Giving thanks with a grateful heart

11/22/2010

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, we pause to give thanks.  Throughout the year, we are focusing on diving into the scriptures and “sowing the word” in our hearts and lives.  We brought the two ideas together and asked United Methodists around the Conference the question, “What scripture helps you best express your gratitude to God?”

Here are their delightful and insightful responses. May they help us all take a moment to reflect on those things for which we are most thankful.

Rev. M. Burns Willis, retired, Thomasville First United Methodist Church 
“Praise the Lord! O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever.” Psalm 106:1

This verse from Psalm 106 helps me express my thanks for the innumerable blessings that God has given to me over a long life.  When I was a child I learned the hymn:  “Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your blessings, see what God hath done.” If I started counting each blessing I have received, I would be continuously counting every day for the rest of my life. Naming these blessings helps me realize how good God is.  However, there is one blessing that far exceeds all others.  When Jesus came to live, die and be raised again, He revealed the steadfast love of God for humankind. God’s gift of His son has blessed me beyond measure and provided for my eternal salvation. As I count my blessings, I feel I must start with this greatest of all blessings.  When I realize how good God is and how deeply He loves me, I am humbled. His goodness and love inspire me to live each day in an attitude of praise and thanksgiving.                                

Eli Herndon, 6, Wesley United Methodist Church at Frederica on St. Simons Island
Moses’ story whenever God opened the Red Sea. I thought Moses was thankful that God opened the Red Sea for him.

Bertha Nell Key Bagwell, Martha Bowman United Methodist Church
Psalm 103:1-12 has been a memorable Bible passage for me.  In my youth it was pressed into my memory, and lives there today.  One of the devout leaders in Poplar Springs Methodist Church was a family member whom everyone lovingly called “Cousin Jim.”  In our worship he would sometimes rise from his pew in the spirit of faith and love, move into the church aisle and walk about, all the while waving his handkerchief.  With tears in his eyes he would quote in a loud voice, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless His Holy Name, and forget not all His benefits.”

Jeannette Sampley, Vidalia First United Methodist Church
“The LORD has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad.” Psalm 118:24
It’s just wonderful, how each day the Lord has made, and we ought to be so grateful.  It just makes me closer to Him.   

Emma Posey, 13, Cordele First United Methodist Church
It’s really hard to pick a favorite!  I like Psalm 107:1: “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.”  I really like it because it reminds me that no matter what, God is always there for you and He’s always there loving you.

Thanks - Giving
Though I am not rich,
I am not poor.
I have all I want and need,
But still I want more.

Things of this world 
Are so easy to get caught up in.
What to wear, and where to go
That I may become unthankful for what I have within.

I sing praises to the Lord
For all He has done.
Blessing us in lots of ways
Like sending God's only Son.

Though I am not rich,
I am not poor.
I have a loving family and friends
And that is so much more.

By Emma L. Posey


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