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Pastor’s Corner Pastor Joe Hackett, pastor, Peace United Church of Christ Gladbrook, Iowa

November 7, 2019
Northern-Sun Print
Thankful “Hello darkness, my old friend, I’ve come to talk with you again”, the immortal words from song writer, Paul Simon, for the song “The Sound of Silence”. As the fall season has crept back into our lives, the darkness of turning back our clocks brings a reminder to all of us that winter will soon be here. The days really don’t get any shorter but we as humans decide that we want to enjoy more of the sunlight during our summer play time. Then, reality hits as the weather gets colder, the rain changes to the white fluffy stuff and we move back inside for the next few months. What a great opportunity to sit down and have some focused time on our lives and the great gifts that God has given us this past few months. Now that November is upon us, we can put away the great costumes and the worry if we will have enough candy for the trick or treaters on Halloween. Now is the time to start the stress of Thanksgiving and all the work and planning that comes along with it. We seem in our rushed world that we need to focus on the planning and preparing for this celebration and tend to forget about the real meaning being thankful. At my church, we are taking time this November to focus on being thankful and what thankful means to us personally. In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, we are reminded to be “thankful in everything and in all circumstances”. This guidance is from Paul who was changing a mind set in the follower of Jesus and the building of a new way of life for believers. What are you thankful for today? We all have had times when being thankful is worse than anything you can imagine. Or, what do I have to be thankful for, my life is a mess. No matter how “messed up” we think our lives are, there is a always a small glimmer of thanks. The simple act of waking up, is God telling us that we matter. God wants us to get up and live. Through God’s love and grace that we all receive, we are given something to be thankful for. Ephesians 2:8 “ For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith- and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God”. While some of you may feel that the perfect Thanksgiving celebration has to happen no matter what or I will be a failure in my families eyes, take a pause, and remember this short verse. God isn’t looking at you to be worthy of His love and grace because you have made the perfect dinner and held a perfect celebration. No, just having faith, that great gift from God, is there for you. Now that the darkness of shorter days is creeping into our lives, please take some time to reflect on all those little and big things that you have to be thankful for. Before you know it, we as faithful followers of Christ, will be preparing for the greatest reason to be thankful, the arrival of a little boy in a stable. As always, if you are looking to explore your faith deeper or find out more about this love and grace God has for all people, check out one of the great faith communities in our area. There are amazing Pastors and people that would be thankful and welcoming to you. Thanks and blessings! Pastor Joe


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