Enjoying the Journey

Posts Tagged ‘Gratitude’

An Item for Praise and Prayer

Yesterday I had the privilege to speak to a group of pastoral staff men in the church where I am preaching. It was a joy to share with them truths that God and my pastor graciously taught me as a staff member. As I spoke to them I was reminded how truly grateful all of God’s people should be if they have a faithful pastor. Across this land there are hundreds of churches in need of shepherds to feed and lead the flock. If God has provided such a man for your family stop and thank the Lord today. What would it be like NOT to have a pastor? While you are praising God, write a note to your pastor…

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How to Keep Yourself Stirred

One of the hardest things in serving the Lord is keeping your own heart stirred about the work you have been given to do. We all struggle with it. It is called flesh. Flesh is weak. Flesh grows weary. You cannot trust the flesh. It is not difficult to get stirred – it is difficult to stay stirred! Without a doubt, emotions will come and go. There is an ebb and flow to life and ministry. But the Lord’s laborers should work to stay enthused about the most important work in the world – God’s work. Some people run from meeting to meeting always trying to find the formula. Others depend on some motivational speaker or leader to pump them up, prime…

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What’s On Your List?

Some time ago my wife challenged each member of our family to share three things for which we were grateful each night as we went to bed. It is easy to say the same things again and again (and hope that no one “steals” your list first!). The exercise was good for our home and for my own heart. I would recommend it to you and your family! One thing that I have noticed about many of our thanksgiving lists is that they often concentrate more on the material than they do the spiritual. I am grateful for God’s provision – food, clothing, and the beautiful place He has allowed us to live. Yet we must never forget that the…

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Daily Thanksgiving (Daily Living – Part 3)

I love Thanksgiving. (And, yes, I know this is not November!) For too many of us thanksgiving is a day of the year instead of a way of life. We have established a tradition without applying the truth. God never meant us to give thanks from time to time. He blesses us every day. This is why David wrote, “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah” (Psalm 68:19). Daily benefits deserve daily blessing. Notice that the “blessing” mentioned here is not the Lord blessing us, but us blessing Him. His blessings upon us are constant. It is our blessing and praising of His name that seems to waver. He continues…

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Why I Thank God for My 6th Grade Teacher

Teachers are powerful people.  This month thousands of teachers will be recognized.  Few will be appreciated as they deserve. As I think over my elementary, junior high, high school, college, and seminary years I remember quite a variety of teachers, and realize that God used each of them to help shape my life in some way. A few months ago my mother called and said that she had found an old book of mine at home and was sending it to me.  (My wife was very excited that I would have one more book to add to the collection around the house!)  This book was not a biography, a theological treatise, or one of the classics.  No. It was The Phantom…

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Giving Thanks on the Day After Thanksgiving

Recently an ad on the front page of the USA Today read, “WHO are you thankful for?”  When most of us list the things for which we are most grateful it is a list of what instead of who.  O yes, we say we are thankful for family.  But, who specifically? Or take for example the way we express gratitude for eternal life.  “I am thankful for salvation, grateful that I do not have to go to hell.  I am headed to heaven.”  We have reduced our thankfulness to something or someplace.  In reality, eternal life is Someone.  Eternal life is the life of the eternal One living in us!  We should be grateful for the Lord Jesus Christ. This same…

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My Thanksgiving List in One Sentence

Early this morning I woke up with one phrase on my mind.  It is repeated often in the Scripture – a familiar refrain.  One psalm in particular uses this powerful statement in every one of its twenty-six verses.  The inspired psalmist begins this way, “O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever” (Psalm 136:1). There it is.  His mercy endureth forever. Every blessing in my life hinges on that one truth.  Every good thing I enjoy and every judgment I have escaped is summarized in this: His mercy endureth forever. Take the time to meditate on Psalm 136.  At first glance it seems like a historical psalm.  In fact, it is a deeply personal one.…

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Thanks for Taking Time to Read

One of God’s priceless gifts is friendship.  Through the years I have begun to learn the lasting value of a true friend.  This week I was talking on the phone to a man who has been a constant encouragement to me when the Lord reminded me of this truth.  The right kind of friendships form a safety net for life.  They become God’s instruments to guard you from the wrong path and to guide you to the right one. This blog has become for me a source of sharing with so many friends.  An unexpected blessing has been the opportunity to gain many new friends along the way.  Some of my blogging friends I have never met in person, but…

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Thank God for My Pastor

For the last two decades I have had the joy of being under the same faithful pastor.  Recently I spent some time reflecting on what a joy it is just to have a pastor.  Growing up in a pastor’s home has helped me to realize that pastors are real people too!  They hurt and grieve.  They get tired and weary.  Yet in the midst of all of that they are called upon to minister to many other hurting, grieving people. Yes, pastors are a special group.  Their lives are wrapped up in everyone else’s lives.  Their homes are in many ways invaded by every one else’s family.  Their time is not theirs – it belongs to the flock that God…

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Top of the List: Why Was Jesus Thankful?

Like most of you I try to make a list each Thanksgiving of reasons for which I am grateful to God.  Obviously it is never complete because the blessings never end.  This year I have decided not to make a list.  I am taking the list of Another who is far better at thankfulness than I. The Gospel records provide insight not only into the prayer life of the Lord Jesus but into His “praise life.”  The Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief was constantly thanking His Father.  His thirty-three and a half years were spent not only considering the joy that was before Him (Hebrews 12:2) but also the joys that were all around Him.  This is where…

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