You Gave

All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 4:15 ASB

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.”
John F. Kennedy

This Thanksgiving Lord
I’d like to say, thanks, you gave.
When, as Christians, we try to thank you,
we start with the price you paid.

As with all gifts,
there was a cost for life
and, that eternal.
In our small human way,
we try to understand
why you saved us
from the infernal.

You created us.
You gave us
the freedom to choose.
From the moment we are able
to decide for life,
it’s ours to win or lose.

Our time in this body
is a fraction
of that resurrected.
Thank you
for giving us
the book of life
so we can read
the directions.

© Joel Tipple 11/22/2018

A Grateful Heart

The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly, I will show the salvation of God!
Psalm 50:23 ESV

“There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude, a quiet joy.”
Ralph H. Blum

Take from me everything I own,
but don’t take my grateful heart.
It’s a God-given wellspring,
a supernatural joy thing,
of my countenance the better part.

The choice of thanking God for who He is,
and His attributes so numerous,
takes us to the foot of His throne,
where praise is never onerous.

© Joel Tipple 11/21/2018

The Heart of Thankfulness

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What qualities do you admire most in people? Friendly? Funny? Outgoing? Kind? Intelligent? Certainly I think you’d discover one common denominator would be the quality of thankfulness. While the most miserable people seem best at finding the worst, the happiest ones have a way of tapping into an attitude of gratitude that buoys them even in difficult circumstances and similarly lifts everyone around them. No matter their physical appearance, they somehow manage to be the most beautiful people in the room.

In his first letter’s exhortations to the Thessalonians, chapter five, verses 16 through 18, Paul says to “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Note that he says, “in everything.” The circumstances may be horrible, but an attitude of thankfulness can keep hope, essential as breathing, alive even then.

How can we break out in thanksgiving
even in the middle of mourning, grief and pain?
How can we be there for the living?
If God’s commanded, he’ll surely provide a way
to be thankful.

Lord, maybe I’ve taken leave of my senses,
to be joyful, in a world missing paradise,
but since you’ve given me permission
I’ll swing for the fences,
and be so thankful.

No matter how the earth groans,
no matter whether man
tries to destroy all you’ve given,
I know you’re sovereign, Lord.
No matter how dark the news,
and evil seems to win,
I’ll search for the way…
to remain thankful.

I’ll enter your gates with thanksgiving.
I’ll enter your courts with praise,
for you are good and your love is eternal.
I will not fear what I can’t see in the night,
I won’t fear the dark in the day,
for you remain Lord no matter where or how I am.
For that and so much more I’m thankful.

Lord heap my heart
full of thanksgiving,
Heap it up till it overflows.
Heap it so I can’t keep it to myself,
The whole world has to know.

God’s word helps me to perceive,
we must be illuminators of his love,
justice and hope.
Circumstances will change,
our health may ebb and flow.
The world’s economy might fluctuate,
but that won’t change what I know.
So I’m thankful.

Whether we face plenty or hunger,
abundance or need,
we can do all things
through Christ who strengthens us.
He is our sufficiency
and we are thankful.

Though we’re persecuted, we will not be abandoned;
Though we’re struck down, we will not be destroyed.
we lift our hands and rejoice
because we look toward the one who does not change
and give our offering of thanksgiving.

Lord heap our hearts
full of thanksgiving,
Heap them up till they overflow.
Heap them so we can’t keep it to ourselves,
The whole world has to know.

Take over the places in me
that are not all about you,
like the place that calculates
what’s owed me
and from whom.
If you would, Lord, make it over… Lord, make me over.
You know God, we’re pretty selfish
and we’ve all got our wish lists.
It seems they’ve changed only little
from the days we were kids.
But Lord, among those qualities I value,
grow in my estimation that of gratitude.

Imagine the world like that,
thankfulness,
spreading like a good disease.
I can’t possibly overestimate
what it could mean.
All that taking turning into giving.
Ground zero right here.
That’s a funny thought…
infectious agents for Jesus.
Ha!

Lord, heap our hearts
full of thanksgiving,
Heap them up till they overflow.
Let the good news
from our overflowing grateful hearts
draw those we meet
to your kingdom.
Lord, heap our hearts.

