3 Focus Scripture Deuteronomy 6 New International Version (NIV)4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
4 A Native American and his friend were in downtown New York City, walking near Times Square in Manhattan. It was during the noon lunch hour and the streets were filled with people. Cars were honking their horns, taxicabs were squealing around corners, sirens were wailing, and the sounds of the city were almost deafening. Suddenly, the Native American said, "I hear a cricket."His friend said, "What? You must be crazy. You couldn't possibly hear a cricket in all of this noise!" "No, I'm sure of it," the Native American said, "I heard a cricket." "That's crazy," said the friend. The Native American listened carefully for a moment, and then walked across the street to a big cement planter where some shrubs were growing.He looked into the bushes, beneath the branches, and sureenough, he located a small cricket.
5 His friend was utterly amazed. "That's incredible," said his friend His friend was utterly amazed. "That's incredible," said his friend. "You must have superhuman ears!" "No," said the Native American. "My ears are no different from yours. It all depends on what you're listening for." "But that can't be!" said the friend. "I could never hear a cricket in this noise." "Yes, it's true," came the reply. "It depends on what is really important to you. Here, let me show you." He reached into his pocket, pulled out a few coins, and discreetly dropped them on the sidewalk. And then, with the noise of the crowded street still blaring in their ears, they noticed every head within twenty feet turn and look to seeif the money that tinkled on the pavement was theirs. "See what I mean?" asked the Native American. "It all depends on what we are listening for.- Unknown
6 Small GroupHow can we relate this story to gratitude?How do you think gratitude contributes to our mind, soul, heart, and strength’s wellbeing?
7 Interviewing one another… For what are you most grateful this year?Why?How has this blessing impacted you?
8 Deuteronomy 30:19-20New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, 20 loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him; for that means life to you and length of days, so that you may live in the land that the Lord swore to give to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
9 Matthew 5The Message (MSG)5 “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
10 Matthew 6The Message (MSG)22-23 “Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have!
11 Matthew 6:33-34The Message (MSG)What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
12 Matthew 6:33-35New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.