DickDonohue.com

Stories and insights from my life with God

Bitter vs. Grateful

I heard an interesting insight from Rick Warren the other day: “it is *impossible* to feel bitter and grateful at the same time”.

You can feel sad and confused at the same time. You can feel happy and excited at the same time.  But you can’t feel bitter and grateful at the same time.

Bitterness says, “It’s not the way I think it should be”. If I am grateful, I realize it’s not ABOUT ME. It’s about how much somebody ELSE loves me.

The more I think about others and the less I think about my interests, the more loving and grateful I will become. Conversely, the more time I spend focusing on my interests, the less loving and more bitter I will become.

In the bible, Solomon (the wisest man to ever live) tells us, ”

Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.”
Proverbs 4:23 NCV

In other words, change your thoughts and you can change your world.

So how do avoid bitter thoughts?   Again, the Bible provides direction:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.     Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Phillipians 4:6-9 (NIV)

No more stinkin’ thinkin’!       🙂

The Washington Adventure!

A new adventure in faith has turned my life upside down. It all started back in November of 2011. I had been working out early in the mornings (surprised?  me too!. Anyway after working out, I got into this great routine.  I’d go to this nice, quiet place in the gym and spend some time reading my bible and praying.  I was really feeling connected.   One morning, I had remembered a prayer that my friend Terry like to use:  “God, please tell me what is the Next Right Thing to do”.  Now this, my friends… is a dangerous prayer.  But that morning, that was my prayer.  I said, “God you just tell me what is the Next Right Thing to do for you, and I will do it.”

Now folks, Lily Tomlin has this great line:
“Why is it that when we talk to God, they say call that  ‘praying’,
but when God talks to us, they call us schizophrenic?”

Well, at the risk of sounding schizophrenic, I think God talked to me.  I think He said, Continue reading

Be a leaf

red_leafWho doesn’t love seeing the beauty of the leaves changing color in Autumn?  It always makes me reflect on why God would go to the trouble of making leaves so pretty before they die. I mean, it seems like it would have been easier to just drop the leaves without changing color; or maybe just take all the color out if them: let the leaves turn gray or black as death and let them drop to the ground.

But I think God chose to make Autumn beautiful on purpose. Continue reading

The real joy of kite-flying

kiteI think that God is constantly trying talk to us.  I think that He wants to guide us.  The tough part is finding time alone where life is quiet enough to hear him.  One of the more successful ways for me to do that is to go fly a kite. I really enjoy flying kites.  The kites I fly are “stunt kites” which basically means that they have two lines instead of one.  That means that you can make them do loop-de-loops, dives, and all kinds of fun maneuvers.  The bottom line is that you have a lot more control over the kite. And — I’ll admit it — I have control issues.    Today, I had the day to myself and nobody to remind me of all my responsibilities and grown-up issues.  So I took the time to go fly my kite.  And I think God used that time to talk to me…

Continue reading

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