Thank you!

Lately, I have heard a number of individuals talking about the lack of people saying “Thank you.” Specifically, people in America are displaying a diminished level of gratitude. Recently even in this region people are not saying thank you. People I talk with say it was much more common to hear sayings of gratitude10 years ago or even 5 years ago. Growing up I was taught (and often reminded) to say thank you and to say it with a sense of sincerity. In the era I grew up, no one called adults by their first name; it was Mr. and Mrs. Also, we would say yes ma’am/no ma’am and yes sir/no sir. Part of my experience is in relationship to a military upbringing. Yet this is quite typical throughout most of the United States. If you have spent any time in a southern state, it is very evident that children, even today, say yes ma’am and yes sir quite often and are very polite and respectful of their elders. I think it’s important for us as followers of the Lord Jesus to be grateful and as often as possible tell people thank you. Many of you were involved during the time Janet and I were on vacation. If I haven’t said it enough, I want to say it again, thank you! Thank you to everyone who is involved with the Spring Spruce Up. Thank You to everyone who was involved with Treasures Under The Big Top. Thank You to everyone who is helping prepare for the upcoming VBS! Thank You to everyone who is involved with Sunday school. Thank you to everyone who is involved with corporate prayer. Thank you to everyone who keeps the church building and grounds tidy and clean. Thank you with sincere redundancy! Sometimes during the construction phase of the church I oversaw in Northfield, Minnesota I heard people complaining or their attitude seemed poor. I would start talking to the other volunteers present and say, “in all things…” (I would pause waiting for someone to respond back.) “…give thanks!” Throughout the scriptures we see the command to give thanks, to audibly (if capable) express our gratitude to God first and others. The following passage has great perspective on how we can remain thankful. “Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other. Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone. See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people. Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. Stay away from every kind of evil.” 1 Thessalonians 5:12-22 NLT

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