Thankful Thursdays

Family and friends, like in a blink of an eye, once again, our frijoles, yuca y lechón will adorn our tables on Noche Buena and, hopefully, this year more of us will be surrounded by those we love, accompanied by the spirit of those we miss.

This gathering season comes courtesy of a Savior. Let’s not forget it is He we celebrate, and that it is thanks to Him we can. And for that, I am thankful.

From our home to yours, may the presence and love of Christ always fill your hearts, and may your Christmas be wrapped with peace, health and happiness.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“God grant you the light in Christmas, which is faith;
the warmth of Christmas, which is love;
the radiance of Christmas, which is purity;
the righteousness of Christmas, which is justice;
the belief in Christmas, which is truth;
the all of Christmas, which is Christ.”
-Wilda English

“The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.”
-B. Hillis

Thankful Thursdays

While we awoke all cozied up in our beds this morning, hundreds of less fortunate people woke up today displaced and without their loved ones. They had their lives ripped apart in just moments last weekend by a number of tornadoes.

If the images on TV are grueling to watch, I can’t even imagine what it’s like on the ground there. Our hearts go out to them and to the first responders coming to their aid. Once again, disaster strikes and, once again, a lot of good people respond. God bless them.

Today, we pray for so many who have lost so much. 🙏  What am I thankful for? Me and my loved ones waking up in our cozy beds. Yup.

And you? Wha are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quire.

“Take time daily to reflect on how much you have. It may not be all that you want but remember someone somewhere is dreaming to have what you have.”
-G. Kent

Thankful Thursdays

They say that experience is worth its weight in gold…or Bitcoin, or NFTs…or currently, possibly even Gatorade, take your pick. Occasionally, it is gained via positive events that happen in our lives but, most of it, as you know, comes via a big hit and after a lot of kicking and screaming on our part.

Once the initial shock, tachycardia and pain of the newly acquired knowledge has passed, we are able to see what we have learned from it and how it has made us more resilient. What doesn’t break us makes us stronger. You know. Plus, as my mother used to say, “Dios aprieta pero no ahoga,” God squeezes but does not suffocate. We must trust that He will get us through those teaching moments.

I believe I have banked a considerable amount of experience in my life so far. Not much of it was gained voluntarily, I can tell you that. I kicked and screamed my way through most of it. But I am better for it, and richer. Enough to pass on that wealth to my kids. For that, and especially for that, I am so thankful.

Kiddos reading this post: pay close attention to those teaching moments and learn the lessons, because us older folks won’t be around forever to share our wealth of experience and wisdom.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God . . . and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven.”
-O.F. Whitney

“Do you know the difference between education and experience? Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don’t.”
-P. Seeger

“I walked a mile with Pleasure;
She chatted all the way;
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.
I walked a mile with Sorrow;
And ne’er a word said she;
But, oh! The things I learned from her,
When Sorrow walked with me.”
R. B. Hamilton

Thankful Thursdays

The saying goes that people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Nothing truer than that. The “reason” ones are the ones who really leave me scratching my head.

The hospice nurse. She checked on me each night I spent at the hospital with Dad during his last days on earth. She talked to me about the book of Job and how to cope when bad things happen to good people. She was in my life only those days and just for that. To bring me acceptance those difficult nights 33 years ago.

The former co-workers. One day out of the blue, one called me to refer me to a job where I stayed 15 years, and where I met the other former co-worker who connected me to my current job of 18 years. Don’t ask me where either one of them is now.

The realtor neighbor.  I ran into her one day long after she had moved away, and she offered to sell Mom’s house and help me find her an apartment, all in the nick of time.

The nightmare caregiver. She lasted only two weeks, but connected me to the angel caregiver who stayed until Mom’s last breath.

There have been so many of these “reason” people in my life. Each of them exiting my life immediately or shortly after they served God’s purpose, never to be seen or heard from again. So far. For them, I am so thankful.

What about you? Who are the “reason” people in your life? And what are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

”Your love, Jesus, is an ocean
with no shore to bound it.
And if I plunge into it, I carry
with me all the possessions
I have. You know, Lord,
what these possessions are —
the souls you have seen
fit to link with mine.”
-St. Therese of Lisieux

“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.”
-Job 42:2


Thankful Thursdays

Happy Thanksgiving, friends and family! We are always grateful, but today we emphasize that gratitude. Regardless of our current circumstances, we thank the Lord for that which really makes us blessed. For we know that when all else fades, faith, hope and love remain (1 Corinthians 13:13).

Wishing all of you a very healthy, happy and blessed Thanksgiving.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

For flowers that bloom about our feet,
Father, we thank Thee.

For tender grass so fresh, so sweet,
Father, we thank Thee.
For the song of bird and hum of bee,
for all things fair we hear or see,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee.

For blue of stream and blue of sky,
Father, we thank Thee.
For pleasant shade of branches high,
Father, we thank Thee.
For fragrant air and cooling breeze,
for beauty of the blooming trees,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee.

