Give Thanks With A Grateful Heart

Grateful Heart 1

Psalm 136:1-9

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of gods.
His faithful love endures forever.

Give thanks to the Lord of lords.
His faithful love endures forever.

Give thanks to him who alone does mighty miracles.
His faithful love endures forever.

Give thanks to him who made the heavens so skillfully.
His faithful love endures forever.

Give thanks to him who placed the earth among the waters.
His faithful love endures forever.

Give thanks to him who made the heavenly lights—
His faithful love endures forever.

the sun to rule the day,
His faithful love endures forever.

and the moon and stars to rule the night.
His faithful love endures forever.

What God Calls Evil Is Evil

“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.   For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[c] you want.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.  The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” -Galatians 5:16-24

 

The Word of God has ONE meaning with MANY applications. Don’t twist the Word of God to make it fit your interpretation and fit your personal lifestyle. The Word of God can be used to apply in many ways, but it cannot be made to mean what you think it means.

Let’s take for instance Jesus sitting, drinking, and eating with the sinners. Yes, he did. However, He spoke to them against their behavior and sin. He did not participate in it. Nowhere in scripture will you find Jesus getting drunk or sinning. No, it’s not a sin to have a glass of wine.  It’s getting drunk that’s the issue and the problem. It’s engaging in things that will get you into trouble while you’re drunk.

Let’s talk about some of those stories. Zacchaeus the tax collector was the worst of sinners. Yes, Jesus told Zacchaeus to come down from the tree Jesus would eat with him at his home. Immediately, Zacchaeus repented and gave half his money to the poor and gave back the money to all those he cheated. In fact, all those he cheated received back their money plus four times the amount to make up for his sin. To the prostitute, Jesus told her to go and sin no more. He didn’t use her. He saved her from the stoning. To the woman at the well, Jesus told her to stop living with her unmarried husband and showed her what real love was by sitting with her, not by using her. Jesus had compassion for her, not disgust. To the religious leaders he told them to stop their pretend living, and to those who were disrespectful to in the LORD’s house, Jesus overturned their tables. He had no pity for them. Their hearts were cold as stones; they did evil before God by their double lives as they believed one way but acted another way. They were pretenders and had no intentions of living right before God and then would persecute those who were doing what they were doing in secret.

He constantly spoke against injustice, prejudices, and hate. He showed us how to stand for truth, love, and respect others. He in no way showed us or taught us to accept sin, condone it, or hide it. We have never been given the right to judge anyone. We have been given the right to know right from wrong and act appropriately. We love people, but we don’t engage in their sins. Simple as that. Love, and don’t engage.

Let me bring it home clearly. I’m not going to hate those that go out drink, get drunk, and then engage in doing stupid and harmful things to themselves and others. At the same time, you will not find me anywhere near their presence. This does not mean I’m not going to help anyone who wants to change their behavior and turn their lives around. I’m in to help in any way I can. They will never hear me say I approve, condone, or will ever participate with them in that behavior nor will I allow myself to be manipulated by them. They will hear me say I will help them, but they must give up their drinking and get their lives straightened up. This means getting a whole new set of friends who are not engaging in sinful behaviors. They need to stop the negative behavior and change their mindsets.

Please understand clearly the difference between loving people and agreeing with behaviors God says are sinful. Jesus preached about love, but He never allowed those who came in contact with Him to continue in their sin. He told each one, “Go and sin no more!” I cannot and will not agree with sin, or those who willingly want to continue in their destructive ways. Imagine a judge allowing someone who drinks and drives to continue willfully driving while drinking. It’s nonsense! No judge, even a corrupt one, would ever allow it.

Please understand the meaning of scripture before posting and sharing things that promote lies, hate, and prejudices. We are all held responsible before God on what we say and what we do.

Stand strong in truth, love, and justice. We have the highest judge looking at us from Heaven. We love people, hate the sin, and pray for those who are caught up in false understanding, knowledge, and false teachings coming from pulpits and religious leaders as in Jesus’ days who manipulated and distorted truths for their personal gains.

Jesus was not understanding and kind to them. He overturned their tables and called them snakes. This is what He had to say to those evil religious leaders, “You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.”

Can you say, “Ouch?” Be very careful what you say and do. My personal rule. I love, respect, and do good to all who come in contact with me. However, I will not condone, hide, or accept sins in any way or form. This is my lifestyle. I choose better for myself and model right living for my children and those who watch me.

Be strong leaders by words and actions. Don’t be manipulated to do wrong and evil. So many people are hurting. Some at the hands of evil people, others by choice. Whoever comes in contact with you, lead by the word of God and by the power of His Spirit living in you. We are to bring hope and a desire with them to seek after the God who loves them and desires to fill them with real joy, love, and peace!

