Friday, November 09, 2012

Obvious to some, but not to all . . .

At some times, I have been considered dense or called a slow learner.  I cannot count the times I have laughed at a joke just because others thought it funny, while, in fact, I hadn't a clue why they were laughing.  This month has been another occasion when I didn't get it at first. 

November 1 came and I began seeing Face Book posts that began "Day 1," then the consecutive days were numbered in like manner.  People wrote things for which they were thankful and have continued.  Suddenly, it dawned on me and I put 2 and 2 together:  this is the month we celebrate Thanksgiving.  What a neat idea to share day by day some of God's blessings that give you pause to give thanks.  So, tonight I thought I'd record a few of the many things for which I am thankful.

1.  I'm thankful that I am a child of God and for all the things that means.
2.  I'm thankful for Tom, the love of my life, for his unconditional love and the years we shared.
3.  I'm thankful for our children and that they continue to be loving and supportive of their crazy mom.
4.  Those two children have given me eight very special grandchildren and I'm thankful for the joy they bring.
5.  I'm thankful for friends--don't know what I'd do without them!
6.  I'm thankful for family, especially for cousins who are more like siblings.
7.  I'm thankful for a place to call home; ten acres where we can spread out and the grandchildren can
     experience "country living."  For me it's "Sweet Home Mississippi."
8.  I'm thankful for books to read and plenty of time to read them.
9.  I'm thankful for all the wonderful ministry opportunities God has put in my life:  past, present and future.
10. I'm thankful for health, for doctors, for medicine.  Most of all I'm thankful that God continues to sustain
      me and to give me all these extra days.

Of course, there are many more things that could be recorded and there are multiple blessings contained in one single statement in the list above.  It gives me great joy to drive through the countryside, see the beautiful fall colors, livestock in the fields, crops in the field and to say "thank you."  All are gifts from God, never to be taken for granted.  I'll never forget one day when Tommy was in junior high and he came home telling about a fellow student who had gotten a couple of licks from the paddle that day in Bible class.  I was not happy and really unhappy when I learned why.  The teacher that day requested that the students pray aloud.  Some had never prayed aloud, some didn't hear their parents pray aloud and others weren't sure how to go about talking to God.  All three were probably true of this particular boy, but when it was his turn, he thanked God for the green grass.  The teacher heard his words, but not his heart, thought he was being "smart" and gave him a paddling.  I have often thought of that and wondered if that boy ever prayed aloud again.  Point:  God delights in our simple prayers.  Our simple thanks are a way of acknowledging our love and trust in God. 

Pastor Margaret

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Good News . . .

Cataracts on both eyes have been removed and the results are astounding.  I guess that the clouding is so gradual that you don't realize the haze that covers everything - sort of like teeth turning yellow with age.  I have remembered Paul's words:  "Now I see through a glass darkly, but then face to face . . . "  One day the haze will be gone and we'll see God and understand things that once were not fully seen or understood.  For now, things are crisper, sharper, brighter; I'll have to wait on seeing "face to face."  I have a check up with the eye surgeon next week, see the optometrist the next week and I'm all done.  Good news!

The "good news" to share from the Petal High School Marching Band is that they marched in four different competions in October, ending with the State Competion this past Saturday.  They won first place in the 6A division.  Jacob is the section leader for the alto saxes and is pretty proud.  The football team has one more regular season game and then begins play-off games next week. 

Last night our church had its first Trunk or Treat event following potluck supper.  It was well attended by our membership and some moms and their children from the Christian Women's Job Corps.  Not only did the children have a great time, but adults of all ages joined in the fun by decorating their vehicles, dressing in costume and distributing goodies.  It's "good news" to witness a body of believers being family.  It says that people take seriously the baptismal promise made to nurture the Children of the Covenant. 

The news of Sandy visiting the eastern seaboard has not been good at all.  What has been "good news" to hear was the immediate response of area residents and utility workers who went to help.  When you live in areas prone to different types of natural disaster, you at least think you know what to expect and what emergency measures to take.  Even then, effects of storms can be devastating.  We are a nation divided on political issues, religious beliefs, morality questions, etc.  It took a  storm to erase some of those dividing lines as people put their differences behind and reached out to help.  That, indeed, is "good news."

Where would we be without the "good news of the gospel?"  Where would we be without God's grace?  Paul admonishes us not to let that grace go to waste.  In the midst of our personal news that is good, let us never forget the best news of all.  Let us remember to share God's good news in our words and our actions, not as humanitarians, but as people who have been saved by grace and who are intent on sharing God's Good News. 

Pastor Margaret