|We celebrated Martin Luther King Day Monday on his actual birthday. His life, although flawed like the rest of ours, showed that He loved God and wanted to exhibit the fruit of His spirit noted in Galatians 5 https://biblehub.com/galatians/5-22.htm. For those of you who didn’t read my last blog post, https://thankfulinallthings.com/my-thoughts-on-how-i-will-grow-in-2024/ I share that this verse will be a focus for me as I try to live out my One Word for 2024 prayer. Here is what I wrote a couple of years ago on how we can be motivated to live better lives with a heart of service.
On this day do you remember? There is a reason that Dion’s song, “Does anyone here” https://youtu.be/a5hFMy4pTrs remains one of my favorites. When we fret about where our world is today, look back. I was 11 when JFK was killed and 16 when Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King were also assassinated. It was a very divisive and scary time. My question on this MLK Day is not do we remember these men, but in our remembrance, how does it motivate us to be better men and women?In preparation for the MLK King Day in 2022, I had the privilege of helping our local newspaper find people to share their thoughts on what Martin Luther King’s life meant to them. Here is the link should be interested in what was written https://dailyprogress.com/specialty_publications/page-s01/page_ae2d0e53-5094-53ca-9d82-7d42579185d9.html Dr. King lived a life that left a legacy for all to follow. It causes us as Jeff Burton writes, to “ask ourselves, how is it today that I can act; what can I do to leave this place better than I found it; to do our small part to inspire others for good” Nathan Walton, in the publication noted above, asks, “What story are we telling?…..This day gives us an opportunity to tell a new story for our own moment” As we look back this MLK quote should help to move us forward. “We have come a long, long way but we still have a long, long way to go.”Former City of Promise ED, Mary Coleman writes that our story needs to be one where we have learned from the past so we can be exhorted to help make a brighter future. She asks, “Where do we go from here? Will we choose chaos or community in a unified manner that King describes as persevering togetherness.” Yes! There is my 2022 Word. Unity. Uncompromised Never-ending Intensity Toward YES! We can be motivated by others to make our story one that sets an example for those around us. It can be a story line that causes Breakthrough by lifting up others and like MLK, motivating them to pursue peace while making a positive difference in the world versus creating divisiveness and selfishly ignoring those who need our help. Dr King was in no way a perfect man. But he was a man who believed he was redeemed by His Creator and called into a work that would ultimately cost him his life. This gives me hope as I hope it will you. It teaches nothing is impossible for those who love God. Luke 1:37 promises us “that we have the privilege of serving a God who can literally do anything, and there is nothing that is impossible for him.Therefore let us strive to live out the beatitudes noted in Matthew 5:1-12Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you..Like Dr King, When we live our life this way, we will leave our personal legacy that others will continue because of the way you motivated them.Please subscribe to this blog so you can receive an email notification when new content is posted. I can be reached by email at [email protected]
It is that time of year. We watch another year disappear and ponder on what the new year will bring. We think about things we didn’t achieve in 2023 and commit to being better about it in 2024. All of us focus on how we can make ourselves better people our regarding health, relationships, or in our work lives. Let me share with you how I plan to go about it this year. That way, you all can hold me accountable as the year progresses because we all need to encourage each other. https://thankfulinallthings.com/jesus-sent-folks-out-in-pairs-for-a-reason Jodie Berndt writes, How we walk through life together—for better, for worse—comes with the power to influence our communities, our churches, and our children, including future generations.” https://www.denisonforum.org/popular-culture/book-reviews-excerpts/praying-the-scriptures-for-your-marriage-excerpt-jodie-berndt/
Like a good presbyterian, I am going to focus on three ways I hope will make 2024 a year where when I look back, I can say that my life was changed and therefore, like Jodie, I helped positive difference in the world around me. I encourage you to consider one word on which to focus and build your year around. Here is the link to use if you have never done it before. https://getoneword.com/ As I went through this exercise, two words, Content and Prayer, rose top of mind.
In the end, I chose Prayer because I want to have a more consistent and strategic prayer life allowing me to draw closer so I can better understand what the Lord’s will is for my life. If I am successful, I am pretty sure contentment will occur as well.