Teresa Allissa Citro,
Founder and President, Thread of Hope, Inc.

GOD BRINGS HIS CHILDREN TO BROAD PLACES

“GOD BRINGS HIS CHILDREN TO BROAD PLACES!”

-Teresa Allissa Citro-

Zechariah 13.9

“God brings his children to broad places.”

What are broad places? “Swedenborg tell us that in terms of measurement, height relates to the desire for good and breadth relates to the knowledge of the truth. Following that, something that is “broad” has a great capacity for truth, and a ‘broad place’ or ‘broad land’ is one where a large amount of truth can be learned and understood, one where a mind can expand.”

Swedenborg is right on! It should be no surprise to us then to understand and clearly comprehend God’s desire is to bring us and lead us to all truth. God, who created our innermost parts, knows the capacity of our mind, heart, and being. He constantly wants to reveal His truth in our lives.

We cannot follow a God we don’t know. Imagine marrying someone you don’t know nor care to know. Just so you are married. How many marriages are like that? Sad to say too many. How many times have we heard, “I didn’t know this about this person?”

We can know there is a God, but we don’t know this God we worship.  Many people go to a place of worship, but they don’t know who this God they worship truly is. It’s all about traditions, and rituals and they are fearful if they don’t meet these expectations God will not bless them. God is not about traditions and rituals. He is all about truth and sin. He’s a relational God.

God wants us to know Him. He wants us to understand who He is and what He’s capable of doing in our lives. He wants to expand your places. To bring you into broad places of understanding and living a blessed life. We cannot expect to live a life of blessings without obeying His laws, and they are not many. Ten Commandments to follow. Is it really that hard to follow? Even heathens don’t like to be cheated, lied to, and murdered. Let’s get real. Who here wants people to use them, hurt them, steal from them, or lie to them? Can we at least agree up to here? Mostly, who wants their spouse to cheat on them? I venture to say, at the very least, no man or woman wants their spouse to cheat on them.

Too often people perceive the blessed life to be a trial free, no pain, no hurts, no temptations life. This is not true. We paint a picture of God as Santa Claus and then find our expectations are crushed when something bad happens in our lives. God promises over and over He will be with His people in their troubles and promises them to deliver them from all trouble. In the worst of trials, He is there. He uses the bad and the ugly, and He turns our mourning into joy.

Yes, God blesses, and God still allows things to happen to good people. It’s called the sovereignty of the All-knowing, all-seeing God. He is the Healer and Restorer, and He upholds us with His righteous hand. We are safe in His hands no matter what.

This is why God brings His children to “broad places.” Places of understanding, great places of understanding and truths are learned also in the hardest and most testing trials of our lives, expanding our minds to truths we wouldn’t have known without the trials, allowing the fire to purify and cleanse our soul. Pure gold is what he’s after.

God reveals the truth to those who truly follow him. He increases their paths, plans, and blesses them regardless of joy, sorrow, pain, no pain. Every breathing moment is a moment of greatness in the eyes of God.

Something to ponder today: Do we know God as we should know Him? If you’re married or plan on marrying do you want a spouse you can rely on? Loves you unconditionally, wants to build a life with you? God is the same way. He desires to love you, help you, and bless you. Even vows we say, “In sickness in health until death do us part.” Imagine a God the vows more than just in sickness. He goes beyond death! For those who love Him and give themselves to Him, He will bring them into Heaven when their days are over on Earth.

Ask God to show you the broad places he wants to bring you too, places of truth, vision, and greatness -places where only God shines and you diminish, places of revelations and expansions of mind, heart, and soul.

Yes, Folks, this is the God I serve. The reason I share so much on Facebook of what he has done for my family and me. He’s the God who has led me to broad places, and those places were to understand who He is, truths about His love, faithfulness, and greatness to fully understand His expansion of what He created for me to do on this earth. They were purposes I didn’t even understand myself. Until I fully gave my everything to Him -my heart, mind, soul, and life to Him. He wants to do the same for you. Don’t miss out on knowing your broad places in life. It’s not all a bowl of cherries and cream but an adventurous, exhilarating, amazing, unpredictable, passionate, filled with surprises, and at times supernatural kind of life. I love my life, and it’s not pain or trial free. It’s a life lived with evidence in who God is and what He’s done in the midst of the trials. I’ll say it again.  I love my life because it is filled with God moments of victories and miracles.

I pray you find this God I speak about for yourself.

He’s waiting to bless you and bring you to “broad places.”

Teresa Allissa Citro
Founder and President, Thread of Hope, Inc.

Our Response Can Only Be

stand-redeemed


For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.”  -Romans 5:10

He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.”  -2 Corinthians 5:15

Our chains are gone, and we’ve been set free.  We’ve been bought with a high price; That price being Christ dying on the cross, shedding His blood for us.  Since Christ made the ultimate sacrifice, His sacrifice is infinitely greater than any sacrifice or offering ever made.  Before God, we stand redeemed, are reconciled to and restored by God.

