Showing posts with label #gratitude. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #gratitude. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Peace for Survival

How do we cope, follow healthy eating, and survive through God's peace? Break down verses listed from

Philippians 4: 6-8

 

 

First part of verse 6:  Don’t be anxious about anything.

 

Many have a hang-up called worry. It steals our peace, stresses us beyond belief, and keeps us from serving God to our fullest.

 

An anonymous saying: Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.


Stop worrying. Listen to God's Word.

 

2nd part of verse 6: Pray about everything.

 

One of the worst things we do is compartmentalize our lives. We divide it up such as family, activities, hobbies, jobs or responsibilities. We keep areas separate.



 
 
Is God primary to all pieces of the pie?
“It’s not even good enough to regard God as the biggest piece of the pie. If we see Him that way, we’ll still leave Him out of the rest of our lives. The‘piecrust’ of God’s love, power, and truth is the foundation for everything we do.”
                                      Extravagant  by Bryan Jarrett


We shouldn’t ask God to ride along in the front seat of our life. We should request that he drive.

 
 


3rd part of verse 6  Be thankful, but make our requests known to God.

 

“Our part is to ask, to seek, to knock. His part is to answer, to come, to open."
                    

 

“Religion today is largely the imitation of an example, when it ought to be the hearing of a Voice. And so the interior life of Christians has become a dynamo, busy with plans and philanthropies and activity, when it's out to be a receiver set primarily concerned with catching the messages from on high.”
                            Courage to Change, compiled by Bill Pittman and Dick B.
 

 

We should be like a radio that picks up God’s direction for every part of our life. Our biggest job is to keep open the lines of communication.

 

 


Verse 7: The peace of God wilt guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus.


 

Asking for help is the first step to a healthy Christian life.

God loves giving to us that “peace that passes all understanding.”

 
“Happiness consists of a solid faith, good health, and a bad memory.”
                                                                           Clare Boothe Luce
 

Resentments are sneaky little demons. We think we have forgotten some minor slight or injury until the person or situation comes up again, and we realize it’s still there like a cancer eating away at our walk with the Lord. We have three choices: keep brooding, avoid the person or activity, or give those feelings up to God.


“A man is about as happy as he wants to be.”
                                Abraham Lincoln

That happiness comes from letting go and letting God.



 

Verse 8  Meditate on, or think about good things.

 

An attitude of gratitude is God’s best weapon against compulsions, hang-ups, or flaws.

 

Gratitude; self-condemnation can’t reside in the same mind. Jesus told us, we can’t serve Him and the devil also. Neither can we sincerely thank God for His bounty and faithfulness and be all wrapped up in how rough it is carrying our load.

 
Read these verses. God sends peace for survival.

 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving Attitude

(Reprint of a memoir piece I wrote and posted several years ago to  impart, hopefully, a Thanksgiving attitude)

ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
By Janet K. Brown


     The pastor’s sermon blazed through my mind. He advised we keep an “attitude of gratitude” and quoted, “In everything give thanks: (1 The. 5:18a.)”

     Everything? Really?

     My dry, thirsty spirit longed for the peace the pastor spoke about, so I was willing to try. I prayed, “Lord, help me be thankful in everything.”

     That night, my mother died while talking to me on the telephone.

     When it rang, my house overflowed with daughters and sons-in-law. My joy was complete, and it was easy to be grateful.

     “I think I have pneumonia,” Mom said.

     “Have you called the doctor?”

     “Yes and I have an appointment tomorrow, but I feel…..” Her voice trailed off. I heard a gasp.

     I gripped the receiver as if it were her life vest. “Mom?”

I waited. “Mom? Are you okay?”

     Nothing.

     My heart raced. My legs couldn’t carry me the one hundred and thirty miles to her home. She had to answer. “Mom?”

     A gurgle sounded then total quiet.

     By this time, my husband held me.

     I doubled over in pain. “Mom,” I screamed into the phone.

     He pried it from my fingers, listened and hung up. “We need to call the emergency number. Do you want me to?”

     I shook my head and dialed. I gave them the address and explained what I heard. “I’m an only child. She lives alone, so if you get no answer, you have my permission to break in a door or window.”

     My tears soaked my husband’s shirt. He told them to call us. “We’ll be there in about two and a half hours.”

