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Posts Tagged ‘Thank You’

I am a word geek.  I love words.  I can’t remember when I didn’t love words.  Word games.  Crossword puzzles.  Plays on words.  Silly rhymes.  I’ve met very few words I don’t like.

But there are so many words I love! These are just a few of them.

 

Family words

The first is surely my name.  Judy.  My family all just called me Judy.   No nicknames—that I know of.  And my husband always calls me Judy.  I use lots of endearing words for him, but he sticks to my name.  We all love to hear our name—it says we are known, accepted, maybe even treasured.

Oh how I love the word Mom.  My children use all variations (American versions): Mother, Mom, Mama, Mommy.  I answer to all.

And now my grandchildren have given me another wonderful name:  Jeedoo.  Music to a grandmother’s ears:  Jeedoo, tell us a story.

Sisters—I have three of them.  We are so different, but we enjoy each other.  We are about to embark on our biannual get together, this time in North Carolina.  When our mother died, we decided that, unless we were intentional, we might never see each other again.  So first we did Texas, then Colorado.  It’s good to make time for sisters.

Relationship words

Every parent spends years teaching children to say Please and Thank you.  Those little ones do it out of obedience, then habit.  And hopefully at some point from the heart, realizing that these polite words show respect to others.

Good job!  We love to hear that—especially from someone whose opinion matters.  When a parent or a teacher or a coach or a boss truthfully says these affirming words, we gain new confidence.  We believe we can do more, even anything we try.

I’m sorry and I forgive you, unfortunately, are often needed but too seldom heard.  But regret and sorrow for words or actions, when expressed sincerely, pave the way for healing and restoration.

I love you.  Oh the magic words!  Given to a child, offered to a friend, whispered to a lover.  Few words, genuinely spoken, bring more joy, hope, affirmation, contentment.  Surely we can say it more than we do. One of my greatest gifts is a husband who tells me he loves me many times a day.

God words

God is also very fond of words.  He spoke and the worlds were formed.  He wrote thousands of words in the Scriptures.  And He sent Jesus as the Word made flesh.

One of my favorite words from God is love.  His Word is filled with this word.  Over and over He declares His love for you and for me.  Then he proves it!  What amazing love!

Truth.  God’s love requires that He tell us the truth.  Sometimes that truth is uncomfortable, even unwanted.  But He assures us that His truth will set us free.

A God word I couldn’t live without is mercy.  I thought I would be further along by now, and maybe my sins aren’t so “big” as they once were.  But there they are,  day by day, reminding me of mercy purchased at such a high price.

And my favorite God word?  Surely it is grace.  The extravagant gift God lavishes on us, undeserved, abundant, even scandalous—I am so grateful.

Of course there are so many more.  Let me close with three more of my favorite words:  God bless you!

What about you?  What are some of your favorite words?

C2012 Judy Douglass

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Wow!

The doctor kept saying wow!

It was good news! Our son-in-love Nick, who has an auto-immune liver condition that almost killed him over a year ago and for which the only cure is a transplant, just finished his first Mayo check-up in a year. All the reports came back good—equal to or better than a year ago. The doctor’s response: I didn’t expect you to be so healthy.

Our response: Thank You, Lord. Praise God! So grateful!

It was not hard for us to thank God for this Wow!

But my friend Marie—she is young—just got a report that she has colon cancer. Young people aren’t supposed to get colon cancer. Can she say, Thank You, Lord?

Another friend has buried 2 loved ones in the past year. Saying Thank You, Lord has not been easy.

Other friends, for whose prodigal we have prayed, recently called to say their child took her own life. Thank You, Lord?

We know the verses:

“…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (I Thessalonians 5:18)

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation…with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6)

In all circumstances, in every situation: Give thanks.

Easy to do when the news is good. So challenging when the news is not what we want to hear.

How can God ask such a thing? What kind of impossible requirement is that?

The answer is: God is God and God is good.

Sounds simple, glib, out of touch with reality.

But it is true. I know it because God says it. And I have proved it. Over a (now long) lifetime, I have seen it true over and over.

In fact, I have found those two words—Thank You—spoken to God are the key to amazing changes:

God seems bigger. He isn’t bigger–He is already the biggest. But He grows in my understanding and perspective. I begin to grasp that He truly is God—in control of the universe and my life—and He truly is always looking for ways to do good to me.

My heart changes. The fear, anger, confusion lessen and peace grows.

Doors open. The key that is “Thank You” opens my heart and mind to see good that God is doing, to recognize opportunities, to trust God’s love and goodness at a much deeper level.

For years I have practiced saying “Thank You, Lord.” Now, when little or big challenges come, my first response is almost always “Thank You, Lord.” Almost always. Still not easy. But oh how it protects and encourages and frees my heart and my mind.

“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” (Psalm 27:13)

 

C2011 Judy Douglass

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I’ve been on earth a long time and in ministry a long time.  After graduation,  I was single for 9 years and married without children for 5 years.  I have been a mom for 30 years, and now all 3 of my children are married and I have 4 grandchildren.

 

Hopefully I’ve learned a few things in those years and through those experiences.  So let me share a few of the truths that have sunk in fairly well, in no particular order:

 

1. God is crazy in love with me.

Amazing, I know!  I never get over it.  He pursues me, desires to be with me, pours extravagant love all over me.  This is wonderful to remember at so many different times—when I don’t feel loved, when I haven’t loved someone well, or have not obeyed….

 

2. God remembers that I am dust.

He knows how weak and sinful I am.  He is not surprised when I blow it.  He loves to extend mercy.  He even says He gets more glory because I am so dusty.

 

3. God’s plan is always better than mine.

Always.  This has been one of the hardest things for me to absorb—I always seem to think my plan is best.  I advise God regularly.  He listens patiently, then reminds me again that He has a better way.  We can try my way first, then always have to return to His way.  Or we can do it His way first—a much better option.

 

 

4. God has made me the way I am so I can do what He created me to do.

He has invited me to be on His Kingdom building team—ME!  I can’t build anything, make anything, draw anything.  But He gave me words to use for my part in His grand endeavor.

 

5. One of God’s favorite words is “wait.”

Not my favorite at all.  I want it now.  I want it my way.  So God often has me in “the waiting room.”   You see, it’s there that I learn more of what God is like—and what I am like.  I discover what it means to persevere.  It was in the waiting room that Isaiah 60:22 came alive:  “I am the Lord.  In its time I will do this swiftly.”

 

6. Two more favorite words of God’s, these for me to say:  “Thank You.”

He was serious when He told us to give thanks in everything.  When I choose to say thank you, about things I hate, or am hurt by, or confused by, I express to God that I believe that He is really God—in control, all powerful—and that He is good—He always is looking for ways to do good to me.  Those two words begin to change my perspective, and they seem almost magic as they open the door for God to work in the situation.

 

7. On my own I can do NOTHING!!!

When I walk in the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit, NOTHING is impossible for me.

 

8. God has made me a fire starter

—seeking to be kindling to start fires in hearts and minds.  It is so easy for me to settle for warm little blazes.  But His plans are so much bigger.  He says I can’t even imagine what He wants to do in and through me. He says repeatedly, ”Don’t settle.  Fan the flames.  Let the wind of My Spirit blow through you to spread the wildfires of my love and forgiveness everywhere.”

 

What about you?  What are some life truths that have sunk in for you?

 

c2011 Judy Douglass

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