gratitude essay

Gratitude Essay

As I prayed and thought about the post for today I wondered just how many ways, how many times can we write about being thankful? I thought I would start out with gratitude this week. What it is, and what it is not.

In researching the internet, you know the ever faithful “Google”. I find that there is a trend going around called “Positive Psychology.” I thought I would include some of what I found in this gratitude essay.

What is gratitude?

One article I found from Positive Psychology Program listed some definitions of gratitude that I thought may help us understand this elusive feeling. I know we all want the feel good, happy, pleasant feelings all the time and sometimes it seems they are so far away. So, let’s just see just how science today defines gratitude:

“if we acquire a good through exchange, effort or achievement, or by right, then we don’t typically feel gratitude. Gratitude is an emotion we feel in response to receiving something good which is undeserved” (Lacewing, 2016).

I like this definition because it seems to match the Bible. God gives us what we do not deserve. All of us here on earth are sinful, we do not deserve the strength, the health, or even to be alive. We do not deserve the hope of heaven. We deserve hell if anything.

Another definition for this gratitude essay is:

“an emotion that is typically evoked when one receives costly, unexpected, and intentionally rendered benefits, and is thought to play a key role in regulating the initiation and maintenance of social relationships” (Forster et al., 2017).

What happens when someone gives you something or does something you never expected? Does that help you feel good for that person? I may be struggling with this a bit though. I tend to let history cloud my gratitude when someone who has hurt me does something nice.

gratitude essay
an open book

I tend to use my marriage as an example a bit much lately. But it is what is on my mind all the time. I am trying to let God teach me to be the wife my husband deserves, and let God do the work He needs to do in my husband. But, here is an example of the past clouding my gratitude.

My personal experience for this gratitude essay

Just recently my husband bought me a coffee from a local coffee shop. Automatically my thoughts of the many times that he would insist on buying the expensive coffees when we are broke came to mind. The hurt, the fear of how we are going to make it.

What did not come to mind is all the times I expressed to him I needed more than just physical love from him. I needed to be appreciated, loved for who I am. I did not express gratitude that he thought of me, only me in buying that coffee. I let my hurt and pain stay and cloud my judgment.

That attitude did not help our relationship. My husband was making a grand gesture that he could do with our circumstances. I stopped myself I looked at him and said, “What I should say to you is thank you very much, I really appreciate that you thought of me.”

Final thoughts for this gratitude essay

You see, it is so easy to lose sight of being thankful. Even when a person is trying their hardest to do something nice. Something to say I know you are hurting let me do this to try to make up for it. Yes, ok a bought coffee will not make up for everything. But it is a step. I need to make a step in learning to be grateful instead of letting the past hold us back.

What about you? Do you have trouble expressing gratitude when someone you are upset with does something nice? Please share your ideas with us! Would love to have you join our community and join the discussion in our Thankful Thursday group!

Outside sources

Essay on Gratitude#1 Essay on Gratitude Towards Parents. Gratitude is one of the most underestimated ways anyone can use to enrich their lives. It is the feeling and attitude of …
Billy Graham: How to Be Thankful in All ThingsNov 21, 2017  But even so, we all have much to be thankful for. Look with me at … A spirit of thanksgiving is always the mark of a joyous Christian. Why should …
10 Things You Can Be Thankful For Today | CruWe’re told in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to give thanks in everything. … I know that I have been made right with You because of my faith in Your Son, Jesus Christ. 2.
How To Be Truly Thankful- 4 Tips to Develop Christian Gratitude …Nov 4, 2017  Do you feel it? There’s almost an unspoken pressure in the realm of Christian social media circles to be thankful for each day you have on earth …
4 Reasons We Can Be Thankful in Times of TroubleNov 23, 2017  As Christians we can be thankful that we are children of the sovereign Lord. Even when our life seems to be spinning out of control, we can trust …
30 Christian Quotes about ThankfulnessNov 14, 2016  1 Thing Christians Forget to be Thankful For – Why would I be thankfulfor these things? These horrible, depressing times of life? Because one …
5 things to be thankful for no matter what“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18. What is so special about thankfulness is that thoughts like …
Why is giving thanks to God important?First Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” We are to be thankful not only for the things we like, but for …
The Power of a Thankful HeartNov 18, 2015  “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” – (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). Enmeng Womens Blessed Thankful Printed T-Shirt …Buy Enmeng Womens Blessed Thankful Printed T-Shirt Casual Thanksgiving ChristianTee Tops: Shop top fashion brands T-Shirts at ✓ FREE …

development training

Development Training Pastor Austin Taylor Interview

What is your position with Life.Church Online?

