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Magnificat

This morning I will be singing the Magnificat in church. It’s also known as Mary’s Song found in Luke 1: 46-55.

As I reflect on the lyrics of the song I can’t help but wonder at the precious state of Mary’s heart and desire that for myself.

Magnificat

It is remarkable to me that this young woman whose life had just been turned upside down would have an attitude of praise and openness to whatever God willed in her life. She was facing several months of people not understanding what was going on in her life and inside her body. Certainly some would not believe that she was still pure and the child growing within her was from the Holy Spirit – a gift, not a shame.

In spite of whatever Mary’s external circumstances were her heart was filled with joy and gratitude. We don’t see Mary taking credit for being good enough to be the mother of Jesus but rather a humble spirit and wonder that Her Lord would choose her for His remarkable plan. And she gave all the glory to Him.

Here is a link to one of the most beautiful renditions I have heard of this song.

Practicing to sing this song brings to mind that I also have much for which to glorify the Lord. He has also looked on me with kindness and mercy and has done great things for me. Too often I forget to give Him the glory for who I am and who He is creating me to be.

I also have been reflecting on whether or not I allow God to put His Spirit inside me to use me as He desires. Am I open as Mary was to carry out His plan for me or do I drag my feet, ignore His voice or shrink back from fear?

How about you?

God’s plans for us are not always grandiose but they are always important. Whether it’s taking the time to listen to someone who needs to talk, lending a hand to someone as they carry packages or drop a note in the mail or e-mail letting someone know you are thinking of them and praying for them, each can make a difference and may be just the touch from God someone needed.

And like Mary, God may have something bigger planned for your life. Are you open to Him using you to lead others to Christ, to go to the mission field, lead a bible study or write a book? Don’t let your opinion of yourself and your abilities hinder what the Lord desires to do through you.

My greatest desire this morning is to keep the attitude of Mary’s Song in my heart and carry it in my spirit not only throughout today but each day of the coming year.

“For He has looked with mercy on my lowliness.”

“And Holy…Holy…Holy is His Name.”

 

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An Attitude of Thanksgiving

Sometimes when I look back to my pre-teen and teenage years I wonder how my parents made it through with two girls a little more than two years apart in age. My sister and I are opposites in many ways but one thing we shared in those years was a dislike for helping out around the house and especially emptying the dishwasher. I chuckle to myself about it now since it generally takes less than 10 minutes to put a full load of dishes away and we were only delegated to each empty one rack! Oh the complaining and the arguments over who had to empty the bottom rack (that is where the silverware is after all, thus creating MORE work!)

I don’t know how many times one of us was told “you’d better change your attitude!”

Luke 6:45 tells us:

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

Have you noticed the difference in what comes out of your mouth when you are stressed compared to when you are relaxed and having a good time? When we are under a great deal of stress (external or internal) we often choose to concentrate on the negative instead of the positive. Soon the negative will affect our attitude and without even realizing they slip out of our mouths.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-19 charges us

Rejoice always,

pray continually,

give thanks in all circumstances

for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

WHAT?

This is a big order to be dished up for us! After all, we all have troubles and times when things aren’t really going so well. And God’s word says we are to give thanks?

Notice the verse doesn’t say to give thanks about all circumstances but in all circumstances.

I think it all comes down to attitude.

GAGood1

When the attitude of our heart is one of thankfulness to God for what we have and His grace and faithfulness to us it is easier to give thanks even when things are not going well around us.

As Thanksgiving approaches we focus more on being thankful. That is a good thing. But what about 3 weeks from today? Thanksgiving Day will have passed and many will be recovering from Black Friday shopping. The Christmas season will officially be in full-swing. The stress will increase and it will be more difficult to give thanks.

It is said that it takes 21 days to make a habit and 21 days to break a habit.

We have just that – 21 days!

Let’s spend part of each of the coming days giving thanks and asking God to help us change our attitudes to one of being thankful in ALL circumstances. Over these 3 weeks we will certainly see a change in our hearts, minds and actions! We will have a habit of thanks which will become an attitude of thanks.

Don’t think of it as a chore but as an opportunity.

Attitudes are catchy. Make it your goal to spread an attitude of thanks.

blessings & peace…and thankfulness for all of you!
Paula