After all the Lord has done, our response can only be, “Thank You, Lord, for setting me free to live for You.  I’m Yours, O Lord.  Do with me as You will.”

Linda A. Knowles

Executive Director, Thread of Hope, Inc.

 

For Your Good

This morning, I woke up with this thought, “All things work out for good!”

Immediately, I remembered, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

ROMANS 828

I asked God, “What do you want me to know about this? Why this thought, this word?

His reply, “There is nothing I’m not in control of when it comes to you. In the midst of what might seem disastrous to you, uncomfortable to you, I’m orchestrating behind the scenes, putting everything together to bring forth My perfect plan in your life. In ALL things I consider you in it. It’s no mistake, no coincidence, and no way harmful to you. I am the God that sees today, and tomorrow. I see something you cannot see. I see, and I know the future, Your future. Therefore, trust Me from deep within your heart. I know very well what I’m accomplishing.  Look at that verse again? This is a promise to those who love me. Do you love me?”

I immediately answered, “Yes, God, you know I do.” God answered back so quickly, “Then trust Me. Believe Me. Walk as if you have no care in this world. I have called you to walk in My purposes, not yours! I love You with an everlasting love, and I WILL bring about My purposes for your life. I’m with you, and I will never leave you.”

JEREMIAH 31.3

I feel so compelled to share this today. I don’t share personal devotional times so personal to me like this. I couldn’t stop my fingers from typing this.

I know so many of you send me private messages after I write something. I certainly believe God gave me this word personally. However, He had me share it. I have dozens and dozens of words given to me that I keep in My journal and never shared nor will I share. Today was different; I had to write it. This tells me someone needs to be reminded as I did, God is in control. Full control. Especially in the lives of those who love Him and walk in His purposes.

No doubt God loves people, He loves everyone. However, this says, “Those that love him, those who walk in his purposes.” If you really love Him and truly walk in his purposes, not yours. Fear not! No matter what you are faced with today – Good or Bad – God is working it all out for YOUR good. There is something required of you to receive this for yourself; You must love God, and You must walk in His ways.

This is the confidence we have in Him – all things work out for the good for those who love Him.

Do you love Him enough to follow Him in all your ways? Please answer yes, your life will be a walking purpose-filled life.

Teresa Allissa Citro,
Founder and President, Thread of Hope, Inc.

OUR GOD IS ABLE TO HEAL

ISAIAH 53.5

BECAUSE OF WHAT JESUS DID ON THE CROSS,

WE ARE HEALED!

He is able to deliver the children of God

out of all their troubles.

Are you in need of healing?  If so, then I encourage you to look to Jesus and put your faith in Him for your healing.  Trust Him for healing is found in Him.  Stand firm in your faith, and keep seeking God for He hears your prayers and He made provision for your healing through Jesus.

PLEASE READ THE TESTIMONY OF HEALING BELOW


TESTIMONY FROM:

Teresa Allissa Citro

Founder & President, Thread of Hope, Inc.


I’m giving God all the glory tonight because once again He has proven to me His great power and might, and I write this testimony because I know how awesome in power our God is. You and I are nothing. He doesn’t owe us anything, but He loves us; He helps us in times of need.

You have been praying for Justin these last two months. It has been difficult for me to see Justin suffer. My son lost 14 pounds in 2 months. He became anemic and lacked serious vitamin D too. I watched my son eat and move food from one side of his mouth to the other, as I silently prayed, “Please God let him swallow it,” and then pray, “God, please let him keep it in.” I sent countless messages to my closest friends asking prayer for Justin so he would be able to keep his food in. Every time, Justin wasn’t able to keep his food in, I would climb those steps to his bathroom and would speak out, “God, I trust you. I don’t care what I am seeing in front of me. I know you have healed Justin!” I would look at Justin’s sad and panic-stricken face, and I said, “Justin, Son, it is well with you because God has healed you. It’s going to be okay.” I would walk away almost ready to faint myself and fight back every single tear rising up. I reminded myself each time WHO I said God was, and WHO He was in my life.

