A sunset sky, and the west wind sighing,
A threat of winter . . . the wild gulls crying;
Swift flocks of birds to the southland winging;
Bare brown boughs in a frenzy flinging
Dying leaves that for long were holden,
Now drifting, dropping, crimson and golden.
The fallen leaves, in uncounted number,
Are warmly quilting the wildflowers’ slumber;
There are buds on the bough . . . a springtime presage . . .
The birds will return with a lyric message:
The wild gull’s cry holds a hint of mating,
To conquer cold is the hearthfire waiting,
The west wind’s sighs are of love, not sorrow,
And the sunset sky is the sign for tomorrow.
By Laura Lee Randall
When the bare trees shiver in the wind, their fallen leaves heaped about their feet, and brown is the color of hills and fields . . . when scattered snowflakes dot the air and gather in pockets of white on barn roofs and fence posts . . . when the wind shrieks around the eaves of the house and cries to get inside . . . when the glowing fire gives out a welcome to come in from the cold . . . then we know it is almost Thanksgiving time.
This holiday has been overshadowed by Halloween and Christmas, and seems to have lost its importance to many people. Amid the troubled times that we are experiencing, the uncertainty of our nation’s future, war and rumors of war, we are still blessed. The Lord loves a thankful people.
There are so many promises that we can claim. God’s promises are sure, and unfailing. 1Kings 8:56 says, “Blessed be the Lord, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that He promised: there hath not failed one word of all His good promise, which He promised by the hand of Moses His servant.”
What a blessing it is to read this promise, “Whereby are given to us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (2Peter 1:4) I love this promise, “And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.” (1John 2:25)
With all these precious promises, how can we keep from being a thankful people? People worry and fret about what is going to happen tomorrow, and how we will survive—God’s people can rest in the fact that he has us in his hand. David says in Psalms 37:25, “Yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”
When we begin counting our blessings, they go on and on. I am thankful for our family, from the oldest to the tiny new baby who was added recently.My sister Susie has a new granddaughter, Jamie Alexis Hager, born October 7, weighing seven pounds and seven ounces. This is the first baby born to Sid and Alison Hager of Florida. She is a dark-haired little beauty, and Grandpa Charlie is about to bust his buttons.
Children are a wonderful blessing. In our huge flock of young ones, there is not a disabled or mentally challenged one among them. We have so much to be thankful for. God has been so good to us. I never want to take for granted the blessings he bestows upon us.
I am thankful for the heritage that my parents left for us. Not worldly goods which are so easily consumed, but the abiding faith they had in God. They lived a godly life which pointed us to the way of salvation. It is sad that today, many parents have not found this way, and thus are unable to guide their children.
What a blessing it is to awake in the morning and face a new day! I am thankful for the beautiful sunrise, for the majestic hills where we live, and for the glories of nature all around us. I am thankful for eyes that can see, ears that can hear, and ability to appreciate what God has created.
There is no end to the blessings that God gives. The abundant food, a warm home, our church family, a godly pastor—these things we don’t take for granted. But if all earthly things were taken away, the blessing of salvation supercedes them all. When we come down to the end of our life, the only thing that matters is our soul.
When we gather together this Thanksgiving Day, let us look beyond the world’s turmoil and see the real blessings. We should be thankful every day, but Thanksgiving is a special time for families to congregate, reaffirm their love for one another, and for the God of all blessings.
Some time ago I received a poem from Clarke Blankenship of Chester, VA, that I would like to share.
It’s early October, and oh, how I yearn
To be home in the mountains and watch the leaves turn,
To see the great beauty that God paints in the fall
And give praise to the artist—the greatest of all.
No artist can capture what I see with my eyes
All the different colors, against the blue mountain skies.
And the clean little streams, so sparkly and clear
Yet God paints this masterpiece, year after year.
I want to applaud his great work, as I take it all in
And give thanks to God that I saw it again.
Because all this great beauty will soon rot in the earth
To enrich the soil, where new trees will birth.
But if God gives such beauty for the whole world to see
Just think of how beautiful his heaven must be.
And while the beauty of this season is not here to stay.
The beauty of heaven—will not fade away.
May God bless each of you and your families with His richest blessings. Your cards, letters, e-mails and words of encouragement have been an added blessing to me. I value your friendship, and appreciate your outpouring of love. I love you, too.
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