My dad grew up in the Depression, so i was raised with a firm appreciation for not wasting anything. To this end, he composted kitchen scraps, saved leftover paint remnants in addition to finding bargains at garage sales, etc. In Matthew 26:8, Jesus’ disciples had the same mindset when they asked Him about a chick wasting expensive oil, since she poured it on Jesus’ head, as an expression of worship.
And worshipping Jesus is never wasteful, regardless of what people may say.
Indeed, let’s be extravagant in how we worship Jesus! The chick in Matthew 26 was extravagant in worshipping Jesus, using expensive oil. And in our modern culture, we can be extravagant in worshipping Jesus by:
spending time with Jesus, giving Him our attention
being generous with our finances in church, with ministries and to the poor
choosing to wholeheartedly participate in the worship time at our churches whether we like the songs or not
expressing gratitude and worship to God before we go to bed each night
I’m making my way back home from speaking at a pastor’s conference in Bangledesh. This has been a “quick trip”, considering that getting to Bangledesh can be a 30hour journey with a 12 hour time change – so no travel to Bangledesh is a in reality a “quick trip.” When I was deciding about this trip, I was weighing the cost of the trip, not only financially, but the cost of time, impact to my family & Spring Break time together – sacrifices.
With all these considerations, I felt in my heart that I needed to join this conference – a very unique opportunity to meet Christian leaders in a Muslim country & hopefully encourage & minister to them. And in light of our new nightcare in Bangledesh, I felt that this opportunity would also be strategic & a great way to begin some important relationships for the future.
Before I left for this trip, most of what I felt was a mix of hope, anticipation & sacrifice. Now that I’m returning home, I recognize the sacrifice to be sure. But getting to team up with Holy Spirit to minister to such incredible leaders has left me astounded. Additionally, I experienced some progress on some questions in my heart. And I sense a significant green light from God about Saving Moses growing in our nightcare work throughout this region of the world. Yes this trip was a sacrifice & I’m physically very tired. I’m also very awestruck with God’s generosity that counteracts the sacrifices that we make. I’m very thankful.
I don’t like cinnamon & this is only a recent development. Maybe I don’t like cinnamon because at this time year, everything seems to have cinnamon: coffee, ice cream, apple cider, pies, smoothies, etc.
So it’s possible to overdose cinnamon, but I don’t think it’s possible to overdo gratitude. Maybe we should think in terms of spreading thanksgiving throughout the year & not only a seasonal overdose. Feel free to leave a comment to express something or someone for which you’re grateful!
Since we are really close to Halloween, that means that Thanksgiving is fast approaching. So let’s get an early jump on being thankful. By starting to practice gratitude now, we’ll be certain to have maximum proficiency by the time Thanksgiving lands. Another benefit to practicing gratitude now is that we increase our chances of creating a lifestyle of thanksgiving rather than the seasonal experience. Finally, the Bible tells us to be thankful, not only for the obvious & good stuff, but also for things that are difficult. Let’s be sure to practice Philippians 4:6, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God
I’m so very happy that God does all sizes of miracles! The massive miracles, like healing from cancer or supernaturally providing a job or the forgiveness of a debt or the reconciliation of a long broken relationship. These kinds of massive miracles along with others seem to catch our attention & easily welcome our gratitude.
Let’s be mindful, as well, that the micro miracles are also magnificent! Let’s celebrate those times when the Holy Spirit gives us the self control to not shoot off our mouth. Perhaps you had a small miracle when your schedule went better than you planned. Or maybe it was miraculous that you bumped into someone coincidentally & it turned out to be a divine appointment.
Let’s be committed to give God praise for the micro & massive miracles that happen throughout each day!
What areas in your life are needy? It seems that often the quick answer is “money.” But if we pause for a second, our answer might be more along the line of more time, wisdom, discipline, strength, better relationships, genuine love, courage, patience, etc.
This morning I read how Jesus multiplied the fish & bread to meet the hunger needs of thousands of people. His disciples came to Him with the need – too many people & a paltry amount of provision. To this problem, Jesus asked them what they had. After identifying what was there, Jesus blessed the provision rather than cursed the need or lack.
Let’s be sure that we’re grateful for what we have, even if it seems like it’s not enough. Then let’s utilize what we have with thanksgiving & our eyes on Jesus to keep providing & multiplying!
Happy Thanksgiving! In the US, we celebrate being thankful today, enumerating our blessings & acknowledging the abundance that we have. But alas, sometimes the mindset that looks for abundance can get disappointed. Indeed, on this day, we often turn a blind eye to the deficiencies we have, choosing to ignore lack or gloss over the absence of things we want.
