“Kolbe (who had volunteered to be executed in another prisoner's- Gajowniczek's- place) spent the next 14 days singing hymns and praying with those nine other men, as one by one, all of them starved to death… And only one month prior to Kolbe being dragged off to starve, on June 15, 1941, — Maximilian Kolbe had written this to his mother:‘Dear Mama, I am in the camp of Auschwitz. Everything is well in my regard. Be tranquil about me and about my health, because the good God is everywhere and provides for everything with love.’”I had memorized that line of the letter. Because if a man in the midst of one the most hideous scenarios known in the history of the world could write a line like that — not from a bad day at the office or a hard day with the kids, but from the death stench of Auschwitz — how can anyone deny this ultimate, iron-clad testimony : A Good God is everywhere — and provides for everything with love.
How can I believe anything different when the house is loud and mothering wears and obligations pile.....
We are Gajowniczek — a Jew died for us. We who were once sentenced to death have been offered the shocking gift of salvation, of being flat out rescued, of being saved. If we believe we’re the lost who are saved — how can we lose our First Love? How can our bones not burn with thanks, with love, with the message of Who saved us? How can anything after His rescuing — be anything but appalling gift?
It’s time to be tired of being the living dead.
There is breath in my lungs.
And rain on the window and people I love and a Bible right here in my lap and there is today and the life of Christ right in the dead bones and there is resurrection happening right now and who doesn’t unwrap all these gifts with utter thanks?"
"All gratitude is ultimately gratitude for Christ, all remembering a remembrance of Him. For in Him all things were created, are sustained, have their being. Thus Christ is all there is to give thanks for; Christ is all there is to remember. To know how we can count on God, we count graces, but ultimately there is really only One.” ~One Thousand Gifts
…. that He would give any gifts at all when the gift of salvation alone is far more than what I deserve — more of His endless, One Thousand Gifts … thanks be to God for all of these blessings:
501. substitutionary atonement
502. that He is here
503. love the overwhelms and grace that overflows and joy inexplicable
504. lazy summer days
505. chlorine soaked suits
506. sun-soaked skin
507. eyewitness of His work
508. syumi, a little Peruvian princess, and her mother
509. Gospel-filled conversations
510. laying in a hammock, leaves blowing above me, Noah snuggled beside me
511. the students at the BCM
512. an honored position at an awesome church
513. daniel nunez
515. new music that pushes me to the cross
516. james tealy
517. john pham
518. coffee overlooking the pacific ocean
519. a warm welcome home
520. first roller-coaster rides
521. first steps
522. pink princess birthday
523. a new school year
524. 11 years with this man
525. s'mores at the lake