Tag Archives: Thankfulness

Learn to Pray

Leran to Pray

Always be joyful.
Never stop praying.

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2014. All rights reserved.

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Filed under God, God's Will, Gratitude, Jesus, Joy, Praise, Prayer, Religion and Spirituality, Scripture, Thankfulness

Grace Over Fairness

In order to untangle us from the web we had spun for ourselves, God had to do something very unfair. He had to send his son to this earth to die for sins he didn’t commit.

Is Christianity fair? It is certainly not fair to God.

Christians believe that God sent his son to die for your sins and mine. Fairness would demand that we die for our own sins. But the good news is that God opted for grace and mercy over fairness. Excerpted from How Good is Good Enough? ~Andy Stanley

For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man [Adam], how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life   through the one man, Jesus Christ!” ~ Romans 5:17 (NIV)

As a new day and a new week begins, I am grateful for God’s lavish grace! May we be overwhelmed by it today!

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Christianity, God, Grace, Jesus, Love of God, Mercy, Thankfulness

Our Magic Moment came at a price

It was our last day at Disney World. We had gotten to the Magic Kingdom at 10:00 am and it was 10:25 pm. We were spent… but wanted to squeeze in one more ride.

When we got to the ride the sign said there was a 40 minute wait. The park was only open for another 35 minutes so we couldn’t use a Fast Pass.

As we stood there talking about what to do an older gentleman who works at Disney came out to chat with us. Learning of our dilemma he told us we only needed to know two words – Magic Moment.

After a bit more chit-chat he took us to the Fast Pass line and sent us through with instructions to tell the ride attendant those two special words.

As we stood there waiting to board the ride Eli said, “You just had your Magic Moment.” He explained that those who work in the parks try to give out special treats like that to help add an extra spark to your visit.

It was a great way to end our fun-filled day at the Magic Kingdom. But I couldn’t help thinking about all those people who had been waiting in line before we got there. They were still waiting when we got on the ride.

Our Magic Moment came at a price.

Those of us who belong to the kingdom of God have freedom from sin and death. We have a new identity and a new lease on life. We have a restored relationship with God and the promise of an eternity with Him forever.

We did nothing to earn it.

We did nothing to deserve it.

It comes to us free, but it came at a price.

It cost Jesus His life.

What will we do with God’s gift today?
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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Christianity, Eternity, Forgiveness, Freedom, God, Grace, Heaven, Jesus, Kingdom of God, Love of God, Relationship with God, Sacrifice, Sin, Stewardship, Thankfulness

Our Magic Moment came at a price

It was our last day at Disney World. We had gotten to the Magic Kingdom at 10:00 am and it was 10:25 pm. We were spent… but wanted to squeeze in one more ride.

When we got to the ride the sign said there was a 40 minute wait. The park was only open for another 35 minutes so we couldn’t use a Fast Pass.

As we stood there talking about what to do an older gentleman who works at Disney came out to chat with us. Learning of our dilemma he told us we only needed to know two words – Magic Moment.

After a bit more chit-chat he took us to the Fast Pass line and sent us through with instructions to tell the ride attendant those two special words.

As we stood there waiting to board the ride Eli said, “You just had your Magic Moment.” He explained that those who work in the parks try to give out special treats like that to help add an extra spark to your visit.

It was a great way to end our fun-filled day at the Magic Kingdom. But I couldn’t help thinking about all those people who had been waiting in line before we got there. They were still waiting when we got on the ride.

Our Magic Moment came at a price.

Those of us who belong to the kingdom of God have freedom from sin and death. We have a new identity and a new lease on life. We have a restored relationship with God and the promise of an eternity with Him forever.

We did nothing to earn it.

We did nothing to deserve it.

It comes to us free, but it came at a price.

It cost Jesus His life.

What will we do with God’s gift today?
***
© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Christianity, Eternity, Forgiveness, Freedom, God, Grace, Heaven, Jesus, Kingdom of God, Love of God, Relationship with God, Sacrifice, Sin, Stewardship, Thankfulness

Do it again!

“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, ‘Do it again’; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony.

It is possible that God says every morning, ‘Do it again’ to the sun; and every evening, ‘Do it again’ to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.” 
– G.K. Chesterton

Thank You Lord, for the gift of this day!

Thank You Lord, for being strong enough to exult in monotony!

Thank You Lord, for doing it again!

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Children, Christianity, God, Gratitude, Thankfulness, Wonder

Thanksgiving quotables worth pondering

Sure it’s another Thanksgiving, but are we really thankful? May these quotes stir your heart and deepen your sense of gratitude as they did mine!

“You can’t be grateful for something you feel entitled to.”  ~ Steven Furtick

“Would you know who is the greatest saint in the world: It is not he who prays most or fasts most, it is not he who gives most alms or is most eminent for temperance, chastity, or justice; but it is he who is always thankful to God, who wills everything that God wills, who receives everything as an instance of God’s goodness and has a heart always ready to praise God for it.” ~ William Law

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” ~ Meister Eckhart

“We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts. How can God entrust great things to one who will not thankfully receive from Him the little things?” ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled.” ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” ~ The Apostle Paul – I Thessalonians 5:16-18

Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for sharing the journey!

