Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Ten Lepers – Discovering the Difference

23 Dec

What made the one leper different?

If you’re familiar with the record of Jesus healing the ten lepers, you’re already thinking, “One leper returned to thank Christ for healing him.”

This is true, but there is another distinction.

As Jesus traveled between Samaria and Galilee, ten men with leprosy called to him from a distance, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”

To all of them, Jesus said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” (According to the Mosaic law, the lepers had to remain outside the city a certain number of days and if they appeared clean, go show themselves to the priests for further instruction as to when/how they may reenter the city.)

And as they went, they were cleansed.  

When the one returns, falling at Jesus’s feet with praise and thanks, Jesus says, “Were not all ten cleansed? …..Rise and go; your faith has made you whole”  (see Luke 17:11 – 19, KJV). 

Do you see the other distinction?

Yes, the one leper was different. He alone went to praise and thank God. His heart stood apart from the rest.

The other distinction is what Jesus told him. Whole. Your faith has made you whole.

So what’s the difference between clean and whole?

Could it be a glimpse of this truth–Christ was born to all, Christ died for all, yet only some surrender to praise Him as Lord and become a servant?

Lord, please make me your true servant. Let me not raise my hand to receive what you give me without falling at your feet to praise and serve. This Christmas, may I not celebrate the fact that you came without using my life here to follow.

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Thankful for Beautiful Things

22 Nov
Hair dryers, cosmetics, exercise equipment. . . or at least those great suck-you-in undergarments (sometimes I’m extra grateful for those).  Since November began, I’ve enjoyed reading many wonderful lists of things friends are thankful for. And though most of us use them every day, I’ve not seen a list including things to make us beautiful.
I guess in all practicality, I am thankful for such things. Or maybe it’s a love/hate relationship. They certainly get a lot of attention from me. 
But, today, I’ve listed some truly beautiful things–favorite things–to share with you.
1. The sound of crunching leaves on a brisk morning walk
2. Smiles of a baby when sleeping
3. Belly laughter…you know that real deep kind
4. An elderly couple holding hands
5. The sound and feel of a pencil writing smoothly and quickly on the page 
6. A breeze on your face with sunshine beaming down
7. Knowing God is talking to you and you can hear Him
8. Helping someone just because you can
9. Knowing you are loved with no fear of losing it
10. Your loyal dog following you around just to be close to you
11. Snow falling
12. The silver of ice on bare tree limbs
13. Rocks in the mountain stream and the rippling sound the water makes
14. Fireflies in the night air
15. New friendships
16. An unexpected letter from a friend
17. Forgiveness – both to give and to receive
18.  Bright blue sky
19. Belonging
20. Tall pine trees, red dirt, and blue sky
21. The waterfall at the end of a long hike
22. The anticipation of the waterfall at the end of a long hike
23. The beginning of a trail you’ve never taken
24.  Certainty
25.  Discovery
26. Freedom
27. A singing child when he doesn’t know you’re listening
28. Vastness of the ocean
29. The night sky lit up with the moon and stars
30. Seeing something for the first time with someone you love
31.  Knowing you made a difference
32. Holding a loved one’s hand as they slip into eternity
33. Fall weather after a hot summer
34.  A listening friend
35.  Seeing your child gain confidence
36.  A life lived on purpose 
As I reflect on the list, almost every one of them involves a relationship or part of creation; something I can’t experience without God providing it.
At my house, we have loads of things to be thankful for which are just that: “things.” But the truly beautiful things aren’t “things” at all. 
And here’s the most beautiful thing I’m thankful for:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJM0hFvz_64&feature=related
How many beautiful things can you see? I’d love to read some in the comments.
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