Moments of the Grateful Heart  

“Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!”                                       - Psalm 95:2 (ESV)

What is your favorite Thanksgiving moment? For me, one comes to mind from long ago. I remember leaving school early (by way of a special note) on the Wednesday of Thanksgiving week so we could get an early start on the drive north to my grandparents home in the farming community of Sharon, Tennessee. It was always colder up there in late November and on occasion we even drove through a few light snowfalls. The warmth of a fireplace and the wood-burning stove in the kitchen, along with all those wonderful smells of Thanksgiving still fill my head today. I always enjoyed the closeness of the family fellowship - especially my granddad’s story telling time (he could tell some whoppers). Everything for the meal came from the farm or a nearby neighbor in a trade off. And the prayer time … they were wonderful prayers of thanksgiving - led by my grandfather and followed with a petition from each family member. The things I had always taken for granted now became gifts from God’s own hand.  That moment when we gathered, holding hands in prayer was indeed a special moment of thanksgiving for a young lad of eleven.

One pastor relates another great story for Thanksgiving. Let me share it. It seems a mother took her four children to a small diner for breakfast. Since the place was crowded, they were separated when they set at the counter. After the food was brought to her eight -year-old, the little girl, somewhat confused, shouted all the way down the counter: “Mother, don’t people say prayers in this place?” The entire diner became silent. Before mom could figure out what to say, the man behind the counter interrupted, “Yes, we do, young lady. Why don’t you say one for us.” With that, all the people at the counter and surrounding booths bowed their heads. The little girl closed her eyes, folded her hands and said: “God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our food.” *

As we look at the way the bounty of our fair land is often taken for granted, Christians might well ask, “Don’t people give thanks in this place?” With our prayers, with our actions, with the way we conduct ourselves, we should give the example. We too can say, “God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our food … and our salvation … and all that we have.”*

Do you have grateful heart moments? I bet you do!

Thanks, Lord; and a blessed Thanksgiving to all of you, dear brothers and sisters in Christ!

Pastor Tom


* By the Way Encore - by Dr. Paul Devantier - The Jubilee Network, St. Louis Mo. 63122-7295 ; pg.133

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