The rush of a busy schedule, a barrage of disheartening news stories, and the wear and tear of everyday life can be enough to drag anyone down. Simply pausing to recognize and express thanks for the good gifts that surround you has proven to make a major difference in happiness, peace, and contentment.
100 Days of Thanks, a beautifully designed inspirational book of short readings, Scripture verses, and journaling space is the perfect tool to promote Christian mindfulness and gratitude. Whether you are looking for a thoughtful gift to encourage a loved one or a simple tool to create a habit of thankfulness, this lovely little book is a wonderful place to start.
Take a few moments out of your day to be grateful and feel your burdens get a little lighter, starting today.
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Read an Excerpt
Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Waking up to a beautiful sunrise is so promising. The air is quiet. Birds are beginning to stir in their nests. The moon is fading away as the sun's rays quietly take over the sky. It's as if God hit the restart button and we are powering up for a new day, a new beginning. Our batteries are charged, the things of yesterday are gone, and God is unveiling a chance to start anew. Today is a blank page in a journal — crisp, clean, and ready for a beautiful story to unfold.
Every day, we have the chance to be more patient, more forgiving, more kind, more understanding, and more generous. We can right our wrongs, learn from yesterday's mistakes, listen more, argue less, put down our phones, look at our family, and start over. We will still make mistakes; we won't have everything together or come close to perfection, but God gives us grace, again and again, until we are finally made new.
Hope is not lost. Mercies are abundant. Another day has come.
Mercy is new every morning. Thank God for a fresh start today.
Creation Bursts with Beauty
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; ... O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!
Psalm 8:3, 9 NASB
Delicate crocuses push through frozen ground; autumn leaves cast a golden hue; foam-tipped waves flash in the sunlight. Does God's creation leave you breathless? Even on the coldest and darkest days, stars shimmer. Giant redwoods stand majestic. God could have created this world to merely be workable, practical. He could have stopped with one type of tree and flower. But He chose to encompass the universe with vast beauty to delight us daily. Praise our loving and gracious Creator!
Today, what do you see in creation that's bursting with beauty?
"The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth."
Exodus 34:6 NASB
God's gifts reflect His character. He is full of grace, compassionate, faithful, all-powerful, merciful, and wise. He is patient, kind, and gentle. Did you see a sick friend begin to heal? God is all-powerful. Did you feel His deep and abiding presence during a low point this week? God is compassionate. Maybe you experienced His forgiveness after deliberately choosing not to obey His Word. God is merciful. Praise the Lord for His perfect character.
What aspects of God's character have you seen and experienced over the past few days?
Cultivating a Habit of Gratitude
It is good to praise the Lord ..., proclaiming your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night.
We develop some habits at such a young age that we barely notice them today. Brushing teeth, combing hair, and washing hands are taught repeatedly to children until they're well-established habits. Throughout life, we develop more habits, both good and bad. Daily exercise, emotional eating, addiction, saving money, spending money recklessly, saying please and thank you, avoiding conflict — these habits are all formed over time.
We form cognitive habits, too, like gratitude. Imagine the difference this could make in your daily life. If instead of being frustrated that a meeting ran late, you were thankful for the innovative ideas that were shared. If you soaked in the tenderness of comforting a crying baby at 2:00 a.m. without despairing over lost sleep. Gratitude can change your outlook — and actions — in life-changing ways. It takes practice and some failures; habits don't develop overnight. But by choosing gratitude moment by moment, you'll see it become second nature.
What good habits are you grateful for, and what good things do they bear in your life? What other good habit could you begin cultivating this week?
After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb."
Our world holds 7.6 billion people, each with different fingerprints, ear shapes, irises, voices, and gaits. Our stories, talents, personalities, creativity, humor, leadership skills, and idiosyncrasies make each of us unique. The world would be monotonous with 7.6 billion clones, wouldn't it? Thankfully God loves diversity. He created a world of different races, languages, customs, and cultures; the differences are beautiful, and they challenge and pull us out of our comfort zones. Thank God for the diverse creation He created.
Name a few things that make you unique.
The Wonder of the Human Body
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother's womb. ... You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; you know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I'd even lived one day.
