Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Merton’

Thanks For ‘Giving’

26 November 17

For many of us, Thanksgiving usually includes feasting, family reunions, parades, football games, a four-day weekend, or “Black Friday” shopping—but the ‘real’ meaning is a bit different.

Every autumn, American families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving Day—yet, it seems most have forgotten its true meaning. It has undergone numerous transitions—originally an expression of gratitude for survival and the recognition of its flourishing community, it now is an arbitrary collection of many traditions and values. Over the centuries, families added their customs to the Thanksgiving celebration, preserving that which they held most precious.

If you are an average American, you have much to be thankful for. But just how thankful are you? Do you truly appreciate the veritable cornucopia of blessings that have been bestowed on America, and try to help the less fortunate by sharing what you have?

Well, Walgreens is running a campaign that is trying to do just that—to help less fortunate children worldwide—and they call it “Happy Thanks for Giving”! Every vitamin and flu shot you get at a Walgreens helps give life-saving vitamins and vaccines to children in need around the world and here at home.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-U8XNyt1xQQ

 

Another example of giving during the Thanksgiving season is the ‘movement’ called “Giving Tuesday.” It is billed as “A Global Day of Giving Back,” and is celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.), and is one of the best ways to help your own community.

 

[ NOTE: The non-profit I work with, Life Remodeled, is an organization that is helping build a “Community Innovation Center” in Detroit—and you can help with as little as $10: Check out their “Christmas Wish List”:
http://wishlist-liferemodeled-com.3dcartstores.com/
].

 

We definitely should be grateful for the ‘little things’, like vitamins, though, sadly, most Americans take much for granted—things like our freedom, three meals a day, multiple clothes to choose from, a warm/cool home to live in (without rain dripping on your head), a relatively safe neighborhood, a car to get to work, work, and the list could go on and on.

 

So, even when we are thankful for all these things, this was not the original purpose for the Thanksgiving holiday—it was to thank God for all His provisions and blessings. Upon their arrival at New Plymouth, the Pilgrims composed “The Mayflower Compact,” which honored God. Thanksgiving began with acknowledging God as faithful, earnestly giving Him thanks, in advance, for His abundant blessings (“In everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” – Philippians 4:6). Thanksgiving was an attitude of the heart that reinforced their intimate relationship with God

 

[ Here’s a link to a previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post that discusses the history of Thanksgiving in America:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/dec-06-v94/
].

 

Now, long before the colonists celebrated their successes, in Bible times, the meaning of thanksgiving reflected adoration, sacrifice, praise, or an offering to God. Thanksgiving was a grateful language to God as an act of worship. Rarely, if ever, was thanksgiving extended to any person or thing—except God. “These things I remember as I pour out my soul; how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng” [ Psalm 42:4 ].

Although God has immensely blessed America with provisions, He deserves even more praise and adoration for what He has GIVEN TO THE ‘WORLD’—His Son, Jesus! The simplest and clearest statement about the generous and giving nature of God is found in the Gospel of John: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” [ John 3:16 ].

So, why did God ‘give’ us His Son, Jesus?

Well, the Bible tells us that the whole human race is ‘alienated’ from God—since the rebellion of Adam and Eve—and we are all under divine ‘judgement’, headed for an eternity in hell. But, there’s GOOD NEWS! Even though we all ‘appropriated’ Adam and Eve’s sin when we were born, God the Father made Jesus to be our “substitutionary atonement”—taking the punishment that we deserved so that it ‘frees’ Him to forgive us and ‘impute’ the righteousness of Jesus to us (“God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” – 2 Corinthians 5:21).

So, to be ‘reconciled’ to God, we need only BELIEVE in Jesus as our Savior, and His atoning death on the cross. That’s it—a FREE ‘GIFT’ for any of us to accept! This is a ‘transaction’ that takes place ‘outside’ of us by a sovereign God. Put another way, this is peace WITH God, and a ‘place’ in Heaven forever!

[ For more details on how to have ‘peace’ with God, here’s a link to a previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post that discusses this:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/know-peace-v201/
].

 

This is the indescribable, inexpressible, “UNSPEAKABLE GIFT” that we should be THANKFUL FOR!!! (2 Corinthians 9:15). This comes out of God’s love for us.

That word “unspeakable” in the original Greek language (that the New Testament is written in) cannot be found anywhere else in the whole of the Bible. It actually means that this is something that cannot be full declared.

However, God ‘declares’ that He wants to have a relationship with us and wants us to ‘respond’ to Him by giving ourselves to Him in complete surrender and trust. He offers us salvation and the forgiveness of our sins, but that is only the beginning. From that point on, He works to ‘sanctify’ us, enabling us to live righteously. This doesn’t mean we are perfect, but we continually reflect His Son Jesus’ character and actions (Galatians 5:22-23), we become a ‘light’ in a ‘dark’ world (Matthew 5:14-16). Knowing that our salvation cost Jesus His PERFECT LIFE, His immeasurable love should motivate us to obey His commands and walk faithfully with Him—in a way that brings Him honor and glory.

What God did to His Son on the ‘Cross’ as a punishment—in order that you might go free—God did it willingly, His Son did it willingly, and all of it was done out of great love for you! Is it any wonder that the Apostle Paul would say time after time, ‘Thank God for Jesus!’. An old hymn puts it like this:

“‘But none of the ransomed’, the saved, ‘ever knew
How deep were the waters crossed;
Nor how dark was the night the Lord passed through
Ere He found His sheep that was lost.’”

Jesus’ death was INDESCRIBABLE—since it satisfied God’s ‘wrath’ against us!

 

Are you ‘thankful’ for Jesus? Well, the painter Rembrandt was. If you were to look at his “The Three Crosses” painting, your attention would be first drawn to the center—the cross on which Jesus died. Then, as you would look at the crowd gathered around the foot of that cross, you would notice the various facial expressions and actions of the people involved in the awful crime of crucifying the Son of God. Finally, your eyes would drift to the edge of the painting, and would catch sight of another figure, almost hidden in the shadows. Art critics say this is a representation of Rembrandt himself—for he recognized that, by his sins, he helped ‘nail’ Jesus to the cross. Rembrandt realized that the two-fold ‘melding’ of God’s loving and giving were in the verse John 3:16: the “world” (crowds) and “whoever” (himself).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Three_Crosses

 

Sooner or later Jesus gets very, very personnel with us, and He calls us to make a choice to follow Him or to reject Him.

So, you can ignore Jesus, and many do, or you can WHOLEHEARTEDLY ACCEPT HIM as your Savior, your ‘substitution’, and your unspeakable gift of infinite worth!

If you have not yet asked God for His mercy, you may want to pray, from your ‘heart’, the following prayer:

“Our heavenly Father, I give You thanks for the indescribable gift of Jesus Christ. I am so grateful to You as I reflect upon my lost condition. I am so thankful that You have devised a means by which I can have forgiveness of sins and be accepted into Your family, with a relationship to You which is everlasting. How grateful am I to You. I give You thanks for that which is beyond my understanding. Nevertheless, I ask that by Your marvelous grace and power that You would work in my heart to be You effective servant.”

