View Full Version : Day 4 - Lifting Up Thanksgiving and Praise
01-15-2009, 08:39 AM
Day 4 of Week 1 was called "Lifting Up Thanksgiving and Praise"
It starts out with Hebrews 3:15-16, touching on all three "directions" of praise.
The Daily Praise and Daily Surrender have to do with Thanksgiving and Gratitude.
In addition to sharing your thoughts and comments on today's lesson, please consider posting some things you're thankful for. In addition, if you have trouble or find it hard to be thankful about some things, be honest and confess here.
Let the discussion begin!
01-15-2009, 09:14 AM
My dad had a friend back in the day who's name escapes me.
Every time my dad would see him my dad would ask
"how are you today"
The man would reply in a deep tone
"God has not abdicated the throne"
This always spoke to me because he was basically saying God is still God...I'm good.
A pastor friend of mine from brazil was at JFK airport with me when he got a phone call saying that his father nephew and cousin were all killed in a car accident.
The man cried....and then in the middle of the airport began singing at the top of his lungs praise to God.
Everything in me shook.
Not all of us can be like that or like paul, but we need to continually put our lives into God focus and realize He has not left the throne.
God is God and I am not
thats kind of refreshing to me
01-15-2009, 10:58 AM
Honestly I've been struggling with my perception of the "slow start" of the study....but today I was met where I'm living. Things have been difficult for my family and I for some time, and while I'm still praising and leading others, the fact is it's been hard.
The turning from "humbly grateful" to "grumbly hateful" made me smile. Sadly, I identified.
God and I had some good moments this morning because of this study, just me and Him. It wasn't because I was prepping for a service or a teaching time either.
He hasn't changed my circumstances, but this morning He worked on my heart a bit. Good day. :)
01-15-2009, 12:22 PM
The part of the study that hit me today was when Mr. Moore wrote,
"Ths world may seem as if it's spinning out of control, but God is still the all-powerful, all-knowing, ever-present King of kings and Lord of lords . . . "
Turn on the news today and you will see a nation that is spinning out of control. I recall my freakouts as gas hit $4.00 a gallon, as my husband is about to lose his job at a big bank that was recently bought out, as every person you talk to is seemingly struggling to survive, we could go on and on.
But my dear husband said something to me that goes right along with this devotional today. "The SAME GOD, hallelujah, who was on the throne before all of this mess IS STILL THERE!!!!!"
Oh to know that He will never change and that He is always there holding our hands as we worship upwardly giving Him praise and thanksgiving.
After reading Joel's post, I recall Steve Curtis Chapman's song which has become an anthem for my life,
"God is God and I am not
I can only see a part
Of the picture He's painting
God is God and I am man
So I'll never undertand it all
For only God is God"!!!!
01-15-2009, 12:31 PM
I am thankful for the following among so many other things:
* A car accident that nearly took my life. Because in laying in a hospital bed for 3 months, I fell in love with My Savior all over again.
* My husband who is the epitomy of God's love
* My family who keep me sane and keep me laughing
* My church family who holds me up with prayers and encouragement
* My worship team members who do not practice at home b/c they force me to discover creative ways to help them!!!
* The hope of a child one day - after losing our first child, I am thankful for the hope that the Lord isn't through with our family yet.
* I am thankful for where I am right now, in this life because I have seen that through the years, He has kept me, will continue to keep me and is helping me to live out my destiny.
* I am thankful for The Worship Community because where else can a nation of worshippers come together and hear what the Lord is saying to His people through Praise and Worship
Finally . . .
* Dreams and visions!!! I am thankful for the dreams the Lord has put in my heart. For without vision, the people perish and I am thankful that I have a vision, I have a dream and I have a goal!!! (Proverbs 29:18)
01-15-2009, 01:12 PM
* I am thankful for The Worship Community because where else can a nation of worshippers come together and hear what the Lord is saying to His people through Praise and Worship
As the founder, you have no idea how much that means to me. I knew in my heart that this idea "could" be that place, but to see it materializing ... wow.
01-15-2009, 01:36 PM
This one hit me hard. I'm a person who likes to be in control of my situation all the time. I know a lot of people like me. It's hard to remember to give thanks to God because it's often hard to remember WHY we are supposed to in the first place! He is sovereign! He is above anything on this earth and He is always in control. My little human organizational system, my ideas about how things "should" go could never compare to his incredible plan! I think when it comes down to it, we all have much to be thankful for. My prayer today is that God would remind me of his sovereignty, and that I would be truly grateful and gracious in my response.
