In everything give thanks.

Thursday, November 23 is Thanksgiving Day in the United States. I look forward to time with family, turkey and dressing (and all the other good stuff), and football. The day also causes me to think about some of the things for which I am thankful.
I am thankful for...A slow, soaking rain when the earth is dry.  God's love that sent His Son, Jesus, to redeem us.  The beautiful colors of Fall (when they come).  Laity who serve Christ faithfully through the church.  The Astros winning the World Series.  Good health.  The call of God upon my life.  Medical advances and personnel that save lives.  Opportunities to travel and experience God's people and the good earth.  The hymns of the Church.  Worship services, regardless of worship style, that are well planned.  Ice cream.  The fellowship of the saints through the United Methodist Connection.  Kind words and deeds.  Coffee in the morning.  Forgiveness from God, always available, for all my sins.  A wonderful woman who loves me and has been my wife for almost 31 years.  Laughter.  Young clergy who hold the future of the church in capable hands and tender hearts.  The privilege of being a United Methodist minister.  A reliable automobile.  People with a good sense of humor.  Parents who claim their role of teaching their children to love God and love people.  Email (but not all the spam).  Music of (almost) all types.  Honest politicians (and yes there are some).  The ability to still take the stairs 2 or 3 at a time.  A device (smart phone) that does just about everything but cook my breakfast--and it will probably be able to do that before long.  Good preaching.  People who can disagree without being disagreeable.  Those who understand that it is always too early to quit.  Counselors, therapists, and other mental health professionals.  Freedoms that are afforded us in this great country.  The presence of God with me in good times and not-so-good times.  
The Apostle Paul instructs us: "In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." (I Thessalonians 5:18). I don't believe that everything that happens to us is not God's will, but I think that God wants us to have an attitude of gratitude regardless of our circumstances.
In the words of the liturgy for Holy Communion, "It is right and a good and joyful thing always and everywhere to give thanks to (our) Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth."
Happy Thanksgiving to your family from mine.