Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanks - Giving

As I sit in front of my Mac, in my warm home and with my full belly, I am thinking about the special holiday to come. Thanksgiving. It's probably my favorite. Everything is extravagant, lavish, full of delight. The images floating through my head are akin to these:

Like I said, extravagant, lavish, delightful. While sitting here thinking about Thanksgiving, it dawned on me that that's really one word, a noun, that is made up of two complete, separate words. Thanks, a noun, and Giving, a verb. Verbs require action. Yes, of course, I'm thankful for the things I have, for the people I love and who love me back, and for the incredible provision and abundance I experience day in and day out. However, how often do my actions re-affirm this sentiment?

Over the coming year, I'm determined to live with a greater attitude of thankfulness. Rather than just remembering to regularly acknowledge and thank God for the abundance in our lives, I believe we're called to take it one step further. Have you ever really stopped to consider the depth behind the idea of "dying to yourself so that others might live"? Recently I did just that and it blew me away. Before I'd always thought, "Yeah, yeah, die to myself. I know. That means I need to put the needs of others before myself." Somewhere along the way, I'd never really considered the true significance and weight of the part about the "so others might live". I'd never really stopped to consider how dying to myself might actually make a difference in the life (or prevent the death) of someone else.

Maybe this child? Or maybe one of the countless many like him?

I'm struggling in the middle of wanting to make a difference and sinking into despair with the weight of the world's problems. Can one person make a difference? And how? What kind of action does it really take to GIVE thanks? I'm sure you're like me, in that looking at pictures of children suffering can send you to the pits of guilt and depression in the matter of seconds. I've been there, and it doesn't help. It's not the point. What is? To GIVE thanks. How? We've got our instructions. Die to yourself. Be Jesus to the world. It doesn't necessarily take selling all your possessions and moving to Africa. But what about going without one more cup of $4 joe and giving it to the guy on the corner who may or may not have eaten today? What about giving your old coat to someone who's shivering in the cold? Little ripples can be the beginning of big waves. Battling Self is an on-going, never-ending process. I wish it'd get easier, but I'm sure it won't. I am "the chief of sinners". Thank God, though, that he cares even for the sparrow. He knows their needs. He hasn't forgotten them. Jesus, please help us to remember them, too.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Thank God...

I am in no way making a political statement here...other than "politics stinks"! I just can't believe how ugly people can get! Guess where I found this picture? It was on the side of a Blake's Lotaburger drink cup! Are they actually being audacious enough to call Obama an @$$ right on the side of something they hand out from their business all day long? Yikes! Jesus, please help us.

So, like I said: Thank God!

Thank God this election is almost over. And, more than anything, thank God that our future, our security and our peace lies with Him and NOT with whoever is in the oval office.

Monday, November 3, 2008

What do you think?

It's been a while now, but several months ago I came across a phrase online that I haven't been able to get out of my mind. I can't remember if it was the title to a song or what, but I thought it'd make an interesting blog topic. The phrase was:

the nobility of barren prayer

I'm a dictionary girl, so when I think about this in Webster terms, I come up with something like this:

a distinguished and exalted state of prayer that is incapable of producing results

Hmm. Is there a problem there, or am I just reading into things? Yes, I do understand that some prayers don't get answered. In our fallen state, we don't always ask for things that are in line with God's will for us. And, God's will can't always be expressed because of the influence of evil on the Earth. But? I guess I see a point in that there is something noble about persevering in the face of petitions that seem to go unanswered. After all, aren't we supposed to try, try and try again? But, I think the way I read it is more of a focus just on the "barren prayer" part. It smacked me square in the face. Is there any such thing? Regardless or whether the prayer is being answered, you're still communing with our Creator, right? Building relationship is paramount, I'd think.

What do you think?