Wishing you an extra-special Thanksgiving!
Wishing you an extra-special Thanksgiving!
Welcome to another gathering of great reads discovered this week:
Imperfections Make Sundays More Beautiful, HT to Challies. “I’ll admit it: these human quirks and errors sometimes exasperate me. I’m here to focus on the Lord! Your awkwardness is distracting me from worship! So mutters my self-righteous heart. Perhaps the real problem isn’t with the clumsiness of others, but with our expectations for corporate worship.”
As we look ahead to Thanksgiving in the US this week:
There seems to be a theme running through most of the posts I’ve read concerning Thanksgiving so far this year: the fact that thankfulness isn’t an emotion, but an act of the will, and not always easy. Here are a few:
Gratitude Is a Gift for All Seasons. “To intentionally call to mind images of gratitude in the midst of peace and prosperity is one thing, but it takes a sinewy faith to summon them when chaos reigns and the future looks bleak.”
For some Thanksgiving fun:
Free printable Thanksgiving trivia, for use as a game or conversation starter
And, finally, a couple of my favorite Thanksgiving quotes:
My latest round-up of newly discovered noteworthy posts:
The Last of the Iron Lungs, HT to Challies. A handful of people with polio still rely on them, but they’re not sold or maintained by the the manufacturers any more. Fascinating article. And, though this is not the main point of it, I was inspired by those who are trying to make the best of their circumstances, like the man who took his iron lung to college, practiced law for the few hours a day he could go without the iron lung, until he started needing it almost 100%. Now he’s writing his memoirs while encased in it.
I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but in case you missed it, I announced the Laura Ingalls Wilder Reading Challenge for February 2018 and included a long list of related books to consider for those who might want to read beyond just the Little House series.
Finally, I didn’t listen to all this, but overheard a good bit while hubby was listening. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders began the last press briefing before Thanksgiving asking the reporters to share something they were thankful for before asking their questions. What we found amazing was the way they whole atmosphere changed by doing that, from confrontational and adversarial to convivial!
Happy Saturday! It’s Christmas decoration day for us!
A few friends linked to this cute video on Facebook.
OK, some might think it a little cheesy. But it made a good point in a fun way. Though it was made with Christmas in mind, I thought it was perfect for Thanksgiving – or really, for any day – a reminder of all that we have. Much that we take for granted would have been considered luxuries throughout most of history, and in fact would still be considered luxuries by a lot of the world today.
This reminded me of an event several years ago when the church we attended then had a testimony time Thanksgiving Eve. Several young adults expressed longing to see God do something “big” in their lives. I couldn’t help but think of the children of Israel in the wilderness. The everyday manna was just as miraculous and just as much God’s provision as the parting of the Red Sea and victory in battle, yet they soon grew tired of that and wanted something else.
I don’t think those young people wanting to see God do something big in their lives that night were necessarily taking the everyday gifts for granted. I don’t know their hearts. But sometimes in longing for the “big” moments we can overlook the everyday evidence of God’s presence, love, and care – maybe a little like a husband or wife waiting for a grand, romantic gesture from the other rather than seeing the love in providing for each other, being attentive to each other’s needs and idiosyncrasies, and all the various little ways we evidence that “You’re the one that I love.”
May we see God’s hand and rejoice in His love and gifts in the everyday as well as in the milestone, once in a lifetime events.
It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto Thy name, O most High: to show forth Thy lovingkindness in the morning, and Thy faithfulness every night. Psalm 92:1-2
Here’s another round of notable reads found recently:
Please Stop the Mad-ness re “Christian outrage” responses.
Faith Going Forward: A Midlife Following. “If the Proverb is to be trusted, and my mostly silver hair is to be seen as a crown of glory and wisdom, don’t let me be guilty of false advertising.”
And, this is the night!!! Daylight Savings Time ends tonight, so don’t forget to turn your clocks back before going to bed. I hate losing the hour in the spring but I love getting it back in the fall!.
(Links here do not imply 100% endorsement of site or author)
More Than a Day
As Thanksgiving Day rolls around,
It brings up some facts, quite profound.
We may think that we’re poor,
Feel like bums, insecure,
But in truth, our riches astound.
We have friends and family we love;
We have guidance from heaven above.