01-15-2009, 02:54 PM
Part of living whole-life worship is being thankful for what God has blessed us with…even when it may not be much.
Today’s thoughts are centered around being thankful IN our circumstances. Thankful in the good times and thankful in the bad times.
I’m thankful for my wonderful wife, Lydia.
I’m thankful for my family.
I’m thankful for friends I know face to face.
I’m thankful for friends like you that connect through blogging.
I’m thankful that I have a great home and a wonderful job.
and really for so much more...
I'm thankful that even though things are kind of crazy physically with different parts of my body (still finding out what's up) that I'm still able to sing and do what I do for HOJ. I love leading with our team. Thank you, Lord.
01-15-2009, 03:22 PM
I am grateful for cyber-friends like Russ, who seem to be able to share their thoughts in a beautifully cohesive way. Thanks, Bro.
I struggle, like many of you, I suspect, to be content WHERE I AM. All too often I feel the need to do more, be more, say more, play more...when I don't need to.
I am thankful for my God, my wife, my family, and my worship team; because they know me...and love me anyway.
01-15-2009, 03:22 PM
Your welcome Fred - Meant every word:)
01-15-2009, 03:57 PM
In my walk this is something that God has been teaching me. To be thankful in all things .
Psalms 23:4- Yea, though I walk through the shadow of death I will fear no evil; For you are with me; Your rod and staff, they comfort me.
That is so encouraging to me. Nothing in this life that I may face has not first been filtered through the fingers of God.
I liked the little story about the worms. I can so relate. Wanting what someone else may have ( which I know full well to be covetting). Or to be as good as so and so.
But God has and is changing me and is content with me, His beautiful creation. That alone is something to be deeply thankful for, that He loves us so much that He was willing to die on that cross.
~ I am thankful for His grace, and mercy.
~ For being alive, when there was close calls in my life.
~ The ability to love God back.
~ Correction when I am on the wrong path.
I could go on and on....:)
01-15-2009, 04:34 PM
well, I loved that the verses that he sent us to were already underlined in my bible... byt it was a good reminder that no matter what we go through, God is still on the throne, and we still need to be thankful in the midst of it all.
I was reminded of a time when we were pregnant with our 2nd child, and my husband's company folded 1 week before our oldest's 1st birthday. He was out of work for 7.5 months. During this time his grandfather died, my dad died, our 2nd daughter was born... you are starting to see the pattern.
Through all of this, God provided for every need that came up - be it financial, emotional, spiritual, you name it! Because Eric was not working, he was able to be there to support his family, and be there for mine as well.
Do I want to go through that again? Not really. We have even nicknamed it "The Holy Smack-down" because of everything that happened! However, I wouldn't trade having gone through it for anything - we learned so much, and both of us drew closer to God through it. It was glorious to see the change it brought about in my husband's spiritual life, and because of it we have been forever changed. And God has used it in the lives of so many others, which has only increased the blessing we have felt.
Things I am thankful for:
~ That God loves me even when I screw up, and He is always waiting for me to come back to Him, no matter what.
~ That I have been blessed with a truly wonderful husband who prays for me and supports me in just about everything.
~ My two beautiful girls - they are the lights of my life!
~ Every church we have been a part of - God has put so many amazing people in our lives and we have been so greatly blessed by them all. I can only hope that we are able to bless them a fraction of the amount they have blessed us.
~ The hard times that we go through - we have learned so much from every trial, and while I don't want to have to go through them again, I wouldn't trade them.
~ Nature! I am blessed to live in a state that is filled with the beauty of God's creation - even if the political atmosphere is vile. I am thankful that we can get out there and enjoy the beauty that God has surrounded us with, to get away as a family and just be together.
~ for bible studies that remind me to sit down and take time to be thankful...
Wannabe a Worshiper
01-15-2009, 05:40 PM
Just reading what all of you have written today has made me thankful. In the group of us who seem to be contributing daily, there are two people I can think of who have expressed thankfulness in what they write, in the midst of affliction.
One is unemployed, the other is caught up in a bad family situation (see the prayer request forum), and still they are thankful.
