Tag Archives: thanks

Being Thankful When Family Disappoints You

Why do we grumble and take for granted the people we love most?

Written by Joy on 06/12/2015
Series: Weekly Devotional
“Giving thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:20

God knows we often grumble and complain so he reminds us throughout scripture to give thanks. When we focus on the things we lack, we can forget to appreciate what we have. God wants us to give thanks for everything! How can we be thankful for our spouse, children and parents when they don’t meet our expectations? Here are three reasons:

1.God is Good
“Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His faithful love endures forever” (Psalm 107:1).

When we give thanks we confirm God is good. It acknowledges we are placing our hope in a good God Who has given us these relationships for a purpose. Even if your spouse or children do not believe in Jesus Christ, (1 Corinthians 7:16), God may work through you to save them.

Even if you have a poor relationship with your parents, God will always be there for you—ready to show His unfailing love as your Heavenly Father. If your family has accepted Jesus Christ, then you can truly thank God that he promises to complete what he started. God can use our relationships to lead us to Him and strengthen our faith.

2. It is God’s Will for You
“Give thanks” is written as a command over and over in scripture. It is not a suggestion or a feeling. It takes a deliberate choice. “Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Paul sang praises and thanked God even while he was in prison. We too can give thanks “in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” who has given us salvation, eternal hope, and everything else good in our lives, including our family.

3. The Holy Spirit Fills Us
God never commands us to do something without giving us the power to do it. “…Understand what the Lord’s will is. …..be filled by the Spirit: speaking to one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making music from your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for everything to God …..” (Ephesians 5:17-20). The key is being filled with the Spirit! Ask God to help you give thanks and fill your heart with joy.

It’s easy to dwell on the annoying things our loved ones do instead of rejoicing over the blessing they are to us. Keep your thoughts focused on good things that are worthy of praise. (Philippians 4:8) Say the words, “I’m so thankful for you.” Appreciation lightens the heart, (Psalm 138:1), and spreads to those around us bringing peace, love and unity. (Colossians 3:12-17)

Pray this week:

Lord, please fill me with joy and thanksgiving for my family. Open my eyes to the blessing they are in my life. I am choosing to thank you for the people around me.

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Whatever your circumstances, be thankful that God loves you.

How to Thank God for His Wonderful Plan
Whatever your circumstances, be thankful that God loves you.

Written by GodLife on 22/11/2016
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Jesus, Love, Thankfulness, God
Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do.

1 Thessalonians 5:18
God created us in an awe-inspiring, magnificent world. He made sure we would not be alone, but have relationships with others. He made us able to appreciate the wisdom of His creation. The melody, texture, fragrance, flavor and spectacle of it impresses each of us. Our rebellion against His love gave Him the supreme opportunity to express it to us in a way we could understand. He did this by entering our world, wearing our flesh and bearing our curse. He has every right to complain: “They know about God, but they don’t honor him or even thank him.” (Romans 1:21) Instead, to those “…that refused to worship me, I said, ‘Here I am!’ All day long I have reached out to stubborn and sinful people going their own way.” (Isaiah 65:1b,2) and “…I will always love you; that’s why I’ve been so patient and kind.” (Jeremiah 31:3) He loved you enough not to leave you “living in this world without hope and without God.” (Ephesians 2:12)

Three big thoughts can help transform your thanksgiving and how you give thanks to God…

Acknowledge that God gives us everything we have
God is always reminding us that He doesn’t see us the way others do. He looks at the heart. It’s when our loyalty is divided that we fail to trust God. God wants us to trust that He’ll provide what we need. “What is so special about you? What do you have that you were not given? And if it was given to you, how can you brag?” (1 Corinthians 4:7).

Remember that God created us for His Glory.
The “wonderful plan” is for us. But it isn’t about us. Jesus Himself is the center of God’s plan. “They are my people — I created each of them to bring honor to me.” (Isaiah 43:7). “And to the glory of God the Father everyone will openly agree, “'Jesus Christ is Lord!'” (Philippians 2:11) Jesus came to save us so that we can live for Him: “He died so we would no longer live for ourselves, but for the one who died and was raised to life for us.” (2 Corinthians 5:15)

