Driving through life with a song in my heart, a skip in my step, a reason to smile wide and a good word for those who cross my path. “Yet I will show you a more excellent way” A wise daily practice is to praise God for at least 5 things each morning. Thank you Lord for color, adventure, a variety of people, freedom, and opportunity! Keeping the Word of God as my preferred Source of GOOD news, I indeed profit by remaining “in Him” as He is in me. Listening to what the Spirit is revealing…I hear the giggles of the horse riding nino’s, and I am refreshed by the sweet innocence of a small girl seeking to sell some green beans. Whenever I choose to look and notice God in action, I catch a flash of “hope in God” gleaming through the eyes of the one He brings across my path. It is worth noting that small acts of kindness and expressions of thanksgiving do NOT go unnoticed by God. Awakening to the ceaseless love of our Father is found in all things. A grateful heart explodes thru the lips of a person compelled to give voice to words of appreciation. Gratitude is the highest form of thought and happiness is indeed doubled by our fascinations. Our world needs less complaining and more proclaiming of all that is glorious! God reveals His invisible thunder, His eternal power in countless ways so that we are left naked without excuse. “For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor did they give thanks to Him…so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.” Romans 1:18-28 Oh Lord, let NOT the root sin of ingratitude, that despicable sort of wickedness be found in me. The worst sin of all seems to be our thanklessness! Consider Eve in the garden of Eden, she had it all, yet she resented God for warning her about a particular tree, and one bite of an apple. For although she knew God, she neither glorified Him as God, nor gave Him thanks. Her thinking became futile, and her foolish heart was darkened. A stubborn heart is identified in a stiff necked person who simply refuses to give thanks. Refusing to acknowledge the grace of God’s persistence to reveal Himself in all things — such blind ingratitude is the real beginning of wickedness. Many believe that wickedness is found in the ghetto, in a drug deal, in a prostitute’s heart, however, Roman’s 1 gives us insight into why God gave ‘them’ over to a depraved mind. ‘Their’ thanklessness got them sent away into madness! Great artists and deep thinkers are riveted to the many wonders and mysteries of God and they glorify Him in their work. Abba Father, awaken the spirit of thanksgiving in me. Give me eyes to see what You see, engage me in the highest of thinking. Forgive me for forgetting to take time to give thanks in all things. Change my heart so that I may think of whatever is noble, or praise worthy in all places You lead me today. Thank You Lord for making Your will known so clearly in scripture. The living Word of God splits my heart wide open with the plain truth. Paul writes in Romans 1 “First I thank my God…” I praise You for the smallest hummingbird, the tallest tree, the purple blooms, the dark clouds, the rain, my good days and even what pain may come. “Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth (in me) as it is in heaven” AMEN – then God said “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Lord I ask that You satiate all my longings with the truth. I ask You to reveal any thought in me that offends You. “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”. John 8:32 – Yes Lord, let me be found prepared in faithful obedience for the Bridegroom’s glorious return. IF the least bit of ingratitude, bitterness, jealousy, resentment, ill will, or animosity toward anyone TRIES to creep in and take root — convict me immediately Lord, then renew my mind with “what is good about this situation?”. Bring to my mind Thy Word so that I may speak “PRAISE be to GOD” and then trust that You are glorified. To all perceived resistance, or danger I shout with immense authority “GO in the name of Jesus!” I cast OUT the destroying power of evil, with the very power God infused me with. As careful as I am to NOT drink poison or handle a rattlesnake, I am also quick to avoid harboring envy, jealousy, or any wrong feelings towards others. “Finally brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, IF there is any virtue and IF there is anything praiseworthy – dwell on these things.” Philippians 4:8 Think and know that you are a citizen of heaven with a JOY unspeakable residing within. We are commanded to dwell on the good, to seek the good in all things and proclaim it. Dwell is not a casual word in Greek it means to deduce, to reason, to calculate, to ponder, to deliberate. To think about a matter long enough to take into account the implied benefit to one’s life. In other words God instructs us to think GREAT thoughts. The greatest thought of all is to proclaim the beauty, the good we see. This act of thanksgiving gives all glory to God.