I have so much, have been blessed so greatly, yet I struggle with expressing genuine thanks to God. So today is a great time to change that.
What I'm thankful for:
God loves me unconditionally.
He saved me.
He brought me out of a horrible pit and set my feet on the Rock.
When I jump back into the pit, He is always there to lift me out again.
Im thankful for a loving, supportive wife, for 3 married children and ten beautiful grandchildren(one is still in the oven)
I am part of a wonderful church
God has called and equipped me to serve Him. That is amazing!
This has just turned into a great worship time for me as I wrote this.
Thankful? You better believe it!
Thank You, Lord, for being SO good!
01-15-2009, 07:46 PM
Last year, my family and I struggled mightily because I went from having a well salaried full-time job to a lower hourly wage part-time job. The strain grew over the course of the year. Although I was not immune from worry and stress, I always felt confident deep down that God would see us through even when some around me were not. He did, and I now have a higher paying full-time job than I had before. With that new job has come new challenges and difficulties which some days makes being thankful a challenge in itself. But I remember what God did for me and my family, and I remember how much greater He is than those problems He overcame on my behalf. I am thankful for why He did this--out of His love for me, and because He still has more for me to do for Him, which makes me worth providing for. So I again look to Him, and ask him everyday to guide me through what I am about to face.
I am thankful for that job, even with all the problems that come with it. But I am even more thankful for how God sustains me and leads me to succeed in it. I am thankful for my family, but even more thankful for how He has secured my marriage with His love, a love that far surpasses anything I am capable of sustaining over all those years. Every day of my mortal life is just that--only mortal. But what God does with each of them makes them so much more, and worthy of thanksgiving.
Wrapped in Jesus Love!
01-15-2009, 07:49 PM
1 Thessalonians 5:18 - The Pure Praise book says "We are not told to give thanks for our circumstances, but rather in them. We are not expected to be thankful for problems and hardships that come our way." It's difficult to be thankful when we have problems and things aren't going well. This pointed out to me that I need to focus on being thankful 'in' the problem instead of 'for' the problem. I need to look for the positive learning experience that I can gain from going through the deep valleys. And when I feel like I can't be thankful, and I can't voice the thanks into words, I can voice my praise to God and how wonderful He is. Turn the focus on him and I'll take the focus off of my problems.
I like the comment that ErikaMichelle wrote "The SAME GOD, hallelujah, who was on the throne before all of this mess IS STILL THERE!!!!!"
I am thankful for God, my family, friends, my church family, and the people here at theworshipcommunity.
I had a cyst removed in the doctor's office today (sent it to be tested but she thinks it's just a cyst). Anyway, while she was removing it, normally I would have laid there and prayed to God to be with me. The focus would have been on 'me'. But since we have started this study, I have broadened my 'worship experience' so much already. Instead of praying for me, I just laid there and thanked God for who He is and praised Him. I turned my focus on Him!:o
01-15-2009, 08:09 PM
I love the "humbly grateful / grumbly hateful" thing. I actually laughed out loud at that.
When I was a baby Christian, a guy who came to the church I was attending prayed one Sunday, "Lord, thank you for the trials..." It took me a while to figure it out. But I started getting it eventually. The refiner's fire that builds Godly character is something that I now thank God for. Sometimes it's hard not to grumble, especially with so much grumbling going on all around us every day. It's easy to get sucked in. But as one who's life was saved "literally", I can't help but be thankful for the life I have today.
"Hermie, A Common Caterpillar" is also an animated DVD that our daughter couldn't get enough of when she was about three years old. In fact, when I just mentioned it to her, she asked if we could watch it tonight for nite-nite time. She's now six.
Having an "Attitude of Gratitude" is a catch phrase that stuck with me all these years. I pray that I can live out that attitude in my day-to-day.
01-15-2009, 09:55 PM
And I am very thankful for that .... he's with me every day where ever I am ... and giving every opportunity to show his love .... even when we;re not watching ...and miss it ....... the opportunity is still there .....
It is this alone he deserves our praise ....
I am thankful for many things ... having the ability to simply learn from this group and study .... the ability to serve my community, friends, family and neighbors ...... and to be able to walk in the shoes of those who are less fortunate and appreciate how blessed we are in this country ... while not taking it for granite ...
for family ... my wonderful kids who bring me joy daily ... and the opportunity to bring the spirit of God through music of praise ..... which He richly deserves.
