Wednesday, November 23, 2016

So Grateful and Thankful

Do you have a gratitude list?

It's easy to make. Just sit still for a moment and jot down all the things you are grateful for, and then thank the Lord. Be gratefully thankful.

I'm grateful for a godly and loving husband. I pray for him daily, and I know that he does the same for me. And he's fun, too. Gotta love a man who laughs at his own jokes.

I'm thankful for a happy marriage. It's not as common as it used to be, and those of us who have this treasure need to be continuously thankful and willing to share what we've learned over the years of staying happily married.

I'm grateful for our three children (and a daughter-in-love). They are uniquely "themselves" and we have been enjoying the process of watching them grow into adults that can even pick up the tab. Ha ha. My turn to ask for a twenty!

I'm thankful for friends that I can call or text and say, "Can you come over for coffee?" And then we get caught up on our lives, our families, and our lessons that we're learning from the Lord. Whether we're laughing or crying, it's just good sister time.

I'm grateful that my parents taught me how to be a person of character. Their photos in my home office serve as reminders of the integrity that they demonstrated throughout their lives, and while I miss them both more than words can say, they are in me and I am of them. Do you talk to the loved ones in your photographs? I do. God understands, and I believe that He even relays our words to them if we ask Him. I'll find out if I was right or wrong when I see Him and them in Heaven.

I'm thankful for my church home. There is simply no way to describe all the important principles I've learned over the years, but suffice it to say, it has been more than a multitude. We were baby Christians when we first started attending First Baptist Church of Rosemount back in 1985, and it's hard to believe that so many years have zipped by since we first walked through those doors as visitors.

I'm grateful for my extended family members; especially my sisters. After the passing of our Mom, we are tighter than ever and I love it! While I wouldn't wish the pain of grieving on anyone, I wouldn't trade the blessing of the closeness it has brought into our lives.

I'm thankful for Christ's mercy on my soul, providing me with salvation free of charge to me but at tremendous cost to Him. Where would any of us be without the Lord? I hope He doesn't mind me talking to Him all throughout my days, and it's probably a good thing that I work alone in the home office so that we can have all these private conversations! It was a life-changing day when I heard this verse: "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Rom 10:13) And I love being a "whosoever"! 

I'm grateful. I'm thankful. This is just my starter-list of blessings, but I hope it will inspire you to count your own. Be gratefully thankful.

"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." (1Thess. 5:18)

A Thanksgiving message for those who are wondering about their relationship with Christ:
The same salvation I mentioned earlier is available to anyone. Paid in full, just waiting for the gift recipient to accept it. Being "saved" is a Bible term for being "born again," which is also a Bible term for accepting the free gift of salvation, which we all need:
1. God loves you. 
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
2. Everyone is a sinner. 
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God..." (Rom. 3:23)
3. Sin has a very high price tag.
"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Rom. 6:23)
4. Jesus paid it all.
"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8)
5. Ask Jesus Christ to be your Saviour now.
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." (Rom. 10:9)

www.keeptheheart.com

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Petty Little Things


You worked hard on that church event, but nobody recognized it. You aren't speaking to someone because you're holding a grudge over an offense that's so old it's growing mold. Your family wasn't personally invited to the fellowship (even though it was open to all), so you're considering changing churches. There is not one life-changing issue in this list of oversights, but it's often the little things that trigger big deals. Petty little things. Pettiness is a cause of many unnecessary disputes, leading people to have their days end poorly.

Are you allowing some small thing to keep you trapped in a swirling cloud of negative emotions? When we do this, we're being petty, and it hurts us and repels others. Pettiness is a lot like a flu virus; once you catch it, people don't want to get too close, and you will need to get over it before you can function again.

Pettiness comes when we allow minor issues to morph into major offenses. When we reach the age where we are (somewhat) free to indulge ourselves, we may stray into the zone of behaving like a toddler in a grown-up body, treating people any way we please. We may have our "favorites" who always get the best treatment, but then there are others who we feel free to snap at without a second thought. Are we dividing people into categories of those who are worthy of respect and those who fall somewhere below the bar of favor?

It's petty to categorize people when God has clearly stated "As it is written, There is none righteous, no not one..." (Romans 3:10)

It's petty to hold a grudge when we can forgive. "And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors." (Mat 6:12) Withholding forgiveness increases our indebtedness. 

It's petty to be angry because someone didn't do something our way. "He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him." (Pro 18:17)

Pettiness is the art of making mountains out of molehills, often leaving a trail of wounded bodies in our wake. Thankfully, there is a cure. The Lord knew that we may struggle with this character flaw, so He left us instructions that gently nudge us away from our tendency to make felonies out of minor faults. A very essential word transforms our relationships for the better:
"Others."
"Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others." (Phil. 2:3-4)

It takes thought and discernment to treat others with proper consideration, regardless of what they do or say. When we strip away the selfishness, pettiness fades.

"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." (Jhn 13:34) 

Do you know what happens when we consider others before ourselves? Life becomes more enjoyable and less stressful as we remove the faulty measurements and love sacrificially.

Instead of being trivial, let's be bountiful in love and consideration. We don't have to allow petty little things turn us into petty little people. 







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