Friday Finds: Defining Thankfulness

What is Thankfulness?

This Friday I leave you with a short clip from the Creative minds at Igniter Media. May it remind us to consider thankfulness in every area of our lives!

Blessings

I Thank Thee

O Thou whose bounty fills my cup,
With every blessing meet!
I give Thee thanks for every drop—
The bitter and the sweet.

I praise Thee for the desert road,
And for the riverside;
For all Thy goodness hath bestowed,
And all Thy grace denied.

I thank Thee for both smile and frown,
And for the gain and loss;
I praise Thee for the future crown
And for the present cross.

I thank Thee for both wings of love
Which stirred my worldly nest;
And for the stormy clouds which drove
Me, trembling, to Thy breast.

I bless Thee for the glad increase,
And for the waning joy;
And for this strange, this settled peace
Which nothing can destroy.
-Jane Crewdson (1860)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Following,
Ginger

Thursday Tips: Take Notes

Fact: While I can handle addressing a room full of thousands of people I am NOT the person you want in an emergency situation.  I’ve learned this about myself in spades.  Like most things in life, hopefully I’m getting better.  The minute I become emotional my decision making abilities are shot.

Enter the rational people in my life.  (Thankfully!)

Take a gander at todays’ Thursday Tip…

List out your tasks, fears and thoughts and commit them to prayer.  Remember that God is for you during this whole process.  If He has provided you with multiple opportunities, then trust that He will walk through this season with you!

Following,
Ginger

The Lone Gladiator

I’ve never had an interest to join the armed forces.  Combat sounds terrifying to me.

But do you know what sounds even worse?  Fighting alone.  I like my chances WAY better if I have someone (make that lots of someones) by my side.  Armor = good.  No armor = not good.  Team = good.  Lone gladiator = not so good.

Combat, Stage Combat.

I lost the fight in the photo above.  Granted, it was scripted that way… but I don’t really think I would stand a chance alone in a real fight.  I think the principle can be applied spiritually.  Check it…

(Somewhere I lost my brain and forgot the days of the week. So laugh with me when I mention that it’s Thursday… we’ll just call this Friday’s Thursday Tip)

Biblical truth about teamwork:

Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.”  Ephesians 6:13-18, The Message

Two are better than one, 
   because they have a good return for their labor: 
If either of them falls down, 
   one can help the other up. 
But pity anyone who falls 
   and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.

   But how can one keep warm alone? 
Though one may be overpowered, 
   two can defend themselves. 
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”  Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, NIV

Live together.  Fight together!

Following,
Ginger

*Photo by Arthur J Zatarski

Friday Finds: Grace

Ann Voskamp posted this video on her blog last week.  I haven’t been able to shake the story of this family.  They remind me that His grace is everywhere.

“I do not understand the mystery of grace — only that it meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us.” -Anne Lamott

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:9, NLT

Go forth in this grace.

Following,
Ginger

Thursday Tips: Blind Request

Check out chapter 10 of the book of Mark. There’s a story there about a blind man (Bartimaeus) who was begging by the road. As Jesus and his disciples pass the man cries out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Some of the people were annoyed with him, but the man continued to only shout louder. Jesus finally responds and asks him this question: “What do you want me to do for you?”

Sometimes I struggle with how to pray more specifically.  This story has challenged me to do just that.  I’ll catch you after the video…

In Wide Awake Erwin McManus writes, “Now isn’t that a strange question? I mean, a blind man walks up to him, and Jesus asks, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ To begin with, Jesus is supposed to be God. Shouldn’t he already know what the blind man wants? But even if he wasn’t God and he was just intuitive, surely, with a blind guy standing in front of Him, what Bartimaeus wants would be pretty obvious…. Why make something so obvious a point of emphasis? It’s all about the question: ‘What do you want me to do for you?'”

He asks the same question of you as you approach the Throne of Grace.

Asking and Following,
Ginger

Thursday Tips: Adventuring

“Adventuresome living is a perspective that touches every part of our being.  It’s seeing ourselves in relation to the One who created us, the One who gives us courage to face each new day.” – Luci Swindoll

Have you caught onto the theme this week?  It continues even in our Thursday Tips – check out the video and I’ll catch you after the jump!

Adventure from Ginger Ciminello on Vimeo.

Challenges for you:

-If you haven’t made a list of dreams before, what’s keeping you from doing it?

-Is your list full of dreams or plans?

-Is there anything on your list that requires faith in our Father for success?

-Have you ever made a personal mission statement?  If not, give it a try!

-I challenge you to find a theme verse for your year!


Following,
Ginger

Baggage Check

V’s question about practical advice prior to marriage led me to remember all of the hurdles that I needed to overcome personally before I could consider uniting myself with someone else.  Here’s a quote from Neil Clark Warren:  “Get yourself healthy before you get yourself married. Too often we bring our unexamined selves into our marriage relationship.

