At church this morning, the topic was Thanksgiving.
had a baptism today, and our pews are usually packed (at least in the
first five rows) whenever that happens. The baby who was being baptized
is related to the pastor, who is Welsh. During the children's service,
the pastor was asking the kids what they were thankful for. A little
girl said that she was thankful for her "nine". That didn't make sense
to me (she's thankful for the number 9?), until the pastor explained to
the congregation that "nain" (pronounced "nine") is the Welsh word for
grandmother. I thought that was cool. It's like the American Jews I
have met who look, talk, and act like most Americans, yet they call
their grandfather "zaideh". They have preserved part of their culture.
enjoyed the pastor's sermon. The pastor referred to the line that
grateful people get to be happy twice: when something good happens to
them, and when they are thankful for the good thing that has happened to
them. I myself think that it's good for my soul when I am thankful or
appreciative for the good things that I have. I think about gratitude a
lot, and I would probably do well to think about it more often than I
do! I'm thankful for necessities, such as having shelter, for I cannot
imagine how I would cope if I were homeless. But I'm also thankful for
things that I simply enjoy. For example, my Mom, her husband, and I
watched a DVD of Fringe last night, which had excellent episodes. This was after a long period of not watching Fringe
because we were waiting for a particular DVD of it to be available to
us on Netflix. Well, last night, I was happy twice: I enjoyed Fringe, and I was also happy when I was thankful for having watched Fringe!
can be a difficult concept, though. How can I be thankful and think
that God has blessed me, when there are so many people in the world who
lack necessities? John Shore tackled that question here----not
satisfactorily, in my opinion, but at least he did try to tackle it.
I'm reluctant to say that God has blessed me and not others. But I
still think that it's good----for the sake of my own attitude, that
is----for me to be happy about the things that I have and the people who
are in my life. As far as others are concerned, all I can say is that
thinking about those who lack should motivate me to donate to charity.
pastor mentioned another issue: that of bad memories. One of our texts
was Deuteronomy 26, in which God commands the Israelites to remember in
their thanksgiving their bitter experiences in Egypt. The pastor
inquired how we can be thankful when we have so many bad memories. I
was thinking about this issue last night. I have my share of bad
memories: people who have rejected me, things not turning out as I had
hoped, etc. These memories make me question if I will ever get a
break. Plus, I fear that life will bring more and more bad memories as
it proceeds. But my pastor said that we can put our bad memories within
a positive context, as we remember that God has a plan for our lives
and as we come to see those bad memories as something that can teach
us. I would say that his advice fits my situation, though I would be
very reluctant to tell everyone who has experienced a trauma that they
must see their trauma in that way. In my opinion, there are some things
that are so bad, that it would have been better had they not occurred
at all. I don't put my bad experiences in that category. I can only
speak for myself, and, looking back, I can see things that I could have
done better, particularly in social situations (though there are also
times when I wonder what exactly I did wrong).
Am I dying?
2 hours ago