Expressing Gratitude

August 29, 2015

Today’s Reflection

MANY PEOPLE FIND WRITING about what they are thankful for in a journal is a great way to practice gratitude. Others vocalize their gratitude in a small group or with a spouse or friend. I know a young mom who expresses her own gratitude and teaches her children to do the same by naming something for which she is thankful every evening before dinner. I know a retired military officer who places his hand over his heart every morning and expresses his gratitude for his own life and for the lives of others. I know a young college graduate who compiled a gratitude list that includes the sound of rain, the smile of a stranger, access to running water, watching a puppy play, and the tenderness of his grandparents holding hands.

Gratitude expands our capacity for delight. Delight, joy, and happiness are gifts God wants to give us in all circumstances and in spite of our circumstances. When we express gratitude — when we find delight in God’s goodness — we are freer to love and serve others.

– Rebecca Dwight Bruff
Loving the World with God

From page 38 of Loving the World with God: Fourth Day Living by Rebecca Swight Bruff. Copyright © 2014 by Rebecca Dwight Bruff. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

How do you express gratitude? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Then he called the crowd again and said to them, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.”

James 7:14-15, NRSV

This Week: pray for someone facing surgery. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers, call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center web site.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember: Rose of Lima (August 23).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2015, a ministry of Discipleship Ministries | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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Holy Tears

August 28, 2015

Today’s Reflection

WHY SHOULD WE WEEP with those who weep? Because Jesus showed God’s love for us by weeping with us in our weeping and dying with us in our dying. Such weeping is not a mistake, or a reason for embarrassment — it is instead one of the most important spiritual resources available to us. We are not in control in such traumatic circumstances. I think we often go to great extents in our minds and our emotions to try to rationalize our lack of control. We are not in control of the reality of which we are a small part, and our powerlessness leads us to tears.

In crying, we acknowledge our lack of control, our inability to have things the way we want them. In crying, we are not failing to be strong; we are being strong enough to acknowledge our weakness, our humanness. A friend once said that tears in such a situation are really a form of prayer to God, a confession of our limitedness, our humanity. I think that statement contains great truth. In such situations, tears are the bodily expression of humility. Tears are our humble acknowledgment that while we are beings created by God in God’s image, we are not God. When we cry those kind of tears we are being real, and being real is a necessary step toward the threshold of real holiness. That threshold is humility.

– Gregory S. Clapper
When the World Breaks Your Heart

From page 40 of When the World Breaks Your Heart: Spiritual Ways of Living with Tragedy by Gregory S. Clapper. Copyright © 1999 by Gregory S. Clapper. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Think of a time you have cried with someone else. Give thanks for this holy moment. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

1:21 Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness, and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls.

James 1:21, NRSV

This Week: pray for someone facing surgery. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers, call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center web site.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember: Rose of Lima (August 23).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2015, a ministry of Discipleship Ministries | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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Do One Thing at a Time

August 27, 2015

Today’s Reflection TYPICALLY IN OUR SOCIETY, we believe that time must be filled with as many activities as possible. We eat dinner while we watch television. We read a book while we ride a bus. We talk on the phone while we fold the laundry. On a lovely morning, we’ll decide to sit on the […]

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Praying about Our Work

August 26, 2015

Today’s Reflection THE AVERAGE YOUNG person or adult spends at least half of his or her time in some form of work or serious activity. It is only fitting that this should become the subject of our prayers. Not in order to “succeed” in the world’s eyes, or to make more money, but to be […]

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Forgiveness As a Spiral

August 25, 2015

Today’s Reflection YEARS AGO, I heard a sermon about Jesus’ prayer from the cross, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). The speaker said that people often don’t realize that what they do hurts us or how those hurts affect us. He asked us to think about the […]

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Honest Conversations

August 24, 2015

Today’s Reflection OFTEN, WE WITHHOLD our deepest needs from another, secretly hoping those needs will be noticed without being spoken. For example, instead of stating her desire to go out to dinner, a woman says to her husband, “Have you ever noticed how Jim and Frances go out to dinner every week?” Or, when you […]

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Medicine Bottles

August 23, 2015

Today’s Reflection

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“Kitchen Table” Friends

August 22, 2015

Today’s Reflection ONE SUNDAY EVENING friends called to ask if they might come over for a few minutes. They didn’t need to discuss anything in particular. They just wanted to check on how Janene and I were getting along. “Of course,” I said, “we would be happy to see you.” After a short while the […]

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Surprise Me Today

August 21, 2015

Today’s Reflection I like surprises that make me smile inside —out-of-the-blue moments that give a boost to dry routine.Like a sudden burst of warm sunshine on a blustery afternoon,an unexpected hug from a giggling toddler,or an old friend standing at my door with a loaf of warm bread and two plates.Simple blessings that lift me […]

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Prayer Beads

August 20, 2015

Today’s Reflection PRAYER BEADS are a tool for prayer. Just as a hammer and nails help us construct a house, so prayer beads help us construct a life of connection with God. The beads are not the end; they are the means to an end, which is communion with God. I want to emphasize that […]

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