Spiritual Cancer

VUMC

Greetings Fellow Sojourner!

I recently had thyroid cancer surgery. The process began because my doctor noticed my thyroid was swollen during a yearly physical exam, but instead of keeping this observation to himself, he shared it with me, which led to an ultrasound, biopsy and then surgery.

“You have thyroid cancer.”

His statement did not cause feelings of joy, happiness, contentment, or warm fuzziness, quite the opposite, I felt uncomfortable, uncertain, unhappy. Honestly I did not like his statement, it made me feel bad about myself. I would classify it as hate speech! No one should be allowed to say anything that offends another or makes them feel uncomfortable now matter how well meaning or good their intentions.

There are some that may agree with this viewpoint but there are those with common sense that would say he potentially saved my life. How could someone think that a doctor telling a patient he has cancer is wrong? While a doctor may be required to speak up, what about me? I’m not a doctor but I now know the symptoms of thyroid cancer and I know where the thyroid gland is in the neck and I know where to look for swelling. Should I speak up?(though I can only speak with a whisper at the moment) If I notice someone constantly clearing their throat and see swelling in their lower throat area, should I talk to them about a possible hidden danger or should I mind my own business? Is it loving to allow someone to die of cancer when you might be able to help?

As serious as cancer is there is something that is a greater threat to people, it is called sin. I’m not a preacher but I am a Christian, perhaps that makes me more of a preacher than having cancer makes me a doctor but if I notice someone with the symptoms of spiritual cancer, do I not have a responsibility to speak up, to make them aware of the danger as well as the only cure? Is it loving to allow someone to die and receive eternal judgement in hell because current public opinion says I should keep my Christian beliefs to myself?

Matthew 10:28 (KJV)

28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

At no point has my doctors scolded, chastised, threatened, belittled, blamed or condemned me for having cancer, they are doing their best to help me remove it from my body. Likewise I should treat anyone to which I am attempting to help with spiritual cancer in their lives.

God Bless! Continue reading

Advertisements

Ten Years Ago, I Swallowed A Bottle of Pills To End It All

J.S. Park always has good posts for those who are struggling or hurting, definitely worth following and reading!

J.S. Park

Just ten years ago, I tried to kill myself over a girl.  She had cheated on me twice so I swallowed a bottle of pills and waited for her to find me dead.  Part of me wanted to win her back and the other part of me wanted to end it all.  Neither worked.

Looking back, I feel a sad sort of pathetic amusement about the whole thing.  To this day, I still struggle with depression and that’s some very serious business, but to actually have tried to kill myself over anotherperson makes me a bit embarrassed.  Sometimes it garners sympathy and affirming looks, but other times I see people back away with incredulity, as if they would never let themselves take their drama so far.

Yet I want to tell the ones who don’t understand: It’s so very easy to get attached to a person, an idea…

View original post 1,123 more words

God’s NOT Dead!

God’s Not Dead , is a very good overtly Christian themed movie that would be great for every teenage Christian to go see as many will face the same type of challenges to their faith as they transition into adulthood, most being away from home for the first time at college. How would you respond if faced with the same test to your faith?

Romans 1 (NKJV)

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

helix nebula

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

As in this movie, sometimes challenges to our faith comes from those close to us, from family or friends that perhaps feel they are helping us or know what’s best for us but ultimately God knows best!

In the book of Job, Job’s friends stop by in an effort to “comfort” him. After a while of their comforting, Job becomes indignant and in his defense to them is a bit self-righteous. God then shows up and has about four chapters worth of questions for Job. God’s first question to Job always comes to my mind when I read or hear theories as to how everything came into existence without God receiving credit for it. 

Question – “Where were you when I (God) created everything?” Answer – You were not there. And since you were not there, you don’t know, you are speaking from ignorance.

Job 38 (NKJV)

1 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said:

“Who is this who darkens counsel
By words without knowledge?
Now prepare yourself like a man;
I will question you, and you shall answer Me.

“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
Tell Me, if you have understanding.

……….

