"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead..." Romans 1:20

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Gratitude Part 2

In the Language of Flowers the Campanula symbolizes Gratitude....

One of the first posts I did on this Blog was on gratitude, but I feel a need to revisit this subject.  Alan Cohen has written a piece called "Thanksliving".  His focus is on past relationships.  He writes, "It is important that we hold our past in a sense of reverence, along with the people we have known."  

Recently someone from my past who caused me anguish at the time started coming to the Fitness Center I visit every weekday.  She seemed not to know who I was, and I was not inclined to make myself known to her.  She never looked directly at me, so I didn't feel the need to acknowledge her.  But then God began to bring particular writings into my morning quiet time and it became clear I needed not only to forgive this person but to gain understanding to why her actions still caused me hurt when I thought about them after all these years.  

And I did forgive her...as well as discover why it still hurt....and then was able share what I had learned with someone else who was dealing with a difficult situation.  I was eager to see this person again at the Fitness Center so I could smile at her and re-introduce myself (although, I had the feeling she already knew who I was).  Of course, she wasn't there--for days-- and when she did return I never found her looking my way so I could say "hi".  But, amazingly, it didn't matter any more.  The "work" had been done in me and I was able to have this sense of reverence of how God had used her in my life at the time and was still using her to show me things about myself I needed to see.  Cohen goes on to say, "Assume that everyone who shows up in your life is here to bless you in some way."  He suggests we make a list of significant past events and relationships and note by each the gifts we received from that person or experience.  I guarantee you it will change your perspective and help to heal any hurts that still linger.

Father, I am grateful for everything that has happened in my life because now I can see Your Hand in them, working to bring good to me and to others through me.

Link to scripture: http://mlbible.com/romans/8-28.htm

Take action:  Gratitude

Monday, November 19, 2012


Since it's Thanksgiving week I thought I should do a post about all the things I'm thankful for and then realized it would take forever to gather all the photos to go along with my list.  Plus, I don't know about you, but expressing thanks for all one has can stir up discontentment in others who do not have (I'm not immune!)....and I don't want to be guilty of that.  Instead, I'd rather talk about what it means to have a thankful heart.  Poetry the Calico Cat knows very well what it means to have a thankful heart.  Stories about her adventures in discovering where thankfulness comes from can be found on her website.

But first, let's start with this video:  Muppet Christmas Carol.  After watching it, please come back here.

Old Mr. Scrooge discovered that if he awoke each morning with a grateful prayer and thankful heart he'd find peace and joy.  It took his being shown his bleak future to wake him up from the nightmare he was living from being so stingy and uncaring.

Our next video, Veggie Tales, we learn that a thankful heart is a happy heart and the way to achieve this is to thank God every day for everything He has given us.

In this Peanuts video Sally gripes about having to write an essay at school because of Thanksgiving.  She definitely does NOT evoke the spirit of a thankful heart.

And last but not least Winnie the Pooh has some wisdom about what it means to have a thankful heart.

Thank you Father for impressing upon me my need for You and for enabling me to have a thankful heart.

Link to scripture: http://bible.cc/romans/8-15.htm

Take action:  ♫Thankful Heart♫

Friday, November 2, 2012

Foreseen Circumstances

"A psychic, seer, or prophet can look down the road and see likely outcomes of actions and attitudes that are currently in motion." --Richard Cohen

In the above photo the power company was removing a tree that had fallen on the power line on Monday afternoon in the early hours of Hurricane Sandy. My husband "predicted" the falling of that tree two weeks ago when he noticed it leaning toward the line and called the power company about it. He is not psychic, but if you use Richard Cohen's definition above then you could say that he is, as we all are when we take the time to look at situations with some thought and reasoning.  

Cohen goes on to say, however, "But at any moment, a human being can make a new decision and alter the course of events."  If the power company had responded to my husband's call two weeks ago and sent a tree cutting crew to take it down then, the power company employees would not have had to come out in the rain and wind on what was to become a nightmare of a night for the region when over 200,000 people were to lose power.  

Cohen's point is that once something is set in motion most of us are capable of predicting the outcome if we've learned from our past experiences.  However, it does not mean the outcome is certain.  Unforeseen circumstances can alter the outcome for or against our favor.  We have much more under our direction than we give ourselves credit for, however.  Sometimes it just involves choosing a different course of action or a different way of viewing the situation.  Depending on God and seeking His Wisdom can make all the difference in the outcome.  We just need to realize that outcomes are not set in stone when we let God have hold of the reins.

Father, help me to let go of the reins so that I can pay attention to You and make the right decisions about my life.

Take action: Give Up Control