Sunday, October 10, 2010

The power of a list

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Psalm 65:1-13

TO CHEW ON: "Praise is awaiting You, O God, in Zion;
And to You the vow shall be performed." Psalm 65:1

Do you make lists? I do — lists to remind me of what needs to be done, to organize my thoughts, help me with shopping, pack without forgetting anything, keep me on track when I give a talk or speech ...

Psalm 65 is David's list of praise and thankfulness to God. He praises God for:
1. Hearing and answering prayers (vs. 2).
2. Providing atonement / forgiveness for sin (vs 3).
3. Choosing people to come near to Him (vs. 4).
4. Being approachable (vs. 4).
5. The temple (vs. 4).
6. The joy and satisfaction of living in God's presence (vs. 4).
7. The way God inspires confidence (implied is the need to remember ways God has come through for them in the past) (vs. 5).
8. God's power as illustrated in nature — the grandeur of mountains, God's ability to calm physical and people storms (vs. 6-7).
9. That He is visible and available to all on earth (vs. 8).
10. The reliability of day and night (vs. 8).
11. God's nourishment of the earth with rain ((vs. 9-10)
12. An abundant harvest (vs. 11-12).
13. The beauty of a pastoral scene (vs. 13).

David's list is a good example of one way we can set the tone of the day by focusing on God's gifts to us. Instead of dwelling on what's wrong with life, what we dread, fear or regret, let's focus on the good stuff.

I'm going to spend some time today making a praise and thanksgiving list. Will you join me?

PRAYER: Dear God, I'm sorry for my frequent lapses into worry and ungratefulness. Today I choose to think about You and reflect on the things for which I can praise and thank You. Amen

MORE: A gratefulness community

Canadian writer Ann Voskamp began an initiative some time ago to encourage everyday gratefulness. I wrote about joining in here. She challenges readers to, over time, list 1000 gifts which they first of all notice, then jot down and share with others. Bloggers from around the world come together on Holy Experience (Ann's blog) every Monday to share links to their writings of gratitude. (It's all explained here.) Whether you journal privately, or blog, why don't you join us?

(I've been keeping up my list. Check it out.)

Ann's book One Thousand Gifts us due out in January 2011

Do your 8-12-year-olds have daily devotions? Point them to Bible Drive-Thru.

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