I have such fond memories of the small group of people that greeted us enthusiastically in the spring of 1977. We had just accepted the call from them to be the pastors of this newly formed church body called Faith Tabernacle. We arrived in Melrose, Florida as a couple of skinny kids, 25 and 28 respectively. We didn’t know a lot, we didn’t have a lot of experience, but we were young, energetic, full of hope and vision. Randy led the worship, gave the announcements, took the offering, preached the message, and handled the altar calls. I was in charge of helping people in and out the creaky little door to the little bathroom that was located in the back of the tiny office space that we rented as our ‘sanctuary.’ Those were the days, my friend…
It’s this time of year especially that I seem to spend a lot of time in reflection about what has passed and also hoping and desiring to embrace what lies ahead.
The thankfulness I revel in is always attached to specific memories. One delightful memory that reoccurs regularly as I reflect, was the joy Randy had in leading worship. It didn’t matter if it was on key or out of key it was always sung with gusto. Interestingly enough, those that were in charge of finding the ‘key’ seemed to always find it. One of the favorite songs we all sang together was the following:
… Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He's given
Jesus Christ, His Son
… And now let the weak say, "I am strong"
Let the poor say, "I am rich"
Because of what the Lord has done for us… Give thanks
Those of you who know this little chorus will be singing it all day as I will. This is a time to specifically set aside a time of thanksgiving. I know it should be year-round but I have no trouble recognizing a special day for the celebration of a grateful heart.
Have a blessed, reflective, Thanksgiving this year… Give thanks with a grateful heart.