When I started posting “Sermon Notes” late in the summer, I was surprised by the emails and comments from those that follow this series weekly. Those notes are just from those that were willing to send some encouragement to keep posting. My hunch is that there are some out there that read them and have not written in or commented. I count it a blessing to have the technology to share church with each of you once a week. I actually thought of each of you tonight as I sat down in front of my laptop.

The service this morning at our church was dedicated to people sharing their stories of thankfulness. I cannot begin to express my deepest respect for each and every person that stood in front of the congregation to share their “story”. They battled fear of public speaking, fear of what others might think and the risk of transparency to be real. The stories were both inspirational and heart breaking. The stories ranged from addictions, battles with cancer, new marriages, loss of income and physical struggles. Yet each one shared their praise to God for the struggles. They gave praise to the Lord that moves in our lives and has full knowledge of our journey. To each of you I am humbled by your faith. Thank you.

My other thoughts during this time of sharing were:

1. I love the place that I call “church” every week.

2. I love that our community can be the place where we are who we are and it’s alright.

3. I pray I will have the courage of those that shared to give the honor and praise when the storms come.

4. Count your many blessings. Name them one by one.

One word that was spoken over and over and over again this morning was the word “grace”. I think all too often I take the gift of Gods grace for granted. To stand in the face of a storm and call it “grace” takes a faith I aspire to learn. For those that read this that do not attend, take the next 8 minutes to watch the video below. While this is not from our church service this morning, it might as well have been. This will give you an idea of the courage and the stories that were shared. Thanks for your encouragement on this journey. I am honored to share the road with each of you towards our ultimate destination.