I had a few people come at me with the gratitude challenge, where you come up with one thing every day to be thankful for in the month of November up to Thanksgiving. The idea is good, but if you struggle to come up with one thing a day, you are either deeply depressed and need clinical help or are doing life wrong. Here is why.
Every day we are breathing, you can be sure that God gave you another day to live, another opportunity to draw closer to Him, a new opportunity to serve others, another chance to be humble and mature, another delight of nature- God’s glory presented to you-, a new chance to laugh, love, make love, drive, travel, play, dance, wear clothes, have free will, think for yourself, read other people’s ideas, write, draw, make music, etc. If you are not grateful for so many things every day, you are either too proud, narcissistic, selfish, depressed or stubborn. It takes a lot to focus so much on yourself that you do not see many, many blessings and opportunities from God every single day. Is that harsh? I do not think so. Even people knee deep in need and want are given blessings throughout the day. And those who don’t see these don’t want to.
So, will I do the challenge? As a follower of Jesus Christ, I vow to be grateful for all of God’s blessings, not just one. I will go further and vow to be less self-important every day so I can appreciate God and others more and acknowledge more of God’s gifts and love Him even more. This builds our relationship substantially rather than insulting Him with one meger thanks for one thing when He has rained down thirty. Oh how I love Him!😄❤❤❤
So, Saturday, our gig day, is expecting rain. 90% chance. Even these weatherpeople have trouble getting that high of a chance wrong. So, we will know tomorrow afternoon if they decide to call it off and reschedule.
As for me, I am content. Outdoor Gigs used to be exhilerating for me but as I have matured, they have become rather obnoxious. More effort and hard on you and your voice for the same price. And we live in a rain forest until November. Instead of fun it is a pain in the neck.
But enough whining, sorry for all that pessimistic reality. I am quite content. Outside, inside, matters not. The entertainment is the thing… helping people remember good and happy things. This is what it is about. And I am thankful for every gig God provides and the strength to do them and our wonderful band family to do them with. It is fantastic to make beautiful and fun music together. God has blessed us and we all feel and acknowledge it.😄❤
In summer, I noticed writing slows, people’s thoughts are elsewhere, occupied by a frenzy of rushed vacations and manic relaxation. The flow of thought congeals under the pressure of too much heat and movement mixed, like a fan blowing hot air to quench an unsatisfyable need for cool and calm. And on we breathe, red hot as the air, miserable in the humidity, happier somehow in the rain that falls a few minutes every day to somehow provide a break, despite the miserable wetness of it. Rushed streams of thought are forced and flow thickly when they do attempt flow. Herein lies what I am observing on the blogs. Those unaffected by the heat and cludge of mass vacationmanship, those of us with more bills than income and can not get away, we still write. It is at least somewhere for our mind to go, our thoughts vacate to. So you fellow writers still expressing words from your thoughts, who still can, I thank you and delight in bathing myself in their richness. 😄❤
When Jesus is believed and asked inside a contrite heart, He joyfully enters and bring the fruit of the Spirit with Him, along with freedom to experience the fullness of His glory and love. He asks for our hearts and faith and gives back infinitely more in return. He knows full well how weak we are, how fragile, how temporary our bodies are. He is God and we are not. So I say again Praise be to Jesus Christ my Lord!! And thank you, Jesus, for the amazingly beautiful gifts!!!😄❤
So, sometimes we need help. I asked a sister in Christ for help today. I generally just ask God for help. Today I was led to ask a sister in Christ for advice and received an encouraging true answer back in response. And it turns out my prayer has been ineffectual because I have been praying the wrong prayer. I thought it was one thing and it was something else. (I hate to be vague, but it is very personal but still want to share the praise.) In addition, she gave me great advice and actions to take aling with my prayer and fasting prayers. So I am over the top encouraged and am up for the long haul of a new prayer and action plan. And this is why we have a kingdom/church of heaven and not just individuals. Sometimes we need each other. Everyone has different gifts. And praise God for obedience in us and contrite hearts in us so we may do what He designed us to do and help each other out. Praise God Almighty!!! His design is perfect!!!😄❤❤❤
The longer I live and the closer I get to the Lord, the more sins He exposes in me so I can get them cleaned up and right/forgiven/confess/repent before I face Him in eternity. It is very kind of Him to show me the error of my ways. And it is humbling. For that I am thankful and truly feel loved. But I wanted to share in case anyone else needs help seeing it in themselves.
I always thought of myself as funny- don’t judge me lol. I also am thr most positive and optimistic person I know. However, in all my “funny”, I have a strong tendency to sarcasm, which is a disguised spirit of griping. Think about it. I have made almost a science of pointing out what was wrong in a flippant but real way and having fun at their expense. I have been a griper. “Venting” is another area I have been guilty of griping and criticising. And I was convicted how guilty I was. And I read in the Bible that God hates this practice. In fact, He had the ground swallow a good chunk of Israelites who were grumbling in the desert after being rescued from slavery in Egypt. That tells me grumbling is sin and is hated by God. And this makes sense because it is the opposite of thankfulness and praise.
So, I have had a major re-adjustment, yet another come to Jesus moment. And I am now working aggressively on a spirit of appreciation and praise, an obedience God will love in me, an act of worship to the precious God who made and saved me. And I am so very thankful to grow and change and see another fault within me to work on for God’s glory. Praise God!!!❤❤❤
So we finished “30-Day Praise Challenge” in my Sunday school class (which was amazingly good) and now we are growing more together with a larger class and we are starting “Attitude is Your Paintbrush: It Colors Every Situation” by James W. Moore. And the reading for this week (the first chapter) is about the attitude of gratitude.
I like what the book says. It says that we are born ungrateful (and rather selfish) and giving thanks is a learned behavior. Some of us take longer to learn that lesson but a sign of spiritual maturity is when gratitude is automatic.
I detest that horrible song that was popular in the 90’s, “What Have You Done for Me Lately?” I cringe even now when I hear that. It is the epitome of selfishness and our natural coarsest impulse. And those of us who really love the Lord will always resist that inclination and instead dwell on our gratefulness for every situation. That is entirely our choice and a sign of growth and spiritual development and maturity.
As made creatures in a made world, we truly need to be thankful for everything, our breath, the good, the bad, all of it. As made creatures, God loves us despite our lowly state of being made, where He has always been and always will be. We should be thankful for all of it then, that the God who made us provides all we need and even many wants out of love for us. It is truly amazing and we should thank Him consistently with an attitude of gratitude. ❤