 

So then, for the ‘believer’ how should we thank God for this indescribable gift?

Well, although we can’t pay for this gift, we can try to express our gratitude. We owed a debt we couldn’t pay, and Jesus paid a debt He didn’t owe. When someone, through great personal sacrifice, saves us from grave danger, it is natural to feel deep appreciation.

The poet Milton said that a person with an ungrateful spirit only has one vice, because all of the rest of his vices are virtues compared to ingratitude. Shakespeare said it a different way: “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child.” In the Book of Psalms, King David said, “Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men and let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving” [ Psalm 107:21-22 ]. So, I’m thinking that we should turn our thanksgiving into ‘THANKS-LIVING’! That is, to offer to God the “sacrifices of thanksgiving.”

What then would be these “sacrifices”? Well, I can think of five: Person; Praise; Prayer; Possessions; and Purity.

The Sacrifice of Your ‘Person’:
Why should I give my body to Him? Well, because Jesus gave His body for me. How small is my sacrifice when His was so great! We are to ‘die’ to all our ways and offer every part of ourselves to Him.

There are a couple of ways to present yourself as a living sacrifice to God: voluntarily and completely. The Apostle Paul said it this way: “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” [ Romans 12:1-2 ].

The Sacrifice of Your ‘Praise’:
We are to offer praise to God continually. Praise to God shouldn’t commence in a church building, instead it should ‘continue’ there. Each day we should live in a continual attitude of praise. Again, in the Psalms, King David said: “I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise shall continually be in my mouth” [ Psalm 34:1 ].

The writer to the Hebrews reinforced the thought with this: “Through Him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge His name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God” [ Hebrews 13:15-16 ]. This is saying that God would rather have your ‘genuine’ praise than your money (“I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify Him with thanksgiving. This will please the Lord more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs”). [ An ox was extremely valuable in Bible times ].

The Sacrifice of Your ‘Prayer’:
Throughout the Old Testament, we learn that the smoke coming from sacrifices was a “sweet savour unto the Lord.” These aromas emanated from a great altar of brass in the outer court of the Old Testament tabernacle.

Upon that altar burned a “fire kindled from heaven” (Leviticus 9:24) which was a picture of the holy wrath of God against sin. The animals burned upon that altar were a prophetic picture of Jesus’ sacrificial death for our sins. “Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!” [ Psalm 141:2 ].

The deepest longings of our hearts are met in prayer by God. But to enjoy this sweet ‘communion’ we must first come to the ‘brazen altar’ of sacrifice, then to the ‘golden altar’ of prayer—prayer based on the ‘atoning’ blood of Jesus.

The Sacrifice of Your ‘Possessions’:
Does your giving show what you think of God? Proverbs 3:9 says, “Honor the LORD with your wealth, and with the first fruits of all your increase.”

God doesn’t want just “a place” in your life. He doesn’t even want to be “a priority.” God demands ‘preeminence’ in every part of your life—especially your possessions.

Since God owns everything (“For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine” – Psalm 50:10-11), I’m thinking that giving back to God is just gratefulness for what He has given us (“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God” – Hebrews 13:16).

The Sacrifice of Your ‘Purity’:
The Bible tells us over and over in the Book of Romans that it is the goodness of God which leads us to repentance, not necessarily the ‘badness’ of man. We love God only because He first loved us, and we give to Him because He first gave to us!

So, if you love God, then get rid of the sin that breaks His ‘heart’: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” [ Psalm 51:17 ].

 

Will you sacrifice everything to Him today? Every sacrifice you offer is simply giving back to God what He has already done for you. We should give to Him ALL OF OUR LIVES (our person, praises, prayers, possessions, and purity) because He FIRST GAVE YO US (Jesus).

 

This Thanksgiving, might I suggest you start recognizing and acknowledging God’s wonderful blessings, and then ask Him to give you a more grateful heart. Then, as you live more and more in step with the Bible’s teachings, His characteristics of goodness, love, kindness, and generosity will flow through you until you’re overflowing with gratitude!

 

So, just as the Walgreens “Happy Thanks For Giving” campaign is thanking us for what we have given them, how MUCH MORE should we give to the God that has forgiven our sins, ‘saved’ us from hell, and given us eternal life! I’m thinking EVERYTHING WE HAVE and EVERYTHING WE ARE!

 

Thank God for ‘GIVING’ us Jesus!

 

[ Excerpts from: John MacArthur; David Legge; Adrian Rogers; Dr. S. Lewis Johnson ]

 

‘PRAYER’ OF REPENTANCE
In the Bible, there is a parable that Jesus told about a Pharisee and a tax collector praying the the Temple. He notes that the tax collector didn’t even dare to lift his eyes toward Heaven as he prayed. Instead he “beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner’”—and Jesus said that the tax collector “went home justified,” he had been “born again” and ‘reconciled’ by God. (Luke 18:9-14).

If you are ‘sensing’ something like that right now, let me strongly encourage you to HUMBLE YOURSELF, CRY OUT to God, and PLEAD for Him to mercifully ‘SAVE’ YOU! None of us have a ‘claim’ on our salvation, nor do we have any ‘works’ that would cause us to deserve it or earn it—it is purely a gift of Divine grace—and all any of us can do is ask. So, CONFESS YOUR SINS and acknowledge to God that you have no hope for Heaven apart from what He provides through Jesus.

There is no ‘formula’ or certain words for this. So just talk to God, in your own words—He knows your ‘heart’. If you are genuinely sincere, and God does respond to your plea, one will usually have a sense of joy and peace.

Jesus said, “He that comes to Me, I will not cast out” [ John 6:37 ].

[ NOTE: If you have ‘tasted the kindness of the Lord’, please e-mail me—I would love to CELEBRATE with you, and help you get started on your ‘journey’ with Jesus! ].

 

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RESOURCES:

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Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving
By: Eric Metaxas

Experience the true story from American history about the spiritual roots and historical beginnings of Thanksgiving.

