Giving Thanks . . .


Thanksgiving is my most favorite holiday. It gives us all a chance to come together as family and celebrate the blessings that God has given us. For me it’s a time for joy, celebration, family, love, companionship, and great food! I love the family time, and I really like dark meat turkey!

In my own family, we had some chronic issues with sitting down together in peace. I’m sure that’s never happened in your house, but in mine, the only thing that saved me from the mayhem was being the oldest. In the family pecking order I was always the “First Sibling,” so I never had to struggle for attention. But the other nine? You would not believe all the tantrums and machinations! We finally solved that problem as adults, when the middle sister volunteered to host Thanksgiving at her house. Since she was one of the principal instigators, the house switch calmed things down dramatically!

Family times are sometimes messy times. It’s tough being amiable when you’re hurting or when you’re stressed by personal issues. “Amiable” sometimes puts an unsupportable burden on those who are suffering. But sometimes, family celebrations relieve and support those who suffer in the family. I guess it depends on the family, and their capacity for grace under pressure. May our God give you the grace to be thankful, no matter what pressures you’re facing this Thanksgiving, and the courage to impart healing, as you greet every person at the table . . .

Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.

Don’t suppress the Spirit, and don’t stifle those who have a word from the Master. On the other hand, don’t be gullible. Check out everything, and keep only what’s good. Throw out anything tainted with evil.

May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it! (1 Thessalonians 5:16-24)

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In Christ, God has given us every spiritual blessing in the heavenly world…How rich is God’s grace, which he has given to us so fully and freely…in Christ, God put his special mark of ownership on you by giving you the Holy Spirit that he had promised. That Holy Spirit is the guarantee that we will receive what God promised for his people until God gives full freedom to those who are his—to bring praise to God’s glory. (Ephesians1:3,7b-8,13b-14)


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