Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!

Psalm 100:4

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

I figured if stores can start their Christmas sales and Holiday displays in August I can write about Thanksgiving a few days early.  Each year students around the country make cards thanking their parents, teachers, and more for all they do in their life.  I am challenged each year around this time to begin thinking about what I am most grateful for in my life.

What are you thankful for?  It can be tempting to think BIG around this time, and try to have an answer to this question “What are you thankful for?” that is creative or something unique that no one else has thought of.  I instead want to challenge you to think small this year.  I believe that sometimes the big thing in our lives are easy to be thankful for, or at least think of, while there are a number of other things in our lives that we take for granted.

I love to run, I do it almost every day, and enjoy running long distance races.  I need to be grateful that I am able to walk much less run on 2 healthy legs, and to have the physical ability to do something that I enjoy, and is a Spiritual practice of my life.  I have a wonderful wife who steps up to help around the house and to take care of our son, so that I can be at church a few nights each week serving without complaint, knowing it can be hard at times.  There are ups and downs at church all the time, but as I reflect, the downs are not that far down, nor do they happen that often.  I have colleagues who spend a significant amount of their time each week fending off persistent critics, an issue I am grateful I am not familiar with.  I live in state where I get to enjoy warm summer days that allow me to go swimming, and the pure joy of the first snowfall.  There is so much to be thankful for this year, I encourage you this week to think about all that you can be thankful for in this Holiday season, the big and small.

Pastor Bill

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