My role is Development Training Pastor, which means that I oversee the initial training process new Church Online volunteers go through when they join the team, as well as their ongoing leadership development throughout their time serving with us. I love supporting our amazing team!

How long have you been a Development Training Pastor?

I’ve been on the Church Online staff team for 6 1/2 years. But I’ve been in this specific role for about a year and a half. I’m so grateful to work for a church that places such a high value on equipping people. So they can do what God has called them to do.

Can you describe to me a typical workday as a Development Training Pastor?

This is kind of an impossible question, haha! Ministry is so dynamic and every day can look totally different. It all depends on the needs of the team and our community. In a typical work week, I have meetings with the rest of the Church Online staff team to review the previous week’s stories and metrics, track our team’s progress toward annual goals and strategize for the upcoming message week; write content for our weekly “Tuesday Talk” [Facebook Live training video for our volunteers], then meet with the other pastors to rehearse and film it; plan logistics for upcoming international travels for our team; connect with volunteers, leaders, and givers in our community; and review our existing bank of volunteer training to identify where we need updates or new resources.

A couple of other projects I’m working on at the moment are researching current Learning & Development best practices to find learning we can apply from the business world into our team and interviewing job applicants for open roles within Digerati [Life.Church’s digital missions department, which includes teams like Church Online and YouVersion.

Share a funny story as a Development Training Pastor.

Here’s one of my favorites: A few years ago, my work laptop was downloading a software update that was going to take 8 minutes or so. I couldn’t really do any more work until it finished, so I decided to take a quick power nap at my desk while it was downloading. When I woke up, I lifted my head and realized I wasn’t looking into my laptop screen, but my team leaders.

She had Skyped the entire rest of our team on a group video call, and they were all laughing and taking pictures of me sleeping. When I realized what was happening, we all started cracking up! I love working with a team that works hard—and pranks hard—together.

What is most challenging in your job?

Our Church Online volunteer team currently includes 630 people serving from over 50 countries. They represent every kind of cultural and church background you can imagine, and most of them have never stepped foot in a Life.Church location. We absolutely love the diversity of our global and remote team, but from a training perspective, it does present the unique challenge of making sure everyone is fully aligned as they serve. We’re constantly reevaluating our volunteer training and communication to make sure that we’re consistently reinforcing our mission, core beliefs, and DNA in everything we do. As Patrick Lencioni would say, we need to be the “CROs” (Chief Reminding Officers) of Life.Church’s vision.

Can you share an inspirational story?

Yes—I could share 1,000 if you’d let me! We hear so many incredible stories of lives being changed each and every week at Life.Church Online.

Here’s one of my favorites: A few months ago, I was in a Church Online service at and got to connect with Moussa from—get this—Timbuktu! It’s a real place in Mali, a predominantly Muslim country in West Africa. He had just gotten off work and told us that it was his first time attending with us. I believe it was quite possibly his first church service ever. He stayed for the entire service and asked several questions along the way.

How amazing is it that our church is able to reach people like Moussa in places like Timbuktu?!

What is one piece of wisdom you would like to share with my audience?

If you love Jesus, have the heart to reach the nations, and have internet [which I know you do, if you’re reading this!], God can use you and your gifts to impact people all over the globe through Church Online. We want to equip you to become a digital missionary—all without leaving your home. All you have to do is say yes! Come join us and be part of a global movement that’s taking the Gospel to every corner of the world.

As our Senior Pastor Craig Groeschel said recently, serving always changes lives—and the first one to change is always your own. Learn more here:

How do you navigate family life and ministry?

This is another area I could write volumes on because it’s so important for any leader. To keep it brief, here are a few key principles I try to stick to:

1) God first, family second, ministry third. My priorities have to remain in that order.

2) Be 100% present at work and 100% present at home. Both deserve my full attention and energy.

3) Find mental stopping points. At the end of each workday, I take a few minutes to wrap up whatever I’m working on, recap and assess my work from that day, quickly glance over my calendar to prep for the next day, and mentally transition out of work mode so I can be fully engaged at home.

