In many Christian worship services a hymn known as the Doxology is sung after the collection of the offerings. We do that in the churches where I serve, and we would sing those familiar words in the church that I grew up in.
"Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts. Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost."
The doxology, an expression of praise and thanksgiving to God, is a way for believers to say how just how grateful they are for all that God has done.
Many of us do that at this time of the year as well. We say thank you to God for the many blessings that He has poured out upon us throughout the year.
A friend of mine posted these words on her Facebook page, "Today and every day I am thankful for my family, friends, home, health, job, my church and so many other things. I am blessed. Thank you Lord!"
I have seen similar thoughts expressed from others during the Thanksgiving season too.
I am surrounded by thankful people; and I am a thankful person, too.
I am thankful for the many people who stop me throughout town to share their appreciation for my weekly column.
I am thankful for my loving wife who loves God, loves me, and loves my family with her whole heart.
I am thankful that my oldest son, Gabriel, returned home safely from his adventures of the last several years in the mountains of Northern California.
I am thankful that I have the privilege of living in a community like Shelbyville, surrounded by beautiful green hills, and filled with so many good, kind and caring people.
I am thankful for my family, my friends, and for my church family.
I am thankful that God has forgiven me of my sins and that He has a wonderful future full of hope and promise waiting for me.
I am thankful that I have the privilege to write these words and to have them published in a wonderful newspaper like the Shelbyville Times-Gazette.
I am thankful for the organizations here in Bedford County that help so many people in need. There are groups like Good Samaritan Association, City Outreach Ministries, Community Outreach Partnership, Cross Ministries, Haven of Hope, Next Step Home, Fresh Start, The Center for Family Development, The Child Development Center, and Skills Center.
I am thankful for the many people who support those organizations with their gifts, their time and talents, and their prayers.
I am thankful for the many churches here in our county who have benevolence programs, clothes closets and food pantries, and that give generously to help the less fortunate.
We are a caring community.
I am thankful for the preachers and ministers here in our county who share the good news of Jesus Christ on a daily basis with people who are hungry for answers, direction and hope.
I am thankful for those men and women who are serving or have served in the US military, folks who have fought for our freedoms.
I am thankful for the men and women who serve our county in so many different ways; on the police force, at the fire department, at the 911 call center, the ambulance service, our elected officials and county and city employees.
Thank you! I am blessed to live here amongst you.
I praise God from whom all blessings flow!
-- Doug Dezotell is the pastor of Mt. Lebanon UMC and Cannon UMC. He is a former staff writer for the Times-Gazette, and he is a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a friend to many. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.