Job 42 (NKJV)

42 Then Job answered the Lord and said:

“I know that You can do everything,
And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.
You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
Listen, please, and let me speak;
You said, ‘I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’

“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear,
But now my eye sees You.
Therefore I abhor myself,
And repent in dust and ashes.”

Job’s faith was tested more than almost any person recorded in the Bible, his faith and patience are legendary but even he was humbled by God for his prideful speech. When facing challenges to our faith, we have to be careful of self-righteousness.

If your faith is not strong enough to withstand verbal assaults or intellectual scrutiny of scoffers, would it be strong enough to withstand threats of physical violence or possible death? Adrian Rogers  said “A faith that cannot be tested, cannot be trusted.”

Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV)

 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

At some point it comes down to faith, the Christian believes(has faith) that God exists and that His Word is true; the unbelieving has faith(believes) that God does not exist and that the Bible is a fairytale. Will your faith save you?

~God Bless!

What is Love?

what-is-love

How would you describe love? Is it a feeling? Is it an emotion? Is it some mystical force that you have no control over?

Is there a limit to the amount of love you have available?I have three children but if we had a fourth would I have as much love available to express to the fourth child or would I have to take some love away from the other three to share with the fourth?

If you can fall in love, what is required for you to climb back out? Do you love bacon as much as puppies, long walks on the beach, sunsets, reading books, hanging out with friends and family, chocolate or coffee? What do you love? Who do you love? Can you choose to love or not love?

1 Corinthians 13 (NIV)

1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Has your love matured or do you still act like a child? Do you love your spouse unconditionally putting their needs ahead of your own or do you keep records of wrong, dwelling on past hurts, frustrations and aggravations? Are you patient and kind with your children when they act immaturely? Are you happy when misfortune strikes those you dislike? Have you given up on a sibling because of repeated past failures and poor decisions?

Perhaps you’ve been hurt in the past by someone you love and have put up barriers to protect yourself from experiencing that pain again, so you limit your love toward others, keeping them at an arms length not allowing anyone to get too close.

The only thing worse than being hurt by someone you love deeply is not loving anyone deeply enough to be hurt.

1 Peter 4:8 (CEV)

  8 Most important of all, you must sincerely love each other, because love wipes away many sins.

Romans 5:8 (CEV)

  8 But God showed how much he loved us by having Christ die for us, even though we were sinful.

1 Corinthians 13:8 (CEV)

  8 Love never fails!…

If love never fails, then you’re unstoppable when you are loving. The only limit to love is that which you place upon it. 

~God Bless!

The Price of Faith

The Price Is Right

2 Samuel 24:20-25(GNT)

20 Araunah looked down and saw the king and his officials coming up to him. He threw himself on the ground in front of David 21 and asked, “Your Majesty, why are you here?”

David answered, “To buy your threshing place and build an altar for the Lord, in order to stop the epidemic.”

22 “Take it, Your Majesty,” Araunah said, “and offer to the Lord whatever you wish. Here are these oxen to burn as an offering on the altar; here are their yokes and the threshing boards to use as fuel.” 23 Araunah gave it all to the king and said to him, “May the Lord your God accept your offering.”

24 But the king answered, “No, I will pay you for it. I will not offer to the Lord my God sacrifices that have cost me nothing.” And he bought the threshing place and the oxen for fifty pieces of silver. 25 Then he built an altar to the Lord and offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. The Lord answered his prayer, and the epidemic in Israel was stopped.

What has your faith cost you? Have you paid a price? Perhaps you have lost a few friends or possibly strained some family relationships but have you had to sacrifice anything? If we are truly following Jesus, we’ve had to make some sacrifices, if we aren’t saying no to selfish desires and yes to the Lord, we aren’t following, we are going our own way.

Matthew 16:24-28 (KJV)

24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

I Have Decided To Follow Jesus, No Turning Back in many countries around our world has a very different meaning. Remember to pray for one another, especially the saints that are suffering persecution around the world.

Hebrews 13:1-3 (GNT)

1 Keep on loving one another as Christians. Remember to welcome strangers in your homes. There were some who did that and welcomed angels without knowing it. Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them. Remember those who are suffering, as though you were suffering as they are.

