A blessed Thanksgiving Day to all

A blessed and joyful day of thanksgiving to all today, for you and your loved ones. Much to be grateful for. On my personal site, I shared just now “7 Things that Thanksgiving Day Means to Me.” On those seven things today’s prayer was based as well.

This is the kind of list to check twice, is it not, the list of blessings? Continue reading

#gratitude, #mission, #thanksgiving-day

Entitlement the opposite of thankfulness

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful” Colossians 4:2-6.

I’ve spent a lot of time and expended a lot of energy to help people before with never an acknowledgment of what it had cost me to do so. And, it’s not that I need to be thanked; I didn’t help them for the gratitude I would receive. But rather, it is the attitude of the person I helped that bothered me. She felt entitled to the help, and so I was simply discharging my duty “owed” to her.

Entitlement is the opposite of thankfulness. In thankfulness, we acknowledge that the other person (or God) didn’t need to do what he did and that our needs were placed before his own.

That’s why over and over again we are told to be thankful in the Scriptures.

Besides the help that God gives you each and every day that He doesn’t need to, He gave us His Son to die in our place on the cross when He didn’t need to. We all had sinned and deserved death. God would have been within His rights to turn His back on us and let us face the consequence of our transgression. But He didn’t. He loved instead. He died to give us eternal life when He didn’t need to. No one’s entitled to heaven.

Are you thankful?

Douglas Kashorek

douglaskashorek.com

#gratitude, #prayer, #thankfulness

Don’t let outsiders make you discontent with God’s provisions

Saints sometimes find it difficult enough, among themselves, to keep from complaining. They must beware that the world may influence their spirits greatly, causing them to fall by being discontent with God’s provisions. Many in our midst who claim to be saints are actually “foreign rabble” who bring in other ideas and, in order to insert their preferences, show unhappiness with the truth of the gospel. Continue reading

#complaining, #discontent, #gratitude, #influence, #worship

Illinois native Army Specialist Gabriel Garriga suffered from…

Illinois native Army Specialist Gabriel Garriga suffered from the severe burns he suffered when his Humvee exploded in a raging fireball in Iraq. Medics gave him a one in one hundred chance of survival. But in spite of the odds and after 29 surgeries, Gabe, as his family and friends call him, traveled the long road of recovery. For a long time he went through the process of rehabilitation in San Antonio at the Brook Army Medical Center. At the time he was just happy to be alive. Now he spends a lot of his time encouraging other soldiers recovering from their injuries. When I last read of him he was 20 and he was looking to the day when he could return to his Illinois home and resume a normal life. In my book Gab is a hero and is owed a great debt of gratitude from America. This is Just A Minute

#army, #encouragement, #gratitude, #just-a-minute

Keep it Going!

“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!” (Psalm 106:1). Thursday, perhaps all of last week, we were conscious of our blessings and expressed our thankfulness to God. We used our national day of “Thanksgiving” to remind ourselves of the fact that “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17). On “Turkey Day” most of us gathered with our family, ate a delicious meal, reminisced and, perhaps, watched a football game. Most importantly, we gave thanks to the Lord “for He is good.”

Keep it going! Keep your heart in tune to the manifold blessings of God! Express your thanksgiving! Live a life of thanksgiving! Every day is “Thanksgiving Day” for the Christian. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

We may struggle with the idea of giving thanks “in everything.” Sometimes our circumstances do not lend themselves to being thankful – there are dark clouds. I am reminded of the story of Matthew Henry, the respected Bible commentator. When robbed of his purse, Mr. Henry expressed thanksgiving! He wrote, “Let me be thankful, first, because he never robbed me before; second, because although he took my purse, he did not take my life; third, because although he took all I possessed, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed.” Thanksgiving is always a matter of perspective. Even in the storms of life we can thank God for the cool breeze. We can always find something (many things) to be thankful for. Have a blessed day…and be thankful!

Dwight Fuqua – via Focus on Findlay (Findlay church of Christ – Sparta, TN)

#gratitude, #thanksgiving, #thanksliving

Long roads in a small car

After a great visit with the overseeing congregation (as usual), we made another trip today from central Arkansas to Nashville, back to our son’s house.

Somewhere along the way the rental agency goofed or the travel agency in Brazil failed, and we wound up with an extra-small car. None of our suitcases will fit in the trunk. It runs well enough, but it’s a bit cramped. So I’m still unfolding my body after the several hours in the sardine can.

Good thing we’re not making any of the longer trips out to Texas or up to Illinois.

We can still be grateful that we’re not in the horse-and-buggy days.

#gratitude, #missions, #travel

vain repetitions?

When I hear men pray in public, I like to hear the usual requests put into different terms. It is more thought-provoking to me if I am a bit surprised by the way something is said than if I can stay three seconds ahead of the “pray-er” as he treads down the ever-trodden path of “guardguide’n’direct,” “keepusuntilthenextappointedhour,” “happyrecollectionofthethingshehasprepared,” “keepusinthehollowofthyhand,” etc. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with those phrases. They can be just as genuine as a newer, more creative arrangement of words, but I confess that I find myself being judgmental when I hear the “standard” phrases because I tend to use them when I have not been especially attentive to my own prayer life. God forgive me for thinking that way.

What made me think of this was either hearing someone begin a prayer recently or beginning a prayer myself with “Dear Lord, thank You for this day.” I sometimes give myself an internal kick when I begin a public prayer this way, because it rolls off my tongue unconsciously if I am underprepared. But it struck me a few days ago that I am silly for thinking that way. Just because that phrase has been overused a bit doesn’t mean that it has to be meaningless. After all, what more are we promised than this moment? We can’t thank God for tomorrow–Christ might return at midnight, or 30 seconds from now. When people are assembled with their heads bowed in prayer, it means God has granted them an opportunity to be together fellowshipping, studying, edifying, exhorting, encouraging, and basking in God’s lovingkindness with each other one more time. It means there is yet one more opportunity for those who have not obeyed the gospel to soften their hearts and make that decision. It means the Lord yet has some work He’d like to accomplish in each one of us, and He’s not done with us yet. Yes, come to think of it, “Thank You for this day” is no shameful way to begin a prayer. Perhaps there is a reason it has become one of our “standard” phrases. God help us not to let the rich meaning of those syllables be lost on us the next time we hear them uttered.

You do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. (James 4:14)

Lord, thank You for this day. Help us use it to lift up the name of Jesus Christ.

#gratitude, #james, #jesus, #meaningless, #prayer, #repetition, #stale