Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

 

When we say thank you to someone for something they have done for us, the thank you is to be reflective of our gratitude.

 

God has accomplished much on our behalf! Our thank you to Him should always be more than token. They should be reflective of what God has done for us. He gave His Son that you and I might not suffer eternal judgement. God promised a comforter (Holy Spirit) to teach us, guide us, and encourage us. He did this that we might know life and know it more abundantly. Our thanksgiving ought to be quite in the morning, bold in the evening, our thanksgiving ought to have the voice of praise, the power of love and the ring of enthusiasm and sincerity.

 

But that is not all, if our thanksgiving is going to be reflective of the gratitude and thanks God deserves, there ought to be some labor attached to it, sacrificial, sweat popping, fruit bearing labor! Not because we owe Him, not because He needs our help, but rather because He deserves the glory!

 

So much of our thanksgiving is token. You don’t think so; when is the last time your prayer was full of “thank you” rather than “may I?” How often does our praise outweigh our requests? If thanksgiving is to be reflective of what God has done for us it ought to have the value of a soul attached to it.

 

How can this be accomplished you ask.

 

Take a look at what the word thanksgiving means. Webster’s New World Dictionary defines it this way:

  1. The act of giving thanks.

Now consider the word “act” – A thing being done or deed.

  1. An expression of thanks to God in the form of prayer.

Now consider the word “expression” – A pressing or squeezing out a showing of feeling, character.

 

At its core of meaning thanksgiving is the combing of simple thanks with the act of giving. Thanksgiving is an expression that rises above thank you. We need to examine our lives to insure that our thanksgiving to God is more than a token statement.

 

This holiday season I wonder; what can we do to take our appreciation for God and those around us to the next level?

 

Have an awesome Thanksgiving!

Barry Campbell – Newby Chaplain

My Grace Is Sufficient

My Grace Is Sufficient

When confronted with someone struggling in this life, it is easy to quote the scripture found in II Corinthians 12:7-9 that states, “My grace is sufficient…” What does that do for the hurting? What does that do for the person dealing with a broken marriage or finances that are in shambles? What does this do for the person who is struggling daily to simply hold it all together? What does it do for the person who cannot bear one more negative thing in their life? What does it do when it seems that, with one more wave, the ship will have taken on more water than she can hold and stay afloat. Down we go into the depths of despair and discouragement. It would seem a bottomless pit with no way out, ever sinking deeper and deeper.

Maybe you are reading this and you or someone you know can relate to what I have written. I want you to know that there is comfort in these words; there is peace and assurance in these words. How? Why? Because Jesus Himself spoke them. Jesus didn’t just cast these words out on the sea of generality. He said them specifically to a man who was broken, who had reached the end of himself. This man was broken physically, emotionally, and spiritually. He was desperately calling on God as a last hope.

In the hour of his despair, in the hour of his discouragement, in one of the greatest struggles of the Apostle Paul’s ministry, Jesus Christ says “no” to Paul’s request for deliverance, but He says “yes” to an abundance of His grace.

It may be today, it may be tomorrow, or it may not be until next year. Despair and discouragement, trial and tribulation, unrest and dissatisfaction will all find you. And when it does find you, where will you turn? To the world for another temporal fix? To yourself to try and pull yourself up by your own bootstraps? When this great disturbance comes, is your relationship to the Lord Jesus one that will allow you to find rest in the sufficiency of His grace?

 

Barry Campbell

Corporate Chaplain

Newby Management

Gratitude Is A Choice

Psalm 103:2-5

 

I met a man this past Friday who had lost his wife of 59 years just three weeks prior. She went in for surgery and never left the hospital. I was very impressed that, even in the wake of the loss of his wife— the confusion, the brokenness, that he had a heart that was so grateful to God for all the many blessings throughout his life. He repeatedly made the statement, “God is so good,” and he said this— not in a manufactured way such as we might experience at a Christian conference or a church service— but emphatically and in a deep satisfied way.

 

Gratitude such as this is a choice. It is fostered through looking beyond the hurt and pain, looking beyond the struggles and strife, and focusing on all that God has blessed us with. It is to allow those things to fill our heart and to give voice to our praise. 

 

Fostering a heart of gratitude prevents negative behaviors such as complaining, gossiping, anxiety, anger, and bitterness. 

 

Kenneth Boa wrote, “Gratitude is a choice, not merely a feeling, and it requires effort especially in difficult times. But the more we choose to live in the discipline of conscious thanksgiving, the more natural it becomes, and the more our eyes are opened to the little things throughout the day previously overlooked.”

 

The Bible says in Psalms 103:2-5, “Bless the Lord O my soul, and forget not all His benefits; who forgives all your iniquities and heals all your diseases; who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion; who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

 

Henri Nouwen wrote, “Every gift I acknowledge reveals another and another until, finally, even the most normal, obvious, and seemingly mundane event or encounter proves to be filled with grace.”