THANKSGIVING WEEK 2018!

 THANKSGIVING IS BEAUTIFUL

IN ITS SIMPLICITY,

FREEDOM OF WORSHIP
NORMAN ROCKWELL

IN HOW BOTH AUTUMN & HARVEST

SPEAK ETERNAL TRUTHS,

AND IN HOW ITS GREAT HYMNS,

FROM THE FAITH OF OUR FATHERS

SPEAK TO OUR SOULS TRUTH.

THESE HYMNS WILL BE OUR FOCUS

AS WE TRAVEL THE ROAD TO AND THROUGH

THANKSGIVING WEEKEND.

A HIGHWAY IN DOOR COUNTY, WISCONSIN IN THE FALL

Sunday:

1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

2. What do you love about Thanksgiving and why?

3. Where will you be and how can you walk in light and love through the holiday weekend?

4. For what can you give thanks on this Sabbath day?

Monday-Tuesday: For The Beauty of The Earth

This hymn has long been a favorite of mine, one I sing biking or cross-country skiing through Peninsula Park. I remember singing it on our back porch with Steve as the sun rose over the golden aspens one Thanksgiving morn. This is a hymn that stirs my heart to be thankful, and one which Amy Shreve, a dear friend and gifted artist, does so beautifully. Amy  and her husband Gary live the life: living simply so that they can share generously of their musical gifts. They have so blessed Voice of the Martyrs, my prison ministry, and churches all over the world. Amy is valiantly fighting a battle of cancer, one her mother lost, but so far, through the power and wisdom of God, has been winning. Physicians tell her there is no cure, but she is still singing, still praising God “for the wonder of each hour.” Prepare your heart with this:

5. What stands out to you from the above and why?

6. Meditate on the lyrics and make them personal to your own life, giving thanks for something specific. 

 

For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies

Dee’s daughter Sally and grand-daughters Sadie and Claire in Ephraim this summer

A. Give thanks beauty in your area and be specific.

For the love which from our birth over and around us lies

Dee’s father with her older sisters

 

B. Give thanks for the love you experienced from your heavenly Father or earthly parents

Friends on earth and friends above

Dee’s late husband, Steve

C. Give thanks for “a friend above” and explain why you are thankful for this person.

For Thy Church that evermore, lifteth holy hands above

 

D. Give thanks for your local church or the invisible Church, being specific.

 

For Thyself, best gift divine, To our race so freely given;

For that great, great love of Thine, Peace on earth and joy in heaven

 

E. Give thanks for what the love of Christ means to you and be specific.

 

Wednesday: Abide With Me (Day 31 of Giving Thanks)

Though this might not seem like a Thanksgiving hymn, I chose it because family gatherings aren’t always easy, and we need Him to give us the love, strength, and grace we need. Some of you are missing parents or loved ones that were with you last year but have left this earth. Watch this and make it your prayer, especially for tomorrow:

 

7. What stands out to you from the above hymn and why?

 

8. As you prepare your heart for tomorrow, whatever joys or difficulties you may face, for what do you want to ask your Father? (He promises to give wisdom if we ask.)

 

9. For what do you want to thank Him?

 

Thanksgiving Day and Friday: Come Ye Thankful People, Come

Luci Shaw said “God has given us two great books: Creation and the Bible, and they speak of one another. This hymn does it so well, Prepare your heart with this:

10. Reflecting on the history of that first Thanksgiving, we surely have it easier than they did. They were giving thanks for surviving, when so many of their number had not. Yet still, we can be thankful, as Renee was last week, for her furnace working. Give thanks now for any provision you have to face this winter.

 

11. Meditate on the 2nd verse of this hymn — and then share how nature foreshadow eternal truths. 

All the world is God’s own field, Fruit unto His praise to yield.

Wheat and tares together sown, Unto joy or sorrow grown.

First the blade and then the ear, Then the full corn shall appear:

Lord of harvest, grant that we Wholesome grain and pure may be.

 

 

 

12. Can you see any spiritual growth in your heart or the hearts of your loved ones this year? If so, share and give thanks.

13. Now pray for yourself and your loved ones, that you may be “wholesome grain and pure may be.”

Saturday:

14. Share any specific ways the Lord has worked in your heart during our 31 days of thanks.

 

 

Next Sunday we will prepare for our Advent Series.

Hope to see you right here!

COMMENTS (80) Post a New Comment ↓
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Hi all! What stood out to me was the beautiful picture of the winding road thro autumn colors in Door County  :)    Reminds me of how many unexpected turns our road on life can bring. Yet the beauty of Gods creation, His order, steadfast love, & faithfulness are ever with us.

I didn’t grow up with Thanksgiving in Aussie, as it is an American holiday. It has become my favorite tho. I love the festivity, tradition, warmth of family & friends with no gifts & no strings attached. Just simple gathering together & feeling thankful! I will be here with my husband & am praying for the Lord to bring whoever He wants to be here. Hubby not so open tho, but a few friends will stop by before dinner. We will enjoy cooking & eating the meal together, but will miss our 3 grown kids who cant be here. I want my heart to be open to bless & encourage whoever the Lord brings across my path this week.

I’m thankful today for a peaceful & quiet day after the business of working all week. Church was awesome this morning & my faith was stirred & encouraged. Heard a wonderful message on Daniel 3 & the deliverance & obedience of Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego (not sure I got spelling right!)  :)

    Reply

    That is a beautiful road — at the tip of the peninsula. That’s a great attitude aout being open to those whom you can bless!

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The Rockwell picture, “freedom of worship”, I don’t recognize that one, and yet it is a humbling reminder of the great privileged we have to worship. I was reminded this morning of Romans 1:21 and the importance of giving thanks to God, the severe consequences of not: “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”

I also like the quote from Henry Alford–it is all His, we are His. My life is really not about me and whether things work out the way I think they should–it is so much bigger than me. My life is a part of His story and the reality that we will one Day be in His presence, share in all His glory and there will be no tears–it is impossible to remember those truths and stay downcast about my present. He is greater, and my life is a part of something greater, and I am so thankful He has made me His own. And that future hope shares its joy with the present.

I do not think I’ll be ale to be very active this week, but praying now for all of you–to draw near to Him and for His blessings upon your families.

ps :) as I scrolled down to post this comment, I came across Steve’s picture and just have to thank Him–thank You Lord for Your perfect provision of Steve and all that we still learn through his example and love for You, and thank You for showing Dee Yourself as her husband through all these years. 

    Reply

    Praying for you too, dear Lizzy!

