All Things Beautiful ~ Part 3 of 3 “Beautiful in God’s Time”

God has a plan to fulfill the dreams and the purpose He has established for you.

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter  various trials,knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing~ James 1:2-4

Our life doesn’t always look perfect, complete, lacking in nothing. We often feel undone. But because we know that God is good and that He never changes we can also rest in His perfect will for us, that He has a plan and regardless of timing He loves us.

“It is about rejecting the myth that every day is a new opportunity to prove our worth, and about the truth that our worth is inherent, given by God, not earned by our hustling.”  ~ Shauna Neiquist, Present Over Perfect

We reflect our Creator we are made in His image. He does things well. He is interested in the details of our lives.

“The most difficult part of mature faith is to allow ourselves to be the object of God’s delight.”   ~ Alan Jones

People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering.  ~ St. Augustine 

One of the tragedies of our life is that we keep forgetting who we are.”  ~ Henri Nouwen

We are God’s children and we can trust His timing!

In Genesis 37:1-11 God gives Joseph dreams for his life. God never changed the dream or the plan. What He spoke to Joseph came true, but it took a very long time to come to pass. Joseph endured betrayal, slavery, and imprisonment before coming to power and his family bowing down to him like he saw in the dreams.

We see through all of the situations that Joseph faced that never once could he rely on human intervention to save or deliver him. We also see that he did not become bitter or resentful.

The restoration process is clearly visible in Joseph’s story, He says to his brothers who sold him into slavery “You meant to hurt me, but God turned your evil into good to save the lives of many people, which is being done.”  ~ Genesis 50:20 NCV

God redeemed goodness out of slavery, imprisonment, and starvation! He made Joseph’s life beautiful in His time. God has good plans of restoration for you and I as well.

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.   ~ Ephesians 1:4 NIV

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  ~ Ephesians 2:10 NIV

God who never changes decided long, long ago that He would choose you and use you and your life for good.

Restoration is not a quick, prefabricated project that is thrown together. It is a deliberate and planned removal of the unwanted, a detailed refining of that which is to be preserved, and an addition of that which was not before. ~ Barbara Stephens

The final piece of our restoration quote speaks of addition. Adding what was not before, another way to say that is fulfilling dreams.

“Restoration involves a relationship with a Good God. Daily inviting Him to wash old wounds, highlight talents and joys, and courageously add things we are too timid to admit we dream of accomplishing.”  ~ Melisa Turner, But God…A Doctrine of Hope

Robin Jones Gunn in her book Victim of Grace speaks about the dreams in our hearts. She asks “Where do these foundational inklings inside us come from? Does God plant seeds of our dreams deep within before we’re born?” She goes on to discuss the idea that some dreams grow and some do not and that “It seems to have very little to do with the dreams themselves but everything to do with the One who planted the dreams inside us. God has been a Planter, a Gardener, from the beginning…He is the one who plants and uproots. God gives; God takes away…The conclusion I came to was this: God is God. He can do whatever He wants. But what he wants most is a relationship with us.”

Believe God will fulfill the dreams He has planted in your life!

Choose to pursue a relationship with Him instead of striving to accomplish the task or dream itself.

Lord, draw us close to You, that as we know You, we will trust You and Your timing.

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Posted in But God, Dream, God's Unchanging Character, Hope, Redemption, Restoration | 3 Comments

All Things Beautiful ~ Part 2 of 3 “A Diverse Creation”

He has made everything beautiful in its time. ~ Ecclesiastes 3:11

We have discussed how God can redeem goodness from all the situations in our lives. This time I want to explore how God refines what He has already woven into the fabric of our lives.

13 You made my whole being; you formed me in my mother’s body. 14 I praise you because you made me in an amazing and wonderful way. What you have done is wonderful. I know this very well. ~ Psalm 139:13-14

 The diverse way that God has formed each of us is intentional.

