TD’s 20/20 (Pt.2) – TD’s Top 20 Blog Posts & Top 20 Videos in 2020!

Top 20 on 20 - Wikipedia

Hey TD!

To help us look back at 2020 and see how God worked, we’re sharing TD’s 20/20 – the 20 most viewed videos on the TD channel and the 20 most viewed TD Blog posts in 2020! Yesterday, we shared the videos. Today, we’re sharing the top 20 blog posts. They are great to review. Not eligible for inclusion are update or announcement posts. Enjoy and Happy New Year!

20. The Pernicious Lie: Self Esteem

An insightful essay, written by former TD counselor, Jenny, on the seductive traits of self-esteem.

19. “True Love in a Time of Crisis” – An Important Sabbath Checkup From Ravi

A spliced 15-minute message that gives solid checkpoints to bring before God, and to pray for His adjustment and realignment, so we can be who He desires and made us to be.

18. Ravi Zacharias (1946 – 2020) – A Singular Life

Ravi was a giant and hero to so many across the globe; his reach and effectiveness for Christ to both the world’s highest leaders as well as the world’s most destitute had few parallels.

(Ravi has posthumously been under investigation for sexual misconduct. The interim reports confirm that misconduct seems to have taken place)

17. Remembering RC Sproul (MUST reading)

This post is indeed must reading. By reading MUST READ tributes, you will gain gumption, courage, and vision for your life. Contributors include Joni Eareckson Tada, John Piper, John MacArthur, Al Mohler, Steven Lawson, and Sinclair Ferguson.

16. TD Vlog – “How the Arts Can Deepen Your Faith” w/Jill Carattini

Also a Top 20 finisher in TD videos, I had a chance to spend some time with dear friend, Jill Carattini, writer extraordinaire on the deeper spiritual life, former managing editor of Ravi Zacharias Int’l Ministries’ (RZIM) Slice of Infinity, and former curator of RZIM’s formal art gallery, Stillpoint, in Atlanta, where this interview was filmed.

15. Wanna Memorize Psalm 34 With Us?

An invitation to memorize Psalm 34. Full chapter included.

14. The Beauty of the Dandelion

A powerful piece by Vaneetha Rendall Risner (shared to the TD leaders by Kathy). Vaneetha was 3 months old when she contracted Polio.  Within 24 hours she was paralyzed due to a doctor’s mistake.  She has had a lifetime of immense suffering … and ensuing God-given joy.  Her blog Dance in the Rain is a powerful source of truth, sharing, honesty, vulnerability, and hope, as is her book, The Scars That Have Shaped Me

13. The Importance of Friendship

True lasting godly friendships are few and far between, not easy to develop or maintain, but are worth the effort to forge and protect! Proverbs 18:24 shares, “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

Here’s a good article for us on the importance of friendship by Michael Haykin, a friend of Ligonier Ministries.

12. Ravi Zacharias: A Personal Conversation

Here’s Part 2 of the Interview: Ravi Zacharias: A Personal Conversation, Pt. 2

A personal interview Arthur had with Ravi years ago. Powerful content that can make a difference in your walk with God.

(Ravi has posthumously been under investigation for sexual misconduct. The interim reports confirm that misconduct seems to have taken place)

11. The Bible: Don’t Neglect It!

Convicting letter written by prolific preacher, Alistair Begg, to friends of his ministry. It is worthy of your time.

10. What Being Alive Looks Like! Watch Joni and Nick!

Here’s what Sandra had to say after I asked her to watch this video:

“I loved, loved, loved the video with Joni and Nick.  They are so incredible and ALIVE!!!! They are hilarious as well, and to think we personally know them :).  They aren’t the ones with disabilities, we are!  They make us look like zombies and burdened by all the unnecessary distractions of life … YOU MUST TAKE THE TIME TO WATCH THIS!!!”

