Sunday Devotional: Giving thanks on the last day of the year

Colossians 3:12-17

Brothers and sisters:
Put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved,
heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,
bearing with one another and forgiving one another,
if one has a grievance against another;
as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.
And over all these put on love,
that is, the bond of perfection.
And let the peace of Christ control your hearts,
the peace into which you were also called in one body.
And be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,
as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another,
singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs
with gratitude in your hearts to God.
And whatever you do, in word or in deed,
do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Study after study find that gratitude, not money, is the key to being happy. Happy people tend to:

  • express gratitude on a regular basis;
  • practice being optimistic;
  • engage in frequent acts of kindness;
  • savor joyful events; and
  • practice forgiveness.

Today, the last day of 2017, is an appropriate occasion for us to reflect on the past year and count our many blessings.

For one, we made it through another year, which is not so for some of our families and friends.

We lost Will Shanley, a member of our FOTM family, on November 6, 2017.

William Brandon Shanley of New Haven, Connecticut, passed away on November 6, 2017, age 65. He was a graduate of Lewis S. Mills high school and attended Emerson College in Boston. William’s intellect and technical abilities provided him a lifetime of wide and varied occupational experiences. At the age of 16 years he was the youngest DJ on the air in Waterbury. After college, Will worked on Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign, providing technical and audio visual support. Over the years Will was employed by the National Academy of Science in Washington, DC; CNN in Atlanta, Georgia; and other news organizations. He was an independent documentary producer, and the editor and author of the charming and informative book, Alice and the Quantum Cat.

Will was fiercely principled, a tenacious warrior for the truth, a loyal colleague, and a sweet and loving friend. Professor Jim Fetzer perfectly describes him as “courageous, with the heart of a lion”. (In memory of Will, see this post on Fetzer’s blog.)

Please remember Will Shanley in your prayers.

As we look back on the year that was 2017, what are your thanks and losses?

May the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,


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