Psalm 118 – Goodness

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. “

It was such a privilege to be able to contribute to the group blog today Thanksgiving Thursday UKCB Group Blog when individually and corporately our thanks were expressed to God through unity in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 118 came to my remembrance this morning as I read lots of different posts from bloggers about thanksgiving. The opening lines of the Psalm encourage us to thank God for His goodness and His enduring mercy. One of the key things the Lord has been speaking to me about recently is the importance of understanding that biblical truth. God is a good, good God. His nature is goodness.

Let us encourage one another to remember and declare that truth. God is good.

The Psalm then goes on to encourage the whole nation of Israel, the priests of the house of Aaron and then all those who acknowledge God to declare His great mercy.

“Let Israel now say,“His mercy endures forever.” V2

“Let the house of Aaron now say,“His mercy endures forever.” V3

“Let those who fear the Lord now say,“His mercy endures forever.” V4

I feel prompted to encourage those reading my blog today to join in this declaration:

Let those reading this blog now say “His mercy endures forever”.

Amen

Thanksgiving Thursday UKCB Group Blog

O GIVE THANKS TO THE LORD, FOR HE IS GOOD; FOR HIS LOVINGKINDNESS IS EVERLASTING.

1 Chronicles 16:34 (NASB)

Today brings you to a group post produced by UK Christian Bloggers on the subject of thanksgiving. When we think of thanksgiving we automatically think of the annual holiday celebrations that take place in the USA, which remembers the first Thanksgiving in 1621 by the early pilgrims. It was a harvest thanksgiving thanking God for His provisions for their community. The fact that Thanksgiving is originally men thanking the Almighty should be a universal theme, practiced by people of all countries and races. So here today are some British thoughts on thanking our God.

   Nicola Reeve

“Muchos Gracias” “Grazie Mille” “Obrigado” “Merci” “Danke”.

Wherever you travel in the world, learning to say “thank you” in the native language is one of the most important words to learn.  I’ve been to the Spanish Island of Lanzarote this week and my Spanish is very limited but I soon learnt that a “Gracias” goes a long way. People really appreciated it. In some languages I have discovered that there are in fact many different words to express thanks and also different types of thanks depending on the situation.   We may only learn one expression of thanks in a language but a grateful heart to God and others can and does express itself in many different ways. Some ways we don’t all understand or recognise but God does. It’s not just the words of thanks that we speak with our mouths but the language of our hearts. A grateful heart. Thanksgiving is a varied language of love which I believe is only fully awakened by a true revelation of who and how good God is. The eyes of our hearts are opened and we are taught a new language which expresses itself in us and through our actions. God is a good, good God and a good Father who has given us, in and through Jesus everything for true life.  The knowledge and truth of who God is transforms us by the power of the Holy Spirit. My words may sometimes be inadequate but I hope my heart sings thank you Lord. 

Andy Berry

I was working away on a video that needed editing, although this wasn’t one destined to be used by our own ministry, but another ministry that I regularly help out. And the computer I was using was a direct gift from an anonymous supporter of our ministry – the BerryBunch.family. God is good; that one gift blesses many!

‘Feeling’ thankful is a great feeling, but ‘being’ thankful is much more sustaining and requires action – because we should always be in a perpetual state of expecting to be thankful at the goodness of God!

It’s really easy to think of being thankful in relation to what we get from something/someone. Ultimately, though, our thankfulness is more than just being glad of something happening, or not. Because the sort of thankfulness we should be experiencing needs to be rooted in our actions, and our demeanour towards life and, more importantly, towards God.

Dean

Lord I’m grateful for your promises and all you’ve done for me. You’re the way the truth the life and through your son you’ve set us free. From my lips I utter praise and I will share my testimony; the name of Jesus shall be raised as I pray for rest for many. Lord I’m grateful for your kindness and the love that you’ve shown. I thank you for my family and a place I can call home, I thank you for your comfort in those times I feel alone. You gave a heart of flesh and removed my heart of stone, Lord I’m grateful for the cross and my future that’s secured. I pray that multitudes will come to know You precious Lord,  I give you all my praise and pray you open heavens door. Pour your Holy Spirit out upon the world and save us all, Amen.