9. Must See: A Calming Word from Joni During Coronavirus … and more!

An encouraging video from the one and only, Joni Eareckson Tada, at the beginning of the pandemic.

8. Touching God’s Heart This Thanksgiving

A Thanksgiving devotion showing the value and importance of actually giving thanks.

7. “God, Racism, and Us: A Look Inside”

Posted amidst all the protests after the George Floyd incident. Includes links to valuable resources.

6. “A Christmas Meditation” by Ravi

It’s exactly what it says it is.

5. A Way in a Manger

Another insightful article by Vaneetha Rendall Risner, who is well acquainted with suffering, having experienced 21 surgeries by age 13, multiple miscarriages, the death of a child, unwanted divorce, just to name a few. The pain and disappointment she writes about in this particular post is about her diagnosis with post-polio syndrome, which involves increasing pain, weakness, and limitations in her body.

4. “Ravi: A Poetical Sketch” – A Tribute to Ravi Zacharias (mp3)

An amazing, heartfelt, and spot-on poem by Daniel for Ravi when he was dying of cancer. In writing to Ravi before sharing his poem, Daniel wrote:

” … I have never known a day in my life without your influence in it–from the time I was conceived until now. To me, you are not just someone IN this world; you are part of what I understand “world” to mean. You and your ministry are constitutive of my perception of life on this planet and the hope of the Gospel that you’ve shared on this planet.”

3. “The Real Meaning of Thank You”

A valuable devotion by Sandra, adapted from her talk at the SP Care Center.

2. What Did Jesus Do On Saturday?

We know Jesus was crucified on Friday and that He rose again on Sunday, but what did He do on Saturday? Artist Ron Dicianni discusses this in this post.

1. A Personal Conversation With RC Sproul

Here are parts 2 and 3: A Personal Conversation With RC Sproul, Pt. 2 of 3; A Personal Conversation with RC Sproul, Pt. 3 of 3

This incredible personal interview that Arthur did with RC years ago is viewed literally every single day, multiple times a day. It is far and away the most viewed post in the TD Blog’s history. It is accessed from all over the world and laps the field many times over. More importantly, it’s food for the soul and worth reading!

Blessing God’s Heart This Thanksgiving!

Be grateful for everything | Snoopy quotes, Gratitude quotes, Inspirational  quotes

Happy Thanksgiving, TD Family!

2020 has been a year that many of us have found difficult to give thanks in. But could our lack of gratitude be one of the reasons God has ordained COVID-19 to slow us all down this year? Truth be told, weren’t our hearts just as discontent in 2019? And in 2018? Could it be that God has suspended all the “extras” that we take for granted and assume are our rights to have, in order to reduce us to gratitude for the very biggest, most essential, most valuable, most generous, and most miraculous? Namely, precious life itself?

I ask you to pause long enough today to give God, the generous Giver of Life Himself, one of the greatest gifts you can – the gift of time.  Please take the time to read and act on this Thanksgiving devotion.  You’ll be glad you did – and so will He! – Arthur

Let’s take advantage of this day instituted by President Lincoln, who during the civil war, proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens” and use it for the Lord’s honor!

How? The Bible tells us how:  “In everything, give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1Thessalonians 5:18

Did you catch the significance of that? There aren’t too many places in Scripture that explicitly state, “This is God’s will for you,” so when it does, we need to take notice.

And what is God asking of us? Simply, to give thanks to Him everywhere, all the time. To be a walking “thanks dispenser,” if you will. Notice that He’s not calling us to have a grateful heart, though that is implicitly necessary. He’s calling us to go further than that to actually express thanks. Friends, He’s telling us that it WILL bless His heart! Think about it! God is explicitly telling us that it will bless His heart!

