This is the day...

Today's thought:

James 4:14, "Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes."

The Los Angelos Times reprinted the following essay by Anne Wells: 

"My brother-in-law opened the bottom drawer of the burrow and lifted out a tissue wrapped package. He discarded the tissue paper and handed me her slip. It was exquisite—silk, hand made, and trimmed with a cobweb of lace. The price tag with an astronomical figure on it was still attached. 

""Jan bought this the first time we went to New York," he said. "At least eight or nine years ago. She never wore it. She was saving it for a special occasion." He took the slip from me and put it on the bed with the other clothes we were taking to the mortician. His hands lingered on the soft material for a moment and then he slammed the door shut and turned to me. "Don't ever save anything for a special occasion," he said, "every day you are alive is a special occasion." 

"I remembered those words through the funeral and in the days that followed when I helped him and my niece attend all the chores that attended an unexpected death. Those words have changed my life. I'm not saving anything. 

"We use our good china and crystal for every special event, such as, loosing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, the first camellia blossom. "Someday," and "one of these days," is loosing its grip on my vocabulary. If it's worth seeing or hearing or doing I want to see or hear or do it now. I'm trying not to hold back, put off, or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives. Every morning when I open my eyes I tell myself this is a special day."

Jesus says, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Matthew 6:34). In fact, James points out, in the context of today's verse, that no one is even promised tomorrow. God holds all tomorrows in His hand. He gives us one each morning and calls it "today.". So, we take each day as a gift, live it to its fullest knowing it may be the last. That's not being a fatalist. Instead it is the attitude we are to have that allows us to live God honoring lives. As the Psalmist says, "This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it" (Psalm 118:24, NKJV). So celebrate today. It is a treasure God has made and given to you.

Prayer: Father God, we rejoice in Your gift of today. We find peace in knowing that You hold all our tomorrows in Your hand. May we live today in such a way that will capture all the good it holds and live in such a way that gives this day back to You. Thank you for life, the now and the eternal. In Jesus name, amen.

[Adapted from the message: "Our Daily Bread." Listen to full message at]

A ridiculously good life...

Today’s thought:

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Meet Nick. In 1982, Nick Vujicic was born with tetra-amelia syndrome, a rare genetic disorder. Nick has no arms or legs, although he has two small feet attached to his torso. Growing up, Nick struggled emotionally and physically to accept his condition. But today as a follower of Christ, Nick has what he calls "a ridiculously good life." 

Nick writes: “When I'm asked how I can claim a ridiculously good life when I have no arms or legs, [people] assume I'm suffering from what I lack. They inspect my body and wonder how I could possibly give my life to God, who allowed me to be born without limbs. Others have attempted to soothe me by saying that God has all the answers and then when I'm in heaven I will find out his intentions. Instead, I choose to live by what the Bible says, which is that God is the answer today, yesterday, and always. When people read about my life or witness me living it, they are prone to congratulate me for being victorious over my disabilities. I tell them that my victory came in surrender. It comes every day when I acknowledge that I can't do this on my own, so I say to God, "I give it to you!" Once I yielded, the Lord took my pain and turned it into something good... He gave my life meaning when no one and nothing else could provide it. [And] if God can take someone like me, someone without arms and legs, and use me as his hands and feet, he can use anybody. It's not about ability. The only thing God needs from you is a willing heart.”

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) We read this and think, ‘All circumstances? Really? What about when I loose my job? What about when my wife leaves me? What about when my husband has an affair? What about when we run out of food? What about when we loose the house? What about when the doctor says it’s cancer? What about when my baby is born with Cystic Fibrosis?’ 

The Apostle Paul, who wrote this, knew some tough “all circumstances” as well. Hard work, flogged, imprisonments, near death experiences, shipwrecked having to spend a day and night in the sea, whipped, stoned, in danger on every side, cold and naked, and going without food and water very often. (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:23-29) Yes, all circumstances. 

Most of the time it is wrong to compare ourselves to others. But when it comes to seeing how blessed we are and being thankful, then compare yourself. If Nick can give thanks to God in his circumstances can you not in yours? Did you wake up today with arms and legs? Then, praise God! Being grateful is not a matter of focusing on what you don't have but what you do. We all have things to be grateful for. This Thanksgiving "count your many blessings," and see that the Lord is good. “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” (Psalm 100:4-5) What a “ridiculously good life” you have! So, give God thanks.

Prayer: Father we come to you with thanksgiving in our heart for you have blessed all of us in our own ways. Open our eyes so we can see those blessings and bring our thanks to you. Thank you for Nic and his testimony to your incredible blessings. Thank you for our ridiculously good life! In Jesus name, amen.