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I need to say it more often!

Yesterday I stopped by a local nursing home to check on an elderly gentleman who is part of our church family. He’s been there for a few weeks now but is expecting to go home in a couple of days.

He said that it’s been hard to be there because there are a lot of older folks who have been there a long time. He mentioned that his brief stay has made him mindful of how fragile life is and how grateful he is for the life that he’s enjoyed; for how blessed he’s been. Quite an attitude for a fella who has battled Parkinson’s Disease for more than a decade.

As I got back in my car and headed for the office I found myself stopping to reflect on all the things for which I can be grateful. And I realized that I dont’ pause often enough to say “thank you.”

Last week Susan was under the weather and four ladies from church took it upon themselves to surprise us with meals for several nights. What a blessing! Thank you!

If you read my blog Sunday you know I dropped my laptop and it quit working. A good friend helped me out by replacing the hard drive and reprogramming it to factory settings. I’m inspired by his servants’ heart. Thank you!

My audience of those reading this blog has nearly doubled in the last month. I’m humbled and encouraged by all of you who are sharing this journey and inviting others to join us. Thank you!

I have a wife who is not perfect but is absolutely amazing in many, many ways and is my best friend. I’m staggered by her patience with me and grateful that she chooses to continue sharing the journey even when it feels like a roller coaster at times. Thank you!

Most days I take for granted or forget to appreciate all that God lavishes us with in Jesus. Love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, intimacy, peace, joy, new life, truth… and the promise of being with us forever!  Thank You!

I’ll be honest. Most days it’s just as easy for me to see the glass as being half empty as it is for me to see it as half full. I needed the reminder to pause and be grateful. What do you have to be grateful for and to whom do you need to say…

Thank you!

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A special day!

New Milestone Logo

Image via Wikipedia

Milestone – a landmark, a highlight, a high point, an achievement. Life is full of them. A birth, a graduation, a new job, a marriage, an anniversary… Today marks two milestones in our family.

The first milestone is that today is the one year anniversary of having started my blog. It’s been a great experience. To be honest I had no idea of how it would go, how long it would last, if anyone would even be interested. What a huge adventure it has been!

I am honored by each and every one of you who have shared the journey. Thank you! And I am grateful to God for the opprotunity this has been to draw closer to Him and be stretched towards learning to find Him in the ordinary events of life. I look forward to the adventure that is yet to come.

The other milestone today is Susan celebrating her 50th birthday. As you can imagine she has a mixed bag of emotions about this particular milestone. But I am grateful beyond words to call her my best friend. We have laughed together, cried together, fought with each other and been there for each other. She has made this journey of life a pure delight. Happy Birthday Babe! And thanks for sharing perhaps the greatest adventure of all – marriage!

Life is full of milestones every day that mark our journey through this life. Pause today and reflect on a few of your own. Then thank God for these seemingly ordinary events that serve to make life so precious.

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What does your terroir say about you?

Wine grapes.

Image via Wikipedia

I do occasionally enjoy a sweet wine but could not begin to tell you the first thing about judging the quality of a wine. But apparently there are wine experts who can tell a great deal about a wine just by tasting it. Those with a trained palate can taste a wine and tell you about the age of the wine, the process used to make it and the weather conditions under which the grapes grew.

They can even tell you something about the soil the grapes were grown in and the geographical location of the vineyard. Wines take up something of the land in which their grapes grew, and express it through subtle differences in taste, savor, and odor. It’s called the wine’s terroir – from the Latin word for land.

The same holds true for those of us who are disciples of Jesus… when we pursue intimacy with the LORD.

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. ~ Colossians 2:7

When our life is rooted and built up in Jesus we will naturally overflow with thankfulness.

What does our terroir say about where our roots are planted, about the depth of our intimacy with Jesus?

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It’s healthy! Who knew?

We’re coming up on Thanksgiving, that time of year when we are especially mindful to be grateful for all our blessings in life. I’ve spent this last week preparing two messages – one for Sunday AM as usual and another for the Nettle Creek Community Church Service at Sugar Grove Church in the PM.

I wasn’t surprised at how often the directive to be thankful is mentioned in Scripture, and I’ve long believed that being grateful is a generally good habit. But I wasn’t expecting to learn that such an attitude brought about notable health benefits. One article I read stated that:

A large body of recent work has suggested that people who are more grateful have higher levels of well-being. Grateful people are happier, less depressed, less stressed, and more satisfied with their lives and social relationships.

Gratitude has been said to have one of the strongest links with mental health of any character trait. Numerous studies suggest that grateful people are more likely to have higher levels of happiness and lower levels of stress and depression.

I suppose it shouldn’t surprise me. God doesn’t set boundaries or give directives just because He can; but because they lead to a richer, healthier life. Want to feel better? Stop and count your blessings. Want to experience greater well-being?

Express gratitude to God or someone you appreciate today!

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Filed under Gratitude, Life in General, Thankfulness