April 1, 2017 – Mercy and Forgiveness
The very first definition at Dictionary.com for mercy is “compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or other person in one’s power; compassion, pity, or benevolence” Example: Have mercy on the poor sinner. Showing mercy is right up there with forgiveness on the list of things that moral, upstanding people should do. These two are also considered some of the hardest actions that we struggle with.
It is hard to forget when someone has wronged you. It is hard to consider showing love and kindness to someone who has hurt you, someone who may even hate you. Whether they spread rumors, were physically, mentally or emotionally abusive, whether they stole from you or caused you financial difficulties of another sort, it is hard for us to let it go.
But think for a moment on how many times God forgives us. Think about how many times he has shown us mercy, how many times he has taken compassion on us when we are hurting or have suffered a loss. He doesn’t keep a list and remind us that he hasn’t forgotten. No, in fact, when we repent with a true heart, those sins are wiped away and will never be brought up to us again, but he does require us to strive to be merciful and forgiving, even to those who have deeply wounded us. Today I am thankful for his mercy and forgiveness.
April 2, 2017 – God Everywhere
“Thus God hath written himself and his laws very broadly on all that is around us if our poor dull eyes and duller souls could but read what he has set before us” Alleyne Edrickson “The White Company” written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
That just about says it all, doesn’t it. He is here, with us, around us, in us, all the time. You see his mighty power in the lightening and thunder and rain and you feel his softness in the smile of a child or the cuddling of a pet.
You see his creativity in all things related to nature, the way the seasons change, the way the trees and grass grow, the way the flowers bloom, the birds fly and all the other woodland animals go about their daily lives.
You see his beauty in the snow capped mountain peaks and deep, rich valleys. You hear it in the songs of the birds, the chirp of the crickets, the bubbling waters of a stream and the whoosh of the wind. He is in everything and he is everywhere, if we could but open our eyes, ears and hearts we would see him. Today I am thankful that God is everywhere.
April 3, 2017 – Money
In early biblical times everyone lived on what they could produce, growing their own food, raising their own flocks, making use of the meat to eat and the wool and skins for clothing. They made their own household items, bowls from hollowed out wood or rock or molded in clay, looms from branches and sticks and kitchen items carved out of wood. They made tents from hides and from wool woven on their looms and when they decided to build houses, you made mud, straw and clay bricks.
If they wanted a changed in diet or needed something they didn’t have the skills to make, they would trade some of their home grown goods with another traveler, farmer or herdsman. Communities stayed close and many of them worked the fields and herded the flocks together.
As time passed, the population grew, kings and emperors came and went and each minted their own coins to be used as currency to pay their military and other employees. People learned the value of silver and gold and began using it more and more often to purchase what they needed.
As cities grew and shops and businesses began to spring up, money became increasingly more necessary. The age of barter and trade was coming to an end. From there, over the centuries, each country developed it’s own currency, usually backed by gold and money became part of everyday life.
Today, you cannot acquire much of anything without money. You use it to buy your food, pay your bills, pay for medical expenses, run your car, buy clothes, pay your mortgage or rent. Some people have a lot, some have what is adequate and many never have enough, but for sure, you can’t take your basket of tomatoes to the butcher to trade for steaks. Unfortunately some people worship it, but there are still those who haven’t fallen into that trap
I am not rich, nor do I want to be. I have enough, though. My bills are paid, there is food in the house and I can pay the doctor at my next visit. Today I am thankful for the money that allows me to get the things I need.