November Pastor’s Pen

June Pastor's Pen

Give thanks with a grateful heart!


I saw a wonderful meme on Facebook the other day – The three hardest things to say are: 

  1. I was wrong
  2. I need help
  3. Worcestershire Sauce


I thought you might like that too…

When I was a freshman at Penn State I had an Educational Psychology class that met twice a week. A one-hour per week “lab” was also a requirement.

At the end of the hour, each student had to write a one-page paper that summarized the class reading assignment for that week. The papers were returned with a checkmark at the top whenever class reconvened.

My roommate took the lab with me. He was certain that no one was actually reading the papers. One day, in the middle of his page, he wrote, Does anyone ever read this? then he finished the assignment. He continued this prank for more than a month. Believe it or not, five weekly papers were returned with a checkmark before somebody made a comment on his hidden question!


Of all the things I get to do as your pastor, the only thing I do with some trepidation is write my Pastor’s Pen.  I have this secret fear – call it suspicion – that it really isn’t read. And if it IS read, my fear is that it won’t be meaningful for you. For as long as I can remember, I have always fought the temptation to include my roommate’s question in the middle of my article just to see if anyone catches me!

Assuming you ARE reading this, I just want to say that, in the U.S., November is the month for returning thanks – thanks to our family, thanks to our neighbors and friends, and most especially thanks to the Lord.

One of the things I’ve learned from reading and teaching the Book of Revelation is how important worship is in God’s Word. Worship is central to John’s vision. The angels, the elders, the four living creatures, the saints frequently fall before God and return thanks, giving Him all the praise and glory He deserves.


I need to be better at counting my blessings instead of my problems. And I need to make it a habit to give thanks with a grateful heart. Psalm 103 checkmarks the blessings that come from the Lord:

  • He forgives our sins
  • He heals our sicknesses
  • He redeems our lives
  • He crowns us with love and compassion
  • He satisfies us with good things
  • He executes justice

And that’s only the beginning! Are you intentional about thanking the Lord? May I suggest we write a page of blessings and praises in a journal or tablet this Thanksgiving? No one but God will read it. But I just think it might help me to write him a “love note” and get it out during December whenever I feel underappreciated and overwhelmed. I will be blessed and so will the Lord!


By the way, thank you for reading this; thank you for allowing me to be your shepherd; thank you for all the support you show to both Kathie and me: and thank you for four wonderful years!

Pastor Joel


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