Monday, November 21, 2022

November 20 Sermon and Announcements



NOVEMBER 20, 2022



What are you thankful for?

Psalm 136:1-9


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.


So, the 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.

Pastor Larry



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 today.


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


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Keep 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 congregation

Military and Other Services and their families

Brethren Volunteer Service workers; Disaster project workers

District Prayer Calendar: Pray for the Rock Community congregation in Fairfield.


Church 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:

Love God, grow with others, serve faithfully, reach the lost, find peace.



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