Good Morning Thanks Livers! I'm thankful that I don't have to eat liver or gizzards, or scrapple, or garlic! I'm thankful for freedom to choose! I'm thankful that I git the best hot bacon dressing recipe from my grand mom! I'm thankful that we are able to arrange another day for family to gather. I'm thankful for technology that allows us to communicate across the miles. I'm thankful for cherry and peach crumb pies with vanilla ice cream. I'm thankful that sugar and calories don't count on holidays! Kinda sounds like a kids thank you list, huh? But God loves to hear our thanksgivings for every little blessing we receive. What are you thankful for? Check out our devos below as you sit at Jesus' feet and offer some thanksgiving in preparation for this day. Breathe out all the junk and anxiety this day may bring and rest in Jesus a bit as you turn off the noise, still your soul and refresh for a peaceful and joyful day ahead.
Keep in mind an pray for those who are struggling today. Yesterday at the Bread Ministry we got to pray with some for health concerns, missing family member sorrows of loss or struggle with personality clashes, and some needing some food and financial help. For some, holidays are not very much fun. Be thankful for what you have been blessed with and turn that sorrow into praise as you refocus on all the other many blessings you do have! God loves you, saved you, is with you and promises to provide His love, joy and peace as He helps you through everyday. Rejoice!
So, I am really thankful for all of you, the love of God and His forgiveness, and the opportunity to serve together! And I'm thankful for the ability and want-to to get some work done today before dinner later tonight and family brunch tomorrow. God is good--all the time! Amen! Hallelujah! PTL! Praying you all have a blessed day and that you have many things to be thankful about as you reflect back on today as you lay your head down to rest! Shalom!
Sarah's Blog and prayer requests:
I can only imagine how many of your kitchen will take on the smells of Thanksgiving soon, if they
have not already done so. Many of you are looking forward to time spent with family and friends.
Enjoying a good meal and then sitting back and engaging in conversation with family/friends, that perhaps
you haven't spoken to in a long time.
Thanksgiving - if you think seriously about it, should be celebrated every day of the year.....we do, have so much
to be thankful for. Even though we may experience times of difficulty, doubt, fear, illness, joyous times, seeing God
at work.....we need to always find at least one thing to say thanks for.
I want to share these thoughts with you, Thanksgiving is understanding that blessings are hiding all around us and
we must find and focus on them. It's the attitude of knowing we have a God in charge of all. It's the habit
of pausing to whisper "Thank You Lord" throughout the day. It's finding good times even in bad times and rejoicing even in sorrow. It's
noticing the color of flowers, the shape of clouds, the smell of fresh bread, and the comfort of a soft pillow at night
Thanksgiving is the opposite of grumbling, the antithesis of fault-finding, and the antidote for a complaining spirit. The
Bible tells us to replace "foolish talking" and "coarse Jesting" with "giving of thanks" (Ephesians 5:4)
Gratitude leads to "glad-itude". Counting our blessings is a positive step toward erasing our heartaches. The psychology of
thanksgiving comes from the very mind and heart of God who told us to be vigilant in thanksgiving (Colossians 4:2) and "in everything
give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you' (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
So our lesson for life is learn to give thanks in the good times. AND give thanks in the bad times too, for that will make them better!
Try it.....and you will see!
Why not, before you begin eating your family dinner, Read Psalms 100.....and then give thanks for all the blessings, good and bad!
Harry (Pop) Waterman has asked for prayer. He is experiencing a lot of shoulder and upper arm pain. None of the rubs/medicine are
taking the edge off. So he asked if we could all keep him in our prayers for healing and strengthening....and that the pain subsides.
Take time to pray for one another - for the gift of friendship, for family both biological and church family.
Pray for our Sunday brunch this coming Sunday. Many of those that came to bread ministry today were invited. Pray that
they are interested in finding out more about Jesus.....and spending time being surrounded by His children that share His love.
May God bless you all!!!
Have a great Thanksgiving!
A Thanksgiving Blessing
When you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Luke 14:13–14
READ Luke 14:12–14
In 2016, Wanda Dench sent a text inviting her grandson to Thanksgiving dinner, not knowing he’d recently changed his phone number. The text instead went to a stranger, Jamal. Jamal didn’t have plans, and so, after clarifying who he was, asked if he could still come to dinner. Wanda said, “Of course you can.” Jamal joined the family dinner in what has since become a yearly tradition for him. A mistaken invitation became an annual blessing.
Wanda’s kindness in inviting a stranger to dinner reminds me of Jesus’ encouragement in Luke’s gospel. During a dinner party at a “prominent” Pharisee’s house (Luke 14:1), Jesus noticed who was invited and how the guests jostled for the best seats (v. 7). Jesus told His host that inviting people based on what they could do for him in return (v. 12) meant the blessing would be limited. Instead, Jesus told the host that extending hospitality to people without the resources to repay him would bring even greater blessing (v. 14).
For Wanda, inviting Jamal to join her family for Thanksgiving dinner resulted in the unexpected blessing of a lasting friendship that was a great encouragement to her after her husband’s death. When we reach out to others, not because of what we might receive, but because of God’s love flowing through us, we receive far greater blessing and encouragement.
By Lisa M. Samra
REFLECT & PRAY
When has an unexpected invitation encouraged you? What blessings did you experience?
Heavenly Father, may my invitations reflect a heart that wants to bless others as You lead me.
For further study, read Giving It Away.
Jesus’ instruction to invite the poor and the outcast to a meal (Luke 14:12–14) is something God wanted the Israelites to do. God commanded His people not to mistreat or oppress the poor, the widows, the orphans, and the foreigners living in their midst but instead to love them (Exodus 22:21; 23:9; Leviticus 19:33; Deuteronomy 10:19). Even as the Jews were blessed with material prosperity so they could enjoy the good life, they were commanded to be generous and share with others. They were to include the foreigner and the poor in their celebrations and feasts (Deuteronomy 16:9–12; 26:8–11) and to give a tithe to share God’s provisions and abundance with them (26:12). The Israelites were to treat foreigners as if they were native-born Jews and love them as they’d love themselves (Leviticus 19:34; 24:22; Deuteronomy 27:19).
K. T. Sim
UR: Many Thanks
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another. - Colossians 3:12-13 (NIV)
Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. The weather here in Southeast Texas is usually cool, and the respite from work and the daily routine is always appreciated. Many years ago, I decided to cook Thanksgiving dinner for my family. I bought ingredients, prepped and cleaned silverware and cookware, and spent nearly an entire day making food. I managed to prepare the side dishes with careful attention to temperatures and instructions from family recipes. In the early hours of Thanksgiving Day, I dozed on the sofa while the turkey roasted. As a result, I overcooked the turkey, rendering it crispier and drier than I had intended. Yet my family was gracious and feasted upon the meal anyway.
I am grateful for the gift of my family members accepting my culinary blunders and personality quirks. The word thanksgiving is defined as “a public acknowledgment or celebration of divine goodness.” So recipes and meals aside, I plan to spend this Thanksgiving holiday simply acknowledging God’s goodness, offering thanks for all God’s blessings, including family, good health, and the gift of time spent together. As a Christian family, we should celebrate the bounty of mercy and forgiveness available to us all through Christ.
Thank you, Father, for your gifts of mercy and salvation. Help us to follow your example to forgive and love one another daily. Amen.