Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘gratitude’

Hold On to What is Valuable


Today’s devotional e-mail from  titw@moody.edu spoke to me. I have included it here for you, my friends.

Have a beautiful day, and let us remember to be grateful for all our many blessings as we remember, “You are blessed to be a blessing.”

 

Today in the Word
December 2018

 

The Gospel of Matthew: The King Has Come
HOLDING ON TO WHAT IS VALUABLE
Wednesday, December 19, 2018 | Matthew 19:16–30
In the children’s novel Where the Red Fern Grows, the main character, Billy, tries and fails to trap a raccoon until his grandfather teaches him a foolproof method: drill a hole into a log, place a shiny object at the bottom, and then drive nails into the hole at a downward angle. This allows the raccoon to reach its hand in, but keeps it from pulling its hand back out so long as it is holding the trinket. The trap works because raccoons are too greedy to let go of shiny things.

A raccoon in such a predicament has much in common with the rich young man Jesus encountered in Matthew 19. The man’s initial question indicated his desire for eternal life. But the man’s hold on the shiny things of this world prevented him from pursuing that desire.

When Jesus told him that if he wanted to be righteous he would have to sell his possessions and give the proceeds to the poor, the young man went away sad. And one can understand why. He wanted it both ways: to be defined by his financial wealth and to receive the spiritual riches of eternal life. With his hand grasped tightly around worldly possessions, he could not pursue the heavenly treasures reserved for those willing to sacrifice such things to follow Jesus (vv. 28–29).

Because of the tendency of wealth to elicit such grasping, we might regard it as inherently dangerous. But the deeper danger is the grasping response itself, for we might also grasp after power, status, or other earthly goods (see 1 Tim. 6:10). As we hold too tightly to such things, we find that they are in fact holding on to us and hindering us from pursuing the kingdom of God.

APPLY THE WORD
What earthly goods or status do you most desire? Does your desire hinder you from following Jesus? Pray that God would help you to loosen your grip on anything that might keep you from pursuing His kingdom with your fullest devotion. And give thanks to the God of salvation with whom “all things are possible” (v. 26).

 

If you enjoyed this devotional, you may want to subscribe to “Today in the Word” and receive your daily devotional from Moody, also. Just write to titw@moody.edu.

In addition to giving thanks for my earthly goods, and praying to loose my grip on them, I also am giving thanks today to God for answered prayer. Earlier this month I had an ultrasound that showed a mass in my bladder (Of course, hearing that, we all thought CANCER). The doctor ordered a CT scan to confirm the mass. The results were inconclusive. Yesterday was my appointment with the urologist to get to the bottom of what’s going on “down there.” Friends from far and near prayed for me and for conclusive results and a “fix-it plan.” I felt the love and concern of those prayers. I relaxed, and knew I was in God’s hands. I am ever so grateful for family/friends, their love, and God’s grace. The camera that scoped the bladder revealed NO TUMOR. God is good. All the time!

So Thankful!


So Thankful!

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That sweet little girl
I hugged tight ten years ago
Is coming today

She’s now twenty-two
Grown up so fast as kids do
Families change, don’t they?

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So thankful for them!
Happy Thanksgiving, my friends.
I’m thankful for you!

affection appreciation decoration design

Photo by Carl Attard on Pexels.com


Enjoy the bounties of this season

And be sure to count your blessings!
What are you grateful for today?

variety of vegetables

Photo by Ella Olsson on Pexels.com

G = Gratitude


“The simple practice of gratitude can change our lives. Sages throughout the centuries have noted: As we count our blessings, they multiply.”

A quote from Unity.com

Gratitude is my word for Day #7 in my series of “What Makes Me Happy.”

Yes, gratitude makes me happy – but it’s not so much the thank yous from others as much as it is my own Attitude of Gratitude.

“Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.” I don’t know who first said that, but I agree. And I would add, it is all about appreciating what you have and acknowledging those gifts. Life is a gift. Thank God today for green grass, gruyere, grace and all those “G” words that make you happy.

Mine include grandkids, Guideposts devotionals, and Goff (that’s Bob Goff who wrote Love Does and founded that fantastic organization, Pure Love Does, that reaches out to help so many. Do you know him? Get his book, if you haven’t already!). Google him! (Oh, that’s another G word for which I am grateful) And guess what? As I was writing this post, i received an e-mail from Bob Goff! His new book, Love Does for Kids, was just released. TODAY! How timely, huh?

