Don’t Forget the Blessings

God works many wonders in our lives. However many of the blessings we seem to forget and merely focus on current circumstances. I decided to list 100 of God’s workings in my life. I know that I probably have missed more blessings than I have counted. I encourage you to do the same and then share them.

Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered. (Psalms 40:5)

Many of these are very personal. I ask that you be quick to read and slow to judge. God bless.

1.He saved me and all the work that brought it to pass.

2.He removed me from ungodly influences.

3.Gave me my son as a direct answer to prayer.

4.After salvation, he led me away from paganism and settled my feet into Christianity.

5.He gave me my first house.

6.He gave me work in the midst of the extreme recession in the early 80’s.

7.He delivered me from a being killed in a steel mill accident involving a locomotive.

8.He relieved the financial burden as the recession increased and everything in my life began to crumble.

9.He provided housing in a very desperate time.

10.He comforted my wounded heart.

11.He empowered me to minister to hurting people.

12.He blessed my ministry involvement.

13.I grew in grace.

14.He brought friends into my life to support and help me.

15.He led me to advance my education.

16.He provided transportation.

17.He provided a car.

18.He answered prayers for food and finances.

19.Unemployment was extended.

20.He blessed with me getting called back to work after 20 months of being laid off.

21.He enabled me to by my truck.

22.He guided me through some legal turmoil and enabled me to escape the attack.

23.I moved to my new apartment in Spring City.

24.God blessed my work, ministry service and life.

25.Anthony memorized Psalm 23 before he turned 4 years old.

26.God continued to comfort my wounded heart.

27.He strengthened me to stand strong and live for God.

28.He helped me pass my Greek classes.

29.Helped me through a terrible sickness.

30.Found a better place to live.

31.He caused a person to fall into the pit that they prepared for me

32.Was able to leave the steel mill and be off work on Sundays.

33.Found a new job.

34.Learned maintenance skills that I would later use in God’s work.

35.Received a great promise from God.

36.Graduated from college.

37.Received another great promise from God that would come true seven years later.

38.Married Beth.

39.Signed a lease for an apartment two days before the wedding. (That was close)

40.Lost my job.

41.Found a deer that had recently been hit.

42.Able to sell my truck to pay the rent.

43.Picked up extra electrical side work.

44.Exhaust on car fixed for free.

45.Transmission went, got many rides to work while hitch hiking and had to walk much less.

46.Somebody gave us a station wagon.

47.Found a place to live closer to church

48.Refrigerator broke and someone bought another one.

49.Did not get to adopt my niece and then Beth found out she was expecting just several weeks later.

50.Marybeth Princess was born.

51.Strength as we faced uncertainty with Marybeth’s heart condition. God gave strength.

52.Somebody gave us a car after the engine seized in the wagon.

53.Anthony enrolled in Christian school

54.Moved to Font.

55.Great ministry days with hundreds of kids attending church

56.Marybeth’s open heart surgery was successful.

57.Injured ankle and out of work for months. Secured a new job.

58.Promoted at work

59.Went full time into the ministry

60.Able to get away with the wife for a three day vacation

61.Honey bucket of blessings dumped over on us at Christmas

62.Became principal of Landmark Christian school

63.School enrollment increased the next year

64.Bought a house with $1down and 120% financing. Yep, $1 down and extra cash for renovations.

65.New roof, bathroom, carpet and tons of paint along with residency inspection in 30 days.

66.School enrollment increased by 150% from my first year.

67.Able to buy my first computer

68.Bought a car instead of having one given to us.

69.School increased by another 40%.

70.Moved the school to a larger location and added a library.

71.School maxed out at 257% larger than the first year I became principal.

72.Many learning disabled children helped at LCS.

73.Able to visit the Dominican Republic

74.Able to visit the DR again.

75.Senior class trip to the DR.

76.Able to return to Northeast.

77.Mentored by Dr. Bish…what a guy.

78.Permitted to create the special education curriculum for Northeast

79.Invited to speak on special education issues at Ocean City, MD for the Delmarva Christian school association

80.Big personal setback, but the Lord gave much grace

81.God’s hand of blessing on me

82.Everything began to crumble around me, but God continued to bless my life.

