Friday, January 8, 2016

Michael's Word of the Year blog

Happy New Year and thank you once again for granting me another opportunity to convey to you my thoughts and plans for another year that Almighty God has bestowed upon us. It has been a wonderful winter so far in the UK and although it hasn't been as wintry as previous years, I thank God every day for his amazing grace and blessings. I love him with all my heart and I will serve him and praise his name eternally.

Before I let you know about my word for 2016, I would like to first share with you how God has worked amazingly in my life. My life has been a revelation since the last time I wrote a blog. As you would recall from my last blog, towards the end of 2014, I had a successful operation to remove a salivary gland from my neck, which was found to be malignant and resulted in 6 weeks of radiotherapy. During the recovery, I developed problems with my heart after experiencing a lot of dizziness and a very fast heart beat. I had to have tests done at the Heart Centre of the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford which yielded nothing although I was given plenty of advice about nutrition and good health which i have incorporated into my life.

During these times of upheavel, I kept my faith strong, my outlook positive, knowing God had a reason for giving me the trials and that he was going to be there helping me through to the end of the tunnel. What I had not anticipated was how great it would be once I came out on the other side. I feel so joyous, so blessed, so happy. I have finally found true joy, true love, true happiness that comes from God. Having witnessed fellow Christians’ testimonies and lives, full of grace, peace, love, joy and peace over the years, I am overwhelmed how good it felt to finally go through the same experience. I still cannot explain properly in words how much am enjoying every single day of my life. It is such a good bubbly feeling and all I want to do for the rest of my life is to praise him from the rooftops, sing his praises and lettting everyone know that our God is truly amazing. 
During this time, I was reflecting on my life, with the knowledge that God had a plan for my life. He has a plan for each and every one of us. Every single day, we are all doing God’s work and knowingly or not, every experience, every occasion, every trial happens for  a reason. Which leads me to my word for 2015, purpose.


God has a purpose in life for each and every one of us. I wanted to know what my actual purpose in life was. I wanted to understand what the Lord was revealing to me as every day passed by, as my life unfolded. Knowing what his purpose for my life was would give it simplicity, meaning and added motivation even in times when it seems to be a grind. Finding the purpose enabled me to experience true and everlasting joy.
We all have been blessed abundantly with different talents, skills and abilities. It is for us to ensure we use them as best as we can and in a way that glorifies and honours God. 
So last year I set on a journey of discovering my own purpose in life. I drew inspiration from the story of the conversion of Paul the Apostle, who had a dislike for christians and had made it his mission to persecute them..
Acts 8:3 As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.
..but Almighty God had a special purpose for his life.
Acts 9:1-6 Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?”. Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?”
Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
 In the end, he ended up being one of the best messenger of God’s words, writing half of the books in the New testament. He also took the message of God to the Romans and even the Gentiles. This did teach me that God has the power to use any one us for a greater purpose, even in the midst of fierce opposition.

Throughout the year, I reminded myself of the word Purpose and tried to incorporate it in every aspect of my life. Every little achievement, every thought, every goal fulfilled, prayer that I prayed, I made sure that the purpose was at the forefront. This helped me make some very important achievements.
  • Since receiving Jesus as my personal saviour on 30th March 2014, I joined my local village Anglican church. It was a fabulous experience, listening to God’s word and worshipping with fellow christians. It still didn't feel like it was the church I was destined for. After talking with my friend Judy about it and telling her how much more I enjoyed her Baptist church in Las Vegas during our visits, she trawled the internet and found a local one in my area.
Yarnton Anglican Church

Yarnton Anglican Church

  • Once I attended, I haven't looked back. The Kidlington Baptist Church principles and doctrines, worship styles, the music, the feel of the church felt so right to me. I have even encouraged my family who have attended with me and have been so encouraged too.

