November Pastor’s Pen

November Pastor's Pen

I guess it all started on Sunday morning. I began my prayer time thanking God that I was alive another day and thanking Him for all the things that He gave me the day before.


When I arrived at church I was initially greeted by Harold and LaVerne, Judy, and Linda. I thought to myself, “I love our church family.” And again I was thankful.


I was thankful for a good church attendance; I was thankful for the sermon the Lord gave me and for the presence of the Holy Spirit as I stood before the body.


Later that afternoon, Kathie and I left for my spiritual retreat and the vibrant autumn colors of our road south caught my eye. The traffic was even and our trip uneventful. Our car was dependable.


We had a good night’s rest and Kathie and I awoke in time to drive to the shoreline to watch the sun rise over the roar of the Atlantic. While our two dogs played in the sand I couldn’t help being humbled that, after 39 years of diabetes, I still have good eyesight to take it all in.


And that’s when it occurred to me, I’m basically a thankful person at heart. Sure I have my moments. But 80% of my prayer life is an expression of praise and thanksgiving.


President Lincoln reportedly said most of us are as happy as we make up our minds to be. There is a degree of truth in his words. I find if I discipline myself to keep a thankful heart, my day goes better and my outlook is where God wants it to be.


The Apostle Paul encouraged us to give thanks in all circumstances.  He didn’t tell us to give thanks because of all circumstances. We can learn something from every circumstance and we can grow because of it, but not every circumstance is, by definition, a source for thanksgiving.


Still, if we can keep a thankful perspective, we can begin to see the brighter side of life. More important, we can be that brighter side for someone else.


There is a Facebook meme that suggests when Halloween is past, Christians should make a strident effort to let November be a whole month of thanksgiving. December and all it offers will be here soon enough. How would our lives be transformed if we heeded that counsel?


Thank you for reading this. Thank you for being a huge part of my life and patiently giving me the opportunity to be your shepherd and servant. And thank you, God, for making it all possible.

There… I’ve said it again.


Happy Thanksgiving!  


Joel Nogle

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