Pastor’s Ponderings November 2018

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday! My kids think that is so weird because we don’t exchange
presents or get candy. But, that is exactly why it’s my favorite. Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks for what we have; our family, food, home, health, etc…. Our focus is on relationships, and to be grateful for what we have. Perhaps the pumpkin pie is a bit of a draw too!

Have you ever heard the phrase; “Have an attitude of gratitude”? At Myers-Wilkens, in the morning all school assembly gatherings, they blare the song, “Attitude of Gratitude” and the kids sing and shout out things they are thankful for. I love it! Being thankful and having gratitude is not necessarily in our human nature, but it is something we can learn. There has been quite a bit of research currently that shows the benefits of being grateful. A five-minute a day gratitude journal can increase your long-term well being by more than 10 percent. That’s the same impact as doubling your income! How can a free five-minute activity compare? Gratitude improves our health, relationships, emotions, personality, and career. It helps us sleep, have more energy, makes us happier, strengthens our emotions, more relaxed, better self-esteem, and more spiritual. Whoa! Crazy to think one little thing we can do every day could have so many benefits.

Our Bible is filled with stories and verses that talk about being thankful: Psalm 95:2 “Let us come before him with thanksgiving and sing joyful songs of praise.” John 6:11 “Jesus took the bread in his hands and gave thanks to God. Then he passed the bread to the people, and he did the same with the fish, until everyone had plenty to eat.” Philippians 4:6-7 “Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus.”1 Thessalonians 5:18 “In every thing give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

It is gratitude that allows us to thoroughly and truly see and understand each other. It is the act and attitude of gratitude that allows us to show one other our worth and appreciation. It is through gratitude that we are able to praise one another by reminding each other that we are all special and valued. Gratitude keeps us in tune with the true essence of humanity. This is all what is contained and taught from within the many pages of the Bible. We are all connected, and it is gratitude that reminds us of this and keeps us within this connection.

Pastor Cynthia

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