you now Lord for your continued blessings on me as I continue this fast and beyond. Lord, I know that I receive not because I ask not, so at this time I am asking you for guidance in figuring out what to do about our housing situation. While we have a roof over our heads, and it is paid for, there are so many repairs that it needs. Father, do we go ahead with repairs and make plans to add on to this house, or do we look for another, safer home? I ask for your protection of my home and anyone who may cross my threshold, bless them with safety, love, and please supply their needs. I thank you Father for keeping us safe and giving us this home we have now, and Lord if it is your desire that we stay in this one, I know you will provide for us a way to make the needed repairs and improvements. I thank you Father for staying so close to me through this fast. In all of the difficult times, I know all I have to do is call out your name and you are with me, giving me strength and comfort. Thank you so much for that Father. Lord, I love you so very much! Again, I thank you for the many blessings you have given me. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Day 6 — Not the best day

Well, today has not been a good day. I have been grouchy, seems like I can’t find anything appealing to eat, seems like everything is getting on my nerves today for some reason. I must be getting rid of some big-time toxins! This is starting to get pretty tough.
I know I just need to put a little more thought into what I am eating and what I am allowed, and come up with some recipes. I have some vegetable soup I made with no animal products whatsoever in it, which is really good with some whole wheat pasta mixed in. But, a person can only handle so much pasta.
I’ll make it over this hurdle with God’s help. I know that is part of the problem also. I have wasted the majority of the day today, haven’t spent time in the word like I need to.
So, I believe I will be off here to do just that.
I need to talk to my Father, and spend some time in His book. I ask you for your prayers as I climb over this hurdle, and prayerfully, I will be giving a much better report tomorrow!

Day 5 — Still doing okay!

I am slowly coming up on the close of the fifth day of my Daniel Fast. So far, everything has gone pretty well. I did have to have a cup of coffee this morning though, but I mixed half decaf with half regular. I’ll probably do the same tomorrow and then decrease the regular, until I have all decaf. Then, I should be able to do without it completely.
As for my food, it hasn’t been bad at all, but then I do enjoy my veggies. Good fruit is kind of hard to find this time of year, but I have enjoyed several good salads, some interesting recipes with whole wheat pasta, and a peanut butter ‘snack’, (peanut butter on a piece of whole wheat pre-made pizza crust!) You can’t find whole wheat tortillas with no sugar in them!! This pizza crust has no sugar. Wasn’t too bad, but not as good of a peanut butter sandwich as I would have liked.
Tonight I had some vegetable soup I had made and frozen the other day, with whole wheat pasta instead of crackers. That pasta is pretty filling, which is a very good thing! But as I thought about what I have eaten today, I had some cantaloupe for breakfast, a banana later, a few snack bites of cauliflower or carrots here and there, and that was it!! But I have not felt hungry today at all! God is really helping me through this!
The best part though, is the time I have spent in reading God’s word, studying, and praying. Who would ever think that when you take junk food out of your daily eating, you would have more time for Bible study and prayer!!
I don’t really think it is so much that I have more time, but I have a better focus and realization of the fact that I NEED to spend time in His word. More importantly, I WANT to spend more time in study and prayer! I can only thank the Lord for that desire!
I had the best day yesterday! It was my first day of volunteering at our local Crisis Pregnancy Center, and it was AMAZING! I experienced such a variety of emotions yesterday, but I left there yesterday afternoon feeling SO blessed!! I have already made a couple of absolutely wonderful friends in fellow volunteers, as well as the staff at the center. The entire place is filled with so much love and such a strong presence of the Holy Spirit, it is just breath-taking! The love for the clients, the love for each other, but most importantly is the love for Jesus that is so strong! It is contagious!
I am only scheduled to volunteer 4 hours per week, but I kind of suspect I will be going there more than that, just because I loved it that much! To be among so many FIRM believers is so encouraging!
As we prayed together and shared our testimonies, we really spent time getting to know each other. No one was there with a secret agenda or to make you feel uncomfortable or out of place. EVERYONE there, and I do mean everyone, just makes you feel like you are a part of the family!
I have no doubt that this ministry is going to do some amazing things, see amazing things, and it is all because of one person’s determination to be obedient to God and what He was calling her to do. Talk about inspiring!! Alisha is just that.
Of course, Joani, Dusty, and Debbie, as well as Margo and Stacy, are all incredible to work with as well. I can’t wait to get back up there and do more and have God use me for HIS purpose, and for HIS glory! To say I am excited about this is such an understatement!
Bottom line for tonight, I have found something I have been searching for, a place where I can help others, but I am being helped and blessed at the same time!
Keep your eyes open around here because I have recognized a need at the center and I am hopefully going to figure out a way that anyone reading this can help fill this need. We need Bibles to give to these clients, but the ones we want to be able to give them are specific to the primary reason for the center, crisis or unexpected pregnancies. As soon as I can get it figured out, I hope to have something set up where you, or anyone else, can purchase one or more of these Bibles and have them sent directly to the center. So, please keep your eyes open and watch for the announcement when I figure out how to set that up! And then, please, please, pray about it, and donate what you can. Help us to give these clients the most important tool they could possibly ever use as they begin the journey through this chapter of their lives, the Word of God!
I can only say thank you Lord for allowing me the priviledge of participating in this ministry, and it is definitely a priviledge, believe me! I thank you Lord for leading me to this ministry and helping me to see that I CAN be of some benefit to someone, that I can minister to others and I can speak freely and openly about you. You have removed emotional and physical barriers for me Father, and for that I am so grateful! I ask you, Father, to please forgive me of anything I may have done, said, or thought, that was displeasing to you. And please, Father, show me where I have failed you so that I may correct it and avoid repeating the same mistake. Father, please give me the right words at the right time to say, show me what to do that will have the greatest impact. Help me to know and to recognize your signals and your voice. Help me to depend on the Holy Spirit to guide me at all times. Thank you Lord for Jesus, who gave his life, so that I might live through all eternity with you in heaven. I thank you Father for never giving up on me, even though I was hard-headed and tried my best to stay away from you. You never gave up on me. You never turned your back on me. You kept tapping on the door to my heart until I realized the need to open that door, and Father, I am so thankful that you were still there when I did open that door! Thank you for the wonderful gift of salvation You have given me through your son, Jesus Christ, whose blood was shed, for me, so that I could be saved. Lord, I love you so much and simple words just aren’t enough. I thank you for each and every opportunity you give me to share your love, because every time I share your love with someone, it comes back to me so many times more! Thank you Father, for every wonderful blessing you have given me, and there are many. Thank you for giving me so much more than I deserve! Father, I ask you now for your guidance in what area I need to study or work on. Help me to figure out about starting a Bible study, and if it is your will that I do so, please help me to work out any details. Father, I pray that you continue to lead and guide me through this life, in the way that you would have me to go, the way that will give you the most honor and glory! I praise you Father for everything I experienced yesterday! I praise you for everything that you allowed me to accomplish today, and I praise you for just being the loving God that you are. All of these things I pray in the precious name of your son, Jesus, whom I love so very much! Amen