It is good during Thanksgiving to stop and remember all the things you are thankful for. If you are like me your list would be huge, so let me just hit a few highlights on my list this year.
I am Thankful for a God who loves me and a Savior who came to die in my place and rise again for my salvation. I am nothing without Him!
I am Thankful for the woman God put in my life. This month marks 20 years since our first date. She continues to be an incredible blessing from God.
I am Thankful for my son who continues to kick my butt in golf and just about every other sporting endeavor. Nothing prepares you for being a father, but there are few things better than being a dad.
I am Thankful I have the opportunity to be a pastor. I have an incredible church family who let's me speak truth in their lives each Sunday. We have laughed together, cried together, and prayed together. I wouldn't trade them for the world.
I am Thankful to have most of our extended family here close to us. One of the greatest blessings has been Grandpa Voelker. Both my Grandfathers died by the time I was 3 months old. There is something special of having a Grandpa and to celebrate his 94th birthday recently was a great blessing.
I am Thankful to live in America. To enjoy the freedoms we have is an incredible blessing which all too often I have taken for granted.
I am Thankful to all the people God put on my path who have encouraged me to follow Jesus. God put incredible people in my life from an early age who encouraged me to Follow Jesus. They have been a great blessing.
If we forget our blessings we will forge the God who gives us everything.
What are you Thankful for?
When we want to make a change - we want to make a change. We look for big results but more importantly we are looking for quick results. However, most large changes we want to make are the results of several years taking small steps in the wrong direction. And you cannot change those overnight. This is true in areas like weight loss and finances.
There is a very old Chinese Proverb which says "the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step". To see the large results start taking small steps.
So when it comes to finances start taking some small steps in the right direction. Let me remind you of a couple of these steps we talked about on Sunday
1) A simple formula for your overall financial success. I suggested something I had heard called 10-10-80. Give 10% Save 10% Live off the rest 80% There are other people who have published other formulas, so there are others out there. This is simple and is easy to understand so there will be less confusion and more success.
2) When I heard this from the mouth of Dave Ramsey I loved it. He came up with something called an "Emergency Fund". He recommended getting a $1,000 together for emergencies. This means you don't have to rely on credit cards and you have space when things fall and break. But if you do this you will create space which leads to grace in stressful times in your marriage.
These are both small steps but they will have large results. Take the small steps!!
It doesn't take a genius to know marriage can be a difficult thing. But we also know marriage can be just as wonderful. Now, I am wise enough to know there are hundreds of books on marriage and many speakers who have spent their life studying the subject. So I really don't claim to know anything new, but want to remind us all of a simple truth.
Perhaps our marriages would be better served if there was more Grace. What if we just raised the grace factor in our marriage and had more of it? How might that enhance our marriage? Let me give you a few ways more grace will help.
1) More Grace - less blame
How often does blame get thrown around in your marriage? What if we showed grace and took responsibility for what we are responsible for and refused just to throw around blame? I think it would make a huge difference. Too often things go wrong and we reach for this thing called blame. Don't reach for that the next time, reach for grace.
2) More Grace - better communication
Do you really want to talk with someone who is graceless towards you? Grace has a way of pulling out difficult conversations and making them manageable. You will open up to people showing grace but shut down when grace is not present.
3) More Grace - Less Stress
What do we do with people who we think will yell at us for doing something wrong? Hide. Whether it is a boss or a spouse our tendency is to hide and hope conflict doesn't arise. But with more grace the stress of those blow ups can go away and with less stress the marriage is better.
So let's show more grace in our marriages
Jesus Follower, Husband, Father, and Pastor and trying to keep those in the right order....