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    This post was especially touching, Lizzy.  Romans 1:21 arrested me just now as never before.  I think of Romans 1 as about wicked people of whom I am not a part, but when I am unthankful for my circumstances and don’t glorify God as God (as if He is not good, loving, wise, powerful, and in control of what makes my heart bleed), I am just as wicked.  And I see how I can become vain in my imagination and my foolish heart can be darkened by thinking unkind thoughts about my Heavenly Father for what He has ordained currently in my life!  Wow!  I never saw that before!  And, yes, we must remember that our life is part of His story and He can write the chapters as He pleases, but the best, the end of the story, is yet to come, and we know it will be more than glorious and beautiful and bring praise to His Name.

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1. What stands out to me is the picture of the Door County highway dressed in the beauty of fall foliage. The leaves of a pecan tree turn dark brown so the only fall colors I have seen this year  has been on instagram or fake fall decorations. Dee, I visited Wisconsin in 1982. My mother’s late uncle lived in a Milwaukee suburb and my family visited there for about a week. Uncle William took us camping near the Wisconsin Dells. I’ve always wanted to revisit.

2. Being a native of the South,  I love all the traditional Thanksgiving  foods and sharing time with family. I am grateful to be back home with my Dad and stepmom this year. There are many family members who are no longer with us and I miss them a lot. My stepmom is fighting an infection and has been told if the home health nurse declares (tomorrow) she isn’t better she will be admitted to the hospital. No matter the decision we will still be together as a family and that’s what matters.

I’m battling a nasty sinus infection so I am grateful for Daddy who has given his time to get me medication, my favorite soup, and ginger ale. I’m also thankful  for Christian radio because I didn’t make it to corporate worship this morning.

    Reply

    Oh, take it easy dear Tammy.

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1.  What stands out? I’ve been on your Door County road, Dee, though it was green then. There are so many beautiful and unique places God has put on this earth for us to find and enjoy and thank Him for. I love the old Thanksgiving hymns, and miss them in my contemporary church service.

 

2.  What I love about Thanksgiving is the same thing I love about fall. It is the season of harvest and being prepared for the cold to come. There is the sense of completion and accomplishment and celebration as we thank God. There is the joy of sharing that with family and friends and people you’re trying to get closer to.

 

3.  We will be home. Usually we host for up to 14. So far we only have five this year. It will be less people all weekend,  so I am both sad and relieved. It has been overwhelmingly busy for me the last two weeks and I am weary. We are still trying to find people to share our table with, but maybe God just wants me to be content with less. I am praying that I will be a better loser than usual when we play games. And for help in getting others to open up without monopolizing the topic.

 

4.  Today I give thanks that I get to be back on the blog. I missed being here last week, though I did read along. I’m also grateful that the sweaters I’m making for Christmas are moving closer to done.

    Reply

    Mary, so glad to see you back!  Missed you and your words of wisdom last week.

    Reply

    Love your response to 2, Mary. The last hymn this week gives some of that picture — in a sense our time on earth is preparing for heaven, the eternal season to come.

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    Mary, I smiled when I read that you are “praying that I will be a better loser than usual when we play games”, because it brings back memories for me! In past Christmas’s at my moms….after dinner, my mom, sisters, our kids, and I would play games at the dining room table, like Trivial Pursuit….my husband would sometimes come in and watch, and he always laughed at how competitive, as he would say, “you Lisle women are”…..we didn’t like losing!

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Mon/Tues: I need to do this now cause once the work week starts, my time & energy are very limited!  What stands out is Amy Shreves, singing for Gods glory inspite of her battle against cancer.

A.    For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies

Lord I praise You for all the beauty You have created & the joy & rest it brings me. I have Lake Michigan near me & can look out to the horizon & see nothing but water. That can be so healing & restorative.

B. For the love which from our birth over and around us lies

I will be eternally grateful for the love I have received, & still receive from my dear parents. I realize now it is an incredible blessing & gift from You Father God, & I praise You for it with all my heart!

C.  Friends on earth and friends above

I’m so thankful for my dear grandparents in heaven ; their love & care whenever we would stay with them. For sweet memories of making apricot jam with my G’ma, & for walks with G’pa. For their faith & cheerfulness & hugs; for the warmth & security of their home. So thankful for friends here on earth, especially a Christian sister who lives 3 doors down from me, & is such an encourager & joy!

D.   For Thy Church that evermore, lifteth holy hands above

I praise You Father God for my church family. For my small group & how we really care about each other; for the privilege of singing with the worship team, & for the Truth of Your Word that is preached & honored.

E.   For Thyself, best gift divine, To our race so freely given;
For that great, great love of Thine, Peace on earth and joy in heaven
Jesus, thank You for coming down to this earth, for stooping to listen to me & to pick me up & carry me. Thank You for Your love divine, Your grace so free. You are my Prince of Peace & without You I would have crumpled a long time ago. Your joy is my Strength & You give me everlasting Hope. Thank You that Your sacrifice was complete & I can rest in Your provision for me! My Good Shepherd, thank You, thank You. May my life bring You honor & glory.   :)

    Reply

    lovely, Jenny. Could you see that Amy was filmed on the shore of Lake Michigan from Michigan!

      Reply

      It did look like Lake Michigan haha, but I guessed it could’ve been anywhere! :)   I also loved hiking in Peninsula State park  :)

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Sunday

1.  The Norman Rockwell picture stood out to me.  How he drew faces of worship and captured the humility, praise and thankfulness so well.

2.  What I love about Thanksgiving is the joy of coming together and sharing a meal.  The aroma of all the food and the sweet conversation that takes place around the table.  The request of our grandchild that we go around the table and share something we’re grategul for.

3.  I will be with family and this year my daughter and her husband will be hosting.  My prayer is that my family will see Christ in me and that my heart of thanksgiving will be evident in all that I say and do!

    Reply

    Great prayer for all of us to pray, Sharon.

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Sunday:
1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
Rockwell’s picture and the writings (each to his own according to the dictates of his conscience) and the beautiful scene of Door County( beautiful gift from the Lord).  We drove through a snow storm that dumped about 4 inches in our county last night. As we crept on the highway at 30 miles per hour, I was just awashed with awe at the power of nature as sovereignly allowed by God. As we drove from the farm house to church the next morning, all around us was white and the quiet was so touchingly beautiful.
2. What do you love about Thanksgiving and why?
We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in the Philippines. When I first came to the US and had my first thanksgiving dinner here, all I can remember was how much food was served at my husband’s extended family gathering! I loved getting to know his side of the family and enjoyed the hearty conversations around the table. Nowadays, we go to my sister-in-law’s house and Richard and I help prepare food. No rush to go anywhere. The longer I live here in the U.S., the more I see the bounty of God’s blessings to America and pray I will never forget “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17
3. Where will you be and how can you walk in light and love through the holiday weekend?
We will be at my sister-in-law’s. There will be 14 of us. I am keeping a notebook of thanksgiving and will use the outline that my husband preached on today “personal thanksgiving” Father, Family and Future and will look up the verses again and use them to give thanks to God.