Secondly, I will memorize and regularly meditate on https://biblehub.com/galatians/5-22.htm with the intent of impacting others with the Fruit of the Spirit listed as Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, and Self-Control. If these characteristics can be made evident in my life, others will hopefully see that God is taking more and more control of my life. These fruits will be produced because I choose to honor Him in all that I do.
Finally, my goal is to visually put on the armor of God https://www.bible.com/bible/111/EPH.6.10-18.niv so that along with my focus on prayer, I can become strong in the Lord and experience His might power so that I might stand firm when adversity comes my way. Each morning I hope to I will mentally buckle the belt of truth around my waist and make sure God’s breastplate of righteousness is in place. I will make sure my feet are fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace and that I don’t forget my shield of faith and helmet of salvation. I will pray for the Spirit to produce the above mentioned fruit and use God’s Word as my sword when I encounter those who want to question the reality of my faith.
My hope is that my 2024 One Word PRAYER results in a bushel full of spiritual fruit being produced in my life. I will go out mentally dressed in the armor God has given me. If I do all three, 2024 will be one that I draw closer to the Lord allowing me to experience the abundant life I have promised. My prayer is that you too, will seek to find your own way in 2024 to pursue the One who wants the very best for you.
Happy New Year to you! Thanks for reading my blog. I would love to hear from you. My email is [email protected] Please subscribe if you haven’t already so you can receive email notifications when new content is posted.
The One Word several years ago by Dan Britton, Jon Gordon, and Jimmy Page. . https://www.onewordchallenge.com/
I am not sure they have ever thought about how cool it is that we choose our Word after Advent and Christmas right before the manifestation of Christ in what is called the Season of Epiphany. Epiphany also means “a moment in which you suddenly see or understand something in a new or very clear way” I..E. Allowing your word for the year coming into focus ?
I had no idea that I would need so much PRAYER in 2019 until I was diagnosed with Guillain Barre Syndrome. (Link to the story here (https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/michaelguthrie ) In 2020 I chose GENEROSITY because of how folks cared for Dottie and me in 2019. Little did I know how many folks would need help because of Covid. EMBRACE has been my One Word in 2021 because I wanted to embrace whatever came my way personally or professionally. Our company merged with a larger one in March.
I may not have known why the last three years, but it is clear what I will concentrate in 2022. I really thought it would be BREAKTHROUGH. It is defined by Merriam-Webster this way. “A sudden increase in knowledge, understanding, etc. : an important discovery that happens after trying for a long time to understand or explain something” The world we live in is desperately seeking understanding and explanations to the many challenges we face these days. However, for us to experience true breakthrough, we must have a desire to enact change and to make that happen we need my 2022 word UNITY.
Why? If we are to have UNITY there needs to be an UNCOMPROMISED NEVER ending INTENSITY TOWARD YES! If we can come together and proceed in this effort, we can allow God to use us in forming community (committing to Unity) that brings breakthrough. Together we can help Him release this bound up world.
Let me be clear. Being Unified does not mean uniformity. We are not and do not have to all be or look the same. In fact Unity is more powerful when it is made up of people who don’t think and look alike and come from different places. I wrote a few weeks back about how the different colors of the leaves make trees more beautiful in the fall. https://thankfulinallthings.com/beauty-can-be-created-by-one-or-in-many/ An orchestra or a choir make beautiful music when they are unified in their harmony and when they know their time to sing or play an instrument
This can not be an individual effort because we will grow tired and weary. No. As John Tillman writes, “rather than attempt to sweep our own house clean and empty, may WE invite Jesus into our mess (Revelation 3.20) so we can be UNITED with Him. He promises to do a renewing, revealing work within and through not you and and therefore, US. He has work of renewal for US to join Him in now. And He who begins a good work in US will see it through to completion (Philippians 1.6). When he is finished, we will have revealed Him to the world.” Like a light shining in the darkest of places.
Yes friends……………Christmas is over. The waiting for Jesus is over. The fun and celebration is behind us.
Howard Thurman’s poem so beautifully reminds us the hard work is now to be done.
When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among brothers [and sisters],
To make music in the heart.
