Revival of a Different Sort

Today, before the sun was even up, I flushed a toilet, started a load of laundry, boiled a pot of eggs, and made myself a cup of tea.

Somewhere else in the world, before the sun was even up, a woman not really all that different from me headed out along a mile-long path. She filled a 5-gallon pail with 40 pounds of water and carried it back to her family.

I’m passionate about providing clean water to those in need. But that’s a topic for another time. Today I want to share my passion for gratitude.

Sometimes, even in our western world of comfort and ease, we become exhausted or uncomfortable. And that can lead to a self-absorbed discontent. Or, maybe we begin to notice neighbors whose lives seems more delightful than our own. Our gratitude begins to fade, even in light of all our blessings. And we let it.

No more! Today I call on you (and on myself as well) to notice the simple blessing of water. I challenge you to breathe a prayer of thanksgiving every time you flush a toilet, turn on a tap, or take a shower. These are gifts! And then, move on to noticing the many other “simple” blessings God has given you. Make a list and stick it on your mirror if need be.

  • Revive your contentment.
  • Shout your praises.
  • Be happy and smile over the good things in your life.

And, if you are so inclined, share a list of your newly noticed blessings with me.

How Good Is Your Memory?

Every time I re-read portions of the Old Testament, I’m astounded by the way the Israelites got caught in this loop:

  1. Cry out for help. (For example, “Let us out of Egypt!)
  2. Experience God’s miraculous provision. (Like parted seas.)
  3. Find a reason to complain. (“We’re thirsty!”)


  1. Cry out for help. (“Give us food!”)
  2. Experience God’s miraculous provision. (Like manna from heaven.)
  3. Find a reason to complain. (“We’re so sick of eating the same old thing!”)


But I have grumpy days, don’t you? I feel sorry for myself or evaluate my lot in life and decide it doesn’t measure up to someone else’s. I long for something I don’t have and forget for a while all God has done and all I’ve been given. I’ve seen miraculous provision in my own life, so how am I any different from those Israelites? I am ashamed to admit that I can get tired of manna too.

I was knocked upside the head by this quote not long ago: “If God never did one more thing for you, you ought to be the happiest person in the world.” (I heard it in a TV sermon, but don’t remember who was preaching.) Oh my, yes! When I step back from my doldrums and recount the miracles in my own life and in those of my loved ones, I realize any one of those gifts from God should be enough to keep me rejoicing until eternity. How quickly I can forget!

So, today, I want to leave you with this verse, Psalm 42:6, from The Message.

“When my soul is in the dumps, I rehearse everything I know of you.”

Has God ever done anything for you? Then, next time you find yourself grumpy or dissatisfied, refresh your memory! I plan to do the same.

Photo: Nam Anh on because “an elephant never forgets,” or so they say.

Six More Miracles

black textile on black wooden surface

Food for One Hundred

A man came bringing twenty loaves of barley bread, along with some heads of new grain. “Give it to the people to eat,” Elisha said.

“How can I set this before a hundred men?” his servant asked.

Elisha answered, “Give it to the people to eat. ‘They will eat and have some left over.’” They ate and had some left over, according to the word of the Lord.

A Skin Disease

Now Naaman was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy. So Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”

Although he balked at such a humiliating act, finally Naaman went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored.

A Floating Axe

As one of the prophets was cutting down a tree, the iron axhead fell into the water. “Oh no, my lord!” he cried out. “It was borrowed!”

The man of God asked, “Where did it fall?” Elisha cut a stick and threw it there, and made the iron float. Then the man reached out his hand and took it.

Supernatural Spy

Now the king of Aram was at war with Israel.

The man of God sent word to the king of Israel: “Beware of passing that place, because the Arameans are going down there.”  Time and again Elisha warned the king, so that he was on his guard in such places.

This enraged the king of Aram. “Tell me! Which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?”

“None of us,” said his officers, “but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.”

Angel Armies

When the servant of the man of God went out, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.

 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

Blinded by the Lord

As the enemy came down toward him, Elisha prayed, “Strike this army with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness.

Elisha told them, “This is not the road and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will lead you to the man you are looking for.” And he led them to Samaria instead, right into the gates of their enemy.

After they entered the city, Elisha said, “Lord, open the eyes of these men so they can see.” Then the Lord opened their eyes and they looked, and there they were, inside Samaria.

Happy Thanksgiving!

May you be reminded every day that God is awesome. And how should we respond to that wonderful fact?

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever…Then all the people said ‘Amen’ and ‘Praise the Lord’” (1 Chronicles 16:34, 36).

photo credit: Justin @justinphoto via

Thankful Anyway


This was my Thanksgiving post six years ago. My how times have changed, and how, in many ways, they are still exactly the same…

It was a morning of contradictions. The dawn was about to break, seemingly obscured by a thick blanket of low clouds filling the horizon. As we drove out of the neighborhood and Steve clicked on the car radio, I was struck by the onslaught of evil our world had only recently sustained.

The capture and probably massacre of students in Mexico.

The death of an Ottawa honor guard at the hands of a terrorist.

The usual (When did it become usual?) litany of crimes and punishments taking place throughout our land.

It’s so easy to despair, to decide we’ve been forsaken and that all is lost forever. Yet even as the radio droned on, the sun rose, splashing red and gold across the sky, those ominous clouds now serving as mirrors to reflect the spectacular light.

What a perfectly timed reminder for me. I could hear a childhood hymn playing in my memory banks.

Oh, who can make a sunrise?

I know I can’t. Can you?

On who can make a sunrise?

No one but God, that’s true.*

He’s so much bigger than we are, so much greater than even our most consuming heartaches and difficulties.

It’s time for Thanksgiving! Actually, it’s always time for thanks giving. Yes, there are dark days behind us and before us, but the sun also rises. The SON also rises. He is, ever was, always will be Lord of all, and he will carry us through the darker days. I hope you are approaching this season with a life full of good things. But either way, He is always reason enough to give thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving!

*My apologies to the lyricist. I am unable to find the source of this song.