Kidlington Baptist Church

  • I wanted to learn more about the word of God and include it more in my life. In our busy lives, we all have to try and set out more time for God irregardless of how busy we are. However, with my job at BMW and with their crazy working hours which can vary from starting as early as 6am some weeks to finishing as late as 4am on others, I always found it a bit difficult finding a consistent time. This led to me finding an app on my phone where I could load daily sermons from Dr Charles Stanley among others and listen to them when i was up and about. Nowadays worship happens everywhere; in traffic, break time at work, in the park, on my jogs. It has given me power, direction, clarity and more knowledge of the will of God in my life.
  •  Another way of learning about God is to put as much of his word as possible in our minds to help us in our daily lives. Around August of last year, Linda, Judy and I decided we would memorise two bible verses weekly and send clips to each other. This has been one of the the most beneficial things I have done and am very thankful to them for their support and encouragement along the way.
  •  I am also doing my best to integrate with other christians and worship God in every way. I was blessed to once again attend a christian festival in the south coast of England called Big Church Day Out. That was my second visit and we have seen some great acts including Matt Redman, Third Day, Matt Maher, Phil Wickham, Newsboys, Jason Upton amongst others. We also had Kari Jobe and Matt Redman for a worship night in Oxford in late November which was a wonderful occasion.

Big Church Day Out festival
Big Church Day Out festival
Matt Maher @Big Church Day Out festival

Kari Jobe at a concert in Oxford

Matt Redman at a concert in Oxford

  • I also realised that in England, the majority of people do not know about the truth of God’s word. When I’ve tried talking to some of my colleagues at work about God, some of them have been very resistant. A few, however, have been very receptive and willing to have a conversation. Funny thing is the one person who I thought would be most resistant turned out to be the one who was willing to engage with me the most. I was very pleased with their reaction and continual willing to learn the word of God. I was also impressed by how much he already knew which made it easier to engage with him. He recently had a problem in his personal life that drove him to tears and he was humble enough to trust me to help him through it. Happily, he took my advice and just before we shut down for Christmas, all was looking up for him. Praise be to God!
As the new year starts and I move on to a new word, I shall endeavour to make sure the work of my hands shall be in the glory of our Lord. I shall, through prayer, worship, bible study, witnessing continue to learn more about the truth of the word and help others around me continue to learn.

 My word for 2016 shall be FOCUS. While l still continue to learn more about God’s purpose for my life, I want to be more focussed and driven in all aspects of my life and I’m praying that with all the words I've had so far (Focus, Purpose, Self-discipline, Gratitude), God will bless me with another successful year, Amen.

At the last opportunity, I am adding this video that I first heard at Kidlington Baptist and it brought tears to my eyes. Listening to it makes me remember how blessed I am that Jesus gave his life for my sins. Its been such an inspiration to my year.

Monday, January 5, 2015


First, I’d like to thank Almighty God for the pleasure of gifting me a brand new year that I am enjoying immensely. I am very thankful to Him for all the blessings and challenges, the ups and downs that He brought my way in 2014. It generally was a brilliant year and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment I was blessed with. It was full of joy and happiness and although it brought many ups and downs, Linda and I made the best of each moment. I’ve seen God’s wonder through wonderful people and amazing places I’ve visited.
 We had the pleasure of visiting Judy in Las Vegas in March for my birthday. It was one of my best holidays ever. Judy made our stay very memorable, made us really wonderful food (secret: her meatloaf is to die for!!!), arranged for us visit some wonderful places, and introduced us to her church, Liberty Baptist church which was definitely the highlight of our visit. That was because on the 30th March 2014, with Linda and Judy by my side, I received Jesus as my personal saviour. I started a journey walking with the Lord, which has been the best thing to ever happen to me. It’s been wonderful knowing Jesus personally and am trying the best I can to live according to his teachings. Spending time with Judy and her family was a true blessing.
Ephesians 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith- and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.
2014 brought big news on a health front. I had surgery in November 2013 to remove a swollen salivary gland from underneath my left ear which healed nicely by February. Unfortunately the doctors dropped a bombshell. The salivary gland that had been removed was fond to be malignant. I had to undergo biopsy tests and have scans to ensure the cancer had not spread elsewhere. Even though the medics told me that the prognosis was good, and that the chances of spreading were negligible, the very thought that I had cancer was more than I could bear. But through the power of prayer, support from loved ones and willpower, I got through all the tests and six weeks of radiotherapy which ensued. I am now in remission and back to full health. Praise be to God!!!

