Tag Archives: David Mathis

Let’s Add a Side of Grace for Thanksgiving…(With help from author David Mathis—Part 2 of 2)

Friends!  Allow me to let you in on a little secret…Sometimes it’s the little things that help you persevere.  This one little gift helped me thru’ those challenging years of hosting Thanksgiving.

The gift?  The giver shall go unnamed, but I must share:

Believe it or not, in this pic I was attempting a new chili recipe, claiming to be “hot and spicy”.  Yes, well, it was sooo spicy we decided it was better off in the trash can than in a tupperware container for further punishment tomorrow.

Just let the apron’s petite phrase sink in for a minute.  I howl every time I read it, much less when I’m bold enough to wear it. It’s these little things that push us onward to maintain our sanity.

This week we’re having our close friends over for a Friendsgiving Feast.  We’re all super excited and no bad attitudes are in the forecast.  We’re all in fun seasons, some of us are becoming grandparents, some of the guys are retiring, and we wonder where the years have gone.

You can bet I’ll be sportin’ the apron.  The girls are all better cooks than I am, but it’s really not the food that’s so important, it’s our time together. 

Because of our growing families, finding time like this can be challenging.  We will savor every second. This will be a good warm-up for when we are with our families Thanksgiving Week.

For those of you who have extended family rolling in, maybe you’re a hair uneasy.  There’s that relative who crunches celery forty-seven times before picking up another stalk. (Not that I’ve ever counted.) Or maybe the grandmother who means well, but who says without fail, “Oh, you’ll be wanting to put more lipstick on.” Or my favorite, “I remember when…fill-in-the-blank.” And you want to crawl under the table.

Last week we got a good dose of grace to add to our Thanksgiving meal from Kyle Idleman. This week I’d like to share tidbits from a book our son, Gordy, told me about. It’s by David Mathis and is called Habits of Grace—Enjoying Jesus through the Spiritual Disciplines.

This book is so meaty, you’ll want to chew on it slowly.  It’s a resource I know I’ll return to often. Trust me, you’ll want to do the same.

David is an executive director at www.desiringGod.org, an adjunct professor with Bethlehem College and Seminary, and pastor for Cities Church in Minneapolis, MN. A pleasant addition to the book is the Foreword by John Piper.

Divided into three parts, we readers are taught how to:

Hear His Voice (The Word)

Have His Ear (Prayer) and

Belong to His Body (Fellowship)

I got a little tickled at Part 4, “The Coda” which includes The Commission, The Dollar, and the Clock, followed by the Epilogue entitled, “Communing with Christ on a Crazy Day.”  David keeps it real by recognizing some may have a newborn at home in which case finding time to practice these habits of grace may be next to impossible.  He offers additional ideas to grab snippets of grace, all of which make us all easier to live with. NOTE TO SELF…Ahemmmmm…

David’s habits of grace he teaches us readers are the best resource for us to live out 2 Peter 3:18, so that we may:

In the Intro’, David suggests an interesting concept, a la Zacchaeus, who positioned himself up in a tree along Jesus’ path, which transformed into a lovely path of grace. Jonathan Edwards said, “endeavor to promote spiritual appetites by laying yourself in the way of allurement.”

David explains:

(Thence these paths are ways of placing ourselves in the “way of allurement”, and that is a very good place to be…)

In other words, Bible study with friends is one of the best outlets to equip you, as well as a superb habit to get into, aiding you to grab onto God’s grace right in His path.

While there are twenty-one chapters in the book, chapters five and six are some of my favorites:  “Memorize the Mind of God” and “Resolve to be a Lifelong Learner”. They’re overflowing with excellent ideas.

David is a list person and a creative one at that.  A couple of examples from these two chapters, so as not to spoil the education for yourself, include: 5 Tips for Bible Memory, 10 Gospel Verses to Keep Warm, 12 Gospel Passages to Soak In and 5 Principles for Lifelong Learning. Those four sections alone could occupy your time for quite a while!  This is just a mere sampling.

While some of us groan at the thought of Scripture memorization, my guess is the same goes for the topic of fasting.  Yes, David touches on both topics, but I’m happy to report he offers different avenues to explore in both arenas which may change your mind, including benefits to further sway you.

David covers all bases, including another activity some of you love and some of you just can’t quite jump in, that of journaling.  He’s so persuasive:  “What if journaling wasn’t simply about recording the past, but preparing for the future? And what if, because of God’s grace in our past and his promises for our future, journaling were about deepening your joy in the present?”

Finally, don’t miss the chapter on “The Clock”—you’ll uncover some excellent “fruitful time management lessons” worth their weight in gold.  All of the chapters and vast amounts of grace habits would be beneficial to any reader, young or old, man or woman.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough—not just during our Thanksgiving season, but for the entire year.  There’s a study guide to go along with it as well which would make for a superb Bible study if you’re on the hunt for one.

Meanwhile, remember to mentally add that “side” of grace to your plate during Thanksgiving and smile.  (Grit your teeth if you have to!)

I pray you and your family have a most blessed, Happy Thanksgiving!

‘Til next time!



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