Ann, over at A Holy Experience, wrote today about the benefits of giving thanks. She is the author of One Thousand Gifts, which tells her story about how writing down all the blessings every day has changed her life. Sounds so simple, and it is......but the effect is profound..
A professor asked his students to write letters of gratitude...it changed their lives. A dying woman wrote down all she is grateful for and still lives. The stories Ann receives about how her book changed the lives of others would have you picking up your pen and paper to write down your own list of gifts that grace your life. It has and I do, counting it all joy.
Proverbs 18:21 says their is the power of life and death in our words. Our words speak life or death ~ our choice. It is the same for the written word. Do our words change the atmosphere in our home? Do our words put a smile or a frown on the face of a child? Do our words bring peace or anger into the hearts of others. Count it all joy.
Joel and I watched the movie Captain Phillips late yesterday afternoon. Based on a true story, it was 2+ hours of sheer tension. Excellent movie but oh my goodness, it is not for the faint of heart. When it was over we put on our tennies and went for a long walk, discussing the movie while releasing the tension we felt. Then last night we watched the second episode of the new series "Resurrection". The difference in the two was profound, but not for reasons you may think. After watching the slower paced Resurrection I turned to Joel and said, "I don't like this show. There is something about it that makes me very uncomfortable....an evil undertone that we could feel sitting in our comfy chairs. It was like watching this show shifted the atmosphere in our home in a very negative way. That is what Hollywood does, it shifts the atmosphere around us with fast car chases, or romantic comedy, or tension filled scenarios like Captain Phillips. One show made both of us tense but exhilarated while observing the humanity of all involved and the survival skills and goodness of the captain. The other made us both feel a sense of evil and foreboding.
We made a decision not to watch this TV show again. Grateful that we can just turn off that big unsightly rectangle that lures us into complicity. We have a choice.
Just like making a choice not to watch all that comes across our screen, we make choices about what comes out of our mouths too! IF we believe the Scriptures, then we believe there is the power of life and death IN OUR WORDS. So what are we speaking? What are we writing? What are we watching? What are we allowing others to speak into us?
Today I am counting the blessings of our US Seals rescuing Captain Phillips, a remote that has an off button, the power and guidance in God's Word, and the pen and paper within my reach to count the gifts and give God glory. In doing so, joy reaches out to embrace me, and in return I am able to bless others. Full circle, this gratitude thing. For that, too, I count it all joy.