Okay, so there is absolutely NO relationship between the two things for which I'm grateful today. Ah well.
First, I was studying Isaiah 2:1 through 4:6 at Gloria Jean's today (per my new Sunday tradition), and was extremely moved by the mercy of God. Isaiah is a book of the Bible that addresses the future of Jerusalem and Judah in particular as well as the (then)future Messiah. Isaiah chapters 2-4 deal with how people try to build up their own security, vanity, power, and even their own gods but how when the true God's majesty is displayed everything else will be embarrassingly ridiculous. People will be brought low; now how could I be grateful for that? Well, in chapter 4, I see that God offers a judgment that cleanses those who trust him. His discipline brings holiness, fruit (a biblical word for the produce or result of something), and true security beyond the things of men. I am so thankful for a God who accepts me as his child. I haven't earned his love--in fact, he loved me before I knew him--and now he is cleaning me up.
I'm thankful for a God who sees my flaws, loves me in spite of them, and loves me too much to ignore them. He's offering mercy that cleanses, strips away the junk, and makes me new. That's real love!
Second, and without any graceful transition other than after the study of Isaiah at Gloria Jean's, I got off the tram and was instantly surrounded by...Christmas lights!! I know, it is really early for Christmas lights. Sorry--I LOVE white lights. The körút (a main street that forms a ring around Budapest, literally the "round road") is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. One whole block is twinkling with soft white lights around trees and hanging from light poles. A scene like this is so charming and inviting and magical and romantic. The joy that was in my heart from the love of God just overflowed into raw happiness as I turned slowly in a circle and took in the lovely scene.
I am thankful for Christmas lights!
Okay, I'm three days in. Practicing the lifestyle of thankfulness is great! What are you thankful for?