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Thankful

Pastors urge Walton residents to keep a grateful heart this holiday season

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Posted: Wednesday, November 21, 2018 12:00 am | Updated: 3:39 pm, Fri Nov 23, 2018.

As Walton County heads into the Thanksgiving season — with Christmas right on its heels — the calendar fills with activities and it becomes easy to forget why we celebrate in the first place.

Local pastors recently shared their thoughts on the importance of the Thanksgiving season, encouraging local residents to make gratitude a part of their lives.

Philip Ivey

Loganville Baptist Church

Every year at Thanksgiving we are reminded that we have much for which to be thankful. There is a great (and appropriate) emphasis during the time of Thanksgiving on the blessing of family, health, our citizenship in America, and the comfortable lives which we live in comparison with most of the world.

This Thanksgiving I encourage you to begin giving thanks early. Make gratitude a part of your daily life. Instead of always complaining to God (and we do this!) make it a point to look around you and try to notice the daily blessings. Be grateful for what you have been given.

I also encourage you to look for ways (subtle and no-so-subtle) to share the message of hope and salvation with the people you come in contact with. Let others know where your basis for thanksgiving originates. Show love for others by boldly sharing with them the truth of God’s grace, mercy, and love. As you share with others there will be a very real possibility that the person you love might come to faith and be changed eternally. They will have greater blessings to give thanks for this holiday and they will enjoy Christmas in a whole new way. And in the process, you will be showing your love and gratitude to God in a way that extends beyond our words. I hope that you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

E.L. Beckles

First African Baptist Church

A Prayer of Thanksgiving for Our Many Blessings

Our Father and our God, you are so good, and you are good to ALL of us! You are faithful and gracious, and You have blessed us beyond measure. Thank you for everyday blessings to which we have become accustomed, but should never take for granted: clean drinking water, electricity, food in our pantries, hot showers, roofs over our heads, and beds to sleep in.

Thank you for legs that carry us where we need to go and hands that enable us to accomplish many things. Thank you for our hearing, our vision and sound, healthy minds.

Thank you for our families, our friends, our jobs, our neighbors. Thank you for freedom to attend church; for our pastors and all our religious leaders.

Lord we are grateful to you for all of our hard-working educators who truly want the best for our children and have a passion to see them succeed in life, regardless of race, color or creed.

Thank you, Lord, for all our police officers and first responders who risk their lives daily for the safety and security of others in our nation, states, counties and cities!

Lord, in a time when our nation’s leaders seem to want to divide us, we are thankful for the fact that we can still be one Nation under God. Lord, we are thankful for those who desire to serve in public offices and have a heart for You and the people they serve. We are thankful that we can still come together despite our differences, because You, God our Father, can make all things possible!

I love and adore You, Lord, and my heart overflows with gratitude for all these blessings.

In the precious name of Jesus.

Amen!

Bob Hoffman

Loganville First United Methodist Church

Eternal God, our Father from Whom all good and perfect gifts come, we humbly offer praise and thanks for all your mercies. We praise You for the gift of life, for health and strength, for the love and care of home and family, for the joys of friendship, and for salvation and abundant life through the Lord Jesus.

As Your sons and daughters, we have every reason to be thankful every day. Therefore, forgive us for any lapse of gratitude and thankfulness. Through Your Holy Spirit inspire and enable us to express our thanksgiving today and every day by loving You supremely and by our loving and helping our fellow strugglers as we love and serve ourselves. This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

JT Witcher

Double Springs Baptist Church

Our Heavenly Father, as we pause this time of year and reflect upon the blessings of the year, among which are food, family, and fellowship, help us to be ever mindful of those who may be hungry, alone, or disheartened, and lift them up to thy throne of mercy and grace. Cause us to be aware of our great blessings as a nation and thy people; let us come before your presence with thanksgiving. We ask for your continued blessing upon our county, state, and national governments, and all those who serve you by serving others. Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

Danny Shoemake

First Christian Church, Monroe

My daughter and granddaughter came to visit us along with a friend. As they headed back home they had car trouble about an hour from our house. My wife and I went to meet them to see if we could help. We stopped and bought them hamburgers, fries and drinks. When we arrived, we passed out the food. My granddaughter was so thankful. She said, Thank you, Granddaddy. Thank you so much. Then she told her friend, “Tell Granddaddy thank you.”

Well, I would have done anything for my granddaughter at that time. She could have asked for a new car — she was only 9 — and I would have gladly bought her one. Just those simple words, Thank you, Granddaddy, meant so much. They were expressed openly and with a big hug.

I tend to think God feels similar to what I did then. We come to him all of the time asking for something. But when we come, with no hidden agenda, just simply thanking him, I believe He enjoys our gratitude. He may shed a tear, as I did that day, not out of sadness but out of joy.

Just say “Thank you.”

Greg Butler

Bible Baptist Church

In Psalm 100:4-5 we read, “Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name. For the LORD is good: His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations.” Twice in these verses we are given commandments concerning the matter of the offering of thanks. In fact, the words “thanks,” “thanksgiving,” etc. are found some 139 times in scripture — surely an indication of how important our offering of thanks is in the sight of God. The English word “thanksgiving” in our text is the translation of the Hebrew “todaw,” derived from “yad,” meaning hand. The word signifies an extension of the hand or pointing the fingers of the hand at an object, acknowledging it existence as a gift from God, the Giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17). Hopefully, we get it … Thanksgiving is to be more than an annual observance; it is to become a way of life for each of us.

James Pope

Walton Community Church

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). We at Walton Community Church are so thankful for God’s blessing and providence over us during our first 10 months as a church plant in Walton County. We acknowledge Him as being the only God from whom all blessings flow. We love being a part of Walton County and pray for many years of proclaiming the Gospel in this area, all for God’s glory alone.

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