Tag  |  thankfulness

A Heart of Gratitude

In his memoir Townie, novelist Andre Dubus III shared that his father, also a renowned writer, would write every single morning. After he finished, “He’d count how many words he’d gotten and record the number. After each total, whether it was fifteen hundred or fifty, he wrote ‘Thank you.’ ” This writer had learned the art of gratitude, and it shaped his work—allowing him to see and then write about rich experiences of hope, humanity, and grace.

Living For Jesus

“My Tribute,” one of my favorite worship songs, addresses how to adequately respond to God’s undeserved mercy and grace. The lyrics note that although we can never thank Him enough, we can live in ways that please Him. Similarly, Paul describes our lives as the best way we can give thanks: “Give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice” (Romans 12:1). While that sacrifice means some believers will die for Jesus, all of us are called to live for Him.

Never Stop Praying

Just over a year ago, I made a New Year’s resolution to be faithful in prayer. The New Year came and I was off to a good start. But as the days got busier, I struggled to stay focused during my morning prayers, and my body began begging for more sleep. Yawn.


My friend noticed that his maple tree was shedding leaves prematurely. The tree doctor told him his tree was suffering from a girdling root. It had taken 30 years, but the offending root had encircled the tree and was now slowly choking it. If my friend didn’t dig down and hack the root off, the tree would die.

our triumph

I started this year with great enthusiasm. Having mapped out a strategy for pointing the youth ministry at my church toward loving God and loving people, I shared it with some colleagues and off we went! Well, 6 months later, I did an evaluation and found we had made only minuscule progress. Discouragement covered me like a dark cloud.

learning from each other

Our young daughter Katelyn enjoys playing solitaire, but she lacks the patience to persist through the difficult points in the game. Instead of trying to solve being “stuck,” she’ll simply start a new game. I’ve challenged her not to give up but to seek the next available move.

like a tree . . . continually


—copy and design submitted by Terry and Pat Lampel, US

grace alone

Imagine going on a missions trip without your luggage. No change of clothing! Oh, and no money or credit card either. So, you can forget about buying the basic necessities you might need while you’re away.

thank-you cards

Today I read a eulogy written by a man in memory of his 6-year-old daughter who died of leukemia. “Our daughter was full of gratitude for God and others,” the father shared. “She carried a little purse—containing paper and colored pencils—with her wherever she went so she could write thank-you cards when someone gave her a gift or did something nice for her.”

He broke our fall

Last year, Brad Pitt was hobbling around with a cane after having torn his ACL—a ligament in his knee. He told reporters, “I was carrying my daughter down the hill and I slipped. It was either her or me” who would get hurt. Brad Pitt loved his daughter so much that took the brunt of the fall for her. Obviously, Pitt is not Jesus and tearing an ACL wasn’t death, but his sacrifice for his daughter is an illustration of the way Jesus sacrificed His life and carried wounds and death in His body for us. Jesus is the Good Shepherd (John 10:11).

enjoy God

The crewmembers of an international airline that makes a daily flight to Uganda stay at a hotel down the street from my home. During their 24 hours in the country, many of them visit my organization, Tukutana, and spend time with children in our programs. The guests often bring gifts. This past Friday, though, two women came empty-handed. Instead of…

all good things

Recently, I toured Bassett Hall, the home that John D. Rockefeller Jr. and his wife Abby purchased in Williamsburg, Virginia, in the 1930s. Upon the death of the famous philanthropist, the home was bequeathed to the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation—the foundation the Rockefellers had created for the purpose of restoring the many historical sites in the village.

The home was simply…

elusive and illusive

Solomon laid out the yardsticks of success in ancient Jewish society: wealth, honor, possessions, a very large family, and a very long life (Ecclesiastes 6:2-3). Today, a large family and long life would be deemed by some as more of a burden and trouble than success. But wealth, possessions, and honor are definitely contemporary yardsticks of success.

Even as you…

not mine to do

The idea was his, but he didn’t receive the credit. He drew the plans. He designed the furniture. He collected the materials. He made all the arrangements (1 Chronicles 22:1-6). But God didn’t respect David’s copyright. The first temple built in Jerusalem is known as Solomon’s temple.

King David’s desire to honor God is commendable, but the Lord said, “You…

when love came to town

I have a friend whose tastes in music are as broad as it gets. Knowing that it could be anything from punk to classical, I once asked him about a song he was listening to on his iPod. Judging by the way he was swaying back and forth, I knew the song was speaking to his soul.

On this particular…

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