This entertaining and historical story shows that the actual hero of Thanksgiving was neither white nor Indian but God. In 1608, English traders came to Massachusetts and captured a twelve-year-old Indian, Squanto, and sold him into slavery. He was raised by Christians and taught faith in God. Ten years later he was sent home to America. Upon arrival, he learned an epidemic had wiped out his entire village. But God had plans for Squanto. God delivered a Thanksgiving miracle: an English-speaking Indian living in the exact place where the Pilgrims landed in a strange new world.

https://www.amazon.com/Squanto-Miracle-Thanksgiving-Eric-Metaxas/dp/1400320399/

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In Everything Give Thanks
By: Love God Greatly

We are reminded in Ephesians 5:20 to “… always give thanks to God the Father for everything.” For everything, Lord? Does God really want us to give thanks for things like relationships that cause us pain, heartaches, empty bank accounts, and sick bodies? EVERYTHING? In this two-week Love God Greatly Bible study, you’ll learn what God’s Word has to say about cultivating a life of thankfulness and how YOU can intentionally begin applying these uplifting truths in your everyday life. You’re invited to journal with us as we dive into God’s Word together… reading and writing what God speaks into your heart along the way. Just think of what could happen if we began choosing to see everything in our lives through a lens of gratitude… Join us at LoveGodGreatly.com for further insights, community, and content to supplement your time in God’s Word!

https://www.amazon.com/Everything-Give-Thanks-Love-Greatly/dp/153961235X/

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Thank God It’s Thursday: Encountering Jesus at the Lord’s Table As If for the Last Time
By William H. Willimon

Thank God It’s Thursday is the prequel to bestselling author Will Willimon’s highly successful, Thank God It’s Friday. Following the book of John, Will Willimon focuses on Jesus’ teaching of his disciples prior to his own death but also before their own hour of decision. The climax of the Gospel is when Jesus pours out his life on the cross―surely an enactment and demonstration of the power of God’s self-sacrificial love.
So to sustain and fortify his followers for the difficulties ahead, Jesus prepares them by teaching and offering sacraments of self-giving, through which they (and we) experience the grace and presence of the risen Lord. This book can equip Christians to face their hardships as they humbly serve with the promise of God’s abiding presence already made good by his outpouring of sacrificial love. Written with the clarity, depth, and insight that are Will Willimon’s trademark, this book offers afresh the challenge and grace of the message of the Resurrected One.

https://www.amazon.com/Thank-God-Its-Thursday-Encountering/dp/1426743378/

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Thank God It’s Friday: Encountering the Seven Last Words from the Cross
by William H. Willimon

Christ’s seven last words from the cross have long been a source of reflection, challenge, and soul-searching. These simple statements contain the full range of human emotions and divine self-revelation: grief, compassion, despair, forgiveness, physical need, the promise of redemption. In many ways they embody the core of the gospel. In this brief book one of today’s most noted church persons and preachers confronts the reader with the seven last word’s claim on her or his life. Written with the clarity, depth, and insight that are Will Willimon’s trademark, this book offers afresh the challenge and grace of the message of the Crucified One.

https://www.amazon.com/Thank-God-Its-Friday-Encountering/dp/0687464900/

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I Thank God for Jesus Christ: For the Love of Jesus is Worth More than Silver or Gold
By Dr. Carolyn S Fields-Smith

Dr. Carolyn Sue Smith (formerly Carolyn Sue Haney) suffered a major psychological crisis leaving her without any memory of who she was or what she had accomplished in life. Struggling with these mental disorders, Dr. Smith managed to complete studies for two Masters degrees in special education and went on to earn her doctorate degree in Human Services specializing in Counseling with a minor in mental disorders. She has attended The University of Alabama, Mississippi State University as well as Capella University. Dr. Smith currently resides in Columbus with her husband Kenneth D. Smith. Together the couple have five children and seven grandchildren. Carolyn has been a volunteer at Baptist Memorial Hospital- Golden Triangle for the last nine-teen years. She has an intense passion and love for God, the Word, prayer, and, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ., MS, Carolyn is also a member of Southside Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastor Rayfield Evins, Jr.

https://www.amazon.com/Thank-God-Jesus-Christ-silver/dp/1539113248/

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An Attitude of Thankfulness
By Jim Davenport

The twenty articles contained in this book cover topics close to Jim’s heart including: thankfulness, thanklessness, the Christian’s attitude, strength from God in the times of need, the sanctity of life and marriage, the consequences of our sin, praying with confidence, class warfare, and God’s presence in our lives. One article recalls the Pine Lake Baptist Church fire and how God used that tragedy to further His purpose throughout the world from the small town of Stone Mountain, Georgia, USA. This is the second in a series of books by Jim Davenport dealing with the general topic of Christian Devotions and Quick Studies, which was the title of the first volume.

https://www.amazon.com/Attitude-Thankfulness-Jim-Davenport/dp/1312669411/

 

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“FRUITS OF THE BEATITUDES” WEB SITE
(The ATTITUDES of Jesus that produce the CHARACTER of Jesus)

CLICK ON THE LINK to view:
http://fruitsofthebeatitudes.org/

FACEBOOK PAGE:
https://www.facebook.com/FruitsOfTheBeatitudes/

[ Mark Besh ]

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[ P.S.: If you would like to investigate further about what it really means to have an “attitude of gratitude,” visit the following link:
http://www.TheSearchForMeaning.net/sfm_pres/sp_q11_d4_1of10.html ].

 

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ARTICLES:

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Happy Thanks for Giving

When you choose Walgreens, you choose to make a difference. So really, thanks for giving.

Get vitamins here. Change lives everywhere.
Every time you buy vitamins at Walgreens, you’ll help provide life-changing vitamins to undernourished children around the world and here at home. (Walgreens will donate 1% of participating products’ retail sales made 5/23/14–12/31/17 to Vitamin Angels.)

Your global impact
Walgreens’ partnership with Vitamin Angels is providing millions of children with life-changing vitamins and minerals. See how your vitamin purchase helps children worldwide:

– Since partnering with Walgreens in 2013, Vitamin Angels now reaches children in more than 66 countries.
– More than 95,000 children receive life-changing vitamins every day thanks to your Walgreens vitamin purchases.
– Together, we’re providing vitamin A to children unable to obtain sufficient amounts from their diet to help prevent blindness and strengthen the immune system.
– A de-worming tablet, like albendazole, helps to combat malnutrition in children living in areas where intestinal worm infection is common.

See the change
Walgreens is working to improve the lives of undernourished children around the world and here at home. Click on the map below to see how we’re making a big difference.

To learn more about Vitamin Angels, visit
http://www.vitaminangels.org/.

Children in the U.S. and around the world are expected to receive life-changing vitamins thanks to your help*

As of 26 NOV 17, the Walgreens website show that 141,493,154 children worldwide are expected to receive life-changing vitamins, thanks to everyone’s help. [ Note: The “counter” on the Walgreens website showing this number was changing about every 10 SECONDS!—so, EVERY MINUTE a 6 CHILDREN in the world are getting vitamins! ].

https://www.walgreens.com/topic/promotion/vitamin-angels.jsp

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Giving Tuesday
(November 28, 2017)

A Global Day of Giving Back

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.

Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.

One of the best ways to get involved is in your own community. We’ve created a directory to help you find organizations, charities, events and more in your own community.

http://www.givingtuesday.org/

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Christmas Wish List

Life Remodeled is repurposing the former Durfee Elementary-Middle School building into a Community Innovation Center focused on education, entrepreneurship and community. Below you’ll find our 2017 Christmas Wish List, made up of examples of the many items we need to complete the building transformation. Help us continue remodeling lives this Christmas, one neighborhood at a time!

