Coming Back to Thank Him

Have you ever watched an eager child open presents at a birthday party? So excited about the mysteries under the wrapping paper,  she can hardly acknowledge the presents she unwrapped moments earlier. She can't think to say thank you or even look at the gift's particulars.  Instead, she just is excitedly in search of the next great thing to be unveiled. I am sometimes like that child-- in regards to prayer. Pressing from one big event to another (a challenge, an  opportunity, a hardship), hardly acknowledging where a gift of answered prayer has been given.

How many times do we pray in earnest and God answers, but we too--like that child, don't utter much of a thank you to the Giver?  We too look expectantly to the next mystery waiting to be unwrapped.

I have a relative who talks about how he prayed for many years that his children would marry spouses who loved the Lord. One by one, God answered those prayers beautifully. He once shared, "I figure for all those years I prayed, I ought to now spend equal years thanking God for how he answered those prayers." Hmmmnnn...

Earlier this week, I was reading through a prayer journal from last year's Women's Bible Study. I left many prayers open-ended on the page. I knew mentally many of them were answered, but my lack of closure on the page reminded me how the requests had long since left my mind because the urgency had passed. And did I thank God for how he had answered?

God had answered many great prayers! Wombs were opened. Husbands repented. Cancer was healed. Degrees were completed. Strength was given to serve and to love. Children were touched and healed. It brought me up short. God is AMAZING and he does great things! Yet often I say a quick, happy thanks and just move onto the next need at hand. I wonder if I look like that kid at the birthday party. Excitement and zeal are good. Being needy before God is what we are. But gratitude is good too!

What if, like my relative, I took greater time to thank God for the work he has done? I am not saying we need to dutifully spend equal time in thanks as we do in prayer, but I know I could personally spend more time than I do.

Gratitude should certainly be an overflow of the heart, but often it takes a conscious decision to slow down and appreciate the whole package: the love behind the gift, the thoughtful provision it entailed, the timeliness of the gift as well as the time and cost it took to provide it.

The conference we have been telling you about happened last week. And it was good. And God answered many prayers! Since we have been mentioning it on re:flect-I often and since many of you attended,  I am compelled to also update how God answered many prayers. I want to testify to God's provision in strength for the many hands that helped serve and the many soft hearts that received the Word. We are thankful for His protection for those who needed it, for His provision over all, and mostly for Him "showing up."

I am wanting to take the time to thank Him here publicly even as we prepared here publicly. He has done great things. He is doing great things in your life too!

All of this points to how easy it is to roll along without a second thought for the gifts from the Giver. It reminds me of the 10 lepers in Luke 17:11-19

On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed.  Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice;  and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”  And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.”

May we be mindful to be one who comes back to thank Him with a full and happy heart. He is so good! All the time!

In Christ's love, Erika

To the daughters of the King

There is much to fear in life, isn't there? real evil, true enemies, life-altering losses. Why is it so common to fear? It comes naturally to us. It is not a good feeling. We don't have to convince ourselves to "be afraid." That response comes all too easily. The more we focus on the thing that makes us afraid, the more we become enslaved to the fear--paralyzed to move and act. This is not the Spirit that belongs to Daughters of the great High King!

He did not save us so that we could remain slaves to sin! He saved us to set us free from the yoke of fear, sin, and slavery that held us.

To the Christian, through saving faith in Christ Jesus, we have been adopted and have become a child of the King, a daughter of promise. There is nothing too great for our God, our perfect Father.

Abba FatherIf you want to be strengthened in your understanding of what it means to be a Daughter of the King, there is still time to register for the re:garding HIM Women's Conference. Tomorrow is the day. You can register here still through today. $20 and done!  If you are on the fence or even considering it, COME! I want to be afraid! I am one of several speakers and believe me, my heart wants to fear. I read the headlines today and my heart wants to fear. I have situations with my children that make me want to fear. You have fears too. ♥ But sister, we have a Father in heaven. His eye is on the sparrow and He has not forgotten you. How much more valuable than the sparrow are you to Him! Trust the one who has conquered death and hell. He will not be found lacking! In Christ's love, Erika

re:garding HIM Speaker Spotlight

Today brings us to our final Speaker Spotlight for the re:garding HIM Women's Conference 2015. I hope you have enjoyed getting to know these women a little through their interviews. I have found it fascinating to read each one. I know these women in real life and can vouch that they are women who love God and want to share how they are learning through hardships and joys to follow the way of the King! This week, meet Judy Cleveland. Judy is a wonderful speaker and is just plain fun to be around.  She is also a serious student of God's Word and she will be sharing in her main event session about our Inheritance as a daughter of the King.

There is still time to register! $20 will get you a light breakfast, a yummy lunch, and full day of worship, teaching and encouragement. Won't you join us for a day to be fed so that you can in turn, feed others.

We hope you will come on October 3 (just  8 days away)!

 

judy1Inheritance Claimed

As daughters of the King, we are heirs to His riches. We must receive that inheritance eagerly and walk as true children of His kingdom. with Judy Cleveland

Describe your topic in 10 words or less [JC] Lay hold of the Father’s promises for abundant life in Jesus.

What have you found challenging about preparing for this talk?

[JC] Too many thoughts in too many directions. I had to find my focus. Praise the Lord, He provides.

What is a scripture or quote that has helped your preparation?

[JC] 2Corinthians 1:20: For as many are the promises of God, in Him (Jesus) they are yes; therefore also through Him (Jesus) is our Amen to the glory of God… .

What is a book you've recently read that you would recommend to others?

[JC] Does a recent re-reading count? A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael by Elisabeth Elliott.

Favorite Hymn? Or worship song?

[JC] I don’t have a “life” hymn as such. Depends on what I need to sing about. In preparation for the conference I’m singing “Lead on O King Eternal” and “His Final Word”.

Introvert of extrovert? How do you know?

[JC] Is there such a thing as an ex-introvert? I enjoy being with people, but too much of a good thing sends me to my cave.

Finish this sentence, "If I had two hours of free time I would...

[JC] like to think I’d sit on the porch with a glass of iced tea and read. More than likely, I’d get to a task that needed to be done."

Favorite smell? Worst smell?

[JC] Favorite? Anything with garlic. Worst? Cooking cabbage.

What woman do you most admire in scripture and why?

[JC] Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist. I truly admire her steadfast trust in the Lord despite difficult circumstances. Often I have thought of the months she and Mary spent together, sharing the extraordinary circumstances of their pregnancies and the challenges they presented. Elizabeth must have been a great encouragement to Mary as she prepared to return to her family in Nazareth.

What was your most memorable birthday?

[JC] My daughter, Sarah, and her husband, Matt, hosted a party for my 60th. The surprise was who would attend. There’s a lump in my throat as I think of that precious time and how much it meant to celebrate that mile-marker with friends and family.

What would you say is one of your weaknesses and two of your strengths?

[JC] Weakness – at times I leap before I look Strength – sense of adventure/ energy