Sony’s Thoughts: An Attitude of Gratitude

I hope you all had a wonderful day of giving thanks on Thursday. I also hope you did not go back to complaining on Friday. 😉 A Christian should never cease being grateful for the many blessings our Lord pours upon us daily. Yet thanksgiving goes beyond mere words. It should well up in our hearts continually.

For myself, this has been a year of joys and trials but I choose to focus on the joys and to thank God that, even in the trials, He is changing me to be the daughter He desires me to be. I would not be who I am without the trials I’ve gone through. I’m grateful that, even in the midst of those trials, He continues to love me and to bless me and to strengthen me. I have not always walked through the fire with gratitude but I have seen Him give more grace when the burdens grow greater. Thankfully, I don’t have to bear those burdens by myself.

I give God all the glory for helping me keep an attitude of gratitude. I hope to be one who rejoices in everything–who always finds at least one thing to be grateful for. I hope you are able to do that as well. Just the knowledge that God is here fills my heart with thanksgiving. I am nobody, yet He takes the time to think about me. What a blessing that is!

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Sony’s Thoughts: A Place in Jesus’ Arms

“I have a place I love to be whenever things go wrong. I know that fears and doubts give way. This place is Jesus’ arms.”

These words, penned by my grandparents, have brought me comfort so many times through the years. I love the thought of finally being with Him in Heaven but the thought of being in His arms now gives me peace for every situation. 

When I listen to the news it’s easy to be fearful. So many homicides, accidents, betrayals, etc. Sometimes I have to consciously remind myself that His arms are around me keeping me safe. When I close my eyes I can hear Him say,  “Fear not, my child. I am here.” At that moment all my fears disappear and a peace that only He can give fills my soul. 

As I walk with Him in this world of uncertainty I know I’m in His arms and, for that, I am very thankful.

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Sony’s Thoughts: Always Praising

As I was worshiping yesterday morning, my heart overflowed with thanksgiving to God. As I lifted my voice in song, I was again reminded that we are to praise God continually. Not just when we feel like it but even when we don’t. Praise can lift the spirit like nothing else can.

I hope I’m not over-beating the “praise” drum but it is a burden of my heart–to encourage others to get past their trials and heartaches to praise the God who is truly worthy. Praising can bring you to that point where God means everything to you. As you begin to praise Him, you realize He is all you truly need. It’s saying, “Lord, I love You no matter what. You alone are worthy of my praise and devotion.” When you can do that from the heart, even in the bad times, you will begin to grow closer to God like never before. It brings new perspective to Brian Free and Assurance’s song: “If it takes a valley to really know your grace and if it’s in the desert where I’ll meet you face to face, then turn this road I’m traveling to some dark and lonely place ’cause if it takes a valley, then a valley’s what I’ll take.”

And all God’s people said Amen.

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Sony’s Thoughts: The Battle of the Mind

Last week, a friend bought me a copy of Jesus Calling. I’ve heard of the book for several years now but have never read it. The first page I read talked about the battle of the mind, how difficult it can be as both God and satan war for a stronghold. It resonated with me as that is where my fiercest battles are fought. It’s a fight I hate and one I don’t always win but I strive to “take every thought captive” and walk in the faith and victory Christ has called me to.

Mind battles can be different for different people. For some, it may be a battle of purity. For others, it may be a propensity to worry. Still others may struggle with feeling inadequate and wondering if people like you, etc. I have the latter problem but I realize that, whenever I let my thoughts go there, I am giving the enemy a foothold to render me ineffective so I press on. God has a call on my life, and I aim to fulfill that call. I may not see the whole picture but I purpose each day to do what I know God has called me to. He who has called me is faithful, and He will do it!

For those of you who struggle with this, I can’t promise that you will ever be done fighting this battle this side of eternity. I can tell you, however, that you must fight the good fight. You must keep drawing near to God, and He has promised in turn to draw near to you. He will begin to fill you with His love and peace and His thoughts. He will remove the cobwebs from your mind and help you to see more clearly if you are willing to release those thoughts and allow Him to do so. Many have surrendered a lot to God but, for some reason, hold on to their thought life. God wants this as well.

If you are currently experiencing a battle of the mind, take extra time in prayer, worship and the Word this week. Ask God to remove the negative thoughts and replace them with His thoughts. Then practice this often. I pray you find the peace and joy that only He can give.

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Sony’s Thoughts: God is Not Obligated

“‘Therefore it happened, that just as He proclaimed and they would not hear, so they called out and I would not listen,’ says the LORD of hosts” (Zechariah 7:13).

This verse jumped out at me this morning. Have you ever thought about the fact that God is not obligated to answer our prayers? He invites us to ask and tells us we will receive; He says that the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much; but many treat God as a fairy godmother who is obligated to answer our prayers, and that is not necessarily the case. We were created to serve Him, not the other way around.

