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The Art of Being Grateful...3 timeless ways.

I keep a stack of notecards in my back pocket; tucked away in a pastel themed sketchbook where I jot down notes and ideas to dwell on throughout the day. Now I'm aware that doesn't sound very manly but hear me out...

If someone offered you $100 every time you thanked God throughout the day, how rich would you be? There is no doubt that God is our greatest treasure. His presence is worth more to me than any earthly gift; yet I find myself so caught up in the stuff I'm trying to accomplish at times that I miss moments to give thanks. To put it simply, God is good to us. Here are a few things I'm intentional about that help fuel my perspective...

CREATING REMINDERS

My notecards remind me to pray. I've written the names of people and projects I pray about weekly on the front of each card as well as a few specific notes on the back of some of them. Notecards may not be your thing, but its important for you to find ways to remind yourself of what matters most. My attention is always jumping from one idea to the next so I need something to help me prioritize what's important. I encourage you to try it...jump.

My neighbor is obsessive about his lawn. In fact, he loves his grass so much he even fertilizes my grass to keep the flow of his lawn smooth so that weeds from my yard don't creep over to his side. Our minds are a lot like grass. If left unchecked all kinds of weeds begin to crowd out the good soil. Reminders help us keep check on our thought patterns. Prayer has a unique way of making me focus on God and other things that truly matter, like serving others.

SERVING OTHERS

When we serve others without expecting anything in return, we often gain more from that than the people we help. It's often marked by a posture of heart that we can easily recognize and identify with as being Godly. It's very Good Samaritan....ish. Keeping your eyes open for opportunities to help other people is a sure way to know if you're on the right trajectory in life. Every gift and talent you have is meant to be used to serve others. Jesus made sum of all the commandments in this way:

Matthew 22:36-40 ESV

36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him,“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

As an avid entrepreneur, anything that I'm great at, is meant to serve others. Any good thing else that comes along with it (prestige, honor, etc) is a byproduct of how well you're focused on serving the people around you. In fact, the very reason I started Art of Homage was to harness my talent and leverage it to help dreamers, entrepreneurs, and everyone in between to always find themselves embracing an attitude of gratitude.
Every hat, shirt or song I create is meant to be a reminder to pay homage to God. What we worship matters. Who we worship matters. Being grateful is an art. To some, it comes natural...to others, we have to work at it. It's easy to be critical of people who struggle with things that come natural to us.

SHOWING COMPASSION

What would I tell the 18 year old me now that I'm 32? The 18-22 year old me was a trailblazer. I read my bible almost everyday after class. I was heavily involved at my church and ministry through music and campus outreach was a high priority for me. My struggles were light in comparison to what I saw other people dealing with. It's so easy to look down on people who sin different than us. I would tell the 18 year old me to praise God more, be more compassionate toward others, and work today like its my last opportunity.

Everyday is a gift. Tomorrow is not promised. We hear that so often that there's not much urgency behind it. Now that I'm 32, I try and max out everyday with God, family, and my work. When the Father calls me home, I wanna be maxed out like Paul was.

And finally, if you're a dreamer start taking steps today to pursue them. There are people that only you can impact and we need you to get rolling. Write down your plans. Grab a few notecards and write down 5 or 6 things you plan on accomplishing today! The Jesus in you needs to be seen and heard by someone else...be grateful today! You can start by sharing these links below or texting this to someone you know it will benefit. Or both! :))

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