Thursday, November 20, 2008

With these comments, I am entering the blogosphere. My intent is to write a weekly blog that I hope fellow-travelers will find interesting and relevant. It’s kind of scary - like buying a stock online for the first time or using eBay.

As Thanksgiving is just around the corner, I want to reflect on gratitude. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday – Football, Food and Family. Wait… I mean Family, Football and Food. It’s a time to take a step back and acknowledge all that we have to be grateful for.

The opposite of gratitude could well be entitlement. As our kids get older, they may express their sense of entitlement - to a certain vacation or a car or the latest cell phone or iPod. But if I’m honest, I feel entitled, too. I’ve worked hard and basically stayed out of trouble. Life must owe me something. Well, I’ve learned it really doesn’t.

Chuck Swindoll reminds us that we are not in control of our circumstances, but we are in charge of our attitudes. Starting with myself, I’d like to encourage each one of us to have grateful attitudes. Hey, people say life isn’t fair and I agree ! It isn’t fair that I was born in America, have a wonderful family and never have to worry about food on the table when over a billion people around the world struggle to survive on less than a dollar a day. It’s sobering to travel to the least developed countries and see what “less than a dollar a day” really looks like.

An attitude of gratitude enables us to live from the inside out, allowing a grateful heart to release us from being captive to our circumstances. Such an attitude compels us to give back. This Thanksgiving, as we dwell on our blessings, let’s go beyond acknowledgement to response. We are indeed blessed to be a blessing to others, especially those without a voice – orphans, the homeless, the poor and destitute.

I think this mindset can apply to organizations as well as individuals. The Gladney Center has been blessed in so many ways during our 120 year history. And we strive to give back – both to our communities and to the world. In countries where we work, we are just as focused on helping children who will not find permanent homes as those who will. As you think about your response to your blessings this Thanksgiving, please consider joining Gladney on our journey to positively impact children’s lives all over the world. It’s an exhilarating and urgent adventure.


Amy Curtis said...

Excellent words of encouragement. Thank you.

Jim said...

Frank, coool.....those are great words. Jim

gilliesblog said...

Hi Frank, I'm not sure how else to get in touch with you personally, so I apologize for writing this message on a blog. I am very interested in speaking with you about the possibility of starting a program in Uganda. I have met several people who have adopted in Uganda recently, and the courts are granting guardianship to parents and then they can finalize in the US. I have lots of contacts, but I just don't know where to start. I would like to adopt from Uganda, and would like to be a pioneer for a program. Gladney has a stellar reputation and I think there is a great possibility for Uganda to start a top notch program. We just need someone to take it on! I hope it's you! You're obviously a pioneer too. Please feel free to contact me @

Thanks in advance!