In which there are more thank you’s to God (#’s 225-240)

by Craig on April 25, 2011

… giving thanks always and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father. (Eph 5:20)

Mondays are for Gratitude. Linking today with Ann’s

Thank You God…

#225 … for this bloggy community in which I find myself.

#226 … that I almost chose the community that was all blah blah theology and debate and eggheady arrogance and puffed up pride guised in humility. But instead I found a community that writes theology with heart and love.

#227 … that if I had chosen that other community in which to write, I may have found myself repeating my old pattern of blah blah theology and debate and eggheady arrogance and puffed up pride guised in humility – and I didn’t.

#228 … that I’ve had the heart before – without the theology and found it lacking. I’ve had the theology without the heart and it was empty. But now I get to read theology with heart everyday – and it has transformed my writing – and life.

#229 …that this community has filled me so thoroughly with the heart of God through words and pictures. You have all prepared my heart for a Lent and an Easter unlike any in my 26 years of being Christian.

#230 … that Ann invited me to “Walk with Him” toward Easter – and I had a season of Easter like I’ve for so long had a season of Christmas.

#231 … that I now understand Lent like I understand Advent. And I never really understood either until this year.

#232 … that my Easters now have a better than full circle history. As a child it was just one day, no God at all, just bunnies and candy. Then Lent became a time of dour countenance, and Easter became a day of stuffy suits and church. So much so that when I had a chance I abandoned the day, altogether. Then I gave my life to Our Lord and Easter was one day again, but a special one, for the right reasons. It remained that way until this year and it blossomed bigger than ever.

#233 … for you. Yes you – you right there – because if you’re reading this you are one of the women in this community who has made such a stunning difference in my life, my theology, my spirit. Thank you.

#234 … for Lent, and how it stair-steps it’s way toward Easter.

#235 … that I got to contemplate for a whole day on Thursday the momentous Last dinner and those moments in the Garden.

#236 … that on Friday I pondered deeply that Via Dolorosa upon which Our Lord tread.

#237 … that Saturday I rediscovered how busy Our Lord was while he was in the grave.

#238 … that Sunday was bliss, and sorrow, and light and darkness, and filled with Spirit and truth, and trial and growth, and pain and love. It was an unexpected response to the day Our Lord chose to walk away from the grave. It wasn’t all bright and there sure weren’t any chocolate bunnies. It was Easter in a new way.

#239 … for all the thank you lists I’ll get to read this week. I heart reading them all – the smiles, the pictures, the tears, the family, the love, the trials, the triumphs. Thank you, it all fills my heart to the brim.

#240 … that “heart” is now my favorite verb. It never was before. It’s always been a noun. I heart “heart” as verb. I heart it so much I sometimes abuse the license of its use. But I heart hearting things and that I’ve had so much to heart.

I heart my thank you list.
I heart that you’ve read it.
I so completely heart “heart” as a verb.
Or have I already said that…

God bless.

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Cora April 25, 2011 at 9:15 am

Wow! I think you helped me “get it” today. Why I went from feeling I was on top of the world to the very pits of darkness — the whole realm of emotions in just a few days. This is the first year I spent so much time . . . here. I, too, followed Ann’s Lent and journey to the cross. I read Max Lucado’s “And the Angels were Silent,” and traveled that road. I read your posts on both sights a million times, and read a million others. It left my heart feeling everything from a lost, broken unworthy reason for God to care so much, to a washed, whiter-than-snow found lamb who knew the voice of the Shepherd, to one who was tired of it all and cried, Even so come, Lord Jesus! This is the first Easter that I heard no “blah blah” theology, saw no stuffy suits, and heard no “high church music”. And I’m so glad yours was this way, too, Craig. You had a big part in making this season a “first” for me. Millions may fly by your sites, but those of us who find a branch here to rest a while find food for our souls and keep coming back. There’s just something about that that is “right!” So I’ll just keep coming because I know where my hungry soul can find some bread!

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Craig April 25, 2011 at 10:52 am

Maybe it’s what the apostles, and the Mary’s felt when he was there – and then gone – and they had to wait for him to come back – again. Nobody ever talks about THAT period of waiting – just the first one. Hmmm. Thank you for that Cora. It sounds like we shared the same Lent and Easter. I’m glad I’m in good company. And thank you – the tree finds happiness in the bird on the branch. And Cora you ended with such kind words. Thank you. God bless you.

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Anne April 25, 2011 at 11:28 am

Hi Craig.
I, too, learned to appreciate Lent a lot more this year. Last year, I found out more about Lent…this year I observed it for the first time. It wasn’t an earth-shattering, skies opening and Heaven coming down experience, but rather, a more quiet stillness in my heart, contemplating His sufferings, and the darkness of my own heart, and appreciating that as best a grace-filled sinner can.
I hear you with “bla bla bla theology” groups…I love theology and the depth of it, but tire of the “country club” mentality that goes with it…and the arrogance that more often than not accompanies it. Glad to hear of another fellow Christian not wanting that too.
Have a blessed week!

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Craig April 25, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Anne, boy is this a beautiful definition of what Lent should be, “a more quiet stillness in my heart, contemplating His sufferings, and the darkness of my own heart.” It’s what it was for me too. Amen Ann, may we all get deep with our theology but never “country club-ish” or arrogant – been there don’t want one bit of that. Kindred spirits. Thank you Anne. Thank you and God Bless you.

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Nikole Hahn April 25, 2011 at 11:56 am

Thought of you in prayer this morning and yesterday. Ann is pretty great. I am in the midst of her book now.

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Craig April 25, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Thank you Nikole – it’s one of the nicest and most unexpected benefits of blogging – praying for others – and being prayed for. I really really appreciate that – thank you. And Amen – such a gentle spirit – so in love with Our Lord – Ann is a special one. And she’s making us all better. And I heart that book!!! God bless you – God bless you and keep you.

