Christmas and New Year Thankfulness

We have enjoyed a nice Christmas and New Year break with our family and friends.
As I've journeyed here in the Philippines, living in a third world country where poverty and need abound, the 'need' for things dies and the blessings of time with friends and family rise important to the top.

I am thankful for hugs, laughter, time with friends and family....

I'm thankful for the fun things I see...
like a backhoe being towed on a raft across the bay

like the resourcefulness of piling as many people on the boat
as possible to make the trip across the bay....

I'm thankful for car ferries and trips across the bay to another island....

I'm thankful for many lessons learned in giving thanks in all
things that I have learned from Filipinos. Relationships with
others are so important and joy is abounding no matter what
the circumstances of life are....There is a saying that it does no
good to complain, just accept what is...Maba-badtrip ka lang Pasensya na lang. Ganyan talaga, e. (It will just ruin your mood. Just be patient. It's the way it is)
This is good to a point. It also reminds me of what 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

and I am thankful for my Saviour, for His love for me,
for time to reflect on His goodness, for the beauty of this
world He created, for the joy of watching a beautiful sunset...

Steve Green's song, Rest, based on Psalm 23 plays through my mind often. Times with friends and family, relaxing on a beach, playing games, walking through a village...daily matter what the circumstance...God woos me to rest in Him.....I challenge each of us to remember this...

Rest, the Lord is here,
Refuse to fear, ENJOY HIS LOVE...

and as Psalm 23 reminds us....

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord

May this new year, 2015, find you enjoying His love for you no matter where you are or what you are going through.