All posts by Janice Pender

A Thankful Heart Blesses God’s Name

thanks+hand+heart-300x218What if we woke up one morning and God blessed us that day with the things we only gave thanks for? Would we have air to breathe, a home over our heads, clothes for work, or food for the day?  Would we have creativity in our minds or functioning of our limbs?  And what about family and friends – would we enjoy their presence for another day?

When we consciously step back and take a deep look at all God gives us, we begin to realize that His grace abundantly overflows in our lives – even if we don’t deserve it.   This truth should make our hearts shout a praise of thanksgiving!  Listen to God’s Word in Psalm 100:4-5.

Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations.

These few verses in Psalm 100 says that God never ceases to bless us.  He reveals his faithfulness and loving-kindness through the very things we take for granted.  We don’t always ask and pray for food, clothing, shelter, or the air to live; however, our hearts should breathe thankfulness for them every day.

The Holy Spirit that resides in every believer yearns to express bountiful thanks to God and an unthankful heart quenches His work.  A grateful heart is an outpouring of the nature of the Holy Spirit.  When we choose to thank God daily for the simplicity of life as well as the grandest of victories, we lift up Him up, acknowledge His Lordship, and glorify His name.  A thankful heart always blesses the Lord.

Are you having difficulty being thankful today?  Do you find it difficult to move from bitterness toward gratitude?  Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to teach you how to show sincere thankfulness to God.  Nothing in God’s creation has the ability to bless his name like us.   

Walk in your purpose and bless His name with a thankful heart!

A Sod Story

God is love

I. Laid. Sod.

Yup, all by myself. This girl, right here. I did a good job, too! My husband could not get over how great it looked…oh he of little faith. ;)

And then I went on summer vacation…In Houston, Texas…With a broken sprinkler system…For 2 weeks. Upon my return, I found mostly dry, yellow straw where my gorgeous, green grass used to live.  Needless to say, I was heartbroken.  I had been defeated.  Consequently, I surrendered my efforts and gave up on my once-beautiful (and nearly-professional!) lawn job.  My grass had stopped growing, but my indifference was sprouting up like a weed!

I no longer cared for my sod.  I stopped watering it even though I knew that I might have been able to save it with just a little love. But, I refused to love it.  I stopped checking on it all together.  I even went so far as avoid that part of the yard.  It’s not that I was angry or upset with the sod, I mean come on, it is just sod.  The reality was that I just didn’t care anymore.  I destroyed what was left of my sod by separating it from myself.  It had died because I had stopped loving it.  I didn’t “do” anything to destroy it, I just stopped caring for it.  My indifference caused it’s destruction.

You see, you don’t have to hate something to destroy it.  The opposite of love is not hate…  It’s indifference!  Love creates, but indifference destroys.  A simple and often justified attitude of indifference can bring unintentional consequences into our lives.  I didn’t kill the sod by hating it…  I killed it by no longer caring for it.

Love is an action.  Love is a verb.  It creates and sustains, that’s what love does.

1 John 4:8 tells us that, “The one who does not love, does not know God, for God is love.” 

God is not indifferent. God is love!  Love must create and God is the creator of the universe.  He created us and He sustains out of His love.  The fact that we exist is simply an expression of God’s greatest moral attribute… Love!

This is why you and I were made, as an expression of God’s love, because if God is love and love must create, then God must create.  Saint Theresa of Avila said, in her work Way of Perfection, “The primary purpose of creation is that God wishes to bestow love and teach love, so that creatures can share in the blessedness of divine life, of loving and being loved.”

