Carolyn Wilder - "Giving Thanks is an Attitude of Gratitude"
Gratitude is an Action
Give thanks is mentioned 34 times in the Bible:
I Thess. 5:18 – "IN EVERYTHING give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
Sometimes that’s hard to do. It’s easy to be thankful when everything is going good. It’s hard to be thankful during the bad times and in the trials of our life, but this is what God has asked us to do and if He’s ask us to do it, He will help us accomplish it. Our attitude has a lot to do with our being thankful, it’s not if we feel like it or not. Being thankful is a choice we make.
II Cor. 9:15 – "Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift…."
When you’re down and can’t be thankful…start with Jesus saving you. It’ll only get better from there. Be thankful that God is Lord of your life… it took me a long time to make God Lord. He was my Savior but it took a while to give everything in my life to Him and let Him be Lord. When you make Him Lord…you can have a thankful heart. Be thankful that we’re forgiven of ALL our sins.
Eph. 5:20 - "Giving thanks always for ALL things unto God and the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
God calls us to do everything with thanksgiving. Don’t grumble over what the Lord has you doing. If you’re doing things around the church… do it with a thankful heart. When we serve the Lord we should do it in the spirit and not the flesh.
I Chronicles 23:30 – "And to stand every morning to Thank & Praise the lord and likewise at even."
We’re to thank & praise God all day long. Thank God each morning just for waking you up.
Psalm 106:1, 118:1, 136:1, 136:3 – "O give thanks unto the Lord for He is good, for his mercy endureth forever."
When you start having a pity party… look up you’re redemption draweth nigh…
Try spending one day a week… just thanking God and not asking for anything. It will overwhelm you when you realize just how blessed you really are. Keep a continuing list of all the things you’re thankful for; you’ll be amazed.
Read Psalm 100
Let everyone share what they’re thankful for.
Beth Smith - "Contentment, Gratitude, and Peace"
Read 1 Timothy 6: 6-8
I bet we’ve all been here at some point:
- If only I could lose 10 pounds I would be so much happier.
- If only I didn’t have to spend an hour each day driving up and down Hwy 52 I could…………
- I wish my hair would look like hers.
- I sure wish my house was clean, the laundry was all done, my dishes were washed….
If only, If only, If only.
This year I decided I would make an effort to be more content and in turn I’ve found myself becoming more thankful as well. 1st Timothy reminds us that Godliness with contentment is great gain. We are also reminded that God will supply our needs, but we continue to live in the land of “If onlys”.
By focusing on contentment I’ve found that gratitude is a big part of being content. If you are thankful for what you have its only natural you’ll be more content and more at peace. However, we all know there will be times when life just doesn’t work out and there is nothing we can do, bad things happen, disappointments come, but Godly Contentment is an active faith that says God is enough. Even on the worst day we are given opportunities to worship God and be thankful. You can start by being thankful for the sunshine or the rain, a smile from a stranger, even a 30 minute drive home from work because that means I have a job. There are so many things that are sitting right in front of us that if you’re not looking for them you will overlook them. Some days I find myself falling in to the pits called comparing and complaining and that usually lead to a one person pity party. Those are the days I have to tell myself to do like the hymn says, “Count your many blessings, name them one by one.” Once you get started you’ll be surprised how much you do have to be thankful for!
Through praise our burdens don’t seem so heavy, and we are okay even in the midst of trouble. Many times the problems do not go away, but you realize that God is there with you and you are filled with His peace. Many years ago I copied this out of a magazine. I keep it in my Bible and use it as a book mark. I want to share this with you:
Steps to Contentment:
- Focus first on God, your provider.
- Seek God’s purpose in your life.
- Look for the good, the joy, and the peace in your circumstances.
- Pray often to receive peace of mind.
- Trust God to supply all your needs.
- Value the things of God and the intangibles of life more than possessions.
Life is too short to spend it wishing for more, better, different. Being thankful for today and making the most of the blessings that God has given us each day will make a content heart, a grateful heart and a peaceful heart.
I grew up in a good home. My family called themselves "Christian", but I don't remember ever hearing anyone pray or read a Bible.
My mother took my brothers and me to the Episcopal church. My father never went. The services were beautiful, but no one ever spoke of salvation, or a personal relationship with Jesus.
We moved to a new town when I was 12, and we stopped going to church. My mother's liberal ideas influenced me as I grew up, and I was taught in college that the Bible was made up by power hungry men. One day the lady who babysat my daughter invited us to Friends Day at her church. During that service I felt the presence of the Spirit of God for the first time. When the pastor asked who needed Jesus, my hand went right up.
On April 30, 1989, at age 37, I received Jesus as my Saviour and I've been seeking to know Him more, learning, trust Him more, and serve Him more ever since.
