A Gratitude List For Thanksgiving and Beyond

Hello and Welcome!

I can't believe Thanksgiving Day is approaching next month. That came around fast, don't you think? The holiday always prompts me to wonder if I've expressed enough thanks during the rest of the year. Have I expressed it enough to my family, my friends, and to God? When it comes to thanking God, sometimes I hear myself uttering the same phrases over and over. Thanking God with general statements is certainly acceptable, but getting very specific and detailed can be humbling. It brings us to awareness of His intimate involvement in our lives.

In an effort to get very specific, I created a Gratitude A-Z list. This might be a great way to open Thanksgiving festivities or to use as a prompt for your daily time with God. Each letter represents a gratitude focus with an accompanying Bible verse. All verses came from the New Living Translation unless otherwise noted. I hope you find it helpful. I've made this available as a PDF so you can download it.    Download Gratitude A - Z Oct 2018 PDF

By the way, THANK YOU! for reading and for your encouragement. You're a shining star and God's light shines bright from you to the world. Fondly, Terri 

  Poppy-1128683_1920

Answering Your Prayer

Psalm 17:6

I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God.

 

Blessing you Autumn
Ephesians 1:3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.

  Calling to my heart

   Rainbow-509500_1920

 

Delivering you

Psalm 40:1-2

I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry.... He set my feet on solid ground and steadies me as I walked along.

 

 

Encouraging you

Psalm 138:3

As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me

by giving me strength.

Fall scene 1

 

Lavender-blossom-1595581_1920

Favoring you

Psalm 67:1

May God be merciful and bless us. May His face smile with favor on us.

 

Cross-918459_1920

Gracious provision

Isaiah 30:18 NIV

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion.

 

Holiness - making you holy

1 Corinthians 6:11

...you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

 

Butterfly-1127666_1920

  I Am - Isaiah 43.11

  Nature-3054797_1920

Joy of your heart

Psalm 28:7

He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.

 

Known by God

1 Corinthians 8:3 NIV

But the one who loves God is known by God

 

  Maple-leaves-62799_1920

 

Candle-3508563_1920

Light in the darkness

Psalm 18:28

You light a lamp for me. The Lord, my God, lights up my darkness.

 

  Seasons 2

Mercy

Psalm 103:4

He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies.

 

Never forgetting, abandoning you

Hebrews 13:5

...for God has said, "I will never fail you. I will never abandon you."

  Cliff-1850715_1920

 

Overcoming the world

1 John 5:4-5 NIV

This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

  Fall-foliage-111315_1920

 

River water

Plans for my life

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope...."

 

Quieting

the

Soul

Flower-1739892_1920

Zephaniah 3:17 NIV

He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.

heartsencouraged.com

 

Renewing hope - Psalm 94:19
  Hope
When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.

 

Strength when you falter  
  Help

My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.

Psalm 73:26

 

  Harvest

Tears known to God

Psalm 126:5

Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy.

 

 Wood with hearts

Unfailing love

Psalm 143:8

Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you.

 

Victory over the enemy  Cross and man

But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:57

 

Shade tree

Watching over you

Psalm 121:5

The Lord himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.

 

Yearning for You, Lord

As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God....

Psalm 42:1-2

Stream-801796_1920

 

Zealous for me

Psalm 91:11

  Storm
For He will order his angels to protect you wherever you go.

 

I hope you found this encouraging and uplifting! Check out the Hearts Encouraged Facebook Page, @TerriHutchinsonAuthor. I'd love to hear from you. Blessings dear friends!

 


Competing Priorities

Hello and Welcome! May you find encouragement and blessings in this post. 

Cardinal-3212663_1920

One Saturday morning, sweet chirps outside my window acted like an alarm and a trigger. Barely awake, my mental To Do List began streaming:

Head to the writing desk no later than 8 am. Finish the current blog post, start the next one. Water the patio plants before the writing or it’ll be forgotten. Weeds in the front bed. Complete before it gets warm so before the writing. Get out of bed right now and you can do it.  

I popped out of bed and scurried to the kitchen for coffee. A stack of dirty dishes caught my eye. I looked at the clock. 6:40. I can get these done before writing, then hit the plants and weeds.

