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February 19, 2021 1:00 am
There is good that can come from some of our most difficult circumstances. Join hosts Dave and Ann Wilson as they speak with pastor and author Sam Crabtree about the benefits we receive in practicing gratitude in the midst of hard times, on FamilyLife Today.
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The Bible says in everything give thanks. William everything in bad things in hard things were to give thanks, Sam Crabtree says yes and he says there's a reason why I've tested this with many people who would say that if they look back over their life and they identified the hardest experiences they ever went through the stuff they don't ever want to have happen again stuff that they pray will never happen to the people that they love. Nevertheless, God was up to such profound good that now they're thankful and they wouldn't have God remove that from their life. This is family life today. Our hosts are David and Wilson on Bob team can find us someone in family life today.com. We read in the Bible that God is working everything in our lives for good for those who love him.
For those who are called according to his purposes. Sam Crabtree joins us today to help us understand how, as a result of that we can give thanks in all things with and welcome to family life today. Thanks for joining us. When I was in that I think was seventh grade. Our family took a family spring break trip from St. Louis to Panama City Beach a week in Florida as a family and my parents told me that I could invite a friend to go along and so I asked my new best friend, Tom Darr, who up. We just met. I said do I go to spring break with us and he said yes so we were have a great time. What Tom I don't know if his mom and dad taught him this or if this was just his temperament or personality, but throughout the trip. Anything we would do like at the end of any lunch or dinner or walk down to the beach. Whatever time was like thank you very much thank thank you for mobbing it was just to the point that my mom started laughing at how often Tom said thank you very much and it became a family joke. After after vacation was over, we were thank you very much, no, thank you very much. I take on vacation that I have to tell you about. You sound like Elvis. When you saw the worth talking about how practicing gratitude is this week and we got Sam Crabtree joining us again on family life today.
Sam welcome back. Thanks. It's nice to know Bob, the peanut butter hound thinking how to like it might be great and then as part of what we want on today as it was written a book called practicing thankfulness, which is the title implies, and we've already talked about.
This may be an innate personality type.
For some people, but this is something that takes practice that takes work. You don't get better at it.
Just like football or any other sport you don't get better unless you're practicing, especially when our circumstances aren't great. Now let's start where M was was taken us here. How can we as parents cultivate, and train and instruct our kids is a just teaching them to be the polite order does go beyond that. He had one of the observations I would want to make from the get-go is that I don't think the practice of thankfulness is mainly just good manners.
You know you teach your children to say thank you as the obligatory social signoff of a transaction some kind. I mean, that's not bad to teach your children good manners, including to say thank you that's good. But what we want to grow is the earnestness from the child's heart, so that they have lips that say thank you but the hearts are not far from the thank you and that there's an actual valuing that grows in the heart of the child. So how do you get children to do it is Ann's very good and practical question and where all somebody's children so the first answer to it is model it if you want your children to be grateful.
Do they see mom and dad grousing about this and that complaining and whining and bar are this and when I wear that denied. I hate this and there's really a plague of outrage in Western culture these days will be so quickly get uppity about this that or the other thing so that's one model. It number two seek in order to model at the heart of humility that recognizes we don't get to have everything the way we wanted.
There's an infinitely wise God who's orchestrated a lot of things to go the way I wouldn't do it if I were God, and it's a good thing for the universe. I'm not God because I would've blown it all by now but to seek the right kind of heart that really is a grateful heart.
This is a heart thing, not just a social practice thing like you know where you set the spoons and where you set the forks. This is how do you tune your heart and the eyes of faith that see what God is doing have to be awakened in the individual so you can teach an unbelieving child who grows up to be an unbeliever to do the polite thing and send thank you notes after they get wedding gifts and and all that sort of thing.
But the heart transformation that's required is a divine work.
