In 1984 my mother introduced our family to a new way of living the Christian life. At that time she was seventy-three years old and had lived virtually her entire life as a dedicated Christian. She was a pastor's wife and a respected, well-known and published Bible teacher. She had a positive, happy outlook on life, but before our eyes we saw her literally begin to live on a higher plane.
This transformation came about through a period of personal crisis. At that time she was impressed with old truths in new ways. Reading the verses that are foundational to a life of praise and thanksgiving in ALL things, she realized that she had memorized them as a child. She had taught them in Bible classes for years, but she had fallen short of living them. Now she determined that by the grace of God she would live them out for the rest of her life.
That is just what she did for the next eighteen years. It brought about a transformation that caused her college age grandson to say, “Whatever Grandmother has found, I want it!"
This became a part of her legacy to us. With the passing years we have lived it. I have taught it. Now, we want to share with you some of the blessings we have discovered along the way. I hope you will look for the daily posts beginning with, "Praise and Thanksgiving in all things..." which come from a Praise Calendar we published in 2005.
"CONSIDER IT PURE JOY, my brothers, WHENEVER YOU FACE TRIALS of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. PERSEVERANCE MUST FINISH IT'S WORK so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything" (James 1:2-4, NIV).
"I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. BEING CONFIDENT OF THIS, THAT HE WHO BEGAN A GOOD WORK IN YOU WILL CARRY IT ON TO COMPLETION until the day of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 1:3-6, NIV).
"REJOICE in the Lord ALWAYS. I will say in again, Rejoice! Let your gentlenss be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about ANYTHING, BUT IN EVERYTHING by prayer and petition, WITH THANKSGIVING, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:4-7, NIV).
"BE JOYFUL ALWAYS, pray continually, GIVE THANKS IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" (I Thessalonians 5:16, NIV).
"Be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, ALWAYS GIVING THANKS to God the Father FOR EVERYTHING, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Ephesians 5:18-20, NIV).
This fall our Thursday Bible class will be starting a new study titled Blessings of a Life of Praise and Thanksgiving. We would love for you to join us this Thursday, September 21st around 10:45 a.m. on Facebook live as we begin this journey. If you miss the live video, catch it anytime on bystillwater.org under the videos tab.
May the Lord bless you and keep you in His love as you learn the blessings of praise and thanksgiving in all things.