I have been reading in Paul’s letters quite a bit lately. I have meditated on the openings of these letters. There is something in some of them: I Corinthians, I Thessalonians, II Thessalonians, and Philippians that has really caught my eye as I read so many posting “thanks” this week in the tradition of counting our blessings this time of year. Paul tells the brethren in these letters: “I/we give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention in our prayers” ( I Thess 1:2). How wonderful to hear, that someone gives thanks for us and is always mindful of us in their prayers. As we count our blessings this season, let us not forget to make mention of those dear sisters who are now, or who have long passed but were great encouragers in the faith. But, again, that’s not really my point today. I have been considering if I am living the life that a sister could say the same about me. Am I a blessing to someone? Can one of my sisters say that she gives thanks to God for me? It has given me pause to consider how I live my life- for myself, or for others? In each of these letters the reason Paul gives thanks, you see, is that these people were suffering for each other and for the cause of Christ. They were constantly in the word and faithfully seeking the way more perfectly. They were sacrificing of their means and were sharing what they had. I have a long way to go to match this kind of love and I stumble each day. But, I want you, dear sisters, to know that I am thankful for you and for your encouragement each day. I give thanks to God for you.