Today (or yesterday if you are reading this on Friday) is the holiday we call Thanksgiving. Families all over this country will gather around a large feast that typically includes turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing, sweet potato casserole with little marshmallows on top, and some pumpkin/pecan pie for dessert. You may have some other family tradition foods that you expect to be on the table, such as “green goop” was a family must at my family Thanksgiving meal (though everyone in my family thought it was gross except for my dad).
Many things happen on Thanksgiving that seem to be “traditions,” such as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, a Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys game, the end of the college football season, a “Turkey Football” game in folk’s backyards, preparation for “Black Friday,” Turkey Night Grand Prix for NASCAR racing, various marathons where people dress up as turkey’s and run a 5K or 10K, etc., etc.… Continue reading
1Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! 2Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! 3Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Thanksgiving occurs every day and has since creation itself. Setting aside one special day as our American Thanksgiving merely formalizes a national observance. Unfortunately, many people merely use the time as a means of feasting and celebrating without giving true thanksgiving and praise to the Creator Himself. In order to expand true thanksgiving within any group (as small as one’s family or as great as one’s community), at least one person of true faith must call others to the highest giving of thanks there can ever be: offering heartfelt praise and worship to the Lord of heaven and earth.
Universal Call to Giving Thanks Based on a Universal Cause
One of the most well known of psalms closes by focusing on the universal cause for giving thanks to the Creator and King of all creation.… Continue reading
Early in my Christian life I obtained Arthur W. Pink’s Gleanings from Paul: The Prayers of the Apostle (Moody 1967). That study of Paul’s prayers in Scripture kindled a spiritual fire in my heart and life. Paul’s example in prayer, especially in the thanks with which he begins most of his epistles, set a pattern for believers throughout the next two millennia and beyond. Paul’s admonition, “in everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) certainly challenges each one of us. As we celebrate Thanksgiving Day 2016, let’s immerse ourselves in opportunities for thanksgiving that the apostle exemplifies through his epistles.… Continue reading
Thanksgiving week is here, and that means many people across our nation will stop to reflect on the things they have to be thankful for. Some will do this out of obligation; others will realize just how much God has given them and sincerely seek to express their gratitude to him.
I realize that I have countless things to be thankful for. I know that there is no limit to the depth of what God has done for me. It only remains for me to consider and respond to them.
But I thought it would be appropriate for the season, helpful for my soul, and encouraging to the church I serve, if I could take a few minutes to consider the things I am particularly thankful for in one particular role: my pastoral oversight of the church I serve.