Isn’t that an awesome concept?  God had to create us.  He didn’t have a choice!  God is love and love must create… Wow!  God wants us to know Him and experience His love.  He desires to have a personal, intimate and loving relationship with us.  Through our personal relationships with Him, He uses us as the primary agents, so that, through us, His love might be carried to others.  This is why it is so important that we not let indifference and complacency take root in our lives.  We must weed it out!  Our love should always be in motion, always doing, always creating.  The same way that my indifference destroyed my sod, our indifference towards God can destroy our lives and rob our joy.  If we are not actively imitating God’s love then we are not in fellowship with Him.  If we are not in fellowship with Him, We… Will… Die!  It’s that simple.  But, God is love, He is not indifferent and He wants us to prosper spiritually while on this earth.  Ultimately, He created us so that one day we might live in eternal fellowship with Him in Heaven.  God’s Word assures us of His promise…

Isaiah 40:8 says, “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the Word of our God endures forever.

Guest Blogger Ali Martin

I did not want to know.


buying-a-bathroom-scale_135697577.s300x300This morning I got on the scale for the first time in…well…a while. I’ve been telling myself that I need to do it for quite some time and frankly…I just did not want to know. It is the same thing I did last week when I wanted to cancel an appointment at the dermatologist where I was to get a full body screening for skin cancer because…I just didn’t want to know.  Everyone puts stuff off because we don’t want to know how it will change our lives and we don’t want the accountability. Continue reading

Prayers Proven Model

The disciples desperately wanted instructions on how to pray with conviction, hope, and boldness – like Jesus.  They looked within themselves but couldn’t find the answers they needed, so they urgently asked Jesus, “Teach us, Lord, how to pray.”  In calmness and loving patience, Jesus begins to instruct them.

He said to them, “When you pray, say: “‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.” Luke 11:2-4 (NIV)

In this passage, Jesus gave the disciples a model or pattern to follow.  He wasn’t revealing magical words that will somehow fix everything.  He wanted to educate them on how to properly align their prayers with God’s word – the perfect instruction manual for life.  This prayer pattern is a proven model not only for the disciples but also for all believers.

This is how we are instructed to pray: Continue reading

Hope Story

I can remember the feeling like it was just yesterday. Within two weeks of having my third child, I knew I wanted another baby. Matters not that she barely made it here, cord wrapped around her neck and breeched! I knew I wanted to have another child. So, when I realized I was pregnant, I felt as though God had heard my heart’s request with and said yes! Continue reading

Motivating Love

Motivating love picture

Usually it doesn’t take much for me to get motivated: the smell of coffee motivates me to buy a venti-upside-down-decaf caramel macchiato, a rainy day motivates me to clean my house (yah, this is weird), and least I forget, an extra 40%-off-the-whole store sale at Chico’s motivates me to go shopping! (Okay, too much motivation). But my point is that sometimes our motivation to shop, eat, and work is rather simple.  Continue reading

In the Comfort and Safety of His Lap

The Lord is my refuge graphicRecently, my two boys and I visited my sisters lake cottage.  I was excited to show my boys what a trip to the lake was all about since this is something I frequently got to do as a child. Being that my children are newly 4 and almost 2 and do not know how to swim, I strapped on their life jackets as soon as we got out of the car.

After a high-speed boat ride, given by my adrenaline-junkie-brother-in-law, we decided to take all the kids to the giant water trampoline anchored to the floor of the lake in front of their cottage.  The kids loved it!  They were jumping around having a fantastic time while Mommy tried to keep them from flying off the side into the water.

Hope Story

I felt her pain as the bottom fell out of my friend’s marriage. I had been her accountability partner to help keep her responses godly while her spouse did as he pleased with issues such as pornography, poor money management, infrequent church attendance and refusal to accept wise counsel. Now, infidelity, and the marriage ended. Continue reading

Believe the Impossible!

Psalm 55 22Believe the impossible!

It’s easier said than done. I tend to keep my heart guarded – afraid to pray big because of silent fear. Afraid to challenge myself, afraid to really listen to God, afraid that He might take me someplace and . . . . I fail. Not because of His inadequacies but because of my sin tendencies.  It’s comfortable and safe to do the same secure thing. 

Too much little faith God! Please teach me. Continue reading