Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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by Tom Goodman
November 25, 2009

Rudyard Kipling was being interviewed by a somewhat cynical reporter.  "I understand that the money you make from your writings amounts to over one hundred dollars a word."

Mr.Kipling responded with surprise.  "Really, I had no idea."

"Here's a one hundred dollar bill," the newspaperman retorted.  "Give me one of your hundred dollar words."

Kipling took the hundred dollar bill, quietly folded it up, said, "Thanks," and walked away.

Yep, gratitude is precious.  This Thursday is a good time to remember that.

In this chapter of our family story, as Diane recovers from surgery, we give thanks for friends and extended family members for praying for us, checking on us, and assisting us.  Looking above, we are grateful for God's faithfulness, demonstrated new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).

What a difference a heart of gratitude can make, not only for your life but the lives of those around you.  Ellen Vaughn recalls an incident on the Washington subway system in which a crowded train stalled on an underground track.  Groans and outbursts from the stressed commuters began immediately.  Accusations were hurled against anyone and everyone they could blame for this added hassle to their already-harried lives.

And then something changed.  Somewhere in that crowd a woman dropped one of her bulky packages, and a bottle of perfume shattered.  As the luxurious fragrance wafted throughout the car, people smiled, relaxed, and started laughing with each other.  Vaughn wrote:

Followers of Jesus have the opportunity, in life's crowded moments when people feel stuck, to be the fragrance of Christ.  We don't need to be annoying Pollyannas (who would be thrown right off the Metro anyway), but free spirits who can lead and turn the tide, rather than follow along on the lazy downward spiral of negativity.  What it takes is a purposeful, daily decision on our part to be the one.  Then follows the creative question in the bad situation, a smile, compassion, a little humor that suggests that we need not take our small selves so seriously -- a look upward and outward, where the vistas of God's great love call us to come and enjoy him, now and forever.

This week, let the day of Thanksgiving return you to a life of thanksgiving.  It makes all the difference in your heart and your witness.


Weblog:  Check out my blog, "Get Anchored."  Some things to look for...

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