The Hidden Benefits of Gratitude :: Thanksgiving Letter 2023








“Count Your Blessings… name them one by one.” Go ahead, take 30 seconds and sing a line or two. Here’s a little help. (I’ll wait)


When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed.

When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost.

Count your many blessings, name them one by one.

And it will surprise you what the LORD has done.


Count your blessings, name them one by one.

Count your blessings, see what God has done.

Count your blessings, name them one by one.

Count your many blessings see what God has done!”


There now, don’t you feel a whole lot better?


Mom would often sing this song at bedtime while rubbing my back. She knew expressing gratitude aloud is a counter-offensive against greed’s grip on the heart. Gratitude reverses the slide into selfishness, because it is founded upon God’s Goodness and Love....

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Why raising your family is difficult work

challenge children family Feb 10, 2021

By Doug Snyder

“Family” is intended to reflect God on earth, namely in loving community. And this is why the Devil wants the family destroyed. 

Note, if marriage becomes outlawed, it will only be outlaws who have in-laws.

God is love. Love is other-centered. Love gives. 

A woman, struggling with her recent divorce, relayed how she remained loving under the stressed circumstances. My recent ex texted, “Sell the Mercedes and send the money. So I listed and sold it the same day for $100. I hope he’s happy.”

The fountainhead of generosity is God, who lavished His love on us. For God so loved the world that He gave… This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

God is community. Think Trinity, three in one, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. God is forever community. Family is intended to reflect this community on earth.

Family begins, as God created, with...

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How is your garden growing?

growth identity maturity May 06, 2020

By Doug Snyder

Our beats, spinach, carrots, and lettuce are flourishing. So are most of our herbs. But, for the 3rd year in a row, it has not gone well with the potted tomato plants. They start healthy and robust, but never mature.

This was also true for the very first gardeners. But it wasn’t the garden that failed to mature. It was the gardeners themselves. The Serpent slithered into the perfect Garden, deceiving Adam and Eve into disobedience, and usurping God’s role as Father. 

In accepting the lie, Adam and Eve were blinded. They lost connection with Abba Father. And hence, lost their intended identity and purpose. Like our potted tomatoes, starting strong, their maturity process was cut short.

Disobedience, from loss of identity and purpose, is why we see such a messy world. It’s especially evident among families, parents, and kids. They fail to mature.

By rejecting the Devil and returning to Abba Father, families, can reclaim identity and purpose,...

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The Distance Between Thoughts

thoughts words Apr 29, 2020

by Doug Snyder

Is there literally a distinction, or physical distance, such as space or miles, BETWEEN two (or more) thoughts? 

In other words, if I choose to think one thought versus another, is there distance between the two choices? Is the distance just linear, is it horizontal or vertical, or both? 

How can a group of people in the same or similar circumstance have completely different experiences? Why is there thought distance between people having the same experience? 

Where do thoughts come from? 

Why are some people peace-filled and happy, while others constantly disgruntled, fearful, and anxious? 

Why does our human journey have ups and downs? 

Actions follow beliefs.

Words carry creative power.

Thoughts, like the rudder of a ship, steer the vessel.

Actions, words, and thoughts are springs, sourced in the heart. 

To what Kingdom is a spring sourced? 

Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Guard your heart for it is the...

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The Sin of Offense

mind offense thoughts Apr 22, 2020

By Doug Snyder

“…And they took offense at him.” Mark 6:3

Acting in a national TV show, without being given scripts, Beth and I simply talked about a family dream, traveling and ministering around the US. We talked as if it were actually happening. The motorhome in the background was the luxury item being advertised on the show. 

For months after airing we received emails, calls, and inquiries. They all wanted to know how we liked our new motorhome, and, how was traveling as a family? We explained, it was just a commercial. We were actors. Most believed us. One neighbor, however, insisted he saw “the motorhome” parked in our driveway. 

“The mind cannot tell the difference between something real or vividly imagined.” D. Waitley. 

The mind is powerful. Choose your thoughts well.

Three of us use to gather monthly to share ideas on improving our daily impact. Our aptly named hangout, The Hungry Mind restaurant, had pictures and...

