"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"

Luke 15:4-6

November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!!


A couple weeks ago my great- nephew, who is in second grade, had a class assignment with these instructions: Write down five things you like about Thanksgiving or things you are thankful for and why.

Winston's paper read: "Dear Ms. Hudson, I hate Thanksgiving. You know why? Because of the gross food. Your student, Winston."

His teacher thought it was funny and her response to his mom was, "So when you hate it, there is nothing else left to say.... could he not come up with something he was thankful for???"

Winston's parents used that as a teachable moment when he got home that evening and had some discussion with him. They brought up the point that Thanksgiving is not all about food. Whether the food is your favorite or not is beside the point; you have food!

There are times when we can become so focused on something that we dislike or a situation that is not going as planned, that we miss the blessings along the way. It may feel as if everything is going wrong, but if we stop and take a minute to really think of our life, we will see that it may be just one or two things that are not going well. When we put it in perspective, we realize that more things are going right than wrong.

Right before Jesus was arrested and crucified, He was sitting at a table eating a meal with His disciples. Luke 22: 19 says, "He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then He broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, 'This is My body, which is given for you. Do this to remember Me.'"

This meal is known as the last supper and Jesus was preparing these men for what He knew lay ahead. He knew that His body was going to be broken for all mankind. Jesus knew the significance of what He was saying and doing at that moment, and what lay ahead for Him in the upcoming hours. Yet it says, He took the bread, "and gave thanks". His attitude wasn't one of, "I have to do this for you!" or "My Father is making Me endure the cross." But Jesus gave thanks.

A subject that has been on my mind lately is one of how we react to the will of God. When we pray for God's will to be done in a situation are we truly praying for God's will, or are we praying for God's blessing upon our will?" It's easy to say that we're praying for God's will, until things don't go as we would like or our prayer isn't answered as we thought God should answer it, then we react negatively and sometimes even grow bitter. So were we really praying for God's will, or were we wanting God to put His stamp of approval on our own personal desires?

It's difficult to be thankful when our prayers are not answered as we thought they would or should be. At times we may lash out against someone who may have been involved in our situation, wanting revenge. We're not willing to leave things in the hands of God to work out, even though we are told in Romans 12:19, "Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, 'I will take revenge; I will pay them back,' says the Lord." God may take too long to put His plan into action, and we want immediate results and want to take our revenge right now!

1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, "Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus."

This doesn't say to be thankful FOR all circumstances; but it says to be thankful IN all circumstances. We can be thankful that the peace of God that surpasses all understanding fills our hearts and minds, even when life doesn't make sense. We can be thankful that we have a supportive family and friends. We can be thankful that God is providing for us. Regardless of the situation, the will of God is for us to be thankful in the midst of whatever is going on around us.

We may be a picky eater like Winston and think all Thanksgiving food is gross; but we can still find something to be thankful for! Our mindset may be that there is absolutely nothing good to be thankful for, but we may need to look beyond the surface (such as whether the food is to our liking or not), and have a broader perspective. Be thankful, not grudgingly, but out of a truly grateful heart!


Sometimes I have had a hard time thinking of good things to be thankful for. This is one of the years it isn't so hard. Most of the things I'm thankful for are obvious. I'm also thankful we get to share this newsletter. We've gotten others to look at the website a total of more than 4,000 times! If we've been able to encourage or help someone even once, it's worth all the work. Thank you!


Pecan Pumpkin Dessert

2 can solid-pack pumpkin

1 tsp. Vanilla

1 can evaporated milk

1 yellow cake mix

1 cup sugar

1 cup butter

3 eggs

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

Line a 9x13 baking pan with waxed paper and coat the paper with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. In a mixing bowl combine pumpkin, milk, and sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle with dry cake mix and drizzle with melted butter. Sprinkle top with pecans. Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until golden brown. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Invert onto a large serving platter; carefully removed waxed paper. Frost dessert. Store in refrigerator.


1 pkg. Cream Cheese, softened

1 tsp. Vanilla

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

12 oz. Cool Whip, thawed

In a mixing bowl beat cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Fold in Cool Whip. Frost dessert.


We would like to wish each of you a Happy Thanksgiving! May you enjoy time with family and/or friends, and have a day filled with love and blessing. Eat well -- and don't count the calories!!


If a fellow isn't thankful for what he's got, he isn't likely to be thankful for what he's going to get.

- Frank A Clark


We love you!

Loretta & Jon