We were also very blessed to go to The Big Church Day Out, a Christian music festival. We sang and praised in the rain and mud, and we were very blessed to see artists like Matt Maher, Third Day, Matt Redman among others. It was lovely seeing a multitude of people all gathered to praise God.
Big Church Day Out festival

Praising God in the sun
Linda bought me tickets to visit Wimbledon for tennis quarter finals although I think she enjoyed it more than I did, being a huge Novak Djokovic fan. We also went to Rome for a few days and were very thrilled to visit the Vatican, some wonderful churches, ancient Roman ruins and as usual, Linda got to do her usual spot of shopping.
The Colosseum in Rome

Piazza Venetia in Rome
The church of Saint Ignazio of Loyola

When I set out this year promising to live by the words I had chosen, I did not anticipate how much of a challenge and thrill it was going to be. I threw myself wholeheartedly into the challenge. I knew self-discipline would be more of a challenge so I started jotting down all the reminders, to-do things and accomplishments in my diary. I had a habit of going longer periods of time without calling my parents and siblings in Africa, so I made sure Linda reminded me every week to call them. I also started messaging my brother and sisters a lot more. This greatly improved me psychologically. I can happily say I’ve kept it going and I can say that was a major success.

I also set out doing my devotions and reading the bible a lot more than I used to. There was also a bible plan on my Bible app that I started following. Judy also mentioned that she enjoyed reading Proverbs, and I followed her advice and studied it too. It was such a wonderful experience. Spending time with God made me realize what a wonderful life I’ve been blessed with. So much so that in March when we went to visit Judy in Las Vegas, I got saved and received Jesus. As a born again Christian, I am enjoying life and even though I’ve gone through other difficult times, I’m still very cheerful because I’ve got Jesus by my side. What a friend I have in Jesus!!!
I also decided that I have to start looking after myself a lot more physically, especially after my operation and cancer diagnosis. I started going out for runs and jogs, and was totally committed to doing 2-3 runs a week and was running up to 5 miles by the time my radiotherapy started in July. Sadly the doctors recommended that I stopped for a few months to help me with the recovery. I was also a bit more conscious of the foods I was eating, making sure I cut out some of the junk, ate more fruits and vegetables, including blueberries and olives which I had never ever tried before. My colleagues at work also bought me a Nutribullet, which I used a lot to make nutritious juices.
I also decided to give up a bit of my time to help the less fortunate. I contacted Age UK, which is a charitable organization that helps the older members of our society, and they introduced me to an elder gentleman, whose name coincidentally was Michael. He suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. I started taking him out for a couple of hours every fortnight, to give his wife who was caring for him some free time. Michael enjoyed the outdoors a lot so we went out for long walks along the river, went to visit the arboretum, and some wonderful places around Oxford. We would then share a cup of coffee where he would tell me about his life and his family, and although he told me the same story repeatedly, due to his loss of memory, he seemed to enjoy every moment.
When it comes to gratitude, I am especially thankful to the Lord for blessing me with his greatest gift; salvation. Since the 30th March, I’ve been living a life knowing that God is by my side and I have a special relationship with him, someone to help me through every single day of my life, someone to watch over me, a guiding light, a protector, a companion.
 I am also very thankful to God for blessing me with a wonderful upbringing. I have the most loving parents, who did the best job bringing us up, making sure we were loved but making sure what was right and what was wrong. They made sacrifices, but expected us to do the right things. We were taught to appreciate the little things in life and respected people. I’ve learnt to be grateful for even the little things that we normally take for granted. As humans, we don’t often realize how blessed we are for the privileges we enjoy. Breath of air in our lungs, good health, freedom, family, friends amongst others. More so this year, I have developed an attitude of gratitude, showing more appreciation by showing gratitude  to the little things in life and counting my blessings. Some people are praying for the things I have taken for granted.

