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Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

Day 19

Excerpts from Transformation by Truth: 30 Days to a Healthy Heart, Mind and Body by Noelle Dey © 2012

Coffee Talk for Friday, January 30, 2015
Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Noelle Dey
Today’s Focus: Giving Credit Where Credit is Due
Blessing:

Precious Heavenly Father, thank You for simply being… Your presence in this world and in my life is what keeps me going. I have no doubt about it! It’s because of Your protection I am where I am. Help me today Lord to move to where You are. Guide this time so that I may become who You created me to be. Forgive me for allowing my fleshly desires to hinder my spiritual and physical well-being. I surrender to Your will. Have Your way in and through me. For it’s in Jesus name I pray, amen.

This Week’s Treasure:

One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.

Luke 17:15-16

Main Course:

When I initially started writing this morning, I began this paragraph by saying, “Our family, like every family has one side with a handful of nuts… those relatives who have a few screws loose.” But looking at those words, I realize that if I’m being honest, our family actually has both sides filled with nuts and loose screws. If I take it even one step further, I realize my husband and I are probably the biggest offenders of that statement. I guess we should start calling our daughter “Peanut.”

If you saw my side of the family, by appearance alone you’d probably guess that we are all mild-mannered and conservative. You might assume we laugh the stereotypical Japanese giggle as we demurely cover our mouths. I don’t want to burst your bubble, but… POP!

At our big annual New Year’s Day gatherings at my great-aunt and uncle’s house, there is loud conversation, hysterical laughter and sarcastic humor. And, in addition to enjoying each other’s company, the highlight of the celebration is, by far, the food.

There’s homemade traditional Japanese food that looks as beautiful as artwork and there’s the American fare complete with fried chicken and homemade potato salad. Every coffee table has a beautiful Oriental bowl filled with senbei (Japanese rice crackers). The mixture of those crackers varies in shapes and sizes. Some mixes also include dried peas. For whatever reason, most of us “kids” grew up loving senbei, minus the dehydrated peas.

With that being said, Lori got the great idea to play a practical joke on one of our cousins. Lori carefully picked out every pea from the bowls and sneakily put it into our cousin’s purse. We were laughing the kind of laugh that makes your sides ache, and literally silences your voice. Although our mouths were open wide and tears were streaming down our cheeks, no sounds came out.

It took every amount of discipline to wait for Lisa to uncover the peas in her purse. In our imaginations, we started to play out possible scenarios. Would she find them at work while standing next to a co-worker? Wouldn’t it be great if she was on a date, reached for her wallet and the peas spilled out onto the ground?

We expected to get a phone call within a day or two and we couldn’t wait to hear how it all unfolded. Well, after the days turned into a week, and the week turned into a month, we started to question ourselves. Could she possibly have been offended? Did she think she put the peas in her purse? Wouldn’t it be horrible if she gave someone else the credit for the brilliant joke?

Lori eventually broke down and called her, although it seemed to take away from the genius of the situation.

“Weeellllll?” Lori inquired.

“Well what?” Lisa replied.

“The peas!”

“What peas?”

I listened to my sister’s side of the conversation as she relived each detail. Then Lori replied with something that sounded like this, “No, your black purse. The one with the short strap and the pockets on the side.” Uh-oh. We could see exactly where this was heading.

To our dismay, the pea-infused purse belonged to our auntie’s elderly mom: the one who actually is quiet and demure, standing well under five feet tall; the one who is pure sweetness, with no ounce of sarcasm; the one who rarely talks, but when she does, you have to stretch your ears to hear her; the only one you’d never want to play a practical joke on. Oops.

APPLICATIONS

Heart:

I can still feel the emotions we went through waiting… anticipating the laughter and joy from our cousin. I still remember how I couldn’t wait for her to give us the due honor and credit for being so creative and making her day. It then made me wonder if God ever has those same pained emotions… eagerly waiting for me to thank Him for His wonderfully unique and creative gifts which He showers on my life. I wonder how many gifts I’ve missed because I wasn’t seeking them out.

Now, I don’t let myself feel guilty for past misses. I recognize where I fell short, pray for forgiveness and receive His restoration. But, that thought challenges me to expect that God, who loves me to extents I cannot comprehend, is blessing me abundantly moment by moment and I don’t want to miss a single gift.

Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”

When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.

One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.

Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

Luke 17:11-19

I believe all ten of the lepers must have been ecstatic and grateful for their gift of healing. But I do find it interesting that even though all of them cried out to Jesus in their misery, 90 percent of them neglected to praise Him and give Him gratitude when they received His miraculous gift… His perfect answer to their cry.

If I’m honest with myself, I can say that there have been many times when I’ve dropped to my knees to bring my heartfelt, gut-wrenching prayers to God and when He answered my prayers, I was quick to share the good news with my family and friends before I shared my joy and thankfulness to the Giver and Author of those incomparable gifts.

Do you have any answered prayers where you neglected to give praise to God?

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Devote several pages in your journal (or have a separate journal) specifically for gratitude.

Start you list! List out the gifts He has given you.

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Aren’t you amazed at how much you’ve been given?

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Revisit this list often to see the ongoing, unbelievable blessings in your life.

Mind:

After Jesus gave the gift of healing to all ten lepers, isn’t it interesting that the one who praised Jesus in a loud voice and threw himself at Jesus’ feet was a foreigner? Where were all the Jews? I mean if anyone should have been quick to thank Jesus, wouldn’t it have been those who were considered to be His people?

Why is it so easy to take the people we love the most—those who are closest to us—for granted?

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It hit me like a brick upside my head one morning when I realized the amount of grace and understanding I give my friends and acquaintances was actually greater than what I give my own family. These are the same people I begged God to bring to my life.

In my grandest dreams, I never could have imagined a husband as awesome as Ryan. And together, we received a gift unimaginable in our daughter Sierra. The first time we saw her picture, we broke down in tears of joy and overwhelm.

Make a list of the people who are closest to you in your journal.

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Were there special things you did for them when the relationship was new that you haven’t done in a while?

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Write out those actions.

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Circle an action from that list that you can do for them today.

How can you ensure that they get the best of you?

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Make a commitment to treat them the same way you did when you first fell in love with them.

Body:

What are your physical gifts?

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If you have a stocky build, you are created with more fast-twitch fibers that are geared for speed and explosive strength. Those with lanky physiques are dominated by slow-twitch fibers and tend to have natural endurance.

For the longest time, I obsessed over what I didn’t have and what I couldn’t do. Why couldn’t I run long distances like my friend whose legs are longer than my whole body? Then, comedy arose when I heard her frustration since she couldn’t sprint faster than me.

Certainly we can work on our weaknesses, but we should define ourselves by our God-authored gifts.

Physically, what comes naturally to you? Do you have endurance? Strength? Do you have powerful legs? Are your arms muscular?

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When you exercise today, focus solely on your God-given gifts, and give thanks as you do.

What about your nutritional gifts?

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I live in Southern California, so there are affordable health food stores and weekly farmers markets within a quick drive. Maybe you live somewhere where you can grow your own produce.

Are you a talented cook who can recreate some family favorite recipes to be healthier yet still yummy?

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Do you have a group of friends who would want to gather on a weekly or monthly basis?

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I’ve heard of groups where each person makes a huge batch of their favorite healthy meal and they prepackage one for each of their friends. So everyone leaves with a variety of healthy homemade meals that are set for the freezer until it’s time to reheat and feed the family in a matter of minutes.

We all have gifts…

What are yours?

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How can you implement them?

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Are you thanking God for them?

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Journal your thoughts.

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Praise God for your gifts!

Closing Prayer:

Sweet Heavenly Father, thank You for the precious gift of life. Forgive me for the times I’ve taken it for granted. You have provided us all an opportunity at a new life with a new purpose, and Lord it is my desire that we would release the grip we have upon our old life and take hold of this new found freedom. Freedom found in Christ is nothing like anything else I’ve ever experienced. For it’s through Him that our souls are truly satisfied. Let us always thirst for You – the fountain flowing with Living Water.

What is God showing you through this study? We’d love to know. Leave us a comment below.
Do you have a relationship with Jesus Christ? Have you accepted His gift of salvation? Do you KNOW Him? If you have not yet accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and would like to, visit Extreme Encouragement today and begin one of the most meaningful relationships you will ever have.
Encouragement Cafe was given permission by Noelle Dey to bring you this study via Encouragement Cafe. Content may not be reproduced or distributed without written permission from Noelle Dey. To purchase Transformation by Truth: 30 days to a Healthy Heart, Mind and Body in its entirety visit Amazon.com.

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