Thursday, July 14, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude

I've been reading the book "The Hole in our Gospel" by Richard Stearns.  Stearns is the president of World Vision U.S.  Stearns believes that American Christians are not putting their faith into action.  There are billions of people living in extreme poverty.  26,575 children a day die from preventable causes (pg 114).  But American Christians basically do nothing about these situations.  Near the end of the book Stearns has a section of suggested actions people can take.  One of them was to pray for people living in poverty as we go about our day.

This morning I was led by God to do just that.  This came to mind as I was preparing my breakfast.  I like to have tea in the morning so I filled up the kettle with water from the sink (clean water, indoor plumbing) and put it on the gas range to heat (modern appliance).  I went to the pantry and got a couple of Irish Breakfast tea bags (I caught a sale) and put them in my favorite mug.  When the water boiled I poured it into the mug to brew my tea.  While it was brewing I made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (I had a craving).  I then took out the tea bags, added some honey (I like honey more than sugar), and a little bit of French Vanilla soy creamer (I'm lactose intolerant).  Afterwards I mindlessly said said grace for my meal.  And that's when it struck me.  I should be more grateful and truly give thanks.

You see, I complain, mentally about my situation.  I haven't had a full time job in over a year.  I've had to give up my apartment and move in with my sister and brother-in-law.  So as not to be too much of a financial burden I'm responsible for purchasing my own food.  Because my income is limited I use food stamps to buy my food.  I complain to the Lord because I think "How can I do ministry in this situation?"  Perhaps if I stopped complaining long enough I'd find out.

This is a hard time for me but I'm still very blessed.  I'm writing this in the peace and safety of my family's home.  That I can read and write is a blessing.  Millions of women cannot.  I have access to a computer and the Internet.  Many Americans don't have that.  These blessings are in addition to the ones listed when I wrote about making breakfast.

So today I will be grateful.  I will give thanks for what I have and truly pray for the one's who do not have.

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