4. For what can you give thanks on this Sabbath day?

We had 2 baptisms today; one, a high school senior who accepted Christ after being in a bible study led by one of the ladies at our church. The other one is a former drug addict who was witnessed to by one of our deacons. I do believe in miracles of changed lives touched by the power of God. I am thankful to God for saving them.

    Reply

    Bing — such a pregnant post. Thank you! What a great baptismal service too!

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1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
 

I love fall! It’s my favorite season! I live in a place of great beauty in the fall; like the Door County road we too have lovely trees and winding roads.

 
2. What do you love about Thanksgiving and why?
 
The food! The traditions of my family come out at Thanksgiving. I enjoy remembering them and my family.
 
3. Where will you be and how can you walk in light and love through the holiday weekend? 
 

I am working until Wednesday and then my husband and I fly out to west Texas on Thanksgiving morning on the way to a wedding next Saturday in  New Mexico. Excited for the trip; the wedding is one of my dear friends’ daughters, who grew up with my kids in Texas. My friend is like a sister to me. Since we were not going to be here we had our Thanksgiving dinner yesterday. It was okay; we decided to have two because our son and our daughters boyfriend absolutely don’t get along (not that we wanted the boyfriend at our dinner table, however she was insisting he come). My husband was also being stretched with this situation; how awkward. We had the first at 3pm and it went well. The food was very good and we all enjoyed. The second never materialized because the boyfriend wouldn’t come in to eat. My daughter was disappointed; she doesn’t understand how we all are affected by their bad choices over the course of the last year. She made plates and took them to the car (where they are living). Ugh, family dynamics. I don’t like that about holidays 😩. Our family can’t seem to get through a holiday without some ugliness. My youngest and I joke about this each year and make bets on if we will or not.

 
4. For what can you give thanks on this Sabbath day?
 

I was thankful yesterday for the beautiful baptisms at our church. My husband and I sponsored a dancer friend (Bekah whom some of you “know”) and her boyfriend, and I cried throughout the testimonies read. How people gave their lives to Jesus was so sweet. I was filled with joy.

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    Oh my, Laura.  I applaud you for showing love in such a hard situation and pray with you for the Spirit to illumine your daughter and set her free.

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5. What stands out to you from the above and why? 
 

I haven’t thought of this hymn in a long time. Amy has a beautiful voice. I like the memories of the family through pictures. It reminds me to be thankful because sometimes I forget.

 
6. Meditate on the lyrics and make them personal to your own life, giving thanks for something specific.  

Thank You God for my close friends and family who still care about us and “bother” with us. Some family members are too wrapped up in their own lives and don’t even answer the phone when we call. Others are involved in their own family crises that they can’t give us a single thought. Those who text or call are appreciated,  because life on earth is hard and it’s nice to be remembered or to remember with others times that were good.

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I apologize for getting off subject but my mind is still on last weeks study,  I wanted to share a link that went right along with what Tammy said last week…”We already know thanksgiving does not save us from the penalty of sin but I propose the giving of thanks saves us from the power of sin.”  That statement resonated with me and Tammy shared her “light bulb” moment in a form of how it applied to her life.  If you missed it I encourage y’all to go back and read it…so good!  Here is the link…https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/fill-your-wandering-heart-with-thankfulness?utm_campaign=Daily+Email&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=67582312&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_thEQ9N1pvlWXEc1zHsVgIyeHPqUXMLmVCMeLY_yVQcJgvxOtLeTMR1MOtRjCLu0Sr-t_-VXQpAxlBLg-bmAFY6jjZ2Q&_hsmi=67582312

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    WHAT A WONDERFUL ARTICLE POSTED BY TAMMY AND REPOSTED BY SHARON. I MISSED IT — DON’T YOU!

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      Dee, i can’t take credit for posting the article because Sharon posted the article after reading a statement I made. Thank you Sharon for sharing it with us.

        You’re welcome Tammy.  My wording above may of been confusing but I did appreciate what you said😊

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Sunday

4.  What I gave thanks for on the Sabbath was our pastors sermon on “thanksgiving”.  It went right along with our study last week.  He said being grateful should be a lifestyle…24/7 and we can’t link our thankfulness to things…Paul based His thanks on God – never changing!  He also said “ darkness begins to lift  through a heart of thanksgiving.”

Monday – Tuesday

5.  I love the hymn Amy sang.  One I haven’t heard in such a long time!

6.  

A. Thank You Lord for the endless beauty of the ocean.  Seeing the dolphins playfully swim near the shore as if they want to keep me company during my walk.  A squadron of pelicans so intent on getting to where they need to be and I am reminded that you must be a God of humor to create such a creature 😊.  I am overwhelmed by Your vast creation and am thankful for the eyesight to enjoy it.

B.  Thank You Lord for my earthly parents who modeled Your love.  I am grateful for the length of time that they were with me here on earth, but even more grateful that they are spending eternity with You and that one day I will see them again.      

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I think I misunderstood the directions to this question this morning. I’ll try again!

 

6A. Give thanks beauty in your area and be specific.

 

Thank You Lord for the beautiful trees in our area, both the evergreens and the deciduous trees that change their colors. I especially love the Douglas firs that look like Christmas trees in my yard. Throw some lights on them and you have instant Christmas trees 🎄.

 

B. Give thanks for the love you experienced from your heavenly Father or earthly parents

 

My mother truly loved me. I am thankful for that. I am lucky to have had her as my mom.

 

C. Give thanks for “a friend above” and explain why you are thankful for this person.

 

Thank You Lord for my friend Nancy who was so kind to my family when we moved to New England and didn’t know anyone.

 

D. Give thanks for your local church or the invisible Church, being specific.

 

Thank You Lord for the friendly people at our church. I appreciate them each week when I reconnect with them.

 

 

    Reply

    LAURA, u are truly an inspiration in the face of such hardship! Praying that your daughter will be wooed & convicted by the Spirit & brought to her senses. May the Lord encourage & bless u & your husband. Time for a recent pic of your beautiful grand kids!

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      Jenny, a friend has a saying that has stuck with me; “You get what you speak.” I stroke myself with these good vibe thoughts at all times because if I don’t, well, I don’t want to go there. Thank you for any prayers for our situation. I need an answer from God for how the weekend will play out because our son is so mad at our daughter and isn’t willing to be available this weekend when we are out of town to allow her to come in, take a shower, or make food. I’m not sure what to do.