Dear Lord,

Please be with your saints around this sinful world that are suffering persecution and even death for your name’s sake. Pour out your Holy Spirit upon them, bless them mightily that they might endure and bring you honor! Forgive me please for my selfish sinfulness and failure to diligently seek to follow and obey you especially when there are others dying around the world for no other reason than they professed faith in Your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Please Lord sent a revival to the Christian Church in this country that we might start living worthy of Your calling and begin making a difference in our own land.

In Jesus name and for His glory,

Amen!

Matthew 5:10-12 (NKJV)

10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

May the Lord bless and keep you!

Love and Respect – the missing ingredients?

Dearly beloved we are gathered here today in the sight of God and this company to join this man and this woman in the bonds of holy matrimony…

marriage-rings

Do you remember your wedding day? Were you excited? nervous? afraid or apprehensive?  Do you remember how beautiful your wife looked walking down the isle? How handsome your husband looked in his tux?

Do you remember your vows?

“Jason, wilt thou have Tresha to be thy wedded wife, to live together after God’s ordinance, in the holy estate of matrimony? Wilt thou love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health; and forsaking all others, keep thee only unto her, so long as ye both shall live?”

“Tresha, wilt thou have Jason to be thy wedded husband, to live together after God’s ordinance, in the holy estate of matrimony? Wilt thou obey him, and serve him, love, honor and keep him, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, and, forsaking all others, keep thee only unto him, so long as ye both shall live?”

Now fast forward a year, 7 years, 20 years, do you still feel the same as you did on your wedding day? Why or why not? Are you more in love or less? There’s probably been some richer and poorer(especially if you have kids), there’s been some sickness, there’s been some challenges along the way. Husbands have you been keeping your vows? Loving, honoring, comforting… Wives how are you doing loving, honoring, respecting(obeying and serving)?

Ephesians 5:
21 Submit yourselves to one another because of your reverence for Christ.

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For a husband has authority over his wife just as Christ has authority over the church; and Christ is himself the Savior of the church, his body. 24 And so wives must submit themselves completely to their husbands just as the church submits itself to Christ.

25 Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it. 26 He did this to dedicate the church to God by his word, after making it clean by washing it in water, 27 in order to present the church to himself in all its beauty—pure and faultless, without spot or wrinkle or any other imperfection. 28 Men ought to love their wives just as they love their own bodies. A man who loves his wife loves himself. (29 None of us ever hate our own bodies. Instead, we feed them, and take care of them, just as Christ does the church; 30 for we are members of his body.) 31 As the scripture says, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and unite with his wife, and the two will become one.” 32 There is a deep secret truth revealed in this scripture, which I understand as applying to Christ and the church. 33 But it also applies to you: every husband must love his wife as himself, and every wife must respect her husband. (GNT)

SpicesLove and Respect, the two most important ingredients to a successful marriage. Are you showing your spouse love and respect? If not, why not? You might say they don’t deserve it or they haven’t earned it, or they aren’t treating you the way you want to be treated, etc…. Stop the insanity cycle and treat them with love and respect because God has said to do so, you may just be surprised they were feeling the same way about you and start treating you differently as well.

~God Bless!

Lessons in Church Planting

It’s been a while since I posted anything, funny how life gets busy and crowds out certain things, like posting to a blog.

I started this blog to recount the process of planting a new church, among other ramblings and musings. My family and I started this process back in August or September 2012, we attended the church plant classes and seminars, core group meetings, get-togethers and cookouts, we participated in planning sessions and chatted around bonfires, discussed cores values, mission statements, and polity but once the sandals hit the pavement, the reality is some people are not cut out for gardening.

Gardening

So what, if anything, did I learn from my 8 month expedition into church planting? Here are a few things to contemplate if you are considering participating in a church plant:

1. Why are you considering participating in a church plant?
a. My current church environment has become stagnant and I’m looking for a change.
b. I always wanted to start my own church.
c. I feel burdened by God to invest my life into this specific new work.

2. Is your entire family fully onboard and are open to participating in the church plant?
a. I’m not sure but my family will follow where I lead.
b. They would rather attend elsewhere but will do as they are told.
c. We have all prayed together and individually and are in agreement this is what God wants from us at this time.