(Life Remodeled is a 501c3 organization and all financial contributions are tax-deductible)

http://wishlist-liferemodeled-com.3dcartstores.com/

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Thanksgiving History in America

It’s easy in our culture to lose sight of what we’re remembering on Thanksgiving. Even considering the economic downturn we are experiencing, we still have much abundance.

In the midst of the bountiful feasts we have with family and friends; for all the glitter and decorations in preparation for Christmas; of the mail circulars prompting us to be early for the big sale; and even for a well-deserved day off, it’s easy to forget the ‘true meaning’ of Thanksgiving.

The Pilgrims set ground at Plymouth Rock on December 11, 1620. Their first winter was devastating. At the beginning of the following fall, they had lost 46 of the original 102 who sailed on the Mayflower. But the harvest of 1621 was a bountiful one. And the remaining colonists decided to celebrate with a feast—including 91 Indians who had helped the Pilgrims survive their first year. It is believed that the Pilgrims would not have made it through the year without the help of the natives. The feast lasted three days.

But the Pilgrims’ trials were far from finished—their plentiful autumn was followed by a particularly treacherous winter. Unfortunately, the weather proved to be the least of their ailments. In November a ship called “The Fortune” dropped anchor in their harbor. Aboard the ship were 35 more colonists who had brought with them no provisions—no food, no extra clothing, no equipment for survival. Additionally, the oppression of the physical environment had become almost unbearable after a 12 week drought dried up their crops and withered their spirits. The newcomers arrival had drained already inadequate food rations and there was no obvious resource for sustenance. At their lowest point, the Pilgrims were all reduced to a daily ration of FIVE KERNELS OF CORN apiece.

The following poem was written by Hezekiah Butterworth, an American patriot schoolteacher from Boston, in April 1622, when their food supply was almost gone.

FIVE KERNELS OF CORN
‘Twas the year of the famine in Plymouth of old,
The ice and the snow from the thatched roofs had rolled;
Through the warm purple skies steered the geese o’er the seas,
And the woodpeckers tapped in the clocks of the trees;
And the boughs on the slopes to the south winds lay bare,
and dreaming of summer, the buds swelled in the air.
The pale Pilgrims welcomed each reddening morn;
There were left but for rations Five Kernels of Corn.
Five Kernels of Corn!
Five Kernels of Corn!
But to Bradford a feast were Five Kernels of Corn!

“Five Kernels of Corn! Five Kernels of Corn!
Ye people, be glad for Five Kernels of Corn!”
So Bradford cried out on bleak Burial Hill,
And the thin women stood in their doors, white and still.
“Lo, the harbor of Plymouth rolls bright in the Spring,
The maples grow red, and the wood robins sing,
The west wind is blowing, and fading the snow,
And the pleasant pines sing, and arbutuses blow.
Five Kernels of Corn!
Five Kernels of Corn!
To each one be given Five Kernels of Corn!”

O Bradford of Austerfield hast on thy way,
The west winds are blowing o’er Provincetown Bay,
The white avens bloom, but the pine domes are chill,
And new graves have furrowed Precisioners’ Hill!
“Give thanks, all ye people, the warm skies have come,
The hilltops are sunny, and green grows the holm,
And the trumpets of winds, and the white March is gone,
Five Kernels of Corn!
Five Kernels of Corn!
Ye have for Thanksgiving Five Kernels of Corn!

“The raven’s gift eat and be humble and pray,
A new light is breaking and Truth leads your way;
One taper a thousand shall kindle; rejoice
That to you has been given the wilderness voice!”
O Bradford of Austerfield, daring the wave,
And safe through the sounding blasts leading the brave,
Of deeds such as thine was the free nation born,
And the festal world sings the “Five Kernels of Corn.”
Five Kernels of Corn!
Five Kernels of Corn!
The nation gives thanks for Five Kernels of Corn!
To the Thanksgiving Feast bring Five Kernels of Corn!

[Author: Hezekiah Butterworth, April 1622].

Again, things did turn around—14 days of rain followed. A second Day of Thanksgiving was declared, and the pilgrims feasted on game and turkey as they had during the previous celebration, only this time one dish was different. The first course, served on an empty plate in front of each person, consisted of FIVE KERNELS OF CORN, a gentle ‘reminder’ of what had happen in the past.

The Pilgrims’ humble response to their affliction is evidenced by their many writings which express deeply thankful hearts. We can learn countless lessons about sincere thankfulness from their example.

http://www.4vis.com/thanksgiving.htm#5Kernels

We, like the Pilgrims, all have a ‘choice’—in life there will always be those things that we can complain about—but there will also be much to be grateful for.

Thanksgiving should be a continuous attitude of the heart rather than simply one day of the year—being grateful for what you have, and finding ‘joy’ in being generous by SHARING SOME OF WHAT YOU HAVE. So, express your appreciation in your own way. The upcoming holiday season is a great time for your family to get involved in helping to meet the needs of others in your community. Here are some ideas for reaching out and helping others during the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

• Donate your time helping out at a food kitchen or a food bank.

• Visit someone who lives at a nursing home or who lives alone and is confined at home because of poor health.

• Invite some neighbors who don’t have plans to join your family for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

• Buy some (or all) of the Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner groceries for a needy family in your community.

• Have your family go through their winter clothes and coats, pick out those that are old or are no longer wanted or needed—and give them to homeless people in your area—or take them to a local shelter.

• Make some bag lunches and distribute them to homeless people in your area.

• Make more desserts than you need for your holiday meals. Give extras to neighbors or to a needy family in your area.

• Find an elderly person in your area that could use some help at the grocery store. Better yet, invite them to your home for a special holiday meal.

• Find a family in your area that could use some help to take care of fall yard clean-up, basic repair or weatherization around their home. Buy the needed materials and get to work!

• Invite a neighbor’s family over for a simple, fun family game night.

[ Mark Besh ]

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The Real Story Behind Thanksgiving

On November 4th 2006, William Federer came to the Waukesha Expo Center and shared the real story behind the First Thanksgiving.

William Federer is a Christian Historian and the host of the American Minute

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgmrnmoYfQM

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Thanksgiving or Thanksliving

Thanksgiving has always been for me a time to be thankful for all the blessings in my life.

But How Do We Live Thanksgiving?
I found the answer to that question in an article written by Wilferd A. Peterson called, The Art of Thanksgiving. In this article he talks about acts of thanksliving. To quote from this piece, Mr Peterson writes:

“The art of thanksgiving is thanksliving. It is gratitude in action. It is applying Albert Schweitzer’s philosophy: ‘In gratitude for your own good fortune you must render in return some sacrifice of your life for the other life.”

Examples From The Article of Thanksliving
– By living your life triumphantly
– By being grateful for all who have helped you by you doing things for others
– By striving to make others happy
– By helping to be an inspiration to others
– By living each day to the fullest
– By using your talents and obligations to be invested for the common good
– By facing the challenges of life as a challenge for achievement
– By enjoying what you have and sharing it with others

To Summarize
Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for all we have, but thanksliving is a way of life that if implemented could improve the quality of life not only for you and me, but for others. Do you live in a thanks giving way?

