Posts Tagged ‘Gratitude’

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QUOTE (Helen Keller)

June 27, 2014

English: Helen Keller. Français : Helen Keller.

“For three things I thank God every day of my life: thanks that he has vouchsafed me knowledge of his works; deep thanks that he has set in my darkness the lamp of faith; deep, deepest thanks that I have another life to look forward to–a life joyous with light and flowers and heavenly song.”   ~ Helen Keller

“Unless we form the habit of going to the Bible in bright moments as well as in trouble, we cannot fully respond to its consolations because we lack equilibrium between light and darkness.”  ~ Helen Keller

“If the blind put their hands in God’s, they find their way more surely than those who see but have not faith or purpose. ” ~ Helen Keller

In honor of Helen Keller, an American author, political activist, and lecturer, who was born on this day in 1880. She was the first deaf and blind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree.

Resources:
This Day in History for 27th June
Helen Keller>Quotes

 

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“PRAISE IN THANKSGIVING” – Nov 28

November 28, 2013

“Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.”  Hebrews 12:28

Mr. T in DC / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

The countdown has begun.  In a few hours, my family and I will be seated around a large table surround by my extended family.  We will have before us an enormous amount of food.  Enough food will be splayed on that table for three families to have enough left-overs for days to come.

Our tradition of thanksgiving is to begin the dinner with each member giving a word of thanks.  This time of designated thanksgiving can be poignant, humorous, sappy, heart-warming, and awkward.  Although this time is forced upon us by my mother, it allows a brief moment of sharing all that has been received into our family over the long year.

Emotions of gratitude are best conveyed by those who have received a gift of great value, unearned.  Our gratitude tends to be somewhat muted when our hand is perceived to have had a role.

Gratitude comes from receiving.
Gratitude flows from taking that which is freely offered.

The gratitude expressed at my thanksgiving table will be tainted in some respect because very little of what we have received is perceived as freely given.  We are compensated in our jobs.  Healthy relationships are a mixture of give-and-take.  The delight of children comes through the woes of parenting.

I know in my mind that all things are a gift from God and that true gratitude should be expressed for that even which our hands have contributed.  However, there are times when my heart does not feel what my mind tells it.  Gratitude is an emotion that must be felt; the greater the gratitude the deeper the emotion.  True gratitude should be more than mere words around a thanksgiving table.

To remind myself what true gratitude feels like, I recall the greatest of gift that I have received, unearned.

I am grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken.  (Hebrews 12:28)

I am thankful for receiving the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”  (Romans 8:15)

I am appreciative for receiving Christ, to believe in His name, and to be given the right to become a child of God, born not of blood nor of the will of the flesh, but of God. (John 1:12)

I have been unborn again in Christ, unearned.

My gratitude for being saved cannot be expressed in mere words.  I can only express this deep gratitude that I feel in acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.  That is what true gratitude feels like.  Gratitude for all that we have to be thankful for is best expressed in praise to the God who saves the lost and perishing.

May that feeling flow throughout this day of thanksgiving into all the blessings we have received by the work of God’s hand.

PRAYER: O Lord, thank you.  Thank you for all the blessings You have shown me.  Thank you for all the unearned favor that you have lavished upon me.  Thank you for saving me.  I praise you of Lord.  I revere you, O Lord!  I am in awe of you my Lord and God.  Your grace still amazes me.  Your love is still a mystery to me.  May my tears of deep gratitude glorify your name. (Your Grace Still Amazes Me)  I pray this in the precious name of your Son,  Jesus Christ.   Amen.

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“A NOTE OF APPRECIATION” – Mar. 15

March 15, 2013

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High;…” Psalm 92:1

My son recently had the opportunity to attend a 4-H, “Know Your Government” event at our state capital.  It was a multi-day event of meeting state representatives, judges and people of political importance.  They got to role play from the actual seats where real decisions are made.  However, I think the biggest draw was the food and the hotel room.  Our son’s stay was his first without his doting parents.  His parents were assuaged by the fact that the adult chaperones were individuals who we know and trust.  That helped considerably in relinquishing our son for his first independent out-of-town adventure.