“Lord, may we glorify You this coming year by letting go, embracing and rejoicing in Your reign over all things. May we trust Your word never to return void, but in UNITY may we strive to accomplish all You marvelously intend” https://astherainandsnow.com/author/astherainandsnow/
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Have you noticed? Summer is over and Fall is very much upon us. In some ways it is my favorite time of year. There is a chill in the morning air but it is warm enough for shorts and short shirt sleeves in the afternoon. As much as I enjoy it, it signals that winter will soon be on its way. It means waking up in the dark and leaving the office in the dark. The one day of an extra hour sleep does not make it worth it. The beauty of the autumn colors soon will lead to bare trees bracing against the cold wintry winds. Unless you are “California Dreaming ? https://youtu.be/N-aK6JnyFmk , what can be found to keep us thankful in all things? If I was a skier, thoughts of upcoming snow storms would bring anticipation and excitement. If I had a blade on the front of my truck (oh wait, I don’t have a truck) I would be looking forward to the revenue made from clearing snow. Thanksgiving and Christmas certainly cause excitement. One friend counts down to Christmas right after giving Easter its due ?
No. What gives us gratitude is knowing the leaves dying and falling off the trees is only temporary. It allows the tree to conserve it’s energy so that it can produce its leaves, flowers,fruit, etc in the spring that will come. The winter does the same for us. The difference is it can come at any time. There are seasons in our life that make us hunker down and become less busy. That stillness allows to find solitude. That solitude brings us to a place of dependence not on ourselves but in the One who created us. Henri Nouwen puts it this way. “Our outer silence will lead us to an inner silence. Silence and solitude invite us to gradually let go of the other voices and trust the inner voice that reveals to me my true name.” Like the tree or vine leaves, God want us to wither away and die so in our spring time, we can be spiritually reborn into the life God created for us. It allows us to bring forth beauty that those around us can enjoy. Pamela Bunn’s prayer in https://astherainandsnow.com/2021/10/17/beauty-in-the-ordinary/ sums it up well. “Lord, prompt me to look for Your scattered beauties in the ordinary, then give You all the praise upon beholding them. Help me to do my part in scattering beauty, and standing out with a bit of Your glory, so others might praise You too.”
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Someone asked me a couple weeks ago, how I view myself and where my life fits into the world. For some reason, with very little thought the title of this post came out of my mouth. I can’t remember making this statement before so I have been wrestling with why I said it. This is not an attempt to be self-deprecating. It is my way via my own self perspective to write something g that will hopefully lift up and encourage you. Another line I have used often is “ God must not want me to be a wealthy person” I feel as though I have a generous heart and I know God loves a cheerful giver, https://www.biblegateway.com/verse/en/2%20Corinthians%209%3A7 so why every time, when we have have some extra money, does a large expense like a car repair or dental implants occur?
My point in poking fun at myself with these two statements is not where we get in life but how we lived our lives. Abraham Lincoln said it this way..” …in the end, it is not the years in a life it’s the life in the years“. Think about it. How many times have you thought something was going to happen which would take you to a new place and the door closed before you could walk through it? What about being sure you knew what God had planned and something occurred different than that plan? These thoughts increase in these days of following folks on social media. It is so easy to fall into the trap of thinking your life does not measure up. Proverbs 19:21 explains it by saying, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”
We are to be who God created us to be not try to be like someone else. My friend Bud Harper taught me this years ago after a lunch where a man shared how God changed His life. George Kettle https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/washingtonpost/name/george-kettle-obituary?id=5636625 had inexplicably become a man of great wealth and started a program that George H Bush recognized as one of his 1,000 points of life speech. https://youtu.be/SQhbEh8AeSA After the talk, I told Bud that I wished I could be like the man who spoke that day. Bud, normally mild mannered, grabbed me by the tie and said something I have never forgotten. “I don’t ever want to hear you say that again. God made you to be exactly who you are and does not want you to be anyone else.”
Haven’t we all wanted to be somebody else? Haven’t we all wondered, if only this or that had happened? Maybe not you but I at times, get tangled up https://thankfulinallthings.com/to-what-are-you-being-held-hostage/ thinking about why have things not gone the way I wanted or wishing my life looked more like others. If we allow it, we can be swallowed up by the lie that we are a nobody and that our lives don’t matter.
