THE PRESENCE OF GRATITUDE!
In keeping suit with the old me, I love attending meetings, however, my reasons are completely 100% different. I spent 35 years in the textile industry with 85% of it in some type of leadership position. I actively sought to be the best to attract recognition with at a boy’s. This drove me up the chain of success with companies and because of my upbringing, I was willing to share industrial procedures and processes that I developed. which gave me a good standing with other leaders in the community and led to active relationships with many of them. I was told early in my career by my business mentor, not to stay too long at any one place, because over time you would not be able to meet their expectations and would not be appreciated for your accomplishments. Most companies have a very short memory when it comes to the red versus black bottom line and ridiculously, they look to the achiever to pick up the slack for those weaker departments. Side note; 31 years of that 35 was spent as a full-blown alcoholic and steeped deep in the undesirable things of this world. I got caught in the spiral of stop, rest, and repeat.
Please don’t get me wrong, I am not bragging, I’m setting the stage of my life. It is from this word forward that my bragging starts. You see June 12, 1992, I was at the end of my end But God said it did not have to be. Now I’m bragging big time! 22 days from the publication of this article I will through the grace of God have a balanced scale which means I was an active alcoholic for 31 years and on June 12, 2023, I will be alcohol-free for 31 years. The balance beam is level with time but the rewards of the past 31 years outweigh the misery and agony with immeasurable numbers. This stimulates everything within me to gratitude for God and belief He is faithful to complete the good work He has begun in me, as it is written in Philippians 1:6 (ESV), And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
As usual, I was in a meeting when God gave me this thought on gratitude and His desire for how I use it. First here is the thought; I would much rather wake up in the mornings filled with gratitude and praise for the challenges we’ll face today; then go to bed at night filled with regrets and apologies for missed opportunities because I wasn’t in tune with Him. I usually turn to my go-to scripture for encouragement and consistency, Colossians 2:6-7 (ESV), 6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. I live in a constant state of comparison between then and now, misery and joy, love and hate, and the ultimate, without and with Jesus. Never again do I want to be without Him, he has and is doing everything that He promised! Looking at the then and now, I can only feel gratitude!
The greatest incentive I have found to date to remain strong, faithful, and dependent on Jesus is to live in a constant state of gratitude. When I am grateful, I feel Psalm 28:7 (ESV), 7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. I consider this to be my preparation for the day because I’ve started it off with Jesus and He leads me to put on the whole armor of God described in Ephesians 6:10-20 (ESV). Now that is preventive measures! A heart full of gratitude protected by the full armor of God ready to serve the creator of everything. And we have better than the good news, we have great news, and things will get better than this the day we join Jesus at God’s right hand! “I love, loving God!” Psalm 150:6 (ESV), Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!
Father, I pray that every reader would receive whatever you have for them in this writing. I also ask that we all get a grip on 1 Peter 1:13 (ESV), 13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. It’s all about you Lord! It’s all about you!! Amen
HAVE A BLESSED WEEK BY BEING A BLESSING TO OTHERS!