3. What is the polity of the new church plant?
a. I have no idea what a polity is, are you sure you didn’t misspell policy?
b. They are just starting and have no defined/established polity in place yet.
c. The leadership and top down organizational structure of the new church has been clearly defined and explained in detail.

4. What style of worship will be employed in the new church?
a. I’m not sure but assume it will be the same or similar to our mother church.
b. It doesn’t matter and is really irrelevant, no one attends a church because of the worship style.
c. The “style” has been discussed with the core group of planters and is a style that the majority believes will best aid them in their worship of the Lord.

5. What is your role in the new church plant?
a. I will help prepare the soil and plant the seed.
b. I will water.
c. I will tend the plants, pull weeds, and help with the harvest.

amish-farm

For me and my family, it has been a learning experience and a transition time.

1. I had gotten to a point where church was just a habit or routine, I was not getting much from it and was looking for a change, so why not participate in a church plant?

2. My wife was ok with participating, not sure if it was because she was just being an obedient wife or if she was really convinced this is what our family should be doing at this time, I think the later but obviously by my not knowing for sure, we should have had more communication.

3. My two youngest sons were a bit indifferent but my oldest was completely against it, he has a lot of friends in the youth group at our former church and not only were there no boys his age in the new plant(which we knew going in), as it turns out the polity of the new church had no provision for a youth leader or youth program.

4. Worship style matters. Churches have divided, denominations have divided over the style of worship. Should this be? Probably not. Is it possible for me to attend a Pentecostal, Anglican, Methodist, Church of God, Church of Christ, Baptist or other church and worship God with them? Yes it is and yes I have. Do I have a preference? Yes I do. It is important to know the planned style of worship, it  enables you to participate in the corporate worship service and enhances your worship experience. If the worship songs are all going to be country style ballads and your preference is Christian heavy metal then the Cowboy Church is probably not going to be your best choice as a home church.

5. Church planting is hard work. It is challenging and trying. Not everyone that starts the work will see it through to completion. Does it mean those that work for a few hours and then move on are not as Godly as those that worked the entire day? Dunno. Maybe. Or maybe the Lord will use their contributions but has another field he has planned to transition them to a little further down the road.

6. As with any good marriage, so it is with a church plant, communication is key to avoiding problems and pitfalls. Communicating with your family to ensure their needs are being met, communicating with church plant team members to ensure you are on the same page and have the same vision, and communicating with God through prayer to ensure you are in His will.

Ecclesiastes 3:

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

What gain has the worker from his toil? 10 I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. 12 I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; 13 also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.

14 I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him. 15 That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already has been; and God seeks what has been driven away. (ESV)

Crossroads

So now what? You signed up to plant a new church and have come to the realization this is not what you thought it was going to be? You feel trapped. How long do you stay? Is there a graceful way to exit? Will there be hurt feelings or animosity? Will those that remain judge you and your family as infidels or will they bless you and wish you Godspeed on your journey through this life?

Hopefully they are friends and desire what is best for you and your family. Hopefully you can have a civil parting where you bless them and wish them well on their journey as they do to you and your family.

1 Peter 4:
The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. (ESV)

Godspeed brothers and sisters on your journey, may the Lord be pleased and honored with all you do!

Abundant Life

How would you describe your life? Is it everything you hoped and imagined it would be?

John 10:10
…I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.(NKJV)

…I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).(AMP)

…I have come in order that you might have life—life in all its fullness.(GNT)

…I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.(MSG)

…I have come that they may have life,and have it to the full.(NIV)

…My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.(NLT)

Are you living a full, abundant life or would you describe it more like a piece of driftwood floating down the river of life? If you are not experiencing the abundant life Jesus promised, why aren’t you?

John 5:
37 And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen,38 and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent. 39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.(ESV)

Maybe it’s time to come to Jesus.

Road Trip

Road-Trip

Have you ever gone on a trip knowing exactly where you wanted to go but ended up somewhere completely different?

I have a friend that was driving to a customer site in Knoxville, TN but ended up in Chattanooga. You have to pay attention to the signs or you could end up somewhere you didn’t intend to be.