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Christina April 25, 2011 at 12:23 pm

#228 is the way it should be, if only all Christians viewed the world that way. And you know I have to comment on #240:) I refer to you as my “heart friend” in the blog world. Blessings on your day!

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Craig April 25, 2011 at 1:01 pm

Amen Christina – all head knowledge without heart knowledge is useless – all heart knowledge without head knowledge is prone to error – Our Lord had both in perfect amounts – I just want to be more like him. And I heart that I have such a nice nickname. HEART that! Thank you. And Blessings on YOUR day too!!!

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Patti April 25, 2011 at 12:54 pm

I love your list, Craig. Especially #228 ~ “that I’ve had the heart before – without the theology and found it lacking. I’ve had the theology without the heart and it was empty. But now I get to read theology with heart everyday – and it has transformed my writing – and life.” Beautiful! I am so glad that you are part of this community! I have been praying for your health issues. I hope you are having a blessed day!

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Craig April 25, 2011 at 1:06 pm

#228 was such a wake up call for me Patti – meh – I was once so preachy and knowitall-ish – don’t heart that ONE bit. No more, no more pride, no more big head – growing heart. And thank you for the prayers. I hate this thorn in the side that makes me so NOT normal – but it does make me a better person. So if he takes it I’m good – If Our Lord chooses to let it be – I’m good. But keep praying – Lord knows I need prayer. And every day is blessed – just don’t always have the eyes to see it. But I get what you’re saying – thank you – hope YOU have a blessed day too!!

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Connie Mace April 25, 2011 at 4:20 pm

I’m praising GOD for his design that community helps us live out His love. The older I get, the more I love all His children and grieve as a parent when the children are at odds with each other…praying that The Body of CHRIST be one…may it be so LORD..

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Craig April 25, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Connie, I’ve lived almost all of my life outside of community, any community – always the lone wolf. When I came to Our Lord I heard only “personal relationship with Christ”. And so that’s what I had – no community still. This year is named “connect” for me. I’ve been blessed. We need community. Thank you for coming by. Your words? Straight to my heart. God Bless you.

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Terri April 25, 2011 at 5:01 pm

Craig, I loved your wonderful list of blessings. I laughed out loud at your description of blah, blah theology and eggheady arrogance! I know exactly what you mean. Have a blessed week!

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Craig April 25, 2011 at 5:55 pm

And I almost became a theological blah blah blogger – meh – if not for Our Lord’s discipline I’d still be arrogant – if not for finding this community and basking in the wisdom of so many I’d still write blah blah-ish-y. Thank you for getting me. I heart when I make sense. I hope YOU have a blessed week too!! a

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Mari April 25, 2011 at 7:59 pm

I’m thankful with you, for the many gifts that come with Easter. I
“heart” your list =)

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Craig April 25, 2011 at 8:08 pm

I do!! I heart that word to pieces. It’s not quite love, and way more than like – I spent many of my younger years, in relationships, looking for a word like this. And I never once used it until I began blogging – and saw it used – and hearted it – almost named this blog I heart Scripture – and the other I heart love – sister talked me out of it. But I do so heart “heart” – and thank you for hearting my list – I heart lots that you read my words. Mari – God bless you – and thank you very much.

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Lauren April 25, 2011 at 9:46 pm

I love this list!! I too have been so blessed by this blog community. There are so many out there who are passionately seeking the Lord and sharing about his work in their hearts. It’s inspiring, motivating, and just plain wonderful. This Easter was especially dear to me as well. I came to faith in Christ just weeks before Easter several years ago and the season has whole new meaning to me. Good Friday is a very sobering day which makes Easter Sunday that much more amazing, awe-filled, and joyous for me. This year I’ve been pondering Hope. That Christ’s resurrection is the very definition of Hope. That Hope is a fact for all who believe… the fact of eternal life with HIM. Amazing.

PS – I HEART this post! haha

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Craig April 26, 2011 at 3:52 am

Amen Lauren. To hear about the same thing, Our Lord, from so many perspectives – and all of them with heart – it constantly centers me on what’s important – God first, others second, me third. I heart this community. And so good – this, “Christ’s resurrection is the very definition of Hope.” You are so right – see this is why I heart this place so much. That’s not a new idea – but new to me the way you said it, and powerful, Thank you very much for reading – and for “hearting” my post. God bless you Lauren – thank you.

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Debbie April 26, 2011 at 12:53 am

Thank you for sharing your thank you’s. And for helping make Easter deeper and more for me this year. I agree, the blog community really helps!
God bless you as you heart hearting!

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Craig April 26, 2011 at 1:52 pm

I do HEART hearting things. I heart that word – I can’t help it!!! I may have to seek help – but it makes me happy. I heart that! God Bless you Debbie and thanks – smiles are good.

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Mary April 27, 2011 at 5:59 am

Dear Craig, thank you…for everything. For your insights, your thoughts, your sharing and your openness. Everything I have read here touches me.

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Craig April 27, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Mary – you couldn’t have put it a better way to make me smile. Thank you so very much. Thank you. God bless you!!

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A. April 27, 2011 at 8:36 am

It sounds as if you may be headed for heart hearters anonymous….:) seriously, i doubt there is such a thing as too much good heart.

#228-that is it, isn’t it? Balance and both. sometimes, in my pain, i have picked up my theological baseball bat to strike back; other times, i have erred in the heart department. i can definitely see the need for both.

I love your flashing heart thank you…that warmed me as soon as I ‘came around the bend’ and saw it hanging over your doorway. :)

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Craig April 27, 2011 at 12:51 pm

I heart that heart thing – wish I could do things like that!!!! I did make the I heart hearts sign :)

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