Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving Season

The Thanksgiving  season was especially meaningful in our home this year. My husband was in a serious accident in September and has been recovering since that time from a head injury. While I have always been thankful for my family, this year I was again reminded of how special my family is to me. My husband and I were also thankful for the support and love that we were shown during this time in our life. Most of all, we are thankful that we know that God is walking through this season with us and He knows all that has happened and all that will happen.
A head injury can often result in both physical and emotional injuries. As a result of his accident, my husband is now going to counseling to help overcome some of these difficulties. We researched the best place for him to go for counseling, and found a group that comes from a Christian perspective and deals with neurological trauma. The process is often slow but I believe that the final outcome will be so worthwhile.
God's love has truly amazed me during this season of our lives. As difficult as this had been to go through, I knew that I could rest in the loving arms of God and He would carry me through when it became too difficult for me. I am giving Him the glory for this season of our lives and I am so thankful to God for walking with me.

~Deb Riddell
Thrift Store Manager

Monday, November 21, 2011


As we look forward to Thanksgiving with all of the trimmings, let us be mindful of ALL of the things God has given us to be thankful for. We often get caught up in a mindset of what we don't have or what we could have or what we want that we forget to give thanks for the things we do have. So often we "wish" our life away wanting things that in retrospect have no real meaning nor do they make us truly happy. Jesus reminds us of this in Matthew 6:25-34.

Do not be worried about the food and drink you need to stay alive, or about clothes for your body. After all, isn't life worth more than food ? And isn't the body worth more than clothes?...So do not worry about tomorrow; it will have enough worries of its own. There is no need to add to the troubles each day brings. ~ Good News for Modern Man

Perhaps instead of dwelling on our own wants, we should look at how we can be an encouragement to others. Look at your neighbor. Perhaps what has happened to you in your life this year doesn't sound as bad when you hear what has happened to your neighbor. Or, do you even know anything about your neighbor? I remember as a child our house was where all the neighborhood kids hung out...it is so sad that I don't see that happening as much any more.

Make it a priority this Thanksgiving to talk with a neighbor or friend who is struggling. God will show you how to be an encouragement to them and in turn you will find that you have many, many things in your life to be thankful for.

Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

Elaine Campbell, MA

Monday, November 14, 2011

Give Thanks

This morning I was preparing a group activity for children that I work with in school. As Thanksgiving is fast approaching, I decided to focus the lesson on gratitude. I think we all can benefit from a reminder to be thankful and grateful.

So many times, there is so  much complaining going on. Complaining is the opposite of being thankful and Numbers 11:1 tells us "Now when the people complained, it displeased the Lord; for the Lord heard it, and His anger was aroused. So the fire of the Lord burned among them, and consumed some in the outskirts of the camp."

Instead the Word instructs us to be thankful. When should we be thankful? According to Hebrews 13:15, we should "...continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name." Why should we give thanks? Several scriptures point to the answer to this quesetion:

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. ~ Psalm 107:1

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. ~ I Corinthians 15:57

Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. ~2 Corinthians 2:14

Having a thankful heart helps to bring down strongholds in our lives, like depression, bitterness, and hatred. As I mentioned in the activity that I prepared for the children, gratitude makes a great attitude!

In closing, Let us mediate on 1 Thessalonians 5:18 which says: "In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

~Ann Gantt, Ph.D., LCSW (New Hope Counselor)

Monday, November 7, 2011


I've been thinking lately about the power of words. You may remember that little rhyme we used to say as kids: "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." We'd say that to someone who had just said something mean or hurtful to us to let them know that, say what they will, their words will have no effect on us. Really? Is that true? As I have reflected over that childhood verse, I realize actually the opposite is true. The sticks and stones that hit us did hurt us, maybe even broke a bone. However, those wounds have healed and we've moved on. But the hurtful words that were spoken to us, even in jest, often leave wounds that still bleed.

One client told me of his experience growing up at home with his father. My client was the second of two sons, and apparently his father wanted a girl when my client was born, rather than another boy.  This father told his son one day when he was very angry: "I wish you were dead. I always wanted a daughter anyway." That wound still bleeds for my client; he struggles with depression, low self-esteem, abandonment, and anger.

On the other hand, that father could have said to his son: "Son, I am so thankful for you. You are such a blessing from God. I remember the day you were born, and when they told me I have another son, I was thrilled!" What power would those words have in my client's life?

If you're a parent, bless your children through your words. I recall, in the Bible, the story of Jacob and Esau. They were in competition for their father Isaac's blessing, and one day, after his brother, Jacob, had tricked his father into blessing him instead of Esau, Esau cried out: "Bless me too, my father!" That is the cry of every child as they grow up in our homes. They long to be blessed by us as their parents. And we can also bless our marriage partners by affirming them through our words: "I'm so thankful God brought you into my life," or, "Thanks for all the little things you do to make my life great!"

Can you imagine how Christ's disciples felt when he called them his "friends"? That must have been a great blessing to them. I challenge us to bless our children and our spouses with words that strengthen and encourage!

Tom Horst, MA
Marriage and Family Therapist