Helen Brown - "God's Amazing Grace"
My name is Helen Brown. First of all I want to thank the Lord for Saving me and changing my Life.
My husband and I had been married 3 years and we were searching for a church. We came to Berean I told David I don't want to go in, it's a big church. He said if this was a job interview would you go, so we went in.
August 22, 1993, both of us got saved that Sunday morning. Pat Eaton led me to the Lord & Praise God for Salvation!!!! Jeff Baity led my husband to the Lord that same morning, 19 years ago!!!!!
Celina Little - "Trust ye in the Lord"
- Trust ye in the Lord forever: For in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting Strength Isaiah 26:4, It says in the Bible that we are supposed to trust in the Lord for in Him is where we should get and draw our strength from, it says repeatedly in the Bible that we are not only to trust in the Lord but seek Him continually constantly.
- Seek the Lord and his strength, see his face continually I Chronicles 16:11 We are supposed to not be afraid no matter the circumstances at hand nor the burden that we shall carry. For many of us that, it is burdens not just a burden. We must also be watchful of things creeping in that are not of the Lord especially when we are overwhelmed by our burdens. If we aren't careful music, TV, Books, etc can lead us away from the Lord instead of to Him.
- Fear thou not: for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee: yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10 God promises us time and time again that no matter the circumstances that we face and are dealing with that he will help us, He will hold us up, He will help us. Despite being told over and over low God is to be our strength and how we are to depend on Him. We often end up on a "pity party" or down because we let the devil and circumstances going on to get to us.
- For thou are the God of my strength: why dost thou cast me off? Why go in mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? Psalm 43:2 We let the devil whisper in our ears over those circumstances. It may come as a negative thought that seemed to pop out of no where. Or it may be an illness that gets us off our normal track or an accident or a death or an unexpected financial expense or two or three. We may snap at people, we may not sleep, we may be cranky, we may only think of yourselves that is every easy to do when it seems like you are walking down the valley and all at once rocks start falling down upon your head from the mountain.
- Do all things without murmurings and disputings! Philippians 2:14 God's word says to "do all things without murmurings and disputings," but yet when under pressure we start complaining and grumbling about everything. Even the good things that God has blessed us with, we are not content with and feel necessary to complain about. Why do we complain? Is it supposed to make us feel better or are we just wanting to make everyone else around us miserable or to feel as bad as we feel over our own circumstances.
- Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:24 As long as we keep ourselves in good spirits, focusing on the Word of God and upon God Himself, He will strengthen us and our hearts. He will help us get through whatever He gives us to deal with in the meantime. The strength, the courage, and the ability to face whatever God will give us to deal with.
- Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered. Hebrews 5:8 We must remember that the trials and other situations that God allows to happen to us are for our own benefit in the end. Those trials and burdens are used to make us the person, people that God knows that we can become as long as we trust in Him and allow Him to be our strength and our guidance.
Della Griffin – "God’s Blessings"
Ps. 128:1 Blessed is everyone that feareth the Lord that walketh in his ways.
- God gave his Son, Salvation, a good Church & Pastor.
- Family – with a family comes love, home, joy, worry, but if we look back we can see the blessings of God.
- Friends that love and pray for you, they accept you as you are warts & all. God accepts us as we are, he died for us.
- God blesses us every day, sometimes we just have to STOP and let God carry our load. Look at all He has done for us. Listen and be blessed. God gives us Peace (Phil. 4:7)
- Health & Strength
- God created a world full of beauty. We have to take time to enjoy it and thank God for it. (Phil 4:13 & 19)
I thank God for looking down and seeing me a lost sinner and yet he gave his son that I might be saved. Knowing I would not be the Christian I should be. Thank God for Salvation. A Church that stands on the word of God. A Bible believing church. A Pastor who preaches the word and stands on it.
Mother's Day - By Pat Eaton
May is a very special month in that we honor our mothers. We are to honor our mothers every day, but special honor is given this Sunday, May 11th.
Proverbs 31:10-31 - The Virtuous Woman
I want to make mention of some great mothers in God's Word. Adam called his wife's name Eve, Because she was the mother of all living. Yes, Adam & Eve disobeyed God and were sent from the Garden of Eden, brought a curse upon the earth, woman would bring forth children in sorrow, physical and spiritual death. I can only imagine how Adam & Eve felt when they had to leave the beautiful garden. But God's promise of a Savior was given in Genesis 3:15 "And I will put enmity between thee (Satan) and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." Two sons, Cain & Abel, were born to Adam & Eve. Cain killed his brother Abel, and God rejected Cain. But God gave them another son, Seth, through whom Jesus came.
