All posts by stineharv

10 Simple Prayers of Thanksgiving

Dear Lord, thank you for life;

Dear Lord, thank you for your help day and night.

Dear Lord, thank you for waking me up;

Dear Lord, thank you that in you, I can trust.

Dear Lord, thank you for your grace today;

Dear Lord, thank you for making a way.

Dear Lord, thank you for your loving care.

Dear Lord, thank you for always being there.

Dear Lord, thank you for keeping me everywhere.

Dear Lord, thank you for setting me free.

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2

Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! Psalm 107:21

Please pray with me: I will keep on thanking God, period! In Jesus name, amen.

By Hertistine Washington keeponthanking.com

May the blessings of the Lord be with you always.

From Fear to Joy: A Short Story on Breast Cancer

In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I would like to share a short story of one of the strongest and bravest women I have been blessed to know, my oldest sister, Gertrude, who loved to be called ‘Gina’. My sister was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004. A vibrant young 55 year old black woman who loved God and worked relentlessly building a soul food restaurant on the South side of Chicago in order to support her 4 children, two girls and two boys. She was a faithful mom, lover of God, and people. When I would visit her in Chicago at the restaurant, I often witnessed her patrons greeting her with such love and respect, as she did them as they entered the door. She truly had created and established for her community a family-friendly restaurant, where all were welcomed. Indeed it felt like home away from home. Some years passed, however, before I was able to visit Gina again, although we kept in touched by phone.

One day I received a call from her that would forever be imprinted in my memory. After our normal greetings to each other, and having some good sisterly conversation, her next exact words to me were “I am a little sick.” I asked, “What do you mean, a little sick?” Do you have a cold or something?” She replied with a simple, “No.” Would you believe I could not get this young lady, my dear sister, to voice what her ‘little sickness’ was! She would only say, “Guess.” And then she would say, “Guess again.” And, there go I, guessing (playing her game), naming every small kind of illness I could possibly think of. Imagine that, will ya! I finally gave up and screamed, “Girl, what’s wrong with you, you don’t have cancer or something, do ya!!!” Although no way in my wildest imagination was this a possibility, you can imagine I was beyond stunned when she whispered with a trembling voice, “Yes, I have cancer: I have breast cancer.” Whoa!!! I literally froze. I could not utter a word. Finally, after she repeatedly called my name, I managed to somehow hear her voice again. I responded, “Girl, you gonna be alright! We got this, okay? And God’s got you!”

In my mind, however, I was thinking she must have just found this out. And since this is early detection, and early detection proves promising, my sister would be okay… anyway, I thought. But to my surprise, near the end of our conversation she revealed to me she’s known almost an entire year yet was afraid to do anything about it. She said she was ‘too’ afraid to go back to the doctor.” So, she instead, kept going to work and not seeking medical attention. Then I realized my dear sister had become frozen in fear because of her diagnosis, and that fear was keeping her from seeking medical intervention. Learning of this, I immediately assured her I was coming to Chicago to be with her. And I did.

While in Chicago I was determined to convinced my sister to seek treatment. Thanks be to God, she finally agreed. But still she did not want to share her struggle with any member of our family, not our mom or our sisters and brothers. When I approached her about this again, she would say, “I’m not going to do that!” and that she was a bit “baffled” because she had modeled a healthy lifestyle and took good care of herself. Her words went to the effect of… What would they think now that she had cancer! How could that happen! (Mind you, I’m referring to nearly 20 years ago; but still the conversation is so fresh in my mind).

I can’t tell you how much we prayed together for strength and healing as she began her treatment regimen. Also, every now and then I would lovingly and cautiously, but firmly impress on her to please let our family know; being that I could see the load was heavy on her, and I wasn’t strong enough to carry that load with her, alone. She needed God’s intervention of peace and comfort, and she needed her family. So we prayed, day in and day out.

