Save the Date!! The annual MPTF Christmas Luncheon will be held Thursday, December 28, 2023, at Holy Apostles Church in Saint Clair. The Eucharist Service will begin at 11 AM, followed by lunch, games, and a Christmas Carol sing-a-long. Please help spread the word! All who are served by MPTF (age 60 and over) and a guest are invited to attend. Please contact Cathy Clouser in the office (570-621-3220) with any questions and to RSVP.
Reminder: Open enrollment for 2024 Medicare plans ends December 7, 2023.
Thankful, Grateful and Blessed
As the Thanksgiving holiday season approaches these words seem to be everywhere. I have seen them in many Fall and Thanksgiving decorations, including on two decorative boards at my home church. The reminders are nestled among two beautiful arrangements of fall flowers, leaves, and pumpkin decorations. I love the fall and its beautiful colorful decorations and this year I feel that I am being reminded to be thankful in more ways than a holiday decoration.
It began a few weeks ago with a video of Joyce Meyer speaking on the power of gratitude. It was a powerful sermon on being grateful and thankful. She was urging us to be thankful at all times, not just when things are going our way. I find that it is easy to give thanks for food – because my cupboards are full: shelter – because I have a home; good health – because I’m healthy; employment – because I love my job; family – because I think mine is pretty great! The harder question is can I give thanks when things are not going my way? Of course, I can….I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me…..but do I?
Joyce urges us to have a thankful attitude and stop complaining so much. We need to be thankful when we are having troubles and things are not going our way. Even then, you can always find something to be happy about. Make a list of what you have to be thankful for. In the New Testament Paul encourages us to “give thanks” at least 46 times. Perhaps his most difficult direction is found in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”. Paul was imprisoned, persecuted, and beaten, yet he was full of thanks ….in all circumstances.
In church this past week I read the scripture lesson Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. This is one of my favorite verses. I have this on a bookmarker on my desk as a constant reminder. It is okay to pray for your difficult situations but remember to be thankful for your blessings. The definition of thankful is being conscious of the benefits received. Being grateful is being appreciative of the benefits received.
Gratitude brings peace. Count your blessings. Gratitude helps us see that God’s hand is over all our circumstances. Taking a posture of gratitude during a challenging time in life can prove to be a powerful choice. It is almost impossible to dwell on hardships and struggles when you are focusing on the good things you are thankful for. These two opposites can’t occupy your mind at the same time.
The art of Thanksgiving is consistent, steadfast, genuine year-round thanksgiving in all things, for God is good. I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving and a very Merry Christmas. I am thankful for this job and to have met all of you, I am grateful for the relationships formed, and blessed to have you all in my life.