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In tough and difficult times, how do you develop an attitude of thankfulness?

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012 1:47 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012 1:49 p.m. CDT

Psalm 103 reminds us that being thankful is a choice. As people we have to choose to remember all of the things that we have to be thankful for. It is easy to look at the negative around us and be overwhelmed, but the Psalmist reminds us to never forget all of the amazing benefits we have as Christ followers. We must choose to remind ourselves and those around us that we are truly blessed and have so much to be thankful for. Thanksgiving give us that opportunity if we choose to take it.

A thankful person sees the good, not the bad; is positive, enjoys life and isn’t easily offended. So let me encourage you this Thanksgiving season to choose to be a thankful person. Make a list of all of the things and people that you have to be thankful for and then take the time to tell those people on your list that you are thankful for them. Finally remember that God is the source of our thankfulness (1 Thessalonians 5:18). As Christ followers we understand that no matter what our circumstances may be, we have a hope and future to be thankful for.

The Rev. Ray Lail

Bureau County Christian Center (People Church), Princeton

Thankfulness comes through prayer and is purposeful and deliberate. Without prayerful and purposeful gratitude our thankfulness will wax in times of plenty, and wane in times of lack. When our thanksgiving is based on the temporal; we will find cause to complain about our lot in life. The Bible tells us to rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do you have a surrendered heart that swells with thankfulness because of God’s love? The following prayer helps me be thankful for all I have in Jesus, perhaps it will help you. Happy thanks-living!

God, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardship as a pathway to peace, taking this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it, trusting that you will make all things right if I surrender to your will, so that I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with you forever in the next. AMEN!

The Rev. Laura Root

New Hope Church of the Nazarene, Princeton

What is 'Walking the Walk?'

The role of religion in public life has been under much discussion recently on a local, national and international basis. From problematic issues to benevolent roles ... from churches with 1,000s of parishioners to the tiniest of congregations ... from all denominations and beyond — the church is an important part of many citizens' lives.

Bureau County is filled with communities who are proud of their churches. Clergy, lay leaders and parishioners spend many hours delivering and living the messages of their respective beliefs and churches. Bureau County churches play an important role in many lives in our own backyard, as well as in outreach endeavors.

The Bureau County Republican's feature, "Walking the Walk," publishes on a monthly basis. The three clergy who participate in this feature will answer a single question crafted by the BCR in October, November and December. At the end of their three-month stint, the BCR will ask other clergy or lay leader to commit to do the same — answer one question for three consecutive months.

Clergy and/or lay leaders who would like to participate in "Walking the Walk" can contact BCR Staff Writers Donna Barker at 815-875-4461, ext. 244, or Barb Kromphardt at 815-875-4461, ext. 242. You can also email them at dbarker@bcrnews.com or bkromphardt@bcrnews.com.

All denominations are welcome to participate in this informative feature.

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