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ratitude, like Spikenard in the Bible’s famed Alabaster box, is best when expressed or “poured out.” Allow me to pour it out again this Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving Day was (an expression of gratitude to God) first proclaimed by George Washington and then by Abraham Lincoln as a National united voice of praise to the unseen hand of beneficence that has blessed the seed of this “city set on a hill,” America. Any good farmer or gardener knows that unless God blesses the seed, nothing comes of it, nothing good happens. You can plow, plant, fertilize and pluck weeds from dawn to dusk, but unless God blesses that seed, no good comes of it. I thank God for all He gave and all He took away, His word, His will, His staff, His stay. For every turn of the Potter’s wheel, as long as I felt His hand, pressing, shaping, working in His own way. While not all is understood, knowing He works all things together for our good. I am grateful for every brushed stroke of the Painter’s hand adding to life’s coat of many colors; for every fragment falling at the Artist’s feet and hammer blow well planned, that removed more unneeded matter from this block of marble stone, bringing out the best in us, proving we're His own. For all the new friends I’ve met along the way. For old friends faithful, for their help and prayers, I’m grateful. For all the kindness, rising suns, and sunsets, shadows cast, and battles won, and for survival through some awful storms, now past. And even for valleys before us, and God's strong hand which I hold fast. I thank God for trials, as well as smiles, and the light that guides. For bridges built and bridges burned, for grace sufficient, lessons learned. For rising tides, and ships that sailed, the tie that binds, and for God’s Word- that has never failed. -id