Another lady is Sarah, Abraham's wife. God told Abraham in Genesis 17:16 "And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her; yea, I will bless her and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her." Isaac was born to Abraham & Sarah in their old age. Isaac married Rebekah and twins, Jacob & Esau, were born to them. Isaac favored Esau, the eldest, and Rebekah favored Jacob. Rebekah helped Jacob steal the birthright from Esau. When Jacob had to leave home because Esau threatened to kill him, Rebekah died and never saw Jacob again. God chose Jacob, whom God later changed his name to Israel, and the line through whom Jesus would be born. Jacob had two wives, Leah & Rachel, which two did build the house of Israel. Leah gave birth to Judah, the line through whom Jesus would be born, and God blessed Rachel with two sons, Joseph & Benjamin. We all know how God used Joseph to save his brethren from the famine.
I think Moses' mother, Jochebed, was a special mother. Pharaoh charged all his people saying, every son that is born ye shall cast into the river. When Moses was born, Jochebed hid him in the ark for three months in the river. After Pharaoh's daughter found him, she needed a nurse of the Hebrew women to care for him. Jochebed got to raise her own son and teach him the way of God. We know how God used Moses to lead the Israelite nation out of slavery and suffering from out of Egypt.
Hannah was married to Elkanah, but she was unable to have children. Hannah was very sorrowful because of this. Elkanah had another wife, Peninnah, who made fun of Hannah because she was unable to have children. Each year Elkanah and his entire family would go up to the house of the Lord in Shiloh to worship. While there Hannah was in bitterness of soul and prayed to the Lord. She vowed to God that if He would look upon her affliction and give her a man child that she would give him unto the Lord all the days of his life. God heard and answered her prayer and Samuel was born. He became a great prophet & priest.
A favorite of mine is Ruth. Elimelech and his wife, Naomi, and their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, left Bethlehem & went to Moab because of a great famine in the land. Mahlon and Chilion married wives of the women of Moab, Orpah & Ruth. Elimelech, Mahlon & Chilion died & Naomi wanted to go back to Bethlehem. She told Orpah and Ruth to return to their mother's house. Orphah returned, but Ruth said "Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge; they people shall be my people, and thy God my God". Because Ruth chose to follow Naomi and to service the true & living God, He blessed her and gave her another husband, the great & wealthy Boaz. To them was born a son, Obed, who was the grandfather of King David.
God chose Mary, a godly young lady, to be the mother of Jesus. When the angel came to Mary to announce that she was chosen to be the mother of Jesus, he said, "Hail, thou that are highly favored, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women. Thou has found favor with God" when Jesus was on the cross suffering for our sins, He looked at His mother & His disciple, John standing nearby, and said, "Woman, behold thy son." and to John He said, "Behold they mother", even while dying, He was concerned for His mother and wanted to be sure she was taken care of.
The last mother that I want to mention is Josephine Lena Brammer Stone, better know as Josie. This lady is my mother, God richly blessed me with a wonderful Christian mother. I was the eighth and last child born to my mother and dad. I grew up with two younger brothers since all of my other brothers & sisters were grown or nearly grown when I was born; therefore, I was spoiled and very attached to my mother. My mother was a special lady. Everyone who knew her said she was one of the sweetest women you could ever meet. She was kind, soft-spoken and a little timid, but at the same time she stood for what was right. She was a Christian who loved the Lord and took me to church. She taught me Christian morals and principles and how to live. She was a great example to me and I owe my mother a deep gratitude for raising me to love the Lord. She did not allow me to hang around with people who were not good for me to be with. She was a good judge of character. I will never forget the time that I wanted a certain boy to be my boyfriend. He came to see me with some of my kin people. After they left, my mother told me she had better see that boy at our house again. I did not understand at the time, but later I learned he was not the kind of boy I should be with. After a couple of years, I met Earl in high school. On Christmas Day, he called & invited me to his house to eat Christmas dinner. When my mother met him she knew right away he was the kind of boy she could trust me to see. Earl was the only boy I ever dated & we were married after we graduated from high school. My mother & dad loved Earl like their own son. My mother was a wonderful keeper of our home & a great cook. I was talking to one of my cousins & she told me she always loved to go to Aunt Josie's house because she always had something good to eat. My heart was broken when my mother went to heaven, but knowing she is waiting for me & I will see her again means everything to me.
There is a song that fits my mom quite well. "she's a little old fashioned, that sweet mother of mine. There are many whose beauty will my mother outshine. She's a little old fashioned as I plainly can see, but she is forever sweetest mother to me." I wish everyone here could have met my mother, then you would know why my desire is to emulate her by being a good Christian example for others to follow.