It's a God work. So to get your children to be thankful with the pray that God would do that. Romans 10 Paul said it was his earnest desire that his brothers would be saved, that his people would be saved and so we we want to pray for our children that they would become grateful forth reminders don't hurt are you glad you got that thing from grandma and grandpa what you would like to send a note. Would you like to write to them write a thank you note to Jan, so there are steps that can be taken I and in the book I included. I think a list of the hundreds that what is asked of 100 practical things that a person can do and not all of them would apply to children, but a person could look to that list and do a little shopping for which things we'd like to try in our home and so there's there's some suggestions on how to get children move farther down the path towards living a pattern of gratefulness and I think you're right that modeling piece is really important.
I know that Dave and I made a mistake and some are only a sick man and I was the one that they named we would go to church in mind you we help start the church and so we found ourselves we would sit at the table after church and we would critique the service you think that has to learn and is right, we would critique this music critique every Park. As you know we had a lot of design earrings can happen that day. We had a set I think we model for our kids as we do a church you go in your rate, it hey scale 110 have how to go today because, like the movie. How do like the almost producing consumer right the first Sojourn model being thankful her-an average I serve as great to be together gauges to worship together, and then even asked the question how to Speak to you today. I feel bad because what we found is then teenagers are teenagers and come home and what were they doing modeling exactly what we had done for years. The Lord have mercy. It's even broader than that. That creative people your creative people hear your creating ministry and programs church creative people see how something could be better and then they have a tendency then to focus on what's lacking.
It could be better and they start to concentrate on that flaw that weakness that shortcoming in whatever it is. The football team or the church or of the radio program where the guest counter whatever and if the focus lingers there on what's missing what's absent.
What are the shortcomings in the flaws and failures. Then we become critical. We become complainers.
It's a pitfall that goes with being creative.
So to counterbalance that we need to consciously practice this thankfulness. Make a practice you can get up in the morning and say I'm going to do this we had here in Minneapolis a few years ago, the captain of the University Minnesota women's basketball team.
Brittany McCoy went to our church and she made a practice of every day with her cell phone taking a picture of something for which she was thankful that she'd never taken a picture of before.
She was practicing, practicing and putting that habit that pattern into one's life helps counterbalance of it was a very creative thing for her to do to see you know what pictures are missing in my collection.
You got a negative approach to it, but she was adding piling up things for which she was grateful. I just think what a great creative idea to counterbalance taking things for granted. Yet you say in your book you know so and said already today. It's seen as it we can be blind to it.
There's all these things around us, the very breath or breathing right now we could be thankful for if we just offer second user brain and while I remember one year. Years ago we were Detroit Lions replan the Packers at Lambeau away game and the season fact every year of Sue's season came out. That was the first thing we did. We are playing Green Bay in December and I know as I recall if it was it was like this 23rd were out of the playoffs. It's a meaningless game we have to go there and the whole time I met grumbling get on the plane go in there leaving my family right around Christmas.
I just had a bad attitude like I just don't want to be on this trip. I don't think anybody does you know does mean anything.
Never forget the first after the game or get beat up, stand there in the whole time. I like I could be home. I could be a warm fireplace you all the things I could be doing ahead is better to going to have time, I had a shift in looking at the locker room at halftime like I'm at Lambeau in December with an NFL team on the sideline. How many people would pay to do this and saw there. I walked down the tunnel. I'm standing just the doors players are running on one of the guys comes out that I know really well any complaints this we get beat again at Lambeau and as I jog with them to our silent. I go to where we are playing football on Sunday to get any better than this to me like you crazy to do it with you, and I think you said it was see practicing that we still get beat the long flight home but it was just one of those moments where again, it's like you can choose to practice this you can choose to miss it. But if you don't stop there was one seated. You'll miss it right on even getting beat means good for our humility and you want to be cocky or do you want to be a humble person.
So if you take a few defeats along the line, because God has ordained that that's the way we get off of our high horse as it were. You were awake to some details around you. I've tried to make a practice in the strength that God supplies to thank you for something I've never thanked him before. Thank you for before regularly the other day. I remember one was like well I think God for clouds before, but I've never thanked God for that particular cloud before that particular cloud was never here before for I give thanks for. But in a table. Grace, for example, severe. Thank you Lord for the blessing for all this food.
