Tag Archives: Eucharisteo

Listing All The Gifts That God Gives

18 Oct

Three weeks ago I started a small group study referencing Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts. Through this study we are learning what true gratitude is, and how to make eucharisteo a practical, daily word in our lives. Today’s post is from something I wrote a few years ago, when first introduced to the challenge of listing all the gifts that God gives.

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Eucharisteo

Jan and I made some vegan chocolate chip cooki...

Image via Wikipedia

EucharisteoGreek.  yoo-khar-is-teh’-o. Verb. Definition: 1.To be grateful, to feel thankful. 2. Give thanks

In chapter two of One Thousand Gifts, Ann talks about eucharisteo. Eucharisteo is the key word. The meaning behind it, the challenge of this entire book.

To Give Thanks.

(pg. 30)”On this page Ann asks herself if she needs to see the world, visit the exquisite, before she faces eternity? Or isn’t it here? Can’t I find it here? (31) Isn’t it here? The wonder? Why do I spend so much of my living hours struggling to see it?”

This is so true for me. It is easy for me to skim over the very real miracles of today, not seeing them. Blinded by the busyness of life, thinking I need to do something more. Something big. Something significant. Before I am witness to the incredible.Could it really be something as simple as giving thanks? Being grateful for what I have? Even if it is a simple thing…The simple things become the big things, if they are appreciated. If I remember to offer thanks for them.

(pg. 37) “What precedes the miracle is thanksgiving, eucharisteo, and it is a Greek word with a hard meaning that is harder yet to live. Do I really want to take up this word?”

Should I really take up the challenge of gratitude? Will it change me? Will my eyes begin to see the ways that God is saying “yes” to me, on a daily basis? Certainly it is true that God acts in big ways, when He chooses. But, isn’t it just as true that God acts in small ways? The small things that touch us in the grind of the every day? Shouldn’t I be as appreciative for the beauty in the quiet stillness of freshly fallen snow, as I am for the healing of a loved one? Shouldn’t I thank Him for hugs from children that he has blessed me with? As much as I see him in the faces of the forgiven? Shouldn’t the smell of freshly laundered towels be as heady to me as the view from a mountain top?

Isn’t God big enough to have everything under control? But small enough to to have communion with me as I thank him for the warm chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven? Why does my eucharisteo have to be small? Or only for certain things? Can I not thank God for ALL he does? All the ways he blesses? Even when I don’t understand? Even when things don’t go “my way”. Can I not thank him for being in control–even when I’m so out of control? For being sovereign when I can’t even see a second into my own future?

And with that…the Father of Lies whispers in my ear. He spits out the word eucharisteo. A whisper of irritation. A scratch of ungratefulness. “You don’t need eucharisteo. It’s useless. God isn’t listening.” And I am taken back to the garden. In the beginning he convinced Adam and Eve that ungratefulness was normal. That it was okay. That what God gave them wasn’t good enough…and with that they sunk their teeth into that glorious fruit. The same fruit that turned bitter and rotten in their mouths. Communion with God was fractured, and the ungratefulness started to fester. It has been that way ever since.

And yet…

I want to take the challenge….the dare….to give thanks. To live eucharisteo. To see with my own eyes the difference it makes.

The Notebook

9 Apr

The notebook is worn. The pages wrinkled and stained.

A permanent ink marker featuring a chisel tip....

Eucharisteo is written in black permanent marker across the front of the book.

A book of thanks…for all the moments. All the moments, that truly are gifts.

Little things. Simple things. Big things. Life changing moments.

The first words written…

1. healing 2. family bonds 3. hugs 4. a much needed massage 5. Lonnie 6. warm cookies 7. funny jokes 8. warm blankets 9. quiet evenings 10. walking the dogs 11. reading a good book 12. love 13. my friends 14. a hot drink of coffee 15. crazy quotes 16. laughter 17. cozy socks 18. soft light 19. a warm shower 20. inspiration

The list continued throughout the year…trying to capture the beauty in each day. The climb to one thousand things. The gifts that God gave me. The gifts He continues to give. The more I wrote, the more I saw.

The thanksgiving never ends, because the Giver always gives.

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7:11 NIV

The roar of the wind, the snow globe world, the whistle of a train, phone calls from friends. Early morning sunrises of purple and pink, bright sunshine, and blog comments. Scripture that assures me, having a purpose, clean kitchen counters, and a casserole in the oven that smells so good.

Each moment captured with the pen…so I remember.

I want to be reminded, so on days that are gray and unclear…I will know that the Giver still gives. He has not forgotten me. When times are hard (and those times always come!) I will be reminded of His love for me and it will be (is) with my thanksgiving, that I show Him my love.

That my legacy will stand firm. That future generations will read and know, that God is good. Always good.

And, always the Giver… of life.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17  NIV

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The list continues today:

* having a good hair day

* leftovers in the fridge

* dandelions that color the front yard

* a chicken coop almost done

* being able to touch student’s lives

* a favorite, well worn pair of sweat pants

* beautiful, goofy pictures

* Easter morning

* The Resurrection

Sometimes Monday Mornings Are Good…

5 Dec

The day started out cold and wet.

The gray rain clouds hung low in the sky, as I peered out the kitchen window.

I pulled my bathrobe closer around me.

The smell of hot cocoa simmering in the crock pot along with cinnamon buns in the oven floated through the air.