Let’s pivot this thinking. Today, I’m not only thankful for what I have, but I’m also thankful for what I don’t have.
I’m grateful that God doesn’t give me everything I want because this would be very destructive to my soul. I’m grateful for struggles & hardships because I don’t develop patience & persistence without such struggles (James 1:2-4). And let’s not forget Paul who was thankful for the thorn in his flesh in 2Cor 12:9ff because this thorn cultivated reliance on Jesus like nothing else in his life.
Let’s not only be thankful for abundance but let’s be grateful for some difficulties as well. And of course, let’s always be mindful to encourage & love the people around us! We can’t always understand their decisions but we can always chose to be loving & encouraging!
Be super clear that I’m thankful for you! Feel free to pass this along to friends & family today! It could be really helpful to lots of peeps!
YAHOOO!!!! I took my kids for their dental checkups today & I’m happy to celebrate that NONE of them have cavities. This is a miracle – approximately 90 teeth & not one cavity!
So this is a really helpful reminder to me keep a few things front & center with my attention:
keep watching: God’s miracles come in lots of different sizes & ways, often unexpected
stay grateful: no matter how big or little a miracle is & no matter the method of the miracle (sometimes God chooses to do things in ways we didn’t want), let’s keep gratitude as one of core values throughout each day
Black Friday seems to be kind of like the starting gun for the Christmas season – ready, set GO!!!! So here’s my weird question for today: why do we call Black Friday “black” and Good Friday “good”? Good Friday is the day when we acknowledge that Jesus was cruicified and the Friday before Easter, when Jesus rose from the dead. Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving & supposed to be a day when loads of people “start” shopping for Christmas – the launch of holiday festivities. Both Fridays have their pluses and minuses – solemn and celebratory. But on this Black Friday, let’s consider a few things:
being thankful didn’t stop yesterday when the dishwasher turned off or the last football seconds ran off the clock
Good Friday is good because Jesus took our place on the cross & that news is very good indeed!
Black Friday doesn’t mean Debt Friday
let’s remind ourselves in this holiday season to keep room in our thoughts, time, actions & priorities for Jesus and His presence 🙂
Happy Thanksgiving! May your day be overflowing with joy & peace 🙂
As we think about gratitude today, consider a few thoughts to pass along:
*being grateful increases contentment & likewise being whiny increases dissatisfaction
*if you want to come through difficult seasons well, gratitude is an essential ingredient
*when you begin thanking God for being so good, it quickly becomes difficult to stop
*turkeys are tricky birds to bake #nuffsaid
Happy Thanksgiving dear friend!
I like Saturday mornings for lots of reasons, one of which is getting to “enjoy” my kids’ cooking efforts, kind of and sometimes. Presently, we have some company staying with us & one of my kids mentioned that he makes some really killer waffles. Our friend staying with us really likes crispy waffles and voila, a plan was “cooked up.” The execution of the plan this morning was “sketchy”. Let’s just say that we almost ruined the waffle iron, the kitchen now needs some deep cleaning attention and there were some nice overtones of cinnamon and nutmeg. Thankfully our friend who is staying with us slept in and we’ve already organized a Plan B: no waffles, but crepes area nice alternative.
When life hands you lemons, being thankful can be the sugar you need to make lemonade ,)
When I woke up my son today to get ready for school, he wasn’t happy by a long shot. He was cranky & grumpy and unfortunately, by the time he got in the car, he was still in the doldrums – a very yucky way to start off on a Monday morning 🙁
We all have times, seasons, days and moments when we are grumpy & here’s a potential quick fix: be thankful. Rather than looking at the grumpy stuff (back to school, bills, tired, physical pain, hardship, emotional stressors, relationship difficulties, job / school challenges . . . . ), take some moments to be thankful.
