Thankfulness – Day 26


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Dear Heavenly Father,

Today we give You thanks for food. Lord, you have blessed us with an abundance and variety of foods and drink. You also gave us taste buds to enjoy the food You have provided. As we feast today keep us focused on You alone, the giver of all good things.

 Ecclesiastes 9:7

Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.

1 Corinthians 10:31

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Genesis 9:3

Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.

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 May your Thanksgiving Celebration be blessed.

Scripture: www.openbible.info

Image: Google Images

10 Basic Blessings To Be Thankful For


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I’m glad the calendar has changed to November. I love autumn, and Thanksgiving particularly. It’s not the meal that I love so much; it’s the idea of being thankful for what we have. As I type this post, I can think of dozens of things for which I am grateful.

Despite the bad news that comes to us on a daily basis, we have much to be thankful for. I ran across this article, and thought it was most relevant. I have included the link at the end of the post.

Many blessings on your day.

10 Basic Blessings You Should Be Thankful For

9:30AM EST 2/11/2013 J. LEE GRADY

Americans today face economic challenges, but we have nothing to complain about.

We Americans are a blessed people, but we are also spoiled. I know I am. I can get flustered over the stupidest things—like when my cellphone doesn’t get a good signal, when a flight is delayed or when my computer takes too long to load a website. Most people in the world don’t have iPhones, can’t afford air travel and don’t have computers. My impatience reveals my ungrateful spirit.

So how can we avoid this virus of selfish immaturity? Thankfulness is the antidote. It melts our pride and crushes our sense of entitlement. It reminds us that everything we have comes from God, and that His mercy is the only reason we are blessed.

I pray you will invite the Holy Spirit to convict you of any whining. Here’s a list of 10 blessings that many people in the world don’t have. Go over this list and then see if you still have anything to gripe about.

1. Got clean water? The next time you uncap a bottle of water or grab a drink from the tap, remember that one in eight people in the world (that’s 884 million people) lack access to clean water supplies. Millions of women around the world spend several hours a day collecting water. When you take a five-minute shower, you use more water than a typical person in a developing country uses in a whole day.

2. Do you have a bathroom? About 40 percent of the world’s population (2.6 billion people) do not have toilets. Lack of sanitation facilities spreads disease and is a major reason why more than 2 million people die annually of diarrhea.

3. How’s your electricity? The power in my house might be interrupted briefly three times a year because of Florida storms. But 1.6 billion people—a quarter of humanity—live without any electricity. And, because of unreliable infrastructure, at least 2 billion people on earth don’t have any light at night.

4. Got a roof over your head? One billion people live in slums. That’s almost one-sixth of the world’s population. Of this total, 640 million children live without adequate shelter; they live in cardboard boxes, tin-roofed shacks, one-room mud huts or filthy, crowded tenements. It’s been estimated that 1.4 billion people will live in slums by 2020. Meanwhile here in the United States, between 2.3 to 2.5 million people are classified as homeless.

5. Is there food on your table? In the United States we are battling an obesity epidemic. Yet according to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. Approximately 790 million people in the developing world are chronically undernourished, and almost 28 percent of all children in developing countries are estimated to be underweight or stunted.

6. Got a stove? In developing countries, some 2.5 billion people use fuelwood, charcoal or animal dung to meet their energy needs for cooking. In sub-Saharan Africa, more than 80 percent of the population depends on these crude, traditional means for cooking, as do over half of the populations of India and China. The really sad part: Indoor air pollution resulting from the use of solid fuels claims the lives of 1.5 million people each year, more than half of them below the age of 5.

7. Got regular income? You may have had to take a pay cut during the recession. But keep in mind that at least 80 percent of humanity lives on less than $10 a day. The world’s average income is about $7,000 a year. Still, only about 19 percent of the world’s population lives in countries with per capita incomes at least this high.

8. Did you go to school? Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names. Enrollment data shows that about 72 million children of primary school age in the developing world were not in school in 2005 (and 57 percent of them were girls).

9. Are you generally healthy? Americans face illness like people in other nations—and more than 12 million Americans are battling cancer in any given year. But many of us have access to health care. In the developing world, more than 2.2 million children die each year because they are not immunized. An estimated 40 million people in developing countries are living with HIV/AIDS. Every year there are 350–500 million cases of malaria, with 1 million fatalities, mostly in Africa.

10. Are you free to worship God? More than 400 Christians die for their faith every day around the world, and most of these believers suffer in Islamic countries—although the top hot spot for Christian persecution, according to Open Doors International, is the atheist regime of North Korea.

