L'Abri Journals...ACGray

November 2003
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Counting Our Blessings

Give me wide walls to build my house of Life.The North shall be of Love, against the winds of fate;  The South shall be of Tolerance, that I may outreach hate;  The East of Faith, that rises, clear, and each new day;  The West of Hope, that even dies a glorious way.  The threshold neath my feet shall be Humility;  The roof the very sky itselfInfinity.  Give me wide walls to build my house of Life.    (Lines adopted for the walls of a missionary school in atom-bombed Nagasaki.)


Chalet LAbri, November 4, 2003,


            These past few days have brought an Indian Summer to the Shenandoah Valley.  I spent yesterday morning raking mostly gigantic oak leaves at the front of the chalet.  For the most part, the colors of Autumn have been muted this season, but intermittently where an early September frost had not frozen the leaves prematurely, trees have blazed in fiery reds and golds against a sky as blue as VanGoghs paintings at Arles.  Ive read about and watched the news of devastating fires destroying forests and more than 3500 homes in California with a double measure of gratitude that ample rains here on the eastern side of our nation this season have spared us the same fate.  I have reveled in these warm days with the certainty that winter stands tiptoe just over the horizon.  The Old Farmers Almanac, known for its accuracy, predicts late November snows this year.

To underpin my understanding of the beginnings of the American holiday of Thanksgiving, I have been reading again my 17th century American history.  I discover anew that America, a blessed land rich in resources, has its genesis in the Christian faith of those early Puritans and Pilgrims.  They braved perilous storms in fragile ships to come to the new world in search of religious freedom.  Despite the crucibles of their voyage, they ended that fateful first year proclaiming a time of Thanksgiving to the Lord God whom they believed had blessed them so abundantly.  To read of their strong faith, their stalwart convictions, and their full grasp of Gods purpose and meaning for their lives is richly rewarding.  The sacrifices of the early Fathers and of all the patriots that have followed them demonstrate that grateful people recognized, with the Psalmist, that the earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof. 



            Thanksgiving is the evidence of faith, of the goodness of God, and of the blessing of willing work.  God gives us the good sense to step aside and see some things as if we had never really seen themand give us the kind of gratitude that could never become bored with our blessings and give us the grace to acknowledge humbly our dependence upon Providence.Among the greater qualities of character, among men and before God, is the gift of gratitude.  

                    Richard L. Evans, May Peace Be With You


I know this world is ruled by Infinite Intelligence.  It required Infinite Intelligence to create it and it requires Infinite Intelligence to keep it on its courseIt is mathematical in its precision.                    Thomas A. Edison


Enter into His gates with Thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise:  be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.  Psalm 100:4