Wow.  This was brought home to me many years ago as my own heart was blessed.  The lesson has never left me since.  Let me explain via some thoughts I penned then:

“We arrived home from DC late last night. Of the many things on my to-do list this morning, I wanted to update the TD website and write this devotion, which I am now doing. A few minutes ago, I went to take a “bathroom break” and there on my sink counter, to my surprise, were two hand-cut, hand-drawn, hand-made cards with pictures and drawings of Washington DC on them and the words, “Thank You So Much!” I opened them up and inscribed within were deep heart-felt expressions of thanks from my two youngest children, Daniel and Angela, for taking them and for caring for them on our trip.

Sandra and I had heard some activity down the hallway early this morning while we were still asleep but didn’t think much of it. Now, I get it. Those two woke up before anyone else did and the first thing they did was to get busy to find a creative way to give us thanks. Had they already expressed verbal thanks to us earlier? They sure did, but they wanted to take it further to express their gratitude and to bless our hearts. And they did. My heart melted with appreciation and love for them. I went downstairs and gave them big, big hugs and kisses. Sometimes, little ones teach us the biggest lessons.

I think of how God’s heart has been blessed when His children have taken the extra time to write poetry, hymns, and songs to say thank you to Him; when they’ve carved out larger amounts of time in their lives to harness their skills and talents to painstakingly produce offerings to Him (whether visually, audibly, or tangibly) as an expression of their thanks to Him. I’m sure, in His own providential yet personal way, He gave them His “hugs” and “kisses,” for our Father will not be outgiven.”

Here are a couple of suggestions for you to bless your Father’s heart this month (I’m sure you can think of more):

  • Count your blessings, name them one by one – make a list of everything God wants you to be thankful for. Then give Him thanks for each one. Be specific and make it heart-felt. Notice I didn’t ask you to list things and people you ARE thankful for. Of course, that’s important but sometimes there are things and people we really ought to be thankful for that we don’t feel thankful for.
  • Produce something extra special for Him as a way of saying thanks. Make Him a card, write Him a song or poem, paint or draw Him a picture, practice playing a song for Him on your instrument, etc. Whatever you’re gifted in or trained in, use your skill for His honor in an extra special way for Him this month.
  • Make it a special point to “acknowledge Him” (Prov. 3:6) ALL day, EVERY day – audibly, silently, through singing, journaling, etc. We need to realize that God is actually with us all day, everyday. So, make a special effort to develop your everyday relationship and conversation with Him. 1Thessalonians 5:17 says to “pray without ceasing.” This is what that means. Always be relating with Him, including Him in your activities and conversations, as well as in your rest. Relate with Him without ceasing. You’ll both be blessed.
  • Express actual thanks to those God has used to bless you. Expressions of thanks go a long way for those who receive them. Go ahead and surprise them with a simple thank you for being your friend, sibling, or parent. Even though it may not be your “style,” it’s God’s style, and we all represent Him much better when we’re thankful. “As I grew older God continued to prepare my heart and teach me to seek Him. One of the first lessons that I have learnt was not to take things for granted. I had that wake up call around the age of twelve and realized just how much I was blessed with. I take my foot for granted, my family and the fact that I wasn’t born in a third world country all blessings that God had freely given and I still complain?” – Nick Vujicic (born with no arms and legs)

The Irony of It

The actual giving of thanks to God and others forces us to realize how blessed we are and how so much of that blessing had nothing to do with us deserving it. That then leaves us humble, and humble people are the ones God uses and blesses most, for “Blessed are the (humble), for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5)

So, leave it to God to instruct us to do something that seems to be for His benefit, but in actuality it benefits us! That’s our Father. Thank you, God!

– Arthur

TD Sat. – Thanksgiving Weekend Fun For Family and Friends!

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Hey TD!

We have a weekend extravaganza of fun for the whole family! You, your family, and friends can come to one or both Saturday events:

10 a.m.  – It’s SOS Saturday!  Our Thanksgiving visit to the Care Center!

Come join us as we join our elderly, widowed, disabled, wonderful friends at the Care Center to bring fellowship, friendship, and God’s love and touch.  Meet at the Hsiehs’ at 9:30 a.m.

