Meridian Star

November 23, 2013

From the Shepherd’s Heart

By Dr. John A. Temple / guest columnist
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     "Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands! Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations." Psalm 100:1-5


Next week, our nation will pause to celebrate Thanksgiving! This wonderful holiday has become a time for friends and family to gather and acknowledge the blessings of life we enjoy. There are many images of how that day is celebrated. My favorite is the story of some center for homeless that provides a special meal for those who have little in life. The looks on the faces of those receiving the meal reflect appreciation and gratitude for what they are receiving. For a moment, the joy is celebrating what we hold instead of what we miss.

    This year, my family celebrates what we can hold. Our family celebrates the first birthday of Blake, my grandson. I must tell you that Blake is the most intelligent and handsome young man I have seen lately! You might say the same about yours. However, we have a special reason for celebrating Blake.

    For years, my family has experienced great difficulty in birthing healthy children. Without going into details, many complications and disappointments are associated with anticipated additions to our family.

    Blake was no exception to our track record. Shortly after we heard that Blake was coming, his mother called and told us that she thought she had a miscarriage. For several days, we grieved over “our loss” only to be told a week later that Blake was still there. One year ago this week, Blake was given to our family by the Lord, healthy in every respect.

    Blake is the happiest baby I have seen. He is always smiling and content with life. We are happy and content, too! What God has given to us is sufficient for us to celebrate a gracious Lord who gives us more than we could ever hope or dream.

    This Thanksgiving can be a celebration for everyone. No one will have everything they dream of owning. But, everyone has something God has placed in his/her life that he/she can celebrate. Most of all, we can celebrate that the Lord has placed eternity in our hearts and made that possibility a reality by the price He paid and the grace He offers.

    Happy birthday Blake! By God’s grace you are here. By God’s grace we all are!

    Dr. John A. Temple is pastor of Poplar Springs Drive Baptist Church, located at 4032 Poplar Springs Drive in Meridian. Visit the church website online at www.