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C.  Friends on earth and friends above: I am most thankful for my widowed 2nd grade Sunday School teacher Mrs. Marsh above. I met her when I was 7. For some reason she decided to love the unruly squirmy child I was back then. One Sunday she asked me to walk home from church with her (she actually lived one block over from my house). She told me to come and visit her some time. I am not sure she really knew what she was getting herself into. Since we did not have a phone I just showed up randomly. I was rarely turned away and was warmly greeted to come in and have a Pepsi and play with her grandchildren’s toys. Over the years she told me how much God loved me. It was through her influence that I gave my life to Jesus and decided to live for Him when I was 14. Our friendship of  almost 30 years ended when she went home to Jesus. I believe her friendship, love and prayers are why I am a Christian today.  To honor her and thank God for that gift I am trying to be that same kind of friend to the woman in my local church body.  The greatest joys after seeing Jesus in heaven will be to see our son James (who went to heaven at 4 years old)  and my wonderful spiritual mother Mr. Marsh.

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    Tanya — this is such a wonderful story and example. Refresh us on who you are and how you came to the blog.

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6. E. Give thanks for what the love of Christ means to you and be specific.

 

I love that You nudge me every so often Lord. Thank You for letting me know You are near to me. You want me to know that You are with me always. Your love means I am never alone.

 

 

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 6 A. Give thanks beauty in your area and be specific.

When I drove my car out of my drive way and down my street after a light snow last week. It was serene. The grey clouds were like a blanket around us making the snow and the ice on the trees sculptures and the roof tops white looking like a painting. There was such comfort and warmth in the bitter cold. I am thankful for these scenes in my area because they are truly moments-the same exact scene doesn’t happen the same way again! I thought of winter meaning death and spring new life yes, but this so quietly called out that while there is a sting, there is beauty.

God I thank you for creating this scene and scenes like this every day. Sometimes in the large like this you grab my attention but I tend to miss your unseen scenes in people, in their talents, and in the grey gloomy skys. I confess it is because of my thankless heart lately. I have been unthankful and discontent. I am worse than the Israelites! Help me not to miss the small in the big! I hate this body of sin..help me not to desire it. For as Paul said, I don’t do what I want and do what I shouldn’t. I am amazed at how long-suffering you are with me knowing how my heart is so prone to wander. Forgive me and quicken me as I meditate on your word-help me  to battle these thoughts and replace them with your truth. Thank you for the picture of beauty in dying that you gave me to remember for this helped me to turn for I don’t have to feel defeated by my sin. You defeated death and pursue me when I wander..pursue me over and over Lord-consume me. I need you.

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1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

 

The simplicity of Thanksgiving….it’s not the mad rush of the Christmas season – decorating, baking, finding the right gifts. Love the photo of Door County! I can just imagine walking down that road and being lost in the beauty and wonder of those colors!

 

2. What do you love about Thanksgiving and why?

 

I always loved Thanksgiving Day at my mom’s….her turkey and stuffing were amazing, and I always helped her stir the gravy; that was my job. I have memories of her and my sisters in the kitchen, my dad carving the turkey and I always had to taste some. I just enjoy being with family.

 

3. Where will you be and how can you walk in light and love through the holiday weekend?

 

We’ll be at my sister’s for Thanksgiving on Thursday, where my dad now lives. My one son who lives in TX is home. I can walk in love by remembering to be patient and not to hold others to my expectations of how they should be or behave.

 

4. For what can you give thanks on this Sabbath Day?

 

For my son being home for nine days with us, just for being together to share meals and sit together in the evenings, that he and his sister get along so well.

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    So glad you have kids home — and getting along. Good plan for expectations too — but hard, I know.

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5. What stands out to you from the above and why?

 

I have Amy’s CD and have been listening to it while driving and I like her gentle voice….this is praise, yet done in a quiet, gentle, thoughtful voice.

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5.  The song by Amy….even though familiar, it is very different with the rock styling. I liked the background images and how they changed to fit the lyrics.

 

6a.  For the beauty of the prairie and the glory of the fall…

b.  For the love You’ve surrounded me with….

c.  Friends above…thank You, Lord, for Roger Hunt. His example, his friendship with us. His funeral Monday and burial coming up Friday.

d.  Thank You for the people with skin on who are my family week to week, especially my church family.

e.  I praise You, Lord Jesus for being all fulfillment. Of prophecy and purpose and history and even of my need.

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Sunday:
 
1. What stands out to you from the above and why? – I really liked the Freedom of Worship picture by Norman Rockwell. It shows to me, that it doesn’t matter if you are a man or woman, young or old, black or white, we are all God’s children and can worship if freely without harm to ourselves. We are all equal in God’s eyes. I also liked the winding road. What a beautiful picture God has painted with His beauty. I will have to tell my husband about this road. We may just have to take a trip up there with the mustang.
 
2. What do you love about Thanksgiving and why? – I love how everyone comes around and how the world can find at least one thing they are thankful for. The hate in the media goes away for a bit, even if it is just one day. I can only pray that the thankfulness carries on for the rest of the year and continues beyond that.
 
3. Where will you be and how can you walk in light and love through the holiday weekend? – I will be at my cousin’s house in Frankfort IL. I can restrain from being grumpy and try really, really, hard not to complain about the traffic as I drive there. I need to take what I said in number 2 to heart not just for the days to come, but the rest of my life.
 
4. For what can you give thanks on this Sabbath day? – I was thankful for Marie and Gene, a couple in our life group that we lead. She blessed me by making the main meal for our group on Sunday to give me a reprieve. It was so nice not to have to be busy making the meal.
 

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Monday-Tuesday
5. What stands out to you from the above and why? – First off, I lift up Amy, Lord, thank you for this beautiful soul, who puts others before herself. Thank you for giving her life and continuing to be with her through this ugly battle she is fighting. Thank you for her uplifting spirit that she has to fight without complaint. I pray Lord that you see her fight and be with her and heal her body of this disease. Let her fight be your glory. In Jesus Name I pray. AMEN!!! – I love how she put just some of God’s gifts to us in her video. Reminders that whatever we see in our daily walk, we should be praising and thanking God for being able to see this beauty before us. Whether it is nature created by God, or his children, we can look deep and find the true gift and be thankful.
 
6. Meditate on the lyrics and make them personal to your own life, giving thanks for something specific. – I am thankful for my beautiful Mom. She just turned 91 on the 18th of this month and I can’t be more grateful that I still have her in my life. I now have the honor of her living in my home with my family for whatever time she has left. I thank the Lord for her health, her caring spirit, her forgiving ways and most of all her unconditional love. We don’t always see eye to eye, and it is not always easy with her that as we have a different mindset, but I wouldn’t change my current circumstances for anything. I love my mom dearly and thankful for each day I wake up and she is still here. Thank you Lord for the gift of my Mom!
 

