November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Gratitude

Today feels lazy and preparatory and cozy. The kids are off from school. They’re eager to help with the cooking and baking, excited to see their cousins and grandparents tomorrow. A blanket of anticipation envelopes us.

It’s Thanksgiving and gratitude is in the air. What’s not to love about a holiday that makes us pause to count our blessings? Did you ever notice how your attitude changes when you do? How no matter what your circumstance, there are ALWAYS things for which to be thankful.

I stumbled across 1000 Gifts, a gratitude project on Holy Experience’s blog and it sparked me. Her evocative writing style took me on an unexpected trip to somewhere new and exciting. Her word paved a road that traveled far from my familiar.

She got me thinking (which was her purpose) about gratitude. I have thousands of things for which to be thankful. What if I deliberately named them? One at a time. Until I had a hundred, a thousand, a million. Is there an end to the list?

What if we all did that? How would our lives change, our focus alter, our perspective align more rightly? How much more of God would we gain in the process? Because that’s the point, isn’t it. To recognize that ALL blessings are from above.

Last night we were in prison again. Six of us went. Once again, we ended up taking out more of Jesus than we brought in. The power of the Holy Spirit knows no boundaries. Recognizes no border. Shows no favoritism. To hear the gospel presented in an environment so starkly opposite from our day-to-day is to see God anew.

Michael preached last night and God transformed this gentle man into a fierce warrior of the Word. He dug into Scripture and pulled out truths with such power and conviction that we all met Jesus in a fresh way. He taught that without the cross we have nothing. It all begins and ends there. Nothing we do/say/accomplish/sacrifice/give/learn can take away from or add to the Divine Blood shed at Calvary. Nothing.

And, without the cross, we have just that—nothing.

So, what better place to begin my 1000 Gifts list than at the cross. Because even if I never add another item, it is perfect. It is eternal. And it is enough.

Thanksgiving blessings to you and your family. Let’s continue our attitude of gratitude long after the the last bits of turkey morph into casseroles, the Christmas frenzy encroaches and the new year begins.


Cheryl Barker said...

So glad you are enjoying a cozy day at home with your family, Kelli. Thanksgiving blessings to you, too!

Chatty Kelly said...

Your post brings to mind a song by Hillsong called Worthy is the Lamb. It says Thank You for the cross. If you haven't heard it:

Thank you for the cross, Lord
Thank you for the price You paid
Bearing all my sin and shame
In love You came
And gave amazing grace

Thank you for this love, Lord
Thank you for the nail pierced hands
Washed me in Your cleansing flow
Now all I know
Your forgiveness and embrace

Worthy is the Lamb
Seated on the throne
Crown You now with many crowns
You reign victorious

High and lifted up
Jesus Son of God
The Darling of Heaven crucified
Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb

I am so thankful the cross. Happy Thanksgiving.

Dan said...

The prison was rocking last night - from the inmate who opened things up to Kelli's wonderful testimony (oh, she left out the part about reading one of her blogs to the whole group, didn't she!) to Michael's amazing fact, it's almost insulting to call it just a sermon - Michael was conducting a spiritual home run derby last night. My takeaway - in Genesis, God gave us dominion over everything. EVERYTHING. And that includes, most noteworty of all...Satan. He came up with a half-dozen impactful and sometimes hilarious ways to illustate this, but the message was inmistakeable - the devil has no power over us. Not, at least, since the cross. Man...what a night!

Sue J. said...

Praise God from Whom ALL blessings flow!

Praise Him all creatures here below...


Thanks for sharing your work with this mission and the powerful work of the Holy Spirit in your lives. Just sharing these stories is powerful, even if we weren't there!

Scott B said...

Sometimes God challenges you to do something you don't want to do. But it works the other way as well. After you read your blog at the prison that night, I was going to get up and share something I wanted to talk about. But something held me back that night.

I decided not to speak (amazing as that is), and if you remember, the CO kept giving Michael a few more minutes. Rather than stopping him at 9:30, he let him go until 9:45. God wanted Michael's message spoken that night.