17 But in any case each one of you should continue to live the way God has given you to live—the way you were when God called you… The important thing is obeying God’s commands. 20 Each one of you should stay the way you were when God called you…Brothers and sisters, each of you should stay as you were when you were called, and stay there with God. ~ I Corinthians 7:17-24

God will help to refine us as we live in Him and obey His commands, but we do not throw out our talents, personality, interests, our character traits and become clones! He created us diversely on purpose.

“Salvation means the healing and rescue of a body that is brought back to the way it was intended.”  ~ Eugene Peterson

“From the moment a life is surrendered to Christ, the redeeming work of sanctification begins. My inclination to tell stories was being sifted in this sanctification process.” ~ Robin Jones Gunn, Victim of Grace

Robin Jones Gunn is a renowned fiction author, she goes on about this concept and her desire to reach around the world for the Gospel.

“My Dad loved the stories I told about my overseas travels. I loved that as I told him these stories, every word was true. Nothing was made up the way my stories used to be when I got in trouble at the dinner table for ‘exaggerating’ and ‘going on and on about nothing’. Jesus, the Author and Finisher of my faith as he is called in Hebrews 12, truly has redeemed the hidden gift he placed inside me before I was even born. He gave me a gift, he redeemed the gift, and now he is using that gift to reveal his Great Story to others.”  Robin Jones Gunn, Victim of Grace

Remember our quote on restoration from Part 1?

Restoration is not a quick, prefabricated project that is thrown together. It is a deliberate and planned removal of the unwanted, a detailed refining of that which is to be preserved, and an addition of that which was not before. ~ Barbara Stephens, Psalms of Recovery: Meditations for Strength and Hope

“Restoration involves a relationship with a Good God. Daily inviting Him to wash old wounds, highlight talents and joys, and courageously add things we are too timid to admit we dream of accomplishing…We often see our spiritual development as a way to correct what is wrong with our flawed sinful character. Would you consider with me what is right with your character? Do you know your strengths or have you been too focused on your weaknesses?” ~ Melisa Turner, excerpt from But God – A Doctrine of Hope

Diversity is what gives the body of Christ strength!

“Diversity with unity, within the framework of truth, is God’s design.” ~ Jodi Detrick, The Jesus-Hearted Woman

“Friendship isn’t forged out of sameness…” ~ Shauna Neiquist, Present Over Perfect

Friendship does not equal sameness, we must give each other space to be ourselves. The same can be said for the body of Christ, so we must not compare or compete.

“It is only when you understand God’s truly unconditional love that you begin to understand the worth of your own soul- not because of anything you’ve done, but because every soul is worthy, every one of us is worthy of love, having been created by and in the image of the God of love.” ~ Shauna Neiquist, Present Over Perfect

We must learn to trust God with our diversity and strive to please or obey only the One who created us.

Real freedom is freedom from the opinions of others. Above all, freedom from your opinions about yourself. ” ~ Brennan Manning

Who will we let determine our worth?

Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant. ~ Galatians 1:10 NLT

Whose servant would you be? It would always be changing, exhausting. Rest in knowing that the God of the universe created you intentionally and uniquely. Concentrate on refining the fabric of your life, not striving to be like anyone else.

“Comparison will either lead you into pride or insecurity, but resting in God’s unique love for you will set you free. ~ Lisa Bevere

It is in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. ~ Ephesians 1:11 (MSG)

Do you know your strengths, your talents, your joys?

How could God use your diversity within your community?

I urge you to take the time to journal your thoughts on this. Write down how you feel God has created you uniquely and praise Him for this gift of freedom to be yourself.

A suggested resource: Strengths Finder 2.0

Posted in Be yourself, But God, Diverse, Freedom | 2 Comments

All Things Beautiful ~ Part 1 of 3 “Redemptive Goodness”

I had the great privilege to be invited to speak at Wenatchee First Assembly of God’s women’s retreat earlier this Fall. Our theme was He makes all things beautiful in His time based on Ecclesiastes 3:11.

