Tag Archives: thankfulness

Numbers 5; Psalm 39; Song of Songs 3; Hebrews 3

“Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.
Remind me that my days are numbered—
how fleeting my life is.
You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.
My entire lifetime is just a moment to you;
at best, each of us is but a breath.” (Ps 39:4-5 NLT)

The older I’ve gotten, the faster time seems to go. When I was young and raising a family, I never really thought about how quickly life passes. I pull out the pictures. First steps, first day of school, soccer teams, high school graduation, weddings, and now grandchildren. Where did the years go? Precious years with precious memories. Thank you, Lord, for every one of the memories. You have blessed me more than I can stand. I am overwhelmed by your goodness. There have been hard, painful years but I never walked through one day without you. Even before I knew you, you were drawing me to you. I pray to live the rest of my days praising you and telling others of your great love for each of us.

We are merely moving shadows,
and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.
We heap up wealth,
not knowing who will spend it.
And so, Lord, where do I put my hope?
My only hope is in you. (Ps 39:6-7 NLT)

Heavenly Father, please forgive me for the times I let busyness get in the way of spending time with you. Even the most difficult days are easier to bear when we’ve spent time together. Nothing in this world has eternal value like the love I get from you and pass on to others. How do I love well unless you’ve loved me first? How do I give to others when I’ve not stopped to let you fill me first? Every day you wait for me. Your word directs my steps, encourages me, imparts knowledge, and wraps around me like a warm blanket. It is in you I put my hope.

12 Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. 13 You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. 14 For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ. (Heb 3:12-14 NLT)

Thank you for the sisters in Christ who do life with me. They love me enough to cheer me on, but to also quickly point out and warn me when they see me heading in the wrong direction. Often they see the enemy at work when I do not. If I’m believing lies, they tell me the truth. They listen and do not judge. They encourage me to press on, to trust God, to serve others, and to overcome fear. You have used them mightily in my life and I am so grateful.

Lord, I know each day brings me closer to coming home. My days are numbered. I pray in Jesus name to make the most of each one. I pray to encourage those who need courage, listen to those who need to share, and cheerfully give to others out of the abundance of all you’ve given me. Amen

Cindy (gardnlady)

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Filed under 66 Books, Hebrews, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Psalms

Song of Solomon 1-3; 1 Thessalonians 5; Psalms 72

“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NLT

This has always been one of my favorite verses. One that I would recite when I didn’t feel like being joyful, thankful, grateful. But, after reading it in context, I see it in a new way. It is keeping me alert and on guard until Jesus returns. It reminds me that there is a hope when I might have lost it. If I give thanks out of obedience my attitude changes. I see things differently. A devotional that I read on this verse mentions, an attitude of prayer. What does that mean in my day to day life? Humility, hope, resting in God’s sovereignty, trust…not defaulting to worry.

“But you aren’t in the dark about these things, dear brothers and sisters, and you won’t be surprised when the day of the Lord comes like a thief. For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night. So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and clearheaded. Night is the time when people sleep and drinkers get drunk. But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation.” 1 Thessalonians 5:4-8 NLT

Joy is a weapon.

“For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. Christ died for us so that, whether we were dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:8-11 NLT

Dear Father, Help me to cultivate a grateful heart. Help me to remember that you can use trials for your glory. That you work all things together for good. Amen.

“He will rescue the poor when they cry to him; he will help the oppressed, who have no one to defend them.” Psalms 72:12 NLT

Amy(amyctanner)

 

 

 

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1 Chronicles 16; James 3; Obadiah 1; Luke 5

On that day David gave to Asaph and his fellow Levites this song of thanksgiving to the Lord:

Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. Sing to him; yes, sing his praises. Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds. Exult in his holy name; rejoice, you who worship the Lord. Search for the Lord and for his strength; continually seek him. Remember the wonders he has performed, his miracles, and the rulings he has given, you children of his servant Israel, you descendants of Jacob, chosen ones.” 1 Chronicles 16:7-14

We each took turns writing what we are thankful for on a pumpkin. On the days I’m not feeling thankful, it reminds me of God’s faithfulness to my family. How does thankfulness become a way of life?  As David says, I need to continually seek the Lord. I look back at the notes I took on Sunday… “Thankful hearts run to God and not away. Thankfulness begins in my thinking. Do I trust the heart of the Father? Thankfulness is a sacrifice when storms come, when disappointment comes. Thankfulness isn’t a response to my circumstances, my circumstances respond to my thankfulness.” I can learn a lot from David. He wasn’t just thankful when he felt like it. His spoken and penned words had the power to change his perspective.

Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does. Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise! He is to be feared above all gods.” 1 Chronicles 16:24&25 NLT

I have so many things to be grateful for, but oh how quickly I can become discontent. When I focus on what I don’t have, instead of what I do. And start comparing myself to others. But, when I worship and write down the numerous ways he has provided, my heart overflows with gratitude. I pray this would spill over into every area of my life. His praise coming out of my mouth more than anything else.

People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth.” James 3:7-10NLT

Lord, I need you!

Jesus answered them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor-sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent.” Luke 5:31 NLT

Dear Father, I praise you for who you are. I want to cultivate a grateful heart. You are good! Amen.

