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    Oct 14, 2018

    Grounded in Graditude

    Grounded in Graditude

    Speaker: Vivian McCarthy

    Category: Stewardship

    How do you stay grounded?  What is it that helps you hold on to life’s anchor? 

    How do you stay grounded?  What is it that helps you hold on to life’s anchor?  What is it that connects you, no matter what is going on, to the reality that God is there for you, loving you, drawing you, supporting you, blessing you? 

    It is so easy to lose focus – lose our grounding.  When things get tough – the kids get sick, people we love aren’t getting along, the month is longer than the money, people are grumpy and lashing out – you know, life! – when things get tough, it’s so easy to lose sight of the many, many blessings God has poured into our lives. 

    Remember that old hymn, Count Your Blessings?   The first verse goes like this:

    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.

    It will surprise you what the Lord has done. 

    We began today’s service with cardboard testimonies --  people sharing where God found them.  Most of them found blessing in the most difficult moments of their lives.  It is almost automatic for us to say “I’m grateful for my family.”  Today I want to challenge you to dig deep – to look at your life and answer these questions:

    How have you been blessed?

    What are the gifts in your life for which your are grateful to God?

    You will find markers in your pews and post-it notes in your bulletin today, and I encourage you for the rest of the service to use them to write Post-It Testimonies which we will offer to God in a few minutes during our offertory time.  That’s what the tree trunks are for.  We are going to create two huge blessing trees, building on them each week through the end of October. 

    When Pat sent me the image she wanted to use for this month, it reminded me of a scripture passage:  and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations – from Revelation 2.  And then 2 more:

    • They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper. Psalm 1
    • Jeremiah 17:8 - They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit.

    Trees have deep, deep roots.  Gratitude is like those roots.  It keeps us connected and nourished because like a root, gratitude taps into the Source.

    The choir is going to sing an anthem for us right now called All That I Am.  William Himes, a Salvation Army musician, wrote this song when his young wife was dying with cancer.  They had 2 small children.  William Himes was tapped into the root of gratitude for the blessings of God.  It is the only way he could have written:   My all I give, Lord; for You I’ll live, Lord, Come what may.