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A heart of thanks
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"Give thanks to the LORD and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. Sing to him; yes, sing his praises. Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds."
Psalm 105:1-2, New Living Translation

Have you ever noticed how some people talk about all the things that are wrong in their lives? For some, the glass will always be half empty. They will find fault with everything. As my father-in-law says, "You couldn't make them happy if you hung them with a new rope." Some people are just going to find something to complain about. Do you find yourself not really wanting to be around those people very much? Do you conveniently find an excuse for not getting together with them?

Some people, however, are always cheerful. They seem to laugh louder, play harder and enjoy life more. They have a positive mental outlook. You find reasons to get together with these people because you enjoy their company. They don't complain about every little thing, and they enjoy life and being around others. They are thankful when you do something nice for them. They seem to appreciate life and being with their friends.

I have noticed how that no matter how much suffering some people endure, they are always singing praises to God, telling of God's work in their lives, and seeing their entire life (including suffering) as a blessing. I find myself wanting to be around those people, and wondering if I complain too much about my own situations.

I wonder what God thinks of us sometimes. Do we sing praises to God and tell of God's wondrous works in our lives? Or do we constantly complain about our lives and tell how bad things are? Are we constantly asking for God to make things better, people healthier, our lives more comfortable? Or do we come to just sit in the presence of the Lord to say "Thank you" for all God has already done in and for us?

The Psalmist reminds us to "give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness." We are to live in an attitude of gratitude and thankfulness for all that God has done for us. It is easy to get bogged down in the things that are wrong and in all the troubles of life, but living with a thankful heart will keep us in a positive mental attitude, and will help keep our focus on our Lord rather than on our problems.

For what are you thankful to God today? Why not tell someone what God has done in your life?

Jan McCoy is associate pastor of First United Methodist Church of Covington. She may be reached at