16 February 2020

Thanksgiving VII ~

9-15 February:  Last week, I was thankful to have seen the little Downy Woodpecker busily checking out the possibility of edibles in the tree outside my window - this is only the third time I've seen it; thankful for this new day of life (and the increasing strength that comes with it); thankful to join the apostle, Paul, in these words: "I pray that God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ will be kind to you and will bless you with peace! My dear friends, we always have good reason to thank God for you, because your faith in God and your love for each other keep growing all the time." (2 Thessalonians 1:2-3; CEV); thankful that our household is again intact, with D.D. having safely returned from her travels; thankful for blessings repeated day after day - may they never be taken for granted!  I was thankful for this message from 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 where we read: "What if I speak in the most elegant languages of people or in the exotic languages of the heavenly messengers, but I live without love? Well then, anything I say is like the clanging of brass or a crashing cymbal. What if I have the gift of prophecy, am blessed with knowledge and insight to all the mysteries, or what if my faith is strong enough to scoop a mountain from its bedrock, yet I live without love? If so, I am nothing. I could give all that I have to feed the poor, I could surrender my body to be burned as a martyr, but if I do not live in love, I gain nothing by my selfless acts." (VOICE); thankful to have my computer back on-line for sharing my "Thanksgiving ...." message; thankful to know of the One who hears our prayers, and answers with all that is for our good and for His glory; thankful for Paul's concise definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 where we read: "Love is patient; love is kind. Love isn’t envious, doesn’t boast, brag, or strut about. There’s no arrogance in love; it’s never rude, crude, or indecent—it’s not self-absorbed. Love isn’t easily upset. Love doesn’t tally wrongs." (VOICE); thankful for the few minutes shared with a D.D. before our days are underway; thankful for God's "abiding" promise (Hebrews 13:5); thankful for this message from 1 Corinthians 13:6-7 where we read: "... Truth—yes, truth—is love’s delight! Love puts up with anything and everything that comes along; it trusts, hopes, and endures no matter what." (VOICE); thankful that there is a promise of strength sufficient for each day's needs (Deuteronomy 33:25); thankful that, day by day, MY strength is being restored; thankful to read this well-known passage in the Classic Edition of the Amplified Bible: "For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life. For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him." (John 3:16-17); thankful for all the love that is being shared in my family, among friends, and in many other ways today (and on EVERYDAY!); thankful for the steadfast love of our heavenly Father;  thankful for these words of Jesus that are found in John 13:33-35 where we read: "... My time here is brief. You will be searching for Me; and as I told the Jews, 'You cannot go where I am going.' So I give you a new command: Love each other deeply and fully. Remember the ways that I have loved you, and demonstrate your love for others in those same ways. Everyone will know you as My followers if you demonstrate your love to others." (VOICE); thankful for the weekly Sabbath, the Creator's choice, an appointment with Him for praise, study, and worship;  thankful for a life-long appreciation of the Creator's beautiful designs, His work to provide so much for our enjoyment; and I was thankful for this definition of love: "This is the embodiment of true love: not that we have loved God first, but that He loved us and sent His unique Son on a special mission to become an atoning sacrifice for our sins." (1 John 4:10; VOICE).