In our first session together we explored God’s Redemptive Goodness.

A Time for Everything Ecclesiastes 3:1-11

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time.

Some of you are now humming the song by The Byrds “Turn, Turn, Turn”.

Seriously, though can God truly redeem goodness from everything? Can He make all things beautiful? When things are dead, uprooted, torn down, scattered? When they feel hopeless, thrown away like garbage, or when there is silence, hatred, and war?

And through Christ, God has brought all things back to himself again—things on earth and things in heaven. God made peace through the blood of Christ’s death on the cross. ~ Colossians 1:20

There is an ugliness to this life and the world we live in. So many things in that list that we fear, so much suffering, hurt, and destruction.

Israel, put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. ~ Psalm 130:7

Full redemption is possible. God can bring ALL Things back to himself, He can make All things beautiful. He can do this because of His goodness!

There is no other God besides me. I am the only good God. I am the Savior. There is no other God. ~ Isaiah 45:21b NCV

Every good action and every perfect gift is from God. These good gifts come down from the Creator of the sun, moon, and stars, who does not change like their shifting shadows. ~ James 1:17 NCV

It is important to distinguish that evil was never in God’s plan for our lives. These bad things develop outside of His perfect will for our lives. Mankind steps out of God’s plan and creates pain, disobedience, war, selfishness, slavery, and unrest.

“God created nothing evil. It is we who brought forth wickedness.” ~ Tatian, the Assyrian, 2nd Century Theologian, Book of Common Prayer

“Evil is all that lacks the goodness of God.” ~ Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

All is not lost because a Good God makes restoration possible!

Restoration is not a magic wand that God waves over the destruction in our lives and poof we are all better. Restoration is a process. God’s redemption does not make evil good, it extracts goodness from these situations so there is purpose and nothing is wasted.

Restoration is not a quick, prefabricated project that is thrown together. It is a deliberate and planned removal of the unwanted, a detailed refining of that which is to be preserved, and an addition of that which was not before. ~ Barbara Stephens, Psalms of Recovery: Meditations for Strength and Hope

Barbara Stephens indicates that restoration is a three-step process: remove, refine, and add.

This is the redemption story – God removes our sin and separation from Him, He refines who we are, and He adds what is missing.

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? [sounds like our list above]…No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. Romans 8:35, 37 NLT

Our circumstances do not change God’s character! God does not change and His love for us does not change.

We have to learn to interpret the mysteries of life in the light of our knowledge of God. Until we can come face-to-face with the deepest darkest fact of life without damaging our view of God’s character, we do not yet know him. ~ Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

Are you redeemed? Reconciled to God?

Have you received Salvation? The full redemption of being brought back to Christ?

If so then you are unable to be separated from God’s love no matter what has happened.

I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.” ~ Isaiah 44:22

Respond to the offer of redemption God has offered you…please don’t wait!

Are there other things that need to be redeemed in your life?

Is there something God wants to reveal to you in HIS time? Is He saying now is the time to beautify or redeem ____________ (fill in the blank)? Restoration and refinement are always possible.

Can you give God permission to redeem goodness from All things in your life?

Lord, we pray over the hidden corners of our hearts and lives, reveal to us where you are patiently waiting to redeem goodness. Let us stand on the truth of your never changing character and your unfailing love. Reveal yourself to us in your perfect timing.

Posted in God's Unchanging Character, Love, Redemption, Truth | 4 Comments

Chosen for Influence ~ Part 3 of 3

Chosen

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you                                                  to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last.  ~ John 15:16a 

The final portion of our key verse speaks of producing eternal fruit, this comes after our chosenness, using our individuality, following rest or sabbath.

