Archive | September 2012

celebrate.

3. There’s Always More to Be Grateful For

Consider the difference between wealth and value. While material wealth is important, it is not the only source of real value in our lives. We can all celebrate value, even when the material wealth in our lives is taking a beating.

-Rabbi Brad Hirschfield

tell.

I have found myself smiling – even in moments of despair. Where could this possibly come from? I say God.

2. Articulate It

Tell a friend or loved one a story about something for which you are grateful.

Don’t be surprised to find yourself smiling by the end of that story.

-Rabbi Brad Hirschfield

thankful.

It’s a challenge to think about being thankful when you’re facing difficult times. I know first-hand what it’s like to not have enough money to pay the bills, to shop with $40 for the week and have to decide between cheese and bread or eggs and bread.

I used to hate the optimistic quip “when life gives you lemons make lemonade!” It seemed too easy. Too pat. Too happy.

But now, I get it. It is reckoning with the fact we live in a broken world where lots of bad things happen. But lots of good things happen, too. When we think too much about our difficulty, we become consumed with it.

Choosing to think about the good things isn’t positive thinking. It’s coming to terms with what is true and choosing to find what is good and happy in your life – and being thankful.

Rabbi Brad Hirschfield gives us “8 Ways to Stay Thankful in Hard Times” – we’ll look at 1 each day.

1. Find What You’re Grateful For

      

The real uncertainty we face about our economic future can make us quite fearful and sad. Locating those things for which we can still be grateful, brings joy even in the face of those challenges without pretending they are not real.

http://www.beliefnet.com

still.

Be still and know that I am God.

– The Bible

look.

Sometimes, life is uncertain.

Complex.

Disarray.

Turmoil.

But then, if we look closely …

we will discover certainty.

Simple.

Order.

Calm.

God.

choice.

The Bible tells us about Job and the horror of his pain. He lost everything he had – even his children – and was attacked with physical pain.

Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.

This was Job’s response to God.

That’s not to say he didn’t question his demise, but after processing all that happened to him, he made a choice to trust God. This is an acknowledgement of accepting that God is over all. It begins and ends with Him.

It’s a choice every Christian comes face to face with. It is a choice that reveals one’s devotion to God. Because if the going gets tough, it’s easy to bail out.

God wants us to have joy and peace. No matter what the circumstances, we will have both when we choose to trust God with everything.

If we choose not to trust God…we won’t.

spring.

Sometimes, life feels like the long, cold days of winter. There are cozy moments of watching half-dollar sized snowflakes drift while sipping a cup of frothy, hot chocolate. But most of the time, our activities may be limited as we endure the monotony of chipping ice off our windshields, darkness at 4pm, and paying fuel bills.

But, spring is coming. It always comes. It never misses. Ever.

Jesus said the natural world helps us understand spiritual things – those things pertaining to God.

You may be in the “winter” of life with many concerns that are covered with a blanket of uncertainty. Maybe you feel stuck between where you were and where you are going.

Whatever it is, spring will come. Just when you least expect it, something will change. Wait for it with expectancy!