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This one singular heart attitude, that of choosing to live in a place of gratitude, holds more sway over the quality of your life than does your income bracket, your street address or even the pain of your past.
Gratitude will erase days of pain and create days of blessing.
Thanksgiving will enlarge the small places of your life into rooms of grand bounty and sweet strength.
Praise will turn the gray and blah of humdrum responsibilities into sparkling opportunities of service in the Kingdom of God.
It is in choosing to be thankful … sincerely and joyfully thankful … that ordinary days turn into holidays.
Days that are identified by wretchedness and wreathed in ugly become events of heavenly inspiration and sweet remembrance when we use the paintbrush of gratitude to change their color.
This is your life … you will never have another. This life is your only chance at joy … your only opportunity for destiny … your only occasion for capturing a delightful heart.
You must discover the power of thanksgiving if you long for your life to make a difference.
If you are thankful for even the small things in life, you have discovered an eternal treasure.
If you can make snow angels with the little girls in your life … you have tapped into treasure.
If you can catch fireflies with a freckle-faced boy … you have tapped into treasure.
If the glory discovered in vibrant rainbows … in the majestic roar of the ocean’s waves … and in the morning song of the bird cause you to well up with praise … you have learned how to value the truly important commodities in life.
Conversely, if you choose to focus on your deficits rather than on your gifts, you will always be miserable. If all you do is whine and complain and worry … you are the only one whom it wounds and ultimately subtracts from.
Did you know that it doesn’t really matter what your circumstances are? Once you begin to lock into this miraculous lifestyle of thanksgiving, although your circumstances may never change … you will change! You change from being in bondage to disappointments and pain to living a life of the joy found only within the gates of His powerful presence!
The moment that you become grateful, it changes the atmospheric conditions of your life. Thanksgiving will take you out of your human pain and place you in the very courts of His presence! What a miraculous possibility!!
“Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.
Know that the Lord Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting
And His faithfulness to all generations.”
I would love it if you would respond to this blog by telling us what you are grateful for today!
Do you have a dream you’ve put on hold? It’s time to dream again! It’s time to pray big prayers again! You will NEVER be able to outdream God!
Cady Morgan Kendall. She was my daughter’s freshman roommate at college. Joy and Cady were more than roomies. They were kindred spirits … passionate about life … filled with the joy of youth … sisters to the core. Their room became the central location for prayer meetings, wardrobe exchanges, chick flick parties and encouraging conversations.
Cady became a floor chaplain at the university while my daughter went through the RA program. Cady became a head chaplain for her final two years and Joy was a head RA. They were leaders of the very best kind. They led by example. They are both irresistible, actually.
Cady, a pastoral care major, was my summer intern the summer before her senior year in college. She was the sunshine of all of our days. She discipled the young women under her watch … kept my kitchen clean … dreamed big dreams for the ministry … and taught us all the power of laughter. I remember that Cady was so thirsty for the Word of God … she would gulp in every piece of wisdom, vision and encouragement that I spoke into her life.
Cady began to fall in love that summer with a young man who was in Africa on missions. I’ll never forget the night that my upstairs exploded in glass-shattering screams. When I ran up the stairs to make sure that everyone was o.k., my youngest daughter, Joni, informed me that Jordan Lewis had just returned from his missions trip and he had texted Cady! The friendship began and blossomed into romance.
There was just one roadblock. Jordan was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer before they went back to school for their senior year. He endured surgeries and dangerous chemotherapy. The doctor’s said that he might be blind or brain-damaged. He was neither … he was strong and healed and triumphant!
Jordan returned to college for his final semester of college. Jordan and Cady were named Homecoming King and Queen and continued to serve God and people with an enthusiasm that touched everyone’s heart.
Jordan was in the process of buying a gorgeous engagement ring this spring when his medical check-up showed that the cancer had returned. Jordan’s 23-year old lungs were invaded by cancerous tumors.
Without even pausing, Cady looked into Jordan’s face and said, “Let’s get married!”
And so … only 3 weeks after the second diagnosis … Cady Morgan Kendall became Cady Morgan Lewis at a wedding that was so lovely … so enchanting … so miraculous that it was the stuff of which fairy tales are made!
Joy was her maid of honor and spent the two weeks prior to the wedding planning with Cady … praying for Jordan … and making sure that Cady’s wedding sparkled with delight and personality … just like Cady does!
Surrounded by family from around the world … friends from college … and a team of prayer warriors that makes hell shake … Jordan and Cady promised to love each other and care for each other “ … in sickness and in health.”
Jordan promised Cady before the crowd of witnesses, both earthly and heavenly, that he would live a long, long, long time!
We all had the sense that we were watching a miracle in the making. We all knew that this was no ordinary wedding but that God was truly present on the Oklahoma soil. I wondered if we should all take off our shoes … it seemed as if we were on holy ground for that singular moment in time.
I was reminded that week-end, that the first miracle that Jesus ever performed was at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. I asked God, with tears running down my cheeks, to perform another miracle at this wedding in Sapulpa, Oklahoma.
I asked God to heal this dynamic, world-changing young man.
I asked God to put life into Jordan’s body and to take out the ugly, evil cancer.
I asked God to give Cady more joy than is possible for one human to contain.
I asked God to use this young couple to be a brilliant voice in the darkness of our world that God really does hear our prayers and that He really does love us.
I asked God to give them children and grandchildren.
I asked God to let them get false teeth, social security payments and rocking chairs together.
Would you join me in praying for Cady and Jordan Lewis? They are spending this week in Cancun, Mexico without a care in the world.
They are spending next week at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Clinic in Houston, Texas, in order to get a treatment plan.
Would you pray for a miracle? Would you pray that God’s love would drip lavishly into their lives? Would you pray for life?
What miracle do you need today? You see … one of the miracles of it all … is that Cady and Jordan want to pray for you! At their wedding, they had a prayer request box that they asked their guests to fill with personal prayer requests.
Cady and Jordan believe what the Word of God says: “ … pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” – James 5:16
Cady and Jordan Lewis
June 29, 2013
Worship because Jesus is Lord!