2 p.m. – “2018 TD Ultimate Frisbee Tournament”!

This is fun and healthy for the whole family. It’ll be a great time to work off all of that Thanksgiving feasting and get some exercise 🙂 Don’t know how to play? No worries! We’ll have games for beginners to advanced.  This will be a great way to spend healthy time with your family and friends, and will be an opportunity to bond and build community.

Please rsvp with your small group leaders as to which event(s) you’ll be participating in.

See you Saturday, TD!

Thankful for Theology on Thanksgiving

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Happy Thanksgiving, TD!

I’ve read numerous Thanksgiving articles this week in an effort to make sure I don’t under-do this holiday (OK, and I watched, “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” last night too), and I have loved doing so.  It is always good to gain new insight, angles, and depth into this most important mandate to give thanks.  Some may feel that it takes the luster off of giving thanks to have it mandated by God.  But in reality it puts the luster on.  It displays our value and worth, as well as His deep fatherly love for us in caring enough for us to mandate what is best and right – for Him, for us, for the world.  It is best and right to give thanks continually, and to do so from a heart of gratitude.  How do we know this to be true?  Theology. Theology tells us this and keeps us straight.

On this Thanksgiving day, I’d encourage you to read the following article from Albert Mohler (president of Southern Seminary) on making the most of your Thanksgiving … by adding theology to it. – Arthur

Thanksgiving as Theological Act: What Does it Mean to Give Thanks?

Thanksgiving is a deeply theological act, rightly understood. As a matter of fact, thankfulness is a theology in microcosm — a key to understanding what we really believe about God, ourselves, and the world we experience.

A haunting question is this:  How do atheists observe Thanksgiving? I can easily understand what an atheist or agnostic would think of fellow human beings and feel led to express thankfulness and gratitude to all those who, both directly and indirectly, have contributed to their lives. But what about the blessings that cannot be ascribed to human agency? Those are both more numerous and more significant, ranging from the universe we experience to the gift of life itself.

Can one really be thankful without being thankful to someone? It makes no sense to express thankfulness to a purely naturalistic system. The late Stephen Jay Gould, an atheist and one of the foremost paleontologists and evolutionists of his day, described human life as “but a tiny, late-arising twig on life’s enormously arborescent bush.” Gould was a clear-headed evolutionist who took the theory of evolution to its ultimate conclusion — human life is merely an accident, though a very happy accident for us. Within that worldview, how does thankfulness work?

The Apostle Paul points to a central insight about thankfulness when he instructs the Christians in Rome about the reality and consequences of unbelief. After making clear that God has revealed himself to all humanity through the created order, Paul asserts that we are all without excuse when it comes to our responsibility to know and worship the Creator.

He wrote:

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. . .  [Romans 1:20-22].

This remarkable passage has at its center an indictment of thanklessness. They did not honor Him as God or give thanks. Paul wants us to understand that the refusal to honor God and give thanks is a raw form of the primal sin. Theologians have long debated the foundational sin — and answers have ranged from lust to pride. Nevertheless, it would seem that being unthankful, refusing to recognize God as the source of all good things, is very close to the essence of the primal sin. What explains the rebellion of Adam and Eve in the Garden? A lack of proper thankfulness was at the core of their sin. God gave them unspeakable riches and abundance, but forbade them the fruit of one tree. A proper thankfulness would have led our first parents to avoid that fruit at all costs, and to obey the Lord’s command. Taken further, this first sin was also a lack of thankfulness in that the decision to eat the forbidden fruit indicated a lack of thankfulness that took the form of an assertion that we creatures — not the Creator — know what is best for us and intend the best for us.

They did not honor Him as God or give thanks. Clearly, honoring God as God leads us naturally into thankfulness. To honor Him as God is to honor His limitless love, His benevolence and care, His provision and uncountable gifts. To fail in thankfulness is to fail to honor God — and this is the biblical description of fallen and sinful humanity. We are a thankless lot.

