As we come to the closing of another year, It never ceases to amaze how fast things move.  We just celebrated Thanksgiving and right around the corner Christmas will be here but I wanted to tap the breaks and reflect on the day that happens right after we give thanks and gorge on Turkey…Black Friday!  I saw this comic and thought it was priceless…and so true!  I don’t know about you, but I do not subscribe to camping out all night or getting up at the crack of dawn to fight the crowd88 - Daily Dependence - Black Friday Realitys in order to get a great deal.  Now anyone who knows me, knows I always hunt for a deal and then will even try to negotiate the price further.  In fact my cousin even referred to me as Dave Ramsey Jr…but you will not see me captured on the news running through a Wal-Mart at 5 am for door buster deals.

So what is on your Christmas list?  What is the one thing you must have?  Maybe a LCD Flat Screen TV? A Coach hand bag?  A Fitbit, to enhance your workout?  Maybe a Self-Balancing 2 Wheel Scooter or a Drone/Quadcopter?  Whatever it is, you can be sure the desire for it has been feed by the incessant Black Friday marketing on which store has the best deal.  I was sick of the commercials before we even got out of October and we still have another month to go.  Tonight my wife and I made a run to the Target, and as we passed Home Depot they were in full swing selling Christmas trees in the parking lot…ugh…I want to transition from the red-faced child screaming “Daddy I want this _____” in the toy section, to what we do to God in our prayers.  Do you find your prayers centering on stuff or a job promotion or finding a spouse?  Do you pray to God with a transactional attitude that you bring a checklist of items for Him to grant?  Or do you pray to Him with a relational attitude that you want to grow closer and get to know God?  There is nothing wrong with asking God to be promoted or to find a spouse but when it is the only reason you talk with Him that is the problem.  What I hate more about the crowds on Black Friday is what the day turns people into…irrational, crazed shopaholics!  88 - Daily Dependence - Black Fridat MadnessIn the ★ Thought for the Day – Keeping Up With The Joneses? ★, we delved into the need to be content with what God has provided for us.  Proverbs 30:7-8 (NLT) is one of my absolute favorite verses on this subject, which says,

"O God, I beg two favors from you; let me have them before I die.  First, help me never to tell a lie.  Second, give me neither poverty nor riches!”

“O God, I beg two favors from you; let me have them before I die.  First, help me never to tell a lie.  Second, give me neither poverty nor riches!”

What would happen if instead of begging God to grant all of our greeds, we would selflessly pray for God to change our hearts to want what He wants…integrity and contentment?  A prayer I pray daily is for God to make me more like Him…to be a better husband, a better father and a better servant to all.  Proverbs 30 is so powerful; I especially love verse 9 that says,

“Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the LORD?”  And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name.”

How different would our lives be if we embraced this wisdom?  The bridge between going to God for our greeds, to our needs is a grateful heart.  Psalms 100:4-5 (NLT) says,

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving; go into His courts with praise.  Give thanks to Him and praise his name.  For the Lord is good.  His unfailing love continues forever, and His faithfulness continues to each generation.”

Too often we get consumed with what we don’t have instead of being thankful for what we do.  I know myself I get lost sometimes looking at the bank account and wishing there was more money and not appreciating all that God has done for me.  It is a natural feeling to long for more, or to get twisted up comparing our situations with others but God doesn’t want that for us.  He longs for us to get our priorities straight and trust in Him to be our provider, releasing all our anxieties.  The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:6-7 (NASB)

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Steven Furtick made this profound statement about this verse…

“One of the reasons we’re so anxious about what’s coming, is because we’re not thankful enough for what we have.  And so Paul says, if all you ever pray about is what you need but never stop and thank God for what you have, you’ll always be anxious.”  

Amen!!  There is such wisdom in that statement!  I know myself whenever I shift my focus from God and to my circumstance, anxiety always results.  Verse 7 of Philippians 4 goes on to say,

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” 

Stephen Furtick went on to say,

“We all want the ‘peace of God’ in verse 7, but to get that, we need to first go through verse 6, and be thankful for what God has provided for us.  It is all about having the right    perspective with our priorities aligned with God’s.”`

When we were in at the First Monday Trade Days in Canton, TX, I saw this plaque and it got me thinking…

“What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?”

If that were true, how much would be gone when the alarm clock broke the silence at 4:30 am?  It is really convicting to me.  Cultivating a heart of gratitude really is the key, I would like to reverse this Thought for the Day and pose this question to you…

88 - Daily Dependence - I Am Thankful forFor me I am so grateful for the life God has blessed me with – a beautiful wife and wonderful children, a great home and job…words cannot express my thankfulness!  Most of all I am thankful for who I am in God!  The late, great motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar said,

“The greatest source of happiness is the ability to be grateful at all times.” 

As we, as a nation set aside tomorrow for giving thanks, I would like to challenge us to do what Zig Ziglar said “to be grateful at all times,” and in all circumstances.  Let your thankfulness be not just once a year, but all 365 days!  In keeping with this philosophy, starting on December 1, 2015, we will be starting a 25 Day series where we will delve into the Reasons for Thankfulness for the coming Advent Season.

88 - Daily Dependence - 25 Days of Thanksgiving

You can see the first post here: ★ Day 01 – Reason for the Season – Why Do We Celebrate?

Or see them all (including this one) by clicking here…Reason for the Season

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Ron is head writer at Daily Dependence where you can find more articles on faith and developing a "daily dependence" on God for your life. In 1998 he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior in his mid-twenties and Ron is unashamedly a born again Christian. God was so merciful to use his then fiancé to model a different lifestyle then the one he was living who led him out of darkness and into the light. Since then, God has cultivated a real burden in his heart to minister to people in need, whether it is relational, financial or spiritual. Over the years Ron has consistently prayed The Prayer of Jabez (see 1 Chronicles 4:10 NKJV) with an emphasis on God “enlarging his territory,” or another way to say it, to increase his influence on others not for personal gain but for the advancement of the Kingdom of God. Ron's greatest joy is to be used by God to teach, encourage, and help people to grow closer to Him. To learn more about Daily Dependence you can visit his page: ★ Why I Do What I Do ★ At https://dailydependence.wordpress.com/about/
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