Page 328 found last week’s conference schedule catching up with me. Fortunately, school was out for an early start to the Thanksgiving holiday and only the preschool had classes today so I did not need to head in early to clean. This allowed both Susan and I to sleep in and start to catch up on some needed rest. I’ll be taking pulled pork to Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, so once I got up I fired up the pellet grill and began the 12+ hour process of slow cooking/smoking the pork. Today’s photo was taken at about hour 11 and fortunately it is not a scratch-and-sniff photo or your screen might end up with a hole worn through it. 😉
After I had the pork on the grill, I sat down to work on the monthly Impact Prayer Ministry Newsletter while Susan continued sleeping away the morning. As I wrote the newsletter, it only seemed fitting that it focused on giving thanks. Perhaps if we set aside time on a regular basis to examine the many things we have to be thankful for, we would learn to live life with a lot more gratitude to go around than what is often shown. How would our attitudes change if we deliberately gave thanks every day like we are encouraged to do for the Thanksgiving holiday? When I give thanks for the partners in prayer and finances God has provided for the ministry, I am less likely to complain about not having enough. When I am thankful for the opportunities that God gives me to preach and teach, I discover a contentment that looks beyond missed opportunities. When I give thanks for the gifts God has put within my life, I find myself being a more gracious giver with the gifts that are actually His. When I am thankful for my family, I recognize a gift from God that needs to be treated with great care. Thankfulness isn’t just about being thankful, it is about a complete transformation of my mind and spirit which recognizes in a real way that “every good and perfect gift comes from above.”
As I finished up the newsletter and sent it out, Susan made it up so we got our things around and headed into work. I spent a little more time on my sermon for Sunday as I waited for preschool to finish for the day. Once they were done, I began my Friday cleaning routine as I worked to get the building cleaned and ready for the weekend. One of the nice parts about a holiday break is that I can start the weekend prep and know that I have a couple days to finish it rather than have to work a late night in order to have it ready. With an empty and quiet building, I was able to get most of the regular weekend cleaning done and will only have a little touch-up to do before Sunday morning. As the afternoon came to a close, I called it a day and headed home to see how the pork was doing. The smell of the slow roasting pork made me want to just sit in the garage but it was cold and rainy outside so I went in to the warmth of the house and would just go out to the garage to “visit” every now and then. As I finish up the writing of today’s page, the cooking should be nearing an end and then it will be time to pull it apart and get it ready for tomorrow.
I pray that you and I would pay attention to the rest we need — not just the rest our body needs, but the rest we need for our soul and spirit. I pray that we would learn patience as we wait for God’s work to be complete in us at just the right time. I pray that we would commit to being thankful at all times. I pray that we would live with a transformed mind as we live a life of gratitude.