19 posts

In Everything, Give Thanks

The Thanksgiving season is upon us. Next week will bring the busiest travel days of the year, families will be together, fantastic turkey dinners will be consumed, all done in the name of giving thanks. But then, almost immediately after Thanksgiving dinner ends, the crush and rush of Black Friday begins! The frantic race to Christmas is on. However, before the Christmas season begins, let’s take a few moments to consider why giving thanks is such an important part of life. In truth, every day needs to be Thanksgiving Day. Paul says as much when he says: Give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. “In everything” is huge. Paul is not speaking metaphorically, […]

Discipline and Anger: A Toxic Mix

“There, I told them that was the last time! I finally got fed up and did something about their disrespect and disobedience. Maybe this will change their attitude. Yes, I was angry, but something needed to be done!” Mom might feel good for the moment, but she has actually made things worse. Human anger and biblical discipline do not mix. Your anger will not bring about the righteous life that God desires. (James 1:20) God did not give you your children so that you could teach them to follow your desires and wishes. When you make parenting about your rules, even if they are helpful, then, in your child’s mind, God exists to serve you, to support your agenda. When […]

The Blessings of Gratitude

Gratitude enables praise. Gratitude destroys self-pity. Gratitude is not compatible with envy. Gratitude softens grief. Gratitude is the fuel of joy. Gratitude is the soil that grows humility, Gratitude protects against sexual sin. Gratitude deepens your awareness of God. Gratitude is the soul of worship. Gratitude opens your eyes to grace. Gratitude repels pride. Gratitude is God’s will for you in Christ. Gratitude turns back your judgmental spirit. Gratitude calls you to serve instead of being served. Gratitude is the enemy of greed. Gratitude challenges you to love others instead of yourself. Gratitude will lead you to love Jesus more deeply.      

Prayer for Thanksgiving

O Lord my God, my Savior, I pray for a heart overflowing with thanksgiving. Father, you are my constant reason for joy. You are faithful when I am unfaithful. You promise heaven when I am consumed by the next hour. Protect me from my own selfish desires. I confess that I want what cannot satisfy. I confess that I complain about what is not done rather than be grateful for what I can do. I confess that I am easily disappointed by those I love, even though you continue to love and bless me. I confess I cling to bitterness more than I rush to praise. I confess that I am not satisfied that the nearness of you is my […]

Christmas: Not About Naughty Or Nice!

Satan has done a good job of attempting to confuse the wonder of Christ’s birth with idea of presents being result of nice behavior. You know the song about Santa checking his list twice, he’s gonna find out about who has been naughty or nice. The idea is that if you are good enough that magical present will appear. Being naughty doesn’t really fit with receiving good gifts. This is exactly how Satan would prefer you think about receiving good gifts from God. His purpose is for you and your children to think that being good brings good things. Once this thought is implanted it muddies the truth of the gospel message. Jesus destroyed this notion when he said: “It […]

Thanksgiving Day Is About Worship!

493 years ago, Governor William Bradford proclaimed that Thursday, November 29th, 1623 would be a day of Thanksgiving and corporate worship. This day marked the third year since these pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock. Over half of their group died in the brutal first year of their new colony. Why did they make the journey? Why did they endure the hardship? And why did the 33 year old Bradford call them together on that November day? The answer: they came to worship their God in freedom! Would you risk losing your life, the lives of your children and all that you have just for the privilege engaging in corporate worship that honored God and not the State? Thanksgiving Day is […]

Grateful For What God Withholds

Thanksgiving Day focuses on all that you have been given. That is a good thing! It is arrogant, unwise, and selfish to take God’s blessings for granted. But, there are unexpected ways that God is good to you. It is important to be thankful for what God chooses to withhold. This thought may seem not to “fit” well. After all, you pray for things, as the Lord teaches that you should. So, why should you be thankful for what you don’t have? Psalm 23 begins this way: “The Lord is my shepherd, I have all that I need.” The beloved psalm combines in all that you need to know about God’s loving commitment to you in two short phrases. The […]

Why be thankful?

Thanksgiving is the one day in the holiday season about which there is no ambiguity. Store clerks, news anchors, strangers, teachers, pastors, flight attendants, TV commercials, sales people, even government employees can say Happy Thanksgiving without fear of offending anyone. Most everyone can offer some reason to give thanks. For the moment, at least, thanksgiving is not offensive in our culture. But the question must be asked, why is “Happy Thanksgiving” not offensive? People are thankful for things, relationships, food, safety, etc. But the thanks stops there. As long as people are thankful for the gifts and not the giver there is no problem. However, if giving thanks were tied to God, the greeting would be deemed politically incorrect and […]

The Power of Thanksgiving

Think of it, fifty or so people, faced with overwhelming odds, with only the mercy of God to sustain them, helped to change the course of human history. 1623 William Bradford, at age 33, issued a proclamation of Thanksgiving for the remaining Pilgrims who had landed on Plymouth Rock. Because of winter storms their ship, the Mayflower, came ashore several hundred miles north of their planned destination. Half of the initial company that sailed from England died in the brutal first winter after their arrival. These Pilgrims endured because of a fierce desire to be free to worship the God of the Bible. They were a literal handful of people. Yet they survived, fueled by gratitude. Fifty people. Do you, […]