Andy Brown

Gratitude is an attitude. This is something I tell my children often! It is one thing to say the words, but quite another to demonstrate thanksgiving with words and actions. For example, I give my daughter a gift and she says, “Thank you.” But then tosses it  aside without opening it, then I know for sure she is not grateful for it.

Colossians 3:17 says: “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.”

It is easy to do things with a grumbling attitude. We do it, whatever it may be, making sure those around us know we aren’t joyful about it. That is not how we ought to conduct ourselves. Instead, we are to do all things as if God had asked us to do them Himself – and to do so “giving thanks.”

The command to “give thanks” is an ongoing one – not “give” but “giving…” We thank God, and keep on thanking Him. We give and keep on giving, heaping gratitude on gratitude. There is no shortage of things to thank the Lord for, and the well of thankfulness should never run dry.

Thanksgiving may be only a single day, but let the Christian live a life of thanksgiving.

Alan Kearns

When I reflect on the history of traditions I am saddened by how over time men have changed them; sadly Thanksgiving is no different in this respect. It primarily was God fearing men and women thanking the Almighty for His many provisions and blessings. Sadly nowadays such a celebration of our God is frowned upon and maybe even mocked in this woke world; it would be deemed offensive to many. As children of His Kingdom we are called to heed and live out His Word; we have a choice to either be mocked by men or be judged by God – I personally prefer the temporary discomfort in this world so I can praise God in Heaven! Thus each Thanksgiving my Father God is the only focus of all my thanks; be it in speech, song or in prayer. After all such festivals are great opportunities to share His Good News of Salvation!

Mandy

Lord God, we pause to give You thanks and praise this Thanksgiving. Lord God, even in the midst of the darkness and chaos that surrounds us, may Your people never cease to marvel at the blessings that You have given to us. Lord God, remind us that we are to bless others, because You have blessed us. Thank You and praise You Lord for our salvation that we have by grace, through faith, in Christ alone. Lord God, may we feast and crave Your Word more than our Thanksgiving meal and leftovers. Thank You Lord that in Christ filled, yet wired to long and desire You more. Thank You Holy Trinity for the gift of community. Praise You Lord for those whom You allow to journey with us. Lord God, thank You for this reader. May this reader grow closer to You this Thanksgiving. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.

Letting Go…Testimony Tuesday (Update)

The wanderer has returned! You may recall my post about my youngest daughter (who set off for over 5 months on a solo back pack to the Far East) and my thoughts in Letting go…#TestimonyTuesday. Now she is back……but not for long. She heads off on her next adventure to university in Newcastle Upon Tyne, a city in the North of England about 4/5 hours away from us.

I re-read my post from that time she set out and I thank God for His faithfulness in being with her during her travels as her protector and guide. She has told me stories of things that happened to her and her friends and I know that the Lord was at work during those times. She calls it “luck” but I recognise the hand of God and am grateful for His answer to my prayers.

She travelled (even with the difficulties of Covid still) into Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Bali. She learnt about man’s inhumanity to man in the Killing Fields of Cambodia and the realities and horror of war from her time in Vietnam. I don’t want to repeat the things she told me about the genocide in Cambodia here as they are too distressing. She spoke of the impact of those atrocities still hanging over the country and people in a tangible way. These experiences will stay with her. God will use them in the future.

I was prompted by the Lord to fast and pray before she went away. It was only the Lord who knew what the months ahead held and I believe in times of our uncertainty that it’s so important to pray and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. We don’t fully comprehend or see how God looks after us and the outworking of His providence, but I believe one day we will see and understand fully. Whilst I can thank God now for His faithfulness and goodness, I believe that one day when I will truly understand what God has done then my thanks and praise will seem so inadequate in comparison to His grace. Even in situations when I believed my prayers went unanswered or did not go “my” plan, I will understand that God in His inestimable wisdom and goodness was working things out for good in the long term. God is a good, good God.

They say travel broadens the mind and I can definitely see that this experience has helped my daughter mature. She has challenged herself in many ways and these experiences have helped her grow and develop. She is more ready for university life now. We were concerned that after 2 years of life during Covid and missing out on so many life experiences at college, that she would go a bit wild with her new found freedom. Have you seen cows when they are let out to pasture after being in the winter stables. They run, frolic and jump with excitement. We didn’t want her jumping recklessly into danger looking for “fun” after all those months cooped up in isolation.