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Fill & Subdue What God Has Given to You

authority genesis increase Mar 18, 2020

By Doug Snyder

Adam 1 - The setting - God blessed them and said… “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue (or govern) it.” Genesis 1:28

Yep, God gave us that much authority. But Adam bought the snake oil from the slippery serpent and gave it away in the garden. So, Jesus came to reclaim us and it.

Adam 2 - The reset - “All authority in heaven and earth has been given me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:18-19

Same commission - fill and subdue or multiply and govern. God wants His will and ways to cover and govern His earth.

Let’s review - We’ve been translated (moved) into God’s Kingdom, by grace through faith. (Colossians 1:13)  We’ve explored God’s Kingdom, transforming our old thinking to the new. (Matthew 6; Romans 12&14) Now our job to express His Kingdom on His earth. You and I are...

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The Feral Heart

cats freedom heart Mar 11, 2020

By Doug Snyder

A gray stray appeared at our patio door last fall. It was feral, fearful from the harshness of living outdoors. Several head scars unveiled the probable cause of it’s wildly vigilant state. I imagined threats and encounters with other cats, dogs, coyotes, and occasional eagle. It took 4 months of patient coaxing to earn “gray cat’s” trust. 

Our relationship progressed from feeding to petting, receiving medicine to entering the house. Eventually the cat relaxed enough to take a nap on my chair. The naming also evolved, from “cat” to “gray cat” to “holy smoke” to “Diesel.” 

This process is not isolated to animals. The human heart is feral too. It leans wild. At the same time, it longs to relax, to be at rest, to be “home.” It takes the heart time to learn trust, to move from wild to domesticated, from roaming free to finding “home.”

Is being free and domesticated...

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Remain Family

family father spring Mar 04, 2020

By Doug Snyder

Spring is knockin' on winter’s door. 

Our youngest, Andrew, noticed emerging flowers as we removed the grill and picnic tables from storage. Beth will soon be in the garden. One of her happy places.

John 15 records Jesus’ teaching on gardening and family. This powerful parenting imagery has 3 timely lessons that affect your future.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

Lesson one: remain grafted. Don’t get uprooted by fear. Those spreading fear amid COVID19 are fake gardeners. The goal of fear is to uproot faith and replant elsewhere.

Lesson two: bear much fruit. Don’t become distracted by lack of supply. It’s not your concern. It’s the Gardeners.

Two times, in verses 1 & 8, Jesus refers to “my Father” as The Gardener. This is very important, as The Gardener is literally God, the Father of...

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family healing Jan 29, 2020

By Doug Snyder

My favorite wall in the house is the one with our family photographs. In the middle of a collage of pictures of our children, and spouses of 3, is a large black metal wall hanging, “FAMILY.” 

The most memorable times of the year are when we get together. Often, I look back and reminisce. And, I look forward with anticipation. How about you? 

Having shared this, I realize not everyone enjoys or enjoyed a great family or home life. Many of my friends today relay very painful upbringings, including every sort of abuse imaginable. My heart is heavy for them. And, I am so amazed by the progress most have made in healing and rebuilding positive images and understandings of family. They want to. They need to.

Family is God’s design. He is a Father, and, “our Father…” Family is the foundational unit of every community and nation. And this is exactly why families - marriages, kids, and definitions - have been under attack. God...

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Use Your Authority

authority believe head jesus Oct 30, 2019

by Doug Snyder


The Canadian policeman, parked roadside, waved me over to the curb. I obeyed because I believe in the authority behind his badge. While physically, he’s no match for a speeding car, his authority is. 

Believers should act more like that policeman. 

How so? 

By applying our Authority daily. When catching the Devil at work in your family, health, finances, or attacking your faith, dividing your church, your friendships, or simply hovering in your circumstances - use your authority to stop his encroachment. Arrest the attack.

The Source of your Authority. 

The defeated Devil1 must obey God’s Authority. God gave all authority to His son, Jesus2. Consequently, all who befriend Jesus become children of God3, joint heirs with Christ4, representing this same authority5

Jesus affirms, “l have been given all authority in heaven and earth. Therefore, go…”6

Learn to apply Authority.

Jesus gives disciples authority...

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