4) Understand seasons. There will always be short-term seasons when my work life or home life will require a little more of me than usual, and it’s up to me to communicate about them to my family and team leader.

development training
street sign with the word Leadership

outside sources

Life Church Online Church Room

Life Church Online website

YouTube Streaming

Life Church Life Group on Facebook

Pastor Steven Roberts on Facebook

Open Network Life Church Free Resources

YouVersion Bible App

Austin Taylor

Learn to become a pastor

Pastor/Leadership Development

prepare for the coming of Jesus

Day 34 of 100 prophecies – Someone will prepare for the coming of Jesus

prepare for the coming of jesus
Is. 40:3-5 – A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. 5 Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

  • Mat. 3:3 – This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said, “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’”
  • Mark 1:3 – the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
    make his paths straight,’”
  • Luke 3:3-5 – the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
    make his paths straight,’”
  • John 1:23 – He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’” as the prophet Isaiah said.

the redeemer to come out of Zion

Day 32 of 100 prophecies – Upon His coming, the deaf hear and the blind see.

the deaf hear

Is. 29:18 – On that day the deaf shall hear the words of a scroll, and out of their gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind shall see.

  • Is. 35:5 – Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
  • Mat. 11:5 –  the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them.
  • Mark 7:37 – They were astounded beyond measure, saying, “He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”John 9:39 –  Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.”


a prophet like Moses
  • Day 31 of 100 prophecies – The Spirit of the Lord rests upon Him.

    the spirit of the lord
    10 scriptures that show how this prophecy was fulfilled by Jesus.

    Is. 11:2 – The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
    the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

  • Is. 42:1 – Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
    I have put my spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations.
  • Is. 61:1-2 – The spirit of the Lord God is upon me because the Lord has anointed me;
    he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners;  to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
    and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;
  • Mat. 3:16 –  And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.
  • Mark 1:10 – And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him.
    Luke 3:22 –  and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
  • Luke 4:18 – “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free,
  • John 1:32 – And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him.John 3:34 – He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure.
  • Acts 10:38 – 8 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.

promises of God

Promises of God

Today I am rejoicing in my dreams fulfilled. They are promises of God that He made me from the Bible and in my prayers. I would like to list some of the ones I am seeing today. God is not done with me yet, I do not believe He is done with anyone until they die. But, what I see today has me on fire for Him! Let’s see if I can help any of you catch the same fire.

Exodus 14:14 New Living Translation (NLT)

14 The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.

I cannot say I stayed calm most of my life. But, the Lord has fought for me. The change in my husband is beyond anything anyone could have done. The old husband is long gone. He focuses on me, and no longer is he looking at those ladies on the internet. He is taking responsibility for us as his family by looking for a home on his own. He is the one who calls me every day to study the Bible together. He has become a true man of God that I asked for years ago!

Promises of God

Isaiah 40:29 New Living Translation (NLT)

He gives power to the weak
    and strength to the powerless.

As I sit here I am weak. I can’t even barely walk, I am not known to people in my neighborhood. Even in Life Church I am pretty low on the totem pole. But, with His power, His words I have His strength to touch people through this site. I have His strength to raise 3 wonderful kids to adult hood and one on his way. I have His strength to help others on the internet, and to endure all the trials that are around me now.

Isaiah 41:10 New Living Translation (NLT)

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
    Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
    I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

I am no longer afraid. He brought me through so much in my life I know He will again. No, things are not easy, I still struggle. But, I look at everything in my past. I see how God provided homes, food, and safety for my kids. Those memories help me to trust this promise. I am not afraid of not living with my husband again, or not getting healthy. God gave me a home in three days once. If He can do that, He can open doors to my health and to a new home!

Isaiah 43:2 New Living Translation (NLT)

When you go through deep waters,
    I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
    you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
    you will not be burned up;
    the flames will not consume you.

Take a look at my stories under the category My Testimony. He truly was with me through deep waters, rivers of difficulty, and fires of oppression. No matter what I did, or anyone else did, we survived and thrived. I do not see how I could have done any of it without His help. 

promises of God
Bright sunny day on the beach. A wave is breaking as it comes to shore. The words say God never breaks His promises.

These are just a few of the promises I can list and see examples in my own life. Could you do the same? What God has put on my heart is to color my Bible and journal in color. I will be coloring His promises in the Bible and listing where I see that promise in my journal. I am doing this so that I can properly thank Him for each and every fulfilled promise. If you are struggling to see your dreams fulfilled, where the open doors are or how to live for God maybe this is for you. Talk to God, listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and see if He wants you to journal His promises in your life. I am alive today all because of God’s faithfulness to His promises.