He had a wonderful time.  We think that it was a great education experience for him; time will tell on that one.  We know that it was an important step in maturing into a responsible young man.  It was important for me as a parent.  That makes us very grateful to those who were instrumental in allowing our son to experience such an event.  We are particularly grateful to the chaperones.  They took time away from their work and families.  They had to pay for their own hotel rooms.  They had to put-up with the drama and silliness that is teenagers.  This event was a significant intrusion into their lives.  Yet, they volunteered and as a result my son benefited from a great experience.

New Orleans: Thank you message in the grotto o...

New Orleans: Thank you message in the grotto of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church; added by those for whom prayer or miracles were granted (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As an expression of our gratitude, my wife encouraged, forcefully motivated, forced our son to write a Thank You note of appreciation and send it to  them.

I was surprised by what we later discovered.  My son’s note was the first note of gratitude that the chaperone had received in four years of volunteering.  He was appreciative of the appreciation.

How bad is that?

universal thank you noteThe definition of grateful is an appreciation of the benefits received. 

When we say thank you, we are communicating that we believe that we have received a benefit and that we value that benefit.  We do not feel appreciation for something that we don’t value.  I would not feel a lot of appreciation if a person were to give me a single penny.  However, I would feel a lot of appreciation if someone were to give me 100,000 pennies.  My appreciation will be more because I value 100,000 pennies more.

In addition, I would not be appreciative in the same way if the 100,000 pennies are given to my friend.  I have not received the benefit of the gift.  The gift is not mine.  We are benefiting from a variety of work that is seen and unseen.  Gratefulness comes only for those aspects where we acknowledge and recognize the benefits.

Consider the message that we communicate when we are not grateful.

We either:

Don’t value what someone has done for us

or

We don’t believe what they have done for us has a benefit.

Discouragement is the enemy of all who give themselves to the service of others.  These folks, typically, don’t put in the time and effort to receive the accolades or praise. However, the question of, “is it worth it?” will inevitably aside.

“Is it worth it?” is asked in a probing search to discover whether people are actually benefiting from all of their efforts.  The reason the question comes up is because they are often working in a vacuum.  The problem is that grateful people are not communicating to them how they have been helped by their service.

“Is it worth it”? is asked when there is a sense that all their efforts are not valued.  Those who serve others have made an exchange.  They have given something of value to them, their time, energy and often money, in an effort to create something of value for another person. It is when that effort is disregarded, tossed aside, taken for granted, or unfairly compared, that the discouragement of “is it worth it?” sneaks in.  The problem is that Grateful people are not communicating to them how much they value what is being given to them.

Are you a grateful person?  You cannot be a grateful person without other people knowing how you feel.  There is no such thing as private gratitude or stealth appreciation.

When was the last time you sent a thank you card?

When was the last time you told your spouse, parent, sibling, friend, Pastor, teacher, mentor, coworker, how much you appreciate them?

When was the last time you sent a small gift acknowledging someone’s special effort?

When was the last time  you told someone how much they have helped you?

These are some of the actions that define whether you are a grateful or ungrateful person.

When was the last time you thanked God?

God sent his only Son to remove our condemnation.  We have benefited from His sacrifice.

God has adopted us as his children; children of God, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ.  We have been given a gift of incomparable value.

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord…” (Psalm 92:1)  It is good to be grateful to the Lord because that expression is an acknowledgement that we understand that we have benefited from His gift of tremendous value.  The attitude of the one who has experienced the Lord’s amazing grace can be only that of appreciation – gratitude.

May we be known for our gratitude to those who the Lord has placed in our lives to help us and most importantly to the Lord Most High for saving us!

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for saving me.  Thank you for placing people in my life to help me.  Thank you for my wife and family.  Thank you for my friends.  Thank you for all that you have given me.  Thank you for the air that I breathe, the rain that falls, the earth beneath my feet, and all of the other miracles of this world that makes my life possible.  Father, I want others to know the amount of gratefulness that is within me for You and them.  Help me to pause on a regular basis and communicate my gratefulness.  Amen

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