     My body convulsed. My family surrounded me. I don’t remember but I know my husband tucked me into the passenger side of our car, and we drove off.”

     While our car sailed along the highway nearing Dallas, my husband clutched my hand across the center console. I felt an encouraging squeeze. “It will be alright.”

     But, a sick feeling flipped my stomach upside down. Breathing became a silent struggle to survive. I heaved in laboring pants identifying with the one who gave me birth, my number one fan on earth.

     Another phone call gave us the hospital name. After we parked near the door, we rushed inside.

     A kind nurse directed us to a small room.

     A doctor entered. He confirmed what I suspected. They were never able to revive my mother. Her last words were to me on the phone. I followed him to a cold, clinical room. Mother’s body was rigid. “Good bye,” I spoke the words but my heart refused to accept the facts.

     My husband led me out. He looked me in the eyes. “She dreaded going into a nursing facility more than anything. We can be thankful she died in her own home while talking to you.”

     Thankful? I remembered my promise to be thankful in all things. I prayed again. I really tried.

     My next call came from my baby daughter. Her husband had completed his tour of duty with the U.S. Air Force in Korea. She wanted me to know he’d be there for the funeral. “But, now I know we’ll be stationed at North Carolina.”

     Already tender emotions melted into fresh tears. “That’s a long way from Texas.”

     “Yes, but we’ll stay here for two more weeks.”

     Two weeks? Thanksgiving Day would come in three. The coldness I’d felt in Mother’s hospital room crept along my veins like thick blood. “You’ll be gone for Thanksgiving?”

     “Yes.” Her voice came soft and searing to my heart.

     The next few days filled with so many things. God insulated me with a long to-do list and a shock-sedated system. Often, I faltered. I couldn’t go on. My husband and I prayed. God carried me through a few more hours. His mercy and love gave me rest when I could go no further.

     My plans for the funeral.

     The funeral itself.

     Making decisions for Mom’s house and goods.

     Helping my daughter pack to move.

     Planning the Thanksgiving meal.

     Holding tightly to my ten-month-old granddaughter that we kept every day while her mother worked. She was the new life out of the old. But, soon she would live fifteen hundred miles away.

     In everything give thanks.

     The Lord reminded me daily of my promise.

     One week before Thanksgiving, my daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter drove off. How could my heart keep pumping while loaded with so much heartache? How could I thank God for this?

     Thanksgiving Day was bittersweet. My husband, the other two daughters and sons-in-law gathered around a feast cooked with both love and sadness.

     Like a robot with fork in hand, I scooped good food and lifted it to my mouth without tasting the buttery, sweet flavors. Memories ran like escaped prisoners through my thoughts. My hand stilled.

     Memories.

     “I thank God for the memories of Mother, of Cindy and Victoria.”

      My husband held up his fork holding a piece of Cindy’s pecan pie she made and left for us. “In all things give thanks.”

     I smiled. “I think we should stop now and pray again.”

     My family laid down utensils and looked up at me as if I’d sprouted angels’ wings. We bowed our heads.

     “On this Thanksgiving Day, give us an attitude of gratitude in every thing.” When I lifted my head, I saw smiles cross each face. I silently asked God to remind me of this time on the next trial. I knew there would be one.

I hope you enjoyed my story. God is so good. How thankful I am for all the Writing with God's Hope blog viewers.
The Brown Thanksgiving table last year
Happy Thanksgiving!
 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

How is Gratitude Like Bookkeeping?



Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8

 

Meditate on, or think about good things.
Colorado wild flowers among the rocks

 

 

An attitude of gratitude is God’s best weapon against compulsions, hang-ups, or flaws.

 

Gratitude and self-condemnation can’t reside in the same mind. Jesus told us we can’t serve both Him and the devil. Neither can we sincerely thank God for His goodness and love, when we wallow in self pity.

 

My thought


BALANCE SHEET


****For several years, I was a full charge bookkeeper. When composing a balance sheet for a business, we must refrain from putting assets and liabilities in the wrong column.

 

When we fail God and dwell on that failure, our minds count our liabilities. When we stop to thank God, we count our assets. Assets cover up liabilities every time. Don’t dwell on your weakness. Dwell on God’s power.

 

Don’t base your action on how you feel. Base it on what you know. Give up your life, your will, your choices each day to God, and base your decisions for all areas of your life on His direction.

 

Don’t put the liabilities where the assets should go.