    Reply

    So thankful for your prayer for Amy!

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    Julie, I am happy along with you that you still have your mom with you!

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5. What stands out to me is the look of serenity on Amy’s face.

6a. I praise you Lord for teaching me to see beauty in nanny goats and their kids.

b. I thank you Lord for the love my family demonstrated to me during times of illness.

c. I thank you Lord for my late pastor Olan Daffron, Sr. He’s been with you now for 21 years and I miss him everyday. I am grateful for the 5 years he was my spiritual mentor. He was a walking picture of a faithful shepherd tending the flock.

d. Thank you for leading me to a local church who love you and are eager to worship on Sundays.

e. I praise you King Jesus for pursuing me with relentless love.

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Tuesday 

6.

C.  Thank You Lord for my sweet friend Jayne.  For the opportunity to know her before she went to be with You.  She had the gift of exhortation which is just what I needed at the time she was in my life.  I learned so much through her love for You!

D.  Thank You for my church family and all they do for our community.

E.  Thank You for Your amazing love…a love that is sacrificial and unconditional.  That You would love me is beyond my comprehension but I am so grateful that You do!!

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7.  Audrey Assad’s O Lord with me abide….life may be cold and harsh at times and we face sorrow and decay, but He is with me. A constant joy and companion and Paraclete. He is the One who points me higher. The use of the black and white plus the winter scenes remind me that life here is like that. But God has promised to be with us, and someday we will live in a glorious world of full springtime color.

 

8.  I want to ask Him to change me on the inside and help me be willing to do the hard work of change. Sorry that is rather cryptic, but it is where my struggle is.

 

9.  I want to thank Him that my life is both more and other than I know. I can trust Him with it every moment.

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7. What stands out to you from the above hymn and why?
 

The hymn sounds kind of sorrowful to me; I’m not sure if it’s her voice or maybe that she paired it with the winter scenery? Maybe it’s how I’m feeling today? She asks the Lord to be with her (“…abide with me…”) through life’s trials. I like the line where she says, “…oh thou who changes not…” and the lines prior that describe the large changes around her; God doesn’t change.

8. As you prepare your heart for tomorrow, whatever joys or difficulties you may face, for what do you want to ask your Father? (He promises to give wisdom if we ask.)
 

Lord, I know You are always near; thank You for being with me and guiding me through each day. I ask for traveling mercies for my husband and the babies. I also don’t get much downtime lately, and although I will spend much of the weekend grading papers, help me to relish in the family and friends whom I rarely get to see; help us love each other well. I pray that we are all thankful for one another especially. Lord, my children have drifted from You; this makes me sad. If they could only see how abiding in You makes their lives full, I would be so thankful. You bring joy to us throughout the day. You guide without fail when we are focused on You. It is a beautiful thing! I ask that my daughter and two sons, who will be alone this weekend, find You in their alone time. Help them recommit themselves to You dear One, so that they will know Your peace. They need Your peace in their lives. Thank You for all You have done for us. Amen.

9. For what do you want to thank Him? 
 

Thank You Jesus for Your willingness to take on all the sin of the world as Your own. Thank You for showing Yourself to me through the babies. Thank You for good friends who help us here on earth and for the spread of food which we will enjoy together. Amen.

 

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    I hear the sorrow in it too, yet still gratitude for what she has been given. Like your life, dear LAURA.

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    Laura, your prayer is so beautiful….praying for your weekend and your children. I also feel the sadness for children who have drifted away from the God who made them.

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May the Lord fill your hearts this Thanksgiving weekend and watch over us all!

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6. Meditate on the lyrics and make them personal to your own life, giving thanks for something specific.

 

A. Give thanks for beauty in your area and be specific.

 

Oh, sometimes, like this morning, I wake-up and my mind goes to the latest news, and I think to myself that this world is so full of evil and darkness. Then, I come here, and see the photo of the sunset over the lake. And I think….what if the earth reflected the evil that is in the world, what a dark and horrible place it would be. But the beauty of nature reflected in sunsets and oceans, mountains and fall foliage, birds soaring in a blue sky – it never changes. Maybe the permanent beauty we find in the natural world, the earth and the skies, pictures in some way how the darkness will not overcome the light, that there is beauty, and there is a Beauty.

Lord, thank You for the beauty of the earth, the beauty of the skies. I thought yesterday of how in the last few years of her life, my mom seemed particularly interested in looking at the sky, the clouds and their formations, and she would say, “Look at the sky today, look at those clouds….” I love to watch the birds that come to our little tree outside the window to eat the berries in the winter, the robins, cardinals, woodpeckers, the nuthatch, and I recognize the sound of the little chickadee. I love to go to the Metropark where the chickadees will come and eat birdseed out of my hand. Thank You for the company of birds.

 

B. Give thanks for the love you experienced from your Heavenly Father or earthly parents.

 

For the love which from our birth over and around us lies….makes me think of being cocooned in love. And it says from our birth. Had my dad lost his life in WWII, I wouldn’t be here. Thank You Lord, for my life, and for my mom and dad who love me. My dad told me that when they would wake up some days in the morning, my mom would look over at my picture – a big portrait that was taken of me when I was about 3, and she’d say, “Where’s my baby?”

 

C. Give thanks for a “friend above” and explain why you are thankful for this person.

 

I am thankful for a man named Wade, whom I met through a friend as he was a member of her church. Wade had terminal cancer; he prayed for my dad’s salvation and after my dad was saved, I brought my dad to one of the prayer nights that were held at my friend and Wade’s church. I will never forget Wade sitting across from me and my dad, and the twinkle in his eye; that was the last time I saw Wade as he died about two weeks later. I learned that he was in a lot of pain that night, but there he was, giving of himself, right up to the last.

 

D. Give thanks for your local church or the invisible church, being specific.

 

Lord, thank You for all the believers all around the world, who shine as lights in a dark world wherever they are. I think of the young believers in Ghana, at House of Hope, who want their families to come to church and turn away from their false gods and religion. These children willingly read and study Your Word because they want to.

 

E. Give thanks for what the love of Christ means to you and be specific.

 

Lord, thank You for the gift of Your love, for loving me when I was Your enemy, for drawing me to Yourself. Amazing love, how can it be? Me: trembling, uncertain, prone to doubt and fear….You: faithful, never changing, steady and constant, loving unto death.

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7. What stands out to you from the above hymn and why?

