2012 in review

THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO VISITED AND READ THIS BLOG’S POSTS!
Look forward to more posts in 2013!  New Year Blessings to All!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.  Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,100 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 5 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

The Blessing of Knowledge

KnowledgeSomeone just posted a picture of a set of World Book Encyclopedias on Facebook asking if anyone remembered them.
I remembered them, but only as something I had wished to own and never did, as my parents could not afford to purchase those
wonderful books of knowledge. However, I do remember using them, for I had access to them through the school library or on visits to our local city library. And as much as I appreciated being able to use them that way, owning a set of my own would have been so much better.
I remember thinking as a child how wonderful it would be to have my own set sitting on a bookshelf at home available for me to pull out and use anytime I wanted to. I thought having access to all that knowledge would be such a a blessing!

Now, as a believer in Christ, I am rejoicing that I am blessed with Knowledge that is all my own.
In Christ, God has given me the knowledge to know Him and His truth. This knowledge is within me.
I do not have to go to anyone else or go anywhere else to receive it, for His Holy Spirit reveals His truth, wisdom and knowledge to me daily.

Voltaire said  All men are born with a nose and ten fingers, but no one was born with a knowledge of God.

God said,  in Christ are found all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3)  therefore, if man wants knowledge of God he needs Christ, for it is in Him that man finds the knowledge of God.

Knowledge is one of the 54 Spiritual Blessings in Christ that believers receive.
Knowledge is such a wonderful blessing for with it the mystery of God’s will is revealed to us.
With knowledge God’s word becomes clear to us, our minds are no longer darkened to the truth, we have the ability to know God’s plan and purpose for our lives daily.

Let’s rejoice and give thanks daily that in Christ, we have been blessed with Knowledge!

The Blessing of Adoption

His Hand is always near

 

 

 

 

He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself,
according to His favor and will,  Ephesians 1:5

Born in spiritual darkness,
A child of Adam’s seed,
Having earthly parents,
Yet a babe so in need.

I opened my eyes to this world
only to see sin and despair.
I was lost and without hope,
A child un-aware

Of God in heaven who loved me
even when this world was nil,
One who had chosen to adopt me
according to His favor and will.

I was predestined to be adopted
by the One who created me
Through Jesus Christ for Himself
I would be saved and set free

To become His favored child,
A daughter of the King,
No longer lost, but richly blessed
abundantly, in everything.

©Leona J. Atkinson 2012

 

Access Allowed–What a Blessing!

trinity

For through Him(Jesus) we both (Jew and Gentile) have access by one Spirit to the Father…Ephesians 2:18

Recently, while at the airport, there was an area only certain people were allowed to enter.  A big sign was posted that said “Access Denied.  Authorized Personnel Only”.
I am sure you may have seen similar signs or even found such a site on the internet where access was not allowed to just anyone.  
Seeing that sign made me wonder how I would feel if I happened to be one of the ‘Authorized Personnel” that was allowed to enter through the door.  I thought to myself that I probably would feel pretty special if I was allowed to freely open that door and walk through.  

However, as a Believer in Christ, I realized that I already am really special, for in Christ I have been given free access to God the Father at anytime and not just anyone has that privilege, only those who are believer’s can freely enter into God’s presence.

Before I knew Christ, scripture says I was far away from God. (Eph.2:12) It was like there was an “Access Denied” sign between me and God. I was an alien and stranger, without hope in this world. (Eph.2:12)  Yet, when I believed and received Christ, He brought me near.  His Holy Spirit came to dwell within me. (1 Cor.6:19)  

I became a fellow citizen with the saints and members of the household of God, (Eph.2:13,19)  Because of Christ I was authorized to enter God’s Throne room.  I now had the right to call God my Father.  I was blessed to have a close personal relationship with Him as His child.  No longer was I denied access–for the door was open!  Now that really makes me feel special !  

What a Blessing we believer’s have been given!  We should feel so special everyday “For through Him(Jesus) we both (Jew and Gentile) have access by one Spirit to the Father…”  Ephesians 2:18

Accepted in the Beloved

acceptedHave you ever been rejected or felt like you weren’t accepted?  Most of us probably have at one time or another in our lives.

My grandson and I were talking about this tonight at dinner.  He said he felt that way in 5th grade because no one wanted to choose him for their basketball team as he was too small at the time. 

