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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Thankfulness

Lucy and Mayme, late summer, 2008

I thought I would take a moment to explain why and how I chose the name for my blog. A couple years ago Tyson and I started listening to Walk In the Word podcasts with Pastor James MacDonald. We still try to listen regularly. We have been so blessed through this ministry and have spiritually grown so much through it by God's grace. A while ago, Pastor James preached a series called "Lord Change My Attitude". He took his church through the Old Testament stories of the Israelites wandering through the wilderness and showed a sinful attitude that the Israelites had (that we all can relate to as well) that needs to be "put off" and then compared with with a New Testament attitude that we should "put on". What a great series of sermons! There's even a book compiled from it if you are a book reader. Anyway, the sermon on Thankfulness really stuck with me. So often we hear Christians around us say that, "We just need to be thankful in this situation. We don't really need to be thankful for it." I believed this too for long time...well, until I heard this sermon. I can't relay it as well as MacDonald does, but I'll attempt to show you a few of his main points.

Replace a Complaining Attitude with a Thankful Attitude
James MacDonald, Walk in the Word, August 6, Series: Lord Change My Attitude

Psalm 107:8 Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness,
         And for His wonderful works to the children of men! (NKJV)

Ps. 139:14, Is. 25:1, 1 Cor 15:57, 2 Cor 2:14, Col 3:15 (You should look up these verses too.)

Grattitude is the attitude that sets the altitude for living. We have a choice to make (to be thankful, or not to be thankful).

Am I thankful?

3 Levels of Thankfulness
Level One:  Heb 13:15 Sacrifice of Thanksgiving 
     At this level, we give thanks because we know that we are supposed to. It is a sacrifice to do so. Sometimes being thankful is a hard thing to do, but God is pleased with our genuine Thanksgiving. 

Level Two:  1 Thes. 5:18 Thankful in all things
     Here is the verse where we get the reasoning behind the thinking that we don't have to be thankful for a particular situation, we just need to be thankful in it. This IS true; however, we could go to a much higher level with God if we choose to move to the next level of Thankfulness. 

Level Three:  Eph 5:18-20 Thankful for all things
    This is it folks! This is the level where by faith you recognize that this is what God is using in your life right now, so you can be thankful for all things. We can be thankful for all things, even those hard situations in our lives, those crosses that the Lord calls us to bear, when we yield to His working in our life and trust that He really is using those crosses and trials to bring us closer into fellowship with Him. He has given us so many promises in His word that we can lay hold of in the midst of those hard times. I know for me, the hardest times have been the times that I look back on and am so grateful for because I, by God's grace and mercy, was able to go to the next level with Him. He became so much more real to me. His love was so constant and close in those times, that still to this day, I am thankful for them. In the moment, it is a hard thing to do, but I know it is possible from my own experience and the experiences of others. It takes a constant seeking and resting in God's Word. 

Ok...so, this is why I chose the name I did for my blog. I want to be at Level 3 all the days of my life! I want to be full of thanks! I truly have sooo much to be thankful for. My friend has a blog where she will regularly (I think) list a bunch of things she is thankful for. I love that! What a great exercise for all of us to do. Sit down and write out 10-20 things that you are thankful for. You don't have to share this with everyone you know, but it will help change your attitude. 

Am I seeing the blessings of thankfulness in my life?

Am I choosing Thankfulness over complaining?

Here are some things that I'm thankful for today:
1) My wonderful husband whom I am crazy about.
2) Children that bring me so much joy
3) Children that also bring me much frustration...that's right, I am thankful for those frustrating times too. Without them I would get very little practice in some areas that I really need to grow in. I would also take God's grace and patience with me for granted if I was never pushed in this way.
4) The birds that fill our yard with so much joy and activity. 
5) The flowers that brighten our kitchen table.
6) The rest and companionship that the Lord gives us through all that He created. 
7) The mistake I made in sewing some curtains which will give me another excuse to pull out my sewing machine and do some more sewing. 
8) The opportunities that the Lord gives me to have such neat little conversations with my children.
9) The answers and questions and comments my children make during these conversations that bring me smiles, laughter, and hope. 
10) A Savior who lives. 


2 comments:

Catie said...

I should really start doing that. :) I actually THINK about the things I'm thankful for all the time - but writing them down somewhere is such a good idea.

I remember that sermon from one of our MOPS meetings and it was SOOO good! (Thanks for introducing me to James, btw. And, yes, we are on a first name basis. HA! ;)

...they call me mommy... said...

Great post, Heather! Thank you for the reminder! :)