"We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures." - Thornton Wilder. Today in our series on Relentless Joy, we talk about three things you can do to live a life filled with joy through the daily choice of gratitude.
Distraction of the Day:
Do you ever get anxious about hosting a big party at our house? A big survey was done recently about the top 10 ways to make your home guest ready. If you can guess the first one, me and the kids will do all the cleaning for our next party while you sit back and relaxing.
Honoring News of the Day:
Hunter Shamatt first lost his wallet while he was on a Frontier Airlines flight from Omaha to attend his sister’s wedding in Las Vegas earlier this month. But in comes T.B.
“Found this on a Frontier flight from Omaha to Denver-row 12, seat F wedged between the seat and wall,” read a letter that was enclosed with the package. “Thought you might want it back. All the best. PS: I rounded your cash up to an even $100 so you could celebrate getting your wallet back. Have fun!!!”
Hunter’s mom posted the letter on social media and he was eventually found to be Todd Brown, father of five from Nebraska!
Brown says that he often tries to do good deeds without any recognition, hence why he neglected to sign his full name on the letter, but Jeannie later insisted on praising the Nebraska native on social media. (https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/stranger-finds-lost-wallet-on-airplane-and-returns-it-with-more-cash-inside)
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“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18
Paul is reminding us it is only through the work of the Holy Spirit, joy is one of the fruit!
Christian joy must not be confused with shallow feelings of happiness, for it is a joy that springs from our redemption in Christ and can be experienced even in the midst of tragedy and pain—“sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Cor. 6:10).
“Give thanks in all circumstances” (5:18). Paul is not asking his readers to thank God for tragedy and misfortune, but exhorts them to be thankful in the midst of the various and changing situations in life, be they good or bad. There are always good reasons for gratitude. In contrast to pagans whose lives are characterized by ingratitude (Rom. 1:21), God’s children are to be “overflowing with thankfulness” (Col. 2:7). (Ewert, David. “1-2 Thessalonians.” Evangelical Commentary on the Bible. Vol. 3. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1995. 1084. Print. Baker Reference Library.)
Three important elements to a life of gratitude:
“To begin bringing gratitude into your life, you can deliberately meditate on all the things in your own life that help you or give you pleasure. You can also write a gratitude diary, posting pictures and writing about the things you feel grateful for each day. The holidays are a great time to express your gratitude to friends and family by writing cards and exchanging thoughtful, personal gifts. Baking cookies for neighbors or sharing food with the poor are other ways to express appreciation for the abundance of food that we have in this country. Gratitude can lead to feelings of love, appreciation, generosity, and compassion, which further open our hearts and help rewire our brains to fire in more positive ways.” Melanie Greenberg, PhD
Richard Carlson, Ph.D., was an author, psychotherapist, and motivational speaker, who became famous with the success of his book, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff... and it’s all Small Stuff (1997). The book became one of the fastest-selling books of all time. It is divided into 100 brief chapters. The last chapter is entitled, “Live This Day as if It Were Your Last. It May Be.” Carlson lived his last day on December 13, 2006. He died of a pulmonary embolism during a flight from San Francisco to New York, leaving his wife and two teenage daughters.
Carlson said that he ended his book with this chapter as a reminder of how precious life and loved ones are. He wrote: “I often wonder, when listening to the news, did the person who died in the auto accident on his way home from work remember to tell his family how much he loved them?” Carlson started the 100th chapter asking, “When are you going to die? In fifty years, twenty, ten, five, today? Last time I checked, no one had told me.” He died suddenly and unexpectedly nine years later at the age of 45. "Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom" (Psalm 90:12).
Distraction of the Day:
TOP 10 WAYS TO MAKE YOUR HOME GUEST READY
The reason people care so much about leaving a good impression with their guests is because nearly half (49 percent) have copied something they liked from someone else’s home when they were a guest. (https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/anxious-about-hosting-for-the-holidays-surveyed-tactics-for-impressing-guests)
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