Thanksgiving Fest Reflections of Gratitude: Day 7


“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”  Matthew 11:28

“I’ll put the kettle on.”  That seems to be the reaction to any news – good or bad – in all the British dramas that I watch.  “A nice cuppa” offers either a chance to revel in good fortune or an antidote for trying times.  I even have a variation of Winston Churchill’s advice hanging in my kitchen: “Keep calm and put the kettle on.”

I drink a lot of tea.  I love the whole process: boiling the water, selecting the type of tea, unwrapping the tea bag, pouring the hot water, patiently waiting while it steeps to perfection. The aroma drifts out of the cup, inviting me to sit down, even just for a moment, and be restored.

Tea for me is a mini-Sabbath moment. It is an opportunity to be refreshed, gather my thoughts, take a breath, and simply be.

I give thanks for a hot cup of tea and the respite it provides.

What are you thankful for today?

Thanksgiving Fest Reflections of Gratitude: Day 6

water faucetLet justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!   Amos 5:24

Have you ever been without water?

When we go camping, we have to carry water from a communal spigot back to our campsite. It reminds me just how heavy water is.

When the power goes out, rendering our well useless, we are suddenly aware just how often we turn on the faucet, taking the access to water for granted. We simply expect it will always be there.

All over the world today, millions of people will be thirsty. Children won’t have enough clean water to drink. There will be women who walk miles to obtain the barest minimum of water for their families.

And I will simply turn on the tap and enjoy sparkling, fresh water.

I give thanks for clean water.

What are you thankful for today?

Thanksgiving Fest Reflections of Gratitude: Day 5


“Guide my feet while I run this race…”  African American Spiritual

I give thanks for 10,000 steps.  That’s what all of us are told we should strive for each day to improve our health, calm our minds, and strengthen our hearts.

I love to walk.  As a minister, I visit many people whose mobility is impaired or painful. I do not take it for granted that I am able to put on my sneakers and get outside.  I appreciate that I can walk across the street to the post office or even just meander around my house.

Most days I get outside right after sunrise. I treasure the mornings I meet friends, share conversations, and laugh.  I also enjoy my solo strolls which provide me time to reflect on the day to come.  My walks offer a bounty of sensations…

The sights:  Surrounded by woods, ponds, and cornfields, I walk on dirt roads and might see a deer, a beaver, or a chipmunk crossing my path.

The sounds: Geese honking as they fly overhead, squirrels rustling in the dead leaves, the brook washing over the rocks.

The smells: Freshly cut hay, that unique autumn aroma of leaves on the ground, the cool, crisp air that tickles my nose.

I give thanks for being able to walk in God’s creation.

What are you thankful for today?

Thanksgiving Fest Reflections of Gratitude: Day 4

Night sky

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?  Psalm 8

I love looking at the stars. Gazing into the heavens, picking out the few constellations that I recognize, marveling at the brightness of the planets, and noticing the phase of the moon – all of that is good for my spirit.

There is nothing more restoring after a long meeting or a sad hospital visit than to turn my eyes upward into the far-flung realms overhead. I gain some perspective along with the feeling of smallness that reminds me of the power, creativity, and mystery of the Creator.  In that moment, I don’t have to do anything –  I can simply marvel at the gift of beauty that swirls overhead.

I give thanks for the stars and the beauty of the night sky.

What are you thankful for today?

Thanksgiving Fest Reflections of Gratitude: Day 2

EWCC fall

I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.  Psalm 122

I am thankful for my church.  The “church” is not the building, beautiful and well-maintained as it is. The people – our congregation – are the heart of this church.  People who care, pray, visit, cook meals, teach, listen, send cards, provide transportation, rake leaves, sing, and serve in hundreds of ways. This congregation knows they have been called to be Christ’s hands and heart in this hurting world.

I give thanks for my church.

What are you thankful for today?