Saturday, November 8, 2008
As citizens of our land, we take the time to convey our feelings to veterans for defending our freedom. We do this because of our gratitude.
We want to show one another our appreciation of their work on a project or an activity. We begin by saying, “Thank you.” Sometimes we say it with a card or a note to the one who has done so much.
The American public expects to hear people say “Thank You” when they patronize businesses. We recently heard both men who ran for President of the United States thank people for their support and for their votes. When people hold open a door for someone, we hear the words expressing appreciation for extending the kindness. We are seeing a return to courtesy.
We sing a praise chorus, “Thank you, God, for saving my soul/ Thank you, God, for making me whole. . . .” He loves to hear it. He loves to know we appreciate being His.
God desires to hear us say “Thank you” to Him. He deserves our thanks. Our prayers should contain thoughts of our gratitude for all He does for us. Without His many great works and unmerited love for us, we would be nothing.
When my husband and I were on vacation in Florida this past spring, I discovered on our first day there I had left my identification at a gas station in Alabama the day before. We found a way for me to get an identification card so I could cash my traveler’s checks. On our way back home we stopped at the same gas station. I went in and told her my story. She asked me my name. I told her. She reached to the back of the counter and handed me my driver’s license and my insurance card. I said “Thank you about six times. three to her and three to God.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
This time of year reminds of the hymn, “Count Your Blessings” I especially like the chorus:
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
For God’s children, the holiday Thankgiving gives us the opportunity to reflect on the many blessings He has provided. Believers give thanks to God every day for what He gives them and what He does to help his precious children. It is during this season that we focus on recognizing our needs to verbalize our gratitude to Him.
We have so much to be thankful for.
Because we know the Lord, we have received salvation.
Jesus died that we might be free from sin.
Once we ask Jesus into our hearts, He remains there forever, we are blessed with His presence. (Psalm 21:1-6)
When He set us apart for ministry for the Kingdom, we have received santification. (Isaiah 6:1-9) He equips us for the work he has chosen us to do.
Because we have a vital relationship with Jesus, he takes us to be with Him when our life here is over. That’s eternal life. Ps 23:5-6)
One of the formats of prayer we can follow is ACTS, Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplications.
Adoration: Telling God how we feel about Him, how much we love Him.
Confession: Coming clean about our sin, asking Him to forgive us for our wrongdoing.
Thanksgiving: Giving thanks to God for what He has done for us.
Supplications: Requests, Our needs, others’ needs.
Some believers keep a monthly prayer journal, they keep a page of praises or blessings, maybe at the back of the monthly section.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
“Enter his gates with Thanksgiving.” Psalm 100:4 NIV
As we enter this month of November, our hearts turn to Thanksgiving. This holiday, celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday of this month, evokes a feeling of wanting to pay homage to God for all He has done for us.
I sit here thinking of the prolonged time I couldn’t laugh. Nothing during that period caused me joy. And then, I was invited to attend a Praise Gathering in Indianapolis. A friend had a group of ladies going with her but one of her relatives from the southern part of our state was unable to go. The event is a gospel sing type event with Christian comics, Christian recording artists all performing for the better part of three days. There are workshops for the attendees to learn about ministry.
The main comic who ‘got through to me’ really made me do deep belly laughs. I almost had tears in my eyes. The second night of our stay, my friend who invited me came to me and said, “It’s been a long time since I heard you laugh like that.”
This made me think. “Yes, it had been a long while since I had been able to laugh.” I decided then, laughter is a gift. That year when we had our Thanksgiving eve service, when it was my turn to name five things I was thankful for, I mentioned being thankful for the gift of laughter. I also shared with them the fact that some things had stolen my joy and I was thankful to have found it again.
This evening, I am remembering times with my husband and his friend from childhood. We were together last evening, There were 10 of us really enjoying each other’s company and very thankful we were able to be together. It was a joy to be with these dear people.
But, for me, I am thankful for the JOY, and the LAUGHTER. Experts say Laughter releases chemicals into our brains that bring about good feelings. Readers Digest Magazine used to call one of its departments, Laughter the Best Medicine. Maybe we should all look for something we can be joyful about and laugh over.
Let us all look for the gift of joy in our lives. It is His gift. Then we will be able to express that gift back to him through our laughter.
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