Day 3: The Thankfulness Project

Thank you, thank you, thank you, God, for having a reliable car.

My boyfriend has been dealing with car trouble since this past summer and last month, it finally became almost undriveable. There is a lot of work to be done on it if it is going to last a few more years.

ford focus

So, I apparently don’t have any pictures of my car (see how thankful I am), but here’s what it looks like. Courtesy of http://gtcarlot.com/data/Ford/Focus/2007/384894/Exterior-59452628.html

Seeing him struggle and worry almost every day about whether it would break down in the middle of the road, I became very very thankful for my car that has never had an issue more serious than a flat tire.

Going to school in a wealthy neighborhood where my 2007 Ford Focus is probably one of the oldest cars on the block, I often take for granted my little green car that starts up every day, drives smooth, and keeps me warm (or cold) and dry. I never complain about my car, but I don’t often say thank you either.

There are a lot of people in this country who don’t have vehicles or who are restless wondering if they’ll have a way to get to work in the morning. There are a lot of people in other countries who will never have a car or maybe even see one. They walk for miles in rain, snow, and heat.

I was reminded today of how important cars are when my roommate woke me up early to ask me to drive her to class because the friend she normally rides with could not find her keys. I didn’t really think about it until after I dropped her off, but her education (at least for today) relied on me having a reliable mode of transportation.

I started thinking about how what I would do without a car. I would have to walk about a mile to the grocery store and walk back with everything I bought. The nearest non-grocery store is probably another mile further. I wouldn’t be able to drive to see my boyfriend. I wouldn’t be able to go home whenever I want. I wouldn’t be able to drive to work and I wouldn’t be able to explore my beautiful city.

I know these are first-world problems and not nearly comparable to the plights of those in impoverished or less developed nations, but they at least gave me a brief insight into what I would do without my little green blessing.

Lord,
I know it’s a little thing, but thank you for my car. I often forget how much of a blessing it is to not have to worry how I will get somewhere. All I have to do is grab my keys and go. So many people in this world do not have that luxury. For them, it is a labor to go a few miles and travelling long distances is out of the question. Thank you for giving me a blessing I can share with others by giving rides and help me find more ways to honor you with the gift you’ve given me.
Amen.

JJB- Day 3 thankful for a reliable car

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Day 2: The Thankfulness Project

Thank you, God, for my gift of free speech.

Day 2: The Thankfulness Project - JustJaymesBlog

People fought for my right to publish this blog, so I will honor them and my Father with this gift. Courtesy of http://russia-insider.com/en/crosstalk-neo-mccarthyism/ri7572

Last night, I read an article about a decision my university made that I have strong opinions about. Without getting into details, the university made statements about supporting the Christian community on campus despite cutting our resources and showing minimal involvement in on-campus Christian organizations.

I was upset and decided to write a letter to the president and provost expressing my concerns about the university’s decisions. While I was writing some notes about what I wanted to say, it occurred to me how lucky I am to freely express my views.

As Americans, we often forget that people in other countries do not have the same rights we do. Many people in Asian, African, Caribbean, and Eastern European countries face prison, exile, or even death for expressing their views. They cannot speak out in public, post on social media, or publish articles that conflict with the opinion of the government or other ruling body.

The fact that I can even have this blog is a blessing!

I often take for granted the fact that I can say what I want in America. I can post political articles on Facebook, tweet about my faith, and write letters of dissatisfaction to community leaders. Many other people in world, even some of the people reading this blog, do not have that freedom.

So, I will use my gift of free speech to bless others. I will continue to write in this blog and speak out in my community when something needs to be done. I will share my faith with those who will listen. I will use my words to lift others up and advocate for those who are fortunate enough to have a voice.

God blessed me with my privilege, and I will use it to honor him.

Lord,
Thank you for placing me in a country that allows me to speak my mind. I know many people around the world desire and daily fight for the freedom I so often take for granted. Help me to see my privilege and use it to speak for those who cannot. Help me use my words, spoken and written, to honor you and bless others as you have blessed me. Thank you, Lord, today and every day.
Amen.

Day 2 thankful for free speech - JustJaymesBlog

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The Thankfulness Project

I love Thanksgiving. It’s probably one of the most overlooked holidays being squished between the consumerism of Halloween and Christmas, but I think it’s the most needed holiday in America.

In chapel last night, we talked about how many gifts we’ve been given from God. We can walk. We can see. We can read. We have a college education. We can practice our religion freely. We have fresh water. We have police who protect us. We have supportive friends and family.

Americans are some of the most privileged people on this earth, and yet we probably thank God the least.

I’m going to try to change this. At least for a month.

For the month of November, I am going to count down to Thanksgiving with things I am thankful for. Every day, I will try to post one thing I am thankful for.

I challenge you to join me.

You don’t have to write a blog every day (that’s hard enough even for me!). But write something. Write in a journal, post something on Facebook, or even just say a prayer. But do something every day between now and November 26.

God gives us everything we could ask for and then some.

The least we can do is say thanks.

Lord,
Thank you for all you do for us. We may not see it or appreciate it every day, but we try. This day, and every day after, help us to see your blessings in our lives. Show us your gifts and help us learn to thank you. Give us grateful hearts. In all we do, let us see you and thank you.
Amen.

JJB - The Thankfulness Project

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