Gratitude

Staying When You Want to Stay

Psalm 85:12
“The LORD will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest.”


Romans 8:17
“Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”

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Over the last couple of weeks, our pastor at church has preached sermons on the following two titles: 1) Going when you want to stay; and 2) Staying when you want to go. After this week’s message, I began to think to myself, What about staying when you want to stay? Doesn’t that feel wrong, somehow—as though it’s too easy? Maybe even a little bit selfish?

During the service, the worship team played a song by All Sons & Daughters called “All the Poor and Powerless.” I had never heard the song before, but a couple of lines struck me: “All the hearts who are content, and all who feel unworthy….” I think the song was originally intended to refer to two groups of people here. But it spoke to me as a both/and, rather than an either/or, kind of thing. In so many ways, I do feel content where I am—in the physical space and the spiritual community where I find myself. And that makes me feel unworthy. I certainly don’t deserve such blessings.

But then what is grace, after all, but unmerited favor and undeserved blessing? And even as we ask ourselves why God would give us so much, He is looking at us and seeing his son’s righteousness and his faithfulness. And He consequently showers us with his reward. May we then join in praising him for those many blessings, saying “Blessed be your name, in the land that is plentiful, where streams of abundance flow, blessed be your name!”

#RootedInWaco

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The Beauty around You

Psalm 19: 1-4

 “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”

One evening last spring, following the hustle and bustle of trying to get the kids ready for bed, I grabbed my camera and ran outside. The way the sun was setting, I just knew there must be some photo opportunities waiting. When I came back inside, I scrolled through the pictures I’d taken so I could show them to Chris. While there were a lot of nice shots, I paused on this one.

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Surprised, he asked me, “Where did you find that?!” I answered casually, “Oh, just out back.” You see, beauty is all around you. You just have to look for it. I believe that God is always looking for little ways to bless us and make us smile. But it’s up to us to keep our eyes open for them. Otherwise we won’t see them, and we won’t notice all of the beauty around us.

 So, whether it’s in a sunrise, a cloudy sky, a field full of wildflowers, or a fresh-fallen snow—or anything else that catches your attention—stop and notice it. Capture it, whether in a photo or in a memory. Rejoice in the moment, and thank God for all of the little gifts He sends your way.