From the Word
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” (Psalm 100:1-5)
“Thankfulness creates gratitude, which generates contentment that causes peace.” (Todd Stocker)
“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” (John F. Kennedy)
“In the past I always thought of gratitude as a spontaneous response to the awareness of gifts received, but now I realize that gratitude can also be lived as a discipline.” (Henri J. M. Nouwen)
“Gratitude is the ability to experience life as a gift. It liberates us from the prison of self-preoccupation.” (John Ortberg)
“Ingratitude produces pride while gratitude produces humility.” (Orrin Woodward)
Around the Net
The Greatness of Giving Thanks (Keving DeYoung)
Thirteen letters in the New Testament come from the hand of Paul. In 9 of them he explicitly gives thanks for the recipients. Imprisoned though he often was, Paul was a man marked by gratitude. “Being grateful has little to do with your circumstances. Sure, it’s easier to be happy when everything is coming up roses, but we’ve all known people who seem to have everything, and yet are terrifically unhappy. Conversely, we all know people who seem to find hidden blessings in every trial. Grumbler or thanks-giver: we really do have a choice.”
The Scientific Connection Between Gratitude and Happiness (David Murray)
“Studies have shown that gratitude is a powerful force for creating positive changes in individuals, families, and organizations. According to Sonja Lyubomirsky, a research professor of psychology, ‘The expression of gratitude is a kind of metastrategy for achieving happiness.’ Here are some of the research findings, published in books such as The Happiness Advantage, Flourish, and Optimal Functioning.” We Christians start with an advantage here, given that our whole faith is based on grace, an undeserved salvation freely given to us by a gracious God.
Thanksgiving: Not a Pollyanna Game but a Game-Changer (Ann Voskamp)
Had I listened to the earlier (and overblown) criticisms of Ann’s theology, I never would have encountered the beauty and brilliance of her inspirational writings. So I’m glad I read her stuff for myself. As I see it, there’s a place in this world where the grace of God intersects the woundedness of people, and Ann describes that place like few people can. She’s real, raw, gentle, honest, and wise. And she’s always filled with hope. May her tribe increase. In today’s post, she poignantly illustrates how “thanksgiving can be life giving.” Read for yourself. She may help you—as she does me—love Jesus more. And that’s good theology.
Struggling Toward Thanksgiving (Trevin Wax)
“I know many others are, like us, struggling toward Thanksgiving this year. Please know you’re not alone. There is no guilt in weeping. Even our Lord wept. There is no shame in barely hanging on to threads of hope. We look ahead into the darkness of grief with that all-too-common mix of trepidation and trust. We know that God will not waste our sufferings, and so, with as feeble and frail a whisper we can muster this year, still we say: Jesus, thank you.”
54th Anniversary of the Kennedy Assassination:
The JFK Assassination Files Lead Back to Seattle (Rick Anderson)
“The latest release of government records collected from the investigation into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy did little to silence conspiracy theories. That includes a Seattle surgeon’s claim that one of the doctors who operated on Kennedy confided he misled the Warren Commission about one of the president’s wounds. . . . Elmer Moore, a Secret Service agent who worked with the commission and was later transferred to the service’s Seattle office, admitted he was ordered to pressure [Dr. Malcolm] Perry to refute the two-gunman theory.”
Something to Ponder
Feeling Entitled vs. Being Thankful
If I feel entitled, I complain about my job.
If I am thankful, I am grateful to have a job.
If feel entitled, I complain about the meal I’m eating.
If I am thankful, I am grateful to have food on the table.
If I feel entitled, I complain that the government does not do enough for me.
If I am thankful, I ask what I can first do for others.
If I feel entitled, I complain about my spouse.
If am thankful, I express gratitude that someone has put up with me all these years.
If I feel entitled, I complain about living paycheck to paycheck.
If I am thankful, I am grateful simply to have a paycheck.
If I feel entitled, I complain about what’s wrong with my church.
If I am thankful, I am ever grateful for the freedom to worship.
If I feel entitled, I complain about the deficiencies of different family members.
If am thankful, I am grateful that I have a family that loves and cares for me.
If I feel entitled, I complain about the lousy weather we’re having.
If I am thankful, I am grateful to be a free person regardless of the weather.
If I feel entitled, I complain to God about why he is treating me so unfairly.
If I am thankful, I know that I deserve nothing good, that all gifts are an act of grace.
– Thom S. Rainer
The Glory of Creation
The Autumn Palette
Image Credit: OgNature.com
Into All the World
“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.” (G. K. Chesterton)