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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Thankless lane in Rising Sun, Maryland
Thankless Lane in Rising Sun, Maryland

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"Living On Thankless Lane"

"Neither were they thankful" (Romans 1:21). "Be ye thankful" (Colossians 3:15).

Welcome sign in Rising Sun, MarylandThis last weekend we drove through the little town of Rising Sun Maryland, which is often referred to on WDAC, our local Christian radio station, during the weather report. It's an intriguing name and just sounds like a bright place where I'd like to awaken in the morning and take a walk as the sun is rising!

However, the town actually got its name from a tavern established in 1720. Over the entrance was a swinging sign depicting the rays of the sun at dawn and the lettering "THE RISING SUN".  As we were discussing this Brooksyne recalled an old song from the sixties with this line: "There is a house in New Orleans, they call the Rising Sun." (That kind of surprised me due to her holiness background!)

But what really caught our attention was a road we passed as we drove toward Rising Sun named "Thankless Lane".  Now that's a most unusual name for a road.
What does the real estate go for on this Thankless Lane?  How did they ever come up with such a negative name?  We both declared that it was a street we didn't care to live on. Was there a grumpy old farmer that one time lived on this lane who had a reputation for being unthankful?  Perhaps a good deed was done for someone and the kindness was spurned by ingratitude.

Whatever the reason, there are a few folks who actually must identify their address as "Thankless Lane."  Can you imagine the conversation?  "What is your name and address, Sir?" "My name is Thomas Hane and I live at 923 Thankless Lane."  "What was the street name again?"  At least I know that's how the conversation would go if I were asking the question.  I would wonder if I was hearing the street name properly.

"Have You Thanked God Today?" bumper stickerFor many years we have seen bumper stickers that ask, "Have you hugged your kid today?" but I like one that simply asks, "Have you thanked God today?" That's a good prompter!

We consider people who by their outlook in life seem to live on Thankless Lane.  Unthankfulness is one of the most dominant and universal sins in the human race.  The Apostle Paul in his sweeping, panoramic view of human depravity makes this dismal statement, "They neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him."

Being thankful is an often overlooked fruit of the maturing follower of Christ. Unthankfulness on the other hand is a mark of man's depravity. And in this age of entitlements unthankfulness is ever increasing! I can recall several occasions in my life when the lack of gratitude was deafening as it was replaced by a grumbling, complaining outlook. The focus moves from "I've been blessed" to "I'm not getting what I deserve." It's a good thing we don't get what we deserve, but instead we receive God's abundant mercy and lovingkindness.  Consider the simple command in our second daily text "Be ye thankful."

Are you thankful today? Are you expressing thankfulness to God and to others? We sure hope you're resting your head each night on Thankful Lane!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Thankful manDaily prayer: Father, each of us make our dwelling on Thankful Lane when we daily attribute thanksgiving to You who provides for all our needs.  You give us shelter from the harsh elements, food on our tables, clothing for our bodies and people who love and care for us. We've been blessed beyond measure, both physically and spiritually as You provided for our greatest need; salvation.  Worthy is the Lamb who died on the cross for our sins.  We will eternally praise You for Your goodness to us. Amen.

Brooksyne's Note: On Saturday I went to the NASCAR race with Stephen and Ken.  The race was of no interest to me but Stephen wanted my companionship on the trip so I went along.  After sitting for awhile on the bleacher he turned to me and shouted over the noise of the engines, "Why don't you just go shopping!" I certainly didn't hesitate but happily walked over to the Dover Mall which was right next door. I was sitting in the food court reading a book when a woman who looked like she could use a cheerful "hello" began to clean my table. After greeting her with a hello she said, "You work here, don't you?"   I told her that I was a shopper.  I then asked her name and said, "How long have you been cleaning up after people in this mall?"  "Eighteen years" she replied.  I expressed admiration for her willingness to clean up after others and she told me the worst part of her job is cleaning up sodas that are spilled on a regular basis.  Loretta has a visible physical affliction which we talked about.  I left her with a card and tried to express the love of Christ to her.  Her countenance was so much brighter after our conversation. People such as Loretta are often overlooked because of their seemingly menial job.  It's not every day that shoppers express interest in her personally or say "Thank You for the work you do".

When I see janitorial employees cleaning bathrooms I make it a regular practice of thanking them.  I can't think of any job that would be more dreaded in a public facility than cleaning up dirty bathroom stalls.  I think part of the pleasure of thanking these hard workers is seeing their surprised expression when you don't walk past them but instead look them in the face and let them know that their service is valuable and appreciated. (I believe I witnessed this for the first time when I was with my mother-in-law many years ago.  She went out of her way to thank the woman who was cleaning the public restroom we were using.  I learned by her example.)

Osprey nest at Sandy Cove, Chesapeake Bay
This weekend we saw this large Osprey nest
at Sandy Cove along Chesapeake Bay.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Click on the link to open and play.
(In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)

"Give Thanks" Video  Don Moen

"In Everything Give Him Thanks"  Video  Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

"Worthy Is The Lamb"  Video  Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

"You Are Worthy Of My Praise"  Video  Vineyard Singers

"The House Of the Rising Sun" Video  We sort of got a kick out of this video since the original singing group "The Animals" seem so clean cut, particularly in comparison to today. However at the time I suppose they were sure not seen that way!  Although not a Christian or even religious song it does have a teachable verse:

Oh mother tell your children
Not to do what I have done
Spend your lives in sin and misery
In the House of the Rising Sun

For the inquisitive: Thankless Lane in Rising Sun, Maryland is here.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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