This past Sunday my pastor preached a Thanksgiving message challenging us to be thankful, not just on Thanksgiving, but every day. In order to cultivate a thankful heart, he suggested that we thank God for one hundred things each morning before we head out the door to work. Things like a bed to sleep in and a pillow for our head, as well as a blanket to keep us warm. We could thank God for indoor plumbing with hot and cold water, central heat and air conditioning, and a roof over our heads. Then there is a closet full of clothes, several pairs of shoes to choose from, a coat for warmth, ample food for breakfast and a car to drive.... Most of these things we take for granted, seldom pausing to give God thanks, never realizing that at least one half of the world’s population lacks many of these essentials.
In addition to these obvious blessings, one of the things for which I am most thankful is the gift of memory. It allows us to relive the joyous experiences of the past again and again. For instance, memory makes it possible for me to leave my office on this brisk November morning in 2008 and return to a sunlit afternoon when I was just sixteen years old. On that day, more than forty-five years ago, I went swimming in the South Platte River with a pretty girl who would later become my wife. Carelessly, we splashed in the clear water, oblivious to the sun’s deadly rays. Later that evening, I rubbed Noxzema Skin Cream on her sunburned shoulders. That, I think, is when I discovered I was in love, and to this day Noxzema Skin Cream smells like love to me.
Only now, these many years later, do I realize that the source of my joy that sunlit afternoon was not young love, but God. He was the One Who brought us together, Who made our running laughter a kind of holy music, Who destined that we would one day marry and give birth to a child of our own.Category: November 2008
For the past several weeks I have been focusing on the financial crisis with its bank failures and government bailouts, as well as the national election and our responsibilities as citizens of both the United States and the Kingdom. At the risk of being redundant, let me remind you that as citizens of the United States we have a responsibility to vote and as citizens of the Kingdom we have a responsibility to make sure our vote reflects the values of the King to whom we owe our highest allegiance. And we have a responsibility to pray that the Lord’s will might be accomplished in this election.
Having said that let me turn your attention to more personal matters of faith and action. In his book, “Come Share the Being,” Bob Benson relates a tragic story that contains a message for us all. He writes:
“We bought an old building and remodeled it for offices and warehouse space. The electrician who did the work was named Richard. He was such a talker that after a while somebody in the building started calling him ‘Motormouth.’ He always had a smile and a ready answer to any question, serious or joking. He was a joy to have in the building. In a year or so we were making some additional changes that would require wiring and I asked if anyone had called Richard.Category: November 2008