I’m very grateful to have a God who meets every need and gives me many desires but I need to find out what He desires and please Him. I can then present my requests to God but I trust Him to answer my prayers in His way in His time. He is always faithful to do that.

“Now to him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, To him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21). I’m so grateful I serve a God like that. May I be willing to hear His voice so that my prayers are not hindered.

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Sony’s Thoughts: Wholeheartedly

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

This is the verse I’m holding on to lately and, once again, I find God’s Word to be true. The key is also to wait patiently on the Lord but, for those who seek Him with all their heart, they will be found by Him.

In our fast-paced society, waiting is the last thing we usually want to do but it is necessary to find the center of God’s will which is the only safe place to be. I’m still learning to wait, to seek Him in everything. I used to be better than I am but, like so many people, I’ve found myself in the race of life where life is moving faster than I can keep up with it.

No more. I’m focusing on drawing closer to God, trusting Him to guide each step because I know if He’s leading, I have nothing to fear. He will cover me, protect me, provide for me, etc. There is no peace and joy and assurance apart from that. I pray I will be faithful to continually lean on His everlasting arms. What love the Father has for me … and I for Him!

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Sony’s Thoughts: Continual Worship

This morning in church I found myself being quiet at times, listening to those around me lifting their voices in praise. It felt like a small glimpse of what Heaven will be like. Only on that day there will be millions of saints throughout the ages lifting their voices in praise to the One who is worthy of continual praise. I look forward to that day but I’m aware that this kind of worship must begin here. Our life should be one of worship, not just on Sunday but everyday. 

The song comes to mind: “Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary pure and holy, tried and true. With thanksgiving I’ll be a living sanctuary for You.” May I be a sanctuary from which worship flows continually. 

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Sony’s Thoughts: Cast Your Cares Upon Him

Do you ever feel like life is one big, never-ending trial? People say God won’t give you more than you can bear but I beg to differ. I do know, though, that He won’t give you more than He can bear. Peter tells us in I Peter 5:7 to cast all our cares about God for He cares for us. There is nothing that will happen today, tomorrow, next year that He hasn’t ordained, and He can surely bring you through.

Practice doing that today. Casting is an action. It’s not something that automatically happens. God won’t forcefully take your burdens but He is close by, patiently waiting for you to release them into His loving care. You do not have to walk this trial alone. Praise Him for His love and care.

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Sony’s Thoughts: Bless Them Which Persecute You

I’ve been thinking for a while that the next article I write needs to be on the importance of doing the right thing even when others don’t. We often think in terms of fairness instead of honestly trying to figure out what Jesus would do so we can act accordingly. It’s interesting that, while this has been on my mind, this is one area I’m struggling in right now. At times, I am honestly not sure what the right thing is but at other times, I have to fight to let God’s Spirit lead me instead of giving in to how my flesh would like to respond. That is what I’m going through right now but I pray to fight the good fight. I see so many who start the fight well but don’t finish well. I want to be one who is faithful to the finish.

Last night after receiving news that someone who was once a dear friend is being spiteful toward us, my flesh began to rise up. God immediately brought to mind Romans 12:14: “Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.” No matter how hurt I am or how frustrated, my job is to pray for that person. God sees what I’m going through and He will handle them. I’m responsible for my thoughts and actions. I want God’s favor in my life so I need to reflect Him.

I share this, not to complain, but I know I’m not the only one who has gone through this. I’m not sure there’s a greater hurt than to have a former friend turn against you. I think it’s easier to love enemies than to love former friends who have positioned themselves as enemies; yet, God commands us to love them as well. He loved those who crucified Him so He’s not requiring more than He is willing to give the grace for if we will let Him heal our hearts. As hard as this is, I am at peace, knowing He loves me and He has a purpose for this trial. I may not like it and wish with all my heart I didn’t have to walk through it but, if this is what He chooses to use to draw me closer to Him, so be it. I know He is here and, no matter what happens, He will not let go of my hand. Thank You, Lord, for Your faithfulness.

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Sony’s Thoughts: Life is Short

It was timely for me when I received the latest issue of Homecoming magazine and the title was about accepting loss. In the homeschool world in which I work, we’ve lost several people unexpectedly. These are not people I’ve been overly close to but people I’ve gotten used to seeing at conventions and various events. 

As uncertain as life is, it’s true that it is appointed unto men once to die. This should inspire us to make sure each moment counts. We should take time every day to let our loved ones know how much they mean to us . In the scheme of things life is really short. This becomes more real to me every day. 

For the Christian, death is nothing to fear but it should cause us to be sober as we evaluate our lives and what we’re accomplishing for Christ’s Kingdom.

 

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