“A Little Gift” by John Milton Edwards

“A LITTLE GIFT”

A little gift I have of words, A little talent, Lord, is all, And yet be mine the faith that girds An humble heart for duty’s call.

Where Genius soars to distant skies, And plumes herself in proud acclaim, O Thou, let plodding talent prize The modest goal, the lesser fame.

Let this suffice, make this my code, As I go forward day by day, To cheer one heart upon life’s road, To ease one burden by the way.

I would not scale the mountain-peak, But I would have the strength of ten To labor for the poor and weak, And win my way to hearts of men.

A little gift Thou gavest me, A little talent, Lord, is all, Yet humble as my art may be I hold it waiting for Thy call.

September 20, 1911. John Milton Edwards.

Thankful at Thanksgiving…

Peanuts Happy ThanksgivingHappy Thanksgiving to All!

I slept late, woke up strong I thought, and of course got a cup of coffee and have had this in my heart for two days.

I was overwhelmed with a spirit of thanksgiving yesterday for just life!

Life can be so difficult sometimes and the pressures we live in overwhelming, but the gift of life and all that is within it still overwhelms me. How God brings our lives to fullness despite the attacks of the enemy, the evil intents of others, and from our own mistakes is a daily miracle to watch, and an even better one to behold and be a part of.

Psalm 136:26 “Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.” I’ve had this in my heart for a while so here goes. Here is a list of life’s gifts that I’m thankful for:

1) The inner knowing that God in Heaven loves me, has plans for my life, and has revealed Himself to me through Jesus Christ! INCREDIBLE!

2) For Lisa Renee Landreth! How on earth I got her to marry me I don’t know but after 26 years, ups and downs, laughter and tears, I’d never change a day of it! I Love You and for the love you give me everyday in my life I’m thankful!

3) For the three greatest children and that God gave them to me! (I know I’m prejudiced and my heart hurts for parents with kids who cause them trouble – mine never have Thank God!)

Sarah Beth [The Shadow: who has always been a traveller and my shadow when she was small]

Molly Allison [The Informant: who has always had something to say and sometimes told]

Luke Chris [The Enforcer: who has always loved the military and has a heart for what is right].

I honestly have tears comes to my eyes sifting through the love that is in my heart for them. My Daddy always said, ‘You won’t understand what it is to be a parent till you are one.’ HE IS RIGHT and for that I’m thankful!

4) For my Daddy and Mama! Thankful that their love for me was full and demonstrated. They weren’t afraid to whip my tail end when I got out of line, and did it often when I was little. They required me to say ‘Yes Sir’, ‘No Sir’, ‘Yes Mam’, and ‘No Mam’. They taught me honesty and fairness. My Dad taught me to challenge what I’m told and what I believe so that what I believe is right! Thank You! My Mama taught me how to communicate and speak. I wish I was as quick as she was with a comeback but I’m thankful I got the Masters Education in observation of her. Thank you Mama and Daddy, and when your marriage ended, I was gifted with an incredible loving Step-Father, Roy Keaton! Thankful for his acceptance and love to me, my sister, and my brother, but more so for loving my Mama for the rest of her life.

5) I’m thankful for Robyn and Jim, my sister and brother. Our childhood was cut short by our parents separation and divorce but I love who they were, are, and the families they have created. Most of the music of my youth I owe to my sister who still fought like a girl until I got bigger, was mean to me (from my perspective) but is still one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever met! I Love you Robyn! And to Jim who always got me in trouble when he was little with acting like I was hurting him, I’m amazed at the life you’ve had, and how you’ve overcome adversity, and have a life that so many can just dream about. God has blessed you mightily and for that I’m so thankful!

6) Grace Summit Church: what can I say about a group of people who saw God birth a congregational body in one week! We still live under the divine, bizarre, phenomenal provisions of God in our individual lives and corporately. At a time when I didn’t know what the future held (REALLY like do we EVER know what the future holds…), there was a resurrection of life that still breathes the goodness and grace of God to people! I should type so many names of people who have made a difference in our lives and others lives every week, who give of themselves to bless others, but I would invariably leave someone out and be remiss. So to Elders, Staff, Point Leaders, Greeters, Ushers, Youth Leaders, Workers, Parking Lot Greeters, Counters, Office, people who drink coffee, people who don’t drink coffee (I pray for you daily), people who sit in the back, people who sit beside people you don’t know, people who love and hug guests and make them feel welcome, to Small Group leaders, small group attenders, parents, children, kids, infants, thankful for the toys in the nursery… okay… EVERYONE!!!! I’m so thankful for you!

7) I’m thankful for the home I have that needs work. The cars I have that aren’t perfect. The tools I have that aren’t in their proper places. The garage that isn’t fully closed in yet, but will be in a few weeks… Thankful that life is a continual work and project that requires our attention! Is life for anyone what we would dream in perfection, probably not, but it is incredible in the state that it is and that it can be changed!

8) Thankful I live in the United States of America. For all her faults and hurts she is still the greatest nation on this earth! More missionaries go forth from the USA to foreign lands. More financial aid is given to struggling nations from the USA than other nations. We are a nation that defeats you in war, and rebuilds you in peace – who else does that in recent history or even ancient. I’m thankful for our President, The Congress, The Judiciary: Equal branches that thrive within the context of The Constitution (still the GREATEST DOCUMENT OF SELF RULE and to the shagrin of some of my friends on social media… INSPIRED BY GOD as the three branches of government are a parallel of the Trinity). May God Shed His Grace On Thee!

9) Thankful for the fact that I live in the greatest age man has known, but if you think about it, everyone who has lived in the past has lived in the greatest age man has known. But then again if you study history, knowledge is gained and lost. Thankful for the day of communication and learning that always lays within the reach of my laptop and phone.

10) Thankful I’m learning some margins to keep myself sane from all the goodness of number 9.

11) Thankful I have the power to end this list when I want to without wondering if it is long enough like Sarah Beth has to do with UGA and Molly has to do with GSU and although I do work GOD he doesn’t care about this I’m sure….

So with that here are some encouragements…

Love others!
Be Thankful!
Don’t complain!
Count your blessings even when you can’t see them!
Pray for our leaders!
Shut up with gossiping – it’s the words of fools and doesn’t build up others.
and most importantly, as my Daddy would say…
Invite Jesus into your heart and make sure Heaven is your home; so that when we leave this life and go into the next we can be together!

Pastor Chris