On Wednesday, I woke up, I had coffee, watched a little television, sat in front of the fireplace, and I was thankful. I ate what I wanted, dressed the way I wanted, got Leah the Poodle ready to go with a colored scarf, and I was thankful.

I drove to the office, participated in Morning Prayer in the Chapel, made a cup of coffee, sat at my desk, and I was thankful. I was visited by a few close friends, shared stimulating conversation, and I was thankful.

I went to lunch at Rotary Club, visited with more friends, ate good food, learned something new, and I was thankful. I met with church staff, prepared the chapel for a Service, played with Leah the Poodle, and I was thankful.

I went to a couple of stores and did some shopping, went home and helped with supper, sat down with a glass of wine, and I was thankful. I went to sleep in a safe home, and a comfortable bed, and I was thankful.

I am thankful that I live in the United States and I can come and go as I please. I am thankful that, if I obey the law, pay taxes, and live responsibly, I can do whatever I want. I am thankful that I am free to dream, create, and accomplish.

I am thankful for productive, meaningful work, and the freedom to worship as I choose. I am thankful for family, friends, church, and community. I am thankful my parents and others gave me a good education. I am thankful for the presence of God in everything.

Thankfulness is an attitude that should last year-round, not simply a once-per-year ritual centered on food and games. Thankfulness can and should become a way of living. A life of thankfulness reminds us to tell someone we love them at a time in history when people are less loving than we would like.

It reminds us to give thanks when we eat food, because there are millions of others that do have enough to eat. Thankfulness reminds us that every moment of every day is a valuable asset that can only be spent once (so, spend it wisely).

Thankfulness causes us to look to the source of life and light and be awe-struck. The smile of a loved one makes our heart glad and reminds us to be thankful. Take extra time this Thanksgiving and beyond to say, “I love you and I am thankful for you”. Take time to tell your friends and family, and everyone you care about how thankful you are for them.

On behalf of my family and the family of St. Andrew’s, we are thankful for all of you. Be happy, be blessed, and be thankful. By the way, Christmas is only 4-1/2 weeks away!

Blessings and Peace to you All,

Fr. David+

Rev. Dr. David Bridges is the pastor at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Grove. He can be reached at frdavid@standrewsgrove.org. St. Andrew's worship service is at 10 a.m., every Sunday, and broadcast on KWXC 88.9 FM at 5 p.m. on Saturday and 7:30 a.m. on Sunday.