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"Sewing Circles of Herat"
by Christina Lamb

"Other Colors"
by Orhan Pamuk

"The Shack"
by William P. Young

November 25, 2008

My favorite time of the year

This really is my favorite time of the year. I love Thanksgiving. It is the holiday that is most devoid of commercialism, I think. It is also the time when families plan to be together. Kay and Gary are coming and I am beginning to count the days. Soon I will count the hours. I am planning the dinner, everyone is helping and it is going to be such a wonderful time.

I love Thanksgiving not only because of the food, which I enjoy, and the family, but because it is the one time of the year which is really set aside to think about gratitude. I love when we can sit at the table and think about how fortunate we are. We can not only think about it but it is a time when it is appropriate to ask people to share their thoughts and feelings. What better time or place?

As I was thinking about this I was so grateful to God for putting me in this place and at this time. I was grateful for the 54 years that Mmmm and I have had as husband and wife. I was grateful for a loving and attentive daughter, her very gracious and understanding husband, who cares for her and by extension for us. I am grateful for the extended family - my sisters and their husbands, my nieces and nephews, grandnieces and nephews and now even great-grand nieces and nephews. I am grateful for Mmmm’s family that is so close and caring. How fortunate I am.

Miss Johnson, the founder of Bible Study Fellowship, an organization that I was privileged to be a part of for 36 years or so, used to talk about the gifts of “common grace”, those things that God gives to all. As the Bible tells us, “The rain falls on the just and unjust”. So Christian and non-Christian alike have abilities to enjoy music and art and nature. James 1:16 says,“Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. “

We are privileged to have these gifts of common Grace, but we, who are Christians are also promised “an inheritance that can never perish , spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed to you in the last time." (1 Peter 1:4). This is Saving Grace.

Above our bed hangs a wonderful framed page from a first edition King James Bible printed between 1611 and 1625 A.D. The page includes Psalm 107. The first verse of that Psalm says, “O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good: for His mercy endureth forever.” Verse two goes on to say, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy.” On the corresponding side of the frame are the words from I Peter 1:25, “The Word of the Lord endureth forever.”

Isn’t it good to know in this uncertain world that there is something that doesn’t change? God is not tied to the stock market, He does not change. The Apostle Peter, writing to believers who were scattered around the known world, said, in I Peter 1:24 –

All men are like grass, And all their glory is like the flowers of the field The grass withers and the flowers fall, But The Word of the Lord stands forever.

And so we give thanks.

Amen and Amen.

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