Exciting news! June 14th, 2016 is the official release date of my new book “The Isaiah Encounter: Living an Everyday Life of Worship” and is now also available on Amazon. Please check it out, read it, tell your friends and church, and even write a review. I also invite you to listen to my next radio interview on KRKS in Denver, CO Monday, June 13th at 4 pm Mountain time (6 pm Eastern and 5 pm Central.

During a worship service at a church I once attended a group of students came forward to share their experiences on a missions trip to Haiti. One of them spoke about an older woman they met who lived in a makeshift house made from cardboard and other materials. Her living conditions were abysmal, food was scarce, and she was suffering from an ailment that had not been treated. Toward the end of their trip, the students pooled their spending money and brought the woman to a local hospital where she received the care and medication she needed.

Before they left, the students paid one last visit to the woman. They were relieved that her health had improved to the point where she could eat food, so they offered her some of their bread.

What they observed impacted them—and me—for a lifetime.

The woman slowly took the bread, brought it to her mouth and started to eat a small bite. She paused for a while before swallowing it. After this, she closed her eyes for several moments before eating the next bite in the same way. This continued for several minutes. The students, concerned about her, asked if she was not feeling well enough to eat.

She replied that she was thanking God for every piece of food that He provided to her. With every moment of the meal, this precious woman made the choice to express her heartfelt thanks to God.

I’ve lost count of the times I’ve scarfed down a meal, giving God only a quick, perfunctory prayer.  Recalling this story reminds me that every meal –everything on my plate and in my cup— is a miracle and blessing from God. He provides for me only because of His great love and kindness, not because of anything I’ve done.

When I am mindful of this, thankfulness wells up from the depth of my soul.

Thankfulness requires the conscious choice to be aware of God’s presence and abundant blessings in our life, both big and small.  Giving thanks is an essential thread in the tapestry of a life of worship.

Sometime this week, try slowing down when you eat a meal. Reflect on the miracle of each item, and how good God is to bring it to your table. Pause with each bite and silently express your love and gratefulness to the One who loves you so much that He provided it to you.

When we choose to cultivate thankfulness in our being, God will bring a spiritual harvest of His presence and blessing.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”
Psalm 106:1

God bless you!

Chris Atkins