83.Strength to work two full-time jobs

84.Exposed to the mental health industry

85.Relief from financial setbacks and back to one job

86.Wisdom, patience and guidance were given

87.Able to go back to school again

88.Leadership to leave Northeast

89.Comfort through disappointment

90.Three meetings on the calendar. No job or money. God filled up the calendar and met our needs.

91.God blessed to help countless people through speaking engagements as I traveled around the country

92.My wife and daughter were not killed in the auto accident

93.Grace through the painful months

94.Medical insurance obtained

95.Secured work at Devereux

96.Promoted to Treatment Manager (thank you for the financial trouble which exposed me to the mental health industry)

97.Promoted to Learning Specialist

98.Promoted to Learning Manager

99.Promoted to Operations Manager

100.I have great health

Advertisements

When You Just Can’t Go On

Sometime back when I worked in the steel mill, I was a part of a crew of men that worked on changing the motor of a large crane. The work took place over the 200 foot tempering furnace, which created an extremely hard-working environment. The crew worked in 15 minute intervals because of the fatigue caused by the heat and after short periods of rest, we were refreshed, renewed in strength and ready to go again.

Life can have a fatiguing effect on our hearts, just as the heat did on our bodies in the steel mill. The effect is not so much the heat of the day, but the wearing away upon the heart by life‘s struggles. Health, financial, domestic and work issues can bear upon the heart of man causing him to stoop and even fall. But God has promised to be with us, provide comfort to our hearts and the strength that we need.

He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength (Isaiah 40:29)

The power that we need is not in us nor does God couple his power with ours so that the total is enough for us to endure. We must remember that he is our strength. (Psalm 46:1; 81:1)

As long as we continue trying to rise above life and the burdens that it bears upon us, we will continually fall which leads to greater anguish in the soul. But when we rest in him, we gain his strength. Resting in him does not mean a time of leisurely repose for the recovering of strength, but more like how God rested from his work of creation on the seventh day. He was not tired from his labor: his resting was him ceasing from work.

When we rest in Jesus, we cease from our own work—whether physical or soulish— and allow him to do his work in and through us. We give up our strength so that we may gain his strength.

So instead of trying harder to overcome, give up and then look to God so that he may do in you what you are unable to do.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (Psalms 46:1)

Sing aloud unto God our strength: (Psalm 81:1)

Misplaced Faith

From our childhood, we have heard the story of Adam and Eve. They were the first two humans created by God and lived in the garden of Eden. When God made them, he declared that they were very good. By these words, he was describing the wonder and magnificence of his creating act. As they lived together, they were sinless and acted according to the will of him who created them. You would think that because they were sinless, they would just continue to live a sinless life. However if you know the story, you know that they failed terribly and plummeted the entire human race into sin.

Why didn’t Adam and Eve stay sinless? What was the core problem or cause for their failure? This may come as a surprise to you, but their core problem was their faith. Stop and think for a moment. At one point in time, Adam only knew God. He did not recognize he had a need, but he did and the need was that of a companion. Adam saw God meet that need and present woman to him. His life in the garden of Eden was complete and fulfilling.

But then the serpent came using alluring words: words that promised an even better existence then they were already experiencing. At that point, Adam and Eve had a major decision to make. Would they believe the serpent or would they believe God.

As you know, they believed the serpent, ate the fruit and became sinners. The goodness of their creation and being could not prevent it, because the action which led to the fall first began in the heart. 

Because man fell in this matter, God made his redemption and way back to him to be in the same way. Man fell because of misplaced faith, man will be rescued from sin by right faith. God will not require a man to be faithful for salvation, but instead he requires man to put his faith in the only person whoever was faithful: Jesus Christ. God is not looking for goodness because there is not anyone who is good: Matthew 19:17 …there is none good but one, that is God. Romans 3:10 There is none righteous, no not one.

God is looking for people who will believe and trust in his promise of salvation through the work of Jesus Christ. Ask yourself this question, “Do I have faith?” If your answer is yes, ask yourself, “Am I placing my faith in me or in Jesus Christ?” It can only be one way or the other.

The Root and the Fruit (Rev. 22:16)

Did you ever wonder how they produce seedless grapes or make large fruit bearing trees into small ones, but yet still have them produce a large amount of fruit? In order to accomplish this, two practices are used: cross pollination and grafting.

