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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN



The famous writer and poet Rudyard Kipling, unlike so many other writers of his time, was fortunate enough to enjoy success while he lived. He made a great deal of money at his trade. On one occasion a reporter approached him and said, "Mr. Kipling, I just read that somebody calculated that the money you make from your writings amounts to over a hundred dollars a word." Mr. Kipling raised his eyebrows and said, "Really? I certainly wasn't aware of that." The reporter cynically reached into his pocket and pulled out a hundred dollar bill, held it out to Kipling, and said, "Here's a hundred dollars, Mr. Kipling. Now, give me one of your  hundred dollar words." Kipling looked at the hundred dollar bill for a moment, took it and folded it up, put it in his pocket and said, "Thanks."

Touche! Kipling is right! Come to think of it, "thanks" is more that just a hundred dollar word. It is one of God's holy words. Really, it seems to be one of His favorite holy words! The Scriptures are saturated with teaching about thanksgiving! The words "thank, thanks, thankful, and thanksgiving" are, used at least 134 times in the New King James Version of the Bible! What does it mean when God teaches, comments on, or gives commands concerning a certain subject at least 134 times? At least two things: 1st,  He is serious about this! He commands thanksgiving so frequently in the Bible that it is impossible to conclude this is unimportant to Him; 2nd,  it must mean He wants it to be important to us! He won't let us forget to be thankful! First Thessalonians 5:18 sums up all God says about giving thanks, "In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." Why be thankful in every circumstance? Because those who wait for perfect people, places, and circumstances will never be happy or thankful. As Norman Vincent Peale said, "Problems are a part of life. All of us are going to have. problems right up to the moment we die. And some of you are going to have problems  after you die." Thanksgiving is more than a hundred dollar word. It is a way of thinking and living that will alter us whether God ever alters our circumstances or not. Gratitude is not a matter of chance but a matter of choice. It is grounded not in what I have in my hand but rather what I have in my heart. It is not tied. simply to good times but to a great and good God who loves us every moment of every day, and who has promised to never leave or forsake us, in good times or bad! So go ahead. Use the hundred dollar word that will make you and God feel good-say "thanks." Make a habit of using that hundred dollar word!

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