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Year of Gratitude

In 2014, FUMCR focused on expressing gratitude daily as inspired by the book, 365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed my Life, by John Kralik.

Studies have shown that those who live with a sense of thanksgiving report that they are far happier than those who do not. As a family of faith, we know that we have been blessed and that it is important to give thanks to God. It is also essential to our well-being to express our gratitude to one another, and to those who have made a difference in our lives. 

The Bible teaches us to “give thanks in all circumstances" (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

From the Wall Street Journal: "A field of research on gratitude in kids is emerging, and early findings indicate parents' instincts to elevate the topic are spot-on. Concrete benefits come to kids who literally count their blessings. Gratitude works like a muscle. Take time to recognize good fortune, and feelings of appreciation can increase. Even more, those who are less grateful gain the most from a concerted effort."

Beyond just the simple phrase, try to express thanks in a meaningful way to someone every day - family & friends, individuals & groups, loved ones near, far & passed away and even strangers.

Following are the suggestions and insights that were offered to our members and guests each week during the year. To jump to a particular week, enter just the number in the search bar.

Week 1

Who to Thank

Someone you are long overdue in thanking

Scripture

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.

Psalm 136:1

Quote

We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.

- Cynthia Ozick
 

Week 2

Who to Thank

A family member

Scripture

We must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing.

2 Thessalonians 1:3

Quote

Mamma says gratitude helps us to see what is there instead of what isn't.

- Annette Bridges
The Gospel According to Mamma 

Week 3

Who to Thank

Someone who has supported or encouraged you

Scripture

. . . give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5: 18

Quote

The only people you should try to get even with are those who have helped you.

- John E. Southard
 

Week 4

Who to Thank

Someone who is doing something small to make a difference in your life

Scripture

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3: 17

Quote

We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts.

- Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community 

Week 5

Who to Thank

Carry a note with you and thank someone on the spot.

Scripture

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made for everyone.

1 Timothy 2:1

Quote

No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.

- Unknown
 

Week 6

Who to Thank

Someone who loves you

Scripture

How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy that we feel before our God because of you?

1 Thessalonians 3:9

Quote

Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.

- Marcel Proust
 

Week 8

Who to Thank

A coach (athletic, academic, life, career, etc.)

Scripture

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed throughout the world.

Romans 1:8

Quote

A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.

- Cicero
 

Week 7

Who to Thank

An elected official

Scripture

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.

Colossians 3:15

Quote

Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart.

- Henry Clay
 

Week 9

Who to Thank

Someone whose performance you appreciated

Scripture

Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!

Psalm 95:2

Quote

I wake up curious every day and every day I'm surprised by something. And if I can just recognize that surprise every day and say, "Oh, that's a new thing, that's a new gift that I got today that I didn't even know about yesterday," . . . it keeps me enthusiastic and grateful.

- Michael J. Fox
 

Week 10

Who to Thank

A civil servant

Scripture

For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, provided it is received with thanksgiving

1 Timothy 4:4

Quote

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.

- Denis Waitley
 

Week 11

Who to Thank

Doctor, nurse or someone who helped in time of illness

Scripture

Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise.

James 5:13

Quote

Gratitude is a many-colored quality, reaching in all directions. It goes out for small things and for large; it is a God-ward going.

- Faith Baldwin
Many Windows, Seasons of the Heart 

Week 12

Who to Thank

Someone who gave you good advice

Scripture

Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.

Matthew 7:24

Quote

We should count our blessings, but we should also make our blessings count.

- Neal A. Maxwell
 

Week 13

Who to Thank

A co-worker

Scripture

When I remember you in my prayers, I always thank my God

Philemon 1:4

Quote

Thankfulness creates gratitude, which generates contentment that causes peace.

- Todd Stocker