Gratitude Changes Everything

Gratitude changes everything!

On many occasions in Psalms 42; 57; 62, David complained about his circumstances. But more often than not, about midway through David’s laments, he begins praising God for who He is and thanking God for what He’s done. Do you know what happens?

All of a sudden David starts feeling better! Life isn’t so bad after all! His problems grow smaller as his perspective of God grows larger, and he begins to see God’s glory shining through the situation.

Why is that? In the writing of one little Psalm, David shifted from depression to rejoicing. He didn’t wait until God changed his situation, solved his problem, or made him feel better before he began thanking Him.

Friends, when we stop complaining and grumbling and begin speaking God’s love language of gratitude, our perspective will change as well.

We will begin seeing moments of sudden glory through the lens of praise and thanksgiving—glory moments that were there all along, but hidden from our grumbling eyes.



Thankfulness is a funny thing.

Paul says, be thankful in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18) but there are probably times when you have wondered “how on earth can I be thankful when this is happening to me?”

I have come to the conclusion that alongside other things, thankfulness is something of a state of mind. Thankfulness involves us looking for the things that we can be grateful for even in some of the most confronting of circumstances. It could be being thankful for the person or people alongside us in the mess. For me one time lamenting in prayer that I felt completely alone, suddenly realised that I couldn’t possibly be completely alone because I was talking with the ever-present God!

Finding that little something that we can be thankful for, even in the midst of the storm, I believe is one of those glimpses of the Kingdom, a foretaste of the fullness of God’s presence. In the church, we can often aspire to be more than we currently are and that is to be commended. However, let us never forget to be thankful for what we have, who we are and the things that are being accomplished with God’s help along the way.

Let’s choose to be thankful.


Useful to God

What was the highlight of your week?

For some of us it may have been a special time with grandkids, or it may have been the better outcome of a bad situation than what we had been preparing ourselves for.

For me this week I had an unusual sense of peace in what would look to others like a week of chaos!

I guess it all started when I met a friend for coffee last weekend and when she asked the deeper digging question of “how are you—really?” I surprised myself by saying, “you know what?! Despite everything, I’m spiritually in a really good place so anything I share with you as a problem, I know God has already got it”.

Saying that is a little cliché, I know. We often tell family and friends to hand it over to God but we seldom know what that really looks like. This time when I said it though, I meant and felt every word of it being true.

The rest of my day and week has been a continuation of that presence and here’s what I put it down to….. at some stage during Lent when I gave up some of the social media pages and immersed myself in God’s word (devotions; literature; music; podcasts; sermon video’s) there was no room for worry, there was no room for complaint, there was no desire to vent.

The outpouring of that peace, the calm, and the joy meant that I could surrender to God and allow my faith to be made complete. It meant that when I saw an opportunity to express God’s love for a stranger—I did; it meant that when I saw an opportunity to fight for God’s truth with a fellow believer—in love, I did. This week my highlight was that as we choose to let go of our ambitions, desires, and chaos, and choose to follow God’s lead, we can begin to live a life useful to Him! (James 2:22-24)


To believe or not to believe

Christ is Risen so now we can celebrate!

For the followers of Jesus, it was almost too good to believe that Jesus had risen from the dead. In fact, as we heard last week, Thomas didn’t believe it, not at first. It does make me pause to wonder how many others struggled to believe the news that the apostles brought of the resurrected Jesus.

My hunch is that the assurance that those others needed came from the way the members of the early church lived out their faith. You know, the old “They’ll know we are Christians by our love” idea.

The statement of who we are as a congregation is Living Jesus’ Love. We are striving to do the same here in the Beenleigh region. As individuals and as a congregation we are aiming to live our lives demonstrating the love of Jesus to those we know and those we don’t.

The premise is simple, and as is sometimes the case perhaps easier said than done but if we focus our attention on treating others in a loving way, even when we disagree or have to correct someone, then the presence of God, through the example of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit will be revealed.

Let’s allow the joy and motivation of resurrection to compel us to treat others well, even in the most difficult of moments, so that the presence of God can have the opportunity it needs to shine into someone's life.

Peter Smale


Love your Neighbour

From the Minister’s desk...

Over recent months, some of us have found ourselves in increasing contact with people who are homeless, or living rough is perhaps another term, with which we have become all too familiar.

In the light of those encounters, I have to say that I continue to be challenged by an extract that came across my desk a little while back. Acknowledging that I am continuing to wrestle with the ideas expressed, I am sharing them with you for you to ponder also.

Thanks - Peter Smale

Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. (John 12:24)

If you would ask the Desert Fathers why solitude gives birth to compassion, they would say, “Because it makes us die to our neighbour.”

At first this answer seems quite disturbing to a modern mind. But when we give it a closer look we can see that in order to be of service to others we have to die to them; that is, we have to give up measuring our meaning and value with the yardstick of others.

To die to our neighbours means to stop judging them, to stop evaluating them, and thus to become free to be compassionate. Compassion can never coexist with judgment because judgment creates the distance, the distinction, that prevents us from really being with the other.

[Henri J.M. Nouwen, You are the Beloved]


Living Jesus' Love

1 Corinthians 1:23 but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles.

When we stop and think about it, this Jesus we worship makes us a bit of an odd bunch.

At the time of this insight being shared with the people of Corinth a popular understanding was more likely to be that the god(s) who were being worshipped were the sort of god that needed to be pleased in order for them to bless someone’s life.

How back to front, how hard to imagine must it have been for them to hear Paul say, that we as Christians worship Jesus, the very presence of God, who gave his life for ours!! Gave his life so that we could have life in all its fullness.

As we continue our journey through Lent may it be impressed on us in fresh ways, the incredible depth of love that is shown to us by God through Jesus.

And in turn, may we find ourselves compelled to be living examples of that love to those we meet along the way.

May God help us to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.


Mental Health

Feel like you need some extra support? These services are free or at the cost of a local call….

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Black Dog Institute:

Headspace: (12-25 years)

QLD Mental Health Hotline: 1300 642255

Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636;


Grace through Faith

Perhaps it's human nature to boast. Even the most humble among us want to be appreciated and valued for our contribution. We want others to notice what we bring to the group and affirm our unique skills and talents. Sometimes we might help others notice our efforts, either through direct bragging or the way many people disguise it as false modesty.

In either case, we're wanting to take credit for something that we've created, built, selected, achieved, accomplished, or won. With our salvation, there's no way we can take any credit whatsoever. All of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We can't earn his favour or save ourselves.

Jesus came to do what we could not. Through his sacrifice, we have eternal life simply by accepting his free gift. There's nothing we can do to buy it, or earn it. We are all equal recipients of God's love and grace.



We often think of 'needy" people as being ones in tough situations with nowhere else to turn. Homeless people and those in crisis, caught up in domestic dysfunction or addictions, are obviously in need of help. But the truth i that we are all needy, No matter how hard we work to disguise our needs and appear self- sufficient, we need support, encouragement, and assistance from other people.

Whether it's money for groceries or encouragement to ask for a promotion, our sense of inter-dependency reflects the way God made us. He doesn't expect us to have everything together and take care of ourselves alone. He created us to be in relationships as part of a larger community.

Sometimes we must let our guard down and allow others to see how much we really need them.