Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Psalm 118:1

This verse is repeated numerous times in the Bible, especially in the Psalms.
It is another glorious thing to be thankful for…the fact that God is a good God and His mercy endures forever. I have had to lean hard on that verse many times in my life. A line in one of my songs says: “My life was so fragmented, my mind was so confused. But I took the broken pieces and I gave them all to You. And much to my surprise, You took them in Your hands. And You gave them to Grace and Mercy, to make them over again.”

Because of God’s intense love for us, through His grace and mercy, He gives us new beginnings. I don’t know about you, but I have had several in my life. I know I’m making it sound like I was some sort of Mafia character or something. Not so. I was basically the same person I am now. But I have made mistakes that could have ‘done me in’ so to speak had it not been for God’s goodness and mercy. And for that I am eternally grateful. The title of the song that the line above is taken from is “It’s Not Enough to Say Thanks”. I not only thank God every day for what He has done in my life, but also for what He is going to do in the future. You see, God’s goodness and mercy is never-ending. It endures forever!

Everyone is familiar with the Twenty-third Psalm. It is known as the Psalm of Comfort and has been read at many a funeral. But one particular line has always stood out to me that pertains solely to life…“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my LIFE!” I have made that my confession many a morning as I contemplate the day ahead. Let me give you an illustration.

I recently had a little puppy dog in my home for a few days. I couldn’t leave the room without him following me. I have hardwood floors and every time I changed locations, I could hear the tap, tap, tap of little feet following behind me. As children of God, we should listen for the tap, tap, tap of goodness and mercy following us at all times. Storm clouds may be rising on the horizon, but everything will be okay because goodness and mercy are following me. My bank account may be getting a little low this month, but it will be alright because goodness and mercy are following me. I’ve been feeling a little under the weather lately, but I won’t get down and out. Goodness and mercy are following me! If I stop for a moment and reflect on God’s love for me, I can feel their presence. And when I move again, I listen for a soft tap, tap, tap, coming from behind.

Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the LORD
Psalm 23:6 NLT



Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think,
according to the power that works in us,
to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations,
forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21

One Sunday Morning, I was listening to my favorite minister on television. When I tell you the topic of his sermon, you will probably know who it is. He was speaking on the Lord’s “unprecedented favor” to His children. It really blessed my heart, boosted my faith and encouraged me in relation to my future. Afterward I was just sitting there meditating on the word he had spoken and talking with the Lord. I said, “Lord, I just thank You for unprecedented favor! You know that I have been going through some emotional upheaval and physical challenges lately. Would you please send something my way to encourage me?”

Later that evening I was doing a few things around the house when the phone rang. It was a friend that I had met the previous year on my cruise to Israel. She is from Arkansas, but we have been corresponding ever since. She said, “Do you want to go on another cruise?” Immediately my mind started spinning one hundred miles an hour about my financial limitations at this time. But before I could start any explanation as to why I couldn’t go she said, “It’s free!” You could have bowled me over with a feather! “What? Free?” She went on to explain that she had booked a cruise to the Bahamas with her husband and he decided he would rather take advantage of hunting season. Her words were, “So I decided that I’m going to give Nancy first dibs.” Now why would she do that? Although we have become friends, I would have thought she would have asked someone from her church or a family member. But she thought of me first! My Friends, that is the “unprecedented favor” of the Lord working through my friend Linda. I prayed for it, but I certainly didn’t expect it that fast! Our God is an awesome God!

Perhaps you may be thinking, “Why can’t something like that happen to me?” It can! God is your Father too. And He certainly doesn’t show partiality to His children. Start today! Believe that you have the “unprecedented favor” of the Lord operating in your life. And if you don’t really believe it now . . . say it until you do. Meditate on that verse in Ephesians until it brings the faith to believe. Don’t try to figure out how the Lord will bring it. I would never have thought about a trip to the Bahamas. But He knew I would love a cruise, fellowshipping with my friend Linda and He surprised me with it! Now make this your new confession of faith . . .

Lord, you are able to do exceedingly abundantly above
all that I ask or think.
I ask you today for unprecedented favor in my life!



By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus.
I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.
Philippians 3:14
The Message Bible

As I was driving past a walking track this morning, I saw quite an unusual sight. The usual people were there…a lady in shorts and tennis shoes briskly walking around the track and an older man walking somewhat slower. But the unusual thing… the thing that caught my eye is this. Between the other two walkers was a young lady in a wheelchair. She was maneuvering it herself by rolling the wheels with her hands. No one was helping her. No one was even close to her. I’m sure the walkers passed her numerous times, but she seemed perfectly content to move at her own pace.

It must have taken a great deal of determination to even begin. I’m estimating the track to be about a quarter of a mile around. She couldn’t possibly have been thinking about how long the track was or the effort it would take to complete it. She must have fixed her eyes on the goal she had in mind and taken it one roll at a time.

It reminded me of the passage in Philippians 3 where Paul the Apostle says, (My paraphrase) “I don’t count myself to have arrived yet, but there’s one thing I am determined to do. Leaving the mistakes of the past behind, I will press on toward the future with Christ by my side. I will run this race of life to the end until I reach heaven my goal, and obtain the prize of eternal life!”

Paul faced a number of hardships and even handicaps in his walk with the Lord. He talks about being weak at times, hungry, persecuted and beaten, even shipwrecked. But always he kept his goal before him…to fight the good fight of faith and reach his heavenly home AND to take as many people with him as possible.

Do you sometimes feel like you are handicapped in this walk of life…at least compared to other people? Being a Christian and making right choices is not always a bed of roses. The Bible tells us that we will have temptations and trials in this life. But it also says that God will provide a way to escape them, so that we won’t be overwhelmed. The key to success is to keep our focus on the goal set before us. And when we finally reach that goal, it will be worth it all!

“Don’t let yourselves be disturbed. Trust in God and trust in me. In my Father’s house are many places to live. If there weren’t, I would have told you; because I am going there to prepare a place for you. Since I am going and preparing a place for you, I will return to take you with me; so that where I am, you may be also.”
~ Jesus