On Father’s Day, I received a dwarf fig tree as a gift. It had the root of the fig tree, but the trunk was cut and spliced together with another tree that would grow much smaller. The end result was a short tree that produced a bunch of figs.

Spiritually speaking, God does the same. However in this case, he is the root and the fruit bearing tree.

I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David… Revelation 22:16

Think about the statement, I am the root and offspring of David. Jesus is the root from which David is an offspring. Additionally Jesus is a descendent of David or a fruit that comes from David’s lineage.

Spiritually speaking, the same occurs for us. He is our root or the root of the vine (John 15) and he also is that which produces fruit in our lives. We do not produce fruit: he produces fruit in or through us. He is the root of our being and the fruit of our lives.

Everything good in our lives is really fruit produced from him. Our part is to abide in him because without him, we can do nothing. Many years I spent toiling trying to produce fruit only to recognize that I cannot. I finally came to realize that he can and will produce fruit. If I allow him, he–the root of my being–will produce the fruit of his being in me.

Does God Hear You?

Does God hear you when you pray? Some believe that he does. Others struggle and at best hope God may pay attention to them. Their struggle can be narrowed down to two basic premises: is my relationship right so that God will hear me and are my petitions important enough to gain his attention? 

Why should God hear you? Your only standing with God is because of the work of his son. He gave himself for you and washed your entire sin debt free with his blood. He positions you in himself so that every right that he inherited is also at your disposal. Positionally, you have been put into a place of acceptance. For this reason, he hears you when you pray. The only potential to toward him from hearing you is if you regard iniquity in your heart. 

If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: Psalms 66:18

This does not mean that he stops listening to you each time you sin, but that when your heart is fixed on sin and you are unwilling to allow the Lord to free you from it, it is then that he stops hearing you.

Are your problems important enough for you to pray and for God to hear you? Remember when people brought children to Jesus and when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus instructed them to allow the children to come to him and he used that event to guide our understanding about the kingdom of God. Stop for a moment and think. What problems would a child have? What would they ask of God? I understand that social conditions are very different today than they were in Jesus’s time. But the principle is still true. If we could truly discover what needs a child has in their heart, I am certain that it would involve details in the circle of their world.

Most petitions would involve the desire for tangible items such as a puppy, a toy, being able to play well at a sport or any such thing that we may belittle in importance. None-the-less, the Lord said that we should allow them to come to him. What you need to gain from this passage is to see yourself just as these children or at least similar to them.

But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Luke 18:16

I remember my last year as the principal of a christian school. The budget year was going to end $10,000 in the red. I earnestly prayed into the summer months and saw $7,000 of that come in as a direct result of praying. At that time, it was the greatest trial I had faced as a believer, but how did God see it? I believe that he saw it as child’s play. The greatest of my trials was nothing to him and equal in difficulty as those for the child.

You may feel that your problems aren’t important enough to take to God or they don’t seem to measure up. Are they as important as a child’s needs? If they are, you and children are welcome to seek his face and bear your burden to him.

Remember, positionally you are acceptable to him. He will hear your prayers just as long as you don’t focus your longing on sin and resist his work.

The importance of your needs is not determined by you, but God and he will focus his attention to all people–even to the lowest need of a child.

Pray! God is listening.

Encouragement 

What helps a person bear the trouble in their heart? Are there special things that need to be done for them or are resources necessary in their lives?  

The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy. (Proverbs 14:10)

From the scriptures we can see one thing for certain, it is not a stranger, but a friend. A stranger may think to bring cheer to the troubled in heart, but the joy of one person does not resonate joy in others. However a friend can help bear the burden, express empathy and point them to truth where hope and joy can be found.

Work now to establish relationships with people. Because these relationships can become open opportunities that the Lord may use you to bring them truth to them.

Your Story (Luke 8:39)

Our lives should be showing the great things that God is doing in them. It isn’t what we are now doing with our lives, but what he has done to us on the inside.

Religion can cause people to serve and even clean the inside of the cup, but God’s hidden work can never be duplicated. We can never fill the emptiness, but God can. We can never remove our shame, but God can blot it out. The nets of fear and insecurity, which grip us can never be escaped, but God can deliver us from them.

The struggles that brought you to Christ are the very areas of your life upon which he has done his greatest work. This is what your life must declare.

The maniac of Gadera was delivered. The woman with the issue of blood was cleansed. What’s your story?

Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. Luke 8:39