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November '13

It is God who produces in you the desires and actions that please him. Do everything without complaining or arguing. Then you will be blameless and innocent... You will shine like stars among them in the world as you hold firmly to the word of life.
—Philippians 2:13-16 God's Word Bible

Reflection:

Have you ever encountered a family gathering where there is non-stop quarreling and fussing? Perhaps, you were an innocent bystander, but your stomach was in knots all the same. The atmosphere intended for merriement was instead riddled with discord. Not the ideal way to enjoy such a get-together, let alone try to digest food!

With the Season of Gratitude upon us, no doubt there will be more than the typical opportunity to connect with our immediate and extended families, as well as with close friends and neighbors--around the table and, perhaps, in other venues. What if instead of demanding our own way or opinion, this year we embraced the "simple gifts" my Amish friends talk about...and practice daily? Jenny Burns, my English protagonist in my newest novel, The Secret Keeper, quickly experiences these attributes when she moves in with Katie Lapp's Amish parents as a hopeful seeker in Hickory Hollow. I'm referring to, of course, the New Testament Fruit of the Spirit, as found in Galatians, chapter five.

Sharing such characteristics as joyfulness, kindness and patience with our dear ones, making that our priority around our Thanksgiving tables will make a real difference in the mood of the entire day. Think of the potential for creating loving bonds of happiness and peace. Not to mention mercy and grace, too.

So, it's not just about finding the best-ever Thanksgiving menu online, is it?--or baking Aunt Judith's "perfect" pecan pie. The way we treat each other, and emulate God's light and love, are so essential for a happy Thanksgiving Day, and every day of the year.

Let's make a difference in our corner of the world, beginning with our very own family. Are you in?

A blessed Thanksgiving Season to you and yours!