Finally, Wednesday, I received a call from the doctor to let me know Justin needed an MRI immediately. She was very firm and even told me she was calling me from her vacation. I told her, “Please, I am dying here. Please, please, get him in as soon as possible.” She told me, “Okay, go to the hospital tomorrow.” I was at work when she called me. I couldn’t help myself. I don’t like to embarrass myself, but I couldn’t hold the tears in any longer. I said to the people at work I was leaving, and no matter what I was not going to believe what I had been told. I called all my friends, and we started praying. God brought to my mind, the blood work came back normal, not just once, but 3 times now, the blood work God told me to pray over that I wrote about a few weeks ago. The next day, we went for the MRI. As I was sitting there, I felt God tell me to go in the room with Justin and pray over every single x-ray they were going to take. I told the guy I would like to go with Justin. Of course, he tried talking me out of it as it’s radiation. I told him, “Please, I do not want you to think I am weird, but I must be in this room because I have to pray while the x-rays are taken.” He looked at me, smiled, and said, “I understand. Please take out anything you have on that is metal, and please don’t get close to the machine. We will give you a chair, and they even gave me a blanket to wrap around me. For each x-ray, and they took over ONE THOUSAND of them. I prayed for them. I thanked God the x-ray would be perfect. For over 45 minutes, they took the x-rays and I prayed. In the middle of it, as I had my eyes closed, I saw the x-rays. They were standing on a wall. They were pure white! I got spooked, sort of spoke, and opened my eyes. It was so quick, like one second. I knew God had shown me the x-rays, and God was showing me Justin was fine. I told Justin after they were done, in fact, they were now in the room removing the IV, etc. They heard me say, “Justin, don’t be frightened, My Son, God showed me your x-rays. They are fine. They will find nothing wrong. It has not spread. You are more than fine!”

Next day, on Good Friday, we received the call from the doctor’s nurse, who called in a prescription for his inflammation, and told us doctor would talk to us on Tuesday. Today, we went to the doctor. We have known since the colonoscopy Justin had colitis, but we didn’t know how far it had spread. The first thing the doctor told us was, “Justin, the MRI x-ray came out perfect!” God had told me to specifically pray that each X-ray would come out perfect. He told me to call out in my prayer, “This x-ray will show itself to be perfect in every way!” That is what happened, every single x-ray (all ONE THOUSAND plus x-ray) I prayed for. The doctor said, “Each x-ray was absolutely perfect!” She explained it was a mild/moderate form that will be easily maintained with medicine, not needing any kind of strong medicine, and that it is only contained to the colon, she believed it would go into remission! Can you say with me, “Thank You, God!” Furthermore, originally they gave him all sorts of restrictions for his diet. Today, he was told he can eat whatever he wants, in moderation, and he can go exercise. He cannot run with me for a while. For goodness sake, I don’t need him losing weight. We are now on a mission to GAIN weight. Nanna, bring on the fattening foods. PASTA, PASTA, and more PASTA.

I have lived a nightmare. For those who have had sick children you understand. However, tonight it is NOT about my nightmare. It is all about the faithfulness of God. It is about our faith and trust in a true and living God. It is about understanding our authority as children of the All Powerful God, a God Who Hears, a God Who Sees, and a God Who Answers upon our call to him. I want to encourage you tonight: God is NOT a God who plays favorites. He comes to the rescue of all those whose hearts are right before Him, and He comes with might, power, wonder, with deliverance and healing. He can do what He did for Justin and even more. Your impossible situation is possible because we serve a God of the impossible! Thank you for praying, and keep praying Justin gains all his weight back. To all those of you who have not left my side with your encouraging words, prayers of faith, messages, calls, thanks for being a strong tower for me to lean on and for reminding me I serve a God who will not leave me nor forsake me.


Posted By Linda A. Knowles

Executive Director, Thread of Hope, Inc.


GLORY 1

Your God A Consuming Fire

GOD'S WAY 1

“For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.”

Deuteronomy 4:24

Do we want an incomplete God? A God who has been emptied of His passion, a God who has been plundered of His power? A God of confusion, and a God of indecision. It seems to me that American society appears to want just that kind of God. They want a God who is a figurehead, constantly smiling on them and patting them on the head with approval. Never mind that their actions are destroying them.  Never mind that their behavior is hurting others. After all, it’s all about me anyway.  If that’s the kind of God America wants, sadly they will miss the best in life; they will miss the God who is a consuming fire.

God is a consuming fire. He is not tame, He is not powerless, He is not one to be trifled with. But He is always, ever loving. And since He is loving, and since He is consuming fire, He will not give up trying to refine us and bring out the best us. He will be tenacious in seeking our best! He will not settle for letting us be less than person He created us to be. Does it hurt when He refines the rough edges off of us?  Certainly.  Is it uncomfortable when He allows us to walk through His consuming fire? There’s no doubt about it. However, if we allow Him to be consuming fire in our life He will mold us and shape us, and He will make us into a person of honor, filled with peace, driven by love, consumed with blessing others and meeting their needs.  In the end of all the molding, all the uncomfortable twisting and turning, stretching and prodding He brings into our life, it will be worth it. For on that beautiful and glorious first day in Heaven, we will see Jesus; and we will be like Him.

Pastor Michael Heil

Hungry Hearts Leader, Thread of Hope, Inc.

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