Category Archives: thankful
I normally share devotionals by my friend and mentor, Patricia Knight, on Treasure Tuesdays because Pat is such a treasure in my life. But I am also extremely thankful for her presence in my life so I wanted to share one of her “thankful” devotionals with you today. This devotional is from her book, Pure Joy.
Give Credit Where Due
“Give credit where credit is due.” That maxim is as old as most of us and still good advice. It simply means thanking the person who has done something nice for you, congratulating a person for a job well done, or recognizing the ability of someone whom has made a discovery. There are many other instances to describe the adage. Not only should be understand the meaning, but also apply the principle we learn.
There is something troubling about the above phrase. Why are we so reticent to thank God and give Him credit and honor for all that He creates, maintains, and sustains? If a friend presented us with a painting of a beautiful sunset, we would give prolific gratitude. God creates a new sunrise and sunset each day. Their explosion of color in the sky is nothing short of miraculous. Surely each of us has seen an occasional display of God’s palette in the sky. In a sunset, sunrise or a rainbow we are reminded of the Master Artist. More importantly, we need to thank Him for the beauty, the peace and serenity the color display creates within us. God deserves credit for splashing His vibrant colors throughout the world. Let’s give Him credit by worshiping Him.
God is the Creator of every living and non-living item on earth. He spent a whole six days making the world and everything in it. We are His greatest creation because we were formed specifically to fellowship and communicate with Him. Then, He placed all His other creations under us, to use, enjoy and care for them. (Genesis 1:30).
Repeatedly in Genesis after God had completed creation for the day, we are told, “And God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:31). If God was pleased with all He made ought we not to be the first to praise Him? We could choose an item a day for which to give thanks and we would never exhaust the supply!
An awareness of God is all we need. Think of His contribution in our lives and put Him first in our thoughts, our thanks and our worship. As we admire the intricacy yet simple pleasures of a rose, we need to stop to thank God for His creation. Who else but God could create the softness and delicate rose petals with perfume that further attracts us to the bush? But then we discover the thorns, which protect the plant. God creates contrasts of beauty and harshness, softness and prickliness. God sprinkles wild flowers throughout the woods, marshes, and pastures of the world. He has created natural flower gardens for our pleasure and surprise.
What is lovelier than a baby’s soft skin and sweet smell? Children are a direct gift to us from the Heavenly Father, who treasures them. He further instructs us to have the faith of a child (Mark 10:13-16). Contrast the lovable baby with a formidable raging thunderstorm that rattles our bones, confuses our senses and demands our attention. When the storm is past, the earth smells refreshed and renewed. God is the Creator of all things great and beautiful.
God created vegetables, fruits, and all green plants (Genesis 1:29). He showed great imagination when He formed a cluster of grapes. A vineyard with thousands of clusters of grapes is a wonder to behold. Compare the rough exterior of a cantaloupe with the inner succulence. God’s humor is evident when we examine an ear of corn. Ever wonder how God so perfectly lines up those straight rows of corn? Consider the many textures of a tomato or the luscious taste of wild blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries occurring from God’s own nourishment and tender care.
God formed the tiniest one-cell animal and the hundred pounds of whale. The oceans are teeming with life for our use. Even the lowly seaweed has numerous uses in food manufacturing and processing. The lobster is a delicacy but quite an ugly-looking creature. It will never win a beauty contest even though it changes costumes mid-program!
The skies are the domain of the mighty eagle (Isaiah 40:32) and the midget hummingbird. It is a privilege to watch the flying abilities of each species. God has taught His creation to swim, hop, slither, fly, leap, and run. He matched all the stripes of a zebra and fashioned a carrying pouch for the mother kangaroo to cradle and transport her young. He provides sheep for wool, cows for milk, and the horse family as beasts of burden and for transportation for many cultures.
God is mighty and loving, creative, and protective. He fiercely loves and provides for His children. He is also a jealous God and craves our worship and admiration (Exodus 34:14). If we know a person who is an artist, a seamstress or a carpenter, we would not hesitate to compliment them for creative expression, original ideas, and work well done. It is time to sensitize our thoughts and words for the most excellent God, the only God in the universe. He has created the world and everything in it. Then, He does not abandon nor manipulate His creation for His benefit. He sacrifices His life and love for us, that we may live eternally. Let us “give credit where credit is due.” Keep God in your constant thoughts and thank Him at every opportunity for His love, greatness, and grace.
Thank you again, dear Pat! I know you’ll be as blessed as I am to have Pat’s book, Pure Joy. If you’re interested in purchasing a copy of Pure Joy, please let me know by commenting in the section below this post.
Back in 2006, a few of my devotionals were published in an anthology titled Anytime Prayers for Everyday People. This is one of those devotionals.
When I want to thank God for His grace . . .
From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. —John 1:16-17, NRSV
Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. —2 Corinthians 4:16, MSG
The amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit, be with all of you. —2 Corinthians 13:15, MSG
If your life honors the name of Jesus, he will honor you. Grace is behind and through all of this, our God giving himself freely, the Master, Jesus Christ, giving himself freely. —2 Thessalonians 1:12, MSG
. . . I will pray.
Most Compassionate God,
Where would I be without Your grace—full and free and wonderful? It picks up in the very spot where I leave off, tucker out, and finishes the job for me. When I’m too frail to do the right thing, Your grace gives me the boost I need to finish in the winner’s circle. When I find it impossible to forgive, to believe, to go on, Your grace shows me a way where there is no way. Your grace is more than amazing—it’s astonishing!
Lord, I want to thank You for Your grace. I heard somewhere that it stands for God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. I’ll never understand it, giving me so much when I’m so completely undeserving. I guess it’s pretty hard to explain.
Help me, Father, to find ways to pass along the message of Your grace to my friends and family. Some of them don’t know how much You love them. They’ve never experienced Your grace—even though it has always been there, poured out for them just as it was for me. Don’t let me miss even one opportunity, Lord, to pass on to others Your riches, purchased by Your precious Son.
Grace comes into the soul, as the morning son into the world; first a dawning, then a light; and at last the sun in his full and excellent brightness. —Thomas Adams
[From Anytime Prayers for Everyday People. Copyright © 2006 Bordon-Winters LLC]
Exactly one year ago today, I enjoyed a day completely free of pain. I know this because it was so remarkable that I made a note of it on my calendar. Why? So that I would be able to express my thankfulness to God—every year on this day—for that special, pain-free day in 2012.
And to remember that it is good for me to be thankful for everything in my life.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. —Psalm 100:4
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe. —Hebrews 12:28
While I’m in this thankful attitude, I’d like to update you a bit on my ongoing health issues. The new medication I started in December did absolutely nothing except make me feel worse, so I ended that trial run in mid-February. This is typically the way Rx meds work for me—they don’t! I believe that is part of the many sensitivities I have from FMS, which include light, sound and chemicals.
I was very discouraged by the failure of this medication, but more so because even though I was no longer taking it, I started feeling much worse—and I didn’t know that was even possible. Since last May, I have been eating gluten-free and dairy-free, and slowly discovered that I also cannot tolerate soy and peanuts. These foods cause extreme GI distress plus nauseous migraines.
My most recent gut-wrenching (literally) allergy discoveries were onions and garlic. Both my parents were born and raised in Italy and immigrated to the USA in the late 40′s. I was raised in an Italian household where tons of garlic and onions were included in the wonderful food Mom made for us. So I was very sad to have to give up these savory foods. How does one cook great Italian food without being able to add onions and garlic anyway?
Around that same time I had a very bad reaction to eating popped sorghum, which is very similar to popped corn but much better for me according to the glycemic index. And then I had a light bulb moment. I had been having several really bad days, so I searched through my food diary and realized I had eaten the popped sorghum for a snack two days in a row. And then on a hunch, I checked out the ingredients list of a crunchy cereal I have been eating practically every day since last May.When I saw that sorghum was the main ingredient, I knew I had been slowly poisoning my body with sorghum.
You see, sorghum flour is slightly sweet and a good addition to many gluten-free foods and baking mixes, and I had been adding a crunchy sorghum cereal to my regular cereal—I absolutely love me some major crunch in my cereal!
Most people who have to eat gluten-free can easily tolerate sorghum, but apparently not yours truly. I like to have cereal for breakfast because it is easy and doesn’t require any cooking—a must for this definitely UN-morning person! And the only time I vary that routine is if I’m away from home, which is not that often.
So I had been consuming some sorghum almost every single day for a good 10 months! Plus I had eaten the popped sorghum as a snack for several days in a row.
My body was absolutely rebelling, and now I know why.
It has been about 3 weeks since I stopped eating any kind of sorghum and I had to give away about a dozen different gluten-free baking mixes that contain sorghum. BUT what a huge improvement in how I feel! I still have migraines when we’re experiencing a nasty weather front up here in the mountains, but my energy level is improving and I am not sleeping as much of my life away these days.
I’m starting to feel like I have the “new normal” me back—you know, the one with those chronic illnesses but who is still able to get through most of my days without feeling like I am constantly being run over by a semi.
