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Contributed By:
Donnie  Martin
 
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DO YOU KNOW HOW TO PRAY

I heard a story of a ship that was sinking in the middle of a storm, and the captain called out to the crew and said, "Does anyone here know how to pray?"

One man stepped forward and said, "Yes sir, I know how to pray."

The captain said, "Wonderful, you pray while the rest of us put on life jackets--we're one short."

Author unknown. Taken from pastorlife.com.

 
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THANKFUL PEOPLE ARE HAPPY PEOPLE

I read a news story once of a woman who was getting ready to jump off a 44 story building in New York City.

Witnesses said that she did not look like the type of person who would do such a thing. She was very distinguished and well dressed.

All the attempts made by the police to get the woman off the ledge had failed.

One of the officers asked if he could call his pastor in to see if he could help. When the pastor arrived, he asked permission to go to the ledge and talk to the woman.

As the pastor neared the edge the woman screamed, "Don't come any closer or I'll jump!"

The pastor took a step back and then said, "I am sorry that you believe no one loves you."

This got the woman's attention and it got the attention of the police. That was something that you don't usually say to a person who is threatening suicide.

The woman took a step towards the pastor and said, "My grandchildren love me and so does my children. My whole family loves me! I have 8 wonderful grandchildren and they love me."

The pastor took a step towards the woman and said, "Well then, you must be very poor, maybe that is why you want to take your own life."

The woman who was a little overweight said, "Do I look like I go without any meals? We live in a very nice apartment. I'm not poor."

The pastor took another step closer to her and was now 3 feet from her when he asked, "Then why do you want to kill yourself? I don't understand."

The woman thought for a moment and then said, "You know, I don't really remember."

The story ends with the pastor and the woman walking towards the elevator as she shows him pictures of her grandchildren. Eventually this woman becomes a volunteer on the city's suicide hotline, helping others choose life.

What did the pastor do to help this woman?

He helped her get her eyes off herself and onto the many ways that God had blessed her.

She learned a valuable lesson that day. She learned that thankful people are happy people.

If you don't learn anything else today, I hope you learn this valuable lesson. Thankful people are happy people.

(From a sermon by Greg Carr, Thankful People are _______ People, 12/23/2010)

 
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WHOSE HANDS ARE YOU THANKFUL FOR?

"A Thanksgiving Day editorial in the newspaper told of a school teacher who asked her first graders to draw a picture of something they were thankful for. She thought of how little these children from pour neighborhoods actually had to be thankful for. But she knew that most of them would draw pictures of turkeys on tables with food. The teacher was taken aback with the picture Douglas handed in... a simple childishly drawn hand.

"But whose hand? This class was captivated by the abstract image. 'I think it must be the hand of God that brings us food,' said one child. 'A farmer,' said another, 'because he grows the turkeys.' Finally when the others were back at work the teacher bent over Douglas's desk and asked whose hand it was. 'It's your hand, Teacher,' he mumbled.

"She recalled that frequently at recess she had taken Douglas, a scrubby forlorn child, by the hand. She often did that with the children. But it meant so much to Douglas. 'Perhaps this is everyone's Thanksgiving, not for the material things given to us, but for the chance, in whatever small way, to give to others,' she thought"

(Author Unknown, Stories from the Heart (Multnomah Books: Sisters, Oregon, 1996), 52). From a sermon by Eric Lenhart, Helping Hands, 8/12/2010

 
Contributed By:
Troy Mason
 
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I am Thankful for.........

....the taxes I pay
....because it means I’m employed.

....the clothes that fit a little too snug
....because it means I have enough to eat.

....my shadow who watches me work
....because it means I am out in the sunshine.

....a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning and
....gutters that need fixing
....because it means I have a home.

....the spot I find at the far end of the parking lot
....because it means I am capable of walking.

....my huge heating bill
....because it means I am warm.

....all the complaining I hear about our government
....because it means we have freedom of speech.

....the lady behind me in church who sings off key.
....because it means that I can hear.

....the piles of laundry and ironing
....because it means my loved ones are nearby.

....the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours
....because it means that I’m alive.

....weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day
....because it means I have been productive.


The art of thanksliving. It is gratitude in action.

It is thanking God for the gift of life by living it triumphantly.