©Joel Tipple
#13/15

it’s not for me

my gift is not for me
not for that empty spot on my trophy shelf
not to keep me company
when i’m lonely

it’s not for holding so tight it’s crushed and ugly
or for hiding in a closet where it gets musty and moldy

it’s for fitting together with all the rest
as though part of a body Lego
forming as one to function
as our God surely knows best

it doesn’t puff out its chest or compare itself
showing the bitter side of pride
it doesn’t waste much time in the mirror
asking its reflection why

the better part of each day it spends
in deepest gratitude
looking forward to each turn of the road
as it winds and wends

© Joel Tipple
#24/14

Our Thanks

Our thanks to God
is simply our part
in the chain of gratitude
that binds our hearts.

This is not a chain that weighs
as a burden would;
It’s a chain of arms and hands
transforming shoulds
to: I do, I am, I give.

Thanks transform.
Thanks cause us to thrive.
Thanks teach us to live,
not merely be alive.

Thanks don’t talk.
Thanks proclaim.
Thanks give credit
and don’t bother with blame.
Lord, please catch us giving thanks
at the beginning
and the ending
of our days.

© Joel Tipple
342

That

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When you see the biggest waterfall
you’ve ever seen, and its size and noise transports you to somewhere amazing…
That.
When you endure discomfort and put forth more effort than you thought you could,
and finish the race, because you said you would…
That.
When the young lady you respect and love says she loves you too
and wants to spend her life with you…
That.
That’s what it is to ask God to please use your gift to make a real impact for Him
and for Him to make that dream come true. It really is
that.

© Joel Tipple
305

A Man

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John Q. Person, have you considered
what it means to be a man,
since the time someone told you
you were one?
Have you just been placing
one foot after the other,
but without a genuine plan, son?

I can tell you a man isn’t passive.
He refuses to trust to luck.
He knows the size of the heart in a man
isn’t measured by the size of his truck.
He knows the best leaders are followers too.
He knows about God’s reward.
He has an almost desperate desire
to find genuine ways to serve.

He knows each man has a talent
unique and given by God.
He strives to find and develop his own gifts
while not chasing after laud.
He never stops learning.
He values laughter
and tears.
He remains forever grateful
and cherishes every year.

© Joel Tipple
302

300

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Taking into account a couple of times when I’ve reblogged someone else’s post on “Write here, Joel” in addition to my own for that day, today marks blog number 300. The official beginning was Jan. 1, but I already had a few things written so I had something of a running start. The daily blogs will continue through the end of December. I have an idea of what will happen at that point, but you’ll have to wait until then to see just what that something will be.

I promised at the beginning that I was going to experiment a lot. True to my word, I’ve tried all sorts of stuff. All kinds of poetry, short stories, jokes, social commentary, devotions. I’ve been all over the place. While we bloggers have access to, and probably watch too closely, the myriad of statistics about what we’re doing, I’ve tried not to be a slave to the numbers. By now I have an idea of what will do well and what won’t. However, I try not to let that drive what goes into this blog. This has been a learning experience and you can’t learn by always playing it safe.

I’ll say it again, but I want to say thank you now to everyone who has taken the time to read and comment. I never take for granted the opportunity to express myself in print and the spoken word. My overriding desire is that God is glorified through my expression in words. Towards that end, some exciting things are brewing that I’ve prayed about for some time. Thanks be to God for grace and for truth, always.
Joel

© Joel Tipple
300

Here on Earth

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Dreaming of heavenly things
my mind is blown by what God brings
and then I spy that bathtub ring
Just what am I supposed to do
when it’s clear that I have so much more to view

You came down to earth to show there is life
beyond what we see with our two eyes
You gave up your life so we could live
so why can’t we see past all of this
here on earth

Morning devotion with the King
some days God my mind is filled with other things
like wash the dishes pay the bills fight the yard
instead of being thankful
I complain that it’s so hard

You came down to earth to show there is life
beyond what we see with our two eyes
You gave up your life so we could live
so why can’t we see past all of this
here on earth

Just what is it that we deserve?
dear God how can we even say that word?
All I ask is water to wash my eyes
so that I can see what I
should
be
grateful
for…

You came down to earth to show there is life
beyond what we see with our two eyes
You gave up your life so we could live
so why can’t we see past all of this
here on earth
here on earth
here on earth