PAUL SANNER
Dear God, thank you for today and every day. 
Please help us to keep our hearts, minds and hands turned to your presence,
listening to your call and working for your Kingdom.     
Scripture
Psalm 138:1-8

I give you thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart;
     before the gods I sing your praise;
I bow down toward your holy temple
     and give thanks to your name
for your steadfast love and your faithfulness;
     for you have exalted your name and your word above everything.
On the day I called, you answered me,
you increased my strength of soul.
All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O LORD,
     for they have heard the words of your mouth.
They shall sing of the ways of the LORD,
for great is the glory of the LORD.
For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly; 
     but the haughty he perceives from far away.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies;
   you stretch out your hand,
and your right hand delivers me.
The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever.
     Do not forsake the work of your hands.
Reflection
Hello Everyone,

I hope you’re having a good day, so far. I’m going to spend some time in the next several weeks talking about “generosity” and its many facets. What does it mean to be generous? A good beginning is to consider the difference between “giving” and “generosity” or, when does “being nice” move into “living generously.”  

Take Girl Scout cookies. (Yes, thank you, I will -- delicious). But seriously folks, for example, Girl Scout cookies.  If I go to the supermarket, and there is a cookie sale table outside, I might buy the cookies from the scouts instead of my usual choices inside, which is kind and helpful, but from my own point of view, I’m going to buy some kind of cookies either way, so am I really being generous in that moment? Maybe if I spend more money on cookies than I ordinarily would have, it is the beginning of the beginning of generosity.  

In my own experience, moments of generosity in life have been transformational, and involve a re-ordering of something -- priorities, resources, values.  Extending an open-ended offer of help to a friend or neighbor, and following through even though the exact time of acceptance of the help-offer is not very convenient, seems like a generous act. Ultimately, perhaps, we know we are living generously when we understand a need, and decide to help, but helping out in whatever way is a challenge to organize in the context of one’s life. Then, perhaps there is an internal conversation moment of “oh @#$%, I have to do this, don’t I. How can I work this out?”  When that happens, we know we’re on the right track.

To hear The Chancel Choir sing Give Thanks With a Grateful Heart, click here.
Words to “Give Thanks” 

Give thanks with a grateful heart; give thanks to the Holy One; 
Give thanks because we’re given Jesus Ghrist, the Son. 
Give thanks with a grateful heart; give thanks to the Holy One; 
Give thanks because we’re given Jesus Ghrist, the Son. 

And now let the weak say, “We are strong”; 
Let us poor say, “We are rich because of what the Lord has done for us!” 
And now let the weak say, “We are strong”; 
Let us poor say, “We are rich because of what the Lord has done for us!”
Give thanks.
Closing Prayer
Dear God, thank you for your generosity and grace. Please help us to reflect your love to others in all parts of our lives.
Paul Sanner
The Presbyterian Church in Westfield continues to burn as a light in the darkness as our community weathers this fearsome storm of illness. Our reach of care continues to extend far beyond our immediate borders. You can help us make a real impact in the lives of others by joining in our work through your time, your talents, and also in the fruits of your labors.
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