Daily Riches: The Antitoxin of Gratitude (Wayne Muller, Matthew Henry and John Henry Jowett)

 “Gratitude is a vaccine, an antitoxin, and an antiseptic.” John Henry Jowett

“A ‘successful’ life has become a violent enterprise. We make war on our bodies, pushing them beyond their limits; war on our children, because we cannot find enough time to be with them when they are hurt or afraid, and need our company; war on our spirit, because we are too preoccupied to listen to the quiet voices that seek to nourish and refresh us; war on our communities, because we are fearfully protecting what we have, and do not feel safe enough to be kind and generous; war on earth, because we cannot take time to place our feet on the ground and allow it to feed us, to taste its blessing and gave thanks.” Wayne Muller

“Let me be thankful;
first, because I was never robbed before;
second, although he took my purse, he did not take my life;
third, although he took all I possessed, it was not much;
fourth, it was I who was robbed, and not I who robbed.”
Matthew Henry, in his diary

“And whatever you do or say,
do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks through him to God the Father.”
Colossians 3:17

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Think about the relationship you have with your body, your children, your soul, your community – and with the earth. How does thankfulness inform these relationships?
  • Reread the words of Mathew Henry. Can you imagine yourself in that very situation, and then ask God to “let” you be similarly thankful?
  • Must you come to the end of your rope, your strength, and yourself before you remember to call out to God? …to think about giving thanks to God?

“Heavenly Father, when I come to the end of my rope, my strength, myself, I’m finally open to the help you offer. Teach me then, God, the basics of prayer, like ‘help’, ‘please’, and ‘thank you’. In the name of Jesus, amen.”  The Heidelberg Catechism

For More: Breathe: Creating Space for God in a Hectic Life by Keri Wyatt Kent

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

Daily Riches: Don’t Abandon Love (Thomas a Kempis and Larry Crabb)

“Love is a mighty power, a great and complete good; Love alone lightens every burden, and makes the rough places smooth. It bears every hardship as though it were nothing, and renders all bitterness sweet and acceptable.  …Love aspires to high things, and is held back by nothing base.  …Love gives all for all, resting in One who is highest above all things, from whom every good flows and proceeds. …Love knows no limits, but ardently transcends all bounds. Love feels no burden, takes no account of toil, attempts things beyond its strength; love sees nothing as impossible, for it feels able to achieve all things. Love therefore does great things; it is strange and effective; while he who lacks love faints and fails. Love is watchful, and while resting, never sleeps; weary, it is never exhausted; imprisoned, it is never in bonds; alarmed, it is never afraid; like a living flame and a burning torch, it surges upward and surely surmounts every obstacle.  …when a man is self-seeking he abandons love. Love is watchful, humble, and upright; Love is not fickle and sentimental, nor is it intent on vanities. It is sober, pure, steadfast, quiet, and guarded in all the senses. Love is submissive and obedient to superiors, mean and contemptible in its own sight, devoted and thankful to God, trusting and hoping in Him even when not enjoying His sweetness; for none can live in love without suffering.” Thomas a Kempis

“Something is different about people who love. They convey a presence that goes beyond the words they say, the things they do. We know they are for us. …Because the relationship is never at stake, we sense a freedom to enter fully into the enjoyment of relationship rather than to keep the relationship intact.” Larry Crabb

“Because of the increase of wickedness,
the love of most will grow cold.”
Jesus in Matthew 24:12

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Consider for a moment God’s love for you, which is “held back by nothing” and “surmounts every obstacle.” …that as his child, your relationship with God is “never at stake.”
  • Don’t we usually look to blame others rather than ourselves when our love “grows cold?”
  • Are you able to keep loving God “even when not enjoying his sweetness?”

Abba, love must be learned and learned again and again. Teach me to love.

For More: The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek  God and he seeks you. I hope you’ll follow and share my blog. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)

I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

 

Daily Riches: Community, Stability and Spirituality (Joan Chittister)

“Everything in life, contrary to Madison Avenue’s guarantees, can’t be cured or resolved or eliminated. Some things must simply be endured. Some things must simply be borne. Some things must simply be accepted. Community and relationships enable us to do that. …It is in community where we find out who we really are. It is life with another that shows my impatience and life with another that demonstrates my possessiveness and life with another that gives notice to my nagging devotion to the self. Life with someone else, in other words, doesn’t show me nearly as much about his or her shortcomings as it does about my own. In human relationships I learn how to soften my hard spots and how to reconcile and how to care for someone else besides myself. In human relationships I learn that theory is no substitute for love. It is easy to talk about the love of God; it is another things to practice it. That’s how relationships sanctify me. They show me where holiness is for me. That’s how relationships develop me. They how me where growth is for me. If I’m the passive-victim type, then assertiveness may have something to do with coming to wholeness. If I’m the domineering character in every group, then a willingness to listen and to be led may be my call to life. Alone, I am what I am, but in community I have the chance to become everything that I can be. And so, stability bonds me to this group of people and to these relationships so that resting in the security of each other we can afford to stumble and search, knowing that we will be caught if we fall and we will be led where we cannot see by those who have been there before us.” Joan Chittister

“Iron sharpens iron,
So one man sharpens another.”
Proverbs 27:17

 Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you discovering “who you really are” through your life in community – perhaps as a spouse, sibling, parent, roommate, employee, church member, neighbor? What about you needs to change?
  • Have you discovered in your relationships that some things won’t change and “must simply be endured?” Are you doing that well?
  • Are you engaged in community life so that, you are not only learning about yourself, but changing? Is a probationary approach to relationships hindering your transformation?

Abba, help me to submit to this messy but essential part of spirituality.

For More: Wisdom Distilled From the Daily by Joan Chittister

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek God and he seeks you. I hope you’ll follow and share my blog.  I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”