In God’s eyes, nothing is farther from the truth. Psalm 139:14 in The New Living Translation says we are to acknowledge His ways by saying “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.” Only then, can He have His way with you so you can go from being a nobody to someone who Isaiah exclaims is “overwhelmed with joy in the LORD my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding or a bride with her jewels now robed in righteousness and heir to His throne.” Isaiah 61:10 Once we find our confidence and value in Him, He asks us to follow three simple steps. Love Him with all your heart. Love others as He loves you. Let go of what you think you want and trust Him with the outcome. God will then use us to help others realize that like us, they too, are indeed somebody.
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Isaiah 40:31 “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young people stumble and fall. But those who wait upon the LORD will renew their strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary,they will walk and not faint.
When was the last time you really had to wait for something? Last night my grandchildren were “starving” and said they would die if they didn’t get their chicken tenders in 5 minutes. I didn’t think it was the right time to share that there are children all over the world who really are starving. If everyone reading this post commented, the list would be long and include things more important than when will your food arrive. The list would include reconciliation with a family member, the tests were negative, you got the job, you found a partner, you finally get to see a loved one, etc. Like me, I sure it becomes harder to believe in God’s promises when they take a long time to come.
I have thought a lot about what does it mean to wait? It started two years ago with having and then recovering from Guillain Barre Syndrome http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/michaelguthrie. We all then waited through Covid and the life challenges it created and in many ways is still creating. Recently I have I had to wait on life returning to normal due to Covid19. Over the last 4 weeks, it has been waiting on L4 disc and impinged nerve to recover so I can once again be pain free. Thankfully, that seems to be on the mend as well 🙂
I know waiting is just a part of life but I believe God uses waiting to make us more cognizant of Him. He wants us to, not go from what we are waiting for to what where you are to go or what we will receive, without Him with us. He wants us to acknowledge Him in the now so we can be grateful for what comes next. Think about it. So many people God had big plans for had a time of waiting. Abraham https://karenyango.com/waiting-god-abraham-sarah/ Moses https://bible.org/seriespage/1-hurry-and-wait-exodus-11-210. Esther Esther 5 (God had been working quietly behind the scenes, moving Esther into place as queen, to bring rescue His children from Haman’s plans of genocide.) Noah (Genesis 8:10) and the Apostle Paul had times (one found in Acts 9:30) where they had to wait on what God had planned for them. Even His Son ,Jesus, spent 40 days fasting in the desert before starting His ultimate ministry.
God says “Be Still and know that He is God.” Could it be that, whatever period of waiting you find yourself, it is God giving you a chance to slow down so you can experience His presence in your life?
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In my last blog post, I wrote about how do you go about seeking out the key (The Code) to a successful life. I used an analogy of an electronic gate that if opened would lead you where you desired to go. Once opened, your life would not only be filled with success but be one that was seen as significant. This, not just success, but significance process comes from Bob Buford’s book, Finishing Well. https://www.christianbook.com/finishing-well-adventure-life-beyond-halftime/bob-buford/9780310330707/pd/330707 Through 60 interviews of leaders, Bob makes the point that finding ways to make a significant impact lead people to a longer, healthier, and more fulfilled life overall. I guess I was well ahead of my time ? because since I started my real estate career in 1983, one of my affirmations has been “What positive difference will I make in the world today?” One that I have added recently is “Thank you for this new day Lord. How can I serve you today?” This comes from Psalm 118:24 “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” And from Isaiah 6:8 “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for�us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send�me!” This verse also leads me to Joshua 24:15 “But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”
I ended my last post saying I would share what I have found to be The Code for my life. How have I gotten to the place where making a positive difference in the world and wanting to serve are my two main focuses each day? I cannot speak for anyone else but me but finding The Code is like being thirsty and needing to find something to quench my thirst. Craig Denison in First15 said it this way. “Do you find yourself unsatisfied? Thinking there must be more? It is like an unquenchable thirst. A thirst that is infinite that nothing finite can satisfy.” I hope those who know me or have been regular readers of “thankful in all things” would be able to say the unquenchable thirst in my life is satisfied because of my faith. The Code if you will, is knowing that I was created and loved by the God of the universe.
