Before the Giving of Thanks…A Blessing

Another beautiful photo by Patrick Latter // hikingphoto.com

With tomorrow being a day for the ‘Giving of Thanks’, today felt like a “Blessing” kinda day.  A time to Bless and be Blessed.  So here ya go . . .

I’m usually not a big fan of The Message, but I love the way Pastor Peterson paraphrases the beatitudes:

You’re Blessed

1-2 When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:

“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.

“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.

“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.

“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.

10 “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.

11-12 “Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.

And the Amplified version defines “Blessed” amongst the beatitudes as:

Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction, possessing the happiness produced by the experience of God’s favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His grace and salvation—regardless of their outward conditions).

So have a Blessed, safe and happy holiday season.  Eat way too much; sleep lots; and overindulge on football and parades.  May all the games be close (but no upsets).  May there be no arguments; fighting; stomach-aches; ulcers; or 7-float pileups in front of Macy’s.  In other words, “Be Blessed and Bless”.  Have a great rest of the week!

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