“Prayers are tools, but with this clarification: Prayers are not tools for doing or getting, but for being and becoming.”
Over the last few years the Psalms have become a consistent and cherished part of my life. All the ups and downs of life, the spectrum of emotions, the heights of praise and the valleys of fear and despair, they’re all in the Psalms. Most of the Bible recounts history or offers teaching, but in the Psalms, we also get a window into how some of God’s people have processed, praised, and prayed through life as God’s people.
Continue reading Top Quotes from Answering God by Eugene Peterson
November is always a great time to leverage the national focus on gratitude by leaning into thanksgiving. One way to keep gratitude on your mind and tongue is a reading plan. While The Grumbler’s Guide to Giving Thanks has a 30-Day Challenge which includes a reading plan, and you can find a daily devotional for each of those days here, below is another 30-Day Reading Plan. This one is exclusively in the Psalms. Each day, the chapter will includes themes related to gratitude, ingratitude, or thanksgiving. My hope is these psalms can lead you into giving thanks this November.
Continue reading November Gratitude Reading Plan: The Psalms
Psalm 107 encourages God’s people to give him thanks for his steadfast love and wonderful works. Though we get ourselves into an array of difficult circumstances, some caused by our sin and others brought on by the trials of life, God is faithful to come to our help.
The psalm centers on four vignettes of groups in exile facing a struggle.
Continue reading Charles Spurgeon on Psalm 107: How Pain and Problems Lead to Prayer
- Weak and Weary Travelers Lost in the Desert (4-9)
- Prisoners in Darkness and Bondage (10-16)
- Sick Sufferers on the Brink of Death (17-22)
- Overwhelmed, Storm-Tossed Sailors (23-32)
(This devotional is day twenty-nine of a 30-Day Thanksgiving Challenge. Each day includes a daily reading that will be accompanied by a post on this blog.)
For much of my life, thanksgiving has been a once a year activity. I gave thanks on Thanksgiving Day. I mean, if I do it too often, then Thanksgiving just becomes about turkey and football. Right? Okay, I wouldn’t say that (out loud), but I often live that way by marginalizing thanksgiving. As you’ve read gratitude-related passages from Scripture this month, I hope it’s opened your eyes to the relevancy and power of thanksgiving. It’s for every day and every season. It’s an action (giving thanks) and a disposition (gratitude) for all of life.
Continue reading Daily Gratitude for Daily Grace: November Gratitude Reading Plan (Day 29)
(This devotional is day twenty-eight of a 30-Day Thanksgiving Challenge. Each day includes a daily reading that will be accompanied by a post on this blog.)
Thanksgiving in the Bible is for both the sun-lit mountaintop and the deep, dark valley. Paul calls us to give thanks “in all circumstances” (1 Thess. 5:18). We don’t wait until our faith is so strong that thanksgiving bursts at the seams. We practice thanksgiving because it’s part of how we set our eyes on God and cultivate faith in Him. Thanksgiving pushes back against the full-court press from worry, fear, and anxiety.
Continue reading Five Ways David Gave Thanks: November Gratitude Reading Plan (Day 28)
(This devotional is day twenty-seven of a 30-Day Thanksgiving Challenge. Each day includes a daily reading that will be accompanied by a post on this blog.)
What is the most awe-inspiring scene, vista, or view you’ve seen in nature? What soaring mountain, dazzling turquoise water, starlit night sky, crystal clear lake, vast open plain, or carved canyon left your jaw on the floor?
Continue reading All Creation Sings His Praise: Gratitude Reading Plan (Day 27)
(This devotional is day twenty-one of a 30-Day Thanksgiving Challenge. Each day includes a daily reading that will be accompanied by a post on this blog.)
Read Psalm 118
As a kid, one of my favorite things about holidays was how our family would gather and share stories. I would sit back and listen to them spin tales. A new one might be sprinkled in on occasion, but usually they rehashed the same old stories, but we would laugh as we relived the memories. As an adult, it’s still one of the best things when our family gets together. My sister is a good storyteller. She gets very animated and exaggerates stories a little more every year. But somehow, I never get tired of these stories we tell again and again, usually at one of my parent’s expense.
Continue reading Some Stories Never Get Old: November Gratitude Reading Plan (Day 21)
(This devotional is day twenty of a 30-Day Thanksgiving Challenge. Each day includes a daily reading that will be accompanied by a post on this blog.)
We often think of spiritual disciplines only in personal, individual terms. I should read my Bible. I should pray. I should give thanks. This is certainly important. Some people neglect personal habits and only study Scripture or pray when they’re gathering with other believers. Neither gutter is healthy. We need to prioritize seeking to know God on our own and with others. As we learn about and practice thanksgiving, we do it together. Doing so not only exalts God and emboldens our faith, but it encourages other believers.
Continue reading Give Thanks Together: November Gratitude Reading Plan (Day 20)
(This devotional is day eighteen of a 30-Day Thanksgiving Challenge. Each day includes a daily reading that will be accompanied by a post on this blog.)
Read Psalm 30
One thing parenting is teaching me is not to overreact. It’s easy to freak out in the moment, whether in anger or fear as small things feel mammoth. My daughter spills her drink on the floor (again), and my frustration is bigger than her mistake. Or she has a cold that sounds bad, and the internet—the great anxiety-inducer—makes us think she has a severe illness, so we elevate it to a code-red.
Continue reading The Sun Will Come Up Again: November Gratitude Reading Plan (Day 18)
(This devotional is day sixteen of a 30-Day Thanksgiving Challenge. Each day includes a daily reading that will be accompanied by a post on this blog.)
I have a wonderful three-year-old daughter. The early days of her life consisted of feeding her, changing her, and trying anything to make her sleep. Then she became much more interactive. It felt like every week she learned new skills, sentences, and behaviors. Some words came naturally: mine, now, and I want to. Others took more work. Words like please and thank you needed encouraged and reinforced.
Continue reading Training Our Tongue to Say Thanks: November Gratitude Reading Plan (Day 16)