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November, 2016 - Issue #145
"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good: his steadfast LOVE endures forever!"
Psalm 118:1, NRSV
Thanks for the Memories
by Steve Peralta

I considered my dad my best friend. His death in March 2015 left a huge hole in my heart and in our family's life. As we made plans to gather at my sister's home for Thanksgiving Day, I began to dread it. My father always served as the spiritual center of the family and he always said grace over the feast. Even though I was an ordained minister, I always deferred to my father. This year would be different.

Holidays bring forth all sorts of memories: some good and some painful. As I drove to my sister's, I spent time with those memories and discovered something: giving thanks for all the good in our lives leads us into joy and contentment. Giving thanks turns what we have into enough. Giving thanks changes our perspectives and it allows us to see the good around us.

As we circled the table and held hands, everyone turned and looked at me. I was ready - grateful for the memories of my father to guide me and grateful for his place to fill.
Pastor Steve Peralta is with Valencia United Methodist Church. www.umcv.org
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