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GRATITUDE IN ACTION -FRIDAY

 

OPENING PRAYER

Accept, O Lord, our thanks and praise for all you have done for us. We thank you for the splendour of the whole creation, for the beauty of this world, for the wonder of life, and for the mystery of love. We thank you for the blessing of family and friends, ...continue reading "GRATITUDE IN ACTION"

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GRATITUDE IN ACTION – THURSDAY
Grace in the Dark Times

Rev. Marie’s thoughts are at the end:
OPENING PRAYER 
Heavenly Father, in the busyness of my day, I sometimes forget to stop and thank You for all that is good in my life. My blessings are many and my heart is filled with gratefulness and gratitude for the gift of living, for the ability to love and be loved, for the opportunity to see the everyday wonders of creation, for a mind that thinks and a body that feels. I thank you, too, for those things in my life that are less than I would hope them to be ...continue reading "GRATITUDE IN ACTION – THURSDAY"

GRATITUDE IN ACTION - TUESDAY

 

Rev. Marie’s thoughts are at the end:

OPENING PRAYER

Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we, your unworthy servants give you humble thanks for all your goodness and loving kindness to us and all who you have made. We bless you for your creation, preservation, and the blessings of this life; but above all for your immeasurable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we pray give us such an awareness of your mercies, that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, ...continue reading "GRATITUDE IN ACTION – TUESDAY"

GRATITUDE IN ACTION -MONDAY

Rev Marie’s comments are at the end

 

OPENING

Psalm 136 (1-9)

O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever.

O give thanks to the God of gods,
for His steadfast love endures forever. ...continue reading "GRATITUDE IN ACTION – MONDAY"

GRATITUDE ATTITUDE FOR A FRIDAY

Rev Marie's thoughts are at the end:

OPENING PRAYER

Accept, O Lord, our thanks and praise for all you have done for us. We thank you for the splendour of the whole creation, for the beauty of this world, for the wonder of life, and for the mystery of love.

...continue reading "GRATITUDE ATTITUDE FOR A FRIDAY"

GRATITUDE ATTITUDE FOR A THURSDAY

Rev Marie's thoughts are at the end of the post

OPENING PRAYER

Heavenly Father, in the busyness of my day, I sometimes forget to stop and thank You for all that is good in my life. My blessings are many and my heart is filled with gratefulness and gratitude for the gift of living, for the ability to love and be loved, for the opportunity to see the everyday wonders of creation, for a mind that thinks and a body that feels. I thank you, too, for those things in my life that are less than I would hope them to be. Things that seem challenging, unfair, or difficult. When my heart feels stretched and empty, and pools of tears form in my weary eyes, still I rejoice that you are as near to me as my next breath, and in the midst of life’s turbulence, I thank you for your unending faithfulness. In the silence of my soul, I thank you most of all for your unconditional and eternal love. I pray all of this in the sweet name of Jesus. Amen.

SCRIPTURE

‘So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!’ 2 Corinthians 5:17 

CLOSING PRAYER

Heavenly Father, open the eyes of my heart so that I may truly see all of the abounding love, faithfulness, mercy and favour that you have so freely bestowed upon me. Lord, help me walk with ever increasing gratitude in my heart. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

Rev Marie's thoughts:

It is so easy to be thankful when things go my way. When I stand at the back of our yard at the end of a long and satisfying day, and I look out over the water reflecting a glorious sunset, words of thanksgiving just bubble up.  My heart is often filled with a profound sense of gratitude when those I love surround me and we are at peace. I have been given many graces and I am deeply aware of how much has been pure gift. ...continue reading "GRATITUDE ATTITUDE FOR A THURSDAY"

LUYH-logoGRATITUDE ATTITUDE - TUESDAY

The weekend is over and the turkey is turning into soup and we return to the sometimes unending ordinariness of our days. But for some of us that is not a reality but a poignant wish - we long for the "ordinary" days which we do not now have. In either case, it can be hard to hold onto the sense of gratitude that Thanksgiving engenders. Today's thoughts remind us of the love that is not dependent on anything but God's unchanging character.  Rev Marie's thoughts are at the end. ...continue reading "GRATITUDE ATTITUDE – TUESDAY"

A WEEK OF GRATITUDE - MONDAY.

