From the State Deputy

November 21, 2016


Brothers all:


As Thanksgiving approaches, we all begin to consider the blessings received from Almighty God this past year.  I found a few things for all of us to be thankful for, which may have slipped by us.  We should also be thankful for:


  • the teenager who is complaining about doing the dishes, because that means they are at home and not on the streets.
  • the taxes I pay because it means that I am employed
  • all the complaining I hear about government, because it means we have freedom of speech.
  • the clothes that fit a little too snug because it means I have more than enough to eat.
  • the lady behind me in church who sings off key because it means that I can hear.
  • the piles of laundry and ironing because it means I have clothes to wear.
  • a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home.
  • the space I find at the far end of the parking lot because it means I am capable of walking.
  • my huge heating bill because it means I am warm.
  • weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day because it means I have been productive.
  • the alarm that goes off in the early morning hour because it means that God has given me another day of life.


So, when we sit around our Thanksgiving tables this month, laden with turkey and trimmings, perhaps we may sit for a moment, with a smile on the brink of tears, knowing that we are safe and content, when so many cannot be.  And when that necessary moment passes, we should do well to ponder “how rich we are in the sight of God;” for we have hope, not fear; we have freedom, not oppression; we have opportunity, not despair.


When we “Encounter the Lord”, this Thanksgiving, let us become more deeply aware that God can awaken within us a new perspective on the lives we lead. It is around this table where we are gathered as one people, giving thanks to the Father, for all that we are, and all that we have been given.

Fraternally, Mike Michael J. Gasper State Deputy Jurisdiction of Virginia

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