A thankful heart

J.P. Moreland’s message last Sunday (9/14) had a tremendous impact on me. (It’s not there yet, but look here to listen.)  It was not really new information for me, but it came at the right time.  He talked about how the spiritual discipline of practicing Philippians 4:8 can actually change our brain structure and help transform us from “glass half-empty” people to “glass half-full” people.  This is a bit of an oversimplification, but I was determined to try what he described.

He said to wake up each morning and find things to be thankful for, even if it felt phony and contrived.  Spend several minutes in the shower or wherever just expressing thanks to God, even for things like hot water and coffee.  If you keep at it, this has the power to transform your attitude and increase your energy.  So, I tried it.  Monday morning, even though I was waking up over an hour before sunrise (that is so depressing), I chose to try to be thankful for whatever I could think of.  It began to work.  My spirits began to lift.  I kept at it, and It’s been fun to walk around with a smile on my face all week.

That evening, wouldn’t you know, our small-group leader called me and asked me to teach our group Wednesday night.  The topic would be JP’s sermon from Sunday.  =)  Part of the sermon was putting to death the influence of the flesh (bad habits that reside in our bodies) and using spiritual disciplines like fasting to train our bodies toward righteousness.  The lesson called for small group sharing about what spiritual discipline we felt the Lord possibly calling us to try.  I knew for weeks that the Lord has been calling me to an internet news media fast.  The election has seriously brought back my news-junkiness.  Now, as the leader of the group, of course I had to set an example and promptly announced that I would try it for a week.  And amazingly, I don’t miss the news, being stressed out about the election, etc.  God’s peace is much more real. And he is using me in the lives of others even more.  Thanks JP, and thank you Lord for your enduring mercy toward me, being willing to teach me the same lessons over and over again.  Hopefully, this time I will learn it longer.  =)

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1 Comment

  1. Sherry

     /  September 22, 2008

    Exactly how I made it through some very tough times! Praise & thanksgiving will breakthrough every barrier and fill us with the strength and power to carry on!

    I think about the priets blowing trumpets and the people shouting, powerful shouts that brought the walls of Jericho down. “…the people shouted with a great shout and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight ahead, and they took the city. ” We can do the same! 🙂


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