La Junta UMC
La Junta UMC

Smile for a While

Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. (3 John 1:2)



As I write this, Thanksgiving is just a couple days away.  My brain is already imagining the succulent tastes of the day: turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, and pie.  Lots and lots of pie.


The last couple of weeks I have been trying a new appreciation and gratitude practice.  It is simple and I’m almost a little embarrassed to share it but it is as I wake up in the morning and am still lying in bed, I smile.


I smile for a while.


I don’t really know how long I lie there looking goofy in the dark, smiling, but what I do know is that it puts me into such a different mind space as I stumble towards the coffee pot.


Thanksgiving for me is a time of important reflection.   For the last couple of decades, each year I pause to give thanks for all the wonderful ways in which God has blessed me.  I try to do this weekly throughout the year but truth be told, time gets away from me too much.


I’ve been given such incredible riches in my lifetime.  I’ve always lived in a country where water is abundant, excellent sanitation means I don’t have to worry about diseases like cholera and typhoid, I have food in my fridge and cupboards, and the freedom to do and say nearly anything including worship my God.


As if that isn’t enough, God thought I was awesome enough to bless me with Jenna, a life companion who is my best friend, and two boys who bring us so much joy and happiness.  I am so blessed with such amazing family and friends who support us and love us, and a church family I am truly proud to serve and help lead.


Our scripture reading today is a subtle reminder that so often when things are going really well, we often forget to notice the truly important things.  The author of the third letter of John is saying he hopes that we may enjoy good health and that all may go well with us, even as our souls are getting along well. 


Sometimes we get so bogged down with everything that is going wrong that we can forget to give thanks for all that is going or has gone right.


I encourage you to find a practice this week to experience and share your gratitude.  Practices, I believe, are best when they are simple.  I like smiling before I even put my feet on the ground because it is a powerful reminder that yes, I have been given yet another day but the rest is up to me.


I know many of you are in seasons of heartbreak, sickness, illness, sorrow, and discomfort.  I pray daily for you all, by name.  I pray that you are able to continue to find ways each day to give thanks for your blessings amidst the difficulties and uncertainties.


Finally, and most importantly, I give thanks for all of you and your steadfast commitment to Jesus and loving this community of La Junta.  I pray you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and are able to spend time with family, friends, and those who care most about you.  Get rest and care for yourself as we prepare for Advent and the coming of our Lord and Savior.


May it be so,

Rev. Lou Ward

Upcoming Events:

      Adult Studies:

We are meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and 11:00 a.m. on Wednesdays in the Fellowship Hall.


Monthly Potluck:

Join us on the Second Sunday of every month for good food and good fellowship. 


Military Appreciation Breakfast

Third Saturday of the month, 8 a.m.:

Veterans and Active Military and their Significant Others, join us for a hearty breakfast as we share our appreciation for your service.


United Methodist Women Monthly Meeting:

Third Thursday of every month: March 17, April 21, May 19.


United Methodist Men's Monthly Breakfast:

*Postponed Until Further Notice


Office Hours:

Tuesday: 8-12 am

Wednesday: 8-11 am

Thursday: 8-11 am

Contact Us

La Junta United Methodist Church

601 San Juan Ave

La Junta, CO 81050


Phone: (719) 384-7717


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