Thank You, Lord!
Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. —1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Beloved, how about you? What are you thankful for today?
Thank you for cruising these 13 days of being thankful with me. In hindsight, I wish I had started this on November 1st, but sometimes it takes a while for an idea to gel in my mind.
I am always thankful for:
- my Savior and Lord Jesus Christ
- my sweet hubby
- my wonderful children (including my daughter-in-love)
- my father and 4 sisters
- my local “family” of close friends
- long-distance friends, some of whom I have not yet met
- my church family
- my cozy home, warm in the winter and cool in the summer
- plenty of food
- enough clothes
- a reliable vehicle
- “thorns” to keep me grounded and closely relying on God
- laughter to lighten up a rough day
- overflowing joy in the midst of even the worst of trials
- the supreme comfort in knowing that my God is always with me
- that all-encompassing “peace of God, which transcends all understanding,” that “will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).
This list looks long but I’m sure there are many more things I could add. Sometimes I feel like my view of the outside world is about the size of a quarter because I’m housebound so much, but when I take the time to count my blessings, I am always overwhelmed with thankfulness and praise to my God for providing so abundantly.
Beloved, may we never forget to be thankful for the seemingly tiniest of blessings in our lives!
Day 5: Happy Thanksgiving!
Last year I posted this for Thanksgiving and as I read it over again, I was struck by how many things I wrote are still in the same pattern. So here I am to share it with you once again. Enjoy and be blessed!
Oh come, let us sing to the LORD;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
For the LORD is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
—Psalm 95:1-3, ESV
This year has been one of ups and downs for me, but the ups far outweigh the downs. The best thing that happened in my life this year concerns my son. After praying diligently for him for many years, he came back to the Lord and was baptized in September. And the day after that, he was on a plane to Albania where he was part of a medical mission team. To say that this mother’s heart was full of thanksgiving and praise to the Lord is a gross understatement!
All around us things are happening that make life a challenge. My daily battle with migraines continues but the pattern has changed somewhat. I still wake up with a migraine every morning and go to bed with one every night. The difference now is that on many days I am migraine-free for about four hours so I can at least feel somewhat human and get a few things done around the house.
The other day a close friend who has been estranged from her son for several years received the sweetest note from him as the first step in a joyful reconciliation. In this note, he asked for forgiveness and told her that God had been doing a work in his heart.
My husband and I were saddened to hear of the recent sudden death of a dear friend we knew when we lived in California. We shared many a Saturday morning over coffee, discussing many things including Biblical matters. We don’t know if he ever came to know the healing power of Jesus Christ, but our heavy hearts are comforted by the fact that God knows, and that is enough for us.
Read or watch the news and it is easy to see that all over the country people are struggling with health and financial issues, family and personal relationships, extreme weather devastation, and job problems. Our cost of living is constantly on the rise in direct contrast to most people’s income staying the same or going down.
And yet, in spite of all this, God is always with us and ever in control.
Is life getting you down? Are you wondering when—or if—your suffering will ever end? Why not do something completely different than what our normal human tendency dictates? I’m talking about a radical approach to everyday life, a way of lifting ourselves up before we get mired down in the muck of life as we know it. Here it is:
thank God for each and every thing in your life, the bad as well as the good.
Wow… really? Yes, really! It is understandably difficult to thank God for illness, questionable finances, family problems…and on and on. But—and here it comes—how we will be blessed!
This is more than the power of positive thinking. It is an inner calm and a peace that “surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7), not in spite of your circumstances but because of them. See what I mean? Radical, right?
Beloved, our thanks to God ought to be because of who He is, not for what He does or does not do for us. We need to be thankful for every single thing in our lives, whether good or bad, because these are what He uses to shape us into who He wants us to be. And the first and best thing we should thank Him for is the ultimate gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, Who died in our place, for our sins. How awesome is that?
I wonder if changing our thought process this way would change our outlook on life. I mean, if we remember to thank God first for everything in our lives, wouldn’t that change our view of our circumstances?
Since I am a visual person, I like to picture this: place your arms out wide—this is how much we think we need; now place your hands about six to eight inches apart—this is how much we actually need.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, please forgive us for not always acknowledging who You are and how much You have given us. Thank You for sending Your Son to die on our behalf so that we can spend eternity loving and worshiping You on Your throne. Help us to always remember that You want the best for us, even when we can’t see or understand it. We love You, Lord, thank You for being our All in All!
“I thank God for my handicaps, for through them, I have found myself, my work, and my God.” —Helen Keller
“The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.” —Henry Ward Beecher
“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” —1 Thessalonians 5:15-18