November is here! A good time to give thanks to God for all His blessings! However, a good friend just passed and another friend had an accident and is in a lot of pain waiting for surgery. Some friends have lost their jobs, some struggle with constant, debilitating pain while others are unable to come to worship and miss their church. How can I give thanks?

My friends are my blessings and I give thanks to God for them! As they share with me their difficult times with love and trust, they give me the opportunity to be part of their lives and encourage them with hope. I give thanks because I can give others hope, the assurance that God is working in their lives for good. That no matter how difficult things are in our lives, there is always hope in Christ who has the power to bless beyond what we imagine. 

My church is my blessing and I give thanks to God for them! Every day at Lower church people reach out to me in love. I give thanks because I feel loved, respected and blessed as I minister to them. Despite the struggles in the United Methodist Church in the world, I give thanks to God for this denomination where I have always been welcomed and allowed to use my gifts for God and for the church. I have friends all throughout the world because of the connections in the UMC. 

My family is my blessing and I give thanks to God for them! It was my grandparents in Puerto Rico who received the faith from American missionaries. My grandma did not know how to read or write but every night she asked her children to take turns reading the Bible the missionaries gave them. She memorized passages of the scriptures by heart and became a powerful preacher sharing mercy and compassion to the poorest areas of that little town. They have told me I resemble her in my passion to preach the gospel just from the heart. 

November is here and I am glad it is a long month to give thanks for all the blessings: the love received, the hope given, the faith we share for the glory of God. 

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How Can I Give Thanks?
By Rev. Ileana Rosario