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April 8 - Gratitude

Mark: Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”

As I reflect on the message from Mark, I am reminded of a class I took on mindfulness and awareness. We did much meditation and learned how good it was to meditate, how it calmed the hypothalamus which can oftentimes get out of whack with stress.

The class culminated with a day of silence. Many came from previous classes and it was a day of meditation, walking and seated. We brought lunch and ate in silence. I noticed many left for lunch, but there were several who stayed behind.

I sat in silence and ate my peanut butter and jelly sandwich when tears of gratitude began falling down my face. It felt like the first time I had ever eaten a sandwich. It tasted amazing. I was overcome with gratitude. I found myself sending silent prayers of thanks for all those who contributed to my sandwich; the plant workers who made the peanut butter, the vine that grew the berries for the jam, the bakers who baked the bread, the people who planted and harvested the wheat for the bread for the sandwich, and on it went.

I became grateful for the seed that fell on good soil, where it brought forth grain, growing and increasing.

Recently, I learned that the words silent and listen are the same letters only in a different order. I love when that happens. These days, it's hard to find silent time to reflect, and listen, but the reward of doing so is exponential and profound.

To this day, I recall how loved, supported, and nourished I felt because it was there that I found, in the midst of a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich, gratitude. I was silent and listened and was led to gratitude and intense love, beyond all understanding.

May we find a moment of time in these coming days leading to Easter, time to be silent and listen. Let us be truly grateful for ALL of our many blessings.

April 8

Matthew: Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor;

Mark: Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”

Luke: Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.’”

John: (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.)

Acts: Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders,

Romans: blessed is the one against whom the Lord will not reckon sin.”

1 Corinthians: Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! Quite apart from us you have become kings! Indeed, I wish that you had become kings, so that we might be kings with you!

2 Corinthians: We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;

Galatians: Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to beings that by nature are not gods.

Ephesians: Therefore it is said, “When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive; he gave gifts to his people.”

Philippians: Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Colossians: I have sent him to you for this very purpose, so that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts;

1 Thessalonians: Therefore whoever rejects this rejects not human authority but God, who also gives his Holy Spirit to you.

1 Timothy: for, while physical training is of some value, godliness is valuable in every way, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

2 Timothy: From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Hebrews: For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not speak later about another day.

James: Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

1 Peter: Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins.

1 John: Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.

Revelation: And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and inside. Day and night without ceasing they sing, “Holy, holy, holy, the Lord God the Almighty, who was and is and is to come.”

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