Thursday, November 22, 2012

Our Daily Bread Designs Forum Bible Verse Thursday Challenge #56 - Give Thanks

"Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; His love endures forever!"
~1 Chronicles 16:34

I came across this little story or parable in a book and I would like to share it with you today.

One afternoon a shopper at the local mall felt the need for a coffee break.  She bought herself a little bag of cookies and put them in her shopping bag.  She then got in line for coffee, found a place to sit at one of the crowded tables, and then taking the lid off her coffee and taking out a magazine she began to sip her coffee and read.  Across the table from her a man sat reading a newspaper.

After a minute or two she reached out and took a cookie. As she did, the man seated across the table reached out and took one too.  This put her off, but she did not say anything.

A few moments later she took another cookie.  Once again the man did so too.  Now she was getting a bit upset, but still she did not say anything.

After having a couple of sips of coffee she once again took another cookie.  So did the man.  She was really upset by this - especially since now only one cookie was left.  Apparently the man also realized that only one cookie was left.  Before she could say anything he took it, broke it in half, offered half to her, and proceeded to eat the other half himself.  Then he smiled at her and,putting the paper under his arm, rose and walked off.

Was she steamed.  Her coffee break ruined, already thinking ahead of how she would tell this offense to her family, she folded her magazine, opened her shopping bag, and there discovered her own unopened bag of cookies. 

I like that story - it makes me think about how well God treats me even when I am not treating him well or thinking all that kindly about him.  It also makes me think about how, sometimes, I do not really appreciate what I have or act like I know where it has come from.  It serves as a kind of reminder to me - like that reminder in today's old testament reading.

There, Moses, after telling the people of Israel how they will prosper in the promised land that they are about to enter, how, after so many years of slavery and then of wandering in the wilderness, they will eat their fill, and have fine houses and large herds, and that their silver and gold will multiply, says:

Do not say to yourself, "my power and the might of my own hand have gotten me this wealth."  But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, so that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your ancestors, and as he swearing to you today."

Chapter eight of Deuteronomy is really one of my favorite chapters of the Old Testament.  It speaks so well of what we all know somewhere in our hearts,
but often seem to forget in our actions and our attitudes.

It speaks of how everything we have is a gift from God, a gift worked upon by our hands, most certainly; a gift perhaps even enhanced by our own strength,
but a gift none-the -less, for God gives us the hands we need, and God gives us the strength we have.

Would that I would remember this at all times - it would make my life so much easier, and it would bless everyone around me, and it would bless God..

Not so long ago famous people all over the world were polled by a magazine which asked them the question - "if you could be granted one wish that will come true right now - what would that be?"

There were some very interesting responses - but one response impressed the magazine's editors so much that they commented on. That response was this -

"I wish that I could be given an even greater ability to appreciate all that I already have."

It is an interesting answer, an interesting thing to wish for.

What do you think would happen if each one of us suddenly became a more thankful person?  If all of us suddenly became a more appreciative people?

I don't know what comes to your minds - but I know for sure that when I was younger my mother would have been really pleased; and now that I am older - well I know that my husband would be very happy if I expressed my appreciation a little bit more than I already do - I know that because he tells me so whenever I am apparently forgetting who he is and what he does.

No one likes to be taken for granted - or to see someone that they love taking things for granted.

All of us like to be appreciated, all of us like to be thanked, and all of us, I believe, like to see those we love live thankful lives, appreciative lives, so much so that we teach our children this virtue
          - at our supper tables,
          - during birthday parties,
          - in the middle of visits from their grandparents,
          - and just about anytime that they are receiving something
            from someone or asking someone for something.

It is a great thing to teach our kids to say please and thank you, it helps them out in this world, and it is a great thing to be appreciated, to be thanked; but as we think with holy and prayerful minds today - as we thank God in our worship service for the harvest we are all enjoying, I ask you - as I ask myself - where is your sense of thankfulness at?  How complete is it?  How deep does it run in your life?

I Thessalonians, chapter five, verse eighteen says

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

and in Ephesians, chapter five, where Paul is telling new Christians how they should live, it says:

"Give thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

The norm and the standard of the early church of the disciples and the apostles was really incredible and it had incredible results in the lives of those disciples and apostles, and in the lives of all those around them.

They lived happy and triumphant lives, they rejoiced even when they were being afflicted and persecuted, and their fellowship continually grew until it reached the ends of the earth.

Give thanks in all circumstances. 
Give thanks for everything.
Give thanks at all times.

This is a step beyond remembering God and thanking God for all the wealth that we enjoy in this our promised land.  Beyond remembering God  and obeying his commands because he has given us fine houses and filled our bellies.  Beyond thanking God, as the leper thanked God, for healing him through Jesus of his disease.

This is "thanks - living" - and it is demanding - and it is rewarding.

I say it is demanding - because quite frankly when I am feeling pressed to wall I find it difficult to fulfill the word that says:

"Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."

And when I am feeling struck down by some affliction or angry at someone for doing something that seems to me to be thoughtless; or upset at my dog for his having escaped out the door in the morning and run off down the street;
I have difficulty feeling grateful to God for the circumstances I am in.

Instead of wanting to praise God - or to pray to him about the situation with thanksgiving,
         - I want to feel sorry for myself and the trouble I am in 
         - and I want to throttle the dog, because I know darn well
         that when Laddie escapes and runs off to school he is not
         going to come back home any smarter than he was before.
How about you?
Do you have a faith that is thankful in everything?

Your challenge this week is to create a project using this scripture or another verse of thanksgiving.  When uploading your project, please use keyword ODBDBVT56 and then hop over to Our Daily Bread Designs Forum and share it with us! 

Supplies for this project
Cardstock:  Truly Yours – Black Card Base; Bazzill – Black; Hero Layering Paper – Terra Cotta
Decorative Paper:  BoBunny ; Tim Holtz
Stamps:  Our Daily Bread Designs – Give Thanks
Inks, Stains, Paints & Colored Pencils:  Prismacolor Pencils; Ranger Distress Ink; Versafine Ink

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving!


  1. Cheryl, what a great devotion!!! It is well needed, specially during this time of year. Love your card!


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