Tehillim [Psalm] 116:17 “I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving and will call upon the name of the Lord”, Psalm 50:14 “Offer to God the sacrifice of thanksgiving; and fulfill your vows to the most High”, Psalm 50:23 “Whosoever offers the sacrifice of thanksgiving glorifies me; and to him will I show the way of the salvation of our God”. Giving thanks to ELOHIM/GOD should not be just a one day a year event but should be a daily offering. Are you grateful to HIM for all HE has done for you or do you believe that everything in your life comes from your own hands not HIS? Read Iyov [Job] for a reminder about how we all can have our lives changed in an instant.
According to ELOHIM’S/GOD’S Word, everything we have comes from HIM including our very lives. It reminds me to thank HIM frequently for all that I have. When thanking HIM, try to get into detail: the roof over your head, hot and cold air, hot and cold water, electricity, phones/computers [in the past, many people never heard from family again when they moved overseas or wives didn’t see husbands until sometimes years later – after a war was over], money to pay bills and to do HIS SON’S work with, money for gas/insurance and a car or money to pay for rides or to have a transportation system nearby and money to use it or to have caring people help with rides when needed, toilet paper [have you thought about what it would be like not to have any], clothes, the money to buy healthy food, to have good water and enough for bathing/drinking/cooking/cleaning/extra for other use, good health, having arms/legs/hands/feet/eyes/ears and senses of seeing-hearing-smelling-tasting-touching and that all work including your mind, being able to earn enough money to pay for a place to live and buy what is needed, to be able to learn and grow and advance in skills and have the opportunities to go to school or college or trade school, to have an affordable place to live instead of being homeless or working 3 jobs to get by, good and true friends and family, whatever/whomever you have in your life that blesses you, being a blessing to others, being able to be a blessing to ELOHIM/GOD above all!
I believe we don’t stop and think about what is in our lives that we do have and enjoy so we end up taking things for granted. They become common to us so we end up not being grateful and even wasteful as a result. When I was in Israel a washer/dryer, stove, and a/c were luxuries! I did clothes by hand and hung them up to dry when machines were not available and I cooked on hotplates and used fans. I did not own a vehicle and I walked or took the bus. In many parts of the world having clean water and even enough of it for all your uses, having hot water, having plumbing in a house to bring water instead of walking to a river or well and carrying water back, having utilities of any kind, having something other than a dirt floor and some tin-cardboard-plywood-straw-mud between you and the outdoors is not common. Having what is considered common in America is really a luxury for most people in the world. Americans take much for granted. Take a look at your favorite groceries or other items you buy for personal and home use and see where they were imported from. How many choices do you have? Anything not made locally and shipped to where you live and having many choices are luxuries, too.
Waste is a huge problem in America as well. Water is scarce in parts of the world and I had to reduce consumption of it when I lived in Israel. How often do you leave water on instead of shutting it off or have the pressure up high when you could reduce the volume? Do your clothes really need to be put in the clothes hamper because of wearing or using them only once or twice? How many loads of laundry could you cut back if you wore your clothes until they really needed to be washed? Do you leave lights or machines on that are not being used or watched – like the TV set? Do you really need your a/c or heat/air pump on all of the time? How about opening your windows and getting some fresh air in and allowing your body to get used to the natural temperature outside. See how much money you will save as a result. Sweating is good for the body and helps to get rid of toxins. Ceiling or other fans are more economical to use than a/c fans or heat/air pumps. Experiment with your electric usage and see how much you can save.
