Saturday February 2, 2019 – The wonder of gratitude and where it can lead us!

Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Whenever I go outside I love to hear the soft song of a Mourning Dove.  It is something that has always been dear to me.  I am thrilled that these special birds have been common wherever we’ve lived.  During our last year in Colorado Springs we had the blessing of a pair of these doves nesting on the top of our trellis below our deck.  Daily we were able to see them and watch the whole process from building their nest to raising their young.

When I see or hear Mourning Doves a wonderful process kicks in. I stop, enjoy their beauty, think of my Lord Jesus, and am filled with gratitude for Him and the blessings He has given me. My enjoyment of these birds triggers this process that leads me to a quiet, rich reservoir of gratitude for my God.  Gratitude is priceless and is one of the most important attributes we can have.

I also love bouquets of fresh flowers.  One of my favorites is blue hydrangeas.  The blue color is rich and deep and they are so beautiful.  At Williamson Christian College where I worked there is a large bush of them.  I tried to keep a vase of these flowers on the front desk where everyone could be blessed by their beauty during the day.  The wonderful thing is that these flowers trigger the same process within me that the Mourning Doves do.  I go from seeing and enjoying their beauty to savoring the richness of my love relationship with God.

I’m particularly thankful that this marvelous blessing of gratitude is richly evident in my relationship with my darling Donna.  Each day when I see her or think of her is a reminder of the goodness of God and His love in blessing me with such a woman to be my wife.  This gratitude and thankfulness lead to loving Him more and more – and being continually amazed at the wonder that we belong to Him.

I believe this is a process that we all can and should experience repeatedly each day.  We are surrounded by beauty, whether in flowers, birds, nature or the people around us.  We need to ask the Lord to open our eyes to see and enjoy it – to recognize the moment.  It is then simply a matter of His Holy Spirit creating the links within us that go from seeing beauty to enjoying the peaceful place of gratitude for Him.  The neat thing is that pretty soon we start seeing beauty everywhere and it all leads us to Jesus.

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About Don Schmidt

Beginning in the fall of 2009, Don was VP of Operations & Director of Student Life for 2 years at Williamson Christian College in Franklin, TN - a wonderful, accredited 4 year college for adult learners. That is where he started writing the devotionals. The passion of his heart is to love God and to help others learn to love God more and more. He grew up in St. Joseph, MI - Class of '66. Graduated from Michigan State in '70 and Wheaton Grad School in '78. Thunderous conversion October 11, 1968. He and Donna were engaged 2 hrs & 15 minutes after they met August 25, 1969 at a Christian camp in Georgia. They married in '70 and have 4 wonderful sons. Most of his adult career has been in business in NE Ohio. They lived for 20 years in Peninsula, OH. They attended St. Luke's Ministries (Anglican) in Copley, OH for many years. Three years ago they were reassigned by the Lord to attend River of Life Community Church in Hudson, OH. St. Luke's prayerfully sent them off on this new adventure with much love.
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