 

Change and decay in all around I see….the older I get, there seems to be more and more change, and I don’t always welcome it because they aren’t the changes that I want. And decay….bodies aging, troubles multiplying. I agree with Laura, this is kind of a sad hymn. Maybe it’s sad to me because I don’t want to face the reality of change and decay or I’m trying to cling to things that are like trying to hold onto water. The comfort is that He never changes, the only hope and answer is to remain in Him, and for Him to remain in us.

 

8. As you prepare your heart for tomorrow, whatever joys or difficulties you may face, for what do you want to ask your Father?

 

I saw Mary’s prayer above; she asked for God to change her on the inside, and to want to do the hard work of changing. I can’t change the people around me, though often I want to. I get a Hallmark movie/Norman Rockwell scene in my mind, and I want my family to be like that. There has been so much mistrust, fighting, and estrangement in my family, involving my sisters….we haven’t had a holiday for several years now where all of us are together, because for four years, my two sisters were not speaking. There has been some reconciliation because my dad now lives with one sister, but still, it isn’t the way it used to be. I don’t have much of a relationship with the sister with whom my dad lives, and we will be there for Thanksgiving. It’s strange to me to be together on the holidays when for most of the year, we don’t see each other, though a bit more now as I go over there to see my dad, and she only lives ten minutes from me. It would take too long to explain the history of our relationship. I usually end up feeling guilty and hollow inside. We will all be missing my mom. Though invited, my eldest sister already had plans with her husband’s family, so she won’t be there. Can God really help me to just lay down my expectations and longings for that “perfect family”?

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9. For what do you want to thank Him?

 

I have so much to be thankful for…..for His provisions….a warm home, plentiful food, clothing, a job for me and my husband, a new vehicle that we were able to purchase, for good health, for my 91 year old dad who is still with us, for our family and friends. I am thankful that I can come “here” for fellowship and encouragement and be a part of this community of believers. (And I know there are many of you “silent friends” who are here with us, too) This place is a well of fresh water to drink from in a dry and thirsty world.

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Laura and Susan I have researched the backstory to Abide With Me. You both are so right to say it is a sad hymn. It was written in 1847 by Scottish Anglican Henry Francis Lyte. He set his poem Abide With Me to music as he lay dying from tuberculosis. He survived only 3 weeks further after its completion.

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    Tammy, thanks for the historical background on Audrey’s song. I have seen patients die of TB in the Philippines and this prayer song is so poignant as it relates to the condition.

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    Tammy, I didn’t know this about Abide With Me….thank you for your research. Now when I listen to it, I will think of this man and what he was experiencing.

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    Thanks Tammy…that is a sad story but look how he touched our lives 😊

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5. What stands out to you from the above and why?

For the wonder of each hour. Living in a fast paced world, it is easy to lose the wonder of each hour. Last night was a culmination of a month planning for the National Technical Honor Society induction ceremony. My husband took me out for ice cream afterwards- I was so tired I was drifting in and out of our conversation. But God gave strength by pulling me into the now and just to sit across the table and thank Him for my husband who was there for me through it all.

6. Meditate on the lyrics and make them personal to your own life, giving thanks for something specific.

Thank you, Lord that there is so much beauty around and it is all from you. For the earth, for the hour for human love, I thank you.

For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies

A. Give thanks beauty in your area and be specific.

The white snow blanketing the earth, the kaleidoscope of tree colors as autumn fades, for the harvested land, for the cool air reminding me of that night long ago when Jesus was born, thank you, God.

For the love which from our birth over and around us lies

B. Give thanks for the love you experienced from your heavenly Father or earthly parents

Thank you, God that I can call you, Abba. For my parents who loved me and provided for us three children. For my Dad who taught me to love unconditionally, for my Mom who taught me perseverance. At almost 84, and in frail health, Mom continues to be one of my pray-ers.

C. Give thanks for “a friend above” and explain why you are thankful for this person.

For Tatay Miller who is in Heaven now and who continues to influence how I live my life through his generosity, kindness and missionary spirit.

For Thy Church that evermore, lifteth holy hands above

D. Give thanks for your local church or the invisible Church, being specific.

For our Church in Rock Port who has loved us and supported us the past 7 years-who has encouraged us in our ministry efforts.

WOW! I had to look up what invisible church means. This article made sense of it as I believe that we can never judge whether a person is truly saved and therefore of God’s elect. He is the only one who knows. In eternity past, God has deemed whom He will elect thus the invisible church can be regenerated humans who are not even alive now. And that also in the midst of our church, there are members who do not belong. Lord, you are sovereign.

I hope I am not deflecting from our discussions here. https://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/visible.html

For Thyself, best gift divine, To our race so freely given;

For that great, great love of Thine, Peace on earth and joy in heaven

E. Give thanks for what the love of Christ means to you and be specific.

Freely, freely you have received…the first few lines of a song. Lord, thank you for your GREAT love. Thank you for choosing me to be one of your elect. There is such peace that comes from knowing that and an assurance that you will work all things out for good to those who love you. The difficulties in life has taken on a more heavenly perspective because I know you love me and all is well with my soul no matter what.

 

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    HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR BING!

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7. What stands out to me is the contrast of  winter days. Gloomy days seem to hang around longer in the winter. Days filled with sunshine are to be savored. I’ve lived in a mild climate all my life so it’s hard for me to comprehend bitter cold that lasts for days and days. For me the video is a picture of the cold and uncaring attitude of the world. It is only when I am with like minded Christians I see the brief glimpse of sunshine.

8. I want to ask my Father to help me to keep singing my song in the night.

9. I want to thank my Father for bringing me back to the place I never expected to return to.

This Thanksgiving finds me still battling sinus congestion. I feel as if my head is a big seashell…hold it close and  you can hear the ocean. It’s going to be a quiet day. So far the plans include just me, Daddy, and my stepmom for dinner. I’m sure her son and daughter in law will come by. What saddens me is her daughter lives close enough to visit but never does and rarely calls. My stepmom has some serious health issues and if she lives another year I will be surprised. Living in a sin cursed world is most hard when fractured families grow farther apart because old wounds are never allowed to heal.

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Happy Thanksgiving everyone! We are in the plane and so far without many hitches! Have a lovely day 😉🦃🦃🦃!

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10. Give thanks now for any provision you have to face this winter.

 

It’s in the 20’s outside and I woke up this morning thankful to be lying underneath a warm blanket in a warm home. I don’t have to harvest my food and store it for the winter; I can go to the grocery store anytime for more food. When I go out, I have a warm jacket, gloves, hat, scarf, and some very warm snow boots for when it snows. I can’t imagine how awfully cold the first Pilgrims were when they first arrived here in winter. I believe they had to live on their ship until they could build housing for themselves.

