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Celebrate with a grateful heart

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Even in the face of rapidly multiplying challenges, we have much to be grateful for.

The fact we are a free country grants us the privilege of intense debate, open discussions and the right to challenge every decision to seek meaningful solutions. What marvelous privileges freedom affords us!

Earlier this week, I was driving to an appointment with a third specialist seeking answers to chronic sciatic nerve pain in my lower back, hip and right leg.

I suffered extensive damage in a an accident as a teenager.

At age 65, I am facing the difficulties resulting from that injury.

By the grace of God, we have access to compassionate and qualified physicians.

As I drove to the doctor’s office, even in the morning traffic, I found myself praising God.

I simply thought about the morning: I got up in a comfortable home where we have air-conditioning, running water and a nice mode of transportation.

I thanked God for my car and the highway.

I thought recently of a trip to see our family in the neighboring state of Oklahoma.

We are blessed to be able to drive on highways, pull into a service station and purchase gasoline.

(I’m also grateful that the price of fuel has dropped!)

I pray for wisdom to face the ongoing energy situation.

I thank the Lord for our three children, for the fact that they so deeply love their spouses and give our 11 grandchildren such wonderful direction.

I’m so glad our children love God, seek His will and desire to know His ways.

I am thankful we will celebrate Thanksgiving with some of our children and grandchildren.

For the ones who cannot join us on this holiday, we are together in the spirit of Thanksgiving.

As I reflect on our blessings, I remember of the people all over the world who have so few tangible things to be thankful for.

I rejoice in the fact that with the help of our friends and supporters, we are able to alleviate the suffering of many.

Whether we give food, water, shelter or just expressions of compassion, we find incredible comfort in reaching others. Our life is greatly enriched by enriching someone else.

I am grateful that through Christ, love lifted me out of a pit of despair. Now that same love flows to lift others out of their pit of hopelessness. I never forget the wonderful gift of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness we’ve been afforded not only as Americans and others in free nations, but in all of our personal lives through Christ.

I know you join with me in saying, "Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift we have found in knowing Christ and for the indescribable blessing of sharing that same love with others." May you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving and be assured of our prayers for you and everyone facing life’s challenges. To God be the glory—not only for the great things He has done, but for the things He is doing and will continue to do through those who yield to His perfect will. Have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving.

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