Going through 6 weeks of radiotherapy took a lot out of me, physically and mentally. I had to concentrate on getting better and that took my eyes off the ball. I also had to go back to work before I fully recovered and that didn’t help one bit. By the end of the year though, am slowly getting back to some sort of normality and although its still far from what I would refer to as success, I have come a long way since January 2014. I`ll endeavour to work hard and make the necessary improvements to put me on the road to be the kind of man God expects me to be.
Acts of Apostles 20;32 Now am turning you over to God, our marvellous God whose gracious word can make you into what he wants you to be and give you everything you could possibly need..

Friday, January 24, 2014

Michael`s Two Words For The Year


Let me first mention that I've always seen Linda sat at the computer, typing for hours and quietly reading  and looking for quotes, even after 12-15 hours of work, day in, day out on her group. Then she showed me all the work you ladies do,  the inspiring quotes, the bible verses, the lovely photos, the encouragement for each other, I totally understood why she's so engrossed in it, why she loves taking all the photos, all the scribbled quotes and bible verses on her table, the silence that descends on the house while she is busy reading your entries and  typing away, so please keep up with the good work encouraging and inspiring each other. I believe that God has brought you together for a reason, and it shows.
As soon as Linda mentioned the idea of choosing a word to use as a guide, to live by and sculpt our lives around instead of resolutions, I knew I had to participate despite the fact that am not a member of your group. My two words will not just be words for the year but hopefully for the rest of my life. Then on the journey again next year I look forward to "One Word" again.


I chose this word specially based on previous years' experiences. I am very good at coming up with ideas and things I would love to accomplish, but unfortunately, I lack the urgency and motivation to get going until I get to a point where I have to force myself or circumstances force me to other words I excel at procrastination.
Fortunately I always do end up accomplishing whatever I set out to achieve, but I would love to do it more promptly instead of rushing through things. This year, I have decided it's going to be different and follow the words of Charles Dickens who said " Never do tomorrow what you can do today, and that procrastination is the thief of time". I am striving to live by this everyday and the bible advises in 1 Corinthians 14:40..Let all things be done decently and in order.
I will set myself achievable goals, I will hold a deadline by which I must finish whatever I have planned,I will pray for God's help,  I will develop a routine, I will rejoice the completion of any tasks however insignificant.

Through the help of God who strengthens me, I can do all things and achieve excellence by the end of the year.
My second word of the year is gratitude. I was brought up by the most loving parents. God fearing Bible believing strict primary school teachers who sacrificed a lot in their own lives to make sure we had the best upbringing. Very strict to make sure we maintained high standards of discipline and respect, very dedicated to make sure we didn't lack our everyday needs, encouraging to ensure we didn't fall in with the wrong crowd. Went without luxury to provide us with the best education and advised us to attend Sunday service to listen to God's Holy word. We were repeatedly lectured to live right, make the right decisions and always think about our future and to have God as the centre of our lives.

Having experienced this sort of selfless love, no amount of payment will ever be enough so I've learnt to show and give gratitude to my parents and to God for the blessing that my life has become.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us " In everything; give thanks, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
Everyday I pray to God and I always thank him how blessed my life is; most wonderful parents and siblings, my sweet Linda and her loving family, precious family and friends, gift of good health, a place I call home, the blessing of a new dawn.
I will show gratitude in all circumstances, even in adversity. My belief is that in the midst of our struggles, discouragements and disappointments, there's a lot to be so thankful for!
I am showing more appreciation by;
  • Spending more time with friends and family and let them know how much they mean to me. Let them know how much I appreciate them and thank God for them!
  • Call and message those closest and dearest whom I don't see often.
  • Spend more time enriching myself spiritually..doing my devotions, reading the scripture, listening to Bible pod casts and K Love radio at home and while am driving.
  • Spending more quality time by myself and by this I mean studying God's word and being faithful with my daily devotions and with Linda going for walks, going for car drives, jogging. I am able to recharge my batteries and appreciate what a wonderful world we live in.
Colossians 3:17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do it all in the name of The Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the father through him.

