Happy Thanksgiving to y’all.
Thanksgiving Day More Than Just Being Thankful
Americans celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday every November. Perhaps this is the appropriate season to wonder if there is a difference between being thankful and giving thanks.
Why Give Thanks on Thanksgiving Day?
In a modern world filled with fast cars, fast money, fast foods and more—all lavished so liberally on the self—why consider a national occasion to pause and give thanks? Is it really that important? If it is, whom should we thank—and for what?
Thanksgiving - What Is Your Focus?
Where should our focus be during Thanksgiving?
“It’s one of my favorite times of year – the American Thanksgiving. The fourth Thursday of every year in November is the American Thanksgiving, when people travel by planes, trains, automobiles, and gather with family and friends for food, football, and hopefully to give thanks to God. Thanksgiving 2016 is a very interesting year as we find ourselves at the end of a very long and protracted and divisive election season. We have a new president-elect and the reminder that America has much to be thankful for, but also America has many, many divisions. In an earlier Beyond Today Daily we talked a little bit about that, and I pointed you and all of our viewers to prayer for the new president, for the nation, and I come back to that as we think about Thanksgiving 2016, where we are, what needs to be done.
I pulled out the Thanksgiving proclamation made in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln. Every president every year makes a Thanksgiving proclamation, from the time of George Washington. But the one that was given by Abraham Lincoln in 1863 in the midst of the American Civil War brought out a very interesting point that I think helps us to be pointed back to the Bible and to Bible prophecy and the historic and prophetic role that the United States and all English-speaking peoples have in our modern world.
As Lincoln talked about the times in which they lived and the position America found itself in, he said, “No human council has devised, nor has any mortal hand worked out these great things,” speaking of America’s abundance and national greatness. “They are,” he said, “the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who while dealing with us in anger for our sins” – the sins he was specifically talking about then was the sin of slavery, which was part of what embroiled the states in the Civil War. He said, “God nevertheless has remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people.” Words true then, words true now – that we should acknowledge God’s gracious, benevolent hand upon America and upon many other nations in this world at a particularly acute moment in world history and American history.
There’s a scripture in 2 Chronicles chapter 7 that has been on my mind of late, where Solomon gave a prayer at the dedication of the temple that God allowed him to build in Jerusalem. And as an answer to that prayer, asking God’s grace and benevolence upon Israel, God appeared to Solomon and He said that when problems would arise, and difficulties and challenges for the nation – much like what we see right now with America being divided economically, politically, culturally, and having deep, deep problems right now – He said if people will acknowledge who He is, He said to Solomon something unique. In verse 14, 2 Chronicles chapter 6 – 7 He said, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” If. The big question mark. “If My people will humble and pray and acknowledge their sins, I will hear.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Will that happen? Well, we could talk about the likelihood of that for a long, long period of time. But I know this, that if you pray, if I pray, then at least we can orient ourselves in an aspect of humility toward God that allows us to be thankful, and there are many things for us to be praying for at this time. Certainly be praying that God would grant the ability for the gospel to be freely preached, that religious freedom is guaranteed in this land, to be preserved and protected. And pray that there would be a repentance. And pray that God will call those and maybe even you to understand His great purpose and plan for mankind.
And so above all on this Thanksgiving 2016, be thankful. Think about humility and pray to God and humble ourselves in a unique period of time to acknowledge God and all of His blessings. We wish you all a happy Thanksgiving here from Beyond Today.”
Can you think of any Thanksgiving songs? In the pages of the Bible is a Song of Thanksgiving that we can sing everyday.
“Seems like there’s all kinds of songs that we associate with the holidays – some of them aren’t so good. But I got to thinking about that in relationship to Thanksgiving. Do you know any really cool Thanksgiving songs?
I had a hard time thinking of any. But the Bible points to probably the kind of song and the kind of thanksgiving that we should always have.
