My dad is new to the whole “texting” thing.  Many times he gives short sentences that you have to decode to find the original meaning and intent.   He has yet to understand the texting lingo. 

For instance, although my dad uses half sentences with no discernible meaning he still spells out the whole word of “Thanks.” 

IN texting shorthand it only takes 3 letters to get across one of the most powerful sentiments of all time…Thankfulness.

Thankfulness literally has the power to change lives.  A person that is truly thankful can look into the eyes of even the worse circumstances and emerge unscathed.   A person that shows thankfulness to others can turn their worst enemies into their truest friends.  A person that is truly thankful for life has joy that is for the most part unexplainable to those without it.

So why is thankfulness so powerful?

Simple answer:  Because we were designed to be thankful! 

God made mankind for His pleasure and glory.  At the heart of bringing glory to God is an aspiration to be thankful to God in all things.  We were created to bring Him glory, so we were created to be thankful!

One thing I love about God is that He gave us a design manual (aka The Bible) telling us exactly what we need to be maintaining in our lives in order to get the most joy and abundance out of life.  When we follow the manual we work at our highest possible level, simple as that.

One of the common threads the scriptures reveal that we must be maintaining is a spirit of Thankfulness.   Jesus commends the one leaper that returned to thank Him for healing (Luke 17). The scriptures even say that God’s will for our lives is to be thankful!!!  (1 Thess 5:18). 

One passage I love is Colossians 3:15.  “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body…”

This verse simple tells us to let God’s peace rule in our hearts, and that this is our calling!  But it doesn’t tell us how we are to do that.   Oh, wait…yeah it does.   The last part of that verse says this…

“…and be ye thankful.”

Whoop there it is!  Be Thankful.  Have Peace.  Fulfill your Calling.

Not just this week, but every single day.  Be thankful when someone is mean to you, because there were many that were mean to Jesus.  Be thankful when you have little to eat, because Jesus went 40 days without eating.  Be thankful when you go through pain, because Jesus went through the ultimate pain for us.  Be thankful in death, because we have been given life eternal.  Be thankful when the car refuses to cooperate, because Jesus walked everywhere he went.  Be thankful for cancer, because the cancer of sin was defeated by Jesus.  Be thankful for the sun, because God gave us His Son.  Be thankful for lamps, because Jesus is the light of the world.  Be thankful for tissues, because Jesus will wipe away all our tears.  Be thankful for ink, because Jesus gave us His Word.  Be thankful for broken promises, because Jesus fulfills all His promises.  Be thankful for water, because Jesus has washed us clean.  Be thankful for long lines, because there will be no wait to enter Heaven.  Be thankful for stubbing your toe, because Jesus had nails through his feet.  Be thankful for everything that is given us good or bad for it is far better than the hell that we deserve.  ....Get the point?

Be thankful because that is what we were designed to do.



One BIG Tip.

Once someone gave me One BIG Tip that changed my life forever.  

I was living in Hawaii and it was my last full year there before I would ship off to college.  Living on the Island of Oahu you are never more than 30 minutes away from the ocean.  So, conceivably someone living on my Island could get into the deep blue Pacific ocean EVERY...SINGLE...DAY!! 

I're jealous. 

Coming into the second semester of my Junior year of High school I wanted to make a New Years resolution.  "It's my last full year here, I gotta come up with something good."   Eureka!!!           "I'll get in the ocean every single day!"  365 days in a row, rain or shine, light or dark...I'll swim in the ocean every day before the clock strikes mid-night.

Now, It was December, and I was still in process of getting my license, so I approached my parents about this grand scheme knowing for the first couple months I would need someone to drive me to the ocean.   

When I talked to my dad about this he laughed and said, "OK".  But then He added some advice, a tip, one very BIG tip.  He said, "Jacob, maybe you should come up with a spiritual goal as well."

There it was, the one BIG tip that would change my life forever, though I at the time I did not know how life changing it would be.

Almost immediately I knew what "spiritual goal" I was going to set.  For a while, possibly even years, the Holy Spirit had been drawing my heart to read the Bible.  Yep, grew up in a pastors home but I for sure wasn't reading my Bible regularly.   I pick it up on Sundays and Wednesdays, occasionally read James or Jude or something, but not regularly and NEVER every day. 

My spiritual goal for 2006 would be to read my Bible EVERY....SINGLE....DAY!

I started small.  I had a small book that just contained the book of Proverbs.  So, I began reading, sometimes a chapter, sometimes just a few verses...but the point was I was getting in the Word of God ever single day. Soon, I had read through many different passages in the Bible.

365 Days later I made it.  Not only had I drifted in the cool Pacific, I had read the Bible everyday.

THIS CHANGED MY LIFE FOREVER.  Reading God's Word deepened and sharpened my relationship with Him.  It challenged me and changed me to be a better follower of Christ.  It is what ultimately led me to pursue ministry and attend Arlington Baptist University where I met my wife.  

This one decision was the catalyst that led to what my life has become today.  Without it no Hali, no Tekoa, no college, no Lake Point Baptist (church plant in Ohio), no BRANCHES.              Not even this blog would be written...I'd probably be blogging about what brand of surf wax was better.   So I'd say it was a great tip.  Thanks dad.

So,  Here's a big tip for you....

....Read your Bible and Pray EVERYDAY and you'll grow, grOW, GROW!