Giving Thanks – Day 24

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.  In that day you will say: ‘Give thanks to the LORD, call on His name; make known among the nations what He has done, and proclaim that His name is exalted.  Sing to the LORD, for He has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world.’   –   Isaiah 12:3-5

The Bible has a lot to say to us about being thankful. Here are nine reasons you can give thanks today.

1. God is deserving of our thanks. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34 (This verse can be found throughout the scriptures.)

2. Thankfulness is a great witness. Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. 1 Chronicles 16:8

3. In the midst of your struggles and pain, God is with you. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. Psalm 28:7

4. Give thanks because God is for you’He remains faithful even when you falter. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men. (found four times in Psalm 107).

5. It’s a command. And he [Jesus] took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” Luke 22:19

6. Thanksgiving shows that you know to whom you belong and builds character. Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Th 5:18

7. Give thanks because God uses broken vessels like us to do his work.
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. 2 Corinthians 2:14

8. Give thanks because you have a Savior.
Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15

9. Give thanks because not only has your debt been paid, you can now live with hope, love, and faith. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57

Giving Thanks – Day 13

The ungrateful see little of His great love; but the grateful feel their heart is a shore and His love is a sea that never stops coming in. – Ann Voscamp


This is the last day of learning how to Cultivate a Heart of Gratitude Within Your Home this Thanksgiving Season—7 simple ways

Part 5 of 5.

  • Journal.
  • Tell Stories.
  • Serve.
  • Create.
  • Sing.
  • Connect.
  • Remember. Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving? Take some time to remember the history of this holiday. Watch Peanuts The Mayflower Voyage with your kids (you can rent it from the library or pick it up from the store and make it a yearly family tradition). This surprisingly informative movie tells the story of the dangerous and difficult voyage made by the Pilgrims and the challenges they faced when they arrived in America. Talk with your kids about God’s provision for the pilgrims.

Remember also how God has and is caring for us. How true are the words of, William Jennings Bryan, “On Thanksgiving Day we acknowledge our dependence.” We all have stories. God has brought us through valleys. He’s been with us in joy and sadness. And he will be with us in the days ahead.

Not only will intentional gratitude enrich Thanksgiving, it will help us as we look forward to the season of Christmas, where the desire for stuff can run high. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to battle this cultural trend by cultivating thankful hearts in our families now, hearts of profound and simply joy?

Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action. ~ W.J. Cameron

Let us be actively thankful this Thanksgiving, remembering how we’ve been loved. Pick one or two of the above suggestions you think would bless your family and lean into the loveliness of this season.

The Fever of Guilt

He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness… Psalm 23:3a

The Fever of Guilt

Guilt is the fever of the soul. Like a warning light on your dash­board, your guilt alerts you to the fact that you’ve acted against God, yourself, and maybe even against others. When this happens, you might descend into depression, wallowing in feelings that will leave you discouraged, spiritually drained, and isolated.

But you have a brother who can relate. King David understood the fever of guilt. Yet he also knew the recovery that could come with forgiveness. Both of these experiences are described in Psalm 32: Oh, what joy for those whose rebellion is forgiven…When I refused to confess my sin I was weak and miserable, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide them…And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.

Guilt doesn’t take care of your sin—you can’t make up for your wrong choices by suffering from a guilty conscience. As with a fever, you rid yourself of guilt by dealing with the cause. Once you’ve treated the root cause, the fever, or guilt, takes care of itself. In this way, guilt can draw you into the arms of your loving God—where you will find forgiveness and restoration. Hiding your sins only gives them increasing power over you. Break sin’s power by confessing it to God and those you’ve hurt.

– Steve Arterburn

“How tedious is a guilty conscience!” – John Webster

“So full of artless jealousy is guilt, it spills itself in fearing to be spilt.” – William Shakespeare

Love-Hate Relationships

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.  Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. – Ephesians 4:1-3

Love-Hate Relationships

Almost every person has at least one—a person you love, but also deeply resent or hate.  It could be a parent, spouse, sibling, boss, a rebellious child, neighbor, friend or even God.

Living in a love-hate relationship isn’t easy.  It requires some very complicated and refined coping skills.  The problem, however, is that too many people go on, day after day, merely coping with the situation.  Either they’re unaware that they can do more than cope, or they are unwilling to do it.

Those resigned to merely cope with the situation are not happy people.  Whether they stay in the relationship or leave, they render themselves powerless to change. They lose faith in the power of God to change the situation.  They give up on prayer as a means to facilitate change.

But our challenge goes beyond prayer.  The beginning of a solution rests in your decisions—your decision to do something—to take action.  Set boundaries.  See a counselor.  Join a group.  Confront in love.

Remember, “no decision” is a decision.

– Steve Arterburn

“The man who rolls up his sleeves seldom loses his shirt.”Stephen Covey

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Guarding Your Thoughts During Difficult Times

Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8

Guarding Your Thoughts During Difficult Times

Are you an optimistic, hopeful, enthusiastic Christian? You should be. After all, as a believer, you have every reason to be optimistic about life here on earth and life eternal. As English clergyman, William Ralph Inge observed, “No Christian should be a pessimist, for Christianity is a system of radical optimism.”  Inge’s words are most certainly true, but sometimes, you may find yourself pulled down by tough times. If you find yourself discouraged, exhausted, or both, then it’s time to ask yourself this question: what’s bothering you, and why?

