A Daily Morsel of Gratitude

November 28, 2013

Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA

Thanksgiving Day – Year C RCL

Deuteronomy 26:1-11, Psalm 100, 18-21, Philippians 4:4-9, John 6:25-35

Happy Thanksgiving!

Our national holiday for food and football…
fried turkeys, friends and family! (not necessarily in that order)

And if we take a moment amid the rolls and gravy, it’s a day that invites each of us to reflect upon what we are thankful for.

As I thought about this, the work of Brené Brown came to mind. She’s a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. Some of you may have seen her TED Talks on you tube – I was fortunate to get to meet her and hear her speak at a symposium last February. Her research for the past 12 years has studied shame and vulnerability and out of that work, she has discovered ways people bring about joy in their lives.

In a video interview published last year, she shared insights about the link between joy and gratitude. She was surprised to find in her years of research, that the only people who described their lives as joyful were also those who actively practiced gratitude. She admitted

that in the beginning of her work she thought that she’d find the opposite to be true: “if you are joyful, that you should be grateful.” But it was actually the other way around. She found that “practicing gratitude invites joy into our lives.”


She went on to explain that the practice of gratitude isn’t just feeling grateful, or having “an attitude of gratitude.” It’s having an intentional and tangible gratitude practice. Some people keep a gratitude journal, while others might pick a time each day to say out loud something they are grateful for.

For her family, each night at the dinner table, after saying grace, they go around the table and share something that they are grateful for. I’m guessing this may be a fairly common around dinner tables today – a day set aside for giving thanks – but to make it a daily practice, that’s a different story. Read the rest of this entry »

Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA

Proper 25 – Year C RCL

Haggai 1:15b-2:9, Psalm 145:1-5, 18-21, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17, 16-18, Luke 20:27-38

This may be a bit unorthodox, but I have a confession to make to you today. For the past couple of months, something has changed in my life, and I want to get it out into the open, so here goes…

I’ve started listening to contemporary Christian music. I know… it’s a shock…

It all began quite innocently, really – shortly after I bought my new car in late August. You see, like most new cars these days, mine came with a trial subscription to Sirius XM radio. As I was flipping through the stations to program my favorite Country, Pop, and NPR stations, I came across Channel 63… The Message.

Although I’ve listened to Christian music from time to time over the years, it hasn’t been a main-stay of my music selection… but for some reason, a few weeks ago, I decided to save the station on one of the programmed buttons… just as a fall-back if nothing else worth listening to came on. Or at least that’s what I told myself.

Little did I know how much time I would spend listening to this Christian music. It caught me off-guard to find it to be so upbeat; so positive; so inspiring… so it kept drawing me back in.

Before I knew it, I was downloading Christian music to my iPad…

I’ve even been listening to it while I’m at work…

And, I really knew it was getting out of hand when I realized how it had permeated my subconscious. Read the rest of this entry »

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