Thank you, blogging friends. I am grateful for you, too!

What are you grateful for today?

Life’s a Teeter-Totter


Twenty-seven years ago I wrote the poem that’s framed in the picture above (when I still considered myself a kid). I presented it as a birthday gift to my mom. When she left this earth a few years ago, I inherited the poem and the ceramic, musical mice in the teeter-totter that accompanied it.

Yesterday a blogging friend wrote a piece about “Balance.” She asked if it gets easier to find balance in life as we get older. I recalled this poem and told her I would post it today.

Rereading it now with 27 extra birthdays under my belt, I believe the “IFs” in here still are relevant today. And without that foundation of love, I would imagine finding balance is a bigger life-long struggle than it is for those whose home, mother, family and friends provided the love and stability we all crave.

What do you think?

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Life is Like a Teeter-Totter

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Life is like a teeter-totter,

Full of ups and downs.

Kids learn to roll and toss with it,

To shake away the frowns,

If they have had a loving home

To lean back and reminisce on when they roam.

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Life is like a teeter-totter,

Full of bounces and of bumps.

Kids learn to rock with a jolly jump

And shake away the lumps

If they have had a loving mother

To hug them tight and with kisses smother.

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Life is like a teeter-totter,

It works better in pairs.

They keep each other balanced

And handle life in shares –

If they have had their mother’s arms

To guard against abuse and harms.

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Life is like a teeter-totter,

Full of laughs and silly giggle.

Full of noise and wonderment –

Girls to squeeze and boys that wiggle –

If they have been secure in love,

Both from home’s hearth and God above.

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Thank you, Mom, for filling my life

With love. More ups than downs, for sure.

You seemed to know my every need.

For every hurt, you had a cure.

Happy Birthday, Mother dear –

I thank God every day that you are near!

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If you had a happy, loving home, with a mom who provided that sense of security and the ready help when you needed it, I bet you are able to keep life’s teeter-totter in better balance than those folks who missed that connection. How would you characterize your childhood? Did you have a mom who helped you have a greater chance for a balanced life?

Chico Paints Bob


Chico and Bob sit at the table

Chico paints as well as he’s able

Amazing indeed, with arms so small,

That he can create such art at all

But Chico doesn’t let his different condition

Thwart his creativity or hinder ambition

He can do what he sets his mind to do

Such an inspiration to me and you!

Well of Gratitude


blur calm close up daylight

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

Well of Gratitude

Stop by the Well of Gratitude.
Drink deeply of its flow.
Think of all your many blessings.
Let your thankfulness show.

Daily count your friendships
Among your many gifts.
Don’t forget to appreciate
And thank those who so uplift.

Know that you are fortunate
To live the life you do.
So drink deeply from the Well
That’s flowing freely for you.

FATHER


The poem below is one I found in a box of my mom’s favorite poems. She had this one memorized and used to recite it (along with others she had committed to memory) at various public gatherings and her Rebekah’s Lodge meetings.

FATHER

Used to wonder just why Father

Never had much time for play;

Used to wonder why he’d rather

Work each minute of the day.

Used to wonder why he never

Loafed along the road and shirked.

Can’t recall a single time whenever

Father played, while others worked.

Father never dressed in fashion,

Sort of hated clothing new;

Style with him was not a passion,

He had other things in view.

Boys are blind to much that’s going

On about ’em day by day.

And I had no way of knowing

What became of Father’s pay.

All I knew was when I needed

Shoes, I got ’em on the spot

Everything for which I pleaded

Somehow, Father always got.

Wondered, season after season,

Why he never took a rest

And that I might be the reason,

That, I never even guessed.

Wanted me to go to college

Dad was great on learning stuff

Always said that having knowledge

Helped a man through places rough.

But I thought it too much bother,

And I loitered day by day,

Wasting time, ignoring a Father,

Now I know I’ll have to pay.

Saw his cheeks were getting paler,

Didn’t understand just why;

Saw his body growing frailer,

Then at last I saw him die.

Rest had come, his tasks had ended,

Calm was written on his brow;

Father’s life was big and splendid –

And I understand it now.

Poet Unknown

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