"When I'm worried and I can't sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep
And I fall asleep counting my blessings
When my bankroll is getting smallI think of when I had none at all
And I fall asleep counting my blessings."
Cole Porter had it right. We can't worry, we have to count our blessings. In a way -- though I'm not sure of Mr. Porter's spiritual beliefs -- he wrote a song out of Philippians 4.
Paul, the apostle, wrote, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving in your heart, let your request be made know to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you."
Isn't that amazing? God, the Father, guards our hearts and minds with peace. It surpasses all "comprehension." Meaning, we can't understand it but boy howdy, we can go for it!
Porter to put music, "think on these things..."
There is no except to the rule. We can all live out what Paul is admonishing us to do. We just have to take our thoughts, and our emotions, captive.
This has been an amazing year for Tony and me. We started off the year just asking God to make His will for us known. We talked a lot about what was, what is, and what is to come in regards to our lives and ministry. His career. My career.
Then in March, God began to move. And speak. Things we'd said to each other were repeated back to us by a man of God. I knew then, "God listens," and I'll tell you, it put a holy fear in my bones.
A prayer I whispered at my dining room table was answered within four days when friends of our came to us with an amazing offer to by their house. We've been so blessed by this place it is starting to be a part of my DNA how good and great God is.
The house was really an answer to our prayer about finances. A crazy, wild, totally God answer. I would have never imagined a new home with a cool office as His answer to our financial prayer.
Toward the summer, I began to seek God about my writing. Go on, stop, hold the line? He began to open doors and present opportunities.
It's not all perfect. Church offerings fell off during the fall and all the pastors missed a few paychecks. Our washer broke. Had to get a new one. Tony ended up teaching one less class this year, so his salary was reduced.
With the new place, some of our living expenses went up a bit. Yet we've lacked for nothing! We have more than we need. And shoot, a good bit of what we want. How amazing is God?
I count my blessings. This Christmas, I want to be about gratitude, thankfulness, reflecting on my mighty, mighty God who loves me. And He loves you.
That's what Christmas is at the core: God becoming man because He loves us.