“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” – Philippians 4:6, NIV
Cary had never been close to her father. Her dad provided for the family but rarely engaged with them. This emotional abandonment left Cary to question what the role of a loving father looked like.
The confusion bled over into her spiritual life and, while Cary loved God, she didn’t feel engaged with Him. She was afraid to ask God for anything or bring her hard questions to Him for fear she’d be rejected.
But that changed for Cary in college when her softball coach took her under his wing. For the first time, she experienced the deep and rich love of a father figure. Cary learned that she could approach her coach for guidance when she needed help in any area of her life.
The closer Cary grew to her coach, the more she learned about the true nature of God.… Read the rest
“I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” – Psalm 9:1, NIV
One powerful way to give thanks to God is to tell others about the wonderful things He has done for you. You may be tempted to think that you don’t have a story to tell because yours isn’t as “dramatic” as being cured of cancer or surviving a hurricane that destroyed your home and all of your personal belongings. Instead, your story may be that you went through a difficult divorce and God gave you the strength to keep going. Or maybe you were dealing with a co-worker that was hostile toward you and God helped you through it.
If you’re not sure what your story is, make a list of hard moments in your life. Then, ask yourself what God did and start writing it down. He may have changed your circumstances by transferring your hostile co-worker to another division.… Read the rest
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” – James 1: 17 NIV
Michelle has been going through a season of change in her life. There have been positive changes, like the start of her online business and the news that she’s pregnant after years of infertility. Now, she and her husband are in the middle of buying their first home.
But, along with these changes, there have been some losses, too. Her mother passed away after a long battle with cancer and her best friend moved across the country.
With so much changing, Michelle has found comfort in focusing on the things that haven’t changed. Her husband’s encouragement & support have been a constant force in her life. Her friend’s continued text messages and notes make her feel loved.
But, more than that, she’s thankful for God’s unchanging character.… Read the rest
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18, NIV
It’s easy to give thanks when your day is going well. You’re wearing your favorite outfit (or a pair of shoes in my case!) and you look amazing. You made it on time for work and you don’t feel rushed. Your coffee is the perfect temperature with just the right mix of sugar and creamer. And, to top it all off, you get lots of likes on the selfie you posted this morning on Facebook and Instagram.
But what about those moments when things aren’t going so well? You spill your coffee on your shirt. You have to wait in a long line of customers – with your young children – at the store. You realize your smartphone is dead and you can’t recharge it until you get home.
I know these things may seem minor as you read this email and think about bigger issues that you have going on but, even in moments like these, giving thanks is difficult.… Read the rest