GORDO CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN
What are you thankful for?
We are just
a few days from celebrating Thanksgiving once again in America. It has become a
tradition for most families to get together and share a meal. Sometimes family
members make more of an effort to get together and use this day as an
opportunity to reconnect with one another not only with a meal but also spend
some time just catching up with one another. Hopefully most of you will have a
chance to do some of that this week. When we think about Thanksgiving, we
oftentimes think of Pilgrims and turkey and a meal they shared with the Indians
who had helped the Pilgrims get through a tough year. But how often do we take
time to acknowledge what God has done and is doing in our lives? All of us have
had both some good times during our lives and some tough times. Through it all
God has been there for us. Sometimes he has led us as His people to be there
for each other. As I considered Thanksgiving this year, I got wondering just
how much God emphasizes being thankful in a number of ways and for a number of
reasons. I did a little research to see how often something to do with being thankful
is mentioned in the Bible. Thankfulness is mentioned 71 times in the New
Testament, 20 times of which is found in the four Gospels. Gratitude, which is
similar to being thankful, is mentioned 157 times in the Bible. Thankful at
least 7 times and thanks 33 times. So, at the very least, some form of
thankfulness is mentioned over 250 times in the Bible. That does not include
verses like we read this morning that repeats itself 3 times in 3 verses.
question for you and me this morning is what are you, what are we thankful for?
In our busy lives how often do we take a few minutes to reflect on the things
that make life worth living? Whether it is things going on right now or
recognition of things in the past that have special meaning still today. Do we
take the time to say thank you to people who help us deal with life? For those
who have jobs, are you thankful for being able to work? Are you thankful for
the ability to get by, to have at least what you really need? In other words,
maybe not only pay the bills, but also maybe have a little extra to do other
things with. For those who have had relatively healthy lives or really healthy
lives, are you thankful for that blessing? Those who have family close by
especially, do we let them know we appreciate them and how important they are
to us? For those who live farther away, I hope you are keeping up with those
members of your family as well by taking advantage of the modern technology we
have available to us today. How about friends that check in on you as you check
in on them? Are we thankful for being able to put food on our tables and
clothes on our backs? Are we thankful we have places to live as winter closes
in; are we thankful for that or just take it for granted?
There are so
many things most of us should be thankful for, but do we get too busy to really
be thankful? With all of these things and people I have mentioned, I have not
even said anything about the one who makes it all truly possible. Our God! God
created the world we get to enjoy. God created you and me. God did this because
he wanted us to enjoy not only what he has created but to also have a
relationship with him as well. It may be that every one of you take time each
day to give thanks for the blessings you have. If you are like me though,
things seem to get in the way at times. Thanksgiving is, to me, the kick off of
the holiday season. The one-month period of Thanksgiving to Christmas that
causes me to take some time to reflect on what should be really important. The
greatness of God, the blessings of life, both of the past and present. And a
desire to have a greater attitude of thanksgiving. As we celebrate Thanksgiving
once again this year, I pray each of us will truly take some time to reflect on
the blessings we have had during our lives. Those who the Lord has blessed us
with, those who are no longer with us as well as those in our lives today.
Focus on the good things, not things from the past that cannot be changed, even
though at times we might wish we could change them. God has great things in
store for His people. Coming before the Lord with a thankful heart is a good
place to start. As the first verse says in Psalm 136, “Give thanks to the Lord,
for he is good, His love endures forever.” God loves you and always will. If
that is not a reason to give thank, I do not know what is.
Tuesday 9:30 Bible Study
November 20 Council Meeting immediately after worship
The Lord’s Storehouse Thanksgiving basket
donations due today—sign up sheet is in the back of the sanctuary
November 27 Soup lunch/ the decorate sanctuary
November 29 Deadline for December newsletter submissions
December 4 Christmas Vespers HERE—need food donations
Get your candy orders in! See the flyer on
the bulletin board and give Chelle Shively or Nancy Born Martin your orders.
Pick up is on Dec. 3.
Offering plates are in the back of the sanctuary. Thank
you for your continued giving!
Donation Box: The Lord’s Storehouse
First Sundays: food donations for food banks
Pastor Larry Traxler- (217) 454-2362
keep up on Church of the Brethren news:
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in Your Prayers
Jonah Martina; Jan
Bower; Larry Traxler; Jill McBride; Michelle West; Carolyn Hirsch; Eli Brunner;
Nancy Fansler; Joe Waltz; Doug Larrick; Anna Rose Larrick; Ron & Kathleen
Petersen; Anna Gentry Thompson; Louis & Carol Sulwer; Maralyn Heckman; Debbie
Leibrock; Dorthea Wood; Tina Wilhelm; Tate Sawyer; Bryce Ashenfelter; Mindy
Sawyer; Marlene Schultz; Sarah Rudelick; Carl and Wilma Cable; Mike and Carol
Seidenstricker; Adiline Young; Kim
Lehmann; Doug Fansler; Candy Dobson; Shawn Cain; Robert Cripe; Mayo &
Darlene Hanaver; Patty Cripe; Lauren Gross; Stacie Warren; Nancy Gorrell; many
unspoken requests; Coronavirus; healthcare workers and first responders; victims
of disasters; victims of shootings; shut-ins; the Nigerian church; Haitian
Brethren; Ukraine; Hope Welty Library; Florida; Puerto Rico; La Place
Military and Other
Services and their families
Service workers; Disaster project workers
Calendar: Pray for the Rock Community congregation in Fairfield.
of the Brethren vision statement:
Together, as the Church of the Brethren, we will passionately
live and share the radical transformation and holistic peace of Jesus Christ
through relationship-based neighborhood engagement. To move us forward, we will
develop a culture of calling and equipping disciples who are innovative,
adaptable, and fearless.
Our Mission Statement:
God, grow with others, serve faithfully, reach the lost, find peace.