The 40 / 10 Challenge: A Blessed Nation

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It’s Tuesday.  If you’re reading this…congratulations!  You have survived the holiday shopping onslaught that’s known, first, as Black Friday and then Cyber Monday.

My email inbox was stuffed yesterday with notices from businesses and online companies about great sales and special discounts.  Although I didn’t keep count, it felt like I was getting those emails once every 15 minutes.

ad filled newspaperAnd then there was Black Friday which really started on Thanksgiving for an unprecedented number of stores.  Did you happen to see the newspaper from last Thursday?  It was bigger than your traditional Sunday newspaper thanks to an extra helping of store ads.

We are truly a blessed nation.  A spoiled nation when you think about it.  Grocery stores seem like they’re just around the corner for many of us.  And you rarely find store shelves empty.  There is abundance.  Have you spent time in another country where the shelves were more empty than full?  I have.

In the DFW area, world-class medical facilities are less than 30 minutes away.  Or you can hop on an airplane and get to Houston and their facilities in less than an hour.

We have houses with running water and indoor plumbing.  Cars can get us from home to work, the store, the mall and other destinations.  Church buildings that have pews and padded seats, heat when it’s cold outside and air conditioning during the summer.

Blessed?  Yes!  Spoiled?  Yes!

Last Sunday evening, I had the privilege of speaking at my church on the topic “spoiled rotten”.  One dictionary defines and describes spoiled rotten this way: “Indulged in; greatly spoiled.”  For example, “I was spoiled rotten when I was a child, so I’m used to this kind of wasteful luxury.”  That’s what we have to watch out for.

Wasteful luxury!  We accumulate so many blessings that we don’t use them all and they become spoiled.

As I was studying for the lesson, I came up with an idea.  I called it the 40/10 challenge.  And as you’re reading this blog, I challenge you to accept it.

We receive abundant blessings every day!
We receive abundant blessings every day!

The concept is quite simple.  Take about 10 minutes and write down 40 blessings.  I’ve provided a blank list for you at the end.

And what do I mean by blessings?  It’s up to you to decide.  How has God blessed your life?  Has it been through certain people at home, at church, in your neighborhood, at work or at school?

What about places?  What’s going on at home that you consider a blessing?  How is the workplace, community center or school a blessing?
And finally there’s personal activity.  What are you involved in that you see as a blessing in your life or the lives of people that you come into contact with?

Here’s my challenge.  We’ve got about four weeks left in 2013 (where did this year go???).  Take the first ten blessings and pray about them.  Thank God.  Write a thank you note if it’s a person on your list.  Make a phone call.  Let them know that you care for them.

Is it an activity or a place that you can share with a friend?  Invite them to join you.  It can certainly open up doors to talk to them about the blessings God has given you.

I hope you will consider doing this.  I think it can be fun and an eye-opening experience.  More importantly, I think it can provide an opportunity to encourage others to think about their own spiritual life and where they are at in their walk with God.  If they haven’t started that very important journey, it can give them something to think about.

Are you ready for the 40/10 challenge?  I know that you are!  40/10 Challenge Worksheet

Today’s post was a guest post from my big brother Stewart.  Stew works in the news industry as a television news producer.  He is a great brother and a super Uncle to our girls.

Family Worship Series

Just a few more weeks left in 2013.  I have some new plans for a different devotional series in 2014.  Something that will hopefully fit into the schedule of even the busiest family.  For now, finish out the year strong as we continue the family worship series – Week 49 – Elijah Is Taken To Heaven