that the sun came up this morning
for the oxygen that we breath
that God’s love is vast yet personal
that God is both faithful and good
for a nice blog to give you this helpful reminder ,)
I’ve been thinking about how when God spoke to Moses about leading the Israelites out of slavery, Moses complained about what he lacked: I’m not smart enough, I don’t have favor with the Israelites, I don’t have Pharoah’s ear, etc. In reply, God told Moses to check out his hands & God did some really cool miracles: leprosy on Moses’ hand that God healed & Moses’ staff turned to a snake. While our hands may seem kind of trivial, lets never minimize what God has given us. God’s gifts are always supernatural 🙂
Even though this is a short entry, it is really powerful:
I have this habit that I do almost every morning – I thank God for all of the cool things that happened during the previous day. I love getting to do this because it’s a great way to enter God’s presence (I will enter His courts with thanksgiving in my heart). But here’s the latest challenge I’ve been sensing from God: real-time gratitude. Instead of waiting for my gratitude to expressed during my morning routines, I feel that God is challenging me to be grateful in the moment & not just the morning. So I find myself being more thankful as an attitude in my day and not just in the morning prayer time “compartment”. As as result, I feel that I’m more content, happy and buoyant. As a concluding thought, another idea is to pre-thank the answers, solutions and provisions that God has for us (ahead of time). Now that would be a total lifestyle of gratitude (past, present & future). Just a little food for thought 🙂
First of all, thank you heaps & heaps for reading my blog! Thank you for your very kind comments, thoughts and for the opportunity to connect with some deeper thoughts than a quick tweet or fb post 🙂
I’ve also been thinking about the power of saying “thank you” & being grateful, most of all with God. I’m also super pumped to post this today because we are no where near Thanksgiving – the stereotypical being thankful post. Instead, I wanted to share something that is an important part of our daily routines – gratitude. Everyday I try to take some time to thank God for very specific things – big, medium & small – from the previous day. I enjoy thanking God for all kinds of things like: nice coffee, a beautiful sunrise, some progress with Saving Moses, my kids having a good day at school, the nice chat with a friend and boatloads more! When I start being thankful, it gets hard to stop & best of all, it’s one of the best ways to enter into God’s presence – with thanksgiving in my heart 🙂
Wow!! I can’t begin to thank everyone for their kind words, support & care after my blog about my dad’s death. We’ve had such great encouragement, affirming words and love – way beyond my ability to express gratitude. Thank you again and again!! While this is a bit of a rough season, it’s also really wonderful to sense Jesus’ love through so many different people and so many different ways. Thanks loads for letting Jesus use you to bring comfort and care to our family.
May God reach into your life, open your eyes and increase your sensitivity to the immense and infinite love that God has for you. Again, thanks so much!!
I just want to take a brief moment to thank you for reading this blog. I know that you have a never ending list of choices for your reading so I’m particularly grateful that you have taken some time with me. Additionally, I especially want to thank those of you who have left comments, who’ve encouraged me & also for those who have subscribed to receiving this blog.
Thank you for going on this journey with me, for your patience & for being gentle. In our cyber world of social media & relationships over the web, thank you for not being judgmental, harsh nor condemning. Thank you for getting to connect 🙂
All of us like to receive gifts that we want. For example, recently, my husband bought me a kindle & for me its the perfect gift because I really like to read & when I travel, my books can get excessively heavy. He bought me the kindle just out of the blue & I’m SUPER happy because its fantastic! Sometimes, however, we get some gifts that aren’t so whippy, or even gifts that we don’t want.
I find that this is true with God as well. We are particularly happy with God when He gives us what we want, but when He gives us something that we don’t necessary want, we can be ungrateful. We often tend to overlook the gifts that He gives us that we don’t want, but He knows that we need. God gives us what we need, when we need it & I’m becoming increasingly convinced of this truth. He gives us time, wisdom, energy, resources, favor, etc. We may ask for money and He may possibly give us wisdom on how to lower our expenses. We may ask for a certain achievement or promotion and He may give us an inner contentment that we are beloved in His sight. We may ask for friendship and He may possibly give us the opportunity to be a friend to a needy person & experience His love to us as He loves through us. We may ask for more time and He may give us a way to more efficiently use the time that we have. We may ask for many things, but let’s be certain to give God ample space to answer our requests in His perfect wisdom 🙂
Mothers are intersting creatures. Since becoming a mother, i’ve come to see things from 2 sides – both as an offspring & as a mother. Right now, i live in the “high-octane” middle of both worlds (as i sit here writing, my little men are wrestling w my big man, while Isabell designs her new bank savings box). I am fully offspring, in that i work pretty closely w my mom & i’m quite thoroughly integrated w care for & interaction with my kids. Consequently, Mother’s Day is the collision of significant portions of my life.
In the fullest sense of the word, Mother’s Day is designed to celebrate life. I say this because there’s not a single one of us that doesn’t have a mother (dead or alive). Mothers (and Fathers – but we’ll celebrate Father’s Day next month) are significant conduits through which God gives us the gift of life and life is very good. May your Mother’s Day be filled w gratitude to God for His gift of life and gratitude for our mothers & the things they’ve invested in our lives. Happy Mother’s Day!