Matthew 6:33 challenges me to “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” If I seek Him first, not some but ALL things will be given. Not just in plenty but in want and in my case not just in health but in sickness. Little did I know that my faith of 50 years would be tested through my battle with Guillain Barre Syndrome http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/michaelguthrie and than through self-isolation due to my compromised immune system during Covid19. I sought the Lord for His presence and His help. What I received was a faith made even more real because He met me in that journey through adversity. He wants to do the same for you no matter what obstacles you are facing. Isaiah 33:6 shares the key to a significant life. We are to “have a sure foundation and the rich store of salvation and knowledge and wisdom which can be unlocked by this: having a deep awe and respect (fear) of God.”
When boiled down to a simple daily mission statement, my code comes down to this focus. “Love the Lord with all your heart. Love others as He love you. Then let go go and trust that the outcome will lead you to a more significant and abundant life.”
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The scripture above says, Jesus knocks on the door of your heart but only you can let Him into your life.
Once I opened the door to my heart and allowed Him to take residence, I have experienced that He keeps on knocking, nudging, and whispering to us. He does this so we can live out Hebrews 10:24 “Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.”
There are a couple of things we need to do for Him to use us in this way. 1) Take time to stop and listen. Psalm 46:10 says we are to “Be still and know that He is God.” Think about your own life. When you are busy and focused on something, you don’t hear what someone near you might be saying or notice that they might need your help. How then can we hear what God is asking of us if are not taking the time to listen to what He has to say or what He want us to learn?
I am write this post to share and encourage you to tune in and listen to God who wants to share with us what He wants us to do. The simplest of acts can have an impact. Sister Jean B. Bingham says it this way. “Sometimes we think we have to do something grand and heroic to ‘count’ as serving our neighbors. Yet simple acts of service can have profound effects on others — as well as on ourselves.” We are called to share. https://www.calledtoshare.com/2020/04/27/shoulder-taps-and-gods-timing/ We are called to live out the scripture, James 2:14 “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? The beauty of acting out our faith is the more we exercise acting on the whispers and nudges, the more He shows us how to let others know we care. Sometimes it is just a text, a phone call, a timely handwritten note. We might drop bagels or some other treat for no apparent reason other than they came to mind. There is power in simply following up with someone after you have said you would pray for them. It is uncanny that no matter the act, time and time again people will say, “how did you know?”, “You doing this came at the perfect time”, or “You have no idea how much this meant to me” I have also been struck recently by how God leads me to answers at a time where I have been challenged in some way. I will read something in a book or the Bible or listen to a devotional that speaks so clearly to my present circumstance.
The key to acting on what God has for you is not doing it for your own gratification. It is not about getting recognition or being patted on the back. It is about opening your heart and mind so that God can tell you who He wants you to serve. A friend calls it “doing awesome things quietly” My dear friend Pamela prays it this way. “Lord, help me discern Your voice and follow You first, the One uniquely worthy of my surrender and allegiance. And may my following You be a draw for others to follow You too.”
It really is a simple process if you allow yourself to slow down. In the midst of the quiet, you will begin to have people come into your mind. When they do, act on it. Open the door so God can be present with you in every moment. You will begin to experience the wonder of being His conduit in allowing His Kingdom to come on earth as it will be heaven. In that moment, you will find yourself becoming “thankful in all things”
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Take a moment to reflect. What are you struggling with these days? Where is there doubt in your life? If we are honest, there is not a day that goes by where life doesn’t bring some type of challenge. I heard the quote the other day “life is like a gym membership with a difficult cancellation policy.” Another one is “life is a merry go round with no way of getting off” Sound familiar? As I wrote in my last post, freedom can only be found when we pray and surrender to God’s ways realizing we are not in control. Tim Keller says it this way.
