It’s a Matter of Gratitude

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18 We talked yesterday about being a more enthusiastic and outgoing person and how it can lead us to good things in life. Today, I want to delve deeper into the manner in which this happens, and I believe it boils down to one word — gratitude. The more thankful we are, the more we develop the qualities that make us successful, since all good fruit grows from within. We can’t really “will” ourselves into attitudes and behaviors, because unless they are rooted in genuine love for Jesus, they won’t last. The measure to which we enjoy life correlates directly to the amount of genuine gratitude we have for who our Savior is and what He has done. This is why, when we begin to understand how perfectly He cares for us,

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It’s Your Party

“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off.” – Matthew 18:12,13 Have you ever had a party thrown in your honor? Though some of us don’t like to be the center of attention, I’m certain that nearly all of us feel a deep sense of joy and gratitude when the people we love gather to celebrate us. Whether it’s a graduation, a birthday party, or a wedding, being blessed by our friends and family is a highlight of life. And while experiencing this joy on earth is a great gift, it can’t compare to the kind of

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The God of Seasons

“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.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1,2 Today is the first day of spring, and if you’re like me, you’re joyfully anticipating the new life that it brings. Especially after the extended impact of COVID-19 and the unprecedented challenges we’ve faced over the past year, we’re ready for a page to turn. However, to put things into perspective, it’s important to remember that springtime is only possible because of the falling leaves of autumn and the barren cold of winter. We serve a God of seasons, and no matter how difficult each one is, they all have distinct beauty and a divinely-appointed purpose. Today, we see evidence of vibrancy and hope, but the fruits of this time have only come

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Embrace Joy!

“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” – Psalm 16:11 Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a joyful person, and I get told that…a lot. I tend to go around whistling; in fact, someone said that I come with an announcement because I always seem to be chirping a tune. I don’t hear myself doing it, but when I enter a building or a room, people know I’m there. I’m also a smiling and silly person — I enjoy living, and it’s not uncommon to hear comments (sometimes sideways) about my happiness. While some may feel that it’s superficial or “over-the-top,” I can say for certain that it’s not, because I have a reason to be glad! Every day, I wake up overwhelmed by the goodness of God and by what

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Walk in Your Own Shoes

“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither — whatever they do prospers.” – Psalm 1:1-3 In a culture that’s dominated by images of worldly success, it’s tempting to walk in the footsteps of others instead of traveling the path the Lord has marked out for us. I remember years ago, when my dad was stepping into a leadership role in which he would be filling really big shoes, he wrote a book called Walking in Your Own Shoes. The “big-picture” idea he presented is that while it’s

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