I can recall such a time when I was in 4th grade.  I was a very quiet, shy kid who was not good at playing outdoor childhood games like Pom Pom Pull Away or Red Rover. I didn’t like those rough games .  I enjoyed sitting and reading books or writing poems much more.  But in our little country school we had to play these outdoor games and I often felt rejected because I  was always the last one to be chosen on a team.  No one really wanted someone on their team who couldn’t play very well . So, it was a pretty miserable, lonely year for me because I wanted to be accepted but I wasn’t, just because I wasn’t “good enough”.  That often happens in this world, we are rejected or not accepted because we are too small, too fat, too quiet, or just “not good enough”.    If we are not accepted we feel we are not worthy, that we have no value. 

However, God  isn’t that way.  “For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7b (NKJV)

 In Christ, God accepts us just as we are.  When I believed and received Jesus many years ago I certainly wasn’t “good enough”  to be accepted by God,  but in His grace He accepted  me in Christ.  I was accepted into His family, as His child, never again to have to ever feel  unwanted or unworthy.  I know I am valuable now because God has accepted me, not for what I can do, but for who I am in Christ.

Praise God for His glorious grace by which He received me with approval in Christ. 

Ephesians 1:6 says:  to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

Do you feel accepted by God or do you think you need to work on “being better” first?

 What does Ephesians 1:6  mean to you as a Believer in Christ?

Exceedingly Abundant

waterfallI remember as a kid I thought my dad was the greatest.  In my mind he was good at everything and could do anything. 

He worked two jobs for many years but he always seemed to have some time to spend with his family.  I remember him teaching me to how to fish, play baseball, and pluck chickens. I learned a lot about nature from him.  There were winter walks where we would search for different animal or bird tracks in the snow and he would teach me how to identify each one or fall excursions to check out the different leaves and trees.  Springtime would find us berry picking in the woods where he would show me all the different wild flowers.   Once I got in a heated argument with one of my friends over whose dad was the best.  It was the classic “Whatever your dad can do, mine can do it better” type of thing.   However, even though I thought my dad was the greatest, in reality he was just a human who  had limitations just as we all do.  

But… in Christ, all of us Believers do have the Best Dad of all!  Our Father in Heaven is Almighty.  He has no limitations.   With Him all things are possible.  (Matthew 19:26)
 ‘He is able to do exceeding abundantly,’ so abundantly that it exceeds measure and description.” (Charles Spurgeon)
Whatever good thing you can think of to ask for—God can do far more above that.
Whatever great thing you might imagine to do—God can do it greater
Anything that you can think of or dream of, do or accomplish—God can do it above that.
He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,  (Ephesians 3:20)  Believers, His Spirit is within us, that is the power that works in us to enable us to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.   God is able to do this in our life now.  We don’t have to wait for heaven.  His power is at work in us now!

Consider these questions:

  • Since God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that you ask or think, how do you think God would work “exceedingly abundantly” in your life?
  • Since His power works in you, how does that affect your daily life?
  • Have you experienced His Exceeding Abundance in your life or in the lives of others?
  • What do you think God wants to abundantly accomplish in your life?
  • What good or great thing can you think of to ask God for or imagine yourself doing for Him?

Remember:  You are His child.  He is your Almighty Father and “Therefore he is able to do all things, and able to do superabundantly above the greatest abundance.” (Clarke)
Realize what you have been given in Christ, claim it and use it daily to bring Him glory!  I guarantee Your Heavenly Father has no limitations to what He can accomplish through your life as His power works in you !    Start living in Exceeding  Abundance today !

The Blessing of Peace

peacePeace.  Just saying that word brings a feeling of security for peace means mutual harmony.  It brings freedom from strife.  It offers tranquility and comfort.  

Believers, Christ is our Peace.  He is the only “Peace on Earth”  we will find.  He said:  “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”  (John 14:27)

“Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.” (Romans 5:1 NLT)

As we have been greatly blessed, let us celebrate His coming to earth as a babe by pausing and  rejoicing just as the angels did that night in Bethlehem so many years ago when they declared “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:14 KJV)  for Peace came to earth to bring goodwill to all men.

 “Thank God for this Gift too wonderful for words!”  (2 Cor.9:15 NLT)  The Gift of His Son who is Our Peace !

Thankful for Blessings

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The Blessing of Abundance!

Christmas Village 2011

Christmas Village 2011

My three grand-children were visiting for the weekend and even though it was still two weeks before Thanksgiving, we decided it would be a good time for all of us to set up our Christmas Village.  It was early, but since we were all together, the Christmas spirit and excitement was in the air to get “The Village” set up.  

