By Bob Haynes

The Power Of A Gratitude Journal


The Bible says, “be made new in the attitude of your mind,” (Ephesians 4:23) and “be transformed by the renewing of your mind,” Romans 12:2. That’s God reminding us that every behavior starts with a thought. So as I begin another week of chemo, I’m trying valiantly to remember to approach each day with gratitude and to keep my individual thoughts positive.

This past week gave me more than enough reasons to be grateful for all God has done for me. It began with a visit by two of my wonderful friends Don and Wylene Cohagan. I love them like a brother and sister.  With them they brought a gift bag filled with cards from members of our church in Bentonville, Arkansas all proclaiming love and concern for me as I battle this cancer, and confirming once again the power of intercessory prayers. You cannot imagine how uplifting those messages were.

Then I received two emails from folks who had read my column in the El Ojo Del Lago magazine in Mexico. The first proclaimed that he enjoyed my columns each month and was praying for me  and the other, a lady from Canada vacationing in Mexico, asking for an email copy of that article that she could send to a friend in Canada who is also battling cancer.

I sent a copy of my column to the lady who asked for an email format and the next day I received an email from the friend in Canada. She thanked me and affirmed the fact that the power of intercessory prayers and concern for others can do wonders. Her letter meant so much that I’m enclosing portions of it in this column as examples of grace and gratitude.

She wrote: “My friend forwarded me your lovely articles which I have printed so I can read them for inspiration as I continue my journey in the fight against this formidable cancer foe.  I so agree with you about the need to have a positive fighting spirit that’s grounded in grace and gratitude.  While cancer represents a number of negatives for me, it’s also brought some wonderful things into my life, as I’m sure it also has for you---starting with the enormous outpouring of love and kindness from friends.”

“Facing a terminal diagnosis has definitely kick started me on an amazing spiritual journey which has made me wonder how I could have been so spiritually disconnected for so long (living in my head and all consumed with work!).  As soon as I was diagnosed, I started a gratitude journal to remind myself that no matter how bad things felt, my cup was always more than half full.”

That’s a great idea for everyone, I thought.  A gratitude journal - what a wonderful exercise to begin - and what wondrous things will happen.  My prayer for you today is for the thought of beginning a gratitude journal to spur you to action.

I’ll close this column with this prayer. While I don’t know the author’s name, I do think it is appropriate.“May today there be peace within.  May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.  May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.  May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing you are a child of God.  Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.   It is there for each and every one of us.”

The power of a gratitude journal is something that each of us can begin, no matter what our circumstances


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