Do you have anything to be thankful and grateful for?  I do . . . 

On May 10, 1961, I was blessed to take my first breath of life.  I was born to Christian parents, and my mother and father took my siblings and me to church faithfully.  We went every Sunday morning, Sunday evening, Wednesday night, and every revival or special service that came to our church.

My mother taught me the principles of tithing, giving 10% of my income back to God, from the time I was old enough to make a dime.  I would sit on the back of the couch while she paid me a penny a minute to brush her hair and scratch the itchy spot on her back!  From the money I made, often just 30 cents while watching a favorite family program on TV, I would then take my 3 cents and place it in the Tootsie Roll bank that always sat on the kitchen countertop.  My mom then took that money and placed it into Godís Work.  That principle has brought blessings to me throughout my entire life.

I canít remember the specific day as a child when I gave my heart to God.  Iíve really known Him all my life!  The exception would be a couple of tough teenage years when my awful sin was to lie to my mother about some boy I liked that she rightfully disapproved of.  I couldnít see how right she was then, but I certainly see it now after raising three teenagers of my own.  There were also a few cigarettes I attempted to smoke.  Those were my awful sins.  I got married to a Christian man at the young age of 18.  My parents taught me the principles of purity.  For that I am grateful, and I was privileged to adorn myself rightfully in a white wedding gown.

Marriage wasnít easy though.  Unemployment rocked our home in the early years.  Despite those moments of poverty, we continued to pay our tithes.  We even paid them when we were living on welfare checks and food stamps.  Never in our twenty-five years of marriage have my husband and I ever had a utility shut off, been evicted from a home, or had a car repossessed.  Never have we gone without our needs being met or food on the table.  Even with food stamps, God blessed us to share groceries with others in need, and we still had plenty!  It is true that when you give to Godís work, you will be blessed.  I have experienced that truth for a lifetime.

Iím grateful to God that He blessed me with three beautiful, healthy daughters --- all of which asked Jesus into their hearts as young toddlers.  All three experienced the infilling of  Godís precious Holy Spirit when they were just eight years old.

Iím grateful that our lives were spared on December 11, 1986 when a tragic house fire took everything we owned.  Iím grateful because God proved His faithfulness to me.  If that fire had happened at night, no doubt we all might have died.  Our home was in complete flames in seven minutes.  Thank God for guardian angels that were encamped about our little two-bedroom trailer that frigid morning just 14 days before Christmas.

God taught me that He cares about the little things in life, like my kindergartnerís Cabbage Patch doll that she asked to take to Show and Tell that day.  I said no because her clothes were mismatched.  How silly and petty I was.  I screamed and cried bitterly for that treasured doll named ďXenia FannyĒ as our house was engulfed in flames.  If only I had said yes.  Two weeks later on Christmas Day, however, there were four beautiful Cabbage Patch dolls under our tree --- none of which we bought.  The list of miracles would take pages and pages.  From that event alone, I promised God I would forever have something to be thankful for.

Iím grateful that God also spared my life in a tragic car accident that I took the impact from.  Once again, He dispatched His guardian angels to encamp around our vehicle and protect us from sudden death.  If youíve ever faced death and lived through it, you should experience a newfound appreciation for the gift of life each day.

Iím grateful to God for allowing us almost five years to work in fulltime ministry, traveling from one side of the country to the other.  He taught me valuable lessons that I will never forget and brought growth into my walk with Him that is priceless.

Iím grateful to God that He called me to be about my Fatherís business.  There is much to do in the Kingdom of God while living here on earth.  God has given each of us an incredible assignment that only we can accomplish.  The fulfillment it brings in life is priceless and cannot be described with mere words.

You see, the truth is that God has been so good to me, how could I ever think of not serving Him?  God has blessed me so much, how could I even dream of doing something that would break His heart?

Do I still sin at times?  Of course I do.  Iím human, just like you.  Iím made of flesh, just like you. Flesh sins, but Christ came to forgive us of all our sins.  Each time we do something that grieves His heart, we simply say weíre sorry, and He makes us clean and pure once again.  The most amazing thing about forgiveness is that He then forgets the sin and never holds it against us, ever again.  HE CANíT REMEMBER IT!

No, my story isnít that God delivered me from some awful life of sin.  My story is that God loved me and kept me from that awful life of sin.  For that, I am eternally grateful and eternally committed to living my life according to His Word.

-- Rhonda


REAL LIFE STORIES - Chapter 76

THANKFUL AND GRATEFUL


 


Dear Reader - are you at peace with God?  If not, you can be.  Do you know what awaits you when you die?  You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain.  Either Jesus Christ died for yours sins, or He didn't (He did!).  Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God?  We plead with you ... please don't make such a tragic mistake.

To get to know God; to be at peace with God; to have your sins forgiven; to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity; to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help understand the importance of being reconciled to God.  What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one.  Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life. 


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