Thankful for So Many

I have so many things to be thankful for, but THINGS are the least of my blessings. The greatest of my blessings, after my salvation in Jesus Christ, the loving presence of our divine Father, and the aid of his Holy Spirit, are PEOPLE, those beloved friends, family, neighbors, and spiritual brothers and sisters who have circled my entire life, as my journey winds down.
The late Bob Hope often ended his tour appearances with the now-famous phrase, “Thanks for the memories.” Yessiree, but those people are more than memories, for I hold a part of every kind person who has touched my life, not only as a memory, but as a trait, a trace, a remainder of each one who has left me with some precious gift.
The older we get, the more memories are precious to us, but more than memories are those people who are still around to bless and to receive a blessing.
Some folk, and you may be one of them, have not had the privilege of many friends and loving family members. They (and you) can and should find plenty of reason to be thankful for the church of our Lord, where they can discover a richness of personal relationships. A father, a mother, a sister, a brother, maybe even a wife or husband, awaits us in the great Shepherd’s fold.
As the apostle Paul said, “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now” (Phil. 1:3-5, NKJV).
The joy of fellowship is something to be cherished and passed on, says John (1 John 1:3). It is to be extended and defended, protected and not neglected.
That makes my family, friends, brothers, and sisters in Christ, both past and present, more than memories. They’re blessings!
I’m thankful for that. And I’m thankful for you.

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A. A. Neale

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