Gratitude: Look at the Loss and then Give Thanks

When we gather for our imperfect celebrations, our only hope for joy is to look at our loss and then to give thanks.

Thirty years ago, I married into a family that celebrated Thanksgiving Day with All-American fervor, featuring a day-long gathering and a loaded table. As the new bride, I was eager to prove that I had what it took to be the holiday hostess. Having done my research, I had planned all the best sides, multiple-choice… Continue reading Gratitude: Look at the Loss and then Give Thanks

Gratitude: A Matter of Obedience to the Will of God

Sunday Scripture According to the Apostle Paul, gratitude is more than a pumpkin-spice-feeling. It is a matter of obedience to the will of God. Author and poet Wendell Berry put words into the mouth of a fictional, elderly widow named Hannah Coulter who, in addition to being a crackerjack farmhand when needed and probably making… Continue reading Gratitude: A Matter of Obedience to the Will of God

Gratitude: Evidence of the Transaction of Grace from God

“Like a receipt, our gratitude is evidence of the transaction of grace from God.” Joshua Choonmin Kang

With eyes sparkling, my grandson came to the door, cookie in hand, and grinned through the window. He waved at me with his free hand and then pointed to the cookie. "Thanks, Bam!" he shouted and with a leap, he was off the deck and on to more important business, but the moment stopped me… Continue reading Gratitude: Evidence of the Transaction of Grace from God

When You Just Can’t Take It Any Longer

“Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.” ~Jim Elliot

Over the weekend, I sat between two of my grandchildren and read them a story for the first time since we began sheltering at home. We celebrated the relaxation of strict  quarantine here in rural Maine with our little group of eight. As everyone feasted on pizza and whoopie pies, I prayed that I would… Continue reading When You Just Can’t Take It Any Longer

Hear, Do, Know: The Christian’s Clear Assignment

“To listen to one word and go out and obey it is better than having the most exalted ‘religious experience,’ for it puts us in touch with God Himself—it is a willed response.” Elisabeth Elliot

My young friend’s question was as deeply earnest as it was misguided: “I know I need to read and pray every day, but isn’t it just hypocritical to go through the motions on days when I’m not feelin’ it?” It’s not hard to trace this line of reasoning to its source. In Western thought, a… Continue reading Hear, Do, Know: The Christian’s Clear Assignment