Gratitude

…always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:20)

Do we give thanks for everything? That’s a pretty tall order! In this season of thanksgiving, some of us may not feel all that thankful. I have a wonderful friend who, in an eloquent blog post, expressed his frustration in his own lack of gratitude. Life was hard. Finances were lacking, dreams were unrealized, and it seemed as if everyone else was better off than he was.  He wanted to appreciate what he had, but the feelings just weren’t coming.

There are many reasons we can find ourselves struggling to be thankful. In my friend’s case, I could immediately see several areas where some unsolicited advice might help.

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Happy Thanksgiving

(I decided to post something a day early, because I wanted to share this in time for Thanksgiving Day.)

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It’s not about the feast, although I adore turkey, stuffing, and all the accompaniments. It’s not about the football, even though I enjoy a good game every so often.It’s not even about getting together with loved ones, although I treasure any time I spend with our daughters and their families.

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A Few Tips for Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving is next week, and you may have invited friends and/or family to dinner. Of course, you’ll want to employ proper etiquette. I happen to own a little book, handed down from Pete’s grandmother and brown with age, titled Table Setting and Service for Mistress and Maid. It was written by Della Thompson Lutes, who is also billed as the author of The Gracious Hostess and A Home of Your Own, and Housekeeping Editor of Modern Priscilla and Director of Priscilla Proving Plant. In 155 pages, Mrs. Lutes outlines all the things the proper homemaker of 1928 needed to know about the art of furnishing a dining room, setting a table, hiring a maid (or waitress) and cook, and properly serving her family and guests.

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Be Thankful for More than Turkey

turkeyThanksgiving. More and more, we’re calling it “Turkey Day.” Is Thanksgiving a holiday about eating as much turkey, stuffing, and pie as we can possibly handle? Has this holiday, like so many others, become so fixed on staying busy, keeping up our traditions, watching football, and buying stuff that we’re missing the point?

For the past few years my dad wasn’t well enough to travel, so we hosted Thanksgiving at our house. We invited friends, family, whoever needed a place to land, and I cleaned and shopped and cooked. Numbers varied, but we usually ended up with a dozen guests crowded around our table built for six. Somehow we made it work.

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A June Thanksgiving

BF fire sign_LAH_4025What are you thankful for? We usually ask that question in November, and here it is June. More often than the answer includes our family, our friends, our good (if it is good) health, perhaps a special possession or two.

After a week or more of evacuations, fire, and loss, many here are incredibly grateful to God, and to the firefighters and other first responders who risked their lives on our behalf. Everywhere you look, there are signs of thanksgiving. I mean that literally.

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Giving Thanks

A friend of mine recently commented about how, with Thanksgiving coming, she is trying to learn to thank God even for “the hard stuff.” She’s basing her belief on 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, which says “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

There’s no doubt that Christians are supposed to be a grateful people. There is so much to thank God for—his love, mercy, righteousness and goodness, our salvation, one another, his coming reign on earth, answered prayers, not to mention the endless blessings he bestows on us day by day, often ones we hadn’t even thought to ask for. For example, when’s the last time we thanked God for the air that we breathe? We hardly ever think about air, unless we’re in danger of suffocation or drowning!

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