A cold “time out” can work wonders
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29
Does our speech/language encourage others? Do we have an attitude of gratitude? As we prepare our hearts and appetite for Thanksgiving let’s focus on appreciating all we have with our actions and words…
This guy buys a parrot, but the bird has a bad attitude and fowl (pun intended) vocabulary. He tries everything to change the bird’s attitude and clean up its talk but nothing works. Finally, in a moment of desperation, he puts the parrot in the freezer – Cold Time Out. For a few moments he hears the bird squawking, kicking and screaming and then, suddenly, all is quiet. He opens the freezer door. The parrot steps out and says, “I’m sorry that I offended you with my language and actions. I ask for your forgiveness. The guy’s astounded at the bird’s change in attitude and was about to ask what changed when the parrot continued, “By the way, may I ask…what did the Turkey do?”
Happy Thanksgiving, Pastor Michael
All Saints’ Day, November 1, 2022
Daylight saving time ends, November 6, 2022
Veterans Day, November 11, 2022
Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 2022
First Sunday of Advent, November 27, 2022
A Veteran’s Service
American hero Eddie Rickenbacker (1890-1973) led a life of daring and risk, from racing cars as a teen to piloting warplanes. Throughout his experiences, Rickenbacker grew in faith while discovering that “life had no meaning except in terms of helping others.”
In the first issue of Guideposts magazine, Rickenbacker described spending four agonizing months of 1941 in the hospital after an accident. While recovering, he pondered life and death, concluding that he couldn’t give up because he still “had work to do, others to serve.”
Less than two years later, that ordeal came in handy. After crashing in the South Pacific, Rickenbacker and “seven other starving men” were adrift on a raft for 21 days. Most were “so young they needed the strength and understanding of a man who had been down in the valley of the shadow, who had suffered and made sense out of his suffering,” he said. “It was clear to me that God had a purpose in keeping me alive. … I had been saved to serve.”
From Scarcity to Abundance
Author Parker Palmer recounted being stuck on a storm-grounded airplane for hours. Though it was lunchtime, meals weren’t available, and passengers grew irritable. One flight attendant apologized for the delay, expressing empathy for people’s stress, and then passed around two breadbaskets, asking everyone to contribute something.
“Some of you brought snacks to tide you over, and some of you have a few LifeSavers or chewing gum,” she said. “And if you don’t have anything edible, you have a picture of your children or spouse … or a bookmark or a business card.” Then, she said, “we’ll pass the baskets around again, and everyone can take out what they need.”
Complaints soon ceased, Palmer recalled, as passengers searched for items and stopped focusing on themselves. The plane became a community of sharing as scarcity and deprivation transformed into abundance and joy.
Living with God in a one-story house
We often think of the universe as a two-story house, notes Orthodox Christian priest Stephen Freeman. “We live here on earth, the first floor, where … everything operates according to normal, natural laws, while God lives in heaven, upstairs, and is largely removed from the story in which we live.” Most of the time we feel like we’re all alone on our level of the world.
But, Freeman adds, God is “everywhere present and filling all things.” Not that God’s kingdom has fully come; we know that’s not so. And not to discount the promise of eternity. But we don’t live apart from God, even now. As Jacob said, “Surely the Lord is in this place. … This is none other than the house of God” (Genesis 28:16-17).
How might our perceptions and behaviors change if we expected to run into God frequently, conversing and enjoying his company not only in prayer and worship but while working and relaxing? What a difference it makes when we live as roommates with God in a one-story world. —based on Hunting Magic Eels by Richard Beck
If you’ve ever kept a gratitude journal, you know they’re fairly easy to fill. Edward King, an English bishop known for working with the poor, may not have had a fancy journal. But these words evoke such a list: “I will thank God … for the glory of the thunder, for the mystery of music, the singing of birds and the laughter of children. … for the awe of the sunset, the beauty of flowers, the smile of friendship and the look of love … for the leaves on the trees in spring and autumn, for the witness of the leafless trees through the winter, teaching us that death is sleep and not destruction, for the sweetness of flowers and the scent of hay. Truly, oh Lord, the earth is full of thy riches!”
King concludes: “And yet how much more I will thank and praise God for the strength of my body enabling me to work, for the refreshment of sleep, for my daily bread, for the days of painless health, for the gift of my mind and the gift of my conscience, for his loving guidance of my mind ever since it first began to think, and of my heart ever since it first began to love.”
“When it comes to life, the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.” —G.K. Chesterton
Remember to turn your clocks back one hour on Saturday night, November 5th.