The Lord has been laying on my heart that it is a season of change. I can see how this relates to certain things in my family and my life but I believe this change is going to be more widely felt. My husband and I enter into a new season of change for sure as both daughters will have left home. I look at the empty rooms and wonder what we will do with them? There will be a way I am sure and I believe the Lord will show us.

Have a blessed day my friends.

One of the beautiful places visited

Blogging Anniversary..Thank You

Yesterday, I received a reminder of my 4 year blogging anniversary…it came as a bit of a surprise as I hadn’t realised. So a big thank you to everyone who has read, liked, commented, followed me and shared my posts over these last four years. Thank you 😊

I have connected with some amazing bloggers from all over the world reading a variety of blogs from people from all walks of life with all different types of blogs.

I have recently been fortunate to connect on a deeper level with some great UK Christian bloggers. We meet every couple of weeks on zoom to share stories and pray for each other – you can find more details about them and their sites here https://www.berrybunch.family/uk-christian-bloggers/

There is a verse in Isaiah which says this:

“‘Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.”
Isaiah 54:2

Blogging for me was enlarging my tent and I have lengthened my cords by connecting with other amazing bloggers world wide. The posts I have read have encouraged, inspired, taught and strengthened me. I have felt supported in my writings.

Thank you fellow bloggers for being such a blessed gift and keep up the good work.

If you are new to blogging then persevere. It takes time but start to connect with others and Don’t hold back .

I wrote a post recently called Replenish and since then I have been meditating on scriptures along this theme. I will be posting some more thoughts on this theme soon and would love your feedback on what that word Replenish has inspired for you.

Have a blessed day friends.

Fathers…a thank you

It’s a celebration of Fathers today in the UK. My girls have pulled out the stops this year and my husband could not contain himself. It was a gift of a charcuterie pack of smoked meats. My goodness, he was so happy I’m sure he almost cried. I’ve not seen him look at something so lovingly (apart from me obvs 🤣) in a long time. It was genuinely lovely to see though how happy this gift made him. The way to his heart..smoked and cured meats.

I’m blessed to have had a wonderful father, Bill. Sadly, he died in 2007 and I really miss him but I’m grateful to God for him and the Godly influence he had on my life. I have good memories to treasure of him.

My Dad giving me away. He was a very proud Father that day.

There are many though who have not had such a good experience of a Father or any Father figure in their lives. That is a great sadness. This will probably not be a day of thanksgiving or celebration for them.

However, Jesus came to show us that God is a loving Father who longs to be reconciled with us. God loved us so much that even when we wanted nothing to do with him, he gave his only son to die for us. No greater gift has there ever been given than that. We can through faith in Jesus become adopted children of our Father in heaven. Our eternal Father who will never leave us or forsake us.

Thank you Lord that you are a good, good Father.

A father to the fatherless and a defender of those who have no-one else. You are on their side.

Thank you Lord for our Fathers. Help them to be Fathers after your own heart who are filled with your love, your loving kindness and patience. Grant them divine wisdom to guide, correct and support their children. Strengthen them in you. Bless the work of their hands. Amen.

Blessings to you this day.

Refreshing Company

“I was glad when Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus arrived, because they have supplied what was lacking from you. For they refreshed my spirit and yours also. Such men deserve recognition”.
1 Corinthians 16:17-18

These bible verses really inspired me today. Oh how blessed we are to have people like a Stephanus, Fortunatus and Achaicus in our lives and in the body of Christ. People who refresh us.

These type of Christian believers are commended by Paul. They must have been a great source of encouragement and Godly wisdom to the early church.

We all need times of refreshing. One of those ways of refreshing is also through other believers, just as Paul and the Corinthians were refreshed by the visit of these 3 men.

As Paul says, such people deserve recognition.

Can I encourage us all to take some time to think about the people who are the refreshing company in our lives. They make us happy when we see them. They give and impart good things. Positive people.

Let’s thank God for them. They are a blessing.

Let’s also make a point of thanking them. It’s good to let such people know that we value them.

Finally, let’s all try to be the “refreshing” company we enjoy so people are happy to see and hear from us. We can be that source of refreshment to others.

Let’s be “Refreshers”.

Have a blessed day friends.