One Nation, Under God

john 3 16

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What’s There to Like?

thought

 

America, we’re a house divided.

We slice and dice ourselves by

 

  • Race
  • Politics
  • Income

Over the years, I’ve made my home in seven states, and in rural areas, small and mid-sized towns, suburbs and cities. What have I found?

Most people are nice.

Drop your snap judgments. Don’t assume. Ease off the labels. Get to know those people on the other side of the debate. 

You might discover that “the content of their character” isn’t all that different from yours.bless-their_souls

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Gratitude Ratings

discipline

We complain. A lot.

We complain about the weather, our jobs, our homes, the food, our kids, our commute, the people we elected to govern us.

 

How does all that sound to God? Like we’re evaluating his job performance?

OK God, today you get just 2 stars for the weather. My cranky coworker was sick, so I’ll give you 3 stars for my workday. But that commute–not even 1 star. Come on, God, you can do better than that!

Our God is a God of grace and mercy. And for that, I am very thankful.bless grateful

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Humdrum Gratitude

Architect

 

Taking God for granted?

I plead guilty!

 

Thank you, Lord, for the daily details, the tedious tasks, the repetitious routines — for

. . .
coffee beans
electricity
windshield wipers
direct deposit
supermarkets
pots and pans
toothpaste
pillow and blanket
. . .

amen

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The Power of Gratitude

Rock solid

“. . . gratitude, like hope,
is a force powerful enough
to penetrate even the deep pit
of depression.”
Kathleen Norris
The Quotidian Mysteries

 

John 14:1 (ESV)
Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God.

And be grateful.bless soul pic

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Acceptable Hearts

blueprint

 

Psalm 19:14 (ESV)
Let the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight, O LORD,
my rock and my redeemer.

As noted yesterday, a grateful heart gleefully puddle-jumps through life. A resentful heart is like quicksand, pulling me further down with each step. A worried heart makes for a hard walk, breaking a path through knee-deep snow. An apathetic heart drags through hot desert sand, bored and thirsty. A hateful heart is a lava flow, first burning me, then cooling into lock-stepped stone.

Guess which heart rates God’s approving smile–grateful-heart

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Splash of Gratitude

thought

 

 

Quick! What are the last three things you thanked God for?

 

  • Breakfast
  • That I woke up this morning
  • I cleared the latest snowfall from my sidewalk with a broom

If you had to think awhile before you answered, you may be trudging through life with an ungrateful heart.

Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)
Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.

Don’t slog through mud and muck. Pull on your happy boots and puddle-jump through your day. Go ahead, splash some gratitude on your nearest and dearest. It will bless their souls–and yours!smile 1

 

 

 

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Good and Organized

1-corinthians-14-33

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Divine Balance

blueprint

We find balance in Scripture. The Bible exposes us to a kaleidoscope of views on the elements of daily life. It exposes us to divine sense.

Take parenting, for example:

 

Proverbs 13:24
Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children,
but those who are quick to correct them show true love.

Colossians 3:21
Don’t infuriate your children, so their hearts won’t harbor resentment and become discouraged.

Our Father God parents us with sóphronizó, this divine sense — neither overbearing nor over-indulgent. bless-balanced

 

 

 

[sóphronizó, “living in divine moderation”]

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Balanced, for God’s Sake

Rock solid

 

2017 aspirations: divine sense, blessed balance

Here’s some 17th Century wisdom to help–

 

“. . . our sanctification did not depend upon changing our works, but in doing that for GOD’s sake, which we commonly do for our own.”
Brother Lawrence
The Practice of the Presence of God

Whatever you do, do it for God’s sake.bless soul pic

 

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