God created man and woman on the sixth day…on the first full day of existence for Adam and Eve, God rested. And so did Adam and Eve…After a busy day of being created, the next thing we did was hang out with God for a whole day. Then work began…From this we see an important principle of life: We are to work from our rest, not rest from our workFruitfulness happens in stages and seasons: abide, grow, bear fruit, prune, abide…We cannot bear fruit if we do not spend time abiding.  ~ Mike Breen and Walt Kallestad, A Passionate Life

Influence is a representation of Christ in YOU! We are Chosen for Influence – that we might bear fruit.

“…all nutrients of heaven are offered to us…He brings us into a fruit-producing life that feeds and nourishes others. God chooses us, and we choose Him.” ~ Rebekah Lyons, You Are Free

We use our influence to help build the Kingdom of God, as a result of being rooted in Him, drawing on His strength.

Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. ~ John 15:4

There is a parable about a Useless Tree in Luke 13:6-9 that I find fascinating. What I noticed about the tree in the story Jesus tells is that it did not need uprooted but restored to health. It needed fertilizer and good soil added to its current location. This reminds me of one of my all-time favorite quotes:

Restoration is not a quick, prefabricated project that is thrown together. It is a deliberate and planned removal of the unwanted, a detailed refining of that which is to be preserved, and an addition of that which was not before. ~ Barbara Stephens, Psalms of Recovery: Meditations for Strength and Hope

A three-step process: remove, refine, and add. If we feel useless like we are not producing fruit perhaps our soil needs to be restored.

Do you need to add or remove something from your current situation…more exposure to God’s Word, an accountability partner to help remove weeds or rocks, a fresh encounter with the Holy Spirit, some Sabbath/Solitude/Prayer?

We know from the Parable of the Sower that the types of soil were the crucial reason the seed did or did not grow. So we can ask ourselves are we producing fruit? Are we dwelling in God’s house, planted in good soil, resting in His presence?

God uses us to spread his knowledge everywhere like a sweet-smelling perfume. ~ II Corinthians 2:14b NCV

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other. ~ John 15:16-17

An effective influence is sweet smelling and rooted in LOVE!

But our God helped us to be brave and to tell you his Good News.                    ~ I Thessalonians 2:2b NCV

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. ~ Acts 4:13 NIV

The way we have courage is to be with Jesus, abide in Him.

Never doubt that God has chosen you and given you the strength and ability to bear fruit. Remember that your individuality is going to make your influence look unique compared to others.

He who thinks everything must bloom when the strawberries are in bloom doesn’t know anything about apples. ~ Greek Proverb

For further encouragement to allow God to use you in His time and within your own unique style, I recommend reading The Trellis and the Seed: A Book of Encouragement for All Ages by Jan Karon.

But the godly will  flourish…in the courts of our God. Even in old age, they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green. ~ Psalm 92:12-14

You are Chosen, Chosen to be YOU, and Chosen for Influence.

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Chosen to be YOU ~ Part 2 of 3

Chosen

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last.  ~ John 15:16a 

We are chosen by God.

God does not change, therefore he does not change His mind or His love for us!

…for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. ~ Romans 11:29

Irrevocable is a big word that means set in stone.

I want to remind you of a blog I posted in 2015 entitled “Mom, is that you?” I shared in this post how I made some supposedly questionable decisions regarding the parenting of my children and the running of my household. A picture is worth a thousand words, I sent my children to school looking like this:

IMG_0346

Long story short, my husband questioned my choices, yet I could tell as he spoke to me that he clearly adores me! My chosenness as the wife and mom and my performance of those duties are two very different things.

You and I are irrevocably called even in our imperfection.

We have the freedom to separate our performance from our title as a child of God.

…When a child fails, he will be grieved because he has hurt his parents, and he will be corrected and disciplined. But he is not afraid of being thrown out. His basic confidence is in belonging and being loved, and his performance does not change the stability of his position. ~ David Seamands

We also have the freedom to be ourselves. When we come to Christ we do not throw out our talents, personality, interests, our character traits and become clones!

“…God’s image has been imprinted uniquely on each of us. In God’s infinite creativity there are no duplicates; you are the only you there has ever been or ever will be.” ~ Dick Staub

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”~ Dr. Seuss

God never expects you to show up as somebody else! 

