Thought Provokers for Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016

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The author, John Cheever, described himself as a churchgoer, because “prayer seems to contain certain levels of gratitude and aspiration that I know no other way of expressing.”

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Thou that hast given so much to me
Give one thing more–a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if thy blessings had spare days;
But such a heart, whose pulse may be Thy praise.

George Herbert

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Our openness to receiving blessings also enables us to become a blessing. The late W. L. Stidger used to tell about a favorite teacher. One Thanksgiving, long after he had grown up, Stidger decided to write her a Thanksgiving letter, letting her know how much she had meant to him. He wrote the letter and dropped it in the mail. He didn’t hear anything for quite a long time. Apparently the letter had been forwarded several times before reaching the teacher. In her reply, she said:

“My Dear Willie: I am an old lady in my eighties. I am ill and I cannot leave my room. Your letter came like a ray of bright sun, illuminating my dark day and my even darker life. You will be interested to know that, after fifty years of teaching, yours was the first letter of thanks I ever received from a former student. You lifted the clouds for me.”

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Legend has it that a man once found the barn where Satan kept the seed to be sown in human hearts. He saw that the seed of discouragement was the most numerous of Satan’s seeds, and learned that those seeds would grow almost anywhere. Then he spoke with Satan and learned that there was one place where he could never get them to thrive. “And where is that?” asked the man. Satan replied sadly, “In the heart of a grateful man.”

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About Daniel Mochamps

Church Planter, Anglican Diocese in New England (Anglican Church in North America).
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