Three Points of Gratitude by Pat Cook

When St. Stephen’s invited Pat Cook to share thoughts about Stewardship season and its theme of gratitude, he offered us three thoughts and told us to choose which we preferred. We couldn’t choose. So we are sharing them all.  


One of my very favorite scriptures is Hebrews 11:1 “Now Faith is being sure of what we hope for and confident of what we do not see.”  I have wrestled with this one for more years than I can count, much to my joy.   When you wrestle with a scripture verse, it seems to open, slowly, like a flower, yielding layer upon layer of insights that God uses to improve our lives, if we allow it.  I’m so grateful for the resource of God’s word that brings light into my life and St. Stephen’s which constantly reminds me of the relationship I have to my God.


Faith is like the turtle in the story of the race between the tortoise and the hare.  All races are won one step at a time.  St. Stephen’s is not a place to rush things.  It’s called a place of faith because you set your own pace, proceed in your walk with God without fear of failure.  I can take little steps and learn, then move to the next step.  There is such a rich environment of faith, undisguised and unashamed Christianity, taking sure steps forward in your Christian walk is the most natural thing there is.


Christianity is about transformation.  No one follows Christ to stay the same.  I’m so grateful that as I look back at the six years I’ve been at St. Stephen’s, I know I’ve changed.   This gentle ministry softly embraced me, surrounded me with thoughtful teachings, prodded me to extend my world view, and been faithful to the ministry of Jesus Christ.  I think this is Christianity as Christ saw it and I know because I see the changes in me I would not have made on my own.