For this new morning with its light,
Father, we thank Thee.
For rest and shelter of the night,
Father, we thank Thee
For health and food, for love and friends,
for everything Thy goodness sends,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.”

Thankful Thursdays

So many humans to keep track of. Exactly how does He do it? How many people out there are praying to God? How many prayers does He hear louder than mine? None. Because while I do believe many merit more attention than mine, I also believe mine do not go unnoticed.

So I tell you confidently: PRAY. It’ll cost you nothing (it’s about the only thing inflation hasn’t hit). Pray to your heart’s needs, desires and content, and leave the timing, answers and outcome to Him. After all, sometimes an unanswered prayer is the biggest blessing of all. Let’s place our trust in God and call it a day, folks.

For Your divine omnipresence, Lord, I am thankful. How ‘bout you guys? And what else are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Almost certainly God is not in Time. His life does not consist of moments following one another. If a million people are praying to Him at ten-thirty tonight, He need not listen to them all in that one little snippet which we call ten-thirty. Ten-thirty—and every other moment from the beginning of the world—is always the Present for Him.”
-C.S. Lewis

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks, it will be opened.”
-Matthew 7:7-8

Taken at Crater Lake Nat. Park, Oregon , July 1, 2011 (CCPerez) [can you spot the watermark?]

Thankful Thursdays

Hello, and a great Thankful Thursday morning to you all.  Now, repeat after me:

“For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.”

There, feeling grateful yet?…Good.  I am.

Also, today I would like to say a big Thank You to all the veterans, living and deceased, for their service and sacrifices so that we can live in a free country. God bless. 🇺🇸 

What else are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Perhaps it takes a purer faith to praise God for unrealized blessings than for those we once enjoyed or those we enjoy now.”
-A.W. Tozer

Naples, December 27, 2020

Thankful Thursdays

We must work on being better.  Here’s how to kick-start that:

“If you begin the day with love in your heart, peace in your nerves, and truth in your mind, you not only benefit by their presence but also bring them to others, to your family and friends, and to all those whose destiny draws across your path that day.”
– Unknown

For every morning I can pull off the above (and keep it going through the day), I thank God.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“One must not always think so much about what one should do, but rather what one should be. Our works do not ennoble us; but we must ennoble our works.” 
-Meister Eckhart

“Be or Be, That is the Answer.”
-B. Moya

Naples Beach, September 5, 2021

Thankful Thursdays

And so the story goes…

There was a young woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. So as she was getting her things in order, she contacted her pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes.

She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, which scriptures she would like read, and which outfit she wanted to be buried in. Everything was in order and the pastor was preparing to leave when the young woman suddenly remembered something very important to her.

“There’s one more thing,” she said excitedly.

“What’s that?” came the pastor’s reply.

“This is very important,” the young woman continued. “I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand.”

The pastor stood looking at the young woman, not knowing quite what to say.

“That surprises you, doesn’t it?” the young woman asked.

“Well, to be honest, I’m puzzled by the request,” said the pastor.

The young woman explained. “My grandmother once told me this story, and from that time on, I have always tried to pass along its message to those I love and those who are in need of encouragement. In all my years of attending socials and dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, ‘Keep your fork.’ It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming…like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance!”

So, I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder “What’s with the fork?” Then I want you to tell them: “Keep your fork…the best is yet to come.”

The pastor’s eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the young woman goodbye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the young woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did. She had a better grasp of what heaven would be like than many people twice her age, with twice as much experience and knowledge. She knew that something better was coming.

At the funeral, people were walking by the young woman’s casket, and they saw the cloak she was wearing and the fork placed in her right hand. Over and over, the pastor heard the question, “What’s with the fork?” And over and over he smiled.

During his message, the pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the young woman shortly before she died, and about what the fork symbolized to her. He told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it, either.

Neither have I, actually. I discovered and read this story to my Sunday school students many years ago, and it stayed with me. I hope it stays with you, too, and that the next time you reach for your fork, you let it remind you, ever so gently, that the best is yet to come.

“And everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
-John 11:26

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

Thankful Thursdays

We must never be discouraged by the downs in life. They come and go. Seasons don’t last forever, and there’s a reason why God made it that way. I, like you, don’t like the low periods, but I am thankful they are transient.

Let’s keep the faith and stay hopeful, especially through the dark days, for the light is sure to come. God is good, my friends…all the time.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Do not let the empty cup be your first teacher of the blessings you had when it was full.  Do not let a bard place here and there in the bed destroy your rest.  Seek, as a plain duty, to cultivate a buoyant, joyous sense of the crowded kindnesses of God in your daily life.”
-A. Maclaren

“The sun will set and the sun will rise, and it will shine upon us tomorrow in our grief and our gratitude, and we will continue to live with purpose, memory, passion, and love.”
-Brent Schlender

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”
-Robert Frost

       Life is a rollercoaster. Try to eat  a light lunch.”