Five Ways David Gave Thanks

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 full and strong that thanksgiving bursts at the seams, but we practice thanksgiving even when we’re fearful or worried because it’s part of how we set our eyes on God and cultivate faith in him. Thanksgiving is one of the key ways we push back against the full-court press from worry, fear, and anxiety.

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Lessons Learned in the Wilderness (Part 5)

Each Wednesday night for the next few weeks, I’ll be teaching a class online about Lessons Learned in the Wilderness. You can view this on Facebook live at the Pennington Park Church account at 8PM.

Tonight we’ll look at Grumbling (Numbers 11) vs Gratitude (Psalm 57). Here are notes for Lesson 5 and here’s a link to the video.

A few related articles on grumbling are Give Thanks Together, Grumbling vs Gratitude, and Ingratitude Leading to Idolatry.

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David’s Trust in the Wilderness

Psalm 63 was written in the wilderness. Considering what he was experiencing helps us see why he uses the language he does. David likely wrote Psalm 63 either before he was king and fled from Saul (1 Sam. 23:14-15) or–more likely–while he was king but fled because of his son Absalom’s revolt (2 Sam. 15:24-17). In either case, he faced significant trials in the wilderness.

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Lessons Learned in the Wilderness (Part 4)

Each Wednesday night for the next few weeks, I’ll be teaching a class online about Lessons Learned in the Wilderness. You can view this on Facebook live at the Pennington Park Church account at 8PM.

Tonight we’ll look at David’s Positive Example versus Israel’s Negative Example  (Psalm 63)Here is the Lesson 4 Outline and here’s the video.

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A Prayer to God Our Refuge

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.” (Ps. 46:1-3)

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Scripture Sheds Light on Scripture: Hebrews 3-4, John 10, and Psalm 95

This weekend we did a painting project in our home. Though we had the room’s lights on and could see most things, it wasn’t until we turned on additional floor-lamp that the shadowy corners were illuminated. We didn’t need that extra light to see the biggest things, but it does help us notice things we might have otherwise missed (like where the wall needed a second coat).

Scripture sheds light on Scripture. Sometimes the link is explicit, either through a quotation or a direct allusion, while other times connections are present but without immediately standing out. As you dive deeper and look at important themes and words, you see the overlap. Reading Scripture as one book that’s unified and cohesive allows Scripture to not only interpret Scripture but to give further insight or clarity to itself. Reading a passage with related themes can be like turning on the additional light in the room. It might just help you see something otherwise hidden with an “aha” moment.

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Some Stories Never Get Old

(This devotion is day twenty-two 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.

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Give Thanks Together

(This devotion 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.)

Read Psalm 95

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.

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The Sun Will Come Up Again

(This devotion 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 I’m learning in parenting is not to over-react. 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 great anxiety-giver of the internet makes us think she has a severe illness, so we elevate it to a code-red.

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Training Our Tongues to Say Thanks

(This devotion 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.)

Read Psalm 33

I have a wonderful two-year-old daughter. The early days of her life consisted of feeding her, changing her, and trying anything to make her sleep. Now she’s much more interactive. She says funny things and sweet things, and sassy things too. It feels like every week she learns new skills, sentences, and behaviors. Some words came natural: mine, now, and I want to. Others took more work. Words like please, sorry, and thank you need encouraged and reinforced.

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