My hope and prayer is that these two words enrich my life, draw me ever close to God and make 2014 a more enriched and blessed year as I seek Him.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

One Word or Two

                                       One Word

I have always when a New Year arrives made resolutions as I am sure most of us have done too! As we reflect on the past year we set our goals and make our list. So what happens then? It is an all too familiar story, we rarely if ever keep our resolutions and are well thought out plans fizzle out! We set off in a determined manner but our focus drifts and soon our resolutions are forgotten. 

There has been much "buzz" recently about "one word"  although this concept has been around for sometime now. I have read much about it and now this has been set as our January homework. I am excited as I embark on this journey for one word or in my case two! Even more excited as my partner has joined in with me on the journey for the year too. 

So  now to find a word or two which I will have as my focus for the year. I truly wanted to seek the Lord's will in this and have Him reveal the word He wanted me to focus on. A word that I needed to work on in my life. So here began the difficult part. I was so surprised to find what I thought would be easy turned out be much harder than I had imagined! I spent each day in prayer asking the Lord to show me what He would like for me to focus on. The Lord soon impressed on my heart the word He wanted me to have. I knew this was so needed. After this however I find my mind filling with other words and this baffled me. I knew I did not want to have more than two words and I prayed and prayed asking the Lord why are so many words appearing and what am I being shown? It was not long before another word came to me. So now I could begin my homework and focus on the words for the year. I was ready to start my journey.

And then a strange experience and the second word changed yet again! I cannot even explain the analogy of this. I went to check a yogurt pot's expiry date in the fridge and tipped the pot upside down to check and suddenly yogurt was pouring into my basket which was on the floor! The lid had not been on tightly. All my important paperwork, and other documents in my basket and now smothered in yogurt! Here started a "mop up exercise and salvaging." In the midst of this chaos came my second word. This word encompassed all those words that had floated around in my head. So amazing how the Lord works. One thing I did learn was that a small amount of yogurt goes a long way!!
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who
are the called according to His purpose."
Romans 8:28 
"Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy: at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."
Psalm 16:11

So my first word for 2014 is
So this is my first word. When I think of declutter I find words that spring to my mind. Release, Let go, remove, and eliminate are but a few. So what is a definition of this word?  The Oxford dictionary  gives the meaning as "remove unnecessary items." This is a particularly and much needed word for me this year. I so want to release past hurts, pain, betrayals, bad memories, let downs, heartache, disappointments, sadness and so much more. I want to declutter and let go of all of this. All those things that I cling on to that rob me of joy, I want to release all those things that stop me moving forward and keep me stuck in what seems like a time warp! I want to declutter and let go of all the past hurts and pain that repeatedly hurt me again and again as I cling and revisit them. These past hurts and pain appear in my mind and I relive those awful moments over and over again  remembering every detail vividly as if it was just the first time I have gone through this. Sometimes crying myself to sleep. 


I am reminded of
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28 
Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.Psalms 55:22

Casting all your care upon Him: for He careth for you.
1 Peter 5:7
So many times over and over I have heeded these words and given my burdens to Him only to reclaim them time and time again! Forgiving is easy but forgetting seems to be a stumbling block for me. This year I want to hand it all to the Lord and not reclaim as I so often do. I want to live in peace,joy and be pain and hurt free. I so want to declutter my mind and remove all that robs me of enjoying all that God has given me and all the countless blessings He has bestowed on me. No longer do I want to lie in the dark of night unable to sleep allowing my mind to wander back to painful times. I want to claim all of God's promises, trust and to believe. Not only do I want to let go of all what I replay in my mind I want to simplify and declutter generally. I am such a hoarder and hold onto everything always thinking " well one day I might just need this!" So what better time to declutter my thoughts and my life as I embark on my one word, well two word journey!
Dear Lord,
I come to you today and lay all of my past burdens, grief, pain, hurt, sadness, disappointments, and betrayal at your feet. You have promised that if I bring my burdens to you, you will sustain,heal and bear all of this for me. I ask that you declutter my mind and not reclaim all of this. Release me from the chains that bind me and let me fully experience  your love, joy and peace. Thank you Lord. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