Amen. But to think. Thank you for these potatoes these potatoes in the soil in which they grew in the sunlight that came from 93 million miles away to make them grow and absorb nutrients and water from the soil and the leaves did their photosynthesis mirror: and thank you for butter butter and an amazing thing butter that that you know the sun comes 93 million miles.
It makes some grass cow eats that grass it goes through four stomachs finally gets to that order. It's taken to the creamery and they make butter in your kitchen exactly now is beautiful though really the stop and looking appreciate. Let me ask you this. You think God is pleased when his children.
Thank you, oh my yes we exalt his name. When we notice the details of what he's done minute held an Apple the other day and I thought mean it. We think of as I read, but you look carefully, there's these little stripes and little dots and subtle colorations in it and that whole Apple that whole thing there. The tennis ball sized or grapefruit size thing. All of that material got there little skinny stem is just amazing and have I stopped to be amazed, and to thank God that he designed that to work that way. Even the coal when you were called at Lambeau Field and but the mosquitoes were bad. No mosquitoes. I have a best friend when their kids were younger seen they were really struggling.
She was struggling because her husband was traveling all the time in. She had three young daughters and she was noticing that they were saying sarcastic things about their dad being gone a lot which she realized was actually coming from her. They were picking up her attitude. Her disappointment and she said my home was I was creating an environment in my home was almost toxic and she said so she had been praying and we've been talking and praying about this whole situation of trying to see the good and so she started a journal. It was a grateful journal and whereas before her husband be rushing from a meeting to try to get to the sac again. Instead of saying before, why are you always late to these games, she would get out her journal and she would write in it and she redated she said to her husband.
Thank you for making it to our daughter's soccer game. It must've been hard getting through trapping, leaving work early, but you still made the effort. A different mindset. Thank you. Another one would be.
Thank you for going out in the cold and putting up the Christmas lights on the trees and she said before Eddie said Larry doing it this way she did on the street, but she started seeing the greatness and thankfulness that she had for what he was doing.
So then every year on his birthday.
She gives him this journal and it's every time it's dated she tries to do it. Maybe two or three times a month, or she would just login a little gratefulness passage of what he'd done. And he sits down on his birthday and he cries the entire way through this journal, and it has changed him has in every husband's and I wish my wife would write but it really is a beautiful thing I know think about the heart of God. I remember one time years ago we took our kids to amusement park in Ohio.
It's Cedar Point desert as he plans one atop five in the country and we would do it every year.
We took him out of school.
By the way MSN you should do this. Parents, but Ohio still in school we took my cousin the liner shortly. No lined up and I remember you know as a dad with young kids. It's chaos you're spending way more money and you want to your exhausted. You've done the whole thing. We get home and I'm complaining all the way home.
I thinly appreciate this, you know, we did all the stuff in there.
What 89 10 maybe our oldest was 11 years old there asleep by the time we get home because they fell asleep on the drive home three hours from where we are put in bed and I go to the bathroom to get ready for bed and my oldest CJ comes in the bathroom and just opens the door and he was a dead thanks and walks out and there was like no problem. That was awesome greatest day ever. I read that one word from an 11-year-old kid that he actually stopped first so you say hey thanks is really great day. All he said was thanks it was like my heart just jumped. I thought if that's how God feels when his son or his daughter says thanks for all it is to say I'm grateful. Thank you all. The recipient of the thanks this case mainly God but also horizontally. Other people it's energizing for them, but I also argue that it enlarges the heart of the person who's expressing the thankfulness and it ramps up or complete spike and use that word, the pleasure in the thing for which you're giving thanks you enjoy it more.
When you express that you are enjoying it that you are grateful for that. You didn't deserve it and here it came, and that makes you have an expanded capability of being as bandits talk about your outlook on the positive side of things you click on the negative side of things you just become more of a delight to live with your self live with yourself, much less for other people experience or or more in your life where you're going through something hard. All I really trial and you're still able to be thankful, yes, but not always in the in the moment.
