I’ve been thinking this week about the story of the ten lepers who were healed by Jesus. (Luke 17) You may remember that story. Although ten men were healed, only one returned to give thanks. Just one!
It is sort of shocking that only one man gave thanks. Why not the others? What happened to them? Did they forget? Did they feel Jesus owed them something? Were they distracted by other things?
While the bible doesn’t tell us why those ten didn’t return to give thanks, it certainly reminds us of the importance of a thankful spirit. Note verses like these: “Give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thes. 5:18) “…giving thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Eph. 5:20)
Maybe the math of this story is also instructive. Only one in ten gave thanks. Is that the way it is today? Only about 10%? If so, are you in the majority or the minority on the subject of thankfulness? Are you part of the crowd who forgets to be thankful? Or, will you be the thankful one?
Let me list three ways for you to buck the odds and be the thankful one. Continue reading →
Encouragement is one of the most beautiful gifts we can receive. A kind word, a helping hand, a warm smile, an appreciative hug– these things are the currency of encouragement. And this currency is never devalued.
I officiated the funeral of a great encourager recently. In more than twenty years of being his pastor he encouraged me countless times without a single hint of discouragement. Amazing.
I cannot tell you how grateful I am for that wonderful gift. In a day when snark Continue reading →
Posted in blessings, encouragement, faith, joy, Uncategorized
Tagged Christian, Christianity, encouragement, faith, God, Jesus, local church, relationship with god, Religion and Spirituality
Recently, a man with a terminal disease came to speak with me about his funeral. That is a sobering conversation to have. While we don’t know how long he has left in this life (does anyone really?) it reminded me of some important things.
– We are all dying. This is the land of the dying. I look forward to going to the land of the living one day. But this is not that place.
-Life is fleeting. Time goes forward, never backwards. Young men become old men quickly. We never get to relive it.
-Big things need to be big. At the end of life we tend to think of family and love and joy and faith. Smaller things don’t seem that important from that perspective.
-Faith matters. This man gave his life to Christ just a Continue reading →
Posted in blessings, Christianity, encouragement, faith, perseverance, Uncategorized, words of wisdom
Tagged Blessing, Christian, Christianity, death, deeper faith, Evangelism, faith, God, heaven, hope, life, Religion and Spirituality
Sunday was my birthday. I loved sharing my birthday with hundreds and hundreds of people at church. I love my church despite all the “humaness” that keeps us from being perfect. My church, like yours, is filled with people who have messed up and fallen. It is filled with people like Continue reading →
Posted in blessings, Church, family, friendship, Uncategorized
Tagged birthday, birthday cake, Blessing, blessings, Christian, Christianity, church, faith, family, fellowship, friends, friendship, God, Jesus, joy, local church, Religion and Spirituality
I love the four seasons. I do get tired of winter and summer, but all four have their charms. (I say that with 7 inches of new snow on the ground which really cut into the attendance at church on Sunday. I really like a big crowd to preach to as do all pastors. I prefer snow to come on Sunday night rather than Saturday night as do all pastors- and school kids.)
But winter serves a really great purpose. (Besides Continue reading →