Coffee in hand, I went back to the bedroom to change from my pajamas. The unmade bed beckoned a question. When were these sheets last washed? Better do it while I’m thinking about it.

I recalculated the time factor. Get the sheets started first, then soak the dishes while watering the patio plants. Once the dishes are done, the sheets will be ready for the dryer. Get to the weeds next and the sheets should be done when you return inside. Really, who is better at maximizing every minute? Nobody! I marched to the laundry room to begin the gauntlet.

Three words stopped me in my tracks. Meet with Me.

This Holy Spirit whisper was my stop sign. 

Of all the tasks on my To Do List, the tip-top priority should have been lingering with the Lord. 

Do your priorities ever collide with God's_
Like me, and maybe you, Jesus’s disciples faced a similar problem: identifying their greatest need.

In Luke 22, we read the disciples and Jesus gathered for the Last Supper and, later, in the Garden of Gethsemane. The meal was a remembrance of God’s grace for sparing their lives from the final plague of death and to commemorate their freedom from Egypt. At the Last Supper, Jesus planned to direct them to a new remembrance of him and his sacrificial death.

Luke’s account reveals the competing priorities of the disciples during the course of that meal. These priorities included loyalty, position and greatness, and the identity of the betrayer. When the group moved to the garden of Gethsemane, sleep became the priority over prayer.

What was Jesus’ priority? Remembrance and faith. Jesus, anticipating this meal, this time with them, intensely desired their presence and focus. He knew the disciples’ relationship with and trust in Him would be tested.


Connected
Remain in me and I will remain in you.

John 15:4

Our faith, our trust is being tested. Jesus’ compassionate command to remain in him is a call to anchor ourselves to him. He is our Rock during times of testing. We are known to Him and we have full access to Him. We understand these things, but.... In my case, I let to-do lists’ and competing priorities lure me from Jesus. A subtle, steady drift.

Is it like that for you, too?

I can’t let competing priorities or anything else deter me from trying to get with Jesus. I know full well the enemy wants me restless and distracted and, for that reason, it’s worth any attempt I can muster. My greatest need that day, and every day, is absorbing His Word and settling into His Presence.

Remember this:

Every moment you intentionally seek out God you’re filled with a fresh awakening to his love for you and his power in you.
How do we inject time with Jesus in an already booked schedule? Set an invite to yourself to “Meet with Jesus”. If it’s not scheduled, then it’s probably not going to happen. You live strong by investing in your relationship with God. Keep in mind fleeting interactions won’t sustain you over the long haul. But, when you’re on overload and can’t linger for a session with Jesus, then maybe Take Five is your solution.

Icon Hearts Encouraged  Take Five  Icon Hearts Encouraged

Take Five is a three-part process.

Part 1: List your tasks for the day or week in priority order. Review the list. What are your greatest needs? In other words, what do you need from the Lord in order to be successful in the coming hour or the next eight hours? Is it wisdom, insight, attentiveness, creativity, patience? Document what you need.

Part 2: Take 5-10 minutes with the Lord to:

Acknowledge God’s priority in your life

Proclaim a statement of humbleness

Offer thanksgiving for the previous days provision

Tell the Lord of your greatest needs. Ask Him to be with you and to equip you for the task, the next hour, or the next person.

Part 3: Reflect on the tasks and the outcomes. Did He meet your need? Did you receive something you weren’t expecting? In Part 1 you documented what you needed. Now, you can document what Jesus provided. Reflection is your remembrance of and gratitude for Jesus with you.

I hope you’re encouraged to Take Five throughout your day to connect with the Lord. We would love to know how you take a “time out” to be with God in the midst of the hectic and crazy! Please share your thoughts on the Hearts Encouraged Facebook page (@TerriHutchinsonAuthor). 

References

The Last Supper. https://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/christianity/what-is-the-meaning-and-importance-of-the-last-supper.aspx#xmLjYbl1q6EVgxWk.99

Henri J.M. Nouwen, Here and Now: Living in the Spirit (New York: The Crossroad Publishing Company , 2003).