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  A Christian Faith Magazine November 2004, Volume 10, Issue 4  

Rev. Mark Connolly
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One of the themes that is so prevalent during this month of November is the theme of gratitude. Thanksgiving reminds us of the many benefits and graces that God has given us throughout each year. We have eyes to see and ears to hear. But more important than that, we are blessed in other ways that other countries can never dream of. I am always amazed at the number of immigrants who are coming into our country. Since 1992 the influx of immigrants into our country has been greater than that of the past seventy years. Our country, we are told, is not esteemed by other world powers, yet we have the contradiction of more people than ever trying to get into a country that is vilified by others. This month is a reminder that Thanksgiving should not just be one day of giving thanks, it should remind us that we should make it a holy day of spreading the benefits and gifts to others that God has given to us.

I remember many years ago giving lectures in a school in Massachusetts where the entire student body was made up of individual young people who were either deaf, dumb or blind. It was inspirational to me to see these youngsters trying to read your lips, trying to use sign language, trying to use braille techniques concerning the lectures that were given. Ever since that time I have often wondered how often do we, who have all these gifts, take these gifts for granted? When you take something for granted, it is very easy to become apathetic. Apathy is such a negative quality of growth. Apathy contributes to our own self-centeredness. Apathy causes us to fail to develop relationships with the God who gave us life, with the family who brought us into this world and with the many in our lives who have helped us along the journey of our lives. I would think that most thinking people, if their heart and head are on straight, would periodically take time from what they are doing to momentarily thank the God who was so generous to all of us. From the time of the revolution in our country, right down to the war in Iraq, God has blessed us more than we ever realize. We talk about an unemployment rate of 5.4%. We talk of inflation and the high cost of living, but think of this, over eight hundred million people on this globe earn a salary of about $400 a year. Yes, things might not being going at time the way we want them to go. Even though most of us don't have all the things we want, most of us have the things we need.

We have the privilege of voting, we have the privilege of sharing with your friends and families in a special way during this month of November. But if it should mean anything, it should find us showing more gratitude than at any other time throughout the year.

Thanksgiving Turkey

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