Sometimes, Monday mornings are good……

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Today I am thankful for:

*a yummy breakfast

*feeling safe

*wonderful people that I’ve had in my life

*warm memories

*knowing love

*belly laughs

*the way my husband’s hair curls at the nape of his neck

*practicing lines for a Christmas monologue

*the Christmas tree with twinkling lights

*knowing that the long awaited Messiah…CAME.

AND KNOWING BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT

*Nothing is impossible with God

“For nothing is impossible with God.” Luke 1:37  NIV

Not Waiting For Sunday…

8 Aug
Tim Hortons in Ottawa, ON, Canada

Image via Wikipedia

Always comparing.

Searching for the more, but wanting contentment.

Se-sawing between holding back and living the “yes”.

The ongoing tug-0-war between my will and His perfect one.

I am weary.

I inhale deeply.

My inner voice is irritated. It scratches into my thoughts.

It scans over all that is, acutely aware of all that is not.

Discontent.

The enemy of eucharisteo.

Showing gratitude

changes attitude.

I continue to seek the words of thanksgiving,

knowing that there is joy in eucharisteo.

Joy that comes from worshiping God in the moment.

Praising Him in the here and now.

Not waiting for Sunday, but allowing the Holy into each day.

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*a date with my husband

*ice mocha capps from Tim Hortons

*laughing out loud

*stepping out of my comfort zone

*long back rub from my daughter

*morning hugs

*son talking about his journey

*coffee cake

*foggy sunshine

*sudden summer storms

*beautiful decoration

*brilliant yellow bird at the bird feeder

*realizing so much has changed for the better

*opening the gift of a new day

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Thanking the One who gives all good things…

Weathering Life

25 Jul
Lightning

The morning sun pours in through the windows and puddles golden on the floor. It is a bright morning following a stormy night. The lightness is in direct contrast to the steel gray of last night’s weather. I think that life, in general, is a lot like the weather.

*we can try and plan outdoor activities, schedule things on the calendar….but, sometimes it rains and plans change.

*storms are unpredictable, and sometimes scary….but, they don’t last forever.

*as much as we enjoy the sunshine, we need the rain. Rain helps things to grow.

*sun is important and our body needs it for good health and for our moods, but too much sunshine and we get hurt.

*Sunshine and rain are both important in nature…and in life.

Enjoy the sunny times of life, appreciate them. Embrace them. Remember them.

But, also remember that every life is going to have rain…need rain. Learn to weather the storms. Hang on tight. Ride them out.

Both sunshine and rain help you to grow.

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-thank you God, for the sunshine and the rain

-puddles of sunlight

-doggie licks

-the smell of coffee

-holding hands

-good morning hugs

-friendship

-good ideas

-comfy pajamas

-a fresh start to a new week

Keeping The Faith -Part 2

21 Jul
A new notebook and pen

Image by paulcapewell via Flickr

Here’s the topic:

How is God challenging you to keep faith fresh?

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Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Philippians 4:8  NIV

The everyday is difficult. Chaos reigns. Bad things happen to good people, and good things happen to bad people. It doesn’t make sense. Life is hard for everyone. It is easy to complain about all that isn’t.

I was heading into the hard, dark winter months when I read about a book called One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. I’ve blogged about her book before and have given it rave reviews. The truth is that book helped change my perspective. I’m not perfect, never was, but this book caused me to look to the One that is…and always has been perfect. I believe God used the words of this humble woman, to draw me back to Himself.

How can I be thankful in the everyday? How can I look at moments in life and appreciate them for what they are? Not needing the excitement of the world, but the calm assurance that I already have all I will ever need, in Him.

I have been on a journey of “eucharisteo” for the past six months. A journey that has encouraged me to look at each day with my eyes wide open, in order to see all the things that God has blessed me with. It has given me a vision for the things that are true, pure, lovely and admirable, and through that, it has given me a clearer vision of God and His Son, Jesus Christ.

Don’t get me wrong, focusing on the good is not easy. I wish it was. I struggle on some days more than others. Why is it easier to keep a mental list of the day’s problems and complaints than it is to choose to focus on the times that give us a glimpse of what Heaven will be like?

In the meantime, I journey on. I thank God for all that is good. All the moments that matter. All the things that He has so richly blessed me with. With each of the “thank you’s” I draw closer to Him.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  James 1:17  NIV

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FaithBarista_FreshJamBadgeG

He Made The Blind To See

6 Jun
My eye

20/20 vision doesn’t always mean perfect sight

I know this from experience…

So many days,

more days than I even care to admit…

I choose to walk, blind.

Macular degeneration

can turn into soul disintegration.

How many times do I

choose to walk through my days,

with eyes that see,

but with a heart that doesn’t?

How many times do I purposely choose

to live in the shadows?

When there is joy all around me?

When the news of the day, or the difficulty of the moments

threaten to wipe out my vision

I cling to the ONLY ONE who can give me sight…

He gives me the ability to see that which truly matters.

 “Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.”

  Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him. 

Matthew 20:33-34 NIV

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* sunny days in early summer

* remembering

*second chances

* driving back roads

* summer schedule

* evenings on the front porch

* knowing God is in control

* cool morning breezes after oppressive heat

* the name “Mama”

* my husband wanting us to be together

* enjoying each others company

* friendship

* farmers able to plant after a long, wet waiting period

* tractors with headlights in the night

* humming bird at the feeder

* flag blowing in the breeze

* bare feet

* a God that brings hope to the hopeless…

  and Jesus who gives sight to the blind

 

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Will you take a moment to share what you see?

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