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Faith, family, country and heavenly citizenship: It’s time to give thanks

Although our nation has its problems and is drifting away from the great Christian principles that marked its beginning, this country still blesses its citizens with freedom to worship and serve God.

That’s why, as we approach our national Thanksgiving holiday, I am thankful to have been born in the United States — where I have enjoyed freedoms and opportunities few nations offer.

Bailey McBride | Insight

In this great country it is still possible for people to lift themselves up by their boot straps. Hard work and persistence allow people to live comfortable lives. This nation supports people with disabilities, creating a place where they can live useful, meaningful lives.

Like most other Americans, I have much to be thankful for. Above all else, I am thankful to be a child of God and therefore led by the Spirit of God (Romans 8:13-16).

I was blessed to have a mother of great faith who early in my life introduced me to God and nurtured my spiritual development throughout my teenage years.

I am thankful that I have always had a great many friends who encouraged living fully as a child of God. Stafford North was my speech teacher in college and a colleague in teaching for 50 years. His faith and dedication to God have been an inspiration throughout my adult life. He still serves as an elder and promotes the good works of churches everywhere.

I am thankful that the Danube Church of Christ in Vienna, Austria, welcomed me for 14 weeks in 2016 where I had a chance to know other believers and learn their stories. The Haskews, the Koois and the Rybinskis were gracious and thoughtful at a time when I was struggling to find a way to live and serve God. Their love was unqualified and gave me strength and vision for a new life.

“In November we are reminded to be thankful. But in every day of life, we should count our blessings and give thanks to God for his abiding love and care for every aspect of our lives.”

I am thankful for The Christian Chronicle. When I was in my 20s and 30s, it was a way of knowing about the church in other places, especially outside the U.S.

After 1981, the Chronicle became a part of my identity. The opportunity to write “Insight” for all these years has blessed me. It has kept me thinking about life and looking for the best ways to draw people closer to God.

I’m thankful for the thousands of believers who partner with us to make this ministry work — to our trustees, our donors, our advertisers and all of our readers. You make it possible for this publication to find and tell the great stories of our congregations and church members.

I am thankful for the church where I have worshipped for 51 years. It has been a force for good in Oklahoma and throughout the world. It has strong leadership devoted to teaching God’s Word and encouraging spiritual growth. Its leaders have been willing to try new approaches to better serve the needs of the community. The church has strong programs for women and encourages them to serve. Its mission outreach has grown year by year. The 2017 special missions contribution raised more than $800,000 in addition to the funds for missions in the regular budget. The church has blessed me.

Of course I am thankful for my precious family. My three children married great people; my eight grandchildren are full of life and making their way. My five great-grandchildren are sweet and cuddly.

Since the birth of my first child in 1961, family has been the greatest blessing of life. As the family grew, I used to worry about being able to love so many different folks. But God gives us a heart that expands its capacity to love as we use it.

In November we are reminded to be thankful. But in every day of life, we should count our blessings and give thanks to God for his abiding love and care for every aspect of our lives.

Contact: [email protected]

Filed under: Bailey McBride count your blessings Give Thanks Insight Insight thankful

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