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finding meaning in the mundane

Tag: Psalms

5 Things That Can Happen If We Are Not Thankful

Benefits of being thankfulI can’t believe that it is already more than half way through November!  I will resist the urge to rail on for pages and pages about why we should be thankful each and every day and not just one day a year… There is a case for that, there is a time and a place.  However, I think what is even more important is an understanding of what we miss out on if we are not  thankful!

Here are 5 things that can happen if we are not thankful.

1.  We develop a ME-Centric attitude.

Have you ever heard that kid that just sits there and screams MINE!  Yeah, I have too.  Man, that just works my last nerve.  I would love to get down on my hands and knees and explain how the world really doesn’t revolve around them and how not everything is for just them!  We become just like that kid when we are ungrateful and when we lack an attitude of thanksgiving.

2.  We can become nearsighted.

When we put on an attitude of thanksgiving all of a sudden we find a million things that we can be thankful for!  However when we neglect the practice of being thankful, we miss out on so many wonderful things that we should be thankful for.  The only things that we are thankful for become those massive and obvious things. (an inheritance, a new baby, winning the lottery, etc…)  A thankful attitude is like a good pair of glasses, they help put everything into proper perspective.

3.  We block joy.

Joy is not situational.  Happiness is.  Joy is found in the good times and the bad.  Being ungrateful and lacking in thanksgiving block your ability to know and experience joy.  Being thankful fast tracks your ability to be joyful.

4.  We hinder relationships.

We all have been this person, and we all know the person who is given a gift and forgets to say thank you.  Hopefully we don’t do this habitually.  Since my kids are young we still remind them constantly with this question… “What do you say?”  They know that is a cue to fill in the blank with “THANK YOU.”  We obsess over this not because we want to raise ‘proper’ kids, but because we want our kids to be thankful and to know that it is good and right to express their thanks!  After all, it is so much more fun to be around people who are thankful!

5.  We miss opportunities to worship God.

I’ve yet to find the verse that says, “Come before God with the saddest and most frustrated self you’ve got.  Give to God out of the tightly grasped dollars in your pocket.  Enter his courts with complaining on your lips.”  No, the Psalms actually say:

“Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.” (Psalm 95:2)

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name” (Psalm 100:4)

Scripture reminds us that we should give thanks to the Lord because He is good and His love endures forever.  That means we have forever to be thankful for His love!  If His love is never ending, then each and every morning we can wake up and be thankful for that!  There are so many times we miss out on worshiping God simply because we are too grumpy and too thankless.

Why else should we be thankful?  Leave a comment below.  I’d love to hear your thoughts…

~Peter

 

Stop Striving, Start Listening

hearing from GodBe still and know that I am God ~ Psalm 46:10

I love that verse.  In fact, I love that whole passage.  The whole Psalm is amazing.  It is such an awesome reminder to me.  This morning I woke up and did my daily routine.

  • turned off the alarm
  • got out of bed
  • tried to quietly sneak down the creaky steps
  • flipped on the keurig
  • waited with arms crossed for the keurig to say, ‘ready to brew’
  • fixed my cup of coffee
  • headed to my office

Every day that is my routine.  Yet this morning I heard God whispering to me saying, “Be still and know that I am God.  I’m the one who holds this world together.  I’m the one who woke you up this morning.  I’m the one who is going to give you strength to make it through the day.  I’m the one who is going to protect your family.  I’m the one who is going to be the provider.  You don’t need to do that. Continue reading

A Direct Message From: GOD

It is no secret at this point in time.  I’ve been spending a great deal of time in the Psalms lately and it has been amazingly refreshing for me.  Often times I find myself agreeing with the psalmist and saying to myself, “That’s exactly how I feel right now.”  I feel like there is so much flesh on the Psalms.  What I mean is, there is feeling and emotion attached to it in ways that most people can relate to.  I can relate to some of the highs and to some of the lows that we find scattered throughout this book.

Yesterday I was reading Psalm 13.  As I read through the verses I started to feel badly for myself.  I read verse one and two and I shook my head in agreement with David.

How long, oh Lord?  Will You forget me forever?  How long will you hide Your face from me?

How long shall I take counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart all the day?  How long will my enemy be exalted over me?

I was beginning to feel really sorry for myself and I let myself wonder how much longer?  Then there was a turn in my heart and mind.  I don’t think that God has forgotten me, I don’t think that God isn’t speaking to me, I just want more.  So, instead of doing anything about it I whine.  I whine and say God where are you?  How much longer until you __________________.  (Fill in the blank for your own life)

So then I reread the Psalm and I wondered what it would look like if God sent back a direct message in response to Psalm 13.  Here is what I think a possible response could look like: (Insert your name where appropriate)

1. How long, O Peter?  Will you forget me forever?  How long will you turn and hide your face from me?  How long will you try and live life dependent on yourself?

2. How long shall we grieve over you having sorrow in my heart all the day?  How long will you allow our enemy to recieve victory in your life?

3.  Remember me, turn to me, Peter, My child; Open your eyes, don’t you see that you too will die?

4. Our enemy would love to say, “I have him whooped!  Look at him now!”  All those loyal to our enemy would love to shout for joy when your focus on me is impaired.

5. Trust!  Trust in my lovingkindness; Remember, I saved you.  Delight in that!

6. Remember; I have worked in your life faithfully to this point.  Haven’t I?  I’m going to keep doing that.  Let the rythm of my faithfulness stir up a song in your heart.  Belt it out.  Sing that.  May it stir up inside of you.

Some of us need to stop whining about not seeing God in our lives and start seeking Him with all that we’ve got.

“But from there you will seek the LORD your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.”  Deuteronomy 4:29

Let’s do this together; let’s search after Him will all our heart and with all our soul!  What are some practical ways that you have found helpful as you search after God?

~Peter

Carry the conversation

Well as promised, we have some answers to some of your questions…

Why r we blessed?

The Israelites, the priests and the God-fearers (Psalm 115:8-11) were blessed because they chose to put their trust in God. They trusted God to save them, to be their help, to be their shield. We are blessed when (because) we choose not to have any idols (Psalm 115:4-7). We are blessed when (because) we choose to remind others of the many ways that God has worked in our lives, and in so doing we tell them that we serve an awesome God.

 

In Psalm 115 what indicates the purpose?

The purpose of God blessing us is so that we will in turn be a blessing to others. When God blesses us, He expects that we will in response to His blessing, then bless the next generation by reminding them of how God has specifically blessed us. That’s why we need to build altars, stones of remembrance. We need to creatively and personally decide what those altars will look like.

 

Who r the People watching the Israelites? (Nations)

The people watching the Israelites were the nations who were the neighbors of Israel. At that time they were the Moabites, the Edomites, the Syrians, the Egyptians, the Ammonites, the Canaanites, etc. etc.

 

Who R the nations 2 Day?

The “nations” for us are all the people within our sphere of influence who we have contact with in our day-to-day existence. The nations for us are all the people around us (in our sphere of influence) who do not yet have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Keep the questions coming… Let’s carry the conversation beyond just Sunday Night!

~Peter

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