It is thanking God for your t...

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THE RIGHT USE OF THE EYES

A bishop of the early church, who was a remarkable example of the virtue of contentment, was asked his secret. The venerable old man replied: "It consists in nothing more than making a right use of my eyes. In whatever state I am, I first of all look up to heaven and remember that my principal business here is to get there. Then I look down upon the earth, and call to mind how small a place I shall occupy in it when I die and am buried. I then look around in the world, and observe what multitudes there are who are in many respects more unhappy than myself. Thus I learn where true happiness is placed, where all our cares must end, and what little reason I have to complain."

[Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times. 836 Correct Use of the Eyes, Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc. From a sermon by Matthew Kratz, Thankful Before Thanksgiving, 10/1/2011]

 
Contributed By:
William Akehurst
 
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A CHILD'S PERSPECTIVE OF THANKFULNESS

When asked to list what he was thankful for, one little boy wrote, "My glasses!"

"That's good," said the teacher, "they help you see better".

"No," responded the child, "I’m thankful for my glasses because they keep the other boys from hitting and fighting with me and the girls from kissing me."

This little guy clearly understood the meaning of gratitude.

 
Contributed By:
MELVIN NEWLAND
 
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ILL. Let me read a part of the list that several housewives compiled. They wrote that they were especially thankful:
"For automatic dishwashers because they make it possible for us to get out of the kitchen before the family comes back in for their after-dinner snacks.
"For husbands who attack small repair jobs around the house because they usually make them big enough to call in the professionals.
"For children who put away their things & clean up after themselves. They’re such a joy you hate to see them go home to their own parents
"For teenagers because they give parents an opportunity to learn a second language.
"For Smoke alarms because they let you know when the turkey’s done.
APPL. Now our list might not be the same as theirs, but I’m convinced that if we began to make a list, we would find that we have much more for which to be thankful than just our material possessions.

 
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THE KEY TO HAPPINESS

Gratitude is nothing less than the key to happiness.

For this penetrating insight into gratefulness, I am grateful to Dennis Prager, author of the shrewd and perceptive "Happiness is a Serious Problem."

"There is a 'secret to happiness,'" Prager writes, "and it is gratitude. All happy people are grateful, and ungrateful people cannot be happy. We tend to think that it is being unhappy that
leads people to complain, but it is truer to say that it is complaining that leads to people becoming unhappy. Become grateful and you will become a much happier person."

This is a keen observation, and it helps explain why the Judeo-Christian tradition places such emphasis on thanking God. The liturgy is filled with expressions of gratitude. "It is good to give thanks to the Lord," begins the 92nd Psalm.

Why? Because God needs our gratitude? No: because we need it.
Learning to be thankful, whether to God or to other peo...

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Contributed By:
John  Williams III
 
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My natural mother once wrote a poem about being thankful that I have always treasured since I discovered it. She died in 1984 with skin cancer. But, all that I learned from her is still with me today. I thank God for every memory and every valuable lesson that she taught me about life.
Her Poem went like this…
Thank God for dirty dishes,
They have a tale to tell.
While other folks go hungry,
We’re eating very well.
With home and health and happiness
We should not want to fuss.
For by this stack of evidence,
God is very good to us.
(Cecelia D. Williams)
It is often that stack of evidence that we so often forget or slight because we are too busy fussing or complaining.

 
Contributed By:
Curt Cizek
 
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Who has ever heard of Harriet Tubman before? Her story is an exciting one. She was a runaway slave who was able to get to the north with the help of some sympathetic people both white and black. She was so thankful for the help that she had received that she decided to risk her own life to become a conductor on the famous Underground Railroad. Although she could neither read nor write and was rather frail, she was bold in her efforts to assist escaped slaves in getting safely beyond the Mason Dixon line. In her many years of service, she made nineteen trips and freed over 300 former slaves, including several of her own family members.
As Christians, we are in a similar situation as Mrs. Tubman. We too have escaped a slavery of sorts. We have escaped the slavery of sin. We no longer are headed on the highway to hell but because of Jesus’ death on the cross we too have hitched a ride on the Freedom Train. A train headed for our heavenly home. Is that it though? Is that where the similarity ends? Or is there more?

 
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