Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Be Thankful - Living with Gratitude (30 Day Challenge)

The month of November has begun and it is always this month that brings me back to "Thankfulness" -- the time of thanksgiving.    This is probably one of my favorite holidays.... and so easily it is overlooked by the secular world.  Halloween is followed immediately by "Christmas" (decorations, trees, gifts, etc.).
I am choosing NOT to overlook this holiday - but rather embrace it and go deeper into what it really means to be THANKFUL!

My challenge for myself and all of you is to make this month a time of being "THANKFUL"
--and when we are thankful, who are we thankful towards?

I love this picture of the Israelites praising and giving thanks in Ezra 3:11:

And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD,
 “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever toward Israel.” 
And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the LORD,
 because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.

Breaking down the verse really helps us understand a little bit more --- (from Gill's exposition of the Bible)

And they sang together by course,.... They sang by turns in responses, and answered one another, as the word signifies; when one company had performed their part, another took theirs

in praising and giving thanks to the Lord; for returning them to their own land, and giving them opportunity, ability, and will, to set about the rebuilding of the temple of the Lord, and restoring the pure worship of God:

because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever towards Israel; which words are often repeated in Psalm 136:1 and which might be the psalm the Levites now sung by responses:

and all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the Lord; to express their joy, in the best manner they could, on this solemn occasion:

because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid; which gave them hope the temple in due time would be rebuilt, and the service of it restored; see Job 38:6.

I imagine how they are responding back and forth to one another in words of praise and thanksgiving. And SHOUTing it.... Can you just imagine it?
  God carried them through the tough times  -- His promises were upheld and true --- He provided for them --- and they in turn were THANKFUL.

I relate to the Israelites.... We have been through tough times.  But, God was always
EMMANUEL -- God with us.
JEHOVAH JIRAH -- God who provides

He was is our STRONG TOWER .... our CORNERSTONE ....

and with that I want to bring him an offering.

An offering of THANKSGIVING and PRAISE and WORSHIP.....

Join me in the challenge to give a GREAT SHOUT and PRAISE THE LORD ---GIVING THANKS TO THE LORD!

I am thankful for friendship and servanthood.  Today a friend came by to my house and cleaned my kitchen.  Without strings attached or any other means except that to bless me -- she came and poured out love upon me and my family.  That was HUGE for me because if you walked into my house right now, you would want to turn and run -- it is just in a messy stage (cleaning out the office, decluttering, etc. - and messes get bigger before better).
I felt overwhelmed and faced with such a huge daunting task, that the rest of my house was being put to the wayside.  She walked into my home, without judgement, but that of a giving heart and willing hands.
To that I am so thankful!

WHAT ARE YOU THANKFUL FOR TODAY?  Share in the comments section or on facebook.

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