How much money do you spend on toiletries and the latest “hot” thing? Do you have hundreds of dollars worth of partially used bottles and tubes of various products just taking up space? When traveling, I got down to a box of baking soda for brushing teeth with and mixing with water to use for deodorant and either coconut or olive oil for moisturizing and an essential oil to add to both. Baking soda works better than most brands of deodorant I have used and is far more economical. Because it is abrasive it can be used to exfoliate your skin too, so be careful and gentle when brushing your teeth with it. Natural salt can be used instead of baking soda or mixed with it. I spent around $1.00 for a box of baking soda and it lasted me for months! Look up recipes on the internet for making your own toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, or healthy cleaning solutions. By doing this, you get rid of a lot of chemicals that actually hurt your body and health and end up in the environment through sewage systems and waste water. Animals, fish, and birds get exposed to these chemicals and toxins and end up being hurt, too. Do you know that your skin is your biggest organ and that what you put on your skin goes into your pores and into your body systems? A test was done with women using nail polish and later a blood sample was drawn. The blood sample showed the harmful chemicals in the polish were in the blood. Chemicals from foam in bras were found in mother’s breast milk! Nutrition specialists say that whatever you put on your body you should be willing to eat! Before giving my life to ELOHIM/GOD, I had been caught up in the cycle many find themselves in of wanting the newest and more costly personal care items to see if the “miracle” claims really worked. Keeping things simple and natural is much better for health and looks. With all the wonderful essential oils and herbs and spices and other natural blessings ELOHIM/GOD created, there is no end of ideas for what one can do with them. Have fun and enjoy what HE made!
How much food do you buy that ends up being thrown out – at home or in restaurants? Read the study I did on Leket the Food Bank program in Israel. They glean 140,000 meals WEEKLY from food that was not harvested by farmers and food that was leftover after weddings, conferences and other events! Do you or your friends/neighbors/family have citrus or other fruit on trees that is being wasted? Go pick it and bring it to organizations that help the poor and homeless or get someone else to come pick what you have so it does not get wasted. It is good and healthy especially if you do not use pesticides or reclaimed water. If you have food bearing trees or plants, please do not use reclaimed water on them so they can be harvested as reclaimed water is unhealthy to ingest. You might be stunned if you added up the value of the food being wasted.
How much do you own that is not being used by you daily/weekly/monthly or for years at a time? How much do you need to own? What could you do to reduce your expenditures and use the extra money to get out of debt or help the needy? What do you own that you really could do without and give to others who have little or nothing? All our money is a blessing from ELOHIM/GOD and Scripture says HE gets the first portion and we are to help others as well as ourselves. Read about the early church in Acts 2 who sold possessions to help out their fellow brothers and sisters who were poor so that no one lacked! The early church rarely exists today from what I have seen as many people love their possessions and do not want to part with them. This used to be me, too. I had trouble giving up a Prada purse when GOD/ELOHIM first started working on me. I gave my Williams Sonoma kitchen to ministries that included helping poor women start over. I was even accused of following a spirit of witchcraft by a person when I told her that I was following JESUS’S/YESHUA’YAH’S example of selling possessions to help others!
JESUS/YESHUA’YAH said to do to others as you would have done to you, Matthew 7:12, and what we do to the least we do to HIM, Matthew 25:40. There are people today who were middle class and had homes and are now living in tents or in cars because of the economy or disasters. I lived in Baton Rouge when Katrina hit New Orleans and the refugees from it came to Baton Rouge and surrounding cities. I knew an older lady with a handicapped son who lived in a 2 bedroom house with one bathroom. After Katrina, 11 relatives came and lived with her for 4-6 months! My grandmother was the oldest of 10 children plus the 2 parents. They grew up in a house in NY with 2 bedrooms and one bathroom for everyone! Having a private bedroom and bathroom, especially a child, is a luxury. Having a car especially multiple cars is a luxury. In Israel most people do not have cars because of how expensive it is. The tax on a car purchase, new or used, is about 80% of the purchase price! Israelis take buses, walk, get rides, and even hitchhike. It is safer there, the military is everywhere in Israel. If you were in the shoes of someone who lost everything, especially a refugee or abuse victim, what would you like to receive from others? How would you want to be treated? I was hugged by someone living in a car because of their gratitude over the thought of getting toilet paper! I only had paper towels with me but they were still happy!
Is there someone who has no family or home you could provide with a nice meal or even invite them into your home giving them the experience of having a family around them? JESUS/YESHUA’YAH said to invite people you do not know for a feast. Luke 14:12-14, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” How many think about eternal bank accounts and the rewards JESUS/YESHUA’YAH said HE was coming with vs earthly blessings? One handyman I asked for a favor to help someone said he would rather have eternal rewards! That is rare to hear.