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Tuesday, August 23, 2022
John Thomas took this photo near his home at Willow Valley. He noted how the cows on one side had shade while the others didn't as you can see by the shadows of the weeping willows!
Message summary: Let our walk include a grateful heart and a thankful outlook toward God and toward life in general.
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"And be thankful" (Colossians 3:15).
We ate breakfast with John Thomas, a longtime Daily Encouragement reader whom we met for the first time at a restaurant in Willow Street. We have only met a small percentage of our readers but being local we finally had that opportunity with John.
We would like to meet each of our readers and listeners but that will only happen on the other side, for the most part. John has a wonderful life story of diligence in his service vocationally and for the Lord. We prayed with him before we all departed and I couldn't help but notice his license plate.
I looked down and smiled at the expression of thankfulness, recognizing it was intended to simply say, "Be Thankful". But John shared with us that not everyone gets it. He told us about a time he observed a man looking at the plate who seemed stumped but recognized the letters must mean something. John told him to look carefully and after a few moments the man responded, "Be thinkin' Florida"?
Now to be sure I don't want to seem judgmental and I've missed some things that are easily apparent to others which later made me feel a bit foolish. But his response may also reflect his priorities. This man may have actually had Florida on his mind!
Let's hope being thankful is always on our mind and on our lips as well.
Scripture teaches that our praise glorifies God. We express our contentedness and thankfulness when we earnestly enter into praise. When we praise the Lord we enter into His presence, acknowledge Him as Lord, and give thanks for His steadfast love and care.
Many have wondered, "What is the distinction between praise and thanksgiving?" Though often used interchangeably, there is some distinction. Praise (worship) is acknowledging who God is by recognizing His many attributes (characteristics).
Thanksgiving, on the other hand, is acknowledging what God has done based upon the ways His attributes impact our lives. However we encourage you not to get hung-up on these distinctions as we both praise and thank God! He is worthy of both because in His mercy He saved us when we were lost and without hope.
Today let us consider thankfulness as an aspect of our walk. After all, God has commanded us all through Scripture to give thanks, "And be thankful" (Colossians 3:15).
The writer of Hebrews ended his letter with a call to praise the Lord. "Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name."
We encourage you to rest in the arms of our loving God and express your love to Him as you recall the ancient words of the Psalmist, "I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord". Let us, as His children, offer up our praise and thanksgiving to Him today and every day. Let our walk include a grateful heart and a thankful outlook toward God and toward life in general.
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, as we give praise to You we are offering our heartfelt thanks for who You are and all that You do on our behalf. As we mature in our Christian walk we realize that there are many occasions when we must offer a sacrifice of praise since it doesn't always come easily nor often enough. It is in those circumstances that we willfully choose to praise You out of obedient hearts desirous of pleasing You and glorifying Your name. May our words be fruitful and our thoughts praiseworthy in the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Give Thanks With A Grateful Heart" Video Maranatha! Music
"What He's Done" Video Kristian Stanfill, Tasha Cobbs Leonard & Anna Golden
Our message yesterday was my testimony, "When I Got Saved". Ethan, a reader shared a message he had sent to his family the day before: "Today is a very significant day for me. 56 years ago, August 21, 1966, at the age of 18, I confessed my sins and accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord. That began a reality and relationship that has guided my life. I have certainly not lived perfectly, but I would never want to give up what I have been given in the grace, goodness, and kindness of God. That is something I would want everyone to experience, especially you, the members of my family.” He had gotten saved at a holiness campmeeting at Seyfert, a village outside of Reading, PA, on the closing night of the camp.
Glenn, another reader, wrote and shared how he remembered Lowell Lundstrom, the evangelist who preached the night I got saved. In the past he had even traveled to see the Lundstroms who were a singing family and to hear Lowell preach.
Lowell’s ministry began on April 7, 1957 when he gave his heart to Jesus while attending a service at his future wife's Connie’s church in Sisseton, South Dakota. The first words he said when he got up from the altar were: “Wait ‘til everybody hears about this!” Lowell and Connie were married on June 14, 1957 and dedicated the rest of their lives to sharing the great Gospel of Jesus Christ. Lowell often said his heart was summed up in the following order: his God, his girl, and his guitar.
Lowell Lundstrom message clip preaching the Gospel Video
"My Wonderful Lord" Video The Lundstroms
"My Wonderful Lord" Video The Collingsworth Family (Found this also, one of my favorite singing families.)
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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