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New sneakers

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. — It was like Christmas every time my brothers and I entered Kinney’s Shoes for a new pair of sneakers. Mom could only afford $3.99 specials — no stripes, stars or leather — but we were glad to don any brand that offered new soles.

One day I tagged along with a friend and his parents to a shoe store. "Hal," his father said, "I’m going to buy you some new shoes — any pair you want." I must have

opened a dozen boxes before my eyes fell on a pair of blue suede Converse. The salesman laced them up and let me wear them home. From that day forward they seldom left my feet.

Years later, I’m still grateful to that family, because their generosity put an end to classmates making fun of my tattered shoes. I’ve expressed my appreciation to them many times. I learned at an early age that a special bond develops when a giver is generous and a recipient is grateful.

God gave us the greatest gift when He sent His Son to die for our sins so that we might have eternal life. But, as recipients, our intimacy with God is largely determined by our level of gratitude. Many do not feel close to their Creator because they do not fully appreciate His gift. They awake every morning grumbling and complaining about life, rather than thanking God for His blessings.

Colossians 2:6,7 urges us to "continue … overflowing with thankfulness" (NIV). And Colossians 3:17 says, "Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God."

Let me encourage you to express your gratitude to God every morning — whether it’s in the shower, at the breakfast table or in the car on your way to work. Every day should be like Christmas — when we pause and say, "Thank You, God, for sending Your Son to earth that I might have life."

— Hal Donaldson


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