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Sponsored: Giving Thanks

Updated: Nov 20, 2023

By Dr. Bascom Ratliff

Pastor, Parker/Beagle/Fontana United Methodist Churches

The inspiration for today’s message is from:

Psalm 106:1 – “Praise God! Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.”

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – "Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus”.

When we are suffering from loss or grief it is often difficult , if not impossible, to be joyful and thankful. We are focused on our pain. It’s easy to blame God or others. After all, God is God, and has the power to give life and healing and comfort. We are in pain and shock and often find it hard to reach out to God.

The last two weeks have been difficult for me. A family member, who has been estranged from the family for years, died unexpectedly. That person's last request was that their death and funeral arrangements were to be managed by a friend and the family was not to be notified or involved. When the family learned that their member had died and the family had been excluded, they were angry and frustrated.

During my time with the family, as I was trying to comfort them, I found myself without joy or words of comfort for these family members in pain. Yet, today’s message asks us to give thanks to the Lord and to be thankful in all circumstances. Again, sometimes this is hard to do.

However, after prayerful consideration, I believe that we, as Christians, can be joyful and thankful for Jesus Christ.

As we journey through the month of November, I encourage you to prayerfully consider the many things that you have to be thankful for. I also encourage you to take a moment to reflect on your legacy. A great many people that I have talked with have strong family ties and memories of important others who have left this earth to be with God.

The promise of Christ’s unfailing love and the resurrection give us tremendous hope and joy. God is with us. God listens. God comforts and heals. And, God hears our prayers and comforts us during our grief and sorrow. We are meant to grieve the loss of those we love. But in our grief, we have God’s promise of joy and everlasting life.

God’s message is clear. When we suffer loss, God is there. We have a great bounty of God’s love and grace. God has promised us everlasting life in his kingdom. When we lose someone who is important to us, it is important to remember God’s promise of unfailing love and everlasting life. In the midst of our pain and grief, these notions may be difficult to comprehend. However, God’s promise is fixed and permanent. He loves us. He loves others. And he simply asks that we believe and trust him.

Seeking an Obedient and Authentic Relationship with Jesus Christ.


If you want to hear more about God’s wonderful promise of unfailing love and enjoy a great morning of music and worship, please come and worship with us.

We will worship at the Beagle United Methodist Church (UMC) during November 2023.

We will worship at the Fontana UMC during December 2023.

We will worship at the Parker UMC during January 2024.

All services are at 10 a.m.

All are welcome to worship in God’s House.

Dr. Bascom Ratliff (913-710-5748)

Pastor, Parker/Beagle/Fontana

United Methodist Churches

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