There are thousands upon thousands of people worldwide that would gladly give up their life to trade with you for your life, a life full of opportunity that just doesn’t exist in their world. Each one of these people desperately want a new life where they can live in peace, can work, can feed their families, can bring medical care to their children, can see new life where people are respected and valued and simply not seen as a scourge upon the government.

Those of us who are fortunate enough to be born into a country where freedom is guaranteed, where schooling is given and not a dream, where one can move from place to place without fear of being arrested or tortured, or shot dead. We who complain so often are the same ones that have more than can only be imagined by millions of others. We who take for granted what we see and do everyday always wanting more without even the slightest thought that we should have to pay for it or work for it.

The simple things we should be thankful for we ignore, the simple pleasures we take advantage of we just assume will always be there.

Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them,
is the true measure of our thanksgiving. W. T. Purkiser

Thanksgiving
By Author Unknown

We are thankful for the care
That did not come to try us;
The burden that we did not bear,
The trouble that passed by us;
The task we did not fail to do,
The hurt we did not cherish;
The friend who did not prove untrue,
The joy that did not perish.

We are thankful for the blinding storm
That did not lose it swelling;
And for the sudden blight of harm
That came not nigh our dwelling.

We are thankful for the dart unsped,
The bitter word unspoken,
The grave unmade, the tear unshed,
The heart-tie still unbroken.

Thanksgiving Notes:
In the US, Thanksgiving always falls on the fourth Thursday of November. In Canada, Thanksgiving always falls on the second Monday of October. While the dates are different in each country, the tradition, the celebration, the giving of thanks is the same.

Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:
“It is literally true, as the thankless say, that they have nothing to be thankful for. He who sits by the fire, thankless for the fire, is just as if he had no fire. Nothing is possessed save in appreciation, of which thankfulness is the indispensable ingredient. But a thankful heart hath a continual feast.” W .J. Cameron

“When one is thankful for the blessings in their life, they are choosing to attract more positivity and abundance.”
[ Michael Austin Jacobs ]

“Giving freely and giving with a good heart, will never go unrewarded.”
[ James Clear ]

[ Author: Catherine Pulsifer ]

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Thanksliving: How to Live a Life of Thanks in an Ungrateful World

We understand the importance of gratitude. There is little doubt our communities, marriages, and lives would be better if we lived in a consistent state of appreciation for all we have.

At a conceptual level we know our good fortune and believe we should be more grateful in every aspect of life.

But knowing what one should do is not the same as knowing how to do it.

How do we have gratitude? How can we live in a mindset completely opposed to the entitled, ungrateful, whiny, empty way most people live?

The answer is far simpler than we realize.

Grateful people search for the good.

Everyone else finds the bad. (See: The Day I Stole an Airline Ticket to See Jenny)

It doesn’t require a unique gift to find the negative in any situation. No one is perfect so there are problems all around.

Finding the good does require effort. It is rarely on the surface or in the spotlight. Most often the best of things lie hidden underneath an appearance of normalcy or the mundane. Our eyes are easily misdirected from the good by fault or mistake. While negative qualities often leap off a page, the positive attributes of people or circumstances most often are overlooked.1

But some can see them. Some have trained their eyes in such a way that they can see good where no one else can.2

The chemo-weary cancer patient who understands the kindness of a nurse is a gift and calls attention to it.

The grief-stricken widower who in the midst of sorrow can feel gratitude for the good memories and occasionally smile.

The struggling young couple who finds it difficult to make ends meet but still feels gratitude that they have one another.

Grateful people have a unique ability to find the good which is around them. They do not deny the bad. They do not turn a blind eye to suffering or refuse to speak of sorrow. But in the midst of the negative experiences of life, they actively seek the positive, identify it, celebrate it, and recount it for others to hear.1

In a world which is fixated on the bad, what if we had an uncanny ability to find the good?

How would it change:

Marriage. When marriages go bad, individuals often fixate on the negative and blame one another for everything wrong in the relationship. In good marriages, couples experience problems but they see those problems as existing outside the relationship and something they as a couple can attack. Those problems are viewed as minor negatives compared to an overarching climate of good. (See: “Please” and “Thank You” Matter as Much as Sex)

Parenting. While parents are consistently having to spot problems, correct, and discipline children, it is also our job to encourage them. How many times a day do we catch our children doing good and call their attention to it? Which is more powerful, critiquing a child or encouraging her? (See: A Father’s Primary Role)

Community. It’s easy to find the negative in governments, social organizations, and communities, but what if we spent our energy encouraging those who are working for the good? Send a card, write an email, give a gift to someone who is making a positive difference in the lives of others.

Life would be radically different if we lived in a constant state of gratitude, but how do we do so? In the midst of difficult times and with a natural bent toward seeing problems, how do we foster a continual mindset of gratitude?

Consider a drug-sniffing dog. A considerable amount of hours are spent training some dogs to identify drugs based on smell. Most of the training occurs by teaching the dog to focus on a specific smell and then hiding it in various places with many different distractions. Over time, the dog becomes more and more adept at locating what it is looking for.

What if we became the bloodhounds for good?2 What if we spent a considerable amount of time training our noses to seek the good no matter how hidden it might be or how many distractions were presented? (See: A Simple Way to Better Your Day)

We would begin the process by becoming so familiar with the good that we can recognize even its faintest smell.

The reason most people fail to recognize the good which is hidden in everyday life is because they do not train their minds to look for it. If you regularly see, touch, taste, hear, and smell that which is good, you will be far more likely to identify the good. Like a trainer rubbing a smell in a dog’s nose, we must intentionally rub our noses in the good on a daily basis.1 If we do not, we will lose our ability to recognize the good things in our lives.

As Paul writes to the church at Philippi, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

As we “think about these things” we will begin to see “these things” more and more. They are all around us. Some see them and some don’t.

Those who see them find gratitude. Those who are blind to them resort to a feeling of entitlement, disappointment, and bitterness.

In order to give thanks, we have to live thanks. As we live it, we give it.

[ Kevin A. Thompson ]

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Thanks-Living

Wanting to mature in her spiritual life and become more thankful, Sue started what she called a Thanks-Living jar. Each evening she wrote on a small piece of paper one thing she thanked God for and dropped it in the jar. Some days she had many praises; other difficult days she struggled to find one. At the end of the year she emptied her jar and read through all of the notes. She found herself thanking God again for everything He had done. He had given simple things like a beautiful sunset or a cool evening for a walk in the park, and other times He had provided grace to handle a difficult situation or had answered a prayer.

Sue’s discovery reminded me of what the psalmist David says he experienced (Ps. 23). God refreshed him with “green pastures” and “quiet waters” (vv. 2–3). He gave him guidance, protection, and comfort (vv. 3–4). David concluded: “Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life” (v. 6).

Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life. Psalm 23:6
I’m going to make a Thanks-Living jar this year. Maybe you’d like to as well. I think we’ll see we have many reasons to thank God—including His gifts of friends and family and His provisions for our physical, spiritual, and emotional needs. We’ll see that the goodness and love of God follow us all the days of our lives.

Dear Lord, You bless me in more ways than I can count. Thank You for Your love for me.

When you think of all that’s good, give thanks to God.

——

Psalm 23 is a familiar favorite of many people. Modern believers are unlikely to connect shepherds with sovereigns. Yet in the Bible world, people did think of kings as shepherds. Look up Psalm 78:71–72; 2 Samuel 5:2; Isaiah 44:28; and Jeremiah 3:15. (Amazingly, note that in Revelation 7:17 a Lamb will shepherd His people!) After all, what does a shepherd do? He cares, controls, governs, protects, and so on. Isn’t that what any good king would do? In other words, the job profile for kings and shepherds is not all that different. God’s giving is the trigger for our responsive thanksgiving. And thanksgiving can be packaged as “thanks-living.” Why not take an inventory of ways God has provided for you this week? How might your thanksgiving practically manifest itself in “thanks-living”?

[ Our Daily Bread ]

https://odb.org/2017/01/01/thanks-living/

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The Joy of Thanks-living

“In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18
We’ve arrived at the best time of the year – the Thanksgiving/Christmas season. I just love being with family and friends… enjoying great food, great fellowship, and great football (Go Longhorns!).

As we celebrate Thanksgiving, we tend to focus on our blessings and giving thanks for God’s goodness. While that is certainly a good thing, it is not the best thing. The best thing is to turn Thanksgiving into Thanks-living. Regardless of the day or the situation, God wants us to be thankful. Why is that?

1. Thanks-living lets God know you have confidence in Him, no matter how deep the problems or how dire the circumstances. Thanks is faith turned inside out.

2. Thanks-living changes your countenance and disposition. Instead of being down and discouraged, spreading gloom and despair everywhere you go, you begin to radiate the joy of the Lord. The best witnesses for Christ are those who are facing life’s trials with a song of thanksgiving on their lips.

3. Thanks-living opens the door for God to work. God hates it when we grumble and gripe… but He loves it when we praise and give thanks. As we begin to live a life of thankfulness to God, He begins to work, even through the toughest trials and tests of faith. Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown into prison… and they sang a hymn of praise to the Lord. And when they finished singing, the Lord sent a jailhouse rock, and the prison doors were opened. You mark it down: God does miracles on our behalf when we choose to thank Him and praise Him, even in the deepest, darkest pit.

Let me challenge you as I challenge myself. Discipline yourself to give thanks in everything. Thank Him for the mountains … and thank Him for the valleys. He is worthy of all your thanks and praise.

A Prayer You May Need to Pray

Dear God, I hate to say it, but I have been guilty of grumbling and griping about all my problems and trials. I have failed to be thankful and to remember that You are at work in my life, even through all the troubles. Please forgive me, God. I want to be a person who keeps my eyes on You and praises You, no matter what may come my way. So, thank you God for these blessings (name them) and these challenges (name them). I know You are in control of all things. I know You love me and work all things together for my good. I choose to trust You, Lord. Teach me to be a “praiser” who always finds the good… and not a complainer who always finds the bad. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Love,
Pastor Jeff Schreve

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We Give Thanks

Inspire your congregation to give thanks to the Lord, in spite of the many challenges that may hinder our gratitude. The season of Thanksgiving reminds us of God’s ultimate goodness above all else, and for that, we give thanks.

http://www.floodgateproductions.com/index.php/we-give-thanks.html

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The Thanksgiving Glass

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4m0aKm8Uys0

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A Thanksgiving Prayer

Remembering the origins of Thanksgiving—Giving thanks to God. The Pilgrims were so thankful of having a harvest of food to eat that they set a side a day to celebrate and give thanks to God. I hope you will too- blessings to you all!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5chzfHJ31RY

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Give Thanks To God

He sent his son to die
and rise again to save us
His never ending love
is steadfast and sure
He’s broken our chains
and given us freedom
Give thanks to God
for He is good
In Him we are alive and have joy everlasting
His never ending love
is steadfast and sure
He casts out all fear
and fills us with courage
Give thanks to God
for He is good
When storms come and rage
His peace overwhelms us
Never ending love
is steadfast and sure
The Lord is our refuge
when troubles surround us
Give thanks to God
for He is good
Give thanks to God
for He is good
He’s always pouring out
His abundant provision
His never ending love
is steadfast and sure
For the depths of His riches
and incredible wisdom
Give thanks to God
for He is good
Give thanks to God
for He is good
Give thanks to God
for He is good
Give thanks to God
for He is good
Give thanks to God
for He is good
Give thanks to God
for He is good
Always good
Always good to me
Always good
Always good to me
Always good
Always good to me
Always good
Always good to me
Always good
Always good to me
Always good
You’re always good to me
You’re always good
Always good to me
You’re always good
Always good to me
In all my questions
You’re always good
Always good to me
You’re all I need
You’re always good
Always good to me
You are always good
Always good to me

[ “Give Thanks to God” featuring Kirby Kaple and Pat Barrett
Written by Allan McKinlay and Peter Crockett from Housefires’ fourth live album, “We Say Yes.” ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iqp8MLNFnas

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Pause and Give Thanks

Wherever you find yourself today,
Whether filled with joy or wrapped in pain,
Remember to pause a moment and give thanks.

For no other event in our history and time,
Can change our lives like the birth of Christ—so Divine.
His love never failing, and His Presence always near
The greatest wonder in Heaven on Christmas did appear.

God’s gift full of grace that brings life, love, and hope,
Can be unwrapped by us all – changing life’s scope.
For when we invite His life into our hearts,
No love is greater than that He imparts.

So wherever you find yourself today,
Remember to pause and give thanks,
For He is the Truth and the Way!

[ Carolyn Lynn Schwartz ]

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Thanks Be To God!

Thanks Be To God for His Indescribable Gift!

November is the month of Thanksgiving here in America. As Christians, we have so much for which to be thankful. But, more than being thankful for things, I believe we most need to be thankful to God Himself!

In 2 Corinthians 9:15, we read “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” We want to focus on that during the first three weeks of November, as we share a preaching series built from that scripture verse.

Thanks Be To God For His Indescribable Gift…

– Thanks Be To God For What He Has Done! – Colossians 1:12-14
– Thanks Be To God For What He Is Doing! – 1 Corinthians 15:57
– Thanks Be To God For What He Will Do! – Revelation 4:9-11

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qN8KvgQUldk

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Abundant Blessing

We thank you for the turkey,
The gravy and the dressing.
Dear Lord, this table overflows
With Thy abundant blessing.

Let us always be aware
That all gifts come from You,
And may we serve Your heavenly will
In everything we do.