”Tim Keller-“To the degree you can shed the “unreality” of self-sufficiency, to that degree your prayer life will become richer and deeper”. So in the midst of whatever life is throwing at you, the first step is to let go and trust that God will carry you through. The first step has to be ours as a sign of our willingness to trust. You can read about these first steps throughout the Bible. Here are just a few:
Moses picking up the snake trusting it will turn into a staff. Moses placing the staff into the water so that sea would part for his people. Abraham placing his son Isaac on the altar the four men taking their paralyzed friend to Jesus. A father coming to Jesus asking for him to heal his child. The sick woman who reaches forward to touch Jesus’ cloak hoping it will heal her. The Prodigal son turning around and taking the 1st step back toward his father.
The first step for them and for us is placing our hope in and trusting that God is in control no matter what the circumstances. Only then can we begin to experience the freedom to live life in the way it was meant to be lived.
The same thing can be said about taking steps to to build relationships with those with whom we disagree, Jim Denison shares four steps found in the Bible.
- Ask the Lord where and how to begin, confident that he will lead us to those he is already preparing for our initiative (cf. Acts 16:9–10).
- Pray for the humility to learn what we do not know and to change what we need to change (Philippians 2:3; Proverbs 18:12).
- Ask for the words to speak and the grace with which to share them, knowing that life transformation is not our work but that of the Spirit (John 16:7–11).
- Trust the results to the God who knows our hearts and loves us unconditionally (1 Samuel 16:7; Romans 5:8).
As I wrote a couple posts back, it all comes down to where you place your trust. Take the first step today to Love God with all your heart, Love others as He loves you, and then let go and experience the freedom of trusting God with the outcome.
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It has now been a couple of weeks since we watched our elected officials grapple with whether the President of the United States should be impeached for a second time. No matter which side you fell on regarding this decision, I found myself asking these questions. Was it true that the constitution does not allow for an impeachment after they leave office? Did the President know folks were coming to storm the Capitol? Was this just done because the Democrats wanted one more shot at Mr. Trump? Were the news outlets reporting objectively or was their desire to just sell more advertising?
These questions led me back to my main question, Who can we trust? We all have people in our lives that we think we know and to whom we can depend. This was further compounded for me when I heard about two strong Christian leaders who were living sinful private lives while leading thousands to and in their faith journeys. I was saddened to hear this had happened but was not surprised. Why? Because, like many leaders in the bible and like most of us, they fell prey to the things of the world. The end result is, should we choose to place our trust in man, we will ultimately be disappointed. Nor, can our family, friends, and colleagues truly trust us as we will make mistakes as well. The Bible makes it clear in Romans 3:23 that ALL not some “sin and therefore fall short of the glory of God” Meaning, people will disappoint us and we will disappoint others. It also means that there is no one we can truly trust except for God.
So what is the answer? It is that at the end of the day, we are only responsible for ourselves. I don’t mean this in a selfish, “it’s all about me way”. Quite the opposite. we need to have an attitude that no matter what comes our way, no matter how someone else wrongs us, how we respond is the choice we get to make. God exhorts us to “turn the other cheek”. He says “love others as I have loved you.”
It is all about to what are you tethered? Is it to the world or to the One who created you and knows how you best should live. I wrote about this concept a while back. Here is the link https://thankfulinallthings.com/to-what-are-you-tethered/
So how do we do it? If you have been reading my blog, you know Andrew Murray says it happens when we “Abide in Christ” like branches cling to the vine. Gregory Boyd in Present Perfect says we need to remind ourselves that “God is in the Now”. He goes on to say when we strive to honor Him the we can trust in the outcome. When we allow ourselves to detach from God’s presence thinking we can live life on our own power, like a branch, without the vine’s nourishment, like the faith leaders who lost their way, we lose our strength and the ability to live as we were meant to live. Charles Stanley says another way to think of it is to stop and wait. “The word wait has a different sense here—it means “pause for further instructions.” It’s not passivity; rather, we must choose to stop our actions and listen for God’s directive. Sometimes the Lord is silent for a season, but He has a purpose. He knows the perfect time for us to act, and until that moment, He wants us to wait. More strength and character are required to be still in the midst of a storm than to frantically seek our own solution.” May we all go out into our worlds acknowledging our desire to do things under our own power. When we do, the only one we can truly trust, promises to make us strong enough to persevere through whatever challenges or disappointments that come our way. Allowing us to remain “thankful in all things”.
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