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




Thanksgiving:  A Daily Call

Bill Vaughn prompts us to think about a serious issue with a tongue in cheek statement. He said, "We hope that, when the insects take over the world, they will remember with gratitude how we took them along on all our picnics." Every day we live, God takes us along on a picnic of blessings and things that bless our lives. From tongues that can talk to legs that can walk; from air that we breathe to food we receive; from faith in the heart to forgiveness of sins — God blesses and blesses again! Even the most superficial inventory of our lives makes clear we ought to remember our Creator with gratitude. As one grateful writer penned in Psalm 68:19 — "Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits, The God of our salvation!" God wants us to be a grateful people. Many centuries before thanksgiving came to be practiced as a holiday, the apostle Paul directed Christians to saturate daily life with thanksgiving to ad. Ephesians 5:20 directs Christians to be "giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Those eighteen words call us to do every day what we, in all honesty, find easier to do on some days than others. No matter what is happening or where I am, there is always something or someone I can thank God for! Christians are called to be a constantly grateful people. So, have you listened to yourself talk or think lately? How often are you thankful, and how often do you express it? Are you grateful more often than you grumble? Do your words more often express thanks to God for His goodness and gifts, or do you use words mostly to whine? Allow me to share a challenging poem that reminds us gratitude has more to do with what we hold in our hearts that what we hold in our hands. The author is unknown to me. It is titled, "Forgive Me When I Whine."

Today upon a bus, I saw a lovely maid with golden hair; I envied her — she seemed so glad, and how I wished I were so fair; When suddenly she rose to leave, I saw her hobble down the aisle; She had one foot and wore a crutch, but as she passed by, a smile. 0h God, forgive me when I whine, I have two feet — the world is mine. And when I stopped to buy some sweets, the lad who served me had such charm; He seemed to radiate good cheer, his manner was so kind and warm. I said, "It's nice to deal with you, such courtesy I seldom find"; He turned and said to me, "Oh, thank you, sir." And then I saw he was blind. Oh God, forgive me when I whine, I have two eyes — the world is mine.  Then, walking down the street, I saw a child with eyes of blue; He stood and watched the others play, it seemed he knew not what to do. He looked ahead without a word, and then I knew he could not hear. Oh God forgive me when I whine, I have two ears — the world is mine.  With feet to take me where I 'd go, with eyes to see the sunset's glow, with ears to hear what I would know, I am blessed indeed — the world is mine; Oh God, forgive me when I whine.

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