Sunday, November 24, 2013

Gracias Senor

I always feel so much better after attending church at Troy United Methodist Church.  For me, the sermon inspires me, the music gives me the goosebumps, and the people make me smile.  Today was no different.

Pastor Dennis' sermon was entitled, Gracias Senor, and the scripture reference was Philippians 4:4-9:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Pastor Dennis was retelling about our church's work with another Hispanic church community in Southern Illinois (I cannot recall the name of the small town now, but do remember Pastor Dennis said this town came in second in the State basketball finals in '64).  While Pastor Dennis' college Spanish was rusty, he could make out the repetition of "Gracias Senor" which translates "Thank you, Lord" throughout devotions and prayers in this Hispanic community.  Thank you, Lord.  What greater gift to ourselves than to remember to repeatedly offer thanks to our Lord.

In fact, Pastor Dennis offered seven suggestions of further implementing this kind of thanksgiving into our lives:

1)  Have a morning gratitude session ever day.

2)  When facing the inevitable challenging day, compose a gratitude list.

3)  Instead of being angry with a person, show gratitude for this person.  Consider whether this person in question has done anything positive in the past, and focus on those acts.

4)  Show gratitude for your spouse versus criticizing him/her.

5)  Show gratitude for your kiddos versus criticizing them or their actions.

6)  When facing major challenges, be grateful for them.

7)  Look at what you have and be grateful versus focusing on what you do not have.
The hub and I immediately did just this by offering thanks to one another on our walk down the hall to pick up our kiddos from Sunday school.  Their joy after attending Sunday school filled me with gratitude.  Gracias Senor;  thank you, Lord.

By Courtney Winkler

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