saying thank you to God


google images

google images

My  husband and I received a blessing today. Here is what Oswald Chambers wrote for his January 6th devotion for My Utmost For His Highest. 

 

“Whenever you get a blessing from God, give it back to Him as a love gift. Take time before God and offer the blessing back to Him in a deliberate act of worship. If you hoard a thing for yourself, it will turn into spiritual dry rot………..God will  never let you hold a spiritual thing for yourself, it has to be given back to Him that He may make it a blessing to others.”

But how? Do I find a way to give back right away?  Do I wait and watch and listen for that prompt from God as to something specific?  How is it even possible to give a blessing back to God?

Some authors suggest an extra financial gift to a needy organization.

There are times when saying “Thank you, God”, just doesn’t seem enough. For God it probably is but do we always want to do just enough? Aren’t there times we want to do much more?Today is one of those days for me.

I have decided I will be alert for a special prompt these next few days but until then I want to do something today. So here it is.

First of all, would you thank God with me for this blessing we’ve received? (Details will not be included here as this is going out on Facebook. I can tell you we didn’t win the lottery though. Seeing as we never buy tickets that’s pretty much a guarantee. 🙂 I would love to think that the heavens are being inundated with praise. And secondly, as you go about your day, would you be alert to that stranger that might need a prayer? And would you offer one up for them?

Years ago when I was in Brazil, I sat poolside on the roof of our hotel and noticed an unusual bird flying nearby. I was feeling pretty alone that day as my husband was working and no one else was on the roof with me. I kept watching that singular bird and thought how much we were alike. Both of us by ourselves. But soon that bird was joined by a flock of birds and he was no longer alone. Other people showed up on the roof and I was no longer alone.

For some strange reason, I felt God “speaking ” to my heart that day and tell me to pray for those people on the roof. I had never felt the urge to pray for complete strangers before, but I did. I mean how does one pray for a stranger? I found it far easier than I would have thought and even today, years later, I often find myself praying for people I don’t know.

And just one last thought. Remember, that prayer you offer up for that stranger today may be the ONLY prayer that has or ever will be prayed over that person. That really puts a different spin on things, doesn’t it? (I’ll be sure to write a post about that soon.) We know that no prayer ever goes unheeded. God hears them all.

Notice that stranger today and let God lead you to the words you will pray. You will both be blessed and thus I will have passed on my blessing to you while you have passed it on to others.

God bless and let me know how it goes.

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an alphabet of thanks “V”


google images

google images

(OK. I do know my alphabet. How “U” got published before “T”, I don’t have a clue.)

Anyway………today I’m thankful for all the “voices” in my life. The voices that encourage me. The voices that challenge me. The voices that make me grow up. The voices that soothe me. The voices that calm me down.  The voices that irritate me. The voices that make me mad. I’m grateful for all of them.

But mostly I’m grateful for the “The Voice”.  God’ voice.  I believe I hear Him in all the human voices I hear every day. It’s so easy to get caught up in thinking that God’s voice is always ethereal, mysterious, always “holy” sounding. But the more I learn to recognize God’s voice, the more I hear Him in the most ordinary people and in the most ordinary circumstances. Yes, sometimes I hear Him in the most magnificent of ways but not usually.

So today I’m grateful for all the voices I hear every day.  I hope I always listen to the most subtle of messages from the most unexpected of people. Those that aren’t like me, that don’t believe like me, that don’t think like me and even those that don’t believe like me.

Especially those that don’t believe like me.

Boston


 garden bench (375x500)

I’ll never understand why there are people in this world who seem to live only to hurt others. Wait a minute, yes, I do.  There is evil in this world, therefore there are evil people.

Some misguided persons can suggest that these people have been hurt themselves which is why they hurt others. Sorry.  That doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Ninety-nine percent of the people in the world have probably been hurt in some form or another but they don’t go around planting bombs meant not to kill but to horribly maim and disfigure people for the rest of their lives. There is no reason we need to waste a tear on these perpetrators of evil. We needn’t  “understand” their motives.

We don’t need to delves into their religious beliefs.  They use their religion to justify their behavior. It doesn’t. Only fringe elements of established religions condone violence.

They need to be treated as what they are-evil people bent on destroying others. They are terrorists.  But we must be careful not to assign ethnicity to these people until we learn who they are.  They might well be American citizens or simply some nut-job. It’s too easy at a time like this to jump to conclusions and condemn a whole nation or ethnic group of people.

Evil is not unique to any one group, one religion, or one country. Our own history should tell us that.  So before we look around this week and harshly judge those of different skin color, ethnicity or religion, lets just remember that evil, like goodness, know no boundaries.

thankfulness/Q


Noise?

Noise? (Photo credit: AGrinberg)

Quality, qualify, quake, quarrel, quilt, quiet, quirky.

Today I am thankful for quiet. (Quiet doesn’t necessarily mean lack of noise. We can be quiet within even when it’s noisy around us. But for this post, I’m referring to quiet as the lack of noise.) I’m not one of those people who need someone around all the time. I don’t mind being alone especially when I can have quiet time. I find I listen and think better when it’s quiet.

Religious leaders from all faiths have extolled the importance of quiet for meditation. In Christian vernacular, quiet times refer to the times we set aside to read our Bibles and pray.  Although I still read and study my Bible, there seem to be more and more times I remain quiet and just listen. Every once in awhile I like some extended time of total quiet. When even my own voice is not allowed to break the silence.

There has been considerable research about noise and stress and the conclusion has been that noise is a huge stress factor in the world. It certainly didn’t use to be that way. Life was simply quieter a hundred years ago because life was, well, simple. Of course we can turn off the noise if we choose. We just seldom choose. But complete quiet is hard to get used to. Most of us are uncomfortable with quiet. There are reasons for uneasiness.

When we are quiet, the chatter in our head subsides to a whisper. That’s when our demons can come to haunt us. We are faced with our fears and insecurities. That doesn’t scare me like it used to. I’m learning to be comfortable with the “quieter” version of me.

Most of us are going to go through a period of quietness before we leave this earth.  Due to the infirmities that accompany old age, we will have no choice.  Being comfortable with “quiet” and being unafraid to face ourselves will prepare us. I hope this doesn’t sound maudlin but the truth is unless our lives are “interrupted”, we are going to experience old age. If we want to be a serene, contented elderly person, we need to be a serene contented 20, 30, 40, etc year old person. 

The future always begins with the present.