Archive for the ‘thanksgiving’ tag
Hope you have a blessed day and that no matter how stressful, or delightfully wonderful, the day is, that your day can end up ending like this one does!
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Happy Thanksgiving and may the Lord bless you and keep you and yours in his love, mercy, and grace!
I awoke about 6:20 this Black Friday morning, not to get up early and go shopping or even bow hunting, but I was awakened by the smell of roast beef and garlic. Somewhere around 5:30, Donna had put in a roast we will have for Thanksgiving, Day II. My folks will come over for lunch. No turkey today, we’ll have dead cow and carrots, mashed taters and green beans, and warm apple pie and a scoop of BlueBell Homemade Vanilla ice cream for dessert. In Texas, you can’t have white meat two days in a row, it’s the national law of the state — after all, beef is what is for dinner down in these parts. So cow will be the committed course for lunch and the involved course for dessert.
We celebrated Thanksgiving, Day i, all afternoon yesterday with Donna’s folks — two rounds of food with all the traditional yummies, with cards games and board games in between. Cowboys won — that was good, but boring. Longhorns won — that was great. Colt and Jordan are very involved with the church where I used to preach in Austin for 22 years, so how can you not root for two guys like that.
Today is kinda dreary, with a light sprinkle and a little chill in the air — Gray Friday in my book. Looks like winter will really come. Our trees have more color than usual this year, although the next big norther will blow that all away. But the gray weather suits the day. Rather than join the mayhem at the malls, today will be a restful day before we launch into Christmas decorations and reminiscing about Christmas past tomorrow. Everybody needs a sleepy, slow, dreary Gray Friday to rest up after all the excitement of Thanksgiving. It’s like taking a double-Sabbath to rest and recoup before the big rush to Christmas.
I’m not sure what you have planned for today, or this weekend, but don’t turn off the Thanksgiving spirit quite yet. Extend it with a touch of rest on the edges and invite God in to calm your spirit and restore your soul with a little slow drip of rain from the roof top and a good nap to chase away the blues on this Gray Friday.
Everyone laughed after the “Amen!” of this little guy’s prayer for breakfast. His prayer was precious, and literally true.
However, for many of our Heartlight.org readers world-wide, that prayer wouldn’t be off the mark for what is happening in their lives. A lot of folks have lost a lot of retirement money lately. This is especially frightening for those who have had to tighten their belts because they are living on fixed incomes, or worse, declining 401k incomes. Others have lost jobs. Many of our international readers have never had much to begin with. Some folks, like some people in our church, have had thieves break in and steal a bunch of their things. Others, like a precious family close to us, have lost a precious loved one to death.
So in our hearts, this Thanksgivings we can feel like the things to be thankful for are “small” — at least at first glance. But, we are so richly blessed in ways that can’t be touched — in the one place, as Jesus said, “where moth and rust can’t corrupt and thieves can’t break in and steal.”
Let’s remind each other that in the middle of food, family, football, and shopping, we can surely stop and say, “Thank you!” for these incorruptible riches than can’t be taken from us! We have blessings that can’t perish, spoil, or fade. These blessings are kept and shielded by God’s power from anything that would compromise them because they are hidden with Christ in God. No wonder we talk about Jesus as our indescribable gift!
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. … Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls (1 Peter 1:3-9 TNIV).
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory (Colossians 3:1-4).
Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15)
Happy Thanksgiving to you!
Thank you, God!
Last Updated 11.17.2008
For 11/30 Our Center of Thankful Joy (3:15-4:1; cf. 1:21-23, 25)
Paul begins the letter with thanks and this theme runs to the letter like a rich vein of gold through a gravel bank:
Col. 1:3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you …
Col. 1:12 … and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his people in the kingdom of light.
Col. 2:7 … rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
Col. 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Col. 3:17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Col. 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
Paul wants to make sure that the Colossians define their new life in Jesus with thankfulness. He gives thanks for the new standing in Christ. They are to life with joyful thanks about their inclusion as heirs in God’s people of light. They are to overflow with thankfulness for what Jesus did and is doing for them. Their lives are to be lived to honor Jesus all the while giving thanks to God the Father for them.
And the reason for their thankful joy?
The center of this reason for joyful thanks?
Jesus and the purpose and meaning for life He has given to us — we truly live out on hope’s horizon!
But thanksgiving makes our salvation real again in almost any circumstance. A great way for our Time in the Word to possibly start is to dramatically tell the story of Paul and Silas receiving the Macedonian call and then find themselves in prison, locked up and abused, yet they are praying and singing hymns to God and give birth to the church and the letter that helps us see our reason for thankful joy! Another possibility is to look at the current trying circumstances we face economically and the hurt and heartbreaks we sometimes face here. How can we rejoice? How can we have hope? Center that joy in Jesus.
I would love our worship leaders to quote the following before a praise set of songs:Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again:
Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4-7)
While old, a good standard song might be helpful: “Count Your Many Blessings”
The whole key to this message, really the whole key to the letter of Colossians is Colossians 3:17 , “whatever you do in word or deed” or as The Message puts it, “Let every detail of your lives – words, actions, whatever – be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God every step of the way.”
Why do you think Paul emphasizes thankfulness so much to these new believers in Colossae?
Why is thankfulness important to us as a focus for our lives?
What are things that make it hard for us to be thankful in our culture?
Do you think the negativity in the news, magazines, and ads make it harder to be thankful?
What is the basis for our thankfulness?
How can I learn to be thankful (It is a command after all!) even though my life doesn’t appear to be blessed right now?
Why is thankfulness so important as a necessary part of our daily prayer life?
Listen to prayers this week and see if you can get a feel for emphasis on the following areas and give percentages: praise, request, complaint, thanksgiving, and confession
What are things you have to be thankful for that have nothing to do with physical blessings?
Do you think others would classify you as a thankful person? Why or why not?