A Thankful Heart Brings Freedom

But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. ~ Jonah 2:9

Jonah was given a specific task from God – go to Nineveh and give the people there a word from God. But Jonah was afraid to go and ran away from the Lord. We know from Sunday school what happened next. Jonah was swallowed by a big fish and found himself in an adult sized time-out.

While in the fish, Jonah prayed. He acknowledged his distress, and then he gave thanks. “When I had lost all hope, I turned my thoughts once more to the Lord. And my earnest prayer went to you in your holy Temple. With the voice of thanksgiving I will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the Lord!” ~ Jonah 2:9

After Jonah’s prayer the Lord ordered the fish to spit up Jonah on the beach, and it did.

Jonah was released from the trap he was in after he gave thanks. So many times we wait until we are out of an unpleasant situation to give thanks. We tell ourselves we will be happy and thankful once we have closure from a situation. But freedom comes by giving thanks in the moment. The release from any trap we are in begins the moment we give thanks.

Giving thanks glorifies God.

Giving thanks changes your perception of people.

Giving thanks changes your perception of your circumstances.


You cannot stay trapped in a negative situation if you choose to be thankful. Negativity and darkness cannot be in the same room as gratitude, and they suddenly flee once thanksgiving is brought into a situation.

It was thanksgiving that released Paul from the prison he was in. “Around midnight, as Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to the Lord – and the other prisoners were listening – suddenly  there was a great earthquake; the prison was shaken to its foundations, all the doors flew open – and the chains of every prisoner fell off!” ~ Acts 16:25,26

The chain of every prisoner fell off. When you are chained with guilt, bitterness, frustration, worry, envy, gluttony, or grief every link will suddenly fall to the ground when you start thanking God for who He is, what He has given you, and what He can help you through. The doors of freedom from darkness will fly open and you will see things in a new light.

Let the peace of Christ be present in your hearts and lives. Always be thankful. Remember what you have learned from Jesus, and let His words enrich your lives and make you wise; sing praise to the Lord with thankful hearts. ~ Colossians 3:14-16

~ Cooking Up Faith

*We are studying scriptures on Grace & Gratitude this month. Click here for the Scripture Writing Plan and all devotionals for this study.






November Scripture Writing Plan ~ Grace & Gratitude

Hello November!

It’s time for turkey, colorful leaves, sweaters, and Thanksgiving.

This month we will journey through scripture and discover more about Grace and Gratitude. Here is your Scripture Writing Plan for the month:

The Book of Luke (12)

Click here to print

James 2:13 says mercy triumphs judgment. Mercy is the entire message of the cross. God’s grace poured out over every person He ever created.

Grace says it won’t look at your behaviors. It won’t look at what you’ve done or should have done. It won’t carry a list of rules and check off the ones you’ve followed and the ones you haven’t. Grace looks beyond rules, right, and wrong and instead offers love, forgiveness,  and acceptance.

God’s Word is full of rules and commands, and they are good. They are necessary and when followed they offer a protection against many trials.

But we are not perfect, and rules we break. Often. But with God nothing is helpless or hopeless. To Him, and through Him, everything can be restored and made right again. His solution is grace. Grace allows restoration to be made, and second chances can begin.

When we realize this hope – this chance at a new beginning – we start feeling grateful. So thankful that our future does not depend on our past, but can move forward with grace.

This November, let the Word of God soak into your mind, heart, and soul. Allow your heart to change and transform. Receive grace, give grace, walk in gratitude.



How to Use your Scripture Writing Plan:

  1. Write out the scripture of the day in your journal.
  2. Write out your thoughts, events/memories, and prayers for that day under the scripture.
  3. Reflect on the scripture of the day as you go about your daily tasks and activities.
  4. Join us on Wednesdays as we share a devotional covering the scriptures studied for that week.

Today is November 1st, so you will start on #1 scripture today – 2 Corinthians 8:-9. Follow the plan for each day.

We will join you on Sundays with a reminder of what scriptures to write out for that week, and a devotional on Wednesdays to keep you motivated.

Enjoy your quiet time in God’s Word!

~ Cooking Up Faith

Pumpkin Oat Muffins

Friday was the first day of Fall, and Heritage Schoolhouse is joining us this weekend with her Pumpkin Oat Muffins! A great recipe for the new Fall weekend!

Pumpkin Oat Muffins
12 servings


1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
1 cup oats
for topping
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon oats
1 tablespoon butter


Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, pie spice, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

In separate bowl, combine egg, pumpkin, milk and oil.

Then, add to dry ingredients and stir just until moistened.

Stir in oats.

Fill greased or paper lined muffin cups two-thirds full.

Combine brown sugar, flour and oats, cut in butter. Sprinkle over muffins.

Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes. Enjoy!

Thank you Heritage Schoolhouse!