Thank you Lord ......
are we havin fun yet .????
01-15-2009, 11:16 PM
Praise the Lord Everyone! It has been a glorious evening for me. I just got home from the prison ministry and just seeing how God is manifesting Himself in the women lives is awesome. I have seen the glory of God move this evening in a might way. Yes! I am so thankful that He has chosen a sinner life me to witness to his children.
While ministering to them tonight, God was ministering to me. As I states the first night that my grandson has gotten into some trouble and was incarcerated; I am grateful and thankful that he is alive and in a position that God can minister to him. I thank Him for joy in the midst of sorrow. We must remember that God knows all and see all. So as the lesson clearly states “God uses circumstances to make us more like him and to bring him greater glory.” I have learned that when going through a storm, you might not see where it is coming from or where you might end up; but you can be sure of being under the shelter of God glory.
Tonight’s lesson also helped me to remember that “If you want to be made completely whole so that you learn to live daily in harmony with God, then practice offering the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to God. We have been redeemed “that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory” (Eph. 1:12). When we offer sincere praise and thanksgiving in times of suffering we let Christ come into our trials and glorify His name. I am not talking about superficial praise and thanksgiving; but praise from the soul of man.
I am thankful and grateful for my job and the opportunity to minister to clients about his salvation, death and resurrection.
I am thankful and grateful that God does not answer my prayers the way that I think he should sometimes, because he see my situation much better than me; but I can trust that he always has my best interest in mind. I only see the tiny pieces of the big puzzle and God sees the entire puzzle in his vision.
I am thankful and grateful for this praise worship bible study. Since I have been here this week; I have gotten confirmation on so many things that I have been discussing with him. Lord, I thank you for being who you are in my life and what you will prefect me to become. Amen
01-16-2009, 02:21 AM
Every day in this study it feels like God decided He was going to nail down some major issues in my heart! It's pretty intense!
I have it so good. I have the job I have always dreamed of, I'm married to an amazing woman, the bills are paid and there's money in the bank, I serve with a seasoned, wise, and wonderfully close-knit leadership team. In short, I'm living the dream. I live 3 hours from the most beautiful beaches on the West Coast, I live 2 hours from some of the best skiing in California, and there's lots of great mexican food within a short drive of my decently furnished apartment. I have everything I ever asked God for. Everything.
And, I still find reasons to grumble. Today made me realize how much this hinders my worship. I should be on top of the world right now. And yet, I spend a large amount of the day moping and wishing for x, y, and z. I think what I saw in my own soul today is that the antidote for this infection is to thank God for all He's done. I appreciated the reminder to be thankful.
01-16-2009, 06:12 AM
Oh, I am so grateful for my life. I love this clarification, redirection (for me) of living in gratitude, not living in the pain, chaos, fear of the moment. I have used 'attitude of gratitude' for a long time, but stopping for a moment, and just directing thanks to Him, at a moment when it would be EASY to go the grumbly hateful route (I, too, thought that was great!) was a real eye-opener for me; it took me to a place of closeness and warmth and refocus that was very special.
I am grateful for my family, the love of my wonderful husband, a good job (that looks stable in an unstable environment!), and so MUCH for my Church family and Pastor - for the gift of music, which has been a true life-saver for me and for the gift of His Spirit which gave me true life once I survived the human one.
01-19-2009, 01:26 AM
We are going through that Holy Smack-down right now.... The day after Thanksgiving our daughter, Heather came home and told us that her husband was going to leave her and their 2 daughters...
Then the following Monday we were called to our sister-in-laws bedside... she had ALS for 2 years and was finally in the final stages of her life... the next day she was gone.... (we know she is finally at rest and Healed. She was Beautiful at the Viewing... The ALS was gone...)
Then on Dec. 6th Heathers house caught on fire.... We Thank God her and her daughters were not at home at the time... and that her soon to be X was there and could direct the firemen to the fire.... she lost a lot of house hold goods but all of that can be replaced.... No renters insurance... but our church family, my sister, and a lot of friends have come out of the woodwork, literely... What a Blessing they have been...
Well, last Thursday Heather and one of our other daughters, Betsy was told that their work was closing and they will be out of a job.....
Through it all we are trying our best to Turn that other Cheek and carry on.....
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