Here is today's Devotion.  Rev Marie has added her thoughts at the bottom of the post.  She would love to hear your thoughts.

OPENING 
Psalm 136 (1-9) 
O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever.
O give thanks to the God of gods,
for His steadfast love endures forever.
O give thanks to the Lord of lords,
for His steadfast love endures forever.
Who alone does great wonders,
for His steadfast love endures forever.
Who by understanding made the heavens, for His steadfast love endures forever.
Who spread out the earth on the waters, for His steadfast love endures forever.
Who made the great lights,
for His steadfast love endures forever.
The sun to rule over the day,
for His steadfast love endures forever.
The moon and stars to rule over the night, for His steadfast love ensures forever.

SCRIPTURE 
“He himself is before all things, and in him, all things hold together” Colossians 1:17 

CLOSING PRAYER 
Eternal God, you create us by your power and redeem us by your love. Guide and strengthen us by your Spirit, that we may give ourselves today in love and service to one another and to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Rev Marie's response:

Grace is the root word for so many lovely words in English -- gracious, gratis, graceful - and our focus for this week, gratitude.

Somehow, the word gratitude seems deeper to me than thankfulness.  Perhaps it is because being very polite Canadians, we say "thank you" so often.  Someone gives us something, or even looks at us kindly and we respond, almost parrot like, as our parents taught us. "Now what do you say?" we ask as we hold the cookie in front of the child. The thank you becomes almost transactional - when we say the right thing, we get the thing we want.

This attitude can creep into our prayers and our thoughts about God.  We have seen, and perhaps even shared, the posts that promise that if we read the special prayer and send it to ten people, God will . . ..  If we tithe ( a good idea and a subject for another post!) then we will never be in want.  If you  ___________, then God will_____________. You get the idea.  Very subtly and without realizing it, we end up seeing God as some sort of Sacred Vending Machine.

How can we tell if we are heading that way?  The key is in the little words "if/then".  There are no "if's" in God's grace.  The psalmist today reminds us of God's great goodness, power, creativity and his many gifts.  Yet the refrain reminds us each time "for His steadfast love endures forever. " For God is not just One who loves, but the scriptures say "God IS love".  Love is the core of God's very being and the impetus of all he is and does. This love is not conditional on our actions, or our own goodness or our words.  It simply IS and, we are reminded, it is as dependable as the sun that rises each morning. This is grace. All the wondrous gifts we receive from God grow out of an overflow of that self-giving love.  This is grace.

On Sunday Rev Rod reminded us that we cannot do anything ever to earn our salvation, or to make ourselves acceptable to God. This is grace.  We can only respond. We can only open our hearts and lives to receive.  This is the root of gratitude - a heart, mind and soul that responds to the grace of a love unasked for, unearned and unceasing.

The verse for today reminds us that "He himself is before all things, and in him, all things hold together". As I kneel down at the altar when I give communion to the children, I often whisper something like this to them"Do you know that long before you were born, GOD decided to make you - because He wanted to love YOU, because His world just wouldn't be complete without YOU!  He even knew your name before your parents knew you were coming. He gives you this (the bread) to remind you that YOU are His special child"

For today, what would happen if we lived -spoke, moved, made decisions, did our work, sat quietly- in light of the knowledge that we are loved in that way and have been since before we were born? What if we decided to believe this unreservedly, just for today? What if we looked into an uncertain future, deciding to trust that "In him, all things hold together" - from the immensity of the universe that surrounds us to the smallest details of our life.

I suspect that if we were to try this - even just for today - we would move way beyond a perfunctory "Thank you God" into a day of soul-deep gratitude.  We might even want to make it a habit!

Just now, take two or three minutes.  Sit somewhere quiet, comfortable and private.  Begin to breathe deeply and listen to that breathing as you let your mind settle into the quiet. As you begin to settle, repeat to yourself "I am loved" or "God loves me"  or just the name of Jesus.  Let the peace flow into your hurried soul.  Just sit. Open your heart to receive whatever God will give you. You will know when it is time to say a quiet "Thank you - oh Lord, thank you" and rise to go about the more busy aspects of your day.  And as you rise and go - hold the thought of God's love as the base from which  everything else flows. Make a determination to take those two or three minutes three times today. You are loved.