​Making gratitude count

When I was in the third grade, we had math bees. They were like spelling bees, but instead of spelling words, we solved math problems. The teacher divided the room into two sides. The first student from each side would go to the chalk board. As the teacher read off a column of three- or four-digit numbers, the students would write them on the board. When she said, "Go!" they drew a line and began solving. The student who wrote down the correct answer first was the winner and would stay at the board while the next student from the other side came up to compete.

I loved math bees. Math always came easy for me and, of course, I loved to win. I used a technique that apparently none of the other students had imagined. As the teacher gave us the column of numbers, I mentally added the last column. When she said, "Go!" I drew the line and immediately wrote down the answer to the right-hand column. So I was always a column ahead of my competitor and, as long as I didn't make a mistake, I finished first and won.

I recently read an article about a woman who took a test her husband used in the college accounting class he taught. She said she answered every question wrong because she reversed the idea of debits and credits.

Which reminded me of a tribe in the South Pacific whom missionaries tried to teach double-entry bookkeeping. The goal was not only to reach them with the gospel, but to teach them to manage their resources. Although the missionaries taught them the concepts of "income" and "expense," the people simplified the words in their pidgin English. They named their columns "money he come" and "money he go."

That's not only simple; it is absolutely accurate, as anyone knows who runs out of money before they run out of month!

Whether you're counting your dollars or counting your blessings, it's important to remember that they all come from God. Jesus encouraged us to store up treasures in heaven instead of just accumulating them on earth. He reminded us, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:21).

So whether you have a little or a lot, add it up, look to heaven, and say, "Thanks!"