Happy Thanksgiving! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our conversations reflected gratitude constantly. The blessings of faith, family, food, clothing and shelter are ours in abundance in the United States. We don’t take it for granted; we pause throughout the day to give thanks before we enjoy a meal for instance. Just imagine how our marriages and family would grow in the grace of daily thankfulness. Parents catching their children doing something right; children thanking their parents for their care. Good neighbors living in the suburbs thankfully with one another. Taking time to to say thanks for those who service our homes, cars, or pick up our trash.
“Though some tongues just love the taste of gossip, those who follow Jesus have better uses for language than that. Don’t talk dirty or silly. That kind of talk doesn’t fit our style. Thanksgiving is our dialect.” (Ephesians 5:4, The Message)
Words encourage, heal, inspire, instruct and so many other positive things. I want my dialect to be thankfulness. Here are just a few for me.
I’m so thankful for Becky’s recovery and good health! Her stamina, joy and smile are back. God has been so good to us. She is godly and beautiful; we share God’s call on our lives to pastoral ministry. She is the love of my life, my best friend, counselor, prayer partner and a joy to live with. Becky is an incredible mother, grandmother, leader, artist, musician, vocalist and writer. “The woman to be admired and praised is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.” (Proverbs 31:30, The Message)
I’m thankful for God’s gift of healing; after surgery or treatments the source of healing remains with God. Whether by a miracle or medicine healing is His gift to us.“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” (James 5:16, NLT)
I’m thankful for the healthcare team at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. They were outstanding with their skills and compassionate with their care for Becky. “Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas.” (Colossians 4:14, ESV)
I’m thankful for our four children and grandchildren. “Children are God’s best gift?” (Psalm 127:3a, The Message) “Enjoy your grandchildren. Peace to Israel!” (Psalm 128:6, The Message)
I’m thankful for new life in Christ! Our heavenly Father drew me to himself through faith in Christ! At this moment I feel so deeply gratitude for what Christ did for us at Calvary. I’m thankful that he continues his grace and merciful work in me. The gift of repentance of sin makes life lighter and happier. Hating and turning from sin and trusting in Christ kills the power of sin to consume you. “Jesus—‘God saves’—because he will save his people from their sins.”” (Matthew 1:21b, The Message) “Sin … becomes a real killer.” (James 1:15, The Message)
I’m thankful for the body of Christ. I’m grateful to the churches I’ve served, the pastors, churches and others who have honored me to preach and teach in their community. The congregation I pastor, the pastoral team, board and volunteers of Woodland are a joy to serve Christ with. Woodland is a wonderful congregation that I am always proud to be part of. As leaders, “We want you to be as proud of us as we are of you when we stand together before our Master Jesus.” (2 Corinthians 1:14, The Message)
I’m thankful for friends to pray with, laugh with, hike with, eat with, watch a game or a movie with. Your love has been overwhelming to Becky and me. You given us unconditional love. Already some of you have gone to heaven; they know that the grave has not stopped our love for you and yours for us. “Meanwhile, we’ve got our hands full continually thanking God for you, our good friends—so loved by God! God picked you out as his from the very start. Think of it: included in God’s original plan of salvation by the bond of faith in the living truth.” (2 Thessalonians 2:13, The Message)
I’m thankful for work of good authors and writers. Your gift has encouraged, taught, challenged, inspired and at times entertained me. This verse especially speaks to me, living in Michigan. “Bring the winter coat I left in Troas with Carpus; also the books and parchment notebooks.” (2 Timothy 4:13, The Message)
I guess I should stop before this becomes unbearably long. Thank-you for letting me share just a moment of your Thanksgiving Day!