Waves in the Gulf of Mexico from Jamaica Beach - Galveston, TX

Be thankful

It’s good to be thankful. It’s good to step back and look at your life and be quiet for a few moments and pay attention to everything you have because it’s easy to forget. Well, it’s easy for me to forget because I rarely slow down for long enough to appreciate the people and the circumstances in my life, even the things I have.

It’s good for me to remember what I have. It’s good for me to identify what I am thankful for because it makes me slow down, it makes me think, and it reminds me that all the credit needs to go to God.

Waves in the Gulf of Mexico from Jamaica Beach - Galveston, TX

Waves in the Gulf of Mexico from Jamaica Beach – Galveston, TX

Today’s verses are Psalm 95:1-7.

Come, let us sing to the Lord!
    Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come to him with thanksgiving.
    Let us sing psalms of praise to him.
For the Lord is a great God,
    a great King above all gods.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth
    and the mightiest mountains.
The sea belongs to him, for he made it.
    His hands formed the dry land, too.
Come, let us worship and bow down.
    Let us kneel before the Lord our maker,
    for he is our God.
We are the people he watches over,
    the flock under his care.

Next time you’re outside, look at the sky. We have a lot of sky in Kansas. If it’s night, look at the stars and think about what it took to hang them all in just the right place. Look at the moon or the sun.

The weather is just right for the winter wheat to start coming up again, and if you’re in Kansas, you can probably find a field anywhere and see some. Take a moment and watch it. Watch it sprout, a green haze against black dirt. God created that. He created soil rich with nutrients. He created seeds we can plant that will grow. He created the harvest itself, the entire concept of planting and reaping and planting again.

One of my little secret pleasures is Bath & Body Works soaps, which is so amazingly girly I hate to even admit it out loud. But I love Bath & Body Works soaps and candles. What kind of amazing experience would we miss if we couldn’t smell? And if we couldn’t smell, we couldn’t taste either. The five senses seem simple, something we take for granted, but think about not having them.

Kansas has crazy beautiful sunrises. I’ll be leaving in a moment to watch one as I drive in to work. But what if I couldn’t see a sunrise? I couldn’t drive either then. Or what if I couldn’t hear? Imagine having to give up music.

Think about all the things you have in your life, even the things that are so small you wouldn’t even notice them until you didn’t have them anymore. Make a list. Pin it up. And look at it every time you’re tempted to think you haven’t got it good.

If you know Christ, you’ve got it great. Maybe you’re in a rough patch, but it won’t last forever. And on the days when the darkness seems like too much, take a moment and make a list of everything God has given you. I guarantee, you’re better off than you feel. You just need to remember it. And when you remember, be thankful.

Roses at Glen Eyrie - Colorado Springs, CO

What is a good thing?

Some mornings, you just need a Psalm. That’s my opinion at least. Some days, it’s good to remember who we are and who God is and how much we really depend on Him. Wasn’t it Martha Stewart who would say, “It’s a good thing”? I always think of that when I read this Psalm because it was the basis of an old chorus we used to sing. I’ve always thought of this as the “good thing” Psalm.

The funny part is that I doubt Martha Stewart, or many others of her rank, would agree on what “good” is. What is a good thing? Do we even really know? If there aren’t even any good people in the world (Romans 3:10), how do we know what’s good?

Well, that’s what we have this Psalm to tell us.

Roses at Glen Eyrie - Colorado Springs, CO

Roses at Glen Eyrie – Colorado Springs, CO

Psalm 92

It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
    to sing praises to the Most High.
It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning,
    your faithfulness in the evening,
accompanied by the ten-stringed harp
    and the melody of the lyre.

You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me!
    I sing for joy because of what you have done.
O Lord, what great works you do!
    And how deep are your thoughts.
Only a simpleton would not know,
    and only a fool would not understand this:
Though the wicked sprout like weeds
    and evildoers flourish,
    they will be destroyed forever.

But you, O Lord, will be exalted forever.
Your enemies, Lord, will surely perish;
    all evildoers will be scattered.
But you have made me as strong as a wild ox.
    You have anointed me with the finest oil.
My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies;
    my ears have heard the defeat of my wicked opponents.
But the godly will flourish like palm trees
    and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon.
For they are transplanted to the Lord’s own house.
    They flourish in the courts of our God.
Even in old age they will still produce fruit;
    they will remain vital and green.
They will declare, “The Lord is just!
    He is my rock!
    There is no evil in him!”

It’s a good reminder for a Friday. As we end another week, let’s remember that it’s good to praise God no matter where we are in our walk with Him. Don’t ever lose the sense of thankfulness and smallness you feel when He answers your prayers, and don’t ever forget that the only reason we succeed is because of everything He has done for us. Never let go of your joy and remember that even though it seems like people who do wrong have it made now, the story isn’t over.