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Just say "thanks" more

Thank you! Everything in me says "Thank you!" Angels listen as I sing my thanks. I kneel in worship facing your holy temple and say it again: "Thank you!" Thank you for your love, thank you for your faithfulness...

Psalm138:1-2a (The Message)

How often do you say thank during a day? Why are you thankful? Who should I thank? Who should we thank? How should we thank?

Several years ago in her research entitled, The How of Happiness, Sonja Lyubomirsky used a scientific approach to our culture's elusive pursuit of happiness. In her research she discovered that fifty percent of our happiness comes from disposition in our DNA. We are Tigger or Eeyore based more on Mom and Dad than anything else. Like the thermostat on the wall, our temperament has a preset temperature. Surprisingly, only ten percent of happiness comes from our life circumstances — a raise at work; the kids' good grades; the day of one's retirement.

Lyubomirsky claims that we have control over the remaining forty percent of our happiness. That huge slice of the pie represents our thoughts, attitudes and actions. And they can be managed through happiness-fostering habits. Her number one happiness habit is being appreciative — fostering an attitude of gratitude. Not just feeling but expressing thankfulness.

Lyubomirsky cites a study in which one group of people listed five things they were thankful for. They did this weekly for 10 weeks. Comparison groups in the study wrote different kinds of weekly lists — "five major events," "five hassles this week," etc. The "thankful" group reported more happiness and contentment than did the comparison groups. They even reported improved health in the form of fewer headaches and coughs.

How does that kind of gratitude make its home in our hearts and souls? For David, and for us, praise practice makes perfect. Someone once stated that "David's life was a noble train wreck." It had moments of spiritual brilliance and moments of utter dullness. But God kept using and delivering David, both because of David and despite him. When you see that kind of love of grace from God in your life, it just changes you from the inside out, from soul into words.

How often do you say thank you during a day? Why are you thankful? Who should I thank? Who should we thank? How should we thank? Remember David's words..."Just say "thanks" more.

Pastor Steve

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