Sinners saved by the grace and mercy of God know a thankfulness that exceeds any merely human thankfulness. How do we express thankfulness for the provision the Father has made for us in Christ, the riches that are made ours in Him, and the unspeakable gift of the surpassing grace of God? As Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift” [2 Corinthians 9:15].

So, observe a wonderful Thanksgiving — but realize that a proper Christian Thanksgiving is a deeply theological act that requires an active mind as well as a thankful heart. We need to think deeply, widely, carefully, and faithfully about the countless reasons for our thankfulness to God.

It is humbling to see that Paul so explicitly links a lack of thankfulness to sin, foolishness, and idolatry. A lack of proper thankfulness to God is a clear sign of a basic godlessness. Millions of Americans will celebrate Thanksgiving with little consciousness of this truth. Their impulse to express gratitude is a sign of their spiritual need that can be met only in Christ.

So have a very Happy Thanksgiving — and remember that giving thanks is one of the most explicitly theological acts any human can contemplate. O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting [1 Chronicles 16:34]. In all things, give thanks to God.

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Albert Mohler is a prolific author, speaker, daily radio host of The Briefing, and President of Southern Seminary.

“The Real Meaning of Thank You”

Happy Thanksgiving, TD!

I hope you’ve been able to implement what I encouraged you to do in our last post; and I hope God has been enjoying you!

During this time of thanksgiving, have you stopped to think what “Thanks” or “Thank you” really means?  My wife, Sandra, has 🙂  As she often does, she goes to the root of giving thanks to help us honor God more thoughtfully.  Enjoy! – Arthur

“The Real Meaning of Thank You” by Sandra Hsieh (adapted from her talk at SPCH)

We are commanded in Scripture, “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  (I Thessalonians 5:18 ) What is the root word for the word “thank”?  Think (change one letter and you get “think”).  The reality is, a thankful person is a thoughtful person.  When you say “thank you”, you are basically saying, “I will remember what you did for me.”

How do you say thank you in Portuguese?  Obrigado – literally, “much obliged” or “I am in your debt.”

How do you say thank you in French? Merci (begging for mercy, placing yourself in your benefactor’s power — since a debtor is, after all, a criminal)

How do you say thank you in Spanish? Muchas gracias (much grace).  It leans heavily on the word “grace.”  Grace is undeserved favor.

Let’s look at the response.  What is someone saying when he responds, “You’re welcome”?  When you say “merci” in French, what is the response? “De rien.” Or, in Spanish, “Muchas gracias” is returned with, “De nada.”  In both languages, the giver is saying, “It is nothing, no worries, I am not going to inscribe a debt in your imaginary moral account book.”

In English, when you respond with, “My pleasure,” you are saying, “No, actually, it’s a credit, not a debit — you did me a favor because in asking me to do that favor, you gave me the opportunity to do something I found rewarding in itself!”

So, the next time you thank someone … you are saying “I stopped long enough to think about what you just did for me.  You didn’t have to do that for me, but since you did, I am in your debt.”

John Njoroge, a member of the Ravi Zacharias International Ministries team, writes in a “Slice of Infinity” entitled, The Indignity of Giving Thanks:

“But everything we know about ourselves and our world speaks loudly against this tendency to self-sufficiency. As human babies, we all begin our lives at the highest level of dependence, and none of us really outgrows all degrees of dependence. We depend on parents, teachers, peers, coaches, and others to open doors for us in life.  Dependence on others is a living reality whose attempted concealment is gradually unveiled by the onset of old age. From the inventions that give us comfort in this world to the young soldiers who give their lives in the battlefields to protect our livelihoods, an unobstructed view of our lives reveals the fact that we all owe debts that we can never repay.”

Our life is full of things that we do for others and things that others do for us.

But, what does it mean for us to give thanks to God?  God is self-existent.  He created all things and upholds this universe.  God is the Spring or Well in which everything originates.  The rest of us are just sharing with others what has been given to us.  We are not real owners ourselves; we are just stewards of what He has given to us to manage.

