Thankfulness

A Month of Giving Thanks

The month of Thanksgiving is upon us! Let us take some time today to reflect upon its meaning, beginning with this great passage of Scripture from Psalm 116 (NKJV):

For You have delivered my soul from death,
My eyes from tears,
And my feet from falling.
I will walk before the Lord
In the land of the living.
I believed, therefore I spoke,
“I am greatly afflicted.”
I said in my haste,
“All men are liars.”
What shall I render to the Lord
For all His benefits toward me?
I will take up the cup of salvation,
And call upon the name of the Lord.
I will pay my vows to the Lord
Now in the presence of all His people (Ps. 116:8-14).

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Always for All Things

By Rev. C. H. Spurgeon

Sermon No. 1094, delivered on Lord’s-Day morning, February 2, 1873, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:20.

THE position of our text in the Epistle is worthy of observation. It follows the precept with regard to sacred song in which Believers are bid to speak to themselves and one another in Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in their hearts to the Lord. If they cannot be always singing they are always to maintain the spirit of song. If they must, of necessity, desist at intervals from outward expressions of praise, they ought never to refrain from inwardly giving thanks. The Apostle, having touched upon the act of singing in public worship, here points out the essential part of it which lies not in classic music and thrilling harmonies, but in the melody of the heart. Thanksgiving is the soul of all acceptable singing.

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A Day at the Beach

In our cynical time when it’s fashionable to bash the establishment whether it’s the church or state, I found this 2011 interview refreshing. In it, Scott Simon talks with Alexendra Pelosi about her documentary chronicling the lives of new citizens. It’s called Citizen USA: A 50 State Road Trip.

Nearly a million people become US citizens each year and for many of them, it’s the path to a better life. But surprisingly a better life often is defined by the little things– walking down safe streets, available, inexpensive food, and the ability to work hard to build a better future for your family. The very things we take for granted. Here are a couple quotes:

For me, it’s, you know, I can take my family around the block for a walk with a stroller and I don’t have to be worried about being hijacked. Sometimes you forget that every day’s a blessing. You wake up and it’s a gift.

I love it because you just dial the number [911] and then they come right away for your rescue.

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In Sickness and in Health

I’m slowly emerging from what we in polite society call a head cold from the place of eternal perdition. It’s been 7-10 days of full-out and complete battle against invisible forces, armed in one hand with a box of kleenex and in the other with a fistful of vitamin C—and goodness knows what I took in the middle of the night in my congestion-induced haze.

It’s been rough.

Apparently we’ve been passing it around as a family for several weeks now (this is the third Sunday I’ve been home with little ones) and, while at first it contented itself with drippy noses and whiny coughs, it finally conspired into one massive onslaught. Fever, congestion, watery eyes, coughing—the works.

As you can imagine, when mama’s been transformed into a walking ball of germs, it can take a toll on family life. And while I know we ate last week, I have only vague memories of chicken curry and pasta. What form or shape they took, well…your guess is as good as mine. My mind’s been cluttered too, and the normally lucid conversations with my husband have been reduced to grunts and a universal absence of antecedents.

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Now Thank We All Our God

Note: This article was originally posted on November 23, 2006.

To All Ye Pilgrims: Inasmuch as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, beans, squashes, and garden vegetables, and has made the forests to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as He has protected us from the ravages of the savages, has spared us thank_you.jpgfrom pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience; now, I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and little ones, do gather at ye meeting house, on ye hill, between the hours of 9 and 12 in the day time, on Thursday, November ye 29th of the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty-three, and third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Pilgrim Rock, there to listen to ye pastor, and render thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all His blessings.

It’s been 383 years since Governor William Bradford called the Pilgrims to the first Thanksgiving celebration in the New World. 156 years later, after a long, hard war for independence, our first President, George Washington, called the United States of America to a day of thanksgiving:

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Culture Shock or Bathing in Self-Pity

by Jason Stover

It’s the little things on a foreign field that begin to eat away at your psyche. In our area of Poland, all meat is bought and sold over the counter from the butcher, so grabbing a package from the freezer section is out of the question. Therefore, every two or three days, my wife and I are reminded of our status in the language as we struggle to communicate what stover_fuel.jpgkind of meat we would like and how much we want.

Simple trips to the gas station feel like that long walk to the principal’s office—you know, back when principals were feared for the massive paddle hanging on their wall. Most of the time, I rely on a mix of low guttural sounds and complex hand signals to explain what kind of gas and how much to the person filling my tank. When that hurdle is crossed, I walk into the station only to begin the entire process over again, hoping to point out which pump is mine.

We drop our kids off at school each day and choke through a few Polish words with their teacher, but if we’re honest we have no idea what’s going on at their school. The other day each of our boys came home from school with a brand-new toy tractor, and we had no idea why. Did they win a contest we didn’t know about? Did they find buried treasure? Worse, did they knock off a local convenience store?

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Recognizing the Grace of God in Others

by Michael Osborne

One Thursday night last April, I slipped into the back pew of Temple Baptist Church in Omaha’s Benson area, having arrived as soon as I could after work, meaning late. It was the Nebraska Association of Regular Baptist Churches’ (NARBC) spring Bible conference. John Greening, national representative for the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches osborne_thank_you.jpg(GARBC), was the speaker for the evening. Before launching into his message, he took a moment to sort of hold us all at arms’ length and exclaim over what God was doing in the NARBC. He praised God for us all, praised God for the labors going on in each congregation, praised God that we were in attendance and ready to hear the Word, praised God for our commitment. One might even say John Greening delighted in us for a moment.

There’s a cynical side of me that could criticize Greening for effusive sentimentality. C’mon, Dr. Greening! Don’t you know what we’re really like? How do you know that we’re all so godly and so motivated by love for the Lord? How do you know that we want to be here and that we’re actually paying attention?

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