Amy(amyctanner)

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Filed under 1 Chronicles, 66 Books, James, Luke

1 Kings 22; 1 Thessalonians 5; Daniel 4; Psalms 108, 109

Our credit card number was stolen and charged fraudulently (the second time this year). My husband texted me early yesterday morning to ask if I had been shopping for shoes. No? He cancelled the card, which instantly redirected the day I planned.

Instead, I set about local tasks–one including tracking down the cleared title to my dad’s truck so we can sell it for his estate. It meant going to the MVA, which I had been putting off for months because–it’s the MVA.

I explained my situation to the first clerk, who told me I’d have to purchase a replacement and they would mail it to his house (out of town and the mail service forwarded). A second clerk said the mail couldn’t be forwarded and I’d have to go to the main office (much further away) and get it there. Then they handed me a wait ticket to meet with someone else.

I explained to this third helper what my situation was, and reiterated for confirmation what I was told at the first desk. She typed some things into her computer. A Whitney Houston song (I Wanna Dance With Somebody) came on their music system and my daughter pulled at my arm.

“Mom!” she said, and smiled. I sing this song to my dog almost daily, and she dances and prances for a treat she knows is coming. I told the clerk as much as my daughter and I grinned large–and the clerk smiled and giggled with us too.

The next thing I know, the clerk steps away to talk to a manager and comes back with a freshly printed, cleared title and we’re on our way.  (Thank you, Lord!) There were other big tasks to complete locally, and we got them moving along. (Only You, Jesus!)

When I got home, for the first time in many weeks, I felt lighter. (So grateful, God.)

There have been several times lately that God has put an abrupt stop to my plans. And when he does, I feel he makes a different way available to me. With a day that started with a cancelled card, I actually got more accomplished than if I’d been able to proceed with my original plan.

I read it twice this morning, once here and once on an Instagram image:

16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NLT)

This year has felt overwhelming to me with the tasks and emotions associated with grief and loss. At times I’ve felt a real pressure of a weight upon my shoulders and heart. However, all along, I have sensed God’s hand involved in the details, in ways I never imagined. Even to the way he grabbed my attention with a song yesterday, like he was saying, “Pay attention. I don’t want you to miss this.” Title in hand, same day. And it didn’t stop there.

Lord, I know you are moving in my life and in my sister’s life. Thank you for people who help us. Yesterday was a miracle and blessing from start to finish, even though it seemed a bummer beginning. Thanks for focusing my wandering, worried mind on you.

Courtney (66books365)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Uncategorized

Psalm 136-138; 1 Corinthians 9

Beside the rivers of Babylon, we sat and wept
    as we thought of Jerusalem.
We put away our harps,
    hanging them on the branches of poplar trees.
For our captors demanded a song from us.
    Our tormentors insisted on a joyful hymn:
    “Sing us one of those songs of Jerusalem!”
But how can we sing the songs of the Lord
    while in a pagan land? Psalm 137:1-4, NLT

The psalmist asks how can they sing songs in a pagan land, in their tears, among tormentors–it comes just after psalm 136, a song of thanks, and the refrain is still fresh in my head.

Give thanks to the Lord.

While it’s not part of today’s reading, a verse in 1 Thessalonians 5 comes to mind about giving thanks in all circumstances. In rough patches in life, I didn’t know how to give thanks for awful things that happened. It was a huge disconnect for me: I was supposed to be thankful for (loss, betrayal, hardship)? I tried to work that out in my head and felt like I had this Christianity thing kinda wrong. How come I couldn’t be thankful for (it)? Were other Christians able to be thankful for their hardships? At some point it occurred to me: I didn’t have to be thankful for it, but I could be thankful in it.

While I wasn’t thankful for (heartache), I was thankful for my two children who’d eagerly climb onto my lap to hear a story. I was thankful for a good cup of coffee and warm socks on my feet. For chocolate in the freezer and friends who stood by me. On the hardest days, it was finding thanks anywhere I could that kept me afloat. God never failed me. He would dazzle me with sunrises (Give thanks to him who made the heavens so skillfully. His faithful love endures forever. Psalm 136:5, NLT) and surprise me with beauty in the world.

It started as a little list of little things. Of the ones I’ve numbered, I’m nearly at 6,000.

“Enjoy the little things in life because one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.”

All these little things show me that even during the roughest patches of my life, God covered me. (23 He remembered us in our weakness. His faithful love endures forever. 24 He saved us from our enemies. His faithful love endures forever. Psalm 136:23-24, NLT) He was there with me. My life wasn’t defined by the awful things, shaped certainly, but not defined. When I look back at the trials, it’s a trail of counting blessings. To think I could have kept a running written list of everything that had been wrong. My life would tell a very different story.

Though I am surrounded by troubles,
    you will protect me from the anger of my enemies.
You reach out your hand,
    and the power of your right hand saves me.
The Lord will work out his plans for my life—
    for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever.
    Don’t abandon me, for you made me. Psalm 138:7-8, NLT

Thank you, Lord, that you work out the plans for my life, for your faithful love endures forever.

Courtney (66books365)

My gratitude list was inspired by Ann Voskamp at www.aholyexperience.com.

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, ESV Through the Bible in a Year