Psalm 139:13–16 MSG
Let's talk science. How many atoms are in every adult? Around seven octillion. Your body creates seven miles of new blood vessels for every new pound of fat or muscle. The femur is stronger than steel. One step uses up to two hundred muscles. An adult's small intestine measures eight to twenty-three feet. We are unaware of what our body and its systems accomplish second by second to sustain our lives. It's miraculous really.
While this happens, we go about our incredibly busy schedules and expect our bodies to keep up. Until we get a bad diagnosis or a broken bone or our whole family wakes up with strep throat, we don't think about — or are unaware of — the miraculous gift of our bodies.
Now, as you feel your heart beating, remember it beats around one hundred thousand times a day. When you eat, be grateful for your ten thousand taste buds — in two weeks, you'll have a new set. And as your head hits the pillow tonight, stretch your limbs with gratitude, sink under your covers, and say a prayer of thanks and awe for your body and its daily miracles.
We tend to critique our bodies more often than we give thanks for them. Today, think of something about your physical self that you are incredibly grateful for.
Thanksgiving, Even Without Turkey
"Giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me."
Psalm 50:23 NLT
Television commercials, social media, churches, stores, and more remind us of gratitude as Thanksgiving approaches. And while slicing the turkey and passing the gravy boat, we ritualistically list what we're grateful for. After all, it's Thanksgiving. Ponder this question: Could you carry that mind-set of gratitude through the year, not just in November? Celebrate a daily Thanksgiving with eyes wide-open for God's gifts and a heart full of thanks for every precious blessing in your life.
Pretend you're sitting at the dining room table laden with a full Thanksgiving spread, and Jesus is your dinner company. What would you tell Him?
Every Relationship Has Significance
I thank my God every time I remember you.
Do you have a memory of a stranger, acquaintance, or someone else you didn't know well having a positive impact on your life? Do you remember your kindergarten teacher instructing you on how to read? Or a soccer coach who believed in you — even when you didn't? What about a pastor, therapist, neighbor, or camp counselor? Every relationship, whether for a season or a lifetime, is a unique facet of your life's story. Think about how one of these people, even though he or she may have only briefly crossed paths with you, blessed your life in some way.
Name a few relationships that lasted for only a season but impacted you in great ways.
God Uses All Things for Good
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
It's easy — effortless, even — to have a grateful heart during the happy times, when you're overcome with God's goodness. When you're offered your dream job, repair a broken relationship, or see a loved one healed, rejoicing comes easily. Bad news brings a different reaction. You feel discouraged, fearful, angry, sad, and a threshold of other challenging emotions. You might feel, as the psalmist says in Psalm 119:28, your "soul is weary with sorrow." How can you be grateful in trying times? Is it even possible?
We don't have easy answers; we may not understand until we are with the Lord. But we know and cling to this truth: our pain will not be wasted. Romans 8:28 reminds us, "God causes all things to work together for good" (NASB). Not just some things, but all things — the good and the bad. You can be comforted, you can even give thanks and rejoice, because the pain will cease. God has already written the end of the story. And it all works together for good.
When have you seen God use suffering for good? Reflect on Romans 8:28.
The Light to Our Path
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
It's remarkable the Bible still has relevancy in our modern age of electric cars and video chatting. Though times have changed, the Lord's Word continues to be a light to our every footstep. Its promises bring comfort and hope, it equips us to serve, and its truth renews our minds. It is an invaluable and irreplaceable gift.
What is your favorite Bible verse? How does it shine a light to your path?
Mind, Body, and Soul
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 5:23
Mind, body, and soul. Nothing affects these areas more than gratitude. When we focus our thoughts on God's gifts, we dig a well of deep joy, peace, and contentment. By exercising and eating well, we show care and gratitude for our physical bodies, and studies indicate that thankfulness is beneficial for our health. When we thank our Provider, we nourish and strengthen our spiritual relationship by constantly communing with Him. Gratitude sustains us, mind, body, and soul.
Have you cared for your mind, body, and soul? Or do you neglect any of these areas?
Excerpted from "100 Days of Thanks"
Copyright © 2018 Thomas Nelson.
Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
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Table of Contents
1. Hit Restart, 10,
2. Creation Bursts with Beauty, 12,
3. God's Character, 13,
4. Cultivating a Habit of Gratitude, 14,
5. 7.6 Billion, 16,
6. The Wonder of the Human Body, 18,
7. Thanksgiving, Even Without Turkey, 20,
8. Every Relationship Has Significance, 21,
9. God Uses All Things for Good, 22,
10. The Light to Our Path, 24,
11. Mind, Body, and Soul, 25,
12. It's the Journey, Not the Destination, 26,
13. Life, an Undeserved Gift, 28,
14. When Jesus Gave Thanks, 30,
15. He Fills Our Mouths with Laughter, 31,
16. You Don't Need to Have It All Together, 32,
17. The Breath of Life, 34,
18. May They Know We are Christians By Our Gratitude, 35,
19. Our God Is in Control, 36,
20. The First Ten Minutes of the Morning, 38,
21. Today Gives Us New Reasons for Praise, 40,
22. The Impact of Inventors, 41,
23. All Creatures Great and Small, 42,
24. God's Marvelous Workmanship, 44,
25. Nature Sings, 45,
26. The Letter from Paul, 46,
27. Be the Lone Leper, 48,
28. He Is Ever Present, 50,
29. Gratitude Defeats Darkness, 51,
30. What Does Suffering Produce?, 52,
31. One Egg or a Dozen, 54,
32. This Is How to Thank the Lord, 56,
33. The Gift of Relationships, 57,
34. One Powerful Word, 58,
35. Spotting the Small Things, 59,
36. There Is No One Like You, Lord, 60,
37. Where's the Next Gift?, 61,
38. The Greatest Gift, 62,
39. Something Extraordinary Is Always Happening, 64,
40. Gratitude Spurs Us On, 65,
41. On Coffee and Gatorade: We Pursue What Won't Satisfy, 66,
42. Weather: More than Small Talk, 68,
43. A Small Thank-You Makes a Big Impact, 69,
44. God-Given Emotions, 70,
45. The Blessings of Grass Stains, 72,
46. Ordinary Is a Blessing, 74,
47. A Gift or a Disappointment, 75,
48. It's More than a Dirty Dish, 76,
49. Accept the Gift of Relaxation, 78,
50. Don't Forget!, 80,
51. The Easy Road and the Hard Road, 81,
52. Make It Doable, 82,
53. The Produce of Our Hearts, 84,
54. What's All This Noise, 85,
55. When Heaven-Sent Bread Is Not Enough, 86,
56. Work Is a Gift, Not a Curse, 88,
57. The Beloved Gift of Friends, 90,
58. Come Away and Rest, 91,
59. The Veil Has Been Torn, 92,
60. He Will Not Slumber, 94,
61. Your Favorite Place in the House, 95,
62. Gratitude for "No", 96,
63. Boycotting the Blues, 98,
64. The East and the West, 100,
65. "Thank You for Hearing Me", 101,
66. The Blessings Dry Chicken Brings, 102,
67. The First Amendment, 104,
68. Don't Let Comparison Steal from You, 106,
69. The Blessing of a Flat Tire, 107,
70. The Colors of the Rainbow, 108,
71. Overcoming Obstacles, 110,
72. The Enriching Gift of Smell, 111,
73. Make Music to the Lord, 112,
74. The Blessings We Can't See, 114,
75. What's Your Response?, 116,
76. At the Forefront of Our Minds, 117,
77. More Than a Fill-in-the-Blank List, 118,
78. Travel Near and Far, 120,
79. Sick, But Not Distressed, 121,
80. The Strangers Working to Keep You Safe, 122,
81. Am I Rich?, 124,
82. The Sweetest Sleep, 126,
83. Lost and Found, 127,
84. The Double Meaning of Why Me?, 128,
85. The Gift Only the Elderly Can Give, 130,
86. The ABCs of Gratitude, 132,
87. Unflinching Honesty, 135,
88. Uncovering Gifts with Our Senses, 136,
89. Beyond Prayer and Praise, 138,
90. Education's Accessibility, 139,
91. Mary's Song, 140,
92. Circumstances Change, but God Never Does, 142,
93. What Epidemic Will You Spread?, 144,
94. Reading, the Limitless Gift, 145,
95. The Women, 146,
96. He Chooses the Unqualified, 148,
97. Grace, Not Perfection, 150,
98. Soak Up the Season, 152,
99. On Forgiveness, 154,
100 Old Words, Powerful Message, 156,