Our Sunday School teacher pointed something out from our lesson in 2 Kings 17 this past week that I had not previously noticed.

2 Kings 17:
And this occurred because the people of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods and walked in the customs of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel, and in the customs that the kings of Israel had practiced.And the people of Israel did secretly against the Lord their God things that were not right. They built for themselves high places in all their towns, from watchtower to fortified city. 10 They set up for themselves pillars and Asherim on every high hill and under every green tree, 11 and there they made offerings on all the high places, as the nations did whom the Lord carried away before them. And they did wicked things, provoking the Lord to anger, 12 and they served idols, of which the Lord had said to them, “You shall not do this.” 13 Yet the Lord warned Israel and Judah by every prophet and every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways and keep my commandments and my statutes, in accordance with all the Law that I commanded your fathers, and that I sent to you by my servants the prophets.”

14 But they would not listen, but were stubborn, as their fathers had been, who did not believe in the Lord their God. 15 They despised his statutes and his covenant that he made with their fathers and the warnings that he gave them. They went after false idols and became false, and they followed the nations that were around them, concerning whom the Lord had commanded them that they should not do like them. 16 And they abandoned all the commandments of the Lord their God, and made for themselves metal images of two calves; and they made an Asherah and worshiped all the host of heaven and served Baal. 17 And they burned their sons and their daughters as offerings and used divination and omens and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger.18 Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them out of his sight. None was left but the tribe of Judah only.

19 Judah also did not keep the commandments of the Lord their God, but walked in the customs that Israel had introduced. 20 And the Lord rejected all the descendants of Israel and afflicted them and gave them into the hand of plunderers, until he had cast them out of his sight.

21 When he had torn Israel from the house of David, they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king. And Jeroboam drove Israel from following the Lord and made them commit great sin. 22 The people of Israel walked in all the sins that Jeroboam did. They did not depart from them, 23 until the Lord removed Israel out of his sight, as he had spoken by all his servants the prophets. So Israel was exiled from their own land to Assyria until this day.(ESV)

dangerous-road

Do you see the progression? They started out secretly sinning but ultimately they ended up openly participating in evil against the Lord. And they….

What’s the road you’re headed down look like?

What if?

What if today

I’ve had the plague(or at least a reasonable facsimile) for a little over three weeks now. I’ve been to the doctor three times in that time frame. During one of my visits, I noticed a nurse had a question posted in her work area:

What if the only things you have today, were the things you thanked God for yesterday?

Well….. What would you have?

Would you have your health? Your job? Your spouse? Your children? Your home? Your friends? Your family?

Psalm 136:

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
    For His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the God of gods!
    For His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords!
    For His mercy endures forever:

To Him who alone does great wonders,
    For His mercy endures forever;
To Him who by wisdom made the heavens,
    For His mercy endures forever;
To Him who laid out the earth above the waters,
    For His mercy endures forever;
To Him who made great lights,
    For His mercy endures forever—
The sun to rule by day,
    For His mercy endures forever;
The moon and stars to rule by night,
    For His mercy endures forever.

10 To Him who struck Egypt in their firstborn,
    For His mercy endures forever;
11 And brought out Israel from among them,
    For His mercy endures forever;
12 With a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm,
    For His mercy endures forever;
13 To Him who divided the Red Sea in two,
    For His mercy endures forever;
14 And made Israel pass through the midst of it,

For His mercy endures forever;
15 But overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea,
    For His mercy endures forever;
16 To Him who led His people through the wilderness,
    For His mercy endures forever;
17 To Him who struck down great kings,
    For His mercy endures forever;
18 And slew famous kings,
    For His mercy endures forever—
19 Sihon king of the Amorites,
    For His mercy endures forever;
20 And Og king of Bashan,
    For His mercy endures forever—
21 And gave their land as a heritage,
    For His mercy endures forever;
22 A heritage to Israel His servant,
    For His mercy endures forever.

23 Who remembered us in our lowly state,
    For His mercy endures forever;
24 And rescued us from our enemies,
    For His mercy endures forever;
25 Who gives food to all flesh,
    For His mercy endures forever.

26 Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven!
    For His mercy endures forever.