Grace and Peace to you from our Lord, Jesus Christ!
What a blessing you are to your church! Do you know that? It’s true. Many of you write after reading the newsletter and that wonderful encouragement means more than you can imagine! Thank you.
With Thanksgiving fast approaching, it’s a great time to take time to consider the only part of our “turkey day” event that may truly last; our deep abiding gratitude for what God has done for us. With all the preparation that goes into Thanksgiving Day including meal plans, travel plans, even shopping the next day plans, why not give some time each day in November to your gratitude plans?
John Wesley, founder of our Methodist faith, wrote in his commentary on 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Thanksgiving is inseparable from true prayer; it is almost essentially connected with it.” Appreciation and gratitude for all we have, despite our present circumstances mind you, is essential for our spiritual growth. It requires consideration of what our blessings are now and where we would be without them.
If you want to deepen your family’s celebration this year, consider one or more of the following:
Make a Thanksgiving box or jar – Each day in November before preparing for bedtime, everyone in the family writes something they are thankful for that day on a slip of paper and places it in the box or jar. You can make this box or jar your centerpiece for the table! During dessert, the sweetest part of your meal, you can take turns reading the slips of paper. It might become the sweetest part of the day.
Serve others – We will collect non-perishable food items for our local food pantry in the month of November leading up to Harvest Home Sunday on November 24th. Bring donations to church for this effort. Invite a friend or neighbor to join you that Sunday at church or bring them to the Penns Valley Ecumenical Service at St. Luke Lutheran Church in Centre Hall at 6pm. Come early and sing with the all-volunteer choir. Arrive at 5pm. I’ll have music for you. Stay after for refreshments and fellowship.
A day that is set apart to focus on family and giving thanks may be the first step to making gratitude a daily spiritual growth practice.
- How can you make gratitude a daily practice in your life?
- What effect does thankfulness have on your thoughts, attitudes, words, and actions?
- What keeps you from thanking God amid hardship or pain?
- What can you do to increase your trust in Him so gratitude will be your first response?
Closing thought: Gratitude to God not only honors Him, but it is good for us. (Read Psalm 92:1-5)
With hands to the plow,
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” 1 Thessalonians 5:18