Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving, this word could mean many things to many people. We could immediately think about the original Thanksgiving meal. This holiday feast dates back to 1621, when the Pilgrims and Indians gathered at Plymouth for their autumn harvest celebration, now called “Thanksgiving”. Your minds may go straight to the food, the feast on the table, drawing your every taste bud to a mouth watering turkey with all the trimmings. Some sweet potato casserole with nutty crunchy goodness on top, which is my favorite, yummy home grown green beans simmered in bacon grease, mac and cheese dripping in cheese and grand-maw’s famous yeast rolls. Or you may skip right over the main course and your mind goes to the counter full of scrumptious desserts calling your name. You may even day dream of a lazy day in your jammies, watching football and parades.

Where ever the mind takes you when thinking of “Thanksgiving”, there is only 1 place our hearts should take us. To the foot of the Cross!

Mark 8:34    And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me”.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Several years ago I read a book that pushed me over the edge of gratitude. As Ann Voskamp states,

Gratitude is not only a response to God in good times – it’s ultimately the very will of God in hard times. Gratitude isn’t only a celebration when good things happen. It’s a declaration that God is good no matter what happens.

and

We give thanks to God not because of how we feel, but because of Who He is.

Colossians 2:7 Rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

Life can be challenging!   I can say that with an emphatic “Amen”!   I choose to face each new day and even face my past with Thanksgiving.  Not because I’m all that!  But because Jesus is!  I can tell you without even the smallest of hesitation that HE’s Got This!  Whether “this” is Good or Hard!  So what lives in my heart, not in my belly, in my home, on the field or in the world, is Jesus.  He is my celebration each day and I will shout from the mountain tops my love and thanksgiving for Him.

A Morning Prayer of Thanksgiving

A 21st Century Worship Resource

by The Rev. Dr. LaGretta Bjorn

Loving God, Creator of all that has been, all that is, and all that is to come;
You made us human and gave us hearts to love you and follow you.

We thank you for the many blessings you have given us over this past year.

God, we thank you for all of the blessings you have given us throughout our lives:
Food to eat,
Clothes to wear,
Shelter from the storm,
People who love us unconditionally.

We thank you for their love because we recognize that their love for us is a reflection of your love.
We acknowledge that there are times in our lives when we, ourselves, feel unloved and unlovable.
Give us the grace to love others, even when they are difficult.

We trust in your faithfulness to carry us over the rough places of life.
We trust in your love to walk with us through the difficulties of our days.
We trust in your promise of life everlasting and put all of our hope in you.

We thank you for Jesus.
We thank you that he died so that we might have eternal life.

Forgive us for our sins:
The things you asked us to do and we failed to do
As well as the things you told us not to do but we did anyway.

We are sorry and we ask that you will strengthen us
So that we will always follow you.

We pray that your Holy Spirit will be felt by people who are in pain in mind, body or spirit.
elp them to know that you are with them
and you are able to carry them through their trials.

Bless our church family.
Bless our community.
Bless our nation.
Bless our world.

Enable us to live so that your will might be made manifest in the world around us. We ask all these things in the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior who taught us to pray as he taught his disciples.

Lord, I pray that I will remember each new dawn that You are my Joy.  I pray that I will always seek out the celebration of Thanksgiving with every new adventure.  I pray that when dealing with past, I will live only in the Grace that You have given to me.  I ask that You will wrap Your loving arms around those of this world who are hurting, those who may not know of Your Love and those even who have rejected You but are still searching in their hearts for You.  I ask You to be with my family.  To bring peace and love to their homes and fill their hearts with Joy.  I am grateful to be called daughter, wife, mom, friend and Lollie.  Amen!

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