November 2019 Connection


I have been doing a lot of thinking about the word “gratitude” these past few weeks. I have been thinking how God continues to bless my life in so many ways. What about you? “There is gratitude all around me” to quote the singer, Karen Drucker, who I listen to at least once a day! I see more clearly the face of God in so many places and in so many faces. I now start each day thanking God in moments of prayer, solitude and meditation. It brings joy to my heart to thank God each morning and to recognize all the blessings that I have. What about you? I have given myself permission to live in the promises of Jesus the Christ. We were born to love, not in fear – but in hope, gratitude and freedom.
I awake each morning feeling the Spirit opening my eyes to joy, peace and love that I have not experienced in many years, if ever. For the past two weeks I have had the opportunity to visit with two of my beloved sisters: Juanita who lives in Tennessee and my twin sister, Judy, and her amazing husband, Melvin, in the twin cities. Juanita and I are in the photo below on this page. Judy and Melvin have worshiped at GBUMC since my appointment there. Judy and I celebrated our birthday together for the first time in over thirty years! It was another memorable time where we shared common stories and said to each other, To God Be The Glory. Tears and laughter filled the room as family and friends sang happy birthday. My little great-grand niece, Vivian, who I had the joy of baptizing in 2018, also sent me a video of her singing “Happy Birthday.” And joy upon joy our two granddaughters, Sydney and Reese, and their mother, my daughter Tera, were able to visit their grandfather for hugs, funny-faced photos and memory-making!
With both sisters, my daughter and granddaughters, I was reminded of how important it is to capture those moments of family and to realize that staying connected in faith, we come to be thankful everyday for the gift of relationship and unconditional love. These two beautiful sisters have taught me so much about love and spiritual wellness. They have helped me to see the beauty and strength in me, and thus embrace the beauty and goodness in life. I am so grateful to God for blessing my journey to be with my sisters. It is really all about gratitude!
I am also grateful for having taught in the Native American Course of Study held in Minnesota. It was another rich blessing that reminded me GOD IS MY SOURCE OF STRENGTH, WISDOM AND GOODNESS. I encourage each of you to begin each day thanking God for giving you everything you need and more. You are loved by the Creator! I now entreat you to go and return that blessing of kindness with others.
Julius E. Del Pino, Ph.D.
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