Thanksgiving

THANKABILITY 2010

I love John Mason’s word about Thanksgiving.  John says,
“If you can’t be thankful for what you have, at least be thankful for what you’ve escaped!”
Wow,  what a great way to look at life.

Here is my Thankability list for 2010
I am thankful for:

God’s unending and relentless grace and provision. (I take it personally)
My Two adult children.
The awesome ability to watch my two adult children succeed in life.
The community of Prescott Az. A great community.
Books, Rivers the outdoors and our three Golden Retrievers (Bella, Lewis and Clark).
Bikes and Mtn. bike friends.

Bikes

Ministry friends who are still in the ministry after all these years.
Friends who are real and loyal when you need them to be.
People that don’t abandon you in tough times.
A life partner (Brenda of 35 years) Companionship with this woman is better everyday.
My life purpose to be a pastor, father, and husband and adventurer ..
Sustainability over this past year of incredible challenges…Amazed everyday we are still able to proceed.
The ability to still be in the game in spite of many loses.
Seeing that gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Finding a way to be thankful for  troubles and watch them become blessings.
People that are smarter than me but still like me.
People who have been through some amazing setbacks yet still press on.
The ability to see the other side of the valley’s in life.

Four days on the Eleven Point River this Summer.
Stash’s licorice spice tea.

The camp out with my son at Mount Humphrey’s

Health.
Memories of a great childhood. ( I actually do have the best parents on the planet).

My parents
My brother Gary.
Our summer vacation in Truckee ( thanks Pam and Berto)
My day job – Thank you Kent and Kristie Sexton.
An understanding, patient and communicative God.

GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles and they can become your blessings.

The difference is in the Thank-ability.

Steve

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family, Ministry, Thanksgiving

SAYING GRACE

Gotta love this Norman Rockwell image called  Saying Grace.

The ancient art of saying grace is resurrected around millions of family Thanksgiving tables each year.

So is it tradition or is it more than that?

Here are just a few thoughts on saying grace at meal time.

Saying Grace – What difference does it make?

1. It reflects that you are a FOLLOWER OF CHRIST.

Vs. 11 And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples.

Psalm 8:5  For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels,  (a little lower than angels , not a little higher than the animals)

2. It reminds you that God is your source of HEALTH.

1 Corinthians 6:13 You know the old saying, “First you eat to live, and then you live to eat”? Well, it may be true that the body is only a temporary thing, but that’s no excuse for stuffing your body with food, …. Since the Master honors you with a body, honor him with your body!

Proverbs 10:22  The blessing of the LORD, it  maketh rich,

Mar 16:18  They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them

3. It is a recognition of our DEPENDENCE ON GOD.

Vs. 11 And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted.

James 1:17  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

4. It is a reasonable way to SHARE YOUR FAITH with those you love.

VS.  12 So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.” 13 Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten.

I like that phrase in vs. 13 “which were left over”.

Left overs are one of the best parts of Thanksgiving.

A few weeks ago I interviewed a 90 year old man who told me his story of being a teenager during the Great Depression. What an amazing story of surviving during some very lean and  mean years.

Some of you reading this blog  are old enough to remember hard times, shortages on cash, and limited menus. You lived on a food budget, which meant you sometimes saw the same dish more than once. Although, due to your Mom’s incredible talent in the kitchen, it didn’t always have the same face. It might show up as mashed potatoes and peas on Monday, then shepherd’s pie on Tuesday. It might even come back a day or two later as something no one but your Mom herself could recognize. She’d chop it, dice it, mix in some cheese, splash Cream of Mushroom soup over the top, dress it up with some parsley, put it on a fancy tray, give it a name and you thought it was something brand new! Couldn’t Mom work miracles with leftovers?
Well guess what? God works the same way too! If you bring Him what you have left over, He can turn it into something you never would have thought possible. You just need to step away, turn it over to Him and let Him do His thing. You didn’t hover over your Mom when she was reinventing your dinner. You were smart enough to know that everything would come out a lot better if you just kept your hands off it. This is not to say you should keep your hands entirely off your own life. You just need to step back far enough to let God work without hindrance. When you do, the promise that “All things work together for good” suddenly becomes a reality in your life.

Saying grace is a reality check and a reminder of where all our resources come from.

If you are living lean this Thanksgiving just remember God’s promise. He tells us in Joel 2:25

“I WILL REPAY YOU FOR THE YEARS THE LOCUSTS HAVE EATEN.”

“If you bring Him what you have left over, He can turn it into something you never would have thought possible.”

Don’t lose the opportunity of saying grace this Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Steve

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