As I sat this morning reading the Dallas Morning News, something I only do in Grand Saline, I was drawn to the Guide section and the front page article written by a professor at SMU. It was all about how he loves Thanksgiving and July 4th because they aren't driven by "God or gifts." As I read on I became even more dismayed and disheartened at his description of those around the dinner table, no longer in the "Old World Manner" of grandparents, aunts, uncles and younger cousins. This article but made me even more thankful for the true "Old World" family of which I have on both sides. But, this is not the reason I wanted to blog this morning. It is just the jumping off point.
This Sunday marks the beginning of Advent, the start of the liturgical new year, or the new year in the church calendar. It only makes sense to me to end my year here as well. My season is over and it is time to reflect and begin anew patiently awaiting and preparing for my King to arrive.
This year God has spoken to me more than ever and my faith has grown immensely. It wasn't a point of conversion, as I have always believed, but it was more a sense of growth. The changes in my life this year were not coincidental. They were God-incidental. He had a plan and he spoke it to us as we could handle it and needed to know. He guided us to the right practice and literally showed us a "sign." He provided a home and a guided us to the school for our children and even though we had no idea at the time, it was all in preparation for us to spend a majority of the next 4 months in Grand Saline to be with Stephen's Dad in his final days. And through this tragedy and the passing of 4 other relatives my view of eternal life has been strengthened.
Here, I could begin a list of what I am thankful for this day beginning with Stephen and my kids, but what I am most thankful for this year is what God has done for me. He sent his Son in human form to earth to die on a cross to take away our sins. The blameless Lamb of God was sacrificed. He paid the ultimate price for us and is relentless in forgiving us. He never tires of forgiving and he never waivers in his love. How blessed we are, and all we have to do is believe in Him and receive His love.
So, for a SMU professor to say that today is not about God ultimately breaks my heart and I feel sorry for that man who has not found the joy and His purpose in life. Today, along with all of my many thanks for my many blessings, I pray and intercede for those who have not found Him. To the rest of my fellow believers I pray that you have a God-filled Thanksgiving and give thanks to Him who has given us plenty.
"I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life." John 5:24