Gratitude: These are They

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb." All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: "Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God forever and ever. Amen!" Then one of the elders asked me, "These in white robes--who are they, and where did they come from?" I answered, "Sir, you know." And he said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, "they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. 'Never again with they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; 'he will lead them to springs of living water.' 'And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.' -Revelation 7:9-17 (NIV) Read the whole chapter.

Sir Isaac Newton is credited with having used this phrase when he said, "The only reason I've accomplished the things that I have si because I've stood upon the shoulders of giants." Likewise in our faith, we could say that we are who we are because of the giants that have gone before us. So much so that this is depicted in the stained glass windows at the Medieval Cathedral in Chartres, France. e of gratitude. So November, while it's our stewardship time, is actually going to be a month of gratitude. And if you saw the newsletter article that came out, I'm suggesting that we need to give thanks in all circumstances as Paul suggested. I noted in that article that we're not giving thanks FOR all circumstances. We're not giving thanks for pandemics, hurricanes, natural disasters, and all those other things that we've been experiencing this year. We're going to give thanks even so. Or we're going to give thanks nonetheless. So you may have a journal that you keep at home and you're free to use that. We also have notebooks at the welcome center, you're welcome to pick one up. It's a short notebook, it's just lined pages. But I want to give you an assignment for this month. That is that each day at some point if you have a regular devotion time you can include it, or maybe you can start one. But to find time beginning of the day, end of the day, or throughout the day to begin writing down the things that you're thankful for. What are the blessings that you have in life? What are the things that bring you joy? What are the things that put a smile on your face? To begin focusing upon the fact that while this year has been rough for many people politically, economically, health-wise, whatever it might be: it's been a tough year. But in the midst of all of these things that are going on. It's not that there's a lack, or an absence, of blessings but rather these unpleasantries have overshadowed them. Sometimes we forget to look. So we're going to be intentional about looking to see how we are blessed and what we are thankful for. On top of it, according to the experts at Psychology Today, they list five positives that gratitude can produce in your life. Gratitude helps us to feel valued. Gratitude minimized negative habits, patterns of thinking and feeling. Gratitude helps us rekindle our inner childhood wonder and awe. Gratitude helps us feel inspired which can help with motivation. Gratitude prevents worry and frustration. I don't know about all of you but those are a lot of things that we could use much more of right now. I'm going to add a sixth to their list because I firmly believe as we'll find out over the next couple of weeks that having an attitude of gratitude opens us up to be more generous people. So that's why we're going to be spending some time talking about it. Do pick one of those up if you'd like. You know if you want to make this