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Tag Archive | "gratitude"

A garment of Praise


Pastor Mike Shiery
Pilgrim Bible Church

As Thanksgiving Day looms in our near future, it is a fitting time to stop and examine the depth of our gratitude. In spite of the many challenges that we face as a nation and even in our individual lives, we are a people blessed beyond measure. In spite of the terrorist threats, the economic decline, the corruption of many government officials, the protests in our streets, and the general uncertainty of the future, a large percentage of the world’s population would quickly trade places with us if given the opportunity.
However, despite our liberties, opportunities, material blessings, and technological advancements, we are long on our demands, vociferous in our complaints, and deficient in our thanksgiving and gratitude.
It was a common practice in Old Testament times, for people who were distraught over bad news to publicly display their dismay by tearing their clothes and dumping ashes on their head. They would put on close of mourning. It was referred to as “sitting in sackcloth and ashes.” These unfortunate souls would weep and wail and complain about their lot in life. They were not pleasant to be around during those moments.
The antidote for that is recorded in Isaiah 61:3 where we read that God gives His people the “garment of praise” (NKJV). The Apostle Paul exemplified this verse. Wherever Paul went, he appeared in “the garment of praise.” Some people, if they ever wear thankfulness at all, wear it only when everything is going right in their life. As long as they have their health, there is excess money in the bank account, they get a raise at work, they have a new car, and they can go on vacation, they will deign to offer a few morsels of gratitude. When adversity strikes their life, gratitude becomes a forgotten virtue.
Paul refused to live on such a low level. Flowing continually through his writings are exhortations to thanksgiving and gratitude. Time and space do not permit us to list them all here, but let me share just a few.
“We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Colossians 1:3 NKJV
“Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.” Colossians 1:12 NKJV
“…abounding in the faith with thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:7 NKJV
“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:17 NKJV
“Continue earnestly in prayer; being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.” Colossians 4:2 NKJV
“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.” Philippians 4:11 NKJV
That last verse is amazing given the challenges Paul faced in his life. 2 Corinthians 11:23-28 give a vivid description of unpleasant moments in Paul’s ministry. He was beaten with whips and rods, stoned, shipwrecked, almost drowned, faced robbers, hunted by religious and secular leaders, betrayed by supposed friends, endured severe cold, lack of food, and battled exhaustion and insomnia. Yet, his writings are filled with praise and thanksgiving and not personal gripes and complaints.
Let‘s endeavor to be people of gratitude, not just at this Thanksgiving season, but every day of our lives. As the poet once said so eloquently: “O Lord, forgive me when I whine, I’m blessed indeed and the world is mine.”

Posted in From the PulpitComments Off

Main Street


Roger on Main StreetGratitude

A post office employee had the job of processing all the mail that had illegible addresses. One day a letter came through addressed in shaky handwriting to God. He thought he should open it to see what it was about. The letter read:
“Dear God, I am an 87-year-old widow living on a very small pension. Yesterday someone stole my purse. It had $100 in it, which was all the money I had until my next pension check. I invited two friends over for dinner next week. Without that money, I have nothing to buy food with. I have no family to turn to and you are my only hope. Can you please help me? Sincerely, Edna.”
The postal worker was touched. He showed the letter to the other workers. Each dug into his or her wallet and came up with a few dollars. By the time he made the rounds, he had collected $96. They put the money into an envelope and sent it to the woman. All the rest of the day the workers felt a warm glow, thinking of Edna and the dinner she’d be able to share with her friends.
The following week, another letter arrived at the post office from the same old lady, addressed to God. All the workers gathered around while the letter was opened. It read:
“Dear God,
How can I ever thank you enough for what you did for me? Because of your gift of love, I was able to fix a glorious dinner for my friends. We had a very nice day and I told them of your wonderful gift. By the way, there was $4 missing. I think it was those guys at the post office.”

Cold out there

A friend in North Dakota near the Canadian border says their snow is about waist-deep and still falling. The temperature has dropped to zero and the north wind is close to gale force. Her husband has done nothing but look through the kitchen window andstare. She says that if it gets much worse, she may have to let him in.

Cold down there

Q: What sits on the bottom of the Arctic Ocean and shakes?
A: A nervous wreck.

This week’s blonde

A blonde woman was speeding down the road in her little red sports car.
Eventually she was pulled over by a female police officer, also a blonde.
The blonde cop asked to see the blonde driver’s license. She dug through her purse, getting progressively more agitated.
“What does it look like?” she asked.
The policewoman replied, “It’s square and it has your picture on it.”
The driver finally found a square mirror in her purse and looked at it. “Here it is,” she said.
The blonde officer looked at the mirror and then handed it back.
“Okay,” she said. “You can go. I didn’t realize you were a cop.”

Last words

To write with a broken pencil is pointless.

Posted in Roger on Main St.Comments Off


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