And my Second word
The Lord revealed that the second word for me this year is "Faithful." So what is a definition of this word?  Some definitions I found were "remaining loyal and steadfast, adhering firmly and devotedly, true and and constant are but a few.
Before this word was revealed I had many words come to mind and had chosen them only to find another word would come after much prayer. My second word had been "Thankful" and then "Prayer" It was after an accident with a pot of yogurt that the Lord revealed that my word had to be changed. I felt strongly that the Lord had worked in revealing "Faithful" as it encompassed the words that I had chosen previously. I live with an attitude of gratitude and since my major surgery four years ago this gratitude has been enhanced. I now thank Him for everyday things much more, a rainbow, a sunset, singing birds, Spring flowers which I had not done before. As I reflect back I see whilst I do this my thanks is not always consistent. I want to be faithful every day, day in and day out. I have found that living in gratitude is life changing. Then prayer-I pray every day, through the day and at night and in those waking hours during the night.  Those words thankful and consistent come to mind. I want my Prayer life to be faithful and to be my steering wheel and not my spare tire as Corrie Ten Boom has said. I want to have devoted time for prayer and not hurried and to have devotion time too. I want to be faithful and consistent in my prayers. A faithful prayer life helps us to resist the Devil. I want to experience the presence of the Lord each and every day, to hear His voice and to trust Him every day.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding; in all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.
Ephesians 6:18
So Faithful is what I want to be in my walk with Him. I want to seek Him, hear Him, serve Him and faithfully thank Him for good times, valley times, in small things and big things! 
I want to claim His comfort, encouragement and unending love and to follow Him faithfully. How faithful He has been in my life in so many wonderful ways! 

With the Lord's leading with this word I believe it also applies to my everyday life and He wants me to be faithful here too. Faithful with my family and friends and all that I do. Faithful in encouraging and supporting and inspiring.

Dear Lord,
Help me to know which path to take, help me to hear your voice, and to truly come to know you. Lord help me to serve you faithfully with all that I have.  Thank you for all your faithful protection and your many blessings.
in Jesus Name I pray, Amen. 


Monday, December 2, 2013


In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
As you will probably be aware we do not celebrate Thanksgiving Day here in England . This is a day to reflect on blessings and to remember and focus on what God has done for us. Every day should be a Thanksgiving Day and we should put aside time in our day to reflect on all  daily blessings given to us big or small. Over the years I have come to realise that it is not the "big" things but the "small" things that so bless my heart and life.

The red Robin (my favourite bird) as it  feeds from the bird feeder and keeps one eye on me, the glorious sunrise each morning as it lights up the sky. The beautiful sunset that blesses the sky with shades of yellow and red and orange. The glistening snow as it covers the ground in  a white blanket. The stars on a dark night, squirrels as they seek food in my garden and playfully run after each other. The smile that graces my neighbours face as she greets me. Rain after a drought, a hot bubble bath after a long tiring day and aching bones. A day that comes to just chill and have a pj day. A mug of hot chocolate with delicious marshmallows. Time spent with loved ones. A rainbow in the sky a reminder of God's promise. Walks along rivers, lakes and the ocean. Food on my table. Discovering a new brand of tea. My partner Michael and how he has blessed my life beyond measure. My daughters and precious grandchildren. Flowers that bloom. Lavender when I have a headache. Sweet and precious friends When I think of blessings the list is endless!

