Carolyn Wilder

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.

Dona Ratterman

Dona Ratterman

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

Celina Little - "Trust ye in the Lord"

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

  1. God gave his Son, Salvation, a good Church & Pastor.
  2. Family – with a family comes love, home, joy, worry, but if we look back we can see the blessings of God.
  3. 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.
  4. 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)
  5. Health & Strength
  6. 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.