The “How” of Gratitude

By Mike Bill
This past Sunday, we kicked off the month of November by thinking about Thanksgiving…not the meal, but the habit…not the one day on the calendar we all look forward to, but the condition of our heart all 365 days of the year.  We made the statement that perhaps the focus of our Thanksgiving should be more than just the “Who’s” and the “What’s” we are thankful for, but rather the “How” of Gratitude...the manner in which we live out and express our thankfulness to God and others.
I hope you have been “practicing” this week!  Thanksgiving and gratitude take work and effort, and some intentional choices on our part.  Interestingly, there are some events coming up that also help us in this regard.  I don’t think it’s a coincidence that so much of what we do in November helps us practice and express our gratitude to God. 
Allow me to remind you of a few things coming up…and extend a PERSONAL INVITATION to you for these as well:
  1. Yard Sale: Whether you are coming to lend a hand or purchase items, tomorrow’s yard sale is an excellent opportunity to connect with others and support missions at the same time. We would love to see you here in the FLC!
  2. Diverse But Not Divided: Sunday at 1:30 PM, we have the privilege of hosting 8-10 other churches at St. John’s for a time of worship and Thanksgiving before God. The verses we are focusing on this month (Philippians 1:3-6) are also the central verses for our gathering. Help us make this event a success by showing up on Sunday. We are also still in need of some folks to help with hospitality. If you are available, simply show up at 1:00 PM.
  3. Boxes…for our community, and for children around the world. The deadlines are approaching for both Operation Christmas Child (11/14) and our Social Concerns Thanksgiving boxes (11/21). You can still pick up a box, but it’s time to go shopping! These are both tremendous ways to give back for all that God has given to us.
 Gratitude is both a REFLECTION of your heart’s current condition as well as a HEART-FORMING HABIT that shifts and expands our walk with Christ.  In other words, gratitude is not just a passive activity for what and how you feel today…it is something we practice and implement in order to grow as followers of Jesus.  Practice Gratitude.  Be Thankful.  Show Appreciation.

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