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Count your many blessings, Name them one by one Happy Thanksgiving – Words to Live by

Dr. Lonnie G. McCowan, pastor of Miracle Center of Ventura

By Pastor Lonnie G. McCowan

In less than a week people across the country will sit down together and count their blessings and give thanks for family and friends on “Thanksgiving”

The pain of  reaching the end of your life and wondering what could have happened or what should have happened; but somehow did not. The sad memories of lost opportunities have made many people bitter and resentful and even hateful. If you have ever watched a super bowl game, the losing quarter back has a look of fatigue on his face; that look is not because he is so tired of playing the game as much as it is the feeling of what would have happened if he would have just thrown the pass harder or if he would have just made one more touchdown. None of us welcome regret, we all desire to live life to the fullest.

But for some strange reason we settle for less than the best that life could give us and over time we become trapped in our own comfortable canopy of apathy and we accept limitations and situations that deep down we know we could overcome if we applied ourselves there is one thing you don’t ever have to regret and that’s giving God Thanks for how far you have come…I know we all still have a long way to go but we have come a mighty long way. Thanksgiving helps us focus on being thankful.

Our families are bound together through times of joy and times of sorrow. They shape us, support us and instill values that guide us as individuals to make possible all that we aim to achieve. So today I give thanks for my family — for all the wisdom, support and love they have brought into my life.

I pray and remember those who cannot sit down with their families for whatever the reason and my thoughts and prayers go out to them as well.

Thanksgiving is a holiday close to my heart.  Thanksgiving is all about blessings, human kindness, relationships and gratitude.  This American holiday stems from the feast held in the autumn of 1621 by the Plymouth Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians to celebrate the colony’s first successful harvest and the new friendships that made that harvest possible.

Any time is a good time to give thanks for the good things we have in our lives, but so often we forget to do it.  Fortunately, Thanksgiving Day is set aside for that very purpose.  For many people, this past year has been tough, but I sincerely believe if I had nothing else in my life to be thankful for, the love and closeness of family and friends is simply enough.

I am thankful for the people who have come into my life and also thankful for the ones who have walked out of my life. They both have served the purpose of leaving me a stronger and more focused person than ever before. No person in your life is by accident even if they don’t stay in your life long. Practice being grateful for the time they were in your life and cherish the memories and lessons. We are all somehow touched, shaped and moved by the friends, teachers, preachers, and prophets who have come in and out of our lives.

Avoid the negative thoughts that come when people walk away from you. Consider this to be beneficial, as if your life is being pruned and cut away from the people that are no longer in harmony with the greater vision for your life. Say your goodbyes gracefully understanding that they were only part of the journey.

One of my favorite church hymns from back in the day is “Count Your Blessings”.  “When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed.  When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost.  Count your many blessings, name them one by one.  And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.”

The bible says “Now these three remain:  faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love”.  I pray that we remember this Thanksgiving to prioritize the things that will always remain … to give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way … and all the little things that add up to be enormous blessing.

Happy Thanks giving, and I thank God for you!
Lonnie G. McCowan is pastor at The Miracle Center of Ventura, in Ventura, CA. He can be contacted through email at lonnie100@msn.com or by visiting www.miraclecenterventura.com.

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