Some Thoughts on Gratitude

With Share-A-Thon just ended and Thanksgiving just around the corner, it seems that this is a natural and fitting time to reflect on all our blessings with a deep mixture of thanks and praise.

 

I don’t know if it was just me, or if others noticed it too, but it seemed that there was an extra measure of generosity and joy among Kinship Christian Radio supporters this year. I know the Holy Spirit gently nudged me to donate just a little extra this year and it brought me great joy to do so.

 

There’s actually kind of a funny story behind my “extra” donation. The rear windshield wiper on my 12 year-old vehicle had been getting slower and slower. Eventually, it stopped working altogether. I checked on the price of a new wiper motor and was somewhat shocked. (When I use the words “somewhat shocked” I mean it was high enough that I went without it for a year rather than shell out that kind of cabbage.)

 

Last week was rainy and snowy and sleety and it sure would have been nice to have a clearer view out that back window, so I waded through the various car parts web sites and found one for about $150. I didn’t like doing it, but there comes a time when enough is enough and I’ve had too much. (Yes, that last bit is a quote from Popeye the Sailor Man.)

 

Last Thursday was the day before the wiper motor was scheduled to ship, and I was doing some research online on how to install it. I was surprised to find more than one reference to people being able to simply lubricate the bearing (Yes, WD-40® to the rescue.) where it passed through the rear window and solve the problem. I tried it on my lunch break and, LO and BEHOLD, it worked! In fact, it worked better than when I had bought the vehicle 80,000 miles ago. 

 

So, immediately after lunch, I went online and cancelled that brand-new wiper motor I no longer needed. 

 

Later that day, as I was driving through the drizzle to offer my volunteer services at the Kinship office in Blue Earth –and happily enjoying a clear view out my rear window– when Executive Director Matt Dorfner announced that a very generous faith couple had offered a $52,000 Matching Faith Promise. Almost immediately, a little voice in my head said, “Hey, I should donate $100.”

 

And the rear wiper went, “swish-swish.”

 

And the little voice said just a little louder, “Make it $152.”

 

And I smiled and said, “Yes, yes I will Lord.” 

 

That kind of giving is just fun. I love how the Lord works. There is such joy in getting a glimpse of what God does and how He works although we cannot in this lifetime fully know how grand and excellent are all his plans and purposes.

 

And, apparently, I’m not the only one whom the Lord of all that is and was and ever will be nudged to the joy of grateful giving.

 

If you check this page right here https://kinshipradio.org/home/shareathon2021landing/ and do a little math you will see that total donations to the Kinship Christian Radio ministry exceeded two-thirds of a million dollars!

 

HALLELUJAH!!

 

That’s a lot of Holy Spirit gentle nudging going on! 

 

Now of course, that’s not quite enough to pay all the bills all year long, but you can still donate (on the page I linked above) and the Lord does nudge others to provide for the ministry all year long.

 

The astounding part is that while some ministries are experiencing a drop in donations as a result of the current pandemic, the loyal listeners of Kinship Christian Radio have been faithful and generous with giving to support the radio ministry.

 

So as we ponder how much God loves us and pours out His generosity on us and the ministries that bless us, I’d like to share some quotes on the subject of gratitude:

 

He who would serve God must begin by praising God, for a grateful heart is the mainspring of obedience. We must offer the salt of gratitude with the sacrifice of obedience; our lives should be anointed with the precious oil of thankfulness. As soldiers march to music, so while we walk in the paths of righteousness we should keep step to the notes of thanksgiving. Larks sing as they mount, so should we magnify the Lord for his mercies while we are winging our way to heaven. –Charles Spurgeon.

 

The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!” Psalm 50:23 (ESV)

 

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” -G.K Chesterton.

 

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16 – 18 (ESV)

 

“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.” –also G.K Chesterton.

 

“In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich. –Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

 

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16 – 18 (ESV)
“O Lord that lends me life, lend me a heart replete with thankfulness.” –William Shakespeare.

“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” –Charles Dickens

 

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21 (ESV)

 

“Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.” –Karl Barth

 

“Gratitude bestows reverence…changing forever how we experience life and the world.” –John Milton

 

And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Colossians 2: 6 -7 (NLT)

 

“Gratitude goes beyond the ‘mine’ and ‘thine’ and claims the truth that all of life is a pure gift.” –Henri J.M. Nouwen.

 

True gratitude is not sporadic. It cannot be spent or exhausted. It is the transformation of a mind that is more grateful for the giver than for the gift, for the purpose than for the present, for life itself rather than for abundance. –Ravi Zacharias

 

Come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come to him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to him. Psalm 95: 1-2 (NLT)

 

Today’s Praise

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57 (NIV)

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