Happy Thanksgiving

Is this not the most cliché post title in the whole USA right now?  Oh, wait, I forgot to add three exclamation marks to the end of that.  Am I being such a bubble burster right now, or what?  Well, out of the network of family and friends that read our blog and have their own, I probably am the first one to actually post this on Thanksgiving Day!  It’s just after 12:30am here.

Right now, I am enjoying a great cup of black tea (no cream and no sugar, of course!), looking forward to the day ahead.  Don’t worry, I’ll go to sleep soon enough…

For our festivities, we are simply going over to the Hardecker’s home, where it will just be us two, and the three of them.  We got a turkey that is probably way to big for all of us.  Also, Andrea is making cranberry relish (yes, I really do like it a lot, as seen here).  She likes it too, Mom!

Anyways, I hope and pray that thankfulnessis not just a word for everyone this day.  I heard someone say once that thankfulness is the ultimate form of humility and submission: by being thankful, you are admitting to someone that they have done something for you that you either could not or otherwise would nothave done for yourself.  That is what the Lord should be to every Christian: a God who gave something to us freely that we could never attain ourselves: the gift of salvation through Christ Jesus alone.  Therefore–through thankfulness–we admittingly show our God submission and humility.  This is not my “religion” or “conscience.”  It is my sincere belief based on Christ alone.  Nothing can we ever be thankful for, except there be a time in our own life, when we, through faith, were born again through the blood of Jesus Christ.  Only then are we in truth able to grateful to anything or anyone.

Give Thanks

My very favorite Thanksgiving Hymn is Thanks to God, by a Swedish man, August Ludvig Storm.  He trusted Christ as Saviour when a young man through a Salvation Army Meeting.  He wrote this hymn for a Salvation Army publication, “The War Cry,” on December 5, 1891.  As a middle-aged man, he suffered a back problem leaving him crippled for the remainder of his life.  Yet  he persevered in serving the Lord through the Salvation Army until his death.  And each line can bring to mind particular times in our lives, good and bad, and remind us to Thank God for each one.

Here are the words:

Thanks to God!

(1) Thanks to God for my Redeemer,

Thanks for all Thou dost provide!

Thanks for times now but a memory,

Thanks for Jesus by my side!

Thanks for pleasant, balmy springtime,

Thanks for dark and dreary fall!

Thanks for tears by now forgotten,

Thanks for peace within my soul!

(2) Thanks for prayers that Thou hast answered,

Thanks for what Thou dost deny!

Thanks for storms that I have weathered,

Thanks for all Thou dost supply!

Thanks for pain and thanks for pleasure,

Thanks for comfort in despair!

Thanks for grace the none can measure,

Thanks for love beyond conpare!

(3) Thanks for roses by the wayside,

Thanks for thorns their stems contain!

Thanks for home and thanks for fireside,

Thanks for hope, that sweet refrain!

Thanks for joy and thanks for sorrow,

Thanks for heav’nly peace with Thee!

Thanks for hope in the tomorrow,

Thanks thru all eternity!

(See http://www.tanbible.com/tol_sng/thankstogod.htm)

Thirty Day Challenge!

I was presented with a thirty day challenge on a blog I enjoy reading, Moneysavingmom.com.  It is, to “Give to someone in some fashion every day in November.”  Now I understand we are already two days into November, but you might just as well begin today!  Or tomorrow!  I think it is a wonderful challenge in this materialistic age, and I am excited to do it myself.  Yesterday I shared some homemade pumpkin soup with a friend whom I knew would enjoy it.  Today I wrote a card to mail to my grandmother who is recovering from knee-replacement surgery.  I am adding to the challenge, that it cannot be something I already regularly give, for example, time on a bus route you work each weekend anyway, or time spent with an elderly friend you routinely visit already.

I gave the challenge to my sister, and she said she would definitely do it, with the additional idea of journaling your giving along the way.  Better yet, it might be a wonderful project to work on with your children if you have any.  Maybe this will teach us not only generosity, but gratefulness for what God and others have so undeservedly given to us!

Are you up for the challenge?

Giving Thanks

665A0514Happy autumn to everyone!  I love fall, and the colors here in Pennsylvania are just about to peak!  My favorite are the reds since that is my favorite color.  And I love Thanksgiving.  It is a shame so many jump from Halloween to Christmas without thinking much about the Thanksgiving holiday in between.  What a blessing they miss!

Recently I was in a ladies’ class and was touched by a singular truth which was presented.  The lesson was about murmuring and complaining, a weakness which I am sure, all too many of us struggle against.  The teacher mentioned that usually, ‘the things we complain about are trivial things’…we could not go shopping as we planned; we were not able to buy that sweater we wanted; dinner did not turn out; or our family member dirted the freshly-cleaned floor.  She went on to explain however that, “We complain about the little things, when God has given us big things!”  The health to live, work, and even go shopping is an undeserved blessing itself.  We have a wonderful place to call home, and even more than that, A FAMILY; that must certainly be a gift from Heaven.  Beyond that, we have friends…a true friend is a precious thing.  We have our church family, and a pastor who cares for us and prays for us.  We have THE TRUTH of GOD’S WORD!  We could never comprehend what a blessing that is.  And through that precious book, the Bible, we have SALVATION!  Salvation from all our sin, from the punishment of sin, and from fear and eternal damnation.  Then, we have the ASSURANCE of that salvation from God’s Word (I John 5:13 –“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life,…”).  And we could go on forever about the BIG things God has given us while our small complaints pale in comparison!  So, this Thanksgiving, and all the year ’round, let us not “…complain about little things, when God has given us big things!”  Thanks be to God!665A0519

Psalm 111:2 –“The works of the LORD are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.”