Nov 232017
 

ThanksgivingThanksgiving and sunrise are approaching and my thoughts wander. Need coffee, perspective, vision. Maybe in that order, maybe not.

I want to be known more for what I support than what I oppose.
I want to put more energy into affirming good than decrying evil.
I want to support unity more than critique differences.
I want to take less offense and give more tolerance.

I choose to exude gratitude rather than radiate condemnation.
I choose to celebrate blessings rather than denounce scarcity.
I choose to see beauty amongst evil rather than thorns dominating blooms.
I choose to speak and stand with honor and respect rather than sit and gripe with disdain and derision.

I am thankful to live in a country that provides freedom, though imperfect. One that allows success, no matter how hard-fought. One that allows diversity, even though faulty.
I am blessed with a family that loves me fully and imperfectly, supports me lavishly, and corrects me gently.
I am indebted to my Savior Who forgives my every sin, Who forgets them all forever, Who sculpts and cuts with my permission to remove more of me from myself every day.

As this year nears its end, a year when so many have chosen to selectively focus on wrongs rather than generously promoting rights, I fear that we are in grave danger of becoming that which we judge and vilify. I challenge us to become seekers of beauty, models of grace and forgiveness, heroes of affirmation, and servants of all.

God bless us all this Thanksgiving with more… well… thanksgiving!

Nov 242010
 

Moms have a whole day for it. Even Dads have one! Tomorrow is a whole day devoted to it, even though it is already commercially overshadowed by Christmas. Nevertheless, we ignore it so often every day.

Coffee. I don’t drink it a lot, but a good cup on a cold day in a cozy restaurant really hits the spot. I have noticed that wait staff vary quite a bit in their technique for filling and refilling a cup. I’ve chosen this as a litmus test for determining the level of care a person takes in serving me. Often, there is a drop running down the side of the cup and several more across the table as the carafe is slowly brought to an upright position after leaving the cup. Some professionals however, have mastered the art of uprighting the carafe while it is still hovering over the cup, leaving not one drop anywhere outside the cup! For that reason, and other specific acts of quality service, I choose to regularly request the presence of the shift manager for a short moment on my way out the door. I compliment the staff member who served me and include specific reasons for my appreciation of their service. I ask that the manager share my comments with them directly. That way, they not only get a compliment, but they know that their boss knows! It’s fun!

 So, what does this coffee focus have to do with Thanksgiving?  OK. Everybody loves on and thanks mothers on Mother’s day. We may even do it on Father’s day. We may even use the words “thank you” more than once on Thanksgiving. Why? Well, because we kindof have to. It’s expected!

 And be thankful. Colossians 3:15 NIV

For may of us, you’d think the text reads a little more like this-“and be thankful, in a regulated and periodic fashion”. I don’t think that’s what God had in mind when He had Paul write that short sentence, do you? I think He wants us to live days that are full of thanks! It’s one way we show love for each other.  Have you ever seen someone look less happy when you thank them?  Not usually. Their faces usually light up like a Christmas tree! By the way, what did you say to the person who took the trash out of your office this morning? What about the person who bagged your groceries?

Being thankful is what God asks of us. And when we are obedient to Him, He changes us from the inside out. One word of thanks at a time. One day at a time. Making us look more and more like His Son.

Here’s the challenge for the rest of the week.  Worry less about getting your fair share of tryptophan-laced turkey, dressing,a nd pumpking pie and focus more on those around you. Find at least ten people to thank. Find people you don’t usually thank. Find actions for which you don’t usually show appreciation. Be creative. Be specific. Be direct. Look them right in the eye, tell them what you are thankful for and tell them why. They may be surprised. They may even look shocked! That’s a hint that you may not be thanking them enough! 

Starting……….NOW!

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