“Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God’s Message, from the day you heard it right up to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.”  Philippians 1:3 (The Message version)

Being thankful is easy for me. Being grateful for all the blessings in my life is easy for me. I love the Message version of Philippians 1:3 above because it articulates how I feel about you. This has been such a year of blessings for me because of the new brothers and sisters in Christ I have grown to know. You guys not only energize me, but you give me great hope for our future!

It sure hasn’t always been this way, but my joy is found in people, not in stuff. I’ve learned over the years not to take for granted the time we have with one another, so I encourage you this Thanksgiving to make an extra effort to engage with the ones who love you. Spend a little more time talking with a grandparent, or aunt or uncle you don’t regularly see. Don’t let them ask all the questions, instead ask them about their teenage years, or their first job, or how they met their spouse. You will bless them and I think you will enjoy learning more about them. And one more thing, give them an extra hug.

I pray all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and truly take some time to reflect on how blessed you are as well. I know it’s not perfect, but it never will be. I know some of you are going through some pretty intense family struggles, but keep the faith and pray through it. I don’t diminish anyone’s pain who is having a difficult time during this Thanksgiving, but despite it, be thankful…  Be grateful for what you do have and for what God has and continues to do in your life.

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