The Thankful Challenge

My salvation.  My relationship with God.  My wife.  My children.  My family.  Ministering for God.  You.  I am thankful.  I am grateful.  I am overwhelmed at how good God is to me.

What about you?

For what and for whom are you thankful?

We live in a world that seems to forget how important gratitude is.  Though we’ve been blessed in more ways than we could ever list or recognize, people seem to focus FAR more on what isn’t right – on what isn’t up to expectations – on disappointments.

Could that be a large part of the discontent and anger we see?  Could that be feeding the division and anger we see?  Could that be eating us alive?

What would our world look like if we looked for the good more than we look for the bad?  What would our world look like if we pointed out the good more than the bad?  What would our world look like if Christians pointed others to our good God more than to what we don’t like?

What could Thanksgiving really do if it was more than a date on the calendar?

I’ll tell you what… Let’s make a pact.  Even though November 25 is the day we call Thanksgiving this year, let’s make a point to point out things for which we are thankful every day of November this year.  Tell someone what you are thankful for – post online what you are thankful for – write some notes to express what you are thankful for – find a way a day to be thankful and share your thankfulness.  I have a strong suspicion that it will help our own attitudes as well as those who hear or read about it.

Remember – the news about Jesus (what He did, what He does, what He will do, and who He is) is Good News.  Let’s spread more of that than the bad news we can scrape up.

Let’s be a Thanksgiving People.

“Hallelujah!  Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his faithful love endures forever.” (Psalm 106:1)

“I will thank the LORD with all my heart; I will declare all your wondrous works.  I will rejoice and boast about you; I will sing about your name, Most High.” (Psalm 9:1-2)

And always remember that you are loved!

I Don’t Want a Fake Thanksgiving

You get to sleep in a little.  There are great parades on TV this morning (and we even know some people in them).  Some of the greatest football rivalries face off later.  The sales begin in a few hours.  Family is gathering.  And the food – oh, the food!

But is that really Thanksgiving?

What about those who don’t “feel” thankful?  Continue reading

When Africa Pierced My Heart (Part 5)

First, for those who followed the previous entries – my apologies.  This final post was supposed to be published months ago, but it was saved instead of published.  Oops.  Here is the post…

2017-05-02 12.43.18While I was in Uganda, I had the blessing and opportunity to spend one day ministering in several mountain villages Continue reading

By the Creator

monarchf          Summer is definitely upon us.  And that got me thinking about something I recently read about.

It isn’t uncommon to see butterflies migrating in late summer.  Some people get to see hundreds of them (at one time) clinging to tree limbs as they rest on their journey.

Some scientists reported finding 16 sites in central Mexico (ranging from 1-10 acres each) where millions and millions of monarch butterflies from North America spend the winter.  Continue reading

Too Busy Fishing?

Hudson-Taylor1            Hudson Taylor was a missionary to China for over 50 years.  Today he is seen as an incredibly effective soul-winner and church-planter.

One day he was traveling on a boat from Shanghai to Ningpo.  He had been witnessing to a man named Peter who rejected the Gospel but was under deep conviction.  In the course of events, Peter fell overboard, but no one made any effort to save him.  Taylor sprang to the mast, let down the sail, and jumped overboard in hopes of finding his friend.  But no one on board joined Taylor in his frantic search.

Taylor saw a fishing boat nearby and yelled to them to help, but they wouldn’t do it without money.  Finally, after bartering for every penny that Taylor had, the fishermen stopped their fishing and began to look for Peter.  Continue reading

A Christmas Version of 1 Corinthians 13

Author Sharon Jaynes may help us consider Christmas in a different light.  Consider her writing: “1 Corinthians 13: A Christmas Version”Sharon

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime Continue reading

Thanking is more than just for one day…

give_thanks_title_800x600            In 1911 the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre in Paris.  It was two years before it was recovered – to everyone’s relief.  But what is truly amazing is that during those two years more people came to see the empty spot where the painting had hung than had come to see the actual panting in the previous twelve years. Continue reading

“It needed the praise!”

apple-pie        A man was invited to the home of some friends for dinner.  The food was wonderful – except for the apple pie.  It wasn’t terrible, but it just didn’t measure up to the rest of the meal.  Even so, the guest went out of his way to find some good things to say about the pie.

Later, the man visited the home again and stayed for dinner.  Continue reading

Seasons Change

Fall          Don’t you just love this time of the year?  The temperature is dropping, the days are getting a little shorter, and the leaves will soon be changing colors.  When you walk outside, it is actually refreshing.

Of course, we know why it’s like this – God set the process in motion.  As the Earth moves to a different location, things change.  The sun is always there – shining – but the Earth moves closer and further, closer and further.  And seasons change.

Your life is like that, too.  Continue reading

You Never Know What It Will Do

Enourage-Someone-Photo-583x465          H. T. Webster was a famous newspaper cartoonist.  He once did something to amuse himself, but he ended up discovering something.

He picked twenty of his friends and sent them congratulatory telegrams.  None of them had actually done anything outstanding for which they should be congratulated, but to each one he sent a one-word message, “Congratulations.”

He thought that was funny, until a few days later Continue reading