Last week I wrote about each of us having the privilege of having a thankful heart. Whether we do or not is up to us. Today, my topic is that of a generous heart. Both are important and valuable, yet somewhat different.

In my opinion, for a small community and county, the people of Fredericktown, Marquand, and Madison County are some of the most generous people I have ever seen.

In our area alone, we have had the opportunity within just this last month to give, and give, and give; and boy, have people responded. Several individual organizations have had food drives which go to help our local food banks. The Boy Scouts had their drive this past Saturday and there were blue bags full of goodies hanging from lots of doors. Clothing drives have provided much needed articles for those in need, as well as financial gifts used to help others. Several school projects have touched the lives of our veterans, elderly, and those suffering from diseases.

A couple of weeks ago, an area pastor spoke on how giving benefits our individual lives. He suggested that giving makes us more like our Heavenly Father who is the giver of life. Generous giving draws us closer to our Heavenly Father and strengthens our faith. When we give with a generous heart (not because we are pressured into it), we are always blessed in return and doesn’t it just make you happy to be able to give.

At the end of the service, the children came from their church and gave each person in the congregation a small Blessing Mix bag. Included in the bag were: Bugles to represent the cornucopia, a horn of plenty. Pretzels represented arms folded in thanks and prayer. Candy corn reminds us that during the first winter, the Pilgrims were allowed only a few kernels of corn a day because food was so scarce. Seeds are a promise of a future harvest if they are planted and well tended. Fruit was a reminder of the harvest gifts from the land. M&Ms were for memories of those who came before us, and Hershey Kisses were a reminder of the love of family and friends that sweeten our lives. Small items, but a definite lesson in blessings we enjoy from sharing with a generous heart.

II Corinthians 9:7 reminds us that “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give: not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”

Happy Thanksgiving everyone and thank you all for being generous in your giving to others. God bless.

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