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Thankful, Grateful, Blessed (A Timeless Truths blog post)

 

tulips

Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed this morning? Perhaps you didn’t want to get up at all … with all the stress going on in your life right now. It may have seemed much more appealing to just bury yourself underneath the covers and hide from the world … forever. Then, whether you liked it or not, your bladder had other plans … and you were forced to face the day … ready or not. Having taken care of business, you start wandering around the house with a million thoughts in your head … all of them vying for attention … all at the same time. Realizing it would be best to at least try to focus on one thing at a time, you remember some flowers you had seen just beginning to come up on the other side of the house … so you go to look to see what progress had been made. It was then that you saw how the buds had developed into beautiful yellow tulips. It was then that your spirits were lifted … and it was then that you realized you had a choice. You could choose to be thankful. You could choose to be grateful … and, in so doing, you could choose to appreciate the fact that you, in reality, really were blessed (and not just by the appearance of flowers). That one, seemingly inconsequential act of choosing to look for the good in the development of flowers became the start – became the inspiration you needed – to choose to look for the good in other areas of your life. Let’s be honest, it doesn’t take much effort to see all the obviously bad things all around us in our lives. To actually see the good takes effort … to see the good takes practice … to see the good takes an intentional choice on our part to actually look for it … to actually search for it … even when it may appear (on the surface) to be nowhere around. Philippians 4:8,9 The Message (MSG) tells us, “Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious – the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.” So, the timeless truth for today is to LOOK. Look for the good. Look for the beautiful. Look for every opportunity (even in the small things) to see and comprehend all the ways God shows his love towards you … and that (in and of itself) will yield the positive results of you actually becoming genuinely thankful, grateful, and blessed.

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Multiplication (a Timeless Truths blog post)

red lightsWhat does the word multiplication make you think of? Perhaps you’re reminded of the days you went to school and your teacher had you practice your times tables … multiple times. Or, maybe the word makes you think of something different. Maybe you’re the mother of twins … and when you found out you were expecting not one, but two babies you knew your life was about to change forever … times two. In any case, the word multiplication usually refers to more than just one. Spiritually speaking, when one person accepts Jesus into their heart to be their Lord and Savior the positive changes that occur don’t usually affect just that one person … it usually has an impact on everyone that person comes in contact with … or at least it should. Matthew 5:16 (ICB) says, “ … you should be a light for other people. Live so that they will see the good things you do. Live so that they will praise your Father in heaven.” So, the timeless truth in this verse lets us know that our lives are meant to be lived intentionally and with a purpose. We need to live our lives in such a way that others around us are impacted in a positive way … and the result will be that they will actually praise God. For example, let’s say that someone you know who is not a Christian is going through a rough time. Perhaps they have just undergone a serious surgery and are in the hospital. Then let’s say the Holy Spirit puts it in your heart to go visit them and you chose to obey. At the hospital you walk up to the nurses station and ask what room the person is in. The nurse looks at you incredulously while giving you the information and you go on your way, not realizing why they had looked at you so strangely. Once in the person’s room you greet them and ask how they are doing. With tears in their eyes, they admit how low they had been feeling since no one has bothered to stop by to visit them … no one until you (even though their own family lives only a short distance down the road). They also admit that they were just hoping someone … anyone … would come by to see them that particular day so they would know God had heard their silent prayer … and then you showed up … and they were infinitely grateful and thankful to God and praised God in their heart … for you. Without realizing it, you became part of the multiplication process. Without realizing it, you were being a light for another person. Without realizing it they were seeing the good thing you were doing … and without realizing it, God was praised … and not one, not two, but three people’s lives were impacted … the person in the hospital, the nurse who you had spoken to whose faith unwittingly was restored in the goodness of mankind when you – the first visitor – showed up … and your life was impacted as well – because you were blessed when you saw others being blessed. So, today, will you allow yourself to be part of God’s equation? Will you allow His light to shine through you so it is multiplied? Say yes and be assured that God will be praised!

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