Be Thankful. You’ll Find Yourself Joyful!

Sitting outside on the screened porch on a beautiful and mild Spring morning (finally!).  Listening.  Looking.

After a while I open a page and read Marie Howe’s poem, “The World.”  (Is this some kind of divine inspiration or something?  I mean, this particular poem, on this particular morning?)


“I couldn’t tell one song from another,

which bird said what or to whom or for what reason.

The oak tree seemed to be writing something using very few words. …

… I thought I was safe,

standing there,

but my death remembered its date:

only so many summer nights still stood before me, full moon, waning moon,

October mornings: what to make of them?”


There are no “routine” days, even though we come to think that way.  Receive this day as the precious gift that it is from God.

Be thankful.  You’ll find yourself joyful!


Pastor Andy Ballentine

About Pastor Andy Ballentine

Pastor Andy Ballentine retired in July 2019 after 40 years of ordained ministry. He loved serving as a parish pastor! Pastor Ballentine took his BA degree from the University of Virginia (with a major in sociology) and earned the Master of Divinity degree at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He earned the Master of Sacred Theology degree at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, with the thesis topic of: "How Benedictine Monastic Spirituality Nourishes Parish Ministry." He has completed the program of Spiritual Direction from the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation. In the Virginia Synod, Pastor Ballentine has served as Dean of the Peninsula Conference and as chaplain to the candidates in the Virginia Synod’s Candidacy process (those on the way to being approved for ordained and professional ministries in the church). He has staffed many, many Virginia Synod youth events!

One thought on “Be Thankful. You’ll Find Yourself Joyful!

Comments are closed.