The Journey Thoughts

November 18, 2016

In this start of a week leading up to the day we celebrate our thanksgiving,
I want to offer a few daily thoughts on the things I am thankful for.
Thanksgiving was started early on, in the reformation, as a holy day of
giving thanks for the harvest. It seems to have started with the puritans,
but giving thanks on a special day was even before then.  It is the
recognition of the abundance we have been blessed with from God. Even though
it is now a secular holiday, why can't it still be a special day among
believers to celebrate the abundance that God has blessed us with, a time of
"thanksgiving" for the past year.  Many of Paul's letters to the church and
to individuals start out with thanksgiving, but I particularly like the
giving of thanks that is offered to the Thessalonian church.  In it Paul
says, "We always thank God for all of you, remembering you constantly in our
prayers. We recall, in the presence of our God and Father, your work of
faith, labor of love, and endurance of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ,
knowing your election, brothers loved by God. For our gospel did not come to
you in word only, but also in power, in the Holy Spirit, and with much
assurance. You know what kind of men we were among you for your benefit, and
you became imitators of us and of the Lord when, in spite of severe
persecution, you welcomed the message with joy from the Holy Spirit."  1
Thessalonians 1:3-6  So I want to thank God for you, not only those who are
listed on the prayer list, but also all of you who use this daily message to
get you back to the word of God.  As I sit here in meditation, I see your
faces, those of you I know and have met, and I think of the blessing you are
in your own work of faith, that work done through a labor of love, not of
works for works sake.  You have an endurance, and I have seen it on your
faces, and in your hearts, when there have been trials, you have weathered
them faithfully.  You have kept the faith, even when you didn't have the
energy to stand any longer.  You have an obvious presence of the Holy Spirit
within you, and I thank our Lord for that.  I have seen you grow, both in
faith and maturity.  For those who have become a regular part of the group
of readers of this journey, those who are joining in the journey with me, I
am thankful for, because I believe all of you have been used by God to keep
this journey going.  When times of trials come, I am one, who at times,
wants to hide, but your encouragement has given me hope that our Lord is
still fighting the fight for us, and that all we have to do is stay the
course.  So I give thanks to God, for I believe that He directs our daily
paths, and if anyone thinks that I am an encourager for you with these
letters, you are so much more to me, with the encouragement that helps me to
get up early, every day, and write what the Lord puts on my heart.  We all
go through hills and valleys on this journey, and we all realize that the
true test of our faith is not necessarily the mountain top, but in the
valley, in the places of darkness and solitude, where we come to realize
that all along, Jesus has been by our side.  So I want to encourage you all
to bring this Thanksgiving day into full bloom, with true thanksgiving, for
the blessings that God has poured out over us, even in the midst of trials.
I want to encourage you to stop for a moment each day to give thanks for
your family, your fellowship, your friends, your ability to share your
testimony with another.  Let's let our Lord feel a true thankfulness all
this next week, that hopefully will turn into a daily happening, all because
we have come to recognize our thankfulness all comes from Him.

Pastor Andy

Heavenly Father, You know the thankfulness of my heart, and I want to always
surrender it to You.  You have made this life, although not always filled
with happiness, filled with a joy unspeakable, and I know it is because of
Your Spirit that You have so freely sent to us, to minister to us daily.  I
pray for these Lord, that I know You love, and will be bold to ask that You
fill them with Your Spirit to heal, and to comfort, to save and to
strengthen.  As I list them Lord, please touch each one with Your loving
hand.  I pray then for: Sally, and her healing; Marcy and Kenny, Carolyn,
Eric, Gene, Terry, Angie, Isabel, Ellen, Virginia, William, Gayla, Don,
Dwight, Jim, Vanessa, Becky, the Markle family, the Young family, Mike and
his sisters, Travis, Eva, Max, Rita, Pastor Berkey, Nancy, June, JT, Eva,
Candace, Meredith, Barbara, Mike S., Ramona, Loren, Judy, Ben, Robby, Kathy,
Terri, Becky, Montella, Charlie, Kim, Nada, Tim and his mom, Shelly and her
mom, Richard and his dad, Pam and her son, Kelly and her son, Julissa,
Kristena, Abby, Malachi, Corbin, Ryan, Olivia, Jeremiah, Joanna, Tom,
Evelyn, Joy, Ruth, Ada, BJ, Ida, Betty, Briggs church, Jackie Ann, Tonia,
Todd, Liam, Aiden, Alan, Fisher, Tuly, Michelle, Trevor, Maria, Choya, Alex,
Ken, Sandy, Andrea, Shannon, Robert, Pat, Ryan, Tyson, Wendy, Joyce, Betty,
Gus, Lisa, Alice, David, Phyllis, Devon, Cindy, Marliana, Cynthia, Betty,
Johnny, Annette, Kim, Gary, Gavin, Shawn, Laurie, Heather, Codi, Ron, Deane,
Dan, Rheba, Pam, Mike, Austin, Harriet, Fred, Dotty, James, Scott, April,
Craig, Hunter, Asher, Lynette, Patrick, Kathy, Jennifer, Abe, Trent, Garret,
Mayeaux, Ben, Jason, Ashley, Marc, Macy, Jade, Bob, Tracy, Abraham, Elijah,
Japheth, Matt, Liz, Mike, Megan, Matt, Bethany, Jeff, Laura, Carmello,
Kaitlyn, Tim, Michele.  Lord, I am thankful to You for giving me another to
walk the rest of this journey with. Thank You for Your Spirit, who lives so
fully inside us, and reminds us of Your glory daily, and reminds us that it
is in the name of Jesus we thankfully pray.

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