Recognize that God does everything for our sake.
If God’s purpose is so much bigger than me, does it mean that He doesn’t care if I suffer, as long as His bigger purpose is accomplished? No. It means that He’s willing to delay what He wants: which is you and me, “to be with me, [Jesus] wherever I am. Then they will see the glory that you have given me” (John 17:24). God wants us to be patient because He is patient (2 Peter 3:15). He’s patient because He wants not just us but “everyone to be saved and to know the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4)

A passage in 2 Corinthians 4:7-5:20 puts it all together. Even life’s struggles are meant to show His power and our faith. We have much to look forward to: “All of this has been done for you, so that more and more people will know how kind God is and will praise and honor him.” (2 Corinthians 4:15). If we have nothing and can do nothing without Him, if our whole purpose is making the most of Him, and if His whole purpose is what is best for us, we truly can give heartfelt thanks to God, no matter what happens.

Pray this week:

Father, I know it’s always your will for me to be thankful and that it shows my trust in you. Thank you for showing me how much I have to be thankful for!

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Thank you for your grace and kindness…

"No One":
For those of you who don't know, my youngest son, Christopher, is on the autistic spectrum. I went to his back to school night on Thursday and took a picture of one of his projects displayed on the wall, one of many cute little cards that all the kids in his class had filled out. It asked him to list his favorite foods, sport, TV shows etc.
I took the picture hurriedly, and didn't notice all the answers he had filled out at that time. It was only after I got home that something stood out upon closer review.
Do you guys remember, a couple of weeks ago, the massive amount of press that the Florida State Football player got when he sat down at the lunch table with an autistic boy that was eating alone? That player didn't know the boy was on the autistic spectrum when he sat down with him…he just saw a boy eating lunch all by himself and decided to join him. A teacher snapped a picture of the moment and it went viral. That's what made the story great….it wasn't staged…it was just a real moment of human kindness.
The follow up to that story was that the boy no longer ate alone; that the other kids NOW were sitting with him and patting him on the back. That boy now had "friends",B and everything was right with the world.
Something that wasn't right was fixed, and tied up neatly with a pretty little bow of kindness and understanding.
But in my head, I asked "Where were those kids prior to this child being thrust into the spotlight? We know where they were: they're in the picture: sitting at other tables, ignoring him.
If that football player had not sat down next to that child, and if it hadn't become a national news story, that kid would still be sitting by himself today.
And it's not their fault…. that's the saddest part. They were clearly not taught to embrace and accept the differences of others. Not by their teachers, which would have been nice, had they thought to do so, but by their parents. I don't mean to imply that parents that don't have this conversation with their kids are bad people, but only that somewhere in between working, soccer practice, and homework, it never occurred to them to have this particular conversation. I'm sure that if Christopher were typical (that's the word we use instead of "normal" in our world of 'Holland', for our developmentally delayed children), I would have not had this conversation with him either.
Christopher's brothers have had many, many sleepovers over the years, obviously in front of him, and it has not gone unnoticed.
"Can I have sleepover?" Christopher has asked.
"Sure, buddy….with whom?" As a response, he would flap his arms and stim instead of answeting. He didn't have an answer because he didn't have a name.
Because he didn't have a friend.
He's never had a friend.
Ever.
He just turned eleven.
And because he's had no friends….there was no one to invite.
And I don't have a solution. I don't have an answer. The reality is that I have to rely on the compassion of others to be incredibly understanding in order just to sit next to him, attempt to engage him, and make him feel included.
My son is very smart and has a great sense of humor. Every adult that meets him is drawn to him. However, because he needs the input, he will spontaneously flap his arms and make loud, guttural sounds from time to time. It draws a lot of attention in public. If you're not used to it, it's normal to feel embarrassed, as you will have all the eyes in the room upon you. He will ask the same question fifty times in a short period of time (His latest is "What time do you go to bed?" and "What's your addtess?").
I typically have to tell servers in restaurants just to give him the restaurant's address…as once he has a satisfactory answer, he will usually move on.
Like I said, there's no easy answer for this…at the end of the day it comes down to compassion, empathy and understanding.
But mostly empathy. Not from you guys, but from your children. As far as I know, (save for one time), Christopher's classmates have never been overtly cruel to him. What they have done, however, is to exclude him. And frankly, I understand this. His classmates are delayed as well, but most not as much as Christopher. They are figuring out how to interact socially every day, and because Christopher cannot engage them in a typical way, he gets left behind…excluded.
Until Thursday, I didn't know how aware he was of this divide, as he does not often talk about his peers. I should not have been surprised as he makes his wants (but not his emotional needs) very clear….but I was. Mostly, I suppose, because I had never seen him put in down on paper. For the first time, it was staring at me in the face.
I guess I'm sharing this because when asked to list his friends he wrote "no one". Never have five letters cut so deep, and they weren't even directed at me….it was just an overly simplistic statement that spoke volumes.
And because I know him so well, and because I have pretty good handle on him after raising him for eleven years, I know this disconnect makes him feel lonely, and it makes him sad.
Usually, I have to figure out what Christopher is trying to say, as his manner of speaking is very straightforward; very black and white.
This time I did not.
It's clear to me that he desperately wants to be part of the group, but his challenges make it difficult for his peers to include him.
The only solution I can come up with is to share this with you and ask that you have a conversation with your kids. Please tell them that children with special needs understand far more than we give them credit for. They notice when others exclude them. They notice when they are teased behind their back (a lot of times "behind their back" is right in front of them because they think the 'different' child doesn't understand). But mostly they are very much in tune when they are treated differently from everyone else.
Trust me when I tell you this hurts them. Even if it's not obvious to you and me.
For the first time ever, I'm going to ask for two favor, here, on Facebook.
One: Share this post on your time line. Awareness and empathy are the only solutions I can come up with.
Two: Speak with your children. Show them the video of the Florida State Football player. The Internet is full of feel-good stories about a special needs child being included. Remember the special needs child that was put in the basketball game for the last few minutes of the final game of the season? Very recently, there was the prom king who gave his crown to a special needs classmate.
These stories are newsworthy because they are unusual. We are not used to hearing about kids being kind to those that are different and unique.
I not so naive that I think this post is going to change the world. But, if, by sharing this, I can make you think about having a conversation with your children about empathy, about going out of their way to include those that are different from everybody else, especially if it goes against the group mentality, especially if it's not socially poplar (I'm not so old that I don't remember that this takes bravery…bravery to break from the confines of whet your friends think is cool in the middle and high school worlds), then I will feel like Christopher's voice has been heard.
Because even though he can't say it, he wants to be included.
He wants a voice, that, at the moment, he doesn't have.
And he needs help to find his voice.
And the child that will finally reach out to him, that will help him, that will include him, will be the kindest child, the child that does the right thing by going above and beyond.
He will be Charlie Bucket.
And that child will be Christopher's first true friend.
Thanks for listening.
Sincerely,
Christopher's Dad
UPDATE:
As I have just leaned that this has gone viral, All of the requests I have been receiving to write Christopher a letter or send a care package now make sense. This was an idea that was started by KMBZ radio personalities Dana and Scott, or one of their listeners to be precise, so this "card shower" is on its way.
Many of you have asked to send cards and packages to Christopher, so, please join the party…I will be posting his reactions online. You may write to him at: Christopher Cornelius….96 Valley View Drive…Rockaway NJ )7866. Thank you for your grace and kindness….it is very much appreciated!  Bob Cornelius

