"I was thinking..."
I was thinking…Pastor Steve
“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.
My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.”
Psalm 28: 7 (NIV)
I was thinking about how I got started singing in church. Of course, I began in church as a kid, using the hymnal like all of you did. But there came a point when I started doing a little more "solo" type of songs. I've probably mentioned this before, but I'll do it again anyway. Dona had been asked to do special music, and she said she would but she needed a guitar player. Long story very short, that guitar player ended up being me! I had no intention of getting in front of people and strumming guitar, however, Dona suggested we try a practice and see how it would go. I think she knew how nervous I was and worked with me to calm me down. She encouraged me and let me get comfortable and confident in what I was doing, which wasn't a lot. I tried not to let her down, and we have continued ever since.
The first night we ran through things, there was a man from a Hamilton radio station who was there recording our choir. At some point, Dona and I slipped downstairs to the fellowship room and started running through possible songs to do in church. He must have heard us because he came down to listen. (This next part I had to ask Dona to remind me what happened next. She's still shaking her head!) The guy asked us if he could record us and took us back upstairs, where we sang "Me and Jesus" by Tom T. Hall. I guess we did okay, because Dona said he played it on the radio the next day.
I do remember that another man asked us to come to his little studio/broadcasting room and do a show with him on Middletown's radio station, WPFB, which we did. (My friends teased me about that since it was primarily a country station.) Over the years, we have sung in many places and situations: churches (of course), Eastern Star Lodge, VFWs, American Legions, DAVs, parks, county fairs, country clubs, and lounges. We've even led worship in Ecuador and Mexico. (Sorry, no autographs please.)
What I'm getting down to is that God has blessed me, us, with compatible talent. Had Dona not come into my life...well, I can't imagine what I'd be doing right now. Because of her encouragement and God's leading, my life is a joy. For that, I give the Lord thanks.
Where would you be if certain people weren't in your lives? Can you see the blessings that have come your way? See, it doesn't have to be riches or fame; it just needs to be a life well-lived. That's all that we are given. Bread for today. Not tomorrow or the next. Paul wrote in his 2nd letter to the Corinth church about the thorn in his side and wishing it to be removed. "But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. (2 Cor. 12:9)
The Grace that Jesus offers us gives us strength. He has given His life for ours and promised salvation. He walks with us; His Holy Spirit dwells within us. What more do we need? That is enough for us to give Him thanks. How much more do we need to thank Him for the "extras" we get in life, like children, parents, education, health, safety, food, and so on. Yes, we give Him thanks on Thanksgiving, but we need to make it a point of conversation to do it daily. A simple, "Thank you Lord for the life you've given me, for no other life would be as blessed," might be a good place to start. Happy Thanksgiving and God bless.