When we say “Thank you” to God, we are truly expressing the real meaning of the word, “we are indebted to you, we are at your mercy, we accept your grace and favor.  We are sinners and criminals.  We owe You a debt that we cannot pay back.”

Now, would it be right for God to say, “De nada” or “It’s nothing”?  If He said that, then we would be left in our condition to go to hell.  He cannot be the righteous and just One and say, “No worries” to our sin and transgression to Him.

When we show our indebtedness to Him, the truthful and proper response is, “You’re right.” You do owe Me, you do need My mercy, you do need My grace, you do need to THINK of the situation that you are in.

Then, He does only what He can do to pay for that debt; He extends His mercy and grace.  He comes in the form of a baby, lives a perfect life, and then dies a death that He did not deserve.

As John Njoroge continues to write, “We will never begin to worship God until we recognize that we are bankrupt debtors, for an attitude of gratitude is an indispensable impetus to worship.”

As Thanksgiving quickly gives way to Christmas, may we continually ponder and think about our debt to God and His priceless GIFT to us in His only begotten Son!

Let us proclaim as the apostle Paul did in II Corinthians 9:15:

“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!”

Loving Jesus More Than Life This Thanksgiving

Hey TD,

During this Thanksgiving week, I would like to ask … no … I would like to urge and plea with you to take your normal Thanksgiving routine and up it, deepen it, transform it,  … whatever you want to call it; but in some way, shape, or form, I would like to challenge you to make a concerted effort to give your thanks to our Lord with more than words.  Let Him receive your effusive words of thanks, for sure, but let Him receive thanks that are so thankful, that it results in some action that you joyfully and whole-heartedly do that honors Him and helps Him feel closer to YOU.

“… have we ever given thought as to how close God feels to us?”

 

I know that we always gauge the level of our relationship with God by how close we feel to the Lord, but have we ever given thought as to how close He feels to us?  Let’s spend some extra effort this Thanksgiving drawing nearer to the Lord and giving Him the gift of time.

Some suggestions for this include:

  • Planning a time for a more special time with the Lord during your personal devotions/Bible study, preparing for and treating your time with Him like you do when you meet with someone special.  Perhaps dress up for the occasion or meet with Him at a special place.  Special things often happen at special places and events!
  • Write Him a letter of gratitude and appreciation (not the same as journaling)
  • Serve someone in a way you normally wouldn’t/don’t in Jesus’ Name – on His behalf, with His flavor, essence, generosity, and warmth.
  • Share of His goodness and beauty to friends/people who haven’t yet seen or beheld Him as good and beautiful yet.
  • Create something for Him that highlights and honors Him – poetry, music, art, crafts, etc.
  • Commit to extra diligent study and understanding of Him and His things – i.e. review TD material (messages, studies, blog essays/videos/podcasts), review SS material, read a book, listen to a message or teaching series, etc.

In this spirit, I offer you the 12-minute video above from one of my favorite Bible teachers, John Piper,  on “Loving Jesus More Than Life.”  Enjoy.

Arthur

Touching God’s Heart This Thanksgiving

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Happy Thanksgiving, TD’ers!

I ask you to pause long enough today to give God one of the greatest gifts you can – the gift of time.  Please take the time to read and act on this Thanksgiving devotion.  You’ll be glad you did – and so will He! – Arthur

Let’s take advantage of this day instituted by President Lincoln, who during the civil war, proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens” and use it for the Lord’s honor!

How? The Bible tells us how:  “In everything, give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1Thessalonians 5:18

Did you catch the significance of that? There aren’t too many places in Scripture that explicitly state, “This is God’s will for you,” so when it does, we need to take notice.