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The Wonder Of His Word

It would seem paradoxical to think that some people who go to church don’t have time to
listen to the Word. Some of them love the music; they enjoy the music ministrations, after which they leave the church service. They don’t wait for the message, because they have no value for the Word.
The Word of God is too important. To value the Word is to value Jesus, for Jesus is the living Word. The Bible says, “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah,
nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be” (Genesis 49:10). When the Word of God is taught in church, it’s not only so we can learn it or just for us to believe and act upon it, but it’s also for the Word to reproduce itself in us. It’s the greatest benefit we derive from the Word of God. Hallelujah! As you listen to, and believe the Word, the creative power therein comes into effect and transforms your
life. That’s the mystery of the spoken Word! The ministration of God’s Word produces in you what it
talks about. God’s Word has the divine power to do what it says. It’s different from man’s words. Anyone can say anything, but when it’s the Word of God, it has the power to affect our human spirits. There’s a miracle power about it that works. Cherish the Word. Let it be what you delight in
the most whenever you’re in church. As you receive the Word, it has the potentiality and capacity to make you what it talks about. That’s the wonder of God’s
Word
Prayer
Dear Father, I thank you for the
wonder-working power of your
Word; it heals the sick and raises
the dead. The Word works in
and for me always, producing
the results of what it talks about,
in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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