If you’re worried by the inevitable challenges of everyday living, God wants to have a little talk with you. After all, the ultimate battle has already been won on the cross at Calvary. And if your life has been transformed by Christ’s sacrifice, then you, as a recipient of God’s grace, have every reason to live courageously. Are you willing to trust God’s plans for your life, in good times and difficult times? Hopefully, you will trust Him completely. Proverbs 3:5-6 makes it clear: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (NKJV).

So make this promise to yourself and keep it—vow to be a hope-filled Christian. Think optimistically about your life, your profession, your family, your future, and your purpose for living. Guard your thoughts and the things that you allow your mind to dwell on and trust your hopes, not your fears. Take time to celebrate God’s glorious creation. And then, when you’ve filled your heart with hope and gladness, share your optimism with others. They’ll be better for it, and so will you.

Attitude is all-important. Let the soul take a quiet attitude of faith and love toward God, and from there on, the responsibility is God’s. He will make good on His commitments.” – A. W. Tozer.

These words should serve as a reminder that even when the challenges of the day seem daunting, God remains steadfast. And, so should you.

– Steve Arterburn

Today’s Prayer
Dear Lord, I will focus on Your love, Your power, Your promises, and Your Son. When I am weak, I will turn to You for strength; when I am worried, I will turn to You for comfort; when I am troubled, I will turn to You for patience and perspective. Help me guard my thoughts, Lord, so that I may honor You this day and forever. Amen


For six days work is to be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord. Exodus 31:15a


Are you burned out, or in danger of burn out? Has your life gotten so busy that it takes every ounce of energy on a daily basis simply to keep from falling behind? And you’re not doing a very good job of that?

If so, I understand–it’s not a good feeling. Like the dilemma of having a tiger by the tail: let it go and it’ll gobble you up; hold on and you’re in for a wild ride. According to recent polls, the American workforce is burdened by a great deal of stress; 77 percent reported feeling occasional burnout, which, by the way doesn’t discriminate by age, gender, or other common groupings.

The first thing I would recommend this week if you’re feeling burnt out is that you honor that commandment about the Sabbath. Take a day where you spend time worshipping God and the rest of the day away from anything close to your daily grind. Take a walk. Go to a park or the beach. Stop receiving input and give your mind a rest.

Steve Arterburn

Until a man has found God, he begins at no beginning and works to no end.” – H. G. Wells (1866–1946)

Truth and Lies

Kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value a man who speaks the truth. – Proverbs 16:13

Truth and Lies

A ship called the Globe arrived on the shores of Hawaii in 1825. The crew was far outnumbered by thousands of dark-skinned islanders, but amazingly, the native people treated the crew members like gods. The crew’s fair skin, glimmering brass buttons, and huge ship impressed the islanders. In addition, the crew perpetrated a lie, convincing the islanders that they could easily overpower them with supernatural force.

Penned into a journal of the voyage that day was this profound entry: ‘So ready is the human mind to receive for truth, what it cannot comprehend, that it may be at variance with everything in nature or reason.’

Little has changed in the minds of men and women since the Globe’s voyage. Much of what is passed off as truth, or at least knowledge, is a lie.

How do you know what to believe? A piano tuner depends upon a tuning fork that vibrates the precise number of times which defines the perfect note, A, on the musical scale, and against which all other keys on the piano are tuned. We have the Bible, against which all other ‘truths’ of the world are measured.

– Steve Arterburn

Our truth of nowadays is not what is, but what others can be convinced of.” – Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592)

Choosing the Right Man to Marry

Milan Yerkovich and Dave Stoop answer three questions that are all about the same issue. When a man exhibits certain traits before the wedding day, what happens after you are married? Click here for more.


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Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. – James 1:2-3


It doesn’t take a genius to know that life is difficult. And it’s difficult in different ways for different people. Sometimes we bring difficulty upon ourselves and sometimes it’s brought upon us from other sources. It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, old or young, man or woman. Every which way you look at it, we know that life is difficult.

But how we handle those difficulties is what matters.

The Bible tells us that the testing of our faith produces perseverance and that we should rejoice when we face trials of all kinds. If Godly character is something to be desired, then we should welcome difficulty.

Sounds crazy, I know.

Try this: wake up each day asking God to carry you through that day’s rough moments. He promised to wipe our tears away, not prevent them.

So, weep when the tears come, but don’t give up.

Steve Arterburn

Lord, I shall be very busy this day. I may forget thee, but do not thou forget me.‘ – Sir Jacob Astley (1579-1652)

Accepting Ownership of Our Past

Much is required from those to whom much is given. Luke 12:48b

Accepting Ownership of our Past

A new life in Christ doesn’t excuse past obligations or erase the ongoing consequences of past sins. When the apostle Paul was in prison he led a runaway slave named Onesimus to Christ. But then Paul sent him back to his master—even though Onesimus faced a possible death penalty for his offense! Paul sent a letter back with the fugitive saying that if Onesimus had caused any harm or stolen anything that Paul would pay for it. Paul recognized that even though Onesimus was now a Christian, and forgiven of his sins, he needed to address the wrongs he’s committed in the past.

Likewise, before you can move ahead, you must face the unfinished business of your past. This may include facing up to some cowardly behavior, crooked schemes, or quick-fix solutions to difficult problems that just didn’t work. While you can be certain that God will meet you where you are, He calls you to take responsibility for whatever sins may have brought you to whatever circumstances you’re presently in. Once you accept ownership of your past, God will help you move ahead. But He’ll do it His way, not yours.”

Nobody ever did, or ever will escape the consequences of his choices. – Alfred A. Montapert

The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That’s the day we truly grow up. – John C.Maxwell