 
 

INCOME STATEMENT

 
 
After making a balance sheet of assets and liabilities for a business, we move to preparing an income statement with columns for profit followed by each listed expense.

 

I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas and surrounding area. When our children were young, we lived in the suburb of Irving. I grouped my neighbors and friends from my daughters’ school and day care into one circle of my life. I worked in downtown Dallas, and that represented a separate portion of my life. We went to church and had old friends in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas representing a third section.

 
When we moved to a smaller city (Wichita Falls, TX), I found it amazing that I went to church with neighbors and served in PTA at school with fellow church friends. I love it. It simplifies life.

 

 


In life as if they were expenses, we separate each area: God, family, career, hobbies, church, friends, responsibilities.


We compartmentalize when God wants them blended under one umbrella called God.

 

 


“It’s not even good enough to regard God as the biggest piece of the pie. If we see Him that way, we’ll still leave Him out of the rest of our lives. The‘piecrust’ of God’s love, power, and truth is the foundation for everything we do.”

                        Extravagant by Bryan Jarrett

 

***My thought***We shouldn’t ask God to ride along in the front seat of our life. We should request that he drive.

 

 


 

During the month of Thanksgiving, this quote below makes us think:

 

The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.

                                  ~H.U. Westermayer

 
Any comments?

 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Anxiety


How do we rid ourselves of anxiety? The devil uses it to best advantage. Anti-anxiety medicine anyone?


For the solution, let's go to Philippians 4: 6-8


First part of verse 6:  Don't be anxious about anything.

 

Many of you have a hang-up called worry. It steals your peace, stresses you beyond belief, and keeps you from serving God to your fullest.

 

An anonymous saying: Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.

 
I used to sing this song as a solo in church:

Many things about tomorrow;
I don't seem to understand:
But I know who holds tomorrow,
And I know who holds my hand.

What a wonderful reminder for us today.

 
 

2nd part of verse 6: Pray about everything. 

 

 One of the worst things we do is compartmentalize our lives. We divide it up such as God, family, hobbies, and careers. We keep those areas separate.

 

It's not even good enough to regard God as the biggest piece of the pie. If we see Him that way, we'll still leave Him out of the rest of our lives. The 'pie crust' of God's love, power, and truth is the foundation for everything we do.

              from Extravagant by Bryan Jarrett
    
 
We shouldn’t ask God to ride along in the front seat of our life. We should request that he drive while we sit in the passenger seat.

 
 
3rd part of verse 6 Be thankful and make your requests known to God.  

  

God has given us everything we have. How can we be puffed with pride?

 

****Here’s a quote from Tim Veal, a guest speaker, at my church in August of 09.
 
We can't go far enough away that God won't come after us.
We can't do anything so bad that He won't forgive us.
God never quits loving and never gives up.
 
How can we not be grateful for grace such as that!

 

Verse 7: The peace of God wilt guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus.
 

Sometimes God calms the storm. Sometimes, He allows the storm to rage and calms His child.


Asking for help is the first step to a healthy Christian life. Ask for help from God and from others.

God loves giving to us that “peace that passes all understanding.”

 

It’s said that Clare Boothe Luce said, “Happiness consists of a solid faith, good health, and a bad memory.”

 

Verse 8: Meditate on, or think about good things.

 
Ask, seek, and knock. God will answer, be found, and open the door.

An attitude of gratitude is God’s best weapon against compulsions, hang-ups, or flaws.

 

Gratitude & self-condemnation can’t reside in the same mind. Jesus told us, we can’t serve Him & the devil both. Neither can we sincerely thank God for His bounty and faithfulness and be all wrapped up in how rough it is carrying our load.

 


Don’t base your action on how you feel. Base it on what you know. Give up your life, your will, your choices each day to God, and base your decisions for all areas of your life on His direction.
 
 
 
So, let's summarize the five ways to combat anxiety.
 
1.     Don’t be anxious. Give it to God
2.     Pray about everything. If you struggle with what seems like a small thing, remember, there’s no big or little things with God, only things you need to put in His hands.
3.     Be thankful & make your requests known to God.
             Ask, seek, knock
             Keep an attitude of gratitude
4.     Accept God’s peace. If you let go of the problem, God gives the peace
5.     Think about good things. Don’t dwell on the bad stuff
 
 
What helps you overcome anxiety?