We of course just finished a message series entitled: A Life Lived in Gratitude for which the words of Paul were reflected throughout the messages. Here are those words again: Rejoice always. 17 Pray continually. 18 Give thanks in every situation because this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thess. 5:16-18).

These are not new words to me as I have reflected on them at many different times over the last couple of decades. And if you were to ask me, I would say that I am a very grateful person; one who truly tries to live into Paul’s direction to rejoice always, pray continually and to give thanks in all circumstances.

And yet, as I’ve reflected on these words over and over again these past two months, as I’ve thought about the saints in my life (those who have pointed me towards God), as I written some of them thank you notes, as I’ve tried to respond with the words, “I’m Grateful” when asked how I am doing and as I have been even more intentional about giving thanks to God when I rise, before each meal and at bedtime, I’ve realized and have felt nudged to be even more grateful.

It has been as though my eyes have been able to see more clearly, my memories more vivid, my senses more open to my surroundings and greater ability to see God’s blessings not only in my life but in this church and our community. It is my hope and prayer for those reading this that you too have experienced something similar because what I feel and what I find difficult to express in words is a blessing unto itself.

I want to close this newsletter with the words taken from Don Moen’s song, “Give Thanks.” May the words of this song not only remind us of what the Lord has done for us, but may the words also spur us to words and actions that declare to God how grateful we are.

Gratitude is not something we experience for just a few weeks and then move on. A Life Lived (daily) in Gratitude is what God desires of all of us.  Remember gratitude is not only good for our own body, mind and soul, it is something that when expressed can have an effect on those around us and thus an impact on our community and even beyond…like ripples in the water!!!

Give thanks with a grateful heart – Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son

Give thanks with a grateful heart – Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son

 And now let the weak say, “I am strong” – Let the poor say, “I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us”

And now let the weak say, “I am strong” – Let the poor say, “I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us”

Grateful to God – Grateful for you – Blessed beyond measure!!!

Pastor Steve