 

11. Meditate on the second verse of this hymn – and then share how nature foreshadows eternal truths.

 

All the world is God’s own field, Fruit unto His praise to yield – we glorify Him when we bear fruit. Jesus talked about the fields being ripe for the harvest, about how we are known by the kind of fruit we bear. In Isaiah, God was disappointed when He looked and waited for the fruit, but there was none. Now it is really striking me how the Lord used these nature metaphors to describe our spiritual condition.

 

Wheat and tares together sown, Unto joy or sorrow grown – I don’t grow wheat, but in my garden, the weeds grow right in there with the flowers. The weeds get dug out and thrown back in the woods. The wheat represents the believers who will get to experience joy in the presence of God, the tares, as Psalm 1 says, represent the wicked, the godless, who will blow away like chaff.

 

First the blade and then the ear, Then the full corn shall appear – the harvest begins with a seed that is planted in the ground; our spiritual life begins with a seed, too….then we begin to grow in our faith, like a blade, then the ear-a little more, then the whole plant, and then the fruit. I also like how Jesus is described as a root out of the stump of Jesse, and how He grew up like a tender shoot.

 

Lord of harvest, grant that we wholesome grain and pure may be – we want to be ‘good, healthy plants’, free of spots and disease. One way is that the Lord will prune us; our own choices also affect how wholesome and pure we will be. Psalm 1 says that the man who doesn’t listen to godless advice, for example, will be like a tree that bears much fruit in season.

 

 

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO EVERYONE!

I pray that all will enjoy the love of family and friends today and the blessings of good food and fellowship, and safe travel for those who are traveling.

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Just coming on to say Happy Birthday to Bing!!! and Happy Thanksgiving to all! And I can’t believe I missed this week because I LOVE Abide With Me–that was my hymn pick a few weeks ago, it has a very special meaning to me. Love you all, and Dee–OH how thankful we are for YOU!

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO EACH OF YOU! I TRULY THANK GOD FOR YOU.

FLYINT TO BE WTIH DAUGHTER SALLY FOR A WEEK. SO FAR SO GOOD WITH MY BROKEN HAND. WHEN I AM WEAK I AM STRONG!

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Happy thanksgiving everyone and thank you for the birthday greetings! I thank God for Dee and everybody on this blog. God is good!

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Happy & Blessed Thanksgiving to u all!   Happy B-Day to Bing!   Dee, have a wonderful time with Sally & I pray that your hand is healing well!  Love to u all  :)

It has been a very quiet day here with just my husband & me. I did get to speak to each of my kids tho, & 2 friends stopped by this afternoon. Thankful to the Lord for all His provision, patience & loving kindness, mercy, grace & forgiveness. Thankful I could have a little video chat with my mom in Aussie last night, & she knew who I was….(Alzheimers)…She said she wished I wasn’t so faraway & that she loved me & wanted to hug me…tears but joy & sweet love. I am going to see her in Feb!   :)

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Dear LAURA, I hope your trip is going well, & that u & your husband & the babies are truly blessed & filled up with the love & care of family, friends & our Wonderful Father.  Will pray for your kids & their hearts to be turned towards the Lord who loves them.  xx

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Abide With Me is so beautifully sung by Audrey. Actually its the first time I’ve heard that hymn! Very meaningful words…made me a little sad thinking of my aging parents & not sure how much longer they will be on earth. Yet hopeful because I know they will be with the Lord. So thankful that He abides with me & in me.  :)

Dear Abba Father, please help me to see my husband thro Your eyes & to have your wisdom  & compassion & towards him.

Thank You that my oldest son rang today & said he wanted to thank me for being his mum! So thankful for growth in him; not following Jesus yet but becoming so considerate, & a young man of integrity & diligence   :)

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10. Winter provisions I am grateful for are my hat, gloves, and heat in the car. I enjoy making potato  soup during winter months.

11. As i write I hear the goats bleating and Roscoe, Daddy’s dog is barking. Pecan trees are still shedding leaves. The sky is cloudy. It’s a gloomy fall day. But behind the clouds the sun still shines. This scene of nature I’ve just described is a good picture of my life when troubles come and stay awhile. I need to praise God more on my gloomy days. Although I cannot actually see God I am more aware of his presence  on gloomy days as his light shines in the darkness of this world.

12. My younger brother was recently ordained as a deacon in the small country church he and Mama attend. Sometimes when I call my mom she will tell me he’s reading his Bible. My siblings and I don’t communicate (their choice not mine). I do  know my mom and three of her children are regular church-goers. Only God knows what’s in our individual hearts. My mother has yet to admit she’s a sinner but she has admitted she’s not perfect. And from the things she told me about the excursion trip to the Creation Museum and the replica of Noah’s Ark I believe she is being pursued by the relentless love of Jesus.

13. Jesus thank you for your relentless love. I pray for my family members who have not yet reconciled with you. I pray we will all be the harvest of wholesome grain.

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7. What stands out to you from the above hymn and why?
But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. ” Luke 24:29
I love this verse as there was sincere urging and the best thing of all, he (Jesus) went in to stay with them (us or me). At our lowest, we need only to ask Jesus to stay and He will.
8. As you prepare your heart for tomorrow, whatever joys or difficulties you may face, for what do you want to ask your Father? (He promises to give wisdom if we ask.)
Lord, that LOVE be essence of both joys and difficulties. Let me see the ache beyond the words, to respond with words of healing and grace instead of indifference or judgment. Help me appreciate my husband’s side of the family, be accepting of where they are at. I pray specifically for a special way to connect with his nephews and their wives as well as the 2 great-nephews. And for his nephew and his wife who are waiting to adopt, may I have words of encouragement.
9. For what do you want to thank Him?
That we are free to gather with family and friends. For food and good health (my sister-in-law got checked for cancer since she has had one mastectomy already and she received a good report-no cancer!)

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Love the reports!

It is lovely to hear thanks from so many perspectives, geographical areas, and dear hearts.

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14. Share any specific ways the Lord has worked in your heart during our 31 days of thanks.

Dee,  you have helped me focus on the different aspects of thankfulness. This past month I have been more aware and thankful for the beauty of creation in a way that I never have before.

I have noticed a change in my attitude at work and interactions with my coworkers and I truly believe that it is a result of an overflow of thankfulness. The more thankful I am, the less irritated I am by others  (I was going to soften that one so I didn’t sound so horrible, but it’s the truth).

I haven’t been posting much, but I am following along and reading everyone’s comments. I’m thankful for the all of ladies that share. You are a blessing to me.

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    This is a wonderful report, Dawn!