We have so much more
Than they sell in a store,
We’re wealthy, when push comes to shove.
So add up your blessings, I say;
Make Thanksgiving last more than a day.
Enjoy what you’ve got;
Realize it’s a lot,
And you’ll make all your cares go away.
By Karl Fuchs
To give thanks is not the same as “feeling thankful.” To give thanks in the midst of pain and problems is to take a step of faith based on the command of 1 Thessalonians 5:18: God tells us to give thanks in all circumstances (not just those we can handle or feel on top of). For what things can you give thanks, even while you’re hurting? ~ Joni Eareckson Tada
(This leaf is among free printables at Blooming Homestead. The first and third pictures are from crosscards.com.)
Is this the kind return,
And these the thanks we owe,
Thus to abuse eternal love,
Whence all our blessings flow?
To what a stubborn frame
Has sin reduced our mind!
What strange rebellious wretches we,
And God as strangely kind!
On us He bids the sun
Shed his reviving rays;
For us the skies their circles run,
To lengthen out our days.
The brutes obey their God,
And bow their necks to men;
But we, more base, more brutish things,
Reject His easy reign.
Turn, turn us, mighty God,
And mold our souls afresh;
Break, sov’reign grace, these hearts of stone,
And give us hearts of flesh.
Let old ingratitude
Provoke our weeping eyes,
And hourly as new mercies fall
Let hourly thanks arise.
~ Isaac Watts
May you experience hourly mercies and thanks! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!
“Some people seem to think that if they set apart certain definite days for praise, it is enough. For example, they will be grateful for a whole day once in the year—thinking that this is the way God wants them to show their gratitude. But the annual Thanksgiving Day is not intended to gather into itself the thanksgiving for a whole year; rather it is intended to give the keynote for all the year’s life. Life’s true concert pitch, is praise. If we find that we are below the right pitch, we should take advantage of particular thanksgiving seasons to get keyed up. That is the way people do with their pianos—they have them tuned now and then, when the strings get slack and the music begins to grow discordant—and it is quite as important to keep our life in tune as our piano.” ~ J.R. Miller
I found this quote a few weeks ago and thought it seemed perfect for this season. Now that we’re “tuned up” by remembering the many things we have to be thankful for, and especially remembering the One to whom we owe thanks, may we make thanksgiving a lifestyle rather than a holiday.
I hope you and yours have a wonderful day with family and feasting!
O my God,
Thou fairest, greatest, first of all objects,
my heart admires, adores, loves thee,
for my little vessel is as full as it can be,
and I would pour out all that fullness before thee in ceaseless flow.
When I think upon and converse with thee
ten thousand delightful thoughts spring up,
ten thousand sources of pleasure are unsealed,
ten thousand refreshing joys spread over my heart,
crowding into every moment of happiness.
I bless thee for the soul thou hast created,
for adorning it, sanctifying it,
though it is fixed in barren soil;
for the body thou hast given me,
for preserving its strength and vigour,
for providing senses to enjoy delights,
for the ease and freedom of my limbs,
for hands, eyes, ears that do thy bidding;
for thy royal bounty providing my daily support,
for a full table and overflowing cup,
for appetite, taste, sweetness,
for social joys of relatives and friends,
for ability to serve others,
for a heart that feels sorrows and necessities,
for a mind to care for my fellow-men,
for opportunities of spreading happiness around,
for loved ones in the joys of heaven,
for my own expectation of seeing thee clearly,
I love thee above the powers of language to express,
for what thou art to thy creatures.
Increase my love, O my God, through time and eternity.
~ From The Valley of Vision
So much to be thankful for –
God, all of His wonderful attributes, His lovingkindness towards us in making us, providing for us, sending His Son to die for us, loving us still when we fail..
His Word to instruct, guide, encourage us
Family near and far
Friends old and new
The fellowship of believers
Food, shelter, safety, necessities of life
“Extra” blessings of books, music, chocolate, the Internet, senses, useful occupations and enjoyable diversions
More blessings than we can count…
Though we are to give thanks every day in all things, it’s nice to have a special time of emphasis to remind us of it and revive thankfulness in our lives.
I hope you have a wonderful day with loved ones and good food and a time of pondering and thanking God for all He has provided.