Thankful

psalm-9-10November is a month for remembrance.

A time to remember our veterans–those who’ve served in the U.S. military. I have a lot of friends and family who have served and are now serving our country. The phrase, “I’m thankful for your service,” just doesn’t seem enough.

I didn’t serve, I can’t salute you, so I’ll let this guy–soldier-996536_1280

There’s  a folded flag on my bookshelf, a reminder of my dad’s service for his country. He was a proud veteran of the Korean War. Dad hung a flag on his porch at every opportunity. I’m thankful for the memories I have of his patriotism and gratitude.

November is a time to celebrate family, come together over a meal of thankfulness. Many of us will sit at those tables and tell what we’re thankful for this year. I look back at my year and I have to shake my head. In the roll call of my years, this one stands out in several ways.

13782102_10207511199837999_6377655462116865717_nI’m thankful for the opportunity to go to Ecuador. I never expected to do that. I went to be a blessing, but I think they did more for me than I could ever do for them. I’m grateful for the many new friends I made. I will forever carry their memory in my heart.

I’m thankful for my husband–November is his birthday month. We very nearly lost him this summer when his health took a sudden nosedive. By the grace of God, and in answer to the many prayers of family and friends all over, he received excellent care and has recovered. My heart overflows with gratitude to God, and for the many who took time to say a prayer on our behalf.

I’ll continue my “thankful” list as the month goes on. Until then, “The Lord bless and keep you;  the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” — Numbers 6:24-26 NIV

Fill the Day With Love

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“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” I Corinthians 13:1-3 NIV

Most Christians are familiar with the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians. This passage goes on to say that love never fails. Prophecies end, tongues fail, knowledge passes away. Life moves on, but love never fails.

sisters-781098_1280To react in love in your dealings with others never fails. People may reject you. They may overlook you, walk all over you (spitefully use you), all of the above, but if your personal reaction to all of those is still love, you’ve won.

It’s not easy.  Especially not today. You’ll have ample opportunities to be angry today. You’re fed up and can’t take it anymore. Look in the mirror and tell yourself today will end, but love never will. It’s the power of love – remember that song? (I’m hearing Huey Lewis’s version in Back to the Future.)

img_7192_pLove is powerful. If you need a reminder, read I Corinthians 13 – I’ve given you a link to Bible Gateway above. I can’t read this chapter enough. Each time I read it, I see something new and I grow up a little more. At my age, I didn’t think I needed to grow up anymore.

Just in time for Thanksgiving season! With a heart filled with love, Thanksgiving becomes easier. Notice I didn’t say “easy.” It may not be easy, but you can love others no matter what they do to you. Even when they leave you. Because there’s the ONE who will never leave you, or forsake you. And HE makes it possible for you to love. Because HE freely gave of HIMSELF.

Today, let me encourage you to fill the day with love. I know what day it is. But no matter how many offend you with their words or deeds, let your answer be in love. Your blood pressure will thank you. It’s the power of love!

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