Friday, January 27, 2012


I recently read A Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. She  beautifully writes that accepting grace, experiencing joy, and giving thanks are all a part of appreciating what Jesus Christ offers us at Table.

Giving thanks, eucharisteo, intentionally observes life's details and looks for God's invisible footsteps.  Ann's uncommon phrases arrested me to experience her delight and frustration. Whether her circumstances were ugly or beautiful, her eucharitsteo (giving thanks) always led her to encounter God's presence.

Ann gave me a magnifying glass that reveals details that I'd stopped seeing. The simple discipline of thanksgiving is easy to overlook. But, as I practice jotting down my reasons for thanks, I become more observant, see God's finger -- tracing love -- even in shadows.  It brings light and fresh joy.

If you haven't read this book, consider doing so. Her style is unusual, poetic, and will provoke you to draw close and discover Christ's table set for you in surprising places. The Lord spreads His nourishment not only in organized gatherings of  the church. He spreads His table for you in your everyday places.

For Your Consideration

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
(1Thessalonians 5:18, NIV)

Is it difficult for you to give thanks in life's routine?

Would you consider keeping a thanksgiving journal for 21 days? Notice the results and decide if it's worth continuing.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Ruts or Rhythms

After I shared that I would ask God to dislodge me from unproductive ruts this year, my husband commented. Ruts reminded him of confinement. I pondered. How about productive ruts, then? Don't we need ruts to streamline most of our activities?

But the more I thought, I liked rhythm over rut. Rhythm has musical connotations and I love music. Dance. Movement. Change. Even when we practice, repetitively, to master dance steps or calligraphic strokes, practice scales or conquer syncopation, rhythm's melody lifts us above the mundane. It reminds us that we are part of God's grand symphony.

In a rut, we easily lose perspective. Our spirits wilt and enthusiasm wanes. But, when we look for the Creator's purposes in our rhythmic activity, we climb out of our pothole. When we remember God's purpose even in mundane work, we revive, become more productive, persevere in our activity.

So, as I practice God's presence in 2012, I'm asking for new ways of reconfiguring the ordinary. I'm listening for the Holy Spirit's song.

It's bringing new delight in the Lord. Purposefully listening for my Jesus' rhythms, I'm drawn into His dance.

I trust His lead. I can learn these steps. This rhythm is no rut.

For Your Consideration

Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17, NIV)

How might giving frequent thanks in your routine give you ears to hear God's rhythm for you?

What does it mean for you to speak and act in the name of the Lord Jesus?