In these tough economic times you may feel the urge to complain. Be thankful instead! God calls us to live above this negativity. When we give thanks in all things, God gives us a supernatural attitude adjustment. When we thank God for all He has given us, acknowledging that we don’t deserve His goodness, our grumbling melts into gratitude and our impatience turns to praise.

J. Lee Grady is the former editor of Charisma. You can follow him on Twitter at leegrady. His most recent book is 10 Lies Men Believe (Charisma House).

http://www.charismamag.com/spirit/spiritual-growth/14683-10-basic-blessings-you-should-be-thankful-for

Dinner Smells Like Family


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I protect dinnertime. It’s the few moments each day when my family can catch up with what is happening in each other’s lives. My husband and I have the opportunity to instill Christian values into my children, and the conversation is always interesting.

But my children are growing up. Dinnertime is harder to schedule. There are music lessons and sports practices going on in the early evenings. Countless other events are scheduled around mealtime also. What’s a mom to do?

I love to cook, but I work full time, so preparing tasty meals was getting tricky, or so I thought. We just had meatloaf and mashed potatoes the other night. Last night it was chicken. When the kids came into the house to wash up, my daughter could smell the potatoes browning. She had a twinkle in her eye when she said, “I know what’s for dinner!” It really wasn’t the best meal I ever prepared, but she could smell the love in the air. I could tell she was looking forward to dinner.

Dinner conversation was wonderful last night. My daughter volunteered to say grace. We learned about new friends at school, some new scientific facts from my son, and planned our Christmas trip to see grandparents.

Dinnertime is not about the meal. It’s not about how it tastes. It’s about the family.

I’ll continue to protect dinner-time like a mama bear.

Blessings on your mealtime.

The Anniversary Dinner


My Father-In-Law called the other night. He does not usually call to talk to me, but to talk to his son; possibly because of the slight language barrier. My father-in-law is Cuban and although he speaks fluent English, his thick accent is hard to understand sometimes. I have very little in common with my In-Laws, and we have butted heads on more than one occasion (politics, child-rearing, working moms, etc.)

Monday night was different, however. Gerardo started out by complimenting my cooking (more than usual) and my home, and then he asked me to plan and prepare a very nice anniversary dinner at my home, to include all the children and grandchildren that can be in attendance. My in-laws will be married 54 years this Sunday. So yes, I’m going to jump up and plan something very nice. He asked for an anniversary cake, steaks and whatever special accompaniments I could come up with. He told me to spare no expense. (That’s a major request from a family that celebrates its thriftiness.)

But there was more to the request, the unspoken words. Gerardo fears this may be his last Anniversary meal with the love of his life. My mother-in-law is just not well. Since their elaborate 50th Wedding Anniversary Celebration, Haydee has suffered 2 major strokes and has other health issues. When I met my future Mother-In-Law (some 18+ years ago) she was still a vibrant woman, talked a mile a minute and could tell you every detail about her children and grandchildren. She cooked for huge family gatherings, able to feed a small army; a skill she honed because of the duties of a Pastor’s wife and raising 5 children. Now her memory is faltering and she can barely warm up prepared food items. He didn’t say it, but my Father-in-Law mourns the changes in his wife and he only wishes to celebrate their life together, possibly this one last time. Heroes come in all sizes. In this case it’s a 79-year-old man planning a special outing for his very best friend – he wants it to be very special.

My children are fortunate; they have had the luxury of knowing both sets of grandparents. I don’t know how long that will last. My father was just diagnosed with cancer. So, the meal is planned. I’m pulling out the good china & wine glasses (when was the last time I did that?), table cloths, linen napkins and the like. I’m grateful I planted flowers on the patio last weekend. Haydee will like that. I have croquet, horseshoes and a lawn chess set to ensure a fun family gathering. I’m charging the batteries to every camera I can find. I’ll probably pick up a few disposable cameras too. After all, it’s not about the food, it’s about family.

Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Garro, and thank you for the example.

The Gift of Taste


Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. Genesis 1:29

We learned about our five senses in elementary school science class, but have you really given these incredible gifts much thought? Just consider the sense of taste for a moment. God could have provided us nourishment, without flavor; food without the ability to enjoy it. But God choose to give us the gift of taste. To compliment that incredible gift, He gave us hundreds of fruits, vegetables and grains, as well as herbs and spices to compliment the many proteins He created.  The fact that we can taste the subtle differences between these foods is indeed a miracle, and most enjoyable.

Have you considered thanking God for his thoughtfulness? Have you ever thought about sitting and enjoying God and all He has to offer? He created a world for us to care for, but also to enjoy. God has given us so much, but we hurry through life, without stopping to look at the beauty He gives us every day. We don’t listen to the symphony of sounds right outside our window.

Take a moment to enjoy the world. Take a moment to enjoy God.