And by the way, He adores you! So let’s be clear your status/identity is secure.

God appointed you to be YOU.

It is in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for.  ~ Ephesians 1:11 (MSG)

We find out who we are in Christ. If you do not know who you are then I urge you to intentionally seek Him.

Psalm 139:23 reads: “Search me O God, and know my heart”. If we read the entire chapter of Psalm 139 we find that it is God who already knows us.  He knows all our actions, words and even our thoughts. [Psalm 139]

One way to get to know ourselves is to spend some time with YOU!

“When one is a stranger to oneself then one is estranged from others too…Only when one is connected to one’s own core is one connected to others, I am beginning to discover.  And, for me, the core, the inner spring, can best be re-found through solitude.” ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

Our identity is found in Christ, not in what we produce! Our worth is not dependant on what we do right or wrong, or whether we fail or succeed! We learn our worth through time spent with God. Another way to say that is Sabbath.

“Take a nap, a walk, an hour for lunch. Test the premise that you are worth more than what you can produce – that even if you spent one whole day being good for nothing you would still be precious in God’s sight – and when you get anxious because you are convinced that this is not so, remember your own conviction is not required. This is a commandment. Your worth has already been established, even when you are not working. The purpose of the commandment is to woo you to the same truth.” ~ Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World

We must stop and quiet ourselves so that we can remember and know who God is, what He has done…He has chosen you and me because of His great love. And this foundation for our identity encourages us to be the truest version of ourselves.

So who are YOU in Christ? I encourage you to take some intentional Sabbath and Solitude time to seek out the answer.

You be, You, everybody else is taken!

 

Posted in Be yourself, Chosen, Freedom, God's Unchanging Character, Good Mom Award | 1 Comment

Chosen ~ Part 1 of 3

This spring I was given the amazing privilege to speak for the 15th Annual Almira Coulee Hartline Ladies Retreat! A tremendous honor, as I am almost from there, a hometown girl. But, also, because I was asked to speak on one of my favorite topics, Chosen, based on our Blossom Ministries key verse.

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last.  ~ John 15:16a 

Our time together was broken up into three main sessions: Chosen, Chosen to be YOU, and Chosen for Influence. Following the pattern I used last fall after our Blossom retreat, I will give you a brief summary of the sessions here in three posts by the same names.

Chosen

Why we are chosen is crucial to our understanding that we are chosen. We must realize and believe that God chose us because He loves us!

My daughter loves Christmas Hallmark movies, she has 27 of them saved in her Netflix account. There is something satisfying about the predictability of a Hallmark movie.

God’s love for you and me is as predictable as the plot line of a Hallmark romance.

“The Christmas story – it begins in the beginning, this love story that’s been coming for you since the beginning. It begins with the always coming of Christ. Christ, who is there in the beginning, the voice calling out of darkness, an echo in cosmic emptiness, speaks it by the commanding word of His mouth: Let there be…No matter your story before, this is your beginning now:  you were formed by Love…for love.” ~ Ann Voskamp, The Greatest Gift, Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas

Can you grasp the predictability of God’s love?

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, ~ Ephesians 3:16-18

We are chosen and this is founded on God’s love and backed up by His unchangeable character!

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! ~ I John 3:1

We are chosen by God, and because God does not change, He also does not change His mind or His love.

“…When a child fails, he will be grieved because he has hurt his parents, and he will be corrected and disciplined. But he is not afraid of being thrown out. His basic confidence is in belonging and being loved, and his performance does not change the stability of his position.”  ~ David Seamands

Ultimately we must find our security in God’s faithfulness, not ours. Our worth is not dependant on what we do right or wrong, or what we produce whether it fails or succeeds!

Your identity literally means ‘the same’ – that regardless of changing circumstances, the core of you is unchangeable, stable, the same. When your identity is in Christ, your identity is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.” ~ Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way

God’s character does not change even when our circumstances change.

