Saturday, October 24, 2009

Choosing Gratitude Part 2

Honestly, the reason this blog follow-up has taken so long from the previous one, is because this book got tucked away in a bag and I just now found it.
Well, here are some quotes from the newly released Nancy Leigh Demoss book, Choosing Gratitude. I have definitely loved and benefited from this book and already recommended it to many ladies. One random benefit is if I wake up in the middle of the night or am having trouble falling asleep - I choose to be thankful and start listing things in my head. Good way to fall asleep.
"I've seen that if I'm not ceaselessly vigilant about rejecting ingratitude and choosing gratitude, I all-too-easily get sucked into the undertow of life in a fallen world. I start focusing on what I don't have that I want, or what I want that I don't have. My life starts to feel hard, wearisome, and overwhelming." (p. 16)
"Its a choice that requires constantly renewing my mind with the truth of God's Word, setting my heart to savor God and his gifts, and disciplining my tongue to speak words that reflect His goodness and grace - until a grateful spirit becomes my reflexive response to all of life." (p 17)
I love her word choice of "choosing". We can choose what we want to do. We can either live a joyful hectic life or we can choose to live a bitter life. Take our pick. So often its our outlook on life that makes all the difference in the world.
She starts with a look at the base of our gratitude: the cross. Our only hope in this life of being grateful is the cross of Christ. She then presses us to be grateful and honoring of Christ to others:
"Forgive me for the many times and ways I reflect negatively on Your character and Your goodness, by verbalizing discontent and murmuring to others." (p 58).
I think about this now. Do I cause You grief to others - do others get a wrong picture of Christ because of what comes out of my mouth? Think about it. You interact with non-Christians throughout every day: whether its the checkout lady at Walmart, the bank teller, co-worker, neighbor. If its raining out and your neighbor says something negatively - you can either react negatively back or you can "I thank God for the rain, it makes everything shiny" or something about the full parking lot at the new Target or the mall during Christmas time. They can comment on how hectic it is and you can say, "its providing good business for the stores and I was able to get extra walking in because of having to park way out." Just think of little ways you can choose to be grateful.
"Gratitude does become a reliable measure for where our hearts are with Him." (p 69). I know if I am bitter and critical - I haven't spent much time in the Word or praying because my heart becomes very much like the world. Turn. Stop. Be grateful. Repent. Praise.
She has a saying in here that her dad used to say "I'm better than I deserve!" when people asked him how he was. A friend of mine that I worked with in seminary, Bryan, used to say this too. It was contagious. Everytime he said it it brought me back to thinking of my salvation and the grace that God graciously bestowed on me because of His good favor and kindness.
"Grateful people are loving people who seek to bless others, while ungrateful people are bent on gratifying themselves." (p. 84) Another great test of motivation and purpose.
Dt 8.11-14 - such powerful verses! Meditate on these!
"The guilt-to-grace-to-gratitude model we talked about earlier is not only keeping with a biblical theology and lifestyle, it is crucial to our joy." (p. 147) I'm reminded of John Piper's book When I Don't Desire God.
"I believe that a humble, grateful woman who walks in community with other believers will become increasingly gracious, warm, large-hearted, and yes, beautiful - inside and out." (p. 155) I am thankful for women in my life who live this truth and choice out every day. You can tell a difference in their lives and attitudes, jobs and marriages, and families. I love being around them. Thank you ladies for being a witness and life model!

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