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Humble Beginnings

This Thanksgiving was a simple one for our family.  It had been a rocky few months with work and potential financial setbacks that I defaulted to my most instinctual response to my world spinning out of control:  I wanted my family.  So, this year, we spent Thanksgiving with my mom, my younger sister, and my hero, my grandmother.  My grandmother is 90-years-old and will be 91 in January.  She still makes the best yeast rolls (a BIG pull to family meals at my mom’s house), looks like she may be ... Read More »

Feeling the Love at Jeremiah Project

Editor’s Note: Last week 16 middle school students and five leaders traveled to Romney, West Virginia to participate in the Jeremiah Project. The following is a blog post from one of the students on the trip, Sydney Schneider. During the mission trip there were plenty of sermons, but one sermon really stood out and helped me grow in faith with God. The key word in worship that day was “love,” and the verse was 1 Peter 1:22. The verse states, “Since you have purified your souls by obedience to the truth, so ... Read More »

Giving Thanks: An Act of Self-Care

How do you give thanks when you are feeling low? In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday, I lacked my usual enthusiasm, instead passively waiting for Thursday to arrive. Last year, my aunt brought a gratitude journal to dinner to record our collective thoughts. Everyone more-or-less wrote the same things: health, happiness, family and iPhones. But this year my family weathered some severe storms: aggressive cancer treatments, substance abuse and addiction, debilitating depression and anxiety and much more. I expect the mood will be different at dinner ... Read More »

Thank You Cards

I received a thank you recently from a friend. It was an email, probably no more than four to five sentences. I was struck that something so brief could have such an impact. This person shared something I had done that I had forgotten. When I read the note, I realized that not only did my action matter to my friend, but I did as well. Few people demand to have their existence validated, but the smile that came to my face reminded me how nice it is when someone ... Read More »

150 Reasons Why We Are Free Today: Gratitude Flash Mob

Have you ever noticed how contagious gratitude can be? I recently had the opportunity, thanks to the William & Mary D.C. Area Alumni Chapter, to welcome an Honor Flight coming into Reagan National Airport. On it were men and women who had served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam who were flown into Washington, D.C. so they could tour the monuments and memorials erected in their honor. All I had to do was show up with a smile; posters and flags were optional. William & Mary colors were encouraged. Turns out there ... Read More »

Gratitude Over Grumpiness

The morning was dark. I realize it’s not surprising that it was dark at 6:30 a.m., but somehow it seemed extra dark that Sunday. Maybe it was the fog that seemed to roll down over my car and encircle me so that I could just barely see through it. My headlights created short pools of light on the road in front of me. Other cars would just sort of appear in a white glow and then disappear as they passed by. I must confess, I grumbled. I wish I hadn’t. ... Read More »

Name Them One by One

It was a brisk spring day on my college campus as I trudged alongside two of my best friends to the dining hall. With our empty stomachs and full backpacks, we all started to think about the countless hours of homework and studying that awaited us after we enjoyed dinner together. Soon, we verbalized our thoughts, turning our casual walk into a showcase in one-upmanship. We tallied up the assignments, readings and other time commitments, eager to prove how our own evening should evoke more dread than the others. We ... Read More »

Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving

I’ve always loved Thanksgiving. I might even say that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love the simplicity of it. Spending all day lounging on the couch or cooking in the kitchen, all while the TV plays football in the background. The only things on your agenda are eating a big meal, playing games and never leaving the house. It’s the one day in which it’s socially acceptable—even encouraged—for adults to take a nap. How could you not love a day like that? But I’ve noticed more and more over ... Read More »

Give Thanks by Yoon Nam

Are you ready for Thanksgiving? I am not quite ready. However, as I shared with you last time, I have been enjoying counting my blessings and giving thanks each day. I give thanks especially about our music ministry at Floris UMC. There are many volunteers — seen and unseen—who diligently come for rehearsals to teach children music, to sing, to play and much more. I am deeply grateful to all of them, and their families, for their support. This year’s Christmas Cantata will be on December 16 at the 8:00 ... Read More »

Enter With Thanksgiving

Reverend Tom Berlin has invited us to take the 30 minute Thanksgiving challenge  he shared with us on Sunday. It begins with this Psalm: Psalm 100 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the ... Read More »

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