The Make It Happen Moment ® Grateful


English: Pink Azalea flowers

Spring Time Azaleas

Quote: “Giving thanks and remembering what we have to be thankful for gives us hope for today and for our future!” – Jeff and Michelle Niederstadt

As spring approached, it was time for me to mow the lawn for the first time since the dead of winter.  Pollen was all around as the trees began to awaken from their slumber and the spring flowers began to bud with colorful exuberance.  However, my azalea flower bed was overrun with rogue vines growing over the top of the bushes choking the brand new budding azalea flowers.  As I was pulling the weeds away to free the new azalea blooms, I couldn’t help to think about how the devil tries to do the same thing to us just when God is about to birth something brand new in our lives.  That’s because the Bible says in John 10:10 that the devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but the Lord has come to give us life and life more abundantly.  Unfortunately, if we allow the devil to have his unauthorized way in our thoughts and minds, he will definitely choke the abundant life that the Lord has come to give us, just like those rogue vines in the garden at spring time.

So then how can we effectively stop the devil in his tracks on his mission to steal, kill, and destroy the abundant life that Christ paid so much to freely give us? Well, I believe one of the best ways we can do this is to pray to the Lord with a grateful heart for all that God has done for us regardless of the fiery darts of the devil intended to discourage and disappoint us in life.  Philippians 4:6-7 states, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”   You see, when we cast our cares upon the Lord, with thanksgiving in our hearts, and having faith that He hears our prayers, He begins to weed out the life-choking rogue vines encroaching upon our lives by the devil so that God’s peace may fully blossom in our hearts and minds regardless of our situation.

Therefore, the best weed-eater we have in our tool shed to weed whack the devil over the head is the weed-eater of an effective prayer life fueled by an abundantly grateful heart dependent upon the unsurpassing peace of Almighty God.  James 5:16 states, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” and 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 tells us to, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” So according to the Bible, it is God’s will for us that we should pray with fervency and always give thanks to Him.  As we do, we can rest assured that God’s good plan and blessing for our lives will burst forth like the abundantly beautiful azalea blooms in spring time as a testimony to the Lord’s glory, goodness, and faithfulness.  Through fervent prayer and a thankful heart, the peace of Jehovah Shalom, the Lord our Peace, will rule and reign in our hearts and minds as all of our hopes and dreams in Him eventually germinate, blossom, and come fully alive at His perfect right time!

The Make It Happen People Value: “Make It Happen” People Possess A Positive Attitude!

Have a blessed “Make It Happen” day!

Edited by The Make It Happen Moment ® Editorial Team

The Make It Happen Moment ® Grateful Copyright 2010, The Make It Happen Learning Institute.  You have permission to reprint The Make It Happen Moment ® Grateful, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

Love And Roses – A Time Honored Letter To My Grandfather


1930 Hamilton 992 Railroad Pocket Watch in #2 Case

My 88 year-old living grandfather, Gasper P. LaCiura, wrote and self-published a book at age 78 titled, Love & Roses. I’ve titled this post with the same basic title as a showing of my love and respect for him as his grateful first-born grandson. With his permission, I share my personal letter to honor him below.


On this Christmas eve in 2007, I am writing this letter, Pa Pa, to honor you and tell you how much I love you for being the best grandfather a young boy, and now a grown man, could ever have.

I want to thank you for letting me experience the thrill of driving your boat as a young lad and teaching me that life is a daring adventure to be enjoyed with those you love.

Thank you for the many opening days of shrimp season when you, my dad, and I would diligently prepare for and excitedly anticipate the blessing of a bountiful first drag of the net. Whether we caught the “mother lode” or we forgot to “tie the pocket”, I learned through these shared outdoor experiences how to appreciate the good things of real life and real family.  

Thank you for the many summer weeks and long week-ends at the camp where I learned how to enjoy and discover the simple things of a “Tom Sawyer” life on the bayou. Shooting snakes, catching garfish, and frying fresh catfish for dinner are the boyhood memories that influenced me to stay near to home as a man and offer my children the opportunity for similar storybook adventures in the sportsman paradise of Southeast Louisiana. 

Thank you for giving me my very first car – a classic 1966 mustang – for the price of $1,200, teaching me that nothing in life is free and anything worth having is worth the hard work to achieve it. 

And most importantly, thank you for always being there for me to listen to my dreams, encourage my pursuit of them, and inspire my belief that nothing would be impossible for me with a little bit of faith, hope, and love.

Now that I am a grown man, blessed by God with a family of my own, doing my best to fulfill my commitments and fully live life with convictions of truth and principle in my heart, the time for me to tell you how much you mean to me must not continue to slip away any longer.  Therefore, without any further delay and believing in the principle that “the pen is mightier than the sword” which you taught me, I write this heartfelt letter to honor you. 

While I may not be able to see you or talk with you as often as I’d like, I want you to know that in all my successes and even my failures, nothing means more to me than the gift of your life, love, and laughter that you shared with me throughout your life, helping me become the man of purpose and conviction that I am today.  In the same way that Pa Pa Tony taught you that “your word is your bond”, many of the life principles that you have taught me are as timeless and priceless as the railroad watch you have saved for me to pass on to my first-born son as a timeless family legacy.

In closing, my sincere prayer for you, Pa Pa, as you reflect upon your prosperous and blessed life, is that your personal relationship with our heavenly Father, Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, will grow ever more closely and intimately as each day passes just as I love and know you as the best grandfather a boy and a man could ever have in a lifetime! I love you Pa Pa!

Your grateful grandson,

Gary B.

Merry Christmas and many more Happy New Years!

Love And Roses – A Time Honored Letter To My Grandfather Copyright 2007, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint this personal family letter, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

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