Happening Now Blog

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."   1 Thessalonians 5:18

Last Sunday I preached about gratitude.  Expressing gratitude is an all-purpose spiritual practice that cultivates many virtues and covers a multitude of sins.  Jesus is God's way of helping humanity say "thank you" in a manner that matches the majesty of God.  We send our thanks to God through Jesus Christ, along with all our other prayers.

So here, at year's end, I want to practice expressing gratitude.  What am I grateful for this year?  I'm grateful for having a decent home to live in, good food to eat, clothing to wear.  Basic goods that I don't take for granted, not with so many poor people all around us.  Thank you, God.  What else?  I'm grateful for my spouse, Jill.  She still laughs at my jokes after 26 years together.  That's love!  Thank you, God.  I'm grateful for the kids I get to play with and teach at SOV.  I have no kids of my own, so it's a real treat to touch the joy of creative play with these children.  Their parents do all the hard work and share the beautiful fruits of their parenting with me!  Thank you, God.

I could go on and on.  I have blessings too numerous to count — what great good fortune.  What about you?  During my sermon last Sunday I asked listeners to tell us what they were grateful for.  Maybe a dozen responded, expressing their gratitude to us and to God.  But let me pose the question again.  What are you grateful for, here at year's end?  You can share the thoughts of your heart with God or with others who are close to you.  But it's good to count your blessings and give God thanks.

I mentioned in my sermon last Sunday that expressing gratitude is not just biblically sound.  It's also scientifically verified to be a healthy, hopeful, encouraging practice.  Do an internet search on "practicing gratitude."  You'll find lots of articles offering guides.  Please give it a try — I suspect you'll be glad you did.  Thank you, God, for the grace of giving thanks.

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Lessons for Sunday, January 3rd   Epiphany
Isaiah 60:1-6
Ephesians 3:1-12
Matthew 2:1-12

Sunday, January 3rd worship at 8:30 & 11:00 am

Ladies Dinner
Tuesday, January 5th

6:00 pm
Old Spaghetti Factory
18925 NW Tanasbourne Dr, Hillsboro, OR 97124
please RSVP this email or by phone to Tammy

Men's Night
Thursday, January 7th
6:00 pm (note earlier time)
Reedville Cafe
2947 SE 73rd Ave. Hillsboro, OR 97123.