And so you care for them as one of your own family members.  Because now you know the truth:  There is a thin line between “them” and “us.”


Article by Malcolm Marler


Even though I work at an adult Level 1 trauma hospital, my work can still be routine at times.


In the Pastoral Care department, we are usually called during critical times with patients and families, as well as making routine visits on various units.  This happens every day.  It is all part of what we do as healthcare workers.


But when you are on the receiving side of the care giving equation in the hospital, it is anything but routine


Malcolm, I’ve had an accident,” he said.  ”Are you hurt?” I quickly asked while thanking God it was his voice calling me from his cell phone and not a state trooper.  ”I’m hurt a little, but the car is bad,” he offered apologetically.  At this point you realize just how insignificant a ton of steel and leather really is.  You can find another car.  Where are you?  I’ll be right there,” I said as I hung up the phone. Read More »

Posted on 2 December, 2009 in Gratitude, Helping Others, Inspirational Stories
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Article by Dr. Les Hollon, Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church


“Humility, shaped by gratitude, comes before honor,” says the Lord.  (Proverbs 15:33).  Once I was standing in line at a business and noticed that on the other side of the counter stood the teller talking to her supervisor.  Together they were looking at her computer screen, and then she exclaimed, “Welcome to my world.”  The teller claimed the opportunity to bring her supervisor into her world, her set of problems.  From this situation, the employee hoped her supervisor would better understand the context & challenges of her work … 


Wisely, the supervisor smiled and nodded supportively.  All of us want to be understood.  If we feel like we are doing our best, we want our life & efforts to be appreciated.  During this Thanksgiving, say thanks to the people who make “your world” a better place to live & work. Read More »

Posted on 28 November, 2009 in Gratitude, Helping Others
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Article by Dee DeWitt

The first observance of the Thanksgiving national holiday came one week after the dedication of the Soldiers National Cemetery at Gettysburg, a harsh reminder of the sacrifice so many made for our country and our freedom.

Of the several themes that run through Make the Days Count, gratitude is probably one of the more central and important ones.  It’s sometimes tough in the times we are living to be grateful for the blessings that we are given.   Financial crises, family and friends off to war, business failures, wondering if we will still have a job (or find a job) next year, not to mention the individual challenges we each face on more personal levels.  As Thanksgiving approaches, remembering to be grateful can be tough for each of us.


Personally, I worry about what the impact of our many crises will have on my family, my church and business, and me.  It’s difficult sometimes to be thankful for the many blessings God has given me, most undeserved.  And He has given me many. 


Perspective is so important at this time of the year.  We are so much better off than others.  We are blessed to live in a country so rich in so many ways.  Putting Thanksgiving as a holiday into perspective is a humbling lesson.  President Abraham Lincoln obviously knew the importance of gratitude and giving thanks … even in the midst of what was the most severe national crisis our country had ever faced.  In October of 1863 Lincoln issued his Thanksgiving Day Proclamation that the holiday was established as a national annual event.  This was a time when our country and Lincoln were locked in the middle of our horrifying Civil War.  Victory was not yet in sight, and no one knew whether we would survive as a nation.  


Yet rather than despair, Lincoln choose to focus on the blessings our nation enjoyed during the Autumn of 1863, as he said “The year that I drawing to a close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies.  To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come.” 


It is a lesson in gratitude and hope that we all can benefit from as we begin this holiday season and look to 2010.


Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1863:

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. Read More »

Posted on 25 November, 2009 in Gratitude, Making the Day Count
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Article by Dr. Les Hollon, Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church


Mary Magdalene was thankful.  Her life needed changing and Christ changed her life.  Thoroughly. Inside out.


She had gotten caught in the oldest swindler’s scheme.  Hold the Devil’s hand just long enough to get out of a tight spot and then she would let go of him when the trouble cleared and her pain eased. The Devil never let’s go on his own.  Instead his grip tightens.


So she trusted him again to ease her pain and he just tightened it all the more.  All total she did this 7 times. She became known as the woman “bound by 7 demons.”  Her life became that proverbial “living hell”, with hell being understood as the seeming absence of God.


But while we live on earth, God is never absent.  He is ways listening to our prayers and waiting for us to enter into that teachable moment when we will trust His presence, lean into His power, and walk forward in His ways.


Mary did just that.  Consequently she became a THANKFUL person.  Mary Magdalene became one of Jesus’ greatest disciples.  She followed & supported Him (Luke 8:1-3).  She stood in solidarity with Him on Calvary’s hill while He was crucified (John 19:25).  She did not abandon Him but walked in procession to where He was buried (Luke 23:55).  And it was to Mary that Jesus first appeared after His resurrection (John 20:14-16). Read More »

Posted on 24 November, 2009 in Gratitude, Inspirational Stories
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Article by Malcolm Marler


The call came into our Pastoral Care office and a young nurse was on the phone.


“Hi, my name is “Jill,” she said, “we have a critically-ill patient on our floor and the family has decided to withdraw life support at this time. Could you send a Chaplain to be with them, to maybe say a prayer with them?”  I assured her “someone” would be up soon.


Our on-call chaplain was detained, and so I decided to go directly to the room.  I walked in to find the adult daughter and her husband by her father’s side.  I introduced myself and told her I was very sorry to hear about her father.   “Tell me about your Dad?” I asked.  And she did.


The warmth of their relationship was evident in her story as she stroked his hand and spoke softly and lovingly about him. I asked her if she would like for me to have a brief prayer with her and her husband.  They nodded yes.  We prayed.  We thanked God for who he was and what he had meant to so many.  And just a few words more. Read More »

Posted on 20 November, 2009 in Gratitude, Motivation
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