Mid-week boost: Gratitude

gratitude

I am continuing my focus this week on thanks giving with an original poem, two Scripture verses, and a favorite song, “For every mountain.” Blessings to you.

“Gratitude”

Gratitude.

The necessary ingredient that enriches each meal.

The essential component which enhances every gathering.

The lenses which magnify the good in every life.

The medicine which brings healing.

The force which lightens every burden and uplifts and grounds each heart.

Gratitude.

© Esther W. Wright, November 22, 2016

 “Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!” (Psalm 107:8)

“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above; it comes down from the Father of lights [the Creator and Sustainer of the heavens], in whom there is no variation [no rising or setting] or shadow cast by His turning [for He is perfect and never changes].” (James 1:17, AMP)

 

 

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Monday Vitamins: Give Thanks

psalm 96 v1.png

Thanks – defined as “an expression of gratitude.”  We are 3 days away from Thanksgiving Day in the USA. And even with the uncertainty in our nation and news of turmoil and acts of violence, there is still much for which to be thankful. But to whom do we give thanks? We are to express gratitude to people in our lives but let our thanks giving begin with God.

 “Give thanks to the Lord, ” the psalmist entreats us, “for He is good; for His lovingkindness (graciousness, mercy, compassion) endures forever” (Psalm 136:1, Amplified Bible).

Let us not be stingy in giving thanks to the One Who lavishes His goodness on us. Let us thank Him wholeheartedly. Let our thanks giving be constant. Let us pour out our praise. Let us shower Him with our gratitude today.  

 

Monday Vitamins: Thanks giving and Advent

psalm 69 v30

“Advent is a season of preparation for the birth of Jesus Christ.  Every Christmas reminds us that God so loved the world that He sent His only Son to be born as one of us, in order to redeem and renew creation.” – Archbishop Charles J. Chaput

May we walk through this season of Advent magnifying our great God and Father, with constant wholehearted thanksgiving, for His incomprehensible love.

 

Thanks giving: An act. A process. A journey

Thanks giving: The Act

Thanks giving is something we do. As author, Robert Brault notes, “There is no such thing as gratitude unexpressed. If it is unexpressed, it is plain, old-fashioned ingratitude.” Let us give thanks with all our hearts and to the One Who is the source of all good things.

Thanks giving: The Process

Thanks giving is a process, much like that of using starters to make bread. It is a process that has to be activated. Starters can include the actions of another person, the recognition that nothing is owed us and we are the recipients of so much, and awareness of the goodness of our generous (such an understatement) God Who seems able only to give lavishly.

Thanks giving: The Journey

Thanks giving is a journey … one often initiated externally, for example, with the influence of a parent or caregiver as they teach us manners. Sometimes it was a clear instruction, “Say thank you, honey.” At other times it came in the form of a prompt, “What do you say when someone gives you something or says something nice, sweetheart?” Over time, and with repeated lessons, the expression of thanks becomes ingrained, almost an automatic response. But there can be moments in the journey that we are awakened to the truth that thanksgiving can be intentional, not influenced by anything but our will. We can choose to give thanks. We can choose to be thankful in every circumstance. In every situation. In every season of life. In everything. With His help.

(Today’s post is a revised version of one shared November 2014).

 

 

 

 

Monday Vitamins: Thanks giving

psalm 107 v 1 and 2

He is good, His compassion and lovingkindness endure forever, and He has redeemed us. Fellow redeemed ones, will you join me now in giving Him thanks for His character and His incomprehensible act of redeeming us at such an unfathomable cost? Thanks.

Whole hearted thanks giving

In Monday’s post I said I will reflect in this post on possible reasons our thanks giving to God can be half-hearted. Currently, I have only one possible reason. I am not saying there is only one possible reason; it is just that only one came to mind. 🙂 Before I share it, can we pause and give our Father God  thanks for His faithfulness? Thanks for joining me.

Psalm 138:1 (NKJV) was the verse I focused on Monday. It states, “I will praise You with my whole heart…” One definition of wholehearted is marked by complete earnest commitment :  free from all reserve or hesitation. Synonyms of wholehearted include whole-souled. When we give God wholehearted thanks, we are thanking Him with all that we are and without reservation or hesitation. Antonyms of wholehearted include grudging and halfhearted. Definitions of halfhearted are lacking heart, spirit, or interest. 

God is unchanging and since He never changes, if we offer Him wholehearted thanks in any given moment, then He deserves wholehearted thanks always. What can change our thanks giving from wholehearted to halfhearted? Our emotions. Our emotions too often are dictated by our circumstances and can change multiple times over a short period.  Consequently, when we base our thanks giving on how we feel, then the nature of our thanks giving can transform from wholehearted to halfhearted, as our emotions change. Although it can be hard to admit, it is true that sometimes we feel betrayed by God. At other times we are disappointed in Him. On occasion we can even resent the fact that He did not grant us the desires for which we pleaded. Whatever our feelings about God are, they are influenced by our perception of Him. In light of the powerful influence of our perception on how we relate to our Father God, we desperately need our perception of Him to be based on an intimate, growing, accurate knowledge of our Father God and base our thanksgiving on His unchanging character, not our changing emotions. When our thanks giving is based on His unchanging character, our thanks giving will increasingly become wholehearted.

I would appreciate hearing your thoughts on reasons why our thanks giving to God can be halfhearted. Please share them in the comments. Thanks.

All definitions used are from http://www.merriam-webster.com.

 

Expressing gratitude but denying the Giver

Today’s post is inspired by a recent comment C. M, a fellow blogger, made in response to one of my posts. She noted, “I’m always amazed this time of year to hear people speak of being grateful, but denying the one to whom we should direct our gratitude.”  As I continue to reflect on her words, I wonder if one reason individuals can “speak of being grateful” without acknowledging “the one to whom we should direct our gratitude,” is that they fail to see Him as the Source of all good gifts? Also, in addition to not seeing God as the source of all good gifts, can it be that, in the vein of king Nebuchadnezzar, even if they believe that God exists, they take all or most of the credit for the good in their lives?  Can it be that they do not know the truths revealed in Acts 17:24-28 (CEV):

This God made the world and everything in it. … He gives life, breath, and everything else to all people. From one person God made all nations who live on earth, and He decided when and where every nation would be. God has done all this, so that we will look for Him and reach out and find Him. He isn’t far from any of us, and He gives us the power to live, to move, and to be who we are…”

Can it be that they do not know it is

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning…” and great is His faithfulness? (Lamentations 3:22-23, NIV)

And how well do those of us who call Him Father and claim that He is Lord know these truths? Is our knowledge only head knowledge? Or do these truths so permeate our being that thanksgiving, gratitude has become our lifestyle instead of something we do occasionally and without intentionality?

I think of a question I came across once, “What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?” Sobering, is it not? I close with an invitation/prayer/plea from Psalm 107:1-2, 8-9, NKJV).

“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy… Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness.”