Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 23, 2017


Dear Friends:

Today is Thanksgiving in the USA. A day to simply thank God for His blessings and reflect upon all that He has done for us.  Over 40 friends came to the camp for our dinner today and it was truly joyful day of food, fellowship and laughter.  It has been the kind of day we wish for each day.

We’re told to “give thanks in all things”, yet it’s hard sometimes to thank God when I am in the middle of a catastrophe, or a struggle, or an embarrassing encounter.  There are times (a lot lately) when I truly to do not feel like “thanking God”.  I would rather sit down and cry some days(!), or give up and walk away from the “call” He has placed upon me, or just hide from everyone—including God.  But that is the “feeling” I have, and I have learned to not trust my feelings.  My natural response, my instinct and my “gut feelings” are simply inappropriate for a follower of Jesus and need to be ignored!

Experience has shown me time and time again that God can  be trusted, that He is my friend and guide, and that He does love me far more than I love Him!  My days often begin with apprehension, disappointing news, impossible challenges and deadlines and I am tempted to react “naturally” and panic.  But if I take control on my emotions and decide  to thank Him for the challenge, the trouble, the set-back, I give Him the opportunity to bring about a miracle that will not only increase my faith but permit me to a witness to what a man, committed to and totally believing in God, can be and accomplish.

No sane man or woman would look for trouble or sadness, but no one “sold out to God” can allow self pity to dominate his/her life when troubles do come.  I am thankful for all the blessings, pleasant moments, kindness, mercy, love and surprises that I have experienced this year.  They brighten my soul!  But I also thank God for every difficult and hard thing that He has permitted because those things—far more than His blessings—have caused me to grow closer to Him and farther away from the “common man” I used to be.

No, I am not where I want to be yet in my walk with Him. Many are far ahead of me in their determination to allow Him to have total control of their lives.  But I am learning to let go of fear and worry by recalling that He has never  let me down, He has never permitted anything to fall upon me that did eventually bring about a blessing, and that I do not need to understand why He allows me to be on the brink of disaster at times and carefree the next. He knows what He is doing; He knows what lies around the corner; He knows that I am frail, weak and a babe in the woods!  And I know  that He loves me like a father loves a small child.  I can rest.



Dean Barley


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