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ALYCE FAYE BRAGGDear Lord:
Thanksgiving Day is almost here, and I've been thinking of your many blessings. It's just not on this day that I remember how you daily load us with benefits, but every day of my life. I thank you for them.

The first thing I think of is your forgiveness. Mercy and forgiveness are joined hand in hand, and how merciful you were when you looked down and saw me struggling under a load of sin. I had gone my own rebellious way, and messed up my life.

Thank you so much, Lord, that you didn't leave me there to perish, but your mercy reached out and called to me. I remember clearly how you lovingly said, "Come to me and I will take your sins away and forgive you." I came with a repentant heart and bitter tears, and your great forgiveness overshadowed me.

What a blessing! Gracious Lord, I am so thankful that your forgiveness goes even farther than that. You can instill a forgiving spirit in a person's heart and enable them to forgive wrongs that others have done to them. It is not humanly possible to forgive many things, but your divine forgiveness can be extended to another person.

Dear Lord,
I am thankful that you can tender a person's heart and cause them to want to forgive, and not hold on to an old grudge and wallow in self-pity. You said in your Word if we will forgive men their trespasses, then you will also forgive our trespasses. Oh, Lord, you have forgiven me of so much!

Thank you Lord, for the blessing of your comfort. Your compassionate love can comfort like nothing else can. When we lose a loved one, and our hearts are broken, it is you that carries us through the valley. When trouble comes, and serious sickness strikes, we turn to you for strength and help.

You have given us so many blessings that it is impossible to name them all. In these troubled times, when our nation is in such turmoil and we see our troops facing death every day, what a blessing it is to turn to you and bring them before the throne of grace. Where else can we find help? It's just as Simon Peter answered Christ, "Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life."

Heavenly Father, you are all things to us. It is such a blessing to know you as a Saviour, a Comfort, a Guide and a Friend. You promised to go with us unto the end, and we believe that.

Lord, you have given us a multitude of temporal blessings also. We realize that everything our eyes can see and everything our hands can touch are just temporary things. They will fade away, and be gone. Even our loved ones don't belong to us, but are loaned from you to make our lives happy and content.

Although we don't want to put our anchor in these things, we need them. Every day I thank you Lord for the blessing of a good home. Not just the four walls that give us shelter, but the family love that it holds. Thank you for the blessing of a saved companion and for the love you have bestowed upon us.

Father, I don't want to forget to thank you for the godly heritage that has been passed down by our parents. Although they are gone now, the lives they lived before us, and the influence they left behind, are blessings that cannot be measured. We have healthy children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, all with good minds.

Lord, your blessings are innumerable.

Thank you for the everyday things that are sometimes taken for granted. Every time I turn on the automatic washer, and hot water fills the tub, I am thankful. I remember a time when I dipped water out of the creek and heated it on the kitchen stove to do laundry.

I look at the well-stocked freezer and the jars of canned food in the cellar and recall a time when the cupboard was almost bare. Lord, I am thankful for those hard times, as it makes us more grateful for your blessings now.

A line in a song says, "so many blessings I can't count them." It seems the more you try, the more blessings come to mind. I am thinking Lord, of our good pastor and the truth that he preaches. Thank you for him and his family, and the folks we worship with each Sunday. Thank you for the friends that we have made along the way.

Dear Lord,
We deeply appreciate the beauties of your world. When we see a spectacular sunset, we are reminded of how the heavens declare your glory. A rainbow arching across the sky reminds us of your promise to mankind. We see your handiwork in the splendid autumn season we have enjoyed. Thank you so much for all of this.

As we gather together with our families this Thanksgiving Day, may our hearts be truly grateful for the multitude of your blessings. Help us, Lord, to set a Godly example to our children and their children. Truly, Lord, thou art worthy to be praised.

We ask these things in Jesus' name,
Amen.

FOR JOY
For each and every joyful thing,
For twilight swallows on the wing,
For all that nest and all that sing,--

For fountains cool that laugh and leap,
For rivers running to the deep,
For happy care-forgetting sleep,--

For stars that pierce the sombre dark,
For morn, awaking with the lark,
For life new-stirring 'neath the bark,--

For sunshine and the blessed rain,
For budding groove and blossoming lane,
For the sweet silence of the plain,--

For bounty springing from the sod,
For every step by beauty trod,--
For each dear gift of joy, thank God!
By Florence Earle Coates


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