Enjoying the Journey

Several years ago I had the joy of speaking to a large group of children on the subject of thanksgiving. In preparation I learned how to say thank you in several languages. While I am quite sure that my pronunciation was not perfect, we had fun teaching the kids to say thanks in Japanese, Chinese, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, German, French, and Russian. To this day it is the only word I know in most of those languages! Sometimes the hardest thing we have to do is learn to say thank you in our own language. As a small child I remember my parents giving me something and quickly asking, “What do you say?” The longer I live I am convinced…

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God’s people are commanded to give thanks at all times and in all circumstances – not when we feel like it. Praise is a choice and gratitude is a discipline. Thanks doesn’t begin in the emotion, it begins in the will. Will we obey? “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20). “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Every good fruit grows in the garden of gratitude. When we give God thanks the Lord works in every direction… Only God gets the glory. Praise is a humbling thing, a recognition that we are…

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We live by lists! Grocery lists, to do lists, lists to keep up with our lists. At this particular time in our world people are more reflective. God has providentially allowed us to have time to meditate and ponder what is truly important. The question is: will we remember what we are learning? Someone said that a short pencil is better than a long memory. It is so easy to forget what God is impressing on our minds. I learned as a student in college that if I intended to take action on something or share it with others then first I had to write it down. After our Lord’s miracle of feeding the five thousand He had the disciples…

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Many years ago I learned how to say thank you in a variety of different languages. I am no linguist. The languages that I have taken have not taken on me! But it was enjoyable to learn how to say thank you in Spanish, German, Arabic, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Russian, and French. I have used this in my travels and found that everyone enjoys a thank you…especially in their own language. This week I returned from speaking in a prayer conference in Quebec, Canada. It was my first time to this French-speaking province and I was truly blessed by the kindness of God’s people there. The family of God is wonderful wherever you go. My messages were all translated into…

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There are many commands given to God’s people. Each of the Lord’s commands are given for our good and His glory. This is certainly the case for the command most often repeated in Scripture. More than any other admonition in the Word of God we are commanded to praise the Lord! Why does God repeat this so frequently? Praise is purifying. When we begin to praise we come into the presence of the Lord, and His presence purifies every other part of life! Praising Christians are kept happy, holy, and humble. As we enter the month of November there will be much talk of giving thanks. Thanksgiving must be more than a holiday. This season of thanks should be a…

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This week I had the joy of hearing a couple of reports that were overwhelming. In a world of bad news it is encouraging to hear of definite answers to prayer, spiritual victories being won. As a family we rejoiced in the way God is at work in the lives of people for whom we have prayed. As I shared the good news with others I found myself saying, “Did you hear what the Lord did?” Oh, how that must please Him! We speak all to frequently about what we have done or about what others are doing. When was the last time you spoke of some definite thing that the Lord did? This must have been the passion of…

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Through the years I have written a number of things about making the most of the mornings. (You may read several articles about how to begin your mornings here.) In Genesis 1 we repeatedly find the phrase, “the evening and the morning.” Evening hours and morning hours serve as bookends on each day. It is vital that we learn how to both begin and end with God. Interestingly enough, the Jewish people viewed the beginning of a new day in the evening. The Jewish day began at 6 pm. It was not just the ending of one day, it was the beginning of another. Evenings should be a time to reflect on God’s faithfulness that day and prepare your heart for the…

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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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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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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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