And what is God asking of us? Simply, to give thanks to Him everywhere, all the time. To be a walking “thanks dispenser,” if you will. Notice that He’s not calling us to have a grateful heart, though that is implicitly necessary. He’s calling us to go further than that to actually express thanks. Friends, He’s telling us that it WILL bless His heart! Think about it! God is explicitly telling us that it will bless His heart!

Wow.  This was brought home to me several years ago as my own heart was blessed.  The lesson has never left me since.  Let me explain via some thoughts I penned then:

“We arrived home from DC late last night. Of the many things on my to-do list this morning, I wanted to update the TD website and write this devotion, which I am now doing. A few minutes ago, I went to take a “bathroom break” and there on my sink counter, to my surprise, were two hand-cut, hand-drawn, hand-made cards with pictures and drawings of Washington DC on them and the words, “Thank You So Much!” I opened them up and inscribed within were deep heart-felt expressions of thanks from my two youngest children, Daniel and Angela, for taking them and for caring for them on our trip.

Sandra and I had heard some activity down the hallway early this morning while we were still asleep but didn’t think much of it. Now, I get it. Those two woke up before anyone else did and the first thing they did was to get busy to find a creative way to give us thanks. Had they already expressed verbal thanks to us earlier? They sure did, but they wanted to take it further to express their gratitude and to bless our hearts. And they did. My heart melted with appreciation and love for them. I went downstairs and gave them big, big hugs and kisses. Sometimes, little ones teach us the biggest lessons.

I think of how God’s heart has been blessed when His children have taken the extra time to write poetry, hymns, and songs to say thank you to Him; when they’ve carved out larger amounts of time in their lives to harness their skills and talents to painstakingly produce offerings to Him (whether visually, audibly, or tangibly) as an expression of their thanks to Him. I’m sure, in His own providential yet personal way, He gave them His “hugs” and “kisses,” for our Father will not be outgiven.”

Here are a couple of suggestions for you to bless your Father’s heart this month (I’m sure you can think of more):

  • Count your blessings, name them one by one – make a list of everything God wants you to be thankful for. Then give Him thanks for each one. Be specific and make it heart-felt. Notice I didn’t ask you to list things and people you ARE thankful for. Of course, that’s important but sometimes there are things and people we really ought to be thankful for that we don’t feel thankful for.
  • Produce something extra special for Him as a way of saying thanks. Make Him a card, write Him a song or poem, paint or draw Him a picture, practice playing a song for Him on your instrument, etc. Whatever you’re gifted in or trained in, use your skill for His honor in an extra special way for Him this month.
  • Make it a special point to “acknowledge Him” (Prov. 3:6) ALL day, EVERY day – audibly, silently, through singing, journaling, etc. We need to realize that God is actually with us all day, everyday. So, make a special effort to develop your everyday relationship and conversation with Him. 1Thessalonians 5:17 says to “pray without ceasing.” This is what that means. Always be relating with Him, including Him in your activities and conversations, as well as in your rest. Relate with Him without ceasing. You’ll both be blessed.
  • Express actual thanks to those God has used to bless you. Expressions of thanks go a long way for those who receive them. Go ahead and surprise them with a simple thank you for being your friend, sibling, or parent. Even though it may not be your “style,” it’s God’s style, and we all represent Him much better when we’re thankful. “As I grew older God continued to prepare my heart and teach me to seek Him. One of the first lessons that I have learnt was not to take things for granted. I had that wake up call around the age of twelve and realized just how much I was blessed with. I take my foot for granted, my family and the fact that I wasn’t born in a third world country all blessings that God had freely given and I still complain?” – Nick Vujicic (born with no arms and legs)

The Irony of It

The actual giving of thanks to God and others forces us to realize how blessed we are and how so much of that blessing had nothing to do with us deserving it. That then leaves us humble, and humble people are the ones God uses and blesses most, for “Blessed are the (humble), for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5)

So, leave it to God to instruct us to do something that seems to be for His benefit, but in actuality it benefits us! That’s our Father. Thank you, God!

– Arthur