As you prepare for a lifetime commitment, it’s so important to come to a place where you are at peace with your own past.  Here’s what I mean…

Baggage from Ginger Ciminello on Vimeo.

Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

The Bible takes it a step further and says, “Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups… We don’t just put up with our limitations; we celebrate them, and then go on to celebrate every strength, every triumph of the truth in you. We pray hard that it will all come together in your lives.” (2 Corinthians 13:5-9, The Message)

I can’t say that self-examination is going to be overly enjoyable, but I do think it’s necessary in order to prepare for (and participate in) a healthy and loving relationship.

What do you think?

Following,
Ginger

Living Your [Love] Story

Dear Ginger,
Recently several of Christian bloggers and friends on Facebook have been sharing links to a blog post that talks about “How to live a great love story.”  I was intrigued by the title, but was very disappointed to find the actual content of the article extremely… lacking. Surely there is more that a single Christian female can to do prepare herself for marriage (if that day ever comes) than to 1) not be a slut, and 2) sit tight and wait (and cry yourself to sleep while you wait, apparently!), which is what the advice seemed to boil down to.

Do you have any practical advice for what Christian singles can do to prepare for a future spouse?

Thanks,
V

Dearest V,

Thanks for your question and candor… it’s real nice, ya see? :)  The specific post you referred to has actually been taken down by the author for various reasons- but I still wanted to address your question because I feel like it is going to spark some great discussion.  (Fingers crossed.)

1.  Although I do think the article made some great points, I also believe that there is so much more that can be said on this topic. (Duh.)

2.  I was both excited and apprehensive to tackle this question.  Let’s face it, no one wants to be the married lady trying to give advice on how to live out being single.  It’s not that I don’t have the experience or desire to speak about the topic, I just don’t want to EVEREVEREVEREVER come across condescending or whatever other word you would like to fill in the blank.  I am humbly coming to you with my suggestions, story, and what I’ve discovered from scripture.

3.  Know that I’m spending a lot of time researching, reading, and praying before I post each day.  Today’s is just the start.  I hope you’ll stick with me throughout the entire week.

4.  That being said – – here’s the first video…

Live Your Story from Ginger Ciminello on Vimeo.

You still with me?

I think I often became so weighed down with the desire to have a relationship in my life, that I forgot to actually LIVE MY LIFE!  Don’t fall into that same trap.  Remember that you are called to live, love, and believe right where you are.

“And don’t be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God’s place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there. God, not your marital status, defines your life.” 1 Corinthians 7:17, The Message

Following,
Ginger

Friday Finds: Waiting

 

There are songs that take root in your heart and express the words which you cannot begin to think or say.  This is one of those songs.  I’ve been a fan of Christy Nockels for over a decade.  The lyrics and melodies of her music have seen me through so many stages of my life.  Her most recent release through “Passion” is the single, “Waiting Here for You.”

Pull out your Bible.  Set out your journal.  Close your eyes and let these words resonate in your heart.  Once it’s finished just sit and listen for His still, small voice.

What is He saying to you today?  Are you waiting for Him or running ahead of Him?  Is He already calling you, beckoning you forward?  Either way, He starts every breath reminding you: “I love you.  I love you.  I love you.”

When ours are interrupted, his are not. His plans are proceeding exactly as scheduled, moving us always (including those minutes or hours or years which seem most useless or wasted or unendurable) “toward the goal of true maturity” (Rom 12:2 JBP). -Elisabeth Elliot

Following,
Ginger

Thursday Tips: In a Box

Joy!

About this time ELEVEN years ago I was packing up to make the long drive from Houston to Abilene, Texas.  I had no idea what was in store for my four years at college.  I knew less than five people in the entire city of Abilene.  I was learning  how to trust in a big way.  Luckily for me, my advisor paired me up with a great roommate.  She had worked her magic and placed my name along-side a young woman who would prove to be a life-long friend!  Joy – or Joyous as I most often refer to her, was a welcoming presence in a new place!  We scrambled into our 8am classes together, filled our fridge with skim milk and string cheese, and took the time every night to pray together.  Yep.  We did.

Today’s Thursday Tip comes straight from my dorm room in the fall of 2000!

Thursday Tips in a Box from Ginger Ciminello on Vimeo.

Prayer is your way to connect to God.  I can’t encourage you enough to go to whatever lengths are needed and necessary to keep talking to Him!  Use a journal, a zip-lock bag, or a box… just keep praying!  “Pray in the Spirit at all times with all kinds of prayers, asking for everything you need. To do this you must always be ready and never give up. Always pray for all God’s people.”  Ephesians 6:18, NCV

Following,
Ginger