It feels to me as if Thanksgiving this year has come too quickly. Perhaps this is because the weather has been so warm for the majority of the fall? No frost on the pumpkin this year. Perhaps it is because we’ve been so busy at FPL, and busy gives the appearance of time passing quickly? Perhaps it doesn’t really matter, because here it is!
And we have much to be grateful for at FPL.
* Expansion of programming this past year, means we have been able to serve so many more families than in previous years through Rotation, Program 515, Temp Housing and Graduate Supports.
* The immense effort it takes for families to work this program and get back into housing. I am often surprised and humbled by the effort, strength and tenacity of families to do this hard work and stay focused.
* The generosity of donors that make the FPL programming possible.
* The generosity of volunteers who give of their time to practice the lost art of true hospitality.
* The giving back of participants of the program, who come back and serve FPL through hosting in the congregations, work projects, donation drives they have organized at their places of employment, serving as Call to Community Partners, participating in speaking engagements, videos, work projects, and simply stopping by to encourage the current participants in the program.
A heart of gratitude takes conscious effort to cultivate and I think this is especially true for those of us who may not have to do without. I am grateful for the teaching and examples that come from the guests we are honored to serve. Frequently they express recognition of gratitude for things many of us would find extremely difficult. Gratitude for:
* A safe place to sleep for their family – on cots, in congregations of faith.
* Home cooked meals – One guest called them “meals cooked with love”.
* The kind support of strangers.
* Thanksgiving dinner cooked once again in their own home.
Please join me in cultivating a heart of gratitude. Our own hearts will grow. Kindness will overflow. Lives will be changed.
Happy Thanksgiving to each of you and your families.
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” Romans 12:9-13 (niv)