Tag : thankfulness
Tag : thankfulness
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:19).
I was in my home office doing an interview for our POP Talk radio show when I heard water gushing outside the study window. At first I thought it was a sprinkler head that been severed off by a lawn mower, but after Dr. Lynnette Simm and I completed the taping of the show, I ran outside to look. A stream of water was flowing rapidly down the street from the side of our house. I shouted to my husband, working upstairs. “We’ve got a problem!” He was busy preparing for an important meeting. The timing was not good, but he checked it out and also found water seeping through the ceiling of one of the rooms upstairs. After more investigation, he realized our hot water heater had gone out and that was causing the problem. We needed a plumber—and fast.
As I thought about this scenario, I became thankful. Thankful that I was in my office so I could hear the water flooding out of the relief valve on the side of our house. Otherwise, we might have been oblivious for a while and there would have been damage upstairs. Thankful this happened while we were home. We had just come back from a trip to Galveston and could have easily been away when it occurred. I asked my husband, “What would have happened if we had been out of town?” He responded, “I think part of the ceiling upstairs would have collapsed.” I was also grateful a plumber was able to respond day of.
Sometimes, when we go through the difficult things in life, we can press into the bad, but I believe God will always provide something to be thankful for in the midst of the worst of scenarios.
This week, my brother-in-law of thirty years, Jim, passed away after a long battle with something called “Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.” It’s called “idiopathic” because doctors don’t know what causes it.
I have fond memories of going up to Jim and my sister-in-law Sue’s lake house near Coldwater, Michigan where we boated, had “Corn Hole” competitions, and late night conversations by the fire pit. Jim was in great shape. He cycled, worked out and was an outdoorsman. He did not smoke. But then the progressive disease struck his body, and it took him down.
This past week when Jim was in hospice, I was receiving regular text updates from my sister-in-law about how he was doing. Before they gave him his first dose of Morphine to ease the pain, he said, “Let’s get the party started.” He was a believer and ready to see Jesus. He saw his transition out of this world to Heaven as a celebration. That scene, and all the memories from our time at the lake, is the good that I want to remember and hold onto.
When we are in the thick of the bad scenarios of life, do we try to find the good in them? The next time you endure a trial, it’s important to see the scenario from above. Ask God to show you the positive.
I heard it said that not all positive change feels positive in the beginning. That is where I find myself in my life now. Maybe you are in the same place too. In my life, jobs are changing, moving is inevitable, and a season in life is ending while another begins. But what if we could challenge ourselves to find the blessings in changes we may not have wanted?
My friend, Moina, and I have been going through some really tough changes in our lives. We both lost loved ones, both our husbands had major health issues, and both our children have grown from at-home to on their way to adulthood. These changes could have crushed our hope and our faith, but Moina and I didn’t want that to happen to us!
After crying to each other over all we have survived, we decided to make a pact. We promised to text each other daily with three things we are grateful for. We started with our husbands, family, health, homes, jobs—and slowly we have gotten to the point where we have to really ponder what we are truly grateful for.
Just today, I texted I am grateful we have choices. I am grateful that things never stay the same. I am grateful for books. I was talking with my husband about the up-and-coming move and the options we had and then went to enjoy a lovely book. She texted she was grateful for the Colorado skies, warm sun, and the beautiful mountains. I’m sure she was driving to work and was feeling blessed to live under the mountains that inspired the phrase “purple mountains majesty.”
Over the last month of texting back and forth, all our problems have disappeared…NOT! But, what has happened is a change in our hearts. While I can’t speak for Moina, I can say that my heart is open to change. My heart is loving the opportunity to tackle whatever comes with gratitude. Mostly, my heart is happy. My body is tired, but that’s another story.
Gratitude brings to light our blessings, big and small. Gratitude can help anyone see the positive in changes, even when changing doesn’t seem like a blessing, at first.
Rejoice always, pray continuously, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18)
You are invited to join us for this month’s POP Chat on ZOOM, Wednesday September 30th at 6:30 p.m. Our guest speaker is KCBI (Dallas) Morning Show Host, Author, and Popular Speaker, Rebecca Carrell, who will be presenting the message, “You Become What You Behold.”
Our Worship Leader for this month’s event will be Author and Radio Host on the Fishbowl Radio Network, Donna Renay Patrick. Donna is on the Music Staff at the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Denton, Texas.
To sign up, just click on the link! https://share.hsforms.com/15bHBupdrTBugXxD9Y8Q_MQ3jo4z
Is your life lacking variation right now because of COVID-19? Are you wishing this Coronavirus would die a quick death or go back to where it came from? You’re not alone, but we all have to remember that even in the midst of these difficult seasons, God can still provide something beautiful.
On Thursday I came across this verse in the Psalms: “He split open a rock, and water gushed out to form a river through the dry wasteland” (Psalm 105:41). The verse is referring to the scene in Numbers 20 when the Israelites camped in the wilderness of Zin and complained because there was no water to drink. God told Moses to speak to a rock and water would pour out, however Moses struck it twice instead. Water still gushed from the rock, but for disobeying God it did cost Moses an entry card into the Promised Land. That, however, is not the point I am making here. I never realized the water that poured out formed a river in the wilderness. I thought it was more like a garden hose that turned off and on or like a quick burst of tap water from the kitchen faucet. But according to Psalm 105, this gush of rock water formed a “river.” A river in the wilderness.
It made me think about the rivers that I’ve experienced during this never-ending COVID-19 wilderness.
One river is simply the back yard that I love so much. Now that I’m home more, I have thanked the LORD numerous times that I have such a pretty view from my kitchen table where I work. It’s especially beautiful now that the Crepe Myrtle is blooming.
When I take my morning walks, the street is lined with Crepe Myrtles, my favorite trees. They’re a gift. Desert streams.
I am grateful for the river of marriage, and that I do not have to shelter alone—but if you are feeling alone for whatever reason, know that you are never alone—Jesus is always with you if you believe. “Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart’” (John 7:38).
I have also praised God for the river of “purpose,” as we are still doing our topical and evangelical POP Talk television and radio shows, this week reaching the 100 thousand mark on Facebook Live and going into a potential 133-million homes through the Faith Unveiled Network. That’s more like river rapids!
Then there are others I know who are experiencing a river in the wilderness. Yesterday, my friend and Christian Women in Media Founder, Suellen Roberts, got married to a wonderful man, Stan Burke. Stan was the teacher of her Sunday school class and she had recently become the director of the class. If it had not been for COVID-19, they probably wouldn’t have worked so closely and fallen for each other. A river of love.
I have a longtime friend who just told me she had contracted COVID-19. She felt really bad for one day, better the second day, then resumed her walks on the third day. That’s a river of healing.
How has God provided rivers for you during this season? Sometimes we are so focused on the wilderness that we miss the river.
Lord, will you help us to take our eyes off of everything bad and open our eyes to the good that you are working in the midst of the turmoil? Show us the rivers we can’t see and quench our thirst for hope.
We hope you will join us for our next POP Chat, July 29th on ZOOM at 6:30 p.m.. Dr. Lynnette Simm will be teaching about “How to Find Your Peace” and Renee Rollins will lead our worship for this beautiful one-hour of fellowship. Here’s the link to sign up: https://share.hsforms.com/15bHBupdrTBugXxD9Y8Q_MQ3jo4z