Promises of God Outside Sources

2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen …New International Version But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. New Living Translation But the Lord is faithful; he …
15 Bible Verses on God’s Faithfulness | Grace Love LifeFeb 26, 2017  Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love …
2 Thessalonians 3:3 NIV – But the Lord is faithful, and he will – Bible …But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.
2 Thessalonians 3:3 – But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen …Read 2 Thessalonians 3 using all available Bible versions. But the Lord is faithful , and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.
21 Bible Verses on God’s FaithfulnessMar 12, 2013  Psalms 86:15 “But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” …
Faithfulness of GodDeuteronomy 7:9 says “Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithfulGod, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those …
49 Bible verses about God, Faithfulness OfThe LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.
What Does the Bible Say About Gods Faithfulness?Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, …
Is God Faithful?When we say God is faithful it means He is totally trustworthy – He is perfectly faithful. The prophet Isaiah wrote. O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and …
The Lord Is Faithful Rollerball PenColorful pens with the scripture The Lord is Faithful Psalm 145:13 on the cap. Long Lasting German Tips Smooth Writing.

I am alive today

I am alive today

As I sit here with my knees hurting ever so bad, I think of how grateful I am alive today. At least I am alive to feel this pain, to suffer through the circumstances. God’s purpose in my life has not been fully fulfilled yet. I still have things to learn so He can use me in his plan for my life. This morning I would like to share some of my past posts. Some of the reasons I am thankful I am where I am today. Some of my testimony of the direction God’s purpose has been taking. To show how my life is a testimony for Jesus.

I am alive today
A road going through the woods with the words I am grateful for being alive today. It is my joy and pleasure to live another wonderful day.

I am alive today

What about you? Are you able to look back through your life and see the direction God is taking you? What are your passions, what you love? What about what makes you angry, so fed up to see injustice in the world? What experiences and circumstances have you lived through? Have you ever wondered what is God’s purpose for your life? I know I am alive today so God can show that my testimony for Jesus. To share my story and how God has provided, shaped, and given me strength through it all. Do you think you have a life story that could help others see Jesus through it? There is always room here for other peoples stories. Just reach out to me here, lets talk about it:Prayer/Support 

Outside sources

A personal testimony: The love of God | ChristianToday AustralianI come from a single-parent family. My parents got divorced when I was five years old. I was not brought up as a Christian and didn’t know the Lord personally.
A Testimony of God’s Love | Light and Life MagazineApr 29, 2017  A Testimony of God’s Love. 2 years ago written by Ken Stenstrom. pexels-photo- 348520. “Sweet are the promises, kind is the word, Dearer far …
Christian Testimonials Of People Experiencing God’s Incredible Love!God Loves You For Who He IS – Not Because Of What You Do Or Don’t Do … If you are interested in having a testimony, sermon or teaching transcribed to print …
Testimony Of God’s LoveGod has delivered me and I shall glorify Him. It gives me unspeakable joy to testify of God’sgoodness in my life. In April of 1999 my life was falling apart in all
Christian Testimony, Stories Of God’s LoveA christian testimony is a powerful tool in pointing others to the savior.
Powerful Testimony: Sharing God’s Love in the Midst of Tragedy …Dec 25, 2004  Ken Ham interviews Frank and Sue Zitzman about the tragic death of their 17- year-old son and the way God is using them to minister to others …
To Experience God’s LoveApr 21, 2014  Colin Smith recounts testimonies of God’s love, gives steps to experience more of God’s love, and gives two responses to God’s love.
Our Lives Are a Testimony to Jesus and the Power of Love and …Nov 21, 2018  It is with thanksgiving that I celebrate ALL those who have inspired me in the doing of the work of Camp and Retreat Ministries. Your life and …
What does it mean that our lives should be a testimony for Jesus?And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matthew 22:37–38). A Christian who wants to live his life as a testimony for Jesus will love God above …
My Testimony“Do you know how much Jesus loves you?” Well, I thought maybe that was a little strange, but as she went on, I really began to listen. My tears started to dry and …

"to be born of a virgin"

Day 9 of 100 prophecies fulfilled by Jesus – to be born of a virgin

9.) Be born of a virgin – Is. 7:13-14; Mat. 1:18-23; Luke 1:27-35

Is. 7:13-14 – Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, O house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of men? Will you try the patience of my God as well? 14Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and she will call Him Immanuel.

Mat. 1:18-23 – This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged in marriage to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with Child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and was unwilling to disgrace her publicly, he resolved to divorce her quietly.

20 But after he had pondered these things, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to embrace Mary as your wife, for the One conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will give birth to a Son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus because He will save His people from their sins.”

22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “Behold, the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call Him Immanuel” (which means, “God with us”).

Luke 1:27-35 – to a virgin pledged in marriage to a man named Joseph, who was of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” 

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 So the angel told her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 Behold, you will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, 33and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever. His kingdom will never end!” 

34“How can this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God. 

to be born of a virgin outside sources