Finally, a breakthrough!!! I can only attribute my sister’s breakthrough to the power and compassionate intervention of God Almighty. One late night as I was sleeping peacefully in my sister’s other bedroom, she came in, called my name, and said out of the blue, “I’ve decided to call mom and our sisters and brothers to tell them I have breast cancer.” Mind you, I’m still half asleep at this point. I thought I was dreaming. Then I realized I wasn’t dreaming when I hear her say… “I’m not afraid anymore.” That woke me up! In that instant we started praising and thanking God as tears of relief flowed down both our faces! I felt the load had lifted. I felt the tide had changed. What a relief that was to hear her say… “I’m not afraid anymore!” I believe in miracles, and I believed God performed one in my sister that night. Words could not express the joy I felt!

After suffering nearly a whole year alone, the following day I was proud that Gina kept her word. She did make that call home to inform the family. Our mom, being a strong woman of faith, gave my sister so much assurance, love, and encouragement that that was all Gina needed to jump start her “living” again, beyond the fear (or… through the fear) which had captivated her mind for almost a year. So thankful was I that my sister was no longer a prisoner of fear.

After that phone call, however, I witnessed a new attitude in my sister. She had gain a new perspective about her situation. I heard hope in her voice again. I saw joy in her face and a smile on her lips and a little pep in her steps. Although she was aware that she had a battle ahead of her, she was also determined to face it with all she had. And she did. She never gave in, nor up.

Then there came a time when she needed a mastectomy. After her surgery, she freely spoke of it, and shared how afraid she was in the beginning from hearing her diagnosis, and that she was not afraid any more, She encouraged us as her sisters / and women to speak up and do something about our situation before it gets out of hand; to not let fear suffocate us, no matter what we may go through,… as it had once did her. I was so happy to witness her share that experience with the family. At this point, I could hear real strength in her voice. Please note, I’m not suggesting in any form that my sister did not have other struggles after she came to terms with her fear. Oh, yes, she did. But by holding on to her faith in God with the hope and joy she found in Him gave her strength beyond measure.

Finally, there came the time when she received that dreaded prognosis; a word no one wants to hear. One that said ‘the doctors had done all that they could do’, and that she had only so much time left. I couldn’t imagine how my sister must have felt. But she did not waver in her faith. This young energetic lady surprised us! She put on a brave face and demeanor and did not stop living! She was determined to be productive in the time she had left on this earth more so than in building her restaurant in Chicago. She was persistent in holding on to her faith in God and not giving up. She got moving, literally, all the way back home; settled her affairs in Chicago, packed her bags, and moved back home with mom. At that time, our mom wasn’t doing so well. I remember my sister saying beforehand, “I’m coming home to help our mom.” She desired to be near and of service to our mother and for our mother, despite her prognosis. When time permitted, I also joined her back home.

As I previously implied, my sister didn’t simply lie down and die. She kept being involved. She made herself available to family and friends, and even strangers in our small community. No one was a stranger to her. She often wore a big smile on her face, one that would light up a room. Somehow God was giving her the courage and strength we’d prayed for after all. And we could see it. At times, she spoke in our hometown church encouraging others on their Christian walk to hold on to their faith in God, no matter how bad things seemed. She often said, “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” I truly believe that it was the joy of the Lord in Christ Jesus that kept her so positive, focused, and determined to not give up, no matter what happens. We give God all the glory for keeping her moving right on through her fears! It also didn’t appear that she was worried about the outcome anymore, just that she could still make a difference in the lives of people while she had a chance. I was so proud of this brave woman, my sister, who sought God and managed to move out of that place of stifling fear and walked through it to discover a place of genuine joy in Christ.

Now to all who reads this story, my sister Gina wanted me to one day tell the world how grateful she was to have the love of God, her children, siblings, friends, and her entire family as her support team during her plight. She wanted you to know that the love of God, and the support of her family played a big part in her journey. And I can proudly say, by the grace of God, I thank Him for giving me the strength to finally write about some of her experiences and mine in a book entitled, Something to Thank About from A to Z. For it was my sister, Gina, who influenced me to further my writings of gratitude and thanksgiving; thanking God for who He is and what He has done. She often thanked the Lord and indeed so do I.

