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VOLUME 2 • ISSUE 5   |   Release date: November 15, 2004

In This Issue
Bush Proposes Faith-Based National Healthcare
Evangelicals Return to Political Inaction
Amway Christian Fellowship
Man Gives Thanks, Mostly
Nov. Church Sign of the Month
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Local Man Gives Thanks in Most Circumstances
Sunday School Teacher Fails to Give Thanks for Stubbed Toe, Canadian Change

CHARLOTTE, NC – Darryl Gowin had high hopes for his Thanksgiving Sunday school lesson this year. But Gowin, who teaches 3rd grade Sunday school at Charlotte Church of the Nazarene, had his hopes dashed by a stubbed toe and an overlooked Canadian quarter.

"I've always had a real hard time with 1 Thessalonians 5:18," Gowan told THO. "I told myself I wouldn't teach that lesson to my 3rd graders until I could go a whole year, giving thanks in all circumstances. That was 15 years ago."

Gowin says he almost reached his goal this year, until October 3rd at around 3 AM.

"I woke up in the middle of the night to get a drink of water, and I didn't turn on the light for some reason," Gowin recalls with a twinge of regret in his voice. "I stubbed my toe so hard on a chair in our dining room, and the curse words just started swirling around in my head. I tried with all that was within me, but I could just not bring myself to give thanks at that moment."

Despite his apparent failure, Gowin was contemplating going ahead with the lesson anyway.

"I was trying to justify it in my head. You know, I was groggy and tired. It wasn't really my fault," Gowin recalled. "But then came October 13th – a date that will live in Thanksginfamy."

The second lapse in thankfulness of the year came for Gowin after a two-mile nature walk at nearby Freedom Park on an unseasonably warm October afternoon.

"I was so hot and thirsty at the end of that walk," Gowin said. "I think I would have sold my soul for a drop of water. I guess I kind of did."

Reaching into his pocket, Gowin was delighted to find three quarters – the exact amount of change necessary to buy a can of Dr. Pepper from the park's soda machine.

"I put the quarters in and one of them spit out the bottom of the machine," Gowin said. "I fished it out and saw that caribou staring back at me, mocking me right to my face. Canadian! I had no hope of giving thanks in that situation. I was too busy cursing our coin copycatting neighbors to the north."

Knowing that he would be overcome with feelings of hypocrisy, Gowin did what he has done for the past decade and a half; he turned his Sunday school class's Thanksgiving lesson over to Lance Lockley, a longtime deacon in the church.

"Lance has been giving thanks in all circumstances for almost 20 years," Gowin said. "I see no reason to try to have a positive influence on our church's young people when there's such a saint to show them how a Christian should act."

Lockley has always appreciated Gowin's confidence, but he doesn't think the annual substitution is really necessary.

"I think it would be fine for the kids to see an imperfect Christian in process," Lockley told THO. "But that's ok. I'm always thankful for the opportunity to teach."

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