In ALL things give Thanks by A.J. Rasmussen
Paul, in 1 Thessalonians, says to 'pray without ceasing,' and to 'give thanks in all circumstances ' And to the Ephesians he said 'give thanks always and for everything to God the Father. . .' (1 Thes. 5:17-18a Eph. 5:20)
The holiday season is the perfect time for us to focus on all we have to be thankful for, yet it is much too easy to get stuck on being out of focus, focussed on the blur of blah we are surrounded by. I know this to be true for myself at least. To be in prison, with no light at the end of the tunnel, aside from the light of heaven, tends to get pretty depressing, even more so through the holiday season. To know you are stuck here without your family and friends, and they are stuck out there without you, can become quite overwhelming. As depressing as that sounds, I have so much more to be thankful than most in this place, yet it is so easy to fall victim to being thankless rather than thankful. It's easy for people not in prison to say you get what you deserve for the things you have done, which may very well be true, but despite our pasts, we are still humans with human emotions, and we have loved ones who are paying for what we have done as well. So...How do we get past it all, and try to live this life of thankfulness? Great question. I chose this subject to write about almost two weeks ago, and today I'm having a difficult time writing about it, because I'm having a difficult time in achieving a thankful heart for all things. Despite that, I have a lot to be thankful for. Maybe the key is to just have brainstorming sessions and write down, or even just speak to yourself, or out loud, single word things you are thankful for, and just maybe you'll change your thinking and attitude? Let me take a crack at it, and in doing so, maybe it will help jumpstart you as well? Together we can work to change our focus, hopefully :-) Ability to email from my cell Having a TV in my cell Having a soft fleece blanket The friends and family I still have in my life The heart I have for people Jose Brandon The overnight visits with my mom The view of the mountains from my cell Ability to open the fullsized window and get fresh air Good memories A forgiving God, family, and friends
Hopefully you get the idea, I find the process more difficult some days than others, but you just have to be patient with yourself and if you even have one item on your list for the day, you've done well. The hard part is being thankful in ALL circumstances, which has to include the bad ones, but I've found that even in them, we learn and grow, so although we might find it difficult to be thankful in that moment, one day we'll find things to be thankful for, in ALL circumstances. Please pray for my good friend Jose, that God will mold his heart, and change his life to a life of success and prosperity. A life of good choices and many blessings to follow those good choices. Also pray for me in these difficult days and I will pray for you. One doesn't have to be in a physical prison to feel imprisoned, I know this all too well. I pray God breaks your invisible chains, they are often worse than these visible ones. Merry Christmas and let's hope for a better 2018!