On one occasion, Gina’s very words to me were, “You need to write a book and one about sisters” to thank God for the love and care she received. So there it is, though not a book (right now), but a short story about my brave sister, Gina, and her courageous journey through breast cancer, “From Fear to Joy.” I pray it has encouraged your hearts that no matter what you’re going through, what the diagnosis might be, to never give up. Keep holding on to your faith in God, and know that the Joy of the Lord also can be your strength if you trust Him and rely on Him to get you through, His way.

Although it’s been almost two decades since my sister Gina has passed on from labor to reward, her legacy continues to resound in my heart today that… indeed Gina did not possess the attitude of living her latter days as being a victim of breast cancer, but a victor! Also in her impending days, she left me a letter inspiring me to never give up on my dreams. She went on to write, regarding her faith in God, “I am not afraid anymore. I’m free! I’m free!” She continued to write, “If someone would have told me I would have JOY while having breast cancer, I would have thought they had lost their minds!” And lastly, she wrote, “I HAVE JOY.”

And I say to you, to me, and others, we can have joy in Christ Jesus, which is still available today to everyone who may be struggling.

“…And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” Nehemiah 8:10

“When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.” Psalm 94:19

“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” John 15:11

Please pray with me: I will keep on thanking God for His joy which gives me strength everyday, in Jesus name, amen.

May the blessings of the Lord be with you always!

By Hertistine Washington / keeponthanking.com

Loaded With Supplies

Good day everyone. Welcome again to keeponthanking.com. I hope you are continuing to have a blessed summer, as we are on the hills of fall. The leaves are beginning to change colors. The climate is changing. Children are headed back to school. Parents have provided backpacks for them of various kinds, loaded with supplies needed for their back-to-school experience. This is fantastic! That said, I would love to share with you something else that is just as, or even more remarkable. Being that parents have loaded their children with what they need, our Heavenly Parent has also loaded us up with what we need today and everyday.

I don’t know about you, but I’m so thankful that I’m loaded today; not loaded down, or weighted down, mind you. But loaded up with the benefits God provides for my daily needs. Let me encourage you, God has also loaded you up. He has supplied you with His love, mercy, and grace. With that we are able to walk in His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. In that we are so careful not to make our children backpacks too heavy, be assured, God’s backpack prepared for us is never too heavy. Simply try trusting the benefits He provides and experience how light you feel.

“Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah Psalm 68:19

“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:19

Please pray with me: Dear Lord, I will keep on thanking You for Your daily benefits, and for supplying my every need according to Your riches in glory by Christ Jesus. In His name I pray, amen. By Hertistine Washington / keeponthanking.com

May the blessings of the Lord be with you always!

Mid-May Monday Motivation

Can you believe we’re at the midpoint of May! Wow, where did the time go! As this month seems to be going by so fast, I thought I’d simply pause to share a little Mid-May Monday Motivation. I believe we all could use some ‘motivation’. With what’s going on in the world, who wouldn’t want to be given a little spiritual nudge to keep on keeping on. Here it is according to God’s Word, a motivation to trust Him.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3: 5-6, ESV

With this Mid-May Monday Motivation scripture, I hope we see that the manner we approach God is of great significance. We must approach Him with an attitude of trust. Trust Him and let us not lean to our own understanding, but in all our ways acknowledge Him. Based on this scripture, God promised He will do something for us; He will make straight our paths. God will direct us. Let us trust Him to do so.

Please pray with me: Dear Lord, I will keep on thanking You for the motivation to trust You, as it is found in Your Word, in Jesus name, amen. By Hertistine Washington / keeponthanking.com

May the blessings of the Lord be with you always!

God’s Got That, Too!

No matter how much we say we know about God, in the midst of our deepest pain and deepest suffering, sometimes we fail to think immediately… ‘God’s got that, too’. During life’s extreme moments, I can surely understand how that thought might not be the first thing which comes to our minds. But somewhere during those intense experiences I pray it will that we might have peace. God promised in His Word, He will “never leave or forsake” us. He is “with us always even until the end of the world,” which means, death couldn’t hold Him; the grave couldn’t possess Him. “He is risen as He said.”