For the past 12 years,  usually the day after Thanksgiving, I and the grand-kids have set up our Christmas Village.  When the tradition started my youngest grand-son was 4 and the the Village, like him, was pretty small.  Each year we would add one or two new things to our Village and so it has greatly grown over the years.  What started out as a tiny village, this year seems to have become a mighty metropolis!  And, as the Village has grown, so have the grand-children.  However, each still wants to have a part in “setting up the Village”.  This year as the boxes were brought out from the closet, my grand-son asked what was new and I replied that I had only purchased one small item as an addition, since the Village was really too big now and I wasn’t sure there would be room to fit it all in my small apartment. I announced that we had an Abundance of houses and people!    We had a “more than enough” Village !  

As Believers we have been blessed with Abundance.  God has given us “more than enough” blessings to use in our daily lives.  

The dictionary defines Abundance as: an extremely plentiful or over sufficient quantity or supply or overflowing fullness
To me that simply means “more than enough”.  God has blessed me, and all believers, with “more than enough”.
We have an infinite daily supply of all that is needed to succeed. We just need to know what we have been blessed with and then how to use it in our lives.

Think about what you feel you need to succeed in your daily life.  I would say I often need Strength, Wisdom and Power, coupled with Boldness, Confidence, Hope and Favor.
That’s just a few things I can think of off the top of my head and I have often prayed that God would give these things to me.  

However, I have come to realize that the book of Ephesians tells me that when I believed and received Jesus as my Savior, I received all those things and more.
  Ephesians 1:3 says I was blessed “exceedingly abundantly” beyond all that I could ask or think.  

So now, each day whatever my need might be I just thank God that He has already given me more than enough to handle it, then I ask Him to bring it into being through His Holy Spirit Who dwells within me.
 Strength?  I am abundantly supplied.  Wisdom?  I have all I will ever need.  Power?  God’s Power, the Holy Spirit, dwells within me.  Boldness?  Confidence?  I have an over sufficient quantity.  Hope?  I have more than enough.  Favor?  I am blessed to overflowing.    These are but a few of the Blessings believers receive in Christ.

Just as the Christmas Village keeps growing each year, because my grand-son and I want to add just one more new thing to it,  so does our Abundance in Christ.  We have a never ending supply of blessings we can use everyday, we just need to decide what we need for the day and the best place to put it into action.  

So let’s begin each day by thanking God for blessing us exceedingly abundantly with everything we need to succeed and then ask Him to manifest whatever we need to walk in that day.
I think we will be amazed at the change we will begin to see in our lives as we walk daily in  the Blessing of  Abundance!

Daily Blessings

Fall ColorsThis is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.  Psalm 118:24 [NKJV]

Sunny days here in Oregon are often few and far between, so when one comes along we Oregonians get excited and today is one of those days!

It is the middle of October, 73 degrees outside, sunshine is bathing the fall colors so that they vibrantly glow.  Red, yellow, orange, brown, gold, and green leaves swirl, leap and jump across my path as a gentle breeze blows my hair.  

“What a beautiful day!  Isn’t it exciting!”  a lady behind me exclaims as we leave the grocery store.
 “Yes,!”  I reply ” We better enjoy it!”   
“Oh, I am”  she says.  ” I had some vacation time l left at work, so I chose to take this morning off.  I just had to be outside to experience this day!”  

Her enthusiasm was so vibrant.  It was refreshing to meet someone who was excited to be alive and taking time to enjoy God’s creation.
I am sure God was smiling at her words.  

Thank You Lord, for blessing us with beautiful, sunny, vibrant days that awaken our senses to You and your creation.  Thank you for the warmth, rich fall colors, and  gentle breezes.  But…thank You also, for everyday You give us, even those wet, dreary, cloudy days or the cold, blustery ones, that cause us to run inside for cover. For I know that all days have their purpose and they all contain a blessing from You if we will but look.  

It is not hard to rejoice and be glad for today’s sunshine but, in Oregon, it is often difficult to give thanks for the rain.  However, each, is a day the Lord has made, and we can rejoice and give thanks because He has given us another day of life to live abundantly for Him!

Let’s be enthusiastic, excited, to experience each day of life, for no matter what the weather, the Lord has made the day and wants us to rejoice and be glad in it!