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Counting...

Shabby In The City sent this to me the other day. It's from crosswalk.com and just fit so perfect for Thanksgiving... for me!

In my (part-time) job as a university teacher, I'm frequently reading research. I know, I know ... it sounds as dry as an over-cooked turkey. Sometimes it is but often I find interesting stuff in that scientific prose. For example, this week I read about a study from the University of California that showed just how great it is to be grateful.

The researchers found that grateful people report higher levels of positive emotions, more satisfaction with life, and more vitality and optimism. All good qualities I want more of in my life. They also found grateful people show lower levels of depression and stress - two things I'd like to experience less in my life.

What's more, they found that people who keep journals about gratitude on a weekly basis are healthier. They exercise more regularly, report fewer physical symptoms, and feel better in general than people who journal about neutral or negative life events. That sounds great, and I'll take all the help I can get in the exercise department.

Finally, the research showed that people who daily count their blessings report higher levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, and energy. Wow, the benefits of being grateful are remarkable and many! I guess that shouldn't surprise me after considering today's key verse. The Bible urges us to give thanks ... all the time ... in every situation ... because this practice is the will of God.

Let me be clear, there are terrible things that happen to us that may not be the will of God, but us praising God and giving thanks in spite of them certainly is the will of God. As Christians, we can always find reason to give thanks -- thanks for the salvation of Christ, the nearness of God, and the counsel of His Spirit for starters. The psalmist declared, "I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High" (Psalm 7:17, NIV). We can do that too.

Christian poet John Milton once wrote about every grey cloud having a silver lining. Purposing to give thanks, no matter the weather, will train us to look for it. Continuing in this manner day after day ensures that gratefulness will become our normal mode of operation.

No wonder those researchers found that people regularly counting their blessings grow happier, healthier, and more optimistic. After all, that research wasn't discovering anything new, but rather confirming the will and wisdom of God. God already knows how great it is for us to be grateful. Now "science" does too. -crosswalk.com

11 comments:

  1. Happy Thanksgiving Polly! We have so much to be thankful for, and I believe God blesses those who are thankful for what He gives them:>)

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  2. Just wondering..... what is "black Friday"..... not heard of it.

    Cindy♥

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  3. Very wonderful article! Thanks for sharing! Hope you and yours have a very blessed and happy Thanksgiving Polly!

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  4. Thank you , Polly , for sharing this excellent reminder. I think that being thankful is one of the most important things that we can teach our children. Even in these tough economic times we have So much to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving , Sue

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  5. Awh that is a great message Polly (:) hugs, Patty

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  6. I do have many things to be thankful for, and I am greatful to God for those things. I have a happy family, great kids, wonderful grandkids, a job, a home, and I could go on for hours. Hope you have a great week. Hugs***Renea

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  7. Polly, YOU are a BLESSING that I am thankful for... You inspire us to be BETTER, to know our Lords will in our lives ! THANKFULNESS is a blessing from GOD....

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  8. Nice post! No sales yesterday looks like everyone is out!

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  9. Polly, Hope all's well with you & your family and that you had a very Happy Thanksgiving!
    Hugs & love ~Mary~ :-}

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  10. How beautiful.
    Thank you.
    I couldn't agree more.

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Something worth sharing...
"Blessed are those that can give without remembering and receive without forgetting."
-- Author Unknown

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