Had I not received an e-mail this morning informing me that today (Sept. 21) is World Gratitude Day, I wouldn't have known! Based on what I discovered later on the Internet, I've failed--for years--to celebrate this day, which started in 1965 in Hawaii when folks from many nations gathered together and decided it would be a good idea to have one day per year to formally express gratitude. On every Sept. 21st since then, folks all around the world have reflected on the good people and things in their lives.
The founders of Gratitude Day believe taking time one day a year to reflect on the amazing things we have will increase our well-being and make us happier, more contented people. Since they're definitely right about the positive effects of feeling grateful, why, I wonder, shouldn't every day be Gratitude Day? Why limit expressing gratitude to only one day of the year (in addition, of course, to celebrating Thanksgiving Day with family and friends)?
Couldn't we change attitudes (ours and those of others!) by pausing many times every day to thank God for the many blessings He showers upon us and to find creative ways to express gratitude to the people who enrich our lives in untold ways? The apostle Paul chose to write a letter to his friends to remind them of the love and gratitude he felt for them. Here's a bit of what he said:
He realized, as do we, that when people know they are loved and appreciated, that "makes their day" and inspires them, in turn, to express their gratitude to people who mean so much to them.
Let's begin the gratitude chain today and continue it every day so that we can help spread gratitude throughout the world!
Thursday, September 21, 2017
Sunday, September 10, 2017
With Hurricane Irma so much in the news, my heart is heavy for those whose lives have been so disrupted and those who will lose so much during the violent storm.
The Holy Spirit brought to mind the words of a song I’ve known and loved since childhood. “Stand By Me” was written by the Rev. Charles Albert Tindley in the early 1900’s, but his words continue to be timely ones.
As the hurricane rages, let’s offer these words from that hymn as a prayer to God: “Thou who rulest wind and water, stand by me [by us].” That’s also a wonderful prayer when we’re buffeted by all sorts of storms, such as those Rev. Tindley mentions in the other verses.
To listen to a portion of his wonderful song, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTHaOEZjBpc
To read all the verses, click here: https://hymnary.org/text/when_the_storms_of_life_are_raging_stand
Friday, September 8, 2017
Several years ago, while listening to Elisabeth Elliot's radio program, Gateway to Joy, I heard her quote one of Amy Carmichael's poems. I loved the poem, found it on the Internet, and learned that it was included in the book, Toward Jerusalem, which is a collection of poems by Amy. But the poem Elisabeth quoted is one of my favorites.
The poem is actually a prayer Amy was praying for the children under her care at the Dohnavur Fellowship (a refuge for underprivileged children) in South India when Amy was a Protestant missionary there from 1895 until her death in 1951. It's one of the sweetest prayers I've heard for children.
Copyright restrictions prevent me from sharing the entire poem, but I can share a summary of her thoughts. She asked God to protect them from the powers of evil, which can pull them down--like whirlpools and/or quicksand do. She asked God to guide children through life's troubled waters and to cheer them in the midst of life's battles.
There's more, much more, and Amy expressed the deep desire of her heart far better than I can summarize. I encourage you to buy the book and/or click here to read the poem (it's the third one) and then offer her words as your prayer on behalf of all children.