[ Joanna Fuchs ]

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Giving Thanks for Salvation

Selected Scriptures

[ John MacArthur ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=penW4O4Ic8s

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Give Thanks

This high energy Thanksgiving worship introduction features a mix of scripture from the Psalms as well as inspirational words about giving thanks to God for all His incredible works.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsIFkcfJyxk

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Giving Thanks in Everything

Dr. Charles Stanley shares why we should exercise gratefulness to God—even when we don’t feel like it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-e995lzzkc

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In Everything Give Thanks

Sermon Text: 1 Thessalonians 5:18

“In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

[ John MacArthur ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-Age_TlSkY

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Special Thanksgiving to the Father

Sermon based on Colossians 1:12-13: “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.”

[ Charles Spurgeon ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jx_5rgkVcPY

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Giving Thanks Always Unto God

The element of praise in prayer; the importance of thanking God; all men should praise God; universal fatherhood of God denied; God ordained marriage and the family; gifts from God; give thanks for your salvation; sickness as a chastisement; we may always have confidence in God.

Ephesians 5:20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

[ Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKHhyJ4D-Xg

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A Model for Giving Thanks

1 Chronicles 16:8-36

[ John MacArthur ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jX3o6ZT116w

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An Attitude of Gratitude

Dr. Charles Swindoll, chancellor of Dallas Seminary and senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church, shares with us that the word thanksgiving when applied to God’s grace has an entirely new meaning.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBYLsJ4UwU4

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Give Thanks

Your heart will be stirred through this moving video that reminds us to give thanks in all circumstances.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRaTSveqknw

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What To Be Thankful For!

For Thanksgiving we wanted to make this video. Thanksgiving is about being thankful for what we have, many have all they want or need while others don’t. But one thing that we can all have regardless of our financial situation is salvation through Jesus Christ. Jesus died so that we may live forever. Let’s be thankful for we have Jesus and because of him we have life now and forever.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHj1dcQKZD4

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Thanksgiving Inspiration

Thankfulness is more than a gesture; it’s an expression of our character. Our perspective must be bigger than ourselves, we must know our history, and acknowledge our dependence on God. With quotes from literary, theological, and historical icons, this video inspires us to our greatest virtue.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24GoN_m3Qj8

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Prayers Of Thanksgiving

QUESTION: What do prayers of thanksgiving include?

ANSWER:

Prayers of thanksgiving are proclaimed throughout the Bible. In 1 Chronicles 16:7-36, we are shown through David’s song an excellent example of four elements included in true thanksgiving:

Remembering what God has done for us.
Telling other about it.
Showing God’s glory to others.
Offering gifts of ourselves, our time, and our resources.
Of the 150 psalms, David wrote 73 of them. This collection of prayers and songs express the heartfelt feelings from deep within his soul. In them, we can read prayers of thanks for answered prayer, deliverance from difficulties, God’s greatness, His protection, His enduring mercy, and never ending love. God provides all of those things for us still today.

Prayers of giving thanks are indeed important as we all have reasons to be thankful. In fact, we are reminded “Keep on praying. No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will. . .” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). We can be thankful for who God is and for the opportunity He gives us to turn to Him in all situations, good and bad. God is always there for us. Our sincere prayers let Him know that we are thankful for that. Prayers of thanksgiving should be a continuous part of our everyday lives.

Psalm 100 is a vow of thanksgiving. It says, “Shout with joy to the LORD, O earth! Worship the LORD with gladness. Come before Him, singing with joy. Acknowledge that the LORD is good! He made us, and we are His. We are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving; go into His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and bless His name. For the LORD is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and His faithfulness continues to each generation.”

The following song contains words stating what we should be most thankful for. Jesus came to pay the debt for sins of which we are all guilty; He was sacrificed and resurrected, paving the way for our forgiveness:

“Lord I lift your name on high
And I come to sing your praises
You came from heaven to earth, to show the way
From the earth to the cross, my debt to pay
From the cross to the grave,
From the grave to the sky,
Lord I lift your name on high.”

(Lord I Lift Your Name On High – Rick Founds, 1989)


(Performed by MercyMe)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6I6orjM3NI

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There Is A Redeemer

There is a redeemer
Jesus, God’s own Son
Precious Lamb of God, Messiah
Holy One

Jesus my redeemer
Name above all names
Precious Lamb of God, Messiah
Oh, for sinners slain

Thank you, oh my father
For giving us Your Son
And leaving Your Spirit
‘Til the work on Earth is done

When I stand in Glory
I will see His face
And there I’ll serve my King forever
In that Holy Place

Thank you, oh my father
For giving us Your Son
And leaving Your Spirit
‘Til the work on Earth is done

There is a redeemer
Jesus, God’s own Son
Precious Lamb of God, Messiah
Holy One

Thank you, oh my father
For giving us Your Son
And leaving Your Spirit
‘Til the work on Earth is done

And leaving Your Spirit
‘Til the work on Earth is done

[ Written by Keith Green – Arranged by Blake Richter ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnqdIcLtShI

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Be Thankful For What We Have

[ Nick Vujicic ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJUXjkQNCRc

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In Everything Give Thanks

Give thanks to god in everything in your life and in every moment….

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rz2d9GvRP8

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Always Be Grateful for What you Have: ‘My Shoes’

Over on our blog, we are in the middle of a series entitled, “Wealth Stored for the Righteous.” A lot of what we have learned is about how important it is to just be thankful for what we already have … to be grateful for the things that God has already blessed us with … to spend more time looking at what we already have, than looking at what others may have …

Here’s a link to the series: Wealth Stored for the Righteous:
https://pastorappreciationblog.com/?s=wealth+stored+for+the+righteous

Then … I came across this video … which in a quiet, but most powerful, powerful way, brings that point home. A little boy, grieving over the condition of his shoes … sees another little boy with brand new shoes … and wishes “He could be like him.”

Please view the video … and, always, always be grateful for what you have right now …

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bXjf9257YQ

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Giving Thanks Is More Than A Holiday

Giving thanks isn’t a holiday. It’s how happy people live.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7j07SsBhTk

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I Choose Thankful

Scripture tells us to give thanks in all circumstances. Many times it’s easy to be thankful when times are good, but what about when times are difficult, or when we lose a loved one? In a hopeful and emotional form, “I Choose Thankful” reminds us to be thankful in all of those moments. Use this mini-movie as an opener for Thanksgiving, thankfulness, difficult times, asking “why?”, or any season of life.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSfmzAsiPc4

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In Everything Give Thanks

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

[ Paul Washer ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWr6RtY7q2w

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The Lord’s Been Good to Me

The Lord is good to me
And so I thank the Lord
For giving me the things I need
The sun and rain and an apple seed
Yes, He’s been good to me

I owe the Lord so much
For everything I see
I’m certain if it weren’t for Him
There’d be no apples on this limb
He’s been good to me

Oh, here am I ‘neath the blue, blue sky a-doin’ as I please
Singin’ with my feathered friends, hummin’ with the bees

