Thankfulness as Part of Crafted Prayer: An Activation from Crafted Prayer

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We can thank God first, in every situation, because every problem we encounter comes with His provision attached to it. God has a plan and a purpose for us; He says that everything works together for those who love Him. That promise is a deep well of provision for us. Whatever calamity life throws at us, God can use it for our blessing and our benefit.

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose,” Paul wrote in Romans 8:28. It is that attribute of God’s nature that makes it so critical for us to come to a place of thanksgiving. Continue reading

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The Threshold to God’s Presence Is Thanksgiving

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Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.” –Psalm 100

Gratitude, appreciation, an acknowledgement of something done or a service delivered: these are the hallmarks of respect that we give to people and institutions, when deserved, as a courtesy. It’s good manners: part of the social contract and part of our make-up as human beings. Recognition of the positive behavior of others is key to the continuation of that behavior.

But there’s more to it than simply checking off the required etiquette. In Japan for example, there are rigid systems in place regarding expectations of social behavior, enshrined in the individuals’ status and relationship to one another, dating back through centuries of tradition and high culture. With all of that to bear in mind, and the potential social consequences of failing to adhere to the intricacies of the code, where is the genuine expression of gratitude? Where is the ‘giving thanks’ part of the thanksgiving experience? Continue reading

The Benefit of Worship: A Brilliant Tribe Spotlight on Lisa Smidt

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Worship flows from a grateful heart.

I saw a comment recently that said “To the degree that we see HIM with the eyes of our hearts, we will worship.” WOW!

I really could not agree more and I couldn’t have said it better. That statement just kind of settled in my bones as I began to explore the weight of it.

This year has been a big one for my family. My husband was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Our home was foreclosed. My son’s house suffered a fire, displacing him and his pregnant wife for several months. My teenage daughter became severely ill, and I had a recurrence of Bell’s Palsy. Just typing all that makes me smile.

I smile because I’m still here and because GOD is still with me. Continue reading