O  give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good: for His mercy endureth forever. Psalms 107:1
So what does Thanksgiving mean to me and how do I celebrate this day? Having lived in the USA and having family and friends in the USA I have celebrated  this day over the ocean and in England too. The times I have spent celebrating with my sister in Georgia I have loved her family tradition at this time. Each family member in turn  will talk on their blessings over the past year and how this has changed their lives or made a difference. Telling each other what they are thankful for.
Thanksgiving Day has become much more meaningful  and special to me after the Lord took me on a painful, hard, difficult and long journey. During this time He brought me back to serving Him, changed my life and taught me life lessons. He removed me from a comfort complacent zone that I had slipped into! The Lord will certainly get our attention if we wander! During this time I have seen how faithful, how loving and forgiving He is. His provision and care and my needs met.
Life can hand us difficult times and those valley times .How developing an attitude of gratitude helps. Praising Him and thanking Him for everything changes those valley times. So hard to give thanks when you are hurting, when you are in pain and you cannot see light at the end of that dark long tunnel. But give thanks during these times as well as those mountain top times! When all is flowing well and smoothly it is so easy to give thanks. I was taught the lesson of giving thanks when all is not going well. I was taught patience and to wait on the Lord's timing and not my own. I also learnt that the Lord has a plan and that I must trust Him and have faith. All things come in His time and not ours. Sometimes answers to our prayers are wait, sometimes no and sometimes yes. His answers are always wiser than ours!  
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He will direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
After going to the doctor for another problem and then having my blood taken when I went back for the results it was discovered I was anaemic. The doctor examined me and found that I had an abdominal swelling. The next day I was having an urgent scan and it was confirmed I had a large cyst on my left ovary along with other GYN issues that needed attention. After having further blood tests the indication was strong that the cyst might not be benign as a few pointers suggested otherwise. And here started a year long painful journey for me. The agonising wait for surgery, the after surgery and then the long wait for the results. Being told after my hysterectomy and removal of both ovaries and tubes that they had taken several biopsies and some of the sheet of muscle away that covered my abdomen to examine and also a small growth on my abdominal wall. this filled me with concern. The pain, the giving of my problems to the Lord and constantly re-claiming the battle for myself and a faith that was not consistent as I wavered from day to day. The Lord had plans for me and He would say "Trust in me and have faith" and I would have peace and then Satan would get a foothold and darkness and worry enveloped me yet again! For me this proved to be a battle.
So many people were praying for me and the weeks rolled on and I had little understanding as to why my biopsy results were talking so long to be given to me. My own doctor at the surgery did not have them. All this time the Lord was working and teaching me to put ALL my faith and trust in Him. I felt a peace wash over me after praying one day and knew I had to be patient and believe that He would take care of me.
On November 26th  2009 as I waited in the out patients department at the hospital I thanked the Lord for all He had done for me and  how He has sustained me through me during my illness. I remembered my bible life verse Proverbs 3:5-6 and peace washed over me. I was called in and the doctor greeted me and asked me if I had gotten the results. I looked at her blankly and she said "you haven't received them have you" and I replied that I had not.  I was thinking at this point it was not good news. As she turned to me she said  "everything was normal." At that point I was saying over and over out loud as the doctor looked at me. "Thank you Lord ,oh thank you Lord." God had answered my prayers and the prayers of all the people who had faithfully prayed for me. What a rich blessing! 
Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.
2 Corinthians 9:15
Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving. Colossians 4-2
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto Him and bless His name. Psalms 100:4
Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Therefore I say unto you, whatever things soever ye desire, when ye pray believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. Mark 11:24,
Give us this day our daily bread.
Matthew 6:11
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness neither shadow of turning. James 1:17
So for me Thanksgiving Day is special and  I have learnt so much on my journey. I was not at a place where I should have been and the Lord was going to get my attention! The Lord put me in a place where I had to trust, have faith and once I sought His help and gave my burdens to Him and He did not want me to keep reclaiming them and fighting them! . This proved difficult for me and at times I gave and then continued to concern myself with the burden. Thanksgiving Day 26th November 2009 was a turning point in my life when I was told that all was normal! The Lord had me wait until this day to let me have the news. It was unusual to have to wait so long for the results. So significant too that my result day was Thanksgiving! I truly believe that this is what the Lord wanted for me. Every day I praise Him and I thank Him for His mercy, forgiveness and grace. Thankful that I am a child of God. Thankful I have a wonderful testimony, thankful I have  Him to lean on. Thankful I can share my story to encourage others and tell them about Jesus my Savior.
God has a purpose and He is in control. How I have seen His work in my life. Ever faithful and His promises fulfilled.
Are you thanking the Lord for everything that comes your way-valleys or mountain tops? Are you a solid, confident and unshakable Christian?  Jesus is the best gift we could ever receive!