Yep, I'm a sinner and I have sinful inertia in my life and so I'm not gonna claim to have mastered this and it's an interesting phenomenon. Many people who write books or preach sermons preached to themselves like I need to hear this. This YM drilling into this particular topic, but in the long run and I've tested this with many people who would say that if they look back over their life and they identify the hardest experiences they ever went through the stuff they don't ever want to have happen again stuff that they pray will never happen to the people that they love. Nevertheless, it's true in my life and and there's God was up to such profound good that now there thankful and they wouldn't have God remove that from their life and I asked our former counseling pastor who is now deceased, and with the Lord. I don't want to be a mumble are supposed to mumble do anything without murmuring and griping and want to be complainer. But isn't there terrible no good horrible bad stuff in this world are we supposed to be objective and just say this this is lousy is terrible. What we do, but that without hesitation took me to Romans eight and he said we grown with all creation. The pains of childbirth until now. So there's a groaning. That's not complaining. So there's a woman in the middle of giving birth to a baby. You say has a feeling she's not to say no problem, it's all please let's get this over with. Kind of thing but when the child is once born and you lay that on her breast and she cuddles that child and you ask her.
Would you trade this baby. Give the baby back. You could have the baby and then you won't have any of the delivery pain the woman has a manchild to the Bible says and she wants the child and the pain is worth it. So have I ever had heart expenses. Yes so hard I you don't talk about them much, but they were so good for me.
God was so refining in that chapter in those experiences. To this day. And if that's the way he's going to go about refining me he's infinitely wise.
I just trust him with that. That was the way he needed to awaken me and develop in me aspects of Christ likeness that I don't think I would've developed any other way. As you say that I think of the darkest moment in our marriage. When aunt said I've lost my feelings for you. I'm now thankful for. Obviously as a wake-up call for him. Among other things in the moment. I was like right now to looking back in and let most of it was my fault and those feelings were lost. By the way I was living, but now I look back and think God to allow us to experience the darkness in that moment to find the light that we are in now. I remember talking to my sister. We had both gone through abuse and years later, we sat and talked about multitude of women that we had a chance to care for their souls and lead them to Christ and encouraged Jesus could heal that pain had gone through because we had experienced the freedom that God brings to our surrendering of our lives through our pain to the wounds that we had and I remember both of us saying go through that again in order to save those people from what they feel right now the moment I could've said that.
But years later.
I know that some people think that's that's unbelievable but yet God refines us well and I I want to commend you to and recommend what you did to a number of women who feel like well first Peter three I'm just supposed to quietly suffer here and not say anything to my husband and you came out and said I lost my feelings for you, and he was able by God's grace to say I've caused this and my wife and I think there are some wives who just need to speak up and say the status quo isn't working pretty sure as well that there are some wives and husbands who need to start practicing thankfulness that they need to start intentionally, purposefully saying thank you yeah and looking for the things to be grateful for writing the journals like you talked about and then begin the day by saying I'm gonna look for the things to be grateful for today open my eyes, Jesus, rejoice in those things, not just like okay got my three now I can be done with a grousing I remember a conversation years ago with Elizabeth Elliott to use this illustration. I've never forgotten that. She said you know how sometimes somebody will put an ink pen in the shirt pocket and it does you little spot right the ink leaks and all of a sudden at the corner of the pocket, there is little purpose but she said the shirt is 99.76% white, but where are your eyes drawn to that little purple spot and what you focus on an abscess on you go.
This ruins everything that nobody likes dabbling spot on their shirt and it is awkward, but she said how many of us are so hyper focused on the one little thing that were missing the beauty around us and being grateful for the beauty around us and before I say your book reminds us of this. Your life reminds us of this because this is true of you and were grateful that you little of you rub off on us like a pleased half. Thanks for being here. We do have copies of Sam's book in our family life today resource Center. The book is called practicing thankfulness, cultivating a grateful heart. In all circumstances, you can order your copy of the book when you go to family life today.com or call one 800 FL today to get a copy. Again, the title of the book is practicing thankfulness order firstname.lastname@example.org or call one 800 FL today to get your copy. That's one 803 586-329-1800 F as in family L as in life, and then the word today that we want to say a quick word of thanks to those of you who have made today's program possible to make the ministry of family life possible.
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