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10. Reflecting on the history of that first Thanksgiving, we surely have it easier than they did. They were giving thanks for surviving, when so many of their number had not. Yet still, we can be thankful, as Renee was last week, for her furnace working. Give thanks now for any provision you have to face this winter.

 

Oh Lord, You are good to us! You provide when we are in need. Often times in the winter we lose power. When that happens we struggle because we can’t flush toilets; we have no water. It is a difficult time and as we have discussed here before, water is LIFE! Thank You Lord that we are so blessed that we have a generator to help us through these winter months when it is so cold.

 
11. Meditate on the 2nd verse of this hymn — and then share how nature foreshadow eternal truths. 
All the world is God’s own field, Fruit unto His praise to yield. 
Wheat and tares together sown, Unto joy or sorrow grown. 
First the blade and then the ear, Then the full corn shall appear: 
Lord of harvest, grant that we Wholesome grain and pure may be

 

We are like the wheat for God to use. We can grow to be joyful beings or unhappy, just as some of the wheat is more flavorful than other bits. In the end, when it’s time for the harvest, hopefully we are reflecting the best of ourselves as God desires.

 
12. Can you see any spiritual growth in your heart or the hearts of your loved ones this year? If so, share and give thanks. 
 

Not especially this year, at least not for myself or my direct family members. However, I have noticed a very close friend has grown. Thank You Lord for touching our lives.

 

 
13. Now pray for yourself and your loved ones, that you may be “wholesome grain and pure may be.”
 

Oh Lord, does my family need to grow to be more like You! Unfortunately, most of us have a long way to go, myself included. Please help us Lord. We need You. Help us be more pure and wholesome. Amen.

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    You are steadfast, Laura!

     

     

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10.  Thank You, Lord, that You have provided me with a furnace, hot water, the means to prepare hot meals, and even a heating pad when I am cold at night. Thank You for clothes I still fit into, including a winter coat. Thank You For gloves and hats and boots and an attached garage. Thank You for a spouse who delights to be my work taxi. Thank You for jobs, so that not only can we pay the bills, but we can give to others.

 

11.  Every year in these temperate zones, we see the harvest of crops and gardens, and then the death of plants and leaves. In the spring it all comes to life again. Someday God will harvest His followers, not individually, but all together. Life as we’ve known it will die. But in heaven we will experience new life.

 

12.  Just recently, my believing husband decided we need to do devotions together. We failed at that early in our marriage, and now some 40 years later, he wants to try again.

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    Mary, I love your #12.

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13.  Lord, I don’t want to be an empty husk. Fill me and my family with fruit for You, for Your pleasure and use.

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14. When I went back and read my journal, I found the 31 days of thankfulness has shifted my focus. I noticed that I am more concerned with the burdens others are bearing. I have also noted with gratitude answered prayers. In my dealings with unbelieving family members I have been practicing patience with the help of God’s Spirit. When I lived in Georgia I was self-employed so it’s been a big adjustment working with others. I’m easy going  but it’s frustrating having  a supervisor who doesn’t have a friendly personality. Thankfulness is enabling me to remain calm when confronted with unpleasant situations at work. Dee, I really appreciate the journey we all took together. It is a treasured blessing. Looking forward to Advent.

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11. Meditate on the 2nd verse of this hymn — and then share how nature foreshadow eternal truths.
All the world is God’s own field, Fruit unto His praise to yield.
God  is the owner of everything on earth. All Creation was made for God’s glory.
Wheat and tares together sown, Unto joy or sorrow grown.
But man either rebels or obeys.
First the blade and then the ear, Then the full corn shall appear:
Growth takes time but certain when we abide
Lord of harvest, grant that we Wholesome grain and pure may be.
The spiritual results are in God’s hands.
 
12. Can you see any spiritual growth in your heart or the hearts of your loved ones this year? If so, share and give thanks.
Lord, thank you for helping me grow in my love and trust in you. Thank you that our daughter is at a place where she seems content and more financially responsible.
13. Now pray for yourself and your loved ones, that you may be “wholesome grain and pure may be.”
May we be wholesome grain and pure. I am reminded of the song that says “from glory to glory, He is changing me, changing me, changing me; His likeness and image to perfect in me.” II Corinthians 3:18 And a quote from a website “Paul sums up our entire Christian life, from redemption and sanctification on earth, to our glorious eternal welcome into heaven.”  https://www.gotquestions.org/from-glory-to-glory.html
Saturday:
14. Share any specific ways the Lord has worked in your heart during our 31 days of thanks.
I have learned to be more focused and to see the Lord’s hands in little things like finding a lost paper that is important, less traffic, a better attitude towards small irritations in life, a more controlled tongue, peace where there seems to be trouble looming, acceptance of things I cannot change. Thankful to be alive and to be used of God in spite my flaws.
Greatly thankful for this blog that God has used to inspire, exhort, encourage me. Blessings abound!

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12. Can you see any spiritual growth in your heart or the hearts of your loved ones this year? If so, share and give thanks.

 

I feel like I am such a slow learner when it comes to spiritual growth. It just doesn’t come easy to me. I don’t want to leave this 31 day journey we’ve been on about thanksgiving….I need to continue on, on my own. I continue to read Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts, and when she writes of her struggles, I feel they have been mine, too. Years of only seeing the “splatters of disappointments”, of failing to take the things in my life and return to the feet of Jesus, giving thanks. Only yesterday, I was complaining about our Christmas tree as we were putting it together, because some of the lights are burned out, on a pre-lit tree that we’ve only had for three years. Yet, I strung some extra lights on it and by the time it was all decorated, it looked lovely. But my initial words were not lovely.

 

13. Now pray for yourself and your loved ones, that you may be “wholesome grain and pure may be”.

 

Lord, I am seeing how my lack of gratitude and thankfulness are spoiling my relationship with You and with others, making me like a piece of hard, dry chaff. Please stay the journey with me, and transform my heart, making it wholesome, making me whole, in You, and pure. And I pray for my family, for those who do not acknowledge You in any way in their lives, that You would pursue them, help them to see, save them from living, as Ann said, “non-eucharisteo in a non-eucharisteo world.” In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

 

14. Share any specific ways the Lord has worked in your heart during our 31 days of thanks.

 

Tammy mentioned looking in her journal in her post above….I just had a thought that what I, what we all, write here is kind of like a journal; we can look back through the weeks. I’m going to look back through these weeks of our study on giving thanks. I am quicker to recognize the bitter seeds of non-thankfulness in my life. I was pondering this the other day when thinking about Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages. Receiving gifts is not my love language, according to his book. Gifts have little value to me if not accompanied by a person wanting to spend time with me, just being together. Yet, I realized that is no excuse not to give thanks, because that might be how the other person shows their love.

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