Count Your Blessings

Have you ever noticed that we really hold God to the big things and forget all the essential “little” things He does for us on a daily basis?

Or that maybe, we think the bigger the blessing the less likely God will oblige our wants/dreams.

As Christians we often settle for less and call it humility instead of believing God truly does want to bless us—His children!

“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11)

Love at its core is sacrificial. When you love someone you sacrifice your time, energy, and resources ($$). That is why we have so many ‘giving’ holidays—we love to bless those we love!

How much more does God want to bless us? Hasn’t He already given His only Son? That is the greatest blessing He could give and He did so freely when we were still lost! So is it really so wrong to ask Him for things?

There are circumstances when God’s answer is “not yet.” But understand that He cares about what you care about—and He also knows what’s best for you.

Some blessings can easily become a curse if they are given prematurely. Sometimes we aren’t ready to receive them. And if we aren’t ready to receive how can we hope to keep them?

A job promotion (at work or church)…A winning lottery ticket…A new house/car…A inheritance…all things that can backfire if mishandled.

“…70 percent of lotto winners lose or spend all that money in five years or less.” (Readers Digest)

I don’t know about you, but there have been many times in my life I thought I was ready for something, was forced to wait, and then realized that it was God’s timing that saved me from a world of heartache.

I remember falling in love with boy and asking God to be able to marry him—turns out He had someone far better in mind for me. And I can remember the first time I tried to serve in our old church Kids ministry and just wasn’t cut out for it. Turns out God wanted me to learn and grow, gaining experience until one day I was “cut out” and even anointed to do it excellently.

God’s blessings and promotions have always been right on time. And He has even given me things just to show how good and invested in our lives and interests He really is.

He’s spontaneous like a lover after His Bride’s heart. It has always been these little blessings that amaze me most because they prove God is personal, thoughtful, and involved in our lives.

I’ll give you one of many examples of how God drops these little blessings into my day-to-day:

I’m a big Star Trek fan, and I’ve been longing for some more books to read. In fact, I’ve had a list saved on Amazon for some time—just sitting there because I didn’t want to selfishly spend so much on them new.

Our local library started a book market and I figured I’d stop in and find some books for my son (secretly hoping to find at least one good Star Trek novel). When I got there I gravitated toward the sci-fi section and gaped at the huge row of donated Star Trek novels, hardback, and many of the ones I wanted to read.

I came home with a huge box full as well as a few books for my son (one is is favorite right now) all dirt cheap.

Little blessings or divine appointments like this happen all the time. The moment I think of something I need or really want—it suddenly becomes available to me in ways that make me smile to the heavens in thanks.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that God knows you. He wants to give you good gifts and pour out His love upon you. All you need to do is believe, position yourself to receive, and wait.

And remember that you are blessed by God already. He gave you His own Son. The breath of life. And so much more….

Many of the gifts God gives me, such as my stash of Star Trek books, will fade away to dust. But the everlasting gift of salvation through His Son, will never fade and cannot be stolen from you.

Only you can give that away.

So count your blessings, no matter how dark this world gets, no matter what you see happening in the world around you during these uncertain times…count your blessings. Remember who you are, what you are here to do, and the everlasting home you will return to someday.

Praise Him, our Good Father, day and night…let your first and last prayer be that of praise and thanksgiving. Amen!


For Granted


 “Make sure you don’t take things for granted and go slack in working for the common good; share what you have with others. God takes particular pleasure in acts of worship – a different kind of “sacrifice” – that take place in kitchen and workplace and on the streets.”

-Hebrews 13:16

Have you ever went on vacation and towards the end wish you were back home? We get excited at first, packing our bags and loading up the car, ready to leave the cold busy town for a quiet hot beach somewhere. But then after a while, once the excitement wears off, you start to miss your own bed, the familiarity of your town and life back home. You miss your friends and any pets you left behind. Suddenly the vacation is over and you not only return refreshed but you remember why you love your home so much. You learn not to take what you have for granted.

In America, we take everything for granted. The amount of complaining that can be heard shows just how ungrateful people have become. No one is content with what they have it seems, either they aren’t rich enough, aren’t skinny enough, aren’t popular enough, or at the end of it all, aren’t happy enough. The fact is, we all need to be reminded every now and then that everything we have is a gift, and those gifts can be taken back, thrown away, or destroyed if we don’t learn to value them properly.

We are on our second year owning a home, and it has been met with challenges. Expensive challenges, but we expected to have to sacrifice time and money into making this place a home. And despite the costs, I am grateful to live in the country. Growing up in a busy and ghetto-like town has made me even more grateful that I get to live away from all that, surrounded by nature instead of fences. If I started to take this place for granted, I would ignore its problems, forget what my life was like before, and the house would eventually come to ruin and neglect. If I’m not careful, I may just end back where I started, living in an apartment in town wishing I lived in the country.

It’s a never-ending cycle; on rainy days we miss the sunshine when it’s hot out we miss the snow, and when it’s snowy we miss the heat of summer. We want to leave town, we want to come home, we want to visit friends, we want to be alone, we want to be a kid, we want to be full grown, we want what we can’t have, and we have more than we know.

That is why we remind ourselves, why we have holidays and memorials, and history books. We must remember what it was like before, what was sacrificed, what decisions led to destruction, and what battles led to victory. We can’t afford to take what we have for granted and risk losing it all. Even the Israelites forgot what it was like in the wilderness, they forgot all that God had done for them, and it took considerable loss and devastation to bring them back to understanding.

I believe that Adam and Eve may just have taken the garden of Eden for granted. People keep saying, “If I would have been in the garden I wouldn’t have eaten from the tree.” If we were plucked from the present and placed in the garden today we wouldn’t eat of it, but if our memories and perceptions were wiped clean and we were placed as if just created beings into the garden, each and every one of us would have made the mistake Adam and Eve made. Why? We are living in the outcome of what that mistake cost. We know death and sin and suffering, and because of this we long for the time before all that, we want to get back to paradise. Eve, on the other hand, knew nothing of death or sin, she only knew the garden, she only knew beauty and peace and became curious about life outside of that.

She took for granted the blessings of God, and it cost her everything. She thought God was holding back from her and that one deception made her forget all that God had poured out on her. Every fruit and vegetable imaginable, every animal, nothing but sunshine and water springs, God walking in the evening breeze, Adam by her side. The tree of life, God never said to stay clear of that tree, and yet it was left untouched. Thrown away, discarded was the paradise God gave man.

And now, years later, many of us have taken the cross for granted. The great pain and suffering the Son of God went through to bring us back to him. On Easter, everyone seems to come out of hiding and flood the churches. If it wasn’t for that reminder, would people even give it a thought? If it wasn’t for Easter would people look to Jesus and say, “thank you.” Some people accept Christ like He’s a get out of jail free card. There is no love or recognition, just selfish desire to be in paradise again. A gift taken for granted will never be understood, valued, or cherished. People that take Christ for granted, don’t know Him, or what He gave to save them, they don’t care about the scars on His hands or the thorns on His brow. And yet, Jesus loves them still…why?

He never takes us for granted. He loves us, and values us, even though we don’t deserve it, even though apart from Him we have no value. He chases after us, fights for us, and died to know us.

Is there anything/anyone you have taken for granted?