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Attitude Of Gratitude
by Stephen A. Peterson 
09/11/06
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Attitude Of Gratitude
© 2006

by

Stephen A. Peterson


While on active Army Reserve military duty, a Roman Catholic chaplain who scheduled the unit’s Sunday service did everything he could to comfort the service members serving with him in this combat zone. Just two days before, the chaplain accompanied these soldiers while on a dangerous and deadly mission to clear an area of an Iraqi city of terrorists bent on killing any person or persons they believed cooperated with Coalition forces. As the operation proceeded, the chaplain witnessed a soldier being shot in the leg as a terrorist held hostage an entire family. Following a firefight lasting just a few minutes, the soldiers broke into the house to bring outside a frightened and very hungry family of five that included three young children—two girls and a boy. Seeing their condition, the Lieutenant ordered and received voluntarily food, water, blankets and money from the remaining soldiers to give to this family. After cleaning up their house and repairing their door, the soldiers vacated the area in the midst of children’s smiles.

Now in the relative safety of their compound, the chaplain delivered a very interesting sermon on the subject of gratitude. That is, the importance of giving “thank to Almighty God for everything that happens to come our way. For finding praise, happiness and joy even when there is evil, death and destruction and especially when you are personally frustrated yields Almighty God’s blessings.”

Upon completion of his sermon, the chaplain sent a small basket around for the assembled soldiers to contribute. When the little basket came back, the chaplain raised his eyes and hands heavenward then prayed, “I thank you Lord for what has been received. For I know, Lord, that these servicemen and servicewomen gave what they had to your children while on an earlier patrolling mission. Lord, continue to bless and sustain the American and Coalition Armed Services whose hands through Your Most Holy Will, have rebuilt or built schools, hospitals, roads, homes and fed the hungry for a people longing to be free. These things we pray. Amen.”

What is the meaning of this seemingly insignificant story from the front? It is two fold. First, that America’s face is well-served by servicemen and servicewomen in the Middle East. The reported brutality, torture and malicious behavior on the part of service members are co-incidental and few. The majority of American service members’ behavior in a time of war has been, for the most part, exemplary. Second, regardless of the circumstance and size, we should have an attitude of gratitude in deference to the plethora of gifts God gives each of us each and every day.

List of God’s gifts to YOU:

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If you need more lines or not, thank God for everything He has given you!!


If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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