I wake up every day as happy as can be
Because I know that with His care
My apple trees, they will still be there
Oh, the Lord is good to me

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_IrdS-zu48

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Counting Blessings
(Parody of “Counting Blue Cars” by Dishwalla)

It must have been miraculous
Paul was jailed – but how come his smile wasn’t snuffed out? He talked with the churches
In his letters, he would preach, we have
Many blessings – so fill your thoughts with good
He said
Focus all your thoughts on God
It tells me in Philippians 4
I must admit it’s tough to do
All our days there’s stuff that’s bringin’ us down
Think about only good thoughts
Skip the bad – and you’ll see, we have
Many blessings – so fill your thoughts with good
He said
Focus all your thoughts on God
It’ll make your life much easier
And thank Him that you got this far
Focus all your thoughts on God
Cause the devil’s a deceiver
He’ll tell you life is very hard – It’s not very hard now
When getting low, lift up the praise
All our moods they are choices we must make
Our souls are saved
We are family – God’s own people, and have
Many blessings – so fill your thoughts with good

[ ApologetiX – “Ticked” album ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T21AYkAhsuQ

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Thankfully
(Parody of “Faithfully” by Journey)

I may run — turn into an in-flight son
Still, Lord I have found — You’re on my side
Reckless heart — seems it won’t do right
Spendin’ all my life — among the wild

They say that the Romans Road makes us part of family
I’ve read Jeremiah 31 verse 3
And I’m just a stupid man — ain’t always what I’m s’posed to be
But, oh, Lord — You said and I read
I’m forever Yours — thankfully

Such is life — under this big-rock world
We all need the ground to help us hide
Through grace that’s kind — always You love us though
Wandering, wayward lambs — lost without You
And beggin’ Your pardon’s easy, but it wasn’t fair
You came to Earth and all You got was pain
And I get the joy that we discover in You
Oh, Lord, You bled, and I’m freed
I’m forever Yours — thankfully

Whoa oh-oh-oh
Whoa oh-oh-oh oh
Whoa oh-oh-oh oh-whoooooa-oh
Thankfully
I’m still Yours
Thankfully

On the Romans Road
Not alone
Thankfully

[ ApologetiX – “Hair To Eternity” album ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuLKr41U_7E

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DEEP THOUGHTS:

“A little boy of a Vietnamese refugee family was having a difficult time learning English. He had a particular problem with “g’s” and “l’s.” On Thanksgiving Day he attended church services with his family. After the service he tried hard to join in the Thanksgiving greeting. He shook my hand and said, “Happy Thanksliving.” Not a bad description of real thanksgiving. When we are truly transful, it radicaly affects our living—out relationships, attitudes, moods, actions, and reactions.”
[ Lloyd John Ogilvie ]

“We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.”
[ Harry Ironside ]

“Dear friends, we may well sing to our Beloved when it is near the time of our departure. It draws near, and as it approaches, we must not dread it, but rather thank God for it.”
[ Charles Spurgeon ]

“God says to give thanks in everything. That doesn’t mean you need to give thanks FOR everything. You don’t need to give thanks FOR that bad day. Or FOR that bad relationship. Or being passed over at work. Financial hardship. Whatever it is – you are not to give thanks FOR the difficulties, but rather IN the difficulties. That is a very important distinction, and one I think we often miss. Giving thanks IN everything shows a heart of faith that God is bigger than the difficulties and that He can use them, if you approach Him with the right heart and spirit, for your good and His glory.”
[ Tony Evans ]

“No matter what our circumstances, we can find a reason to be thankful.”
[ Dr. David Jeremiah ]

“There are three requisites to the proper enjoyment of earthly blessings: a thankful reflection, on the goodness of the giver; a deep sense of our own unworthiness; and a recollection of the uncertainty of our long possessing them. The first will make us grateful; the second, humble; and the third, moderate.”
[ Hannah More ]

“It is only with gratitude that life becomes rich!”
[ Dietrich Bonhoeffer ]

“God is in control, and therefore in EVERYTHING I can give thanks – not because of the situation but because of the One who directs and rules over it.”
[ Kay Arthur ]

“A sensible thanksgiving for mercies received is a mighty prayer in the Spirit of God. It prevails with Him unspeakably.”
[ John Bunyan ]

“A thankful heart is one of the primary identifying characteristics of a believer. It stands in stark contrast to pride, selfishness, and worry. And it helps fortify the believer’s trust in the Lord and reliance of His provision, even in the toughest times. No matter how choppy the seas become, a believer’s heart is buoyed by constant praise and gratefulness to the Lord.”
[ John MacArthur ]

“Gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God, and it is one that the poorest of us can make and be not poorer but richer for having made it.”
[ A.W. Tozer ]

“Genuine thankfulness is an act of the heart’s affections, not an act of the lips’ muscles.”
[ John Piper ]

“Let us thank God heartily as often as we pray that we have His Spirit in us to teach us to pray. Thanksgiving will draw our hearts out to God and keep us engaged with Him; it will take our attention from ourselves and give the Spirit room in our hearts.”
[ Andrew Murray ]

“It’s one thing to be grateful. It’s another to give thanks. Gratitude is what you feel. Thanksgiving is what you do.”
[ Tim Keller ]

“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.”
[ G.K. Chesterton ]

“Gratitude’ comes from the same word as freedom (gratis = free). Gratitude is the freeing expression of a free heart toward one who freely gave.”
[ Ravi Zacharias ]

“Edwards [Jonathan Edwards] calls the deeper, primary form of thankfulness ‘gracious gratitude.’ It gives thanks not for goods received, but for who God is: for His character—His goodness, love, power, excellencies — regardless of favors received. And it’s real evidence of the Holy Spirit working in a person’s life.”
[ Chuck Colson ]

“Gratitude is a decision of the will, and if a decision of the will, the choice resides squarely with us. Deciding to be thankful is no easy task. It takes work.”
[ Chuck Swindoll ]

“To be grateful is to recognize the love of God in everything He has given us—and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him.”
[ Thomas Merton ]

“Thank God for the reality for which we were created, a moment-by-moment communication with God himself.”
[ Francis Schaeffer ]

“I thank God for my handicaps for, through them, I have found myself, my work, and my God.”
[ Helen Keller ]

“O Lord, who lends me life, lend me a heart replete with thankfulness.”
[ William Shakespeare ]

“In all of my years of service to my Lord, I have discovered a truth that has never failed and has never been compromised. That truth is that it is beyond the realm of possibilities that one has the ability to out give God. Even if I give the whole of my worth to Him, He will find a way to give back to me much more than I gave.”
[ Charles Spurgeon ]

“When I survey the wondrous cross…….
See from his head, his hands, his feet,
Sorrow and love flowed mingled down:
Dide’or such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were an offering far too small,
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.”
[ Gordon Curley ]

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Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with! Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

FOCUS VERSE:

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”
[ John 3:16 ]

Mark

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If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at: mbesh@comcast.net

Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

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