From the Word

“Praise be to the Lord, for he has heard my cry for mercy. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. The Lord is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever.” (Psalm 28:6-9)

Notable Quotables

“Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.” (Alphonse Karr)

“A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.” (Seneca)

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” (Epicurus)

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive—to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love—then make that day count!” (Steve Maraboli)

“In normal life we hardly realize how much more we receive than we give, and life cannot be rich without such gratitude.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

Around the Net

The Disruptive Nature of Thanksgiving (Dan DeWitt)
We usually think of Thanksgiving in terms of a feast. But as we see in the book of Acts, true thanksgiving can actually be disruptive. “As you prepare for Thanksgiving, remember the God who gave the seasons and the harvest, food and gladness. Let it be a reminder to turn from vain things, things that can never satisfy us in and of themselves. . . . Let’s eat and declare to our friends, family members, and neighbors the God from whom all good gifts flow. And let’s eat in anticipation of another feast we will one day share with all of our brothers and sisters.”

3 Ways Jesus Transforms Holiday Stress (Bryan Stoudt)
“I love the holidays and guess that many of you do, too. But we also know that they bring some serious stress and challenges that threaten to rob us of the gratitude and joy that God intends. . . . What is it about the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s that seems to set us on edge? Even though we can’t control the challenges and stress that come with the holidays, we know that God—Immanuel—will be with us. And that changes everything. Not all at once, but one step at a time. Here are three ways we can take the next step this holiday season.”

How to Feel Lasting Comfort through the Hard Days (Joni Eareckson Tada)
“Don’t ask me how the Holy Spirit does it, but when we do the Word—actually do it—something splits the seams of heaven and pours out a shower of blessings. Like in Psalm 18:6, ‘In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple, he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.’ There are scores of verses that say the same: if you hurt, cry out to the Lord. Don’t read it demurely; say it like you mean business. He loves to see us put his Word to the test.”

When You Find Yourself Saying, ‘God Can’t Save My Child’ (Kole Farney)
“Perhaps you have laughed in unbelief at someone who spoke of your child, ‘He is not beyond the grace of God,’ or ‘she is not too lost for Jesus to find.’ In your heart, you respond hopelessly, “She is dead! He is utterly lost!” Jesus tells you with stern tenderness, ‘Do not fear, only believe.’ Will you trust God with your children, or will you doubt? Let your children see you full of faith as you pray for their conversion. Model confidence in God, rather than confidence in your own parenting skills.”

You Are Not Your Personality Profile (Aaron Armstrong)
“I actually think personality profiles are pretty helpful. They can help you navigate the quirks of your personality and work habits. To know what to watch out for in yourself (positively and negatively), while also doing the same for others. Basically, they can help you serve others well while understanding how God wired you. Where I get a little nervous is when I see people using them in two ways. The first is getting too dogmatic about them. The second is using them as an excuse for how we behave. That’s not what these are meant to be used for.”

Something to Ponder

“To be grateful is to recognize the love of God in everything he has given us—and he has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of his love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from him. Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.”

­– Thomas Merton

The Glory of Creation

Heading into the Holidays

railroad-tracks-fall-treesImage Credit: @EarthPix

Into All the World

“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say thank you?” (William Arthur Ward)

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