Will you turn Thanksgiving into thanks-living ..all year long? Why not?
"Twas the night before Black Friday and all through the land, consumers were striving and conniving up a plan. All worried and uptight ..all upset and in fright, some were 'bout to get in a fight. So they filled out long lists to just to take a stand, for their stockings were soon to be hung up with care and they knew without shopping, those things would hang there all bare and visitors might even stare... So with turkey in their tummies and the employees acting all chummy.. with holiday angst a flowing, they thought it would be good to turn in for the night, quite fully knowing that their loved ones with goodwill would soon be showin' ..up. So around the globe after eating their cod they wondered if there really was room for God, and going to bed ..even the Europeans with digital visions dancing around in their heads.
Then with some oversized driver landing on the roof, and other geeks to peck on ahead of them, they knew in a moment it must be St. Tech. More rapid than broadband or reindeer they came, and he whistled and shouted and called them by name:
"Now Canon! Now Pentax! Now, Olympus and HP! On, Kodak! On Sony! On, Nikon and Fuji! To the top of the porch! To the chimney wall let's install! Now click away! Now click away! Now click away small and all!
As stressed-out shoppers that before the time when they buy, approach a sale and do fly, but if they meet with an obstacle, they sure will poke out an eye or shoot em up to the sky. So up to the house-top the reindeer; they flew with a sleigh full of cameras, puters and accessories too.. but what about you. .will you be grateful or blue?"
Be careful, this could be a very dangerous shopping day for some. Please don't get trampeled or in a brawl on Black Friday? How's your holiday weekend going? My lovely wife, Liney, thought it would be FUN to go out and spend some time together shopping THAT DAY. Man, who doesn't love SHOPPIN'? She told me it wasn't the shopping so much, but the time together as a couple. Well, I personally don't like shopping; getting mauled in the mall ..at all, but because I no longer live at the beach where it is warm during this time of year.. because I can't really go jump in the sea (where my parents will be)... Well, I did want to be with my bride so where could I hide? I went along out there in the clamoring masses. It's amazing what we'll do for loves' sake huh. It took hours and a will to survive but now we must all decide. At least I will choose to give thanks in all circumstances ..feel like it or not and take things in stride.
"Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You" (Psalm 67:3).
"Be thankful to Him, and bless His name" (100:4).
The apostle Paul urged his fellow Christians to be grateful even when things look black out ..saying give, "thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Ephesians ).
During this hectic time of year are you getting all caught up big time in the materialism, strife and draining busyness that often robs Christians of joy? Perhaps you're not sure you are a real Christian but you long for that peace, love, and joy in Jesus? Are you pushing, blowing-up at strangers, or striving to claim that coveted place in line just for sweet deal? Do you take the time to stop and be with the Lord alone ..to earnestly thank Him for His many blessings that keep coming your way? Back Friday doesn't have to be so black—it can be filled with light and love! My son Stephan works in North Dakota.. in retail right now (Man, I' hate to be in retail on this day). Anyways, its' his birthday today (25) and he just sold one whole kitchen at a Home Depot type of store. It's kind of interesting to hear him describe how it's been going up there ..with lines down the block. Is this thing universal or just American? People often come there from Canada to get a deal. No fights there yet, but I feel for all those working in this field. Maybe your workplace is heated and intense like Stephan's. God can give you grace to get through it right as call out to Him and shine His light. Christians let's be different and treat workers with love and respect, even if others won't. Maybe you are wondering what we bought at the stores. Well now, all that effort went to buying some cold soup.
I hope you have an awesome day too. It's a good day to share our faith about the love of Christ with loved ones! I dare you to pray for them, be tactful, loving and bold. Go for it wisely. The Lord will guide you. He cares about them more than you do.
Give Thanks To The Lord In The Good Times And In The Bad.
In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. —1 Thessalonians 5:18
Think again about the four basic levels of gratefulness in life. Level one: It is represented by folk who are constantly complaining and grumbling about stuff. They brighten up a room just by leaving it.
Then there are folk who merely exist living lives marked by ingratitude. They don't complain much, but they never overtly thank God for His obvious generosity or blessings. That's a step up—a little better way to live than the former option.
Then, there are people who thank God for obvious blessings. When something good happens, they're grateful. That's even better.
Finally there is the higher level: It is to be grateful in Jesus and express it ..in all things at all times. Now folks when you choose that option, then you’ll live a life of joy that's pleasing to the Lord ..and people will begin to wonder why they like to hang around you so much.
God is always very generous—that's how He was when He gave us His sinless Son and that was how Jesus was when He gave us His life!
"Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!" —Psalm 118:29
But thanking God in all things is perhaps one of the hardest things that we Christians are called to do ..especially when the circumstances are more than difficult. You know that the Holy Spirit inside of us can help us though, because He shows us that expressing gratitude to the Lord is basically an important secret for being well-adjusted, joyous and productive in this life.
What good thing do we really deserve from Him today anyways and yet He has given us so very much! Listen, God doesn’t owe us anything good, but so many people around us feel that He indeed does. You and I have sinned and deserve Hell, but there have been some.. at least a few pearls of blessing within our ugly gumbo soup of a past.
It’s time for us to extract complaining, cussing, and all self-pity from our minds and mouths..and insert some enthusiastic praise to the Lord instead! Try to remember all that He has given you and done for you--recalling the good is key! Hallelujah, that He hears and answers all the prayers of every Christian (with: yes, no or wait--He knows best)!
If our loving heavenly Father is sovereign and allows both blessings and trials into our lives, it must all be for a reason huh. Father knows best! That’s why we can boldly express thanks in all things! Like me haven't you got a bumb deal before where you felt angry at God and then later on it turned out to be a real blessing in disguise?
Man, I have so much to praise God about. But when God allows something really hard into our lives—you know, a MAJOR OUCH!—even though He does feel for us at the time and He weeps with us.. there is potentially great good that can come out of it if we will have faith. Some think God is selfishly looking for personal gain from us, but that just ain't so! A thousand times “No!” He is looking to bless and help a whole lot of people—yes, whoever will allow Jesus entrance and control! God has no needs and is not small in His mind-set! He's always been more than big-hearted, generous and smart.
It was beyond hard for me to thank God when I had to do a funeral for my sister who died young. It wasn’t God’s will how it happened either. I still don’t understand everything about it, but some attendees repented and trusted Jesus because of that horrific tragedy. That’s why I could thank God in and during that whole uber-painful ordeal. A person's life is changed forever after something like that happens. Please run towards God and His church when you feel intense pain, not away from Him. Better yet, do it before the pain arrives.
Everyday ought to be Thanksgiving Day for Christians! Why not; we have a lot to be grateful for! Let’s turn Thanksgiving day into daily thanks-living! The Psalmist wrote, “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits...” (Ps. 68:19). He loadeth us up big-time every single day!