Give thanks with a grateful Heart

A Message from Pastor Sue

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

There was a time in my life when it seemed as if the bottom had fallen out of the barrel. I had lost my job and, as the main bread winner in the family, this was a very scary situation. It would have been very easy for me to sink into a depression, feel lost and lonely, ask what I had done to deserve this, and question where God was in the midst of it all. But all of a sudden, while I was taking an early morning walk in the neighborhood, a small voice in my head spoke, reminding me that in reality I had nothing to fear. Indeed, I did have a roof over my head, food on the table, a husband who loves me, and three wonderful children. I had everything to be grateful for! So on that day, I committed myself to starting a daily practice of gratitude, of counting my blessings and giving thanks to God. This is a practice that got me through that difficult time and many others as the years have rolled on. No matter what the situation is, there is always something that I can hold onto that gives me hope, none the least of which is the knowledge and assurance that I am God’s beloved child and will be saved for all eternity. But merely being grateful isn’t enough, at least for me. It is taking whatever God has given me and trying to turn it into something that will hopefully be beneficial for others. As Barbara Brown Taylor writes in her book, An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith, “To become fully human means learning to turn my gratitude for being alive into some concrete common good. It means growing gentler toward human weakness. It means practicing forgiveness of my and everyone else's hourly failures to live up to divine standards. It means learning to forget myself on a regular basis in order to attend to the other selves in my vicinity. It means living so that "I'm only human" does not become an excuse for anything. It means receiving the human condition as blessing and not curse, in all its achingly frail and redemptive reality.” Wishing you and yours many blessings this Thanksgiving season,

Pastor Sue

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