Because Jesus is risen, be encouraged “He won’t put more on us than we can bear…” even in our most difficult times. I encourage you to remind yourself, God’s got that, too! God’s got that worry, that hurt, that disappointment, and that problem also; that shame, that situation, that relationship, that grief, that rejection and/or dejection. Remember, Jesus rose from the grave and has ‘all power’ in His hand. He has taken captive and defeated all that wants to overpower us. Believing that God had power to raise Jesus from the dead, be confident He is more than capable to raise us from any situation, and also in that Day. Just look at Jesus; He got up! Therefore, let’s keep on thanking Him and giving Him the glory, for we will also rise. I hope you will rest easy by being assured, God’s got that, too!

“Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13: 20-21

Please pray with me: Dear Lord, I will keep on thanking You for defeating death and the grave. And that You have all power in Your hand to take captive and defeat all that wants to overpower me. Thank You, Lord, for the victory, in Jesus name amen. By Hertistine Washington / keeponthanking.com

May the blessings of the Lord be with you always, and Happy Resurrection Day of our Lord!

Focus on the Truth

In my last post, hopefully I encouraged you to continue to focus on the good, no matter how things seem to be going in your life or around the world. In the same way, in this post, I hope to encourage you to focus on the truth, the truth of God’s Word. Why should we focus on the truth? The Holy Bible points out many scriptural reasons to do this. For one thing, God is Truth. His Word is truth. He stands for and in the truth that He is. Anything else is not of Him and will not stand.

Another reason is, it is the truth that sets us free. Knowing the truth will free us from the power and bondage of sin. Are you tired of living in bondage? If so, accept the truth of God’s Word today. Invite Jesus into your heart. Walk in Him, and He will surely set you free. To help set our focus today, here are a few scriptures on truth.

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6/ESV

“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32/ESV

“Sanctify them in the truth’ your word is truth.” John 17:17/ESV

“God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:24/ESV

“The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” Psalm 145:18/ESV

Please pray with me: Dear Lord, I will keep on thanking You for the truth of Your Word. It and only it keeps me grounded no matter what I see or hear. Thank You, and help me Lord to be sensitive to the reality of Your truth, as the truth resides in Jesus. In His name I pray, amen. By Hertistine Washington / keeponthanking.com

May the blessings of the Lord be with you always!

Focus on the Good

I’m so thankful that God through His mercy has kept us alive to see another month. Just as He has gotten us through the various challenges from the first two months, let us trust Him to get us though this one, the month of March. Let us march on in Jesus. One way to do this is to focus on the good. Someone may be thinking, with all the chaos going on in the world, how can anyone be expected to focus on the good? With the still ongoing Pandemic, wars, high gas prices, political rivals raging across the country, and so much more. How can anyone be encouraged to think on anything good when these factors are on the forefront of their hearts?

May I submit to you, there is a way we can still focus on the good. Here it is… focus on God, His Word, and His goodness towards you. Think about it, has God been good to you? If you are breathing, the answer is yes. No matter how your life is going, it pays to know who’s in charge of it all. It’s comforting to know God knows all about it. He is the only one who knows what and why things are happening the way they are. Trust Him. He won’t disappoint you. He is good. He’s there to carry you and I through. That said, on this first day of March, let God be at the forefront of your heart. In this way, despite all the bad that is going on, you will have someone to focus on who “is” good.

“For the LORD is good; His steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” Psalm 101:5, ESV

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! Psalm 34:8, ESV

Please pray with me: Dear Lord, I will keep on thanking You for your goodness towards me. And may I always remember that you are good, and it is Your goodness that is still keeping me, in Jesus name, amen.

May the blessings of the Lord be with you always!

Love’s Way: Day 14, Fact #14 “Love Never Ends”

Good evening and welcome back to the last day of this series, Love’s Way on Love and Valentine’s Day: Day 14, Fact #14: LOVE NEVER ENDS. Although we’re ending this series, it so good to know God’s way of LOVE NEVER ENDS. His love continues. It never fails. Therefore, we say thank you God, for encouraging us to show love Your way. We give You the glory! That said, HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY everybody! I imagine by this time many have already celebrated in some form; others making preparation for later this evening. However you celebrate, I hope you continue with God’s way of loving others, your Valentine, and yourself. Yes, be kind to yourself this Valentine’s Day. To conclude these 14 days, I have a surprise! I’ve written a poem just for you, entitled: LOVE’S WAY.

Valentine’s Day is a great time to say, “I choose to love my Valentine God’s way. His love is patient and kind; that’s how I’II treat my Valentine. Love does not envy or boast; I will rejoice in it the most.

It is not arrogant or rude; it surely helps me to keep my cool. It does not insist on its on way; that said, I don’t demand the last say. It is not irritable or resentful; therefore I don’t take pleasure in being vengeful.

It does not rejoice at wrongdoing; only in righteousness, it will be pursuing. It rejoices in the truth; simply read His Word… therein is the proof. Love bears all things and believes all things too. It hopes all things and endures all things with you.

Last, but not least, love never ends; it will never fail; it will stay with you, and never bail.”

I pray this is the way we choose to love, as demonstrated to us from God above. God’s love is everywhere; it’s even in the air.

Scripture reference: 1 Corinthians 13:8a “Love never ends…”

There are no words to express how much it meant to me to have you join in these 14 days up until Valentine’s Day. Thank you so much! And I pray you continue spreading love God’s way. May the blessings of the Lord be with you always.

Submitted with love.

By Hertistine Washington /keeponthanking.com

Love’s Way: Day 13, Fact #13 “Love Endures All Things”

Good evening everybody. Welcome back to Love’s Way, as we celebrate Love and Valentine’s Day. Day13, Fact #13: LOVE ENDURES ALL THINGS. This kind of love won’t give up no matter what! We first see this demonstrated in its perfection by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He endured all in suffering for us, making Salvation possible for the whole world to those that believe in Him. In His suffering Jesus persevered despite the impending hardships that appeared. He endured the pain so that the world to gain.

Know that God’s way of love won’t run out on us. It stays and continues through whatever we’re going through. We can trust it. This kind of LOVE ENDURES ALL THINGS. In your relationships, know that this love is not afraid to meet the challenges of life with you. If your Valentine possesses God’s way of love towards you (and you toward your Valentine), what a loving and kind, caring and helpful, trustworthy and courageous, tender and empathetic, loyal and forgiving relationship it will grow to be. Now… that’s some kinda good loving right there, God’s love.

Scripture reference: Corinthians 13:7d “… Endures all things.

Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow on Valentine’s Day! So grateful to all of you who has joined in and encouraged me to keep on sharing God’s way of love. May the blessings of the Lord be with you always.

Submitted with love.

By Hertistine Washington /keeponthanking.com

Love’s Way: Day 12, Fact #12 “Love Hopes All Things”

Good evening, Welcome back to another evening on Love’s Way, as we celebrate Love and Valentine’s Day: Here we are: Day 12, Fact #12: LOVE HOPES ALL THINGS. Just two more days before Valentine’s Day! As love believes all things, also LOVE HOPES ALL THINGS. Love can do this because it is the Agape kind of love: unconditional love, the highest form or love, charity, love for God and love for man.

Another reason LOVE HOPES ALL THINGS is that love doesn’t live in pessimism but optimism. Godly love hopes and looks for the best. It has future expectations that is not merely based on a wish or desire. It is based on a confident belief that all things will work together for the good to those that love God and are called according to His purpose. This kind of love never stops hoping for the things that God said in His Word. It won’t give up. It confidently knows God’s love can do all things. With that in mind, Valentine’s Day is almost here. And I’m sure there will be lots of lovingly gestures made, words spoken, possibly huge proposals. That said, I hope your loving gestures toward your Valentine is motivated with the Agape kind of love in mind. The kind that says LOVE HOPES ALL THINGS.

Scripture reference: 1 Corinthians 13:7c “… Hopes all things…”

Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow. Thank you for joining in. May the blessings of the Lord be with you always.

Submitted with Love,

By Hertistine Washington, / keeponthanking.com