Starting Your Day With An Attitude Of Gratitude

From Sundi Jo: This is a guest post by Melissa Mashburn. Melissa is a woman who is passionately pursuing God every day by taking her everyday, ordinary life and placing it as an offering to Him. Married to her best friend for 18 years and proud mama to two teenage boys, her life is full of adventure.You can visit her on Twitter or on her ministry blog, Mel’s World. 

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Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. ~ Ephesians 5:20 NIV

Do you start your day with an attitude of gratitude?

Have you taken the time today to thank the One who has given you all the blessings in your life?

I know, I know…it can be something that just “slips our mind”.  We have good intentions, but life happens and we forget to stop and thank the Creator for all the abundant blessings in our life.

Oh, you are shaking your head and saying, well, Melissa, you don’t know what my family is dealing with, or you have no idea how hard things are right now, and you know what…you are absolutely right, I don’t know, but He does.

On top of that, I bet that even in the midst of the trials that we are experiencing right now that there are things we can take time to be thankful for in our lives.

We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. -Charles Swindoll

Listen friend, I am not in any way shape of form discounting what you are going through in your life right now.  Believe me, I am in the midst of weathering some storms as well, but you see, I am not focused on the storms…I am focused on the One in control of it all.

Yes, there are times when it would be very easy for me to sit back or crawl back into a pit of despair, but I am choosing to wake up everyday with an attitude of gratitude.  We have been given so many great and abundant gifts, sometimes it is just a matter of stopping the cycle long enough so we can count our blessings.  What better time to start something like that then right now.

Each of us has things in our lives that we are thankful for, but often time take for granted.  What if you and I decided to stop taking those things for granted and started showing those we love just how much we appreciate them, starting each day with a prayer of thanksgiving to God the Father.

The best gifts to give: To your friend, loyalty; To your enemy, forgiveness; To your boss, service; To a child, a good example; To your parents, gratitude and devotion; To your mate, love and faithfulness; To all men and women, charity. -Oren Arnold

A great way to start is by getting (or making) a gratitude journal.  I cannot think of a better way to count your blessings than by taking the time to write them all down. It is also a great reminder for us to be on the look out each day to seek out the things we have in our lives that are blessings. The gratitude journal may not come easily at first, takes a little time, a lot of prayer and even more practice…but what a great way to start your day!

What step can you take to have an attitude of gratitude today? Comment below…

The Truth About Intimacy

photo credit: collin key (creative commons)

When you hear the word intimacy what’s the first thing you think of? It’s ok – be honest.

From my experience most people seem to associate the word with romance. For example, “My husband and I were intimate last night.” But there is more to this powerful word than that. Let me explain.

I’m guest posting on The Truth About Intimacy over at Mel’s World today. Click here  for the rest of the post. You don’t want to miss what intimacy is really about..

The Vineyard Of Prayer

Hey everyone.. I’m guest posting for Mel’s World today on the subject of intimacy. Check it out here.. 

photo credit: flickr(creative commons)

The Vineyard Of Prayer
From Come Away My Beloved by Frances J. Roberts

Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. – Romans 8:27

O My Child, the days are heavy with burdens, burdens that need to be borne upon the shoulders of faithful prayer warriors. Where are those who are willing to make themselves available to the Spirit for this ministry? The planted Word will dry up like carelessly strewn seed if it is not watered with tears of intercession. You cannot in yourself lay this ministry upon your soul, but you can make room in your life for time apart with Me; and as you place yourself at the disposal of the Holy Spirit, He will use you as a channel when the needs arise.

Nothing is more needful at this present hour than prayer that draws its power from full operation under the direction and unction of the Holy Spirit.

I am calling My Spirit-filled believers to concentrated labor in this, the vineyard of prayer. Hidden from human eyes, it is wide open to heaven; and the saints in heaven join with you in this operation God’s love.

Other ministries you must carry on alone, but in this you have a mutual fellowship, for those in heaven have also an intercessory ministry for their brothers and sisters yet on earth.

Rejoice to be granted the privilege of so sacred a task. Count it most precious, and guard against the intrusion of distractions. Nothing of all that you can do for Me is more important in My sight. Cherish it and cultivate it. Live in prayer, and you will know a full life of joy and the remuneration of My blessing!

Comments:

As I was preparing to write this blog I was talking with my mom about the day she almost died in 2006. I remember watching her laying there, helpless, not able to breathe on her own. I was scared to death. We were all new Christians and wasn’t sure how to handle this situation. But I immediately began to pray. My step-dad prayed. My friends prayed. My church prayed. I believe the prayer never stopped. Almost a week later, after being told she wouldn’t survive the night, we wheeled Mom out of the hospital to bring her home. You will never convince me that prayer wasn’t the reason for that.

I love that God calls us to be faithful prayer warriors. It’s a privilege really. I see that now that I have dealt with my insecurities regarding my prayer life and not praying “well enough.” Malarkey!

I’m learning that when God calls me to pray, I need to do it right then. I came home last Sunday with plans to write, nap, and enjoy my day. But God laid on my heart a particular person to pray for. It was a friend’s husband. I wanted to do it later, but God pretty much prompted me to do it “now.” I’m learning obedience is the best route to take, so I agreed to do it then.

But it wasn’t just a prayer. God led me to Scriptures to pray over him. Before I knew it I was reading through passages, praying over my friend with God’s Word, not my own. It felt very empowering. God was calling me to stand in the gap for this man and I was happy to do so.

I counted it a “privilege of so sacred a task.”

God says to “live in prayer.”

What does living in prayer look like to you? Comment below…