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?…No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.  ~ Romans 8:35, 37 NLT

We are chosen by God and that is securely based on His unchanging nature. He says to us in John 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you!”

Posted in Chosen, Christmas, God's Unchanging Character, Truth | Tagged | 1 Comment

Rinse and Repeat (Part 4 of 4)

Thankful

Thankful

Altars of Remembrance are things, places, quotes and moments that mark our lives.

This month I am sharing four of my life’s markers.

Marker #4 Gratitude, Rest and Remembrance = Sabbath 

Taking time to rest and remember what God has done, is doing, and I am hopeful for in the future is what Sabbath means to me – Rinse and Repeat, meaning to tiresomely repeat an action or event until it becomes predictable – I would like it to be said of me that I habitually paused to be thankful.

Then Samuel took a stone and set it up  between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” ~ I Samuel 7:12

Ebenezer Stone or “Stone of Help” – is an altar of remembrance. A place marked in time and geography that says God has helped usI think of the hymn Come Thou Fount, and the line “Hither by Thy help I come”. Hither meaning up until this point.  When Robert Robinson wrote this in 1758 I can imagine he was resting and reflecting on what God had done in his life so far.

“Then Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests who bore the ark of the covenant stood; and they are there to this day. ..“When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’ 22 then you shall let your children know, saying, ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry land’ ~ Joshua 4:9, 21-22

Remember what God has done. Here are three possible ways to do this:

The Prayer of Examen is the first way to Remember and show Gratitude.

The Prayer of Examen is a Sabbath Liturgy of Remembering.

“…review your days at the end of each and…ask two simple questions: Where did I feel most alive, most hopeful, most in the presence of God? And where did I feel most dead, most despairing, farthest from God?… Try this. At day’s end…Quiet yourself. Reflect on the day.” ~ Mark Buchanan, The Rest of God, Restoring Your Soul By Restoring Sabbath, p. 201

“Prayer of Examen is retelling the story of God today. It is the practice of noticing.” Gail Johnsen, Keeping Company with Jesus

Ultimately, when we have gone back over a day and noticed what was with God and without God we come to confession and then resolution to live our lives more fully aware of His Presence.

Examine yourselves to see whether you are living in the faith. ~ II Corinthians 13:5

Keeping a Gratitude Journal is a second way to Remember and show Gratitude.

A gratitude journal is similar to the Prayer of Examen.  It is writing down what you have noticed you are thankful for each day, where you have witnessed God and perhaps where you have missed His interaction.

  • Keep your Gratitude Journal and a pen readily available.
  • Write three things you’re grateful for each night before bedtime, include anything, however small or great, that was a source of gratitude that day.
  • Personalize the gratitude journal, adding photos, quotes or verses.
  • When you find it hard to write something new, flip back a few pages and remind yourself of all you have to be grateful for.

“There is always something to be thankful for.”

Praying a Benediction is a third way to Remember and show Gratitude.

A benediction is simply praying your gratitude list.

“Training for Gratitude…A Benediction was good words…The Hebrew term for gratitude is hikarat hatov, which means, literally, ‘recognizing the good’…pray your own benedictions – brief statements that recognize the good that comes from God.” ~ John Ortberg, Soul Keeping, Caring for The Most Important Part of You, p.173-175

Blessed art Thou o Lord our God who has given me…

…this new day…my children…a warm home…friendship…redemption…enough…

“…you can take time each day to remember the benefits you received, see your benefactor, and thank Him for His Benefits. As Thornton Wilder put it, ‘We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.’” ~ John Ortberg, Soul Keeping P. 176

The seemingly tiresome Rinsing and Repeating restores our souls!

Remember to pause long enough to examine your day, to notice the good, to list your benefits and to bless God from whom all blessings flow.

How would you finish this prayer of remembrance? Blessed art Thou o Lord our God who has given me…

 

 

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