The one thing that I challenged each of you to do is to start a gratitude journal. Every day, take a few minutes and write down some of the things that you are thankful for. I find that I am often writing down the same things, over and over again — and every time that I do, I think of them and think of how blessed I am. I am noticing a difference in me already.
Every day between now and Christmas take a few moments and write down the things that you are thankful for. If you are real creative, maybe you want to write a poem one day, or draw a picture, or . . . well, you get the idea. Every day, take a little time and say THANKS.
If you want to read my sermon (or listen to it), you can find it online at www.ridgeumc.org/sermons. I hope that you will take some time to be thankful, and begin to develop and attitude of gratitude. Just think what the world would be like if we all had an attitude of gratitude instead of an attitude of "get out of my way".
It is not easy to slow down and smell the roses. If you are like me, you are always in a rush — too busy to see all the things we should be thankful for and too busy to recognize all the invisible blessings that surround us. One of my favorite poems is by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Earth’s crammed with heaven,Take some time to see God in your everyday life — and see the blessings that are in your life as well.
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes—
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.
Finally, I want to say thank you to each and every one of you. Thank you for being a part of my life, and thank you for letting me be a part of yours! I feel so blessed to be your pastor for these last eleven years. I have never lived this long in one place in my life — and I love it! I look forward to being in ministry with you for many, many more years to come. And most importantly, I look forward to taking off my shoes, and smelling the beautiful roses that God has put in our lives!