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Today we are asked to give thanks for three things redeemed….wow what an interesting topic.

1.  Facepaints.  These are not ordinary facepaints, they are professional face painting crayons and I have had them for about 25 years.  They have moved with me through four provinces, have brought joy to countless children at festivals and VBS and they never seem to get any smaller.  But with all the moving around they sometimes get stuck where they can’t be found….so a few days my daughter called asking me if I had them.  She recalled that there was a time when she had custody of the facepaints, (but that was two provinces ago for her too….) but she didn’t know where to look and she wondered if she might have given them back to me.  I said that if I had them, they might be in my office, but since it is half packed in anticipation of the day God announces where I am moving to next, I didn’t have any firm conviction that I would find them.  So today I started burrowing through the desk drawers and no facepaints.  Then on a whim I started rummaging through the books still on the book shelves and there they were.  They have now been redeemed from the chaos of my office and are ready to be packed for my trip to see my grandsons and used to transform them into a monster and a tiger for Halloween.  Finding the facepaints has made me very happy.

2.  Buster, my cat is redeemed from an animal rescue shelter.  His paperwork says that he was found wandering on a busy road and brought in to a place of safety, and he now lives the pampered life of an indoor cat.  He has been a source of joy as his antics make me laugh and brighten my day.  He also provides me with a stimulus to take my mind off of me and my problems and makes me realize that I have someone in this world that I am solely responsible for taking care of….. (a task I readily share with awesome cat sitters when I go to visit the grandsons mentioned above).  The best part of having Buster in my life is that he make me think of God.  What God went through to redeem us, and how we bring joy and frustration to God’s life by our antics and our disobedience.  The joy so readily overpowers the frustration and I hope that God can say the same about me.

3.  So of course the final thing redeemed for which I give thanks today is ME.  God’s plan for redemption is such a wondrous thing that he would spend millions of years planning and arranging things until the time was right to bring Jesus into the world that he might live and die and be resurrected for the redemption of me and you and all the people of the world… But when I stop and think about how living the redeemed life is such a blessing, as opposed to those days when I was tossed about in the storms of disobedience and rebellion I am grateful  That doesn’t mean that this redeemed life is problem free, just that I don’t have to handle those problems in my own strength.  It really is true:  The joy of the Lord is my strength.  Praise be to God.