Friday, December 14, 2012

Unwrap Your Joy

What an amazing time of year it is!  As we’re running errands, planning get-togethers, cooking meals and wrapping gifts,  it is my hope that we don’t forget to take joy with us.

I heard a powerful statement the other day: “What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?”  Within moments it was evident to me that God can use as little as 15 words to vault me into a more highly sensitized awareness of “I’m still breathin’ thinking”..  Not only do these words carry a poignant message of gratefulness and humility, they also come with a challenge that I hope we all as Christ followers are challenged to consider.

Just for today…designate a couple moments to reflect on what you’re grateful for.  Keep an ongoing “gratitude list” to remind yourself of both the calming and chaotic moments of life, that we’re really more blessed than we often consider.

Reflecting further on  these thoughts, my own gratitude list immediately grew. My top gratitude list items include…  

  • My great God, who daily affords me “Mercies which are new every morning” (Lam 3:22,23)
  • Jesus – who not only is the Lord of the universe… but the King over my life! Wow, simply… amazing!
  • My wife of 25 years and best friend - Laurie, and an amazing son that I’m so proud of and grateful for  - Shawn Jr. (see picture)
  • For one of the most loving and amazing groups of people you’ll find anywhere… the incredible family of New Venture Christian Fellowshi
  •  Having a place to call home, a bed to sleep in, food in the cupboard
  • Health (for me - that’s a miracle and a real big deal!)
  • Vehicles
  • And the list goes on…
But then I thought…if this was all I was grateful for, I’d be forgetting all the countless other blessings the Lord graciously gives to me… and they’re everywhere! James 1:17 says: “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father… Although our circumstances may change from time to time, our joy doesn’t have to.  During these busy moments (be it at Christmas time, or just everyday living), take time out for God. And start counting -  your blessings. 

A wise person once said that the quickest way to realize you’re rich is to count our blessings. Thinking about that – I’m feeing like God’s answer to Donald Trump or Bill Gates about now!   The Bible says that “the JOY of the Lord is our strength” (Neh. 8:10). Begin with how you’ve been blessed and you’ll get there a lot quicker. Are you ready? Let’s start counting… “Two eyes to see, two hands to write, one mind to believe, one heart to love and one life to live out His message”. Feeling better? Don’t stop now – there’s a long list left to go.

May your joy light the world this season and always! 

No comments:

Post a Comment