There’s a wonderful song, it’s in the Psalms, which are songs. In fact, it has the title, “A Song of Thanksgiving”. See if you recognize it. Here’s the lyrics. “Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!” In other words, the whole earth is supposed to sing praises to God. It says, “Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” What a great reminder as we begin the lyrics of this song to show who is most important in our life – our relationship with God and all that He does. And because of that, the song goes on – verse 4. “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name” (Psalms 100:1-5).
It frames the issue that this isn’t something we should just think about for one Thursday at the end of November. That shouldn’t be the way that it is. We shouldn’t just hurry on into Black Friday and forget the whole Thanksgiving thing. It shouldn’t be like that, not if we claim to be God’s people. This tells us pretty clearly – this is an ongoing thing. It says, “For the Lord is good, His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.
So let’s have this frame of mind, not just for a day or two at the end of November, but let this be something that is on our mind constantly – that we’re continually coming into His presence, worshipping Him, praising Him, honoring Him, having a thought of really singing and praising and honoring God and being truly thankful for much more than just one day in November.”
Surprisingly, one day it started out below freezing, so we stayed inside the guest house putting up regular batt insulation, foamboard insulation, and the original paneling. Now why would I put the old painted paneling back up? Because sheetrock is so labor intensive to install, and have you seen REAL wood paneling lately. It is priced like gold. All you can find at the box stores is that MDF, almost cardboard stuff. That just swells, bows, goes moldy, and is horrible. So to have some real wood paneling is going to be a rare sight, even though it will all be repainted a soft, discreet yellow, only because I acquired free, a 5 gallon bucket of it! We have already painted the ceiling white. Though the new kitchen and bathroom are sheetocked, only because they have been made out of the old bedroom which was sheetrocked before all the damge was done.
My helper has been under the guest house for the last few mornings, and I have been the “go-fer”. We had left some of the new plywood floor unscrewed so that we could pick it up to get under the house to install the new drains. Also, the cedar skirting was removed so that he could squiggle on his back under the house. Now, to hand him anything, I have to step down into the hole where the plywood has been taken up, and try to push whatever it is to him. We arrived at a system where I would throw an old drop light to him, and tie whatever to the cord, sometimes in a grocery bag. Now all that getting up and down, and climbing in and out of that hole is pretty tiring, working the old leg muscles, and made me pretty tired. After all, I am nearly 82, though I don’t feel it. So now we have a lot of the water system done and most of the sewer, but still quite a bit more to go to finish it. We are leaving some of the plumbing of little 3/4 bath off the utility room till later, as it will tie in to a different part of the sewer system. Just getting the guest house functional is the main objective.
As Petco is closed today, my two little foster kittens who are on view for adoption at our SPCA habitat there, have come back here until Friday. We were pleased to see each other, and there is a lot of purring going on. So I am not alone today. All my family live a long way away, but I had a really good Thanksgiving Dinner and fellowship with my friends at church on the Sabbath.
Needless to say, Psalm 100 was read along with Psa. 121, 122, 123 and 125. Then our usuaul Bible readings were Gen, 18-22:24, 2 Kings 4:1-37 and Romans 4:1-25. The Message or Teaching was about being grateful.
The potluck was great and we had so much left over. I made shredded sweet potato casserole, and Yorkshire Puddings made in a muffin pan, and there were lots of contributions of many dishes and desserts. Three dishes of potato salad. I was able to bring some home for my less fortunate neighbors. The pastor’s wife made a green bean casserole and it tasted better than any I have ever had.
Then they had me bring home the remains of the great big organic turkey and take care of it. I sliced off the breast meat, and froze it, sliced off the dark meat and froze it, and then made bone broth with the carcass and froze it. We knew that everyone would be sick of turkey by this weekend's potluck, so we will all enjoy it at a later date. For another potluck, I will cook quinoa, or potatoes or lentils or something in the bone broth, so everyone gets the healthy benefits of it.
I hope that you are well and having a good day for Thanksgiving Day.