Posts Tagged ‘#happybirthdayson’

An oldie but a goodie image 😉

Here in Canada, turkeys are a-roasting this weekend as we pause to give thanks for all that makes up life and living.

For me, Thanksgiving is always connected to our youngest, our son.

At 10:10am, on Thanksgiving Sunday, October 10, he breathed in the air of life and I inhaled gratitude … for life is tender, fragile, not guaranteed.

Our very own Ben 10 is one I have immense thanks for, so today, gratitude is great, celebration is due.

As I feel and know gratitude for him, I pray that he always live a life of gratitude.

For gratitude is our exhale, and it is in the breathing out of thanks that gratitude is inhaled.

When we sit around a table, as we bow our heads in thanks for our food, his grace is always one of thanks.

I was reminded of this a few weeks ago, when he offered thanks for the food, for his sisters, for his parents. This is not odd for him to do, for he knows where who is the Giver. Yet, on this particular day, I was not feeling particularly worthy of such appreciation.

Since that day I have thought numerous times about his offering of thanks … for one who had not been graceful to him just hours earlier. His gratitude, despite imperfection from the one he expressed thankfulness for, has been a new lesson for me.

It is easy to be thankful

for food … when it tastes appealing
for work … when we are enjoying it
for education … when we are succeeding
for people … when we are in good relationship with them
for the new day … when it is sunny

Yet, gratitude is not simply for the things that feel good at the time, for our thanks does not come after, but before the blessing. Thanks is the attitude of faith in the One who gives, not an acceptance for what has already been received.

Gratitude is the attitude that preexists the reality of what we are given … whatever it may be.

In being PRE-thankful … in ALL things, we are preparing for the good, bad and ugly that comes to us in life. We are being cognizant that gratitude is due, even though our mortal self may suffer. This is a great mystery, yet, for those who practise gratitude in all things … a peace that passes human understanding is the gifted result.

Ben knows this. He lives this life of gratitude in all things. He is not perfect, for his closest teachers (that would be his parents) have not modelled this consistently, his humanness fights against such illogical practise. Yet, as I hear him give thanks, for those who have let him down, I am encouraged that his life is heading in the right direction.

Happy birthday Ben. My encouragement to you today, are from the words of Paul,

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

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Sign on sand

Happy birthday, bearded baby boy!

When you were a little boy you loved treasure hunts. One memory of such is the Easter egg hunts with your sisters. While they were racing to find (the most) eggs, you were slowly, methodically adding them to you basket, while stopping and pondering where you would look next.

The treasure hunts don’t end with the end of childhood.

As you get older what you treasure becomes the direction of and how you live your life. So, you need to realize what it is, why, and the consequences (both good and bad) of pursuing such treasure.

Every hour of our days is a gift, and it is up to us to use that time as we choose. That is the freedom in the gift. As with anything else in our lives, the freedom in the gift also comes with consequence, both good and bad.

The Bible tells us over and over about the use of our time.

Ecclesiastes 3 is probably the most familiar to believers and non-believers alike, as it offers a myriad of ways that we can use our gift of time.

Matthew 6:33 tells us to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.”

Galatians 6:10 encourages us to use our time for the benefit of others, “as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone.”

Psalm 39:4, reminds us our lives are short, “LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered–how fleeting my life is.”

But it is the Parable of the Talents that I offer to you in this usage of the gift of time.

As with all the Parables (meaning to throw alongside) that Jesus shared, this is a story which is parallel to another.

According to Matthew Henry’s Commentary, the master in the story is believed to represent Christ. The servants are (big surprise) those of us who follow him. We receive all that we have from him, and he gives generously. But, what he gives, we owe him.

Now this Master had (has) left us in charge of the gifts he has given to us. He has trusted us with his best. He has also taken our abilities into consideration, and has given us only what we are able to care for. Some take those treasures, and invest them for long term returns. Others, fearing that they might lose what they have been given, hide the treasures given to them (as if ‘under a bushel’). The Master returns (as he will), and praises those who have shared the riches that they have been given. They are blessed with the words of their Master, “well done good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master” (v. 21 & 23).

The best measure of what you truly treasure is how you spend (invest) your hours. Take a look at your days, your week, and see where you invest your time. The activities that you truly treasure are the ones that you are investing the majority of your time.

Do those activities lead toward seeking the kingdom? Do they indicate that you place that time in the hands of God? Are those activities helping you to do good to everyone? Do they indicate that you know how fleeting life is?

Matthew 6:21 reminds us,

Your heart will always pursue what you treasure.”

May you live your life’s days as an offering back to God, of this good gift He has given.





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