Don’t Let Details Distract You From Thankfulness

“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 In the early 1970s, based on the popular comic strip Peanuts, the first “Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” aired on prime-time television. As a child, watching this show became one of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions. As an adult, it was one of the traditions I held dear with my own children. Not only because Linus’ prayer at the dinner table showed how to be thankful at Thanksgiving, but also because Peppermint Patty’s behavior showed how NOT to be. Peppermint Patty, upon sitting down at the Thanksgiving table, made the honorable suggestion to say grace before they began eating. But her reason for praying was because, “It’s Thanksgiving, you know.” Peppermint Patty initiated the call to prayer out of perceived obligation, but it was her actions which proved she only had head-knowledge of true thankfulness, not heart-knowledge. As soon as Linus said Amen, she looked around the table and details began to distract her from thankfulness for the gifts they’d been given. When her expectations of what Thanksgiving should look like didn’t match up with her reality, Patty got upset and irritated. She began to verbally express her dissatisfaction and became annoyed with one of the guests (Snoopy). She was agitated the food didn’t meet her traditional requirements. She complained and yelled, having quickly forgotten all about Linus’ prayer and the importance of being truly thankful. She became focused on annoyances instead of prayer and true gratitude. Unfortunately, this scene is all too familiar in households across the country at Thanksgiving. We have this idea of how we want the holiday to look, but our reality may not match up to our expectations. Difficult circumstances and details can distract us from indebtedness to God. Read more…


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Prayers That God Always Answers

 

 Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.    Psalm 66:20  “Use me to glorify you.” One of the Lord’s greatest desires is to use us to glorify him. Sometimes it can be hard to know what to do or where he is directing us.  Simply ask him and he will answer. It could be something as big as starting a non-profit for a specific cause or something small, but just as powerful, like buying a homeless person a meal. It could also be using the unique talents he has given you to reach other people for him.

 “Forgive my sins.” We serve a loving and merciful God and every one of us are sinners. There is no such thing as a perfect Christian. We all stumble and sometimes backslide, but by opening our hearts and confessing our sins we can be redeemed. The Lord died to save us from our sins. Not just that day on the cross, but everyday of our lives.
 
“Reveal yourself to me In the busyness of live, it can be hard to see and hear where the Lord is leading us. If we simply stop and ask him to reveal himself to us, he will, and it’s usually in awesome, amazing ways. He reveals himself in different ways to each one of us. To some of us, he is an inner voice, to others he speaks through visions and dreams. He also speaks at times by revealing the job, opportunity,or resources we need exactly when we need them. If you’re really struggling, take some time during the day to just get quiet and ask him to reveal himself in your life. Then get into the habit of noticing the smallest of things during your day. He doesn’t always reveal himself in big ways. Sometimes he reveals himself in small ways as well.
 
“Give me your wisdom” As the Bible tells us, we are not to lean on our own understanding. This can be especially hard in difficult times. When you are facing a situation where you don’t know what you should do, ask him to give you his wisdom. It may help to speak with your pastor or a trusted friend as well. Sometimes when we are all stressed out and “in our own minds” he will speak through a trusted clergy member/friend as to what you should do. Other times he will speak to you directly.
 
“Strengthen my obedience.” We all know that when the Lord asks us to do something, we need to be obedient. However, at times it can be very, very hard. For example, if we are waiting for something to happen, it can be hard not to take matters into our own hands. When you have days of anxiety and doubt, ask the Lord to strengthen your obedience. Ask him to help you to do what you have been commanded to do. For me, whenever I hear or see the phrase, “Be still and know that I am God.” it reminds me to be still and obedient. For he is working even if I can’t see it.   “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”    James 1:5 KJV  

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