Last night in downtown Cincinnati, I witnessed something I had never seen before... and I don't know that I will ever see it again. It was the invasion of Santa Clauses. Did you notice the plural? Yep, there were Santa Clauses everywhere... roaming the streets, in the restaurant we ate at. And these Santas were in full blown outfits... not just a t-shirt and a hat. Oh no, they were decked out in the complete Santa garb... red suit, hat, some even with beards. And the Santas were not without helpers. Elves were out in full force too. It was fun to watch. And I just had to get a picture so you could experience the Santa invasion too. I'm the only one NOT dressed like Santa and his helpers in the picture... and no, I don't know any of these people either.
While Santa lives in the North Pole, I was able to get glimpses of him last night. Santa was everywhere. And even if you don't believe in Santa, you couldn't deny that there were Santas out last night.
It kinda reminds me of Hebrews 11:27 from Day 37: By faith, he left Egypt, not fearing the king's anger; he persevered because he saw Him who is invisible. This verse is talking about Moses' amazing faith in God, even while Pharaoh was trying to kill him. On day 37, I posed a question... I wonder if Moses was a thankful guy and if that helped him while he fled to the desert?
I love how God provides answers. I was reading a book on Saturday and ran across a verse that not only gave me more insight into God's invisible qualities, but also hit on thankfulness too. Let's check out the verses and see what we can learn.
For since the creation of the world, God's invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Romans 1:20-21
It's pretty cool that the Bible explains how Moses was able to see God who was invisible. He could see God because "The Heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands." (Psalm 19:1) God reveals Himself through creation, through changed lives, through answered prayer... and our faith grows stronger as we catch glimpses of Him throughout our day, much like I caught glimpses of Santa all over the place on Saturday night.
My next thought regarding these verses is Ouch! Did you catch what verse 21 said about thankfulness? Let's read it again: For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
This verse tells us what happens when we don't choose thankfulness. Our thinking becomes futile and our hearts become darkened. Yikes! I'm slowly learning that the benefits of thanksgiving go far beyond our lists. Thanksgiving has the power to change our hearts.
I have to confess that today, I did not wear thanksgiving like my favorite outfit (see Day 36). And ironically enough, I had plenty to be thankful for AND I even wore my favorite outfit. A few circumstances, combined with being tired, led to a lack of thanksgiving on my part. And I must admit that my heart was more dark than light today. How can I tell? Because earlier this week, when I did choose thanksgiving, I was more joyful and handled my circumstances with a much more positive outlook. I love how the Bible helps me understand that my lack of thanksgiving impacts my heart. Romans 1:21 is now my memory verse for this week.
The Bible sure has a lot to say about thanksgiving. And I'm so glad that God teaches us not only about the benefits of choosing thankfulness, but also the costs of not being thankful. I can't wait to see what else God will teach us over the next 27 days!
Tonight, I am thankful for...
1. Sleeping in
2. Yummy brunch with my hubby at a revolving restaurant
3. Fresh fruit
4. Made to order omelet created by the Omelet Master
5. The boys having so much fun with Oma and their uncle
6. Nap in the car
7. Walking into my clean house and it smelling like Christmas
8. Boys putting up our outside Christmas decorations with their daddy
9. Learning more about thanksgiving through Romans 1:20-21
10. My God Who forgives
11. Nothing can separate me from God's love
12. Watching Prep and Landing with the boys
13. Getting spontaneous snuggles while watching TV - warms my heart!
14. Writing in my journal
15. That I can be honest with God
Here's to 10,000 reasons... Only 5,847 to go...