Gratitude seems to be one of those things that should come naturally. But, actually, it doesn’t. What comes naturally is jealousy, greed, envy, self-pity, and resentment. God offers us forgiveness, companionship, grace, what we need to eat, beauty, strength, and Himself – and yet without the discipline of gratitude, all we’ll see is what others are and have – and what we aren’t and what we don’t have. Unchecked over time, we’ll end up in a deep abyss of self-pity. And if we don’t climb out… we’ll miss the goodness of God. We’ll miss the life He has promised to those who trust in Him. So let’s start climbing – together!

HUMILITY: Serving Others as Jesus Would

Everyone would like to be truly great. In our world system, greatness is determined by what people think about you, what the media says about you, about your accomplishments, power, and wealth – and, to be honest, what you think of you! True greatness, though, is defined very differently by God – and Jesus, the greatest man who ever lived – lived it. And it goes back to the fact that “Even though He was God, He did not demand and cling to His rights as God. Instead, He humbled himself and took on the form of a servant. And that fits, He said that He did not come to BE served, but to SERVE and give His life as a ransom. What keeps us from serving and growing in humility is… ta da, our pride. And it’s a fact, based on research, that the greatest leaders and best leaders are humble. They learn that serving actually builds our souls. In our world system, people will sacrifice and sometimes serve – if it gives them what they want – i.e., money, growth in market share, and the aura of success. What grows us up and makes us great – is a willingness to serve others when it doesn’t benefit us – but what God is doing in them. We have all – no exceptions – been called to serve, given the power and gifts to do it. Servanthood creates great souls!

GIVING. Breaking the Back of Greed & Selfishness

Here’s something we all know; reading and talking are a lot easier than giving! In fact, when someone asks you to give, that may end the conversation. And yet… aren’t you glad that when you ask God for money, that doesn’t end the conversation with Him? Think about it; if we ask Him for money and things and favours – and expect Him to respond, doesn’t it seem fair that He should be able to ask us and not have us get weird with Him? Giving is a spiritual discipline. To give – and everyone can – we have to limit what we give to ourselves. It’s the same as with the other parts of your spiritual work-out – if you ignore it, you won’t grow. Our goal is to be more like Jesus – to look like Him, live like Him and love like Him – and that involves generosity. And you and I cannot become generous people without giving. It’s kind of a pre-requisite! See, living with your hands clutched tight around your money and stuff reinforces two of the most deadly diseases of the soul; greed and selfishness. Giving breaks the back of greed and selfishness.You want it to!


If you look up the word, ‘cultivate’ you’d see that in today’s language it means, “to improve or develop by careful attention, training, or study; to devote time and thought to.” The kind of fruit we’re talking about cultivating is love, joy, peace and patience. The Bible tells us to go deeper and discover the life-changing power of the fruit of the Spirit. It won’t happen all at once – it will take time, effort, and lots of prayer. Like, if you planted an apple tree in your backyard, would you expect to be baking a pie that night? Probably not – unless you made a trip to the grocery store. And, like a tree – when you grow by allowing God to change your heart over time, when you give Him permission to pull the weeds and prune the branches, when you intentionally pursue and practice love, joy, peace and patience, you’ll be amazed by the harvest… and how He will change the world through you!


Communication is the Key

When people talk about prayer, the question that often comes up is, “What for? You mean things have gotten that bad?” Now, we would never say that about talking with our friends…or our kids…or our spouse. We know that communication is extremely important. It’s how we get to know people. If you’re planning on a long-term intimate, meaningful relationship with anyone, you have to communicate. Lack of communication always creates misunderstandings. So. Prayer isn’t magic. There are no brownie points in Heaven for how long or how well you pray. God hears every prayer – and the prayers of prayer warriors are not better received! Prayer, at it’s core, is talking with God. And, as you know, conversations involve both talking and listening. If you’re more eloquent – it doesn’t mean you have better conversations. It might just mean that you’re better at soap-boxing or pontificating! So, here’s the deal; if you and God are really good friends, why wouldn’t you want to talk to Him and include Him in every conversation? Talking with God is a discipline that will help you in everything you do!


Seeing Things As They Really Are

Every day, we have people who are quite anxious to tell us how things are, what we ought to be concerned about, what we need to do, what causes we need to support, how we ought to think about our money, our bodies, our work, our children, and our world. You know, what matters and what really doesn’t matter! News, government, social media, friends, teachers, ads – everyone wants to shape the way we think – knowing that it will influence how we spend, how we live, what we do, what we watch – and ultimately – who we are. What is almost completely missing in this – is God’s perspective – that it, the bigger picture, what He’s up to in our world, in others, and in who we are and who we were intended to be – and, especially, Who He is! See, the Word of God is powerful! It’s sharp and incisive; it explores the parts of our lives that no one sees. It brings hope and reality and comfort to the darkness and confusion. There’s only one way to receive this perspective and adjust your life around it, and that’s to develop the discipline of reading it; thinking about it; hiding it in your soul – letting it wash your mind and expose the untruths that lodge there and pull us off on detours.