Discover the blessings in your life

By Joan Clayton: PNT Religion Columnist

Last week I saw my beautiful friend walk across the stage to receive her educational degree. She is on her way to a successful career, discovering one of the many blessings in her life.
This friend has shown me a wonderful trait that enables one to be blessed. She makes everyday count by giving herself away. She doesn’t wait until “this or that happens,” but finds happiness in the “now” of life, depending on God’s guidance day by day.
I believe small blessings lead to even greater ones when we live one day at a time trusting in God’s leading.
By being a blessing to someone else you bring happiness to yourself. To give while expecting nothing in return, will bring joy to your life. Givers are the real winners in life. They are so busy giving they forget about problems and pain in their own lives.
Life and the time to live it are precious gifts from God. How I live my life is a gift given back to him.
Today is the day to make our day count. Attitude determines the happiness of your day. Think about all the good things that have happened to you and be thankful. “In every thing give thanks:  for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
To discover the many blessings in your life follow these biblical principles:
Don’t ever lose hope. Where there is life, there is always hope. “The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him” (Lamentations 3:24).
Pray without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
Be positive. Negative thoughts and words destroy faith.
Help others. The happiest people are those who make other people happy.
Be cheerful. Complaining is displeasing to God. “Do all things without murmurings and disputings”  (Philippians 2:14).
Be a good example.
Guard against self-pity. Everyone has been unjustly treated at some time in life.
Forgiveness builds the bridge for moving on.
Look for the good. You can always find it because “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning”  (James 1:17).
Be a listener. You can learn a lot more by listening than by talking.
Let go of past mistakes. Rehearsing the past is reliving guilt and pain.
Be a blessing. When you do what you are asking God for his favor in the lives of others.
We recently attended our grandson Cody’s wedding in Tennessee. He had asked his grandfather to give a special blessing for he and his beautiful bride. The blessing from patriarchs in Bible times held great importance and were valued with deep esteem.
The following blessing, given by Emmitt, will remain in the hearts of our family for a lifetime:
“As the patriarch of the Clayton family, Ashley and Cody, I declare unto you this day that as you live your lives together, your love for one another will be an inspiration for all to see. Because of your love for God, blessings will pursue and overtake you all of your days. Ashley, we are so proud to have you in our family and it is with love and open arms that we welcome you. Your love for each other will reach down to your children and your children’s children, blessing them throughout eternity. As you live your lives together, no weapon formed against you will prosper and everything you say and do will glorify our blessed Lord. Let the record show that this marriage is sealed with love and honored by God. So be it, and let the people say Amen!” 
Portales resident Joan Clayton is a retired teacher and published author. Her e-mail address is: