While in my last full-time pastorate at First Baptist Church in Quanah, Texas, I wrote a column for the newspaper there each week entitled 'To Whom It May Concern'.
One article was, 'Don't Forget to Thank Him' and I'd like to share that paper with you...
at this Thanksgiving time. The Bible is very clear that we are to BLESS the Lord.
"Bless the Lord oh my soul and forget not all His benefits." (Ps. 103:2)
On May 10, 1990, I sat by the bedside of my precious Mother in the Altus, Ok. Hospital. She had suffered a massive stroke and was in critical condition.
She did not know me nor could she talk.
When we got the call about her stroke, my first thought was...
'Travis, it's time to practice what you've preached'.
As I sat by the bedside of this Godly Woman who had birthed me, tears flowed down my face...and memories flooded my mind. I felt God was saying to me that I needed to 'be thankful'....but I thought, "How can I be thankful for THIS?"
Then He began reminding me of some things that I needed to be THANKFUL for.
He reminded me:
That my Dad had double pneumonia during the horrible flu epidemic in 1918 when he was only 13 yrs. of age. Praise God, Dad miraculously recovered!
Otherwise, we 4 sons would have never been, nor the gr'children and great grands.
He reminded me:
When Mom had a terrible infection in 1954 and her temperature soared above 100 degrees and she almost died.
But Praise God, Mom lived and we enjoyed her love and fellowship for 36 more years!
He reminded me:
About the time that La Moyne and 4 of her classmates from Wayland Baptist University decided to go spend a few days with her parents in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The group prayed before they climbed into Ed Clark's convertible to head north out of Plainview, Texas. They stopped at a gas station on the Texas-New Mexico border, chatting with the owner before heading on toward Des Moines, New Mexico. A few hours later, a sudden snowstorm hit (infamous for that area) and their car became stuck in a snow drift.
When a truck driver (on his way from Amarillo to Denver) stopped at that gas station on the border, the owner expressed concern for 'a car load of college kids in a convertible'.
The truck driver said later that due to the storm, he had intended to spend the night there, but felt led to continue on 'just in case those kids needed help'!
Come to find out, he was the LAST vehicle that tried to make it through that night. When he came upon the group, the car had run out of gas since they kept the motor running, trying to stay warm. The truck driver loaded the 5 college kids into his truck
(2 of the girls were so weak, they had to be carried)
Had he NOT decided to go in search of the group, La Moyne (along with the other 4 kids) would have died that January night in northern New Mexico!
The next morning, a wrecker had difficulty finding the car as it was completely covered with snow. The group's pleas for HELP were etched in the frozen convertible top!
Had La Moyne died that night, we would have never married and I wouldn't have my 'Moyne.... and there would be no Craig, Kevin, Kyle, Kristin nor gr'children!!!
God reminded me:
When I was kicked in the head by a horse when I was 3 yrs. of age...
and the Dr. said an inch in either direction would have killed me!
There were at least 2 times in Korea when I could have been killed...
but Praise God for His protection, I wasn't.
I believe in Guardian Angels!
Someone has said, 'a miracle is something that can't happen until it does!"
I believe that God preserves us physically...for spiritual reasons!
Please let God help you reflect back on YOUR life....
as I did while sitting by my Mom's bedside that day.
When the rough times come, it helps to remember all of the GOOD times in our lives!
If we will count our BLESSINGS (instead of our bruises)...
we can look back with THANKSGIVING!
My Dad died at 62 yrs. of age, but 60 of those years were healthy ones!
It's hard at times to forget those 2 difficult years in his life...
but I must NOT forget the previous 60 yrs!
Col. Robinson Risner was a Prisoner of War for 7 yrs. and when asked HOW he endured that, he replied, "Out of my memories came Faith".
I like this quote and have used it before:
"Unless the vast music of Gratitude rolls through your years, life will become a 'mournful monotony' or 'jangling discord' and you will miss life's central melody."
Thanks-Giving is great, but Thanks-Living is even greater!
Our Prayer for you and your's is that both of these might fill YOUR life!
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