As I woke up this morning, I brewed a hot cup of coffee for Ruth and me and then took mine outside on the balcony to watch the sun come up over our neighborhood. With fall colors all around and the crisp morning air, I started to thank God for all of the blessings in our lives. Our family, our home, our relationships, our church, our community, our kids, my wife, our extended family, for our Life in Japan community, our supporters and the more I thanked the Lord the more thankful I became! We really have so much to be thankful for.

I’ve heard it said, “If you focus inward you’ll be depressed, if you focus outward you’ll be stressed, but if you focus on God you’ll be blessed.” I really couldn’t agree more. When we look past all of what we want and don’t have, when we look past all of our temporary circumstances we find that true thankfulness is a result of knowing God, his love and acceptance, and knowing his son Jesus Christ.

There’s a wooden plaque in our house that says “Every good and perfect gift is from above.” It’s taken from the Bible in James 1:17, and reminds us the truth that everything that we consider good or lovely ultimately comes as a gift from our loving Heavenly Father. God is good and desires good for us. How important to hold onto this truth more than ever, as there is so much that is not good in this world due to all of our poor decisions we as humans make. Nonetheless, God still loves us and that love is the bedrock of our thankfulness.

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