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WHAT’S THERE TO BE THANKFUL FOR?

TWO MEN WERE WALKING THROUGH A FIELD ONE DAY WHEN THEY SPOTTED AN ENRAGED BULL. INSTANTLY THEY DARTED TOWARD THE NEAREST FENCE. THE STORMING BULL FOLLOWED IN HOT PURSUIT, AND IT WAS SOON APPARENT THEY WOULDN'T MAKE IT. TERRIFIED, THE ONE SHOUTED TO THE OTHER, "PUT UP A PRAYER, JOHN. WE'RE IN FOR IT!" JOHN ANSWERED, "I CAN'T. I'VE NEVER MADE A PUBLIC PRAYER IN MY LIFE." "BUT YOU MUST!" IMPLORED HIS COMPANION. "THE BULL IS CATCHING UP TO US." "ALL RIGHT," PANTED JOHN, "I'LL SAY THE ONLY PRAYER I KNOW, THE ONE MY FATHER USED TO REPEAT AT THE TABLE: 'O LORD, FOR WHAT WE ARE ABOUT TO RECEIVE, MAKE US TRULY THANKFUL.'"

"THE HARDEST ARITHMETIC TO MASTER IS THAT WHICH ENABLES US TO COUNT OUR BLESSINGS."

WELL, IT'S THAT TIME OF THE YEAR AGAIN WHEN MANY AMERICANS SET ASIDE A FEW MOMENTS TO REFLECT ON THE BLESSINGS OF GOD

BUT I SUPPOSE THERE ARE SOME WHO BELIEVE THAT THERE'S NOTHING TO BE THANKFUL FOR. THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IS CLIMBING AND WE WONDER IF WE'LL HAVE JOB IN THE NEAR FUTURE.

WE STILL HAVEN’T SOLVED THE PROBLEM OF OUR NATIONAL DEBT. ONE CONGRESSMAN STATED THAT BY THE END OF THIS DECADE, EVERY AMERICAN WILL OWE $300,000 (WONDER IF THE GOVERNMENT ACCEPTS VISA OR MASTERCARD). SOCIALS ILLS LIKE CRIME, ALCOHOLISM AND DRUG ADDICTION CONTINUE TO THREATEN OUR WAY OF LIFE AND THE FAITH WE ONCE HAD IN OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS TO CORRECT THESE PROBLEMS HAS ALL BUT FADED. WHAT IS THERE TO BE THANKFUL FOR? WE FACE STRUGGLES THAT ARE AFFECTING OUR MARRIAGE ... HEALTH ... FAMILY ... FUTURE

SOMETIMES WE WONDER: "WHAT'S THERE TO BE THANKFUL FOR?" IN PLYMOUTH, MA., THE FIRST SETTLERS SET ASIDE A DAY OF THANKSGIVING YET WHEN YOU CONSIDER THEIR HARDSHIPS, YOU REALIZE HOW EASILY THEY COULD HAVE BECOME BITTER. AFTER ALL, THE PILGRIMS MADE SEVEN TIMES MORE GRAVES THAN HOMES IN WHICH TO LIVE. NONETHELESS, IN 1621, THEY SET ASIDE A DAY OF THANKSGIVING. AS ONE PERSON WISELY STATED: "WE DO NOT ALWAYS GET WHAT WE ASK FROM GOD, BUT WE ALWAYS HAVE REASON TO THANK HIM." IN PSALM 100, THE PSALMIST LISTED THREE REASONS WHY WE CAN ALWAYS GIVE THANKS.

FIRST, WE CAN ALWAYS GIVE THANKS BECAUSE GOD'S CHARACTER IS GOOD. THE PSALMIST DECLARED: "ENTER HIS GATES WITH THANKSGIVING AND HIS COURTS WITH PRAISE; GIVE THANKS TO HIM AND PRAISE HIS NAME. FOR THE LORD IS GOOD ..."

WITHOUT MUCH EFFORT, ALL OF US COULD DRAW UP A LIST OF REASONS FOR WHICH WE COULD GIVE GOD THANKS: FAMILY; FREEDOM; CHILDREN; A GOOD GRADE ON A TEST. HOWEVER, IN PSALM 100, WE'RE ASKED TO GIVE THANKS TO THE LORD SIMPLY BECAUSE HE IS GOOD. WE SHOULD HONOR GOD, FIRST AND FOREMOST, NOT FOR WHAT HE DOES BUT FOR WHO HE IS. THE PSALMIST DECLARED:

"ENTER HIS GATES WITH THANKSGIVING AND HIS COURTS WITH PRAISE; GIVE THANKS TO HIM AND PRAISE HIS NAME. FOR THE LORD IS GOOD ..." BECAUSE GOD IS GOOD, HE IS PATIENT AND KIND, SLOW TO ANGER, AND ABOUNDING IN LOVE.

SECONDLY, WE CAN ALWAYS GIVE THANKS BECAUSE GOD'S LOVE ENDURES FOREVER. I'VE COME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT WE LIVE IN A RATHER CONFUSING WORLD. LIFE USED TO BE SO MUCH SIMPLER YEARS AGO, PEOPLE KNEW HOW TO SPELL RELIEF AND IT WASN'T "ROLAIDS." AT ONE TIME, THE GIRLS WERE THE ONES WHO WORE EAR RINGS ...THE GUYS WERE THE ONES WHO WORE BOXER SHORTS ... AND THEY WORE THEM UP AROUND THEIR WAIST ... AND UNDER THEIR BLUE JEANS. THE WORD "COOL" ONCE REFERRED TO THE TEMPERATURE AND "GRASS" WAS SOMETHING WE WALKED ON. THINGS JUST DON'T MEAN WHAT THEY ONCE DID. TAKE FOR INSTANCE THE WORD "LOVE."


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Daniel Stout

commented on Oct 22, 2012

nice. we need to remind ourselves often of the many attributes of God we can be thankful for

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