To:God With Thankfulness
From:Northeast Ohio

Enter into his gates with Thanksgiving. -Psalm 100:3,4
by Cynthia Berry

Of the nearly 150 mentions of "thanks" or "thanksgiving" in the Bible, only a few are tied to physical or material benefits. The majority extols the character of God Himself, the love He has shown us, and the spiritual benefits He has extended. Several of our readers share what God's grace means to them this Thanksgiving. Perhaps their thoughts will spur you to reflect on God's faithfulness in your life:

"I served six years in prison before I gave my life to Christ through a prison ministry. I am thankful that in 1989, three weeks after I was saved, the Ohio Adult Parole Board gave me an opportunity to prove that I was no longer a criminal. I am also thankful for my wife of nearly five years, Linda, who is superlatively kind."

Marvin Smith,
Former Inmate
Cuyahoga Valley Community Church, Broadview Heights

"I am thankful for the many wonderful Christians who have chosen to be involved in public policy discussions and have stood for truth in their communities. Many Christians are realizing that they can no longer stay silent, and that they need to be a light in our country for Christ. I am so grateful for those who have been willing to speak up in a culture that is, in many ways, against our Christian principles. Thank you for being salt."

Debbie Owens-Fink,
Member of The Ohio State Board of Education,
The Chapel, Akron

"I am thankful that God never leaves us alone in the deep valleys of life, but He shows us His love is much deeper than any valley could be - and He is right there with us, more powerful than any storm sweeping through our valley, leading the way out. Praise God that He knows every hair on our heads and every cell in our bodies, for He made them!"

Dottie Boner,
Cancer Survivor,
Maranatha Bible Church, Greentown

"When I stepped into Angeline Christian Home, Jesus gave me what I needed so much at that very moment - which was LOVE. For the first time in a long time, I felt safe. They fed and clothed the outside of me and fed and clothed what I now know to be more important - the inside of me. I am thankful that, because of the City Mission, I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. After my stay there, my life has changed in ways that are only for the better. I found a home and changed the way I do everything. The City Mission helped me to be a better parent, a better employee, and a better person."

Elaine Zdesar,
Former Homeless, Single Mother,
Church on the Rise, Westlake

"I'm thankful that God sent Jesus to save me from years of juvenile crime, illegal drug use and sales, illicit sexual activity, homelessness and poverty. And I'm thankful that God is using me to share the "Good News" that set me free."

Jon Hanna,
Connection Magazine Editor

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