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    Thanksgiving: Not Only for Giving Thanks

    Canadians recently celebrated Thanksgiving, while Americans will be celebrating it later this month. Does your country have a specific day for giving thanks? While many Americans associate Thanksgiving with Pilgrims and Native Americans, it was Abraham Lincoln who made Thanksgiving a national holiday in the midst of the Civil War. In his October 3, 1863 proclamation, Lincoln spoke to a fractured nation and proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving. Not only that, he asked for prayers for “the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and…

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    What a Day of ThanksLIVING Looks Like

    “Always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father . . .” (Ephesians 5:20). That’s a pretty tall order: all the time? for all things? Seriously? When I was first challenged to obey this scripture, some 44 years ago, I thought that surely it wasn’t translated properly. Or maybe there was a footnote. Or an asterisk. Surely some kind of loophole, right? Nope. It means just what is says. We can continually give thanks for all things because if God is truly in control, then everything He allows us to experience comes with His permission-and thus He has a plan.…

  • Heartprints

    Shoe Box Christians

    Am I rushing things to ask you to think about Thanksgiving in September? Maybe. But, please hear me out. What characterizes the Christian life more than that of giving thanks? We do a lot of activities ahead of time during advent and lent to prepare for Christmas and Easter. What do we do ahead to prepare for Thanksgiving Day? What is a Thanksgiving Day without giving of thanks? It can easily be forgotten in the midst of the food and fun. Be intentional this year, Take advantage of the next nine weeks to prepare. If you are home schooling, teaching Sunday School, or just plain parenting this will be an activity…

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    The Joy of God’s Presence

    “When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the Temple…When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the Lord above the Temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord (2 Chronicles 7:1-3).” God’s presence came to dwell in this earthly Temple—declaring it to be His own. Very visible. Very memorable. I’ve always loved this passage as well as the similar event in Exodus when God comes to dwell in the Tabernacle (Exodus 40:34-38). The Ark of God…

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    Giving Thanks for EVERYTHING?

    Early in my walk with Christ, I learned the life-changing, perspective-changing discipline of giving thanks for everything. EVERYTHING. Initially, I stumbled over Ephesians 5:20, “always giving thanks for everything,” thinking that surely that must not be an accurate translation, or there was a footnote or asterisk or something that would mitigate the implication of the absolutes of “always” and “everything.” I even bought a Greek-English interlinear New Testament so I could check out the original language. Yep, that’s what it says. But it’s awfully hard to embrace this command without an understanding of why God would tell us to give thanks always, much less why this command, like all the…

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    Giving Thanks in a Hard Place

    My husband and I are ministering in part of the former Soviet Union while I’ve been reading Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts. She focuses on seeing and living life through the filter of eucharisteo, the Greek word for “giving thanks.” The title refers to the fact that she recorded a thousand little ways in which God revealed Himself and His goodness to her, most of which were a pleasure to receive, some of which were painful. She worked to practice gratitude, which not only built her faith but also made her aware of how deeply she was loved. This is a physically and spiritually challenging place to be, so…