Grace Lutheran Church and School


Glimpse of Grace

Give Thanks!

Posted by Jennifer Beasley on

Hello! Another week has passed and we are already halfway through November.  In fact, today marks the end of our First Trimester. Not to mention that Thanksgiving Break is coming up starting Wednesday, November 27th! Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. his love endures forever. Psalm 136:1.

I know some of you are already marking off your holiday shopping lists! Visit our online Grace Gear (Spirit Wear) Store, opening Monday, November 18th. There are lots of new items and something for everyone on your list. 

Before we jump into the weekend, let's jump into this past week of happenings at Grace Lutheran School.  We were blessed by the presence of students from Walther Christian Academy, leading chapel this week. The whole school, early childhood, elementary, and middle school, worshipped together in the sanctuary.  A benefit of having all our grade levels in one building allows for a strong community to be built. 

Our fifth graders visited the Field Museum this week and enjoyed learning about Native American dwellings. They experienced a special presentation in the Pawnee Indian Dwelling and plenty of time to explore the artifacts.

Meanwhile, our third graders were out and about exploring the Museum of Science and Industry, connecting the Science they're learning in the classroom with the inspiring museum exhibits! 


Midweek our third through eighth-graders hung onto hung out with by Ray McElroy. Ray is a former NFL player for the Colts, Bears and Lions. He is also an NFL chaplain and has a youth ministry. He gives motivational speeches across the country. We were lucky to have his presence at Grace! 


Ray began by sharing what it was like to be in the NFL; how it was exciting but also how he made some poor choices as well and wasn’t living for God.

He talked about when he made the decision to live for Jesus, and how that was the best choice he ever made. He encouraged our students to listen to the right voices: the ones that lead to good choices, rather than listening to the wrong voices such as peers pressuring them to use drugs and alcohol. Students loved the mottos, “The more I know, the farther I go!” and “The right voices help me make the right choices!”. 

He gifted an autographed football card to each student. And invited fifth- eighth graders the chance to share their thought of the event, and were encouraged to share if they were struggling with anything in their lives and if so, his ministry team would be able to contact them. 

Thank you for your time, encouragement and guidance, Ray McElroy!

Our neighbors at Concordia University invited our students to The Wind Symphony youth concert.  The Wind Symphony is the premiere instrumental ensemble at Concordia University.  They have performed in schools, churches, and concert halls in 43 states, Canada, Eastern Europe, and China. The group has a commitment to the finest traditional and contemporary sacred and secular repertoire.  The performance was beautiful. 

As we wrap up this week's Glimpse of Grace post, I encourage you to take some time this weekend to prepare our hearts for Thanksgiving. it is known that recognizing our blessings is learned behavior. It's a choice. And it's one that takes preparation. 

Confession: Gratitude doesn’t always come so naturally to me. I can find the paint bubble on a freshly painted wall. Maybe I’m not the only one...

I've learned how our brains have a negativity bias. First, we look for what’s wrong or a threat. This helps us survive. Makes sense. I am regularly a "look at the pristine white wall!" kind of person. But should a newly painted wall be overcome by bubbles and blistering where the paint is not adhering, I would shift my attention immediately to this discouraging phenomenon. 

In other simpler words, we prepare our minds by what we put into them. Perhaps Paul understood that when he said, “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (Php. 4:8).

And because of this, I’ve been participating in #30DaysOfThankfulness posts on our school Facebook page and invite you to do the same. Post on our page, or on your own page with the hashtag #30DaysOfThankfulness so we can connect over our blessings.  Let’s start giving thanks now so that we really are ready for Thanksgiving this year! 

I invite you to reflect on : Who in your life are you thankful for? Think of at least one person.


Jenn B.  

Tags: blessings, gratitude, field trips, ray mcelroy


7300 Division Street | River Forest, IL 60305 | (708) 366-6900