Thursday, November 1, 2012

As we begin the traditional month for being thankful...

... I hope I'll have many of you join me for Thankful on Thursdays.

When we're thankful for His gifts, and acknowledge them as such - oh what praise to Him! 

"Enter his gates with thanks;
    enter his courtyards with praise!
    Thank him! Bless his name!" - Psalm 100:4 (CEB)

When we say, "I'm thankful for ..." there's an understood to whom we're giving thanks.  We're not implying that we're glad for the possessions we've accumulated on our own.  Oh, no no ... when we as followers of Christ and children of God