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The Rev. John Gunn The Rev. John Gunn
The 20th Century produced many outstanding writers. One whose literary accomplishment stands as a living monument is the pastor, newspaper columnist and author, John R. Gunn (1877-1956). On a wide variety of subjects he left us an abundance of messages that warm the soul and touch the heart.

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Giving Thanks

August 08, 2011

To give thanks before partaking of food at a meal is a very common custom. Men for many centuries and in many countries have done this and are still doing it today.

In devout Jewish homes, giving thanks is traditional - Jesus himself customarily gave thanks before eating. We know this because there are numberous references to His doing so in the Bible. If giving thanks before a meal is done in your home, who offers the prayer? What does this person say? What do you think about during this time? - something else altogether different?

Asking a blessing before meals is one way of drawing a family together; it's a solemn ritual performed two or three times per day so that it becomes a habit and gradually the habit is ingrained into family life. These family habits, or customs, draw the family together. Children may participate in asking grace before a meal - different members of the family may at different times. In this way to ask the blessing becomes truly a family matter. Most important of all, asking grace brings one closer to God. This daily simple supplication, this brief companionship with God, comforts and satisfies the human spirit, perhaps for the entire day.

If a blessing is not said in your home, it may be that a simple request will let you begin the custom. And it is a habit; not something that is begun by two days or three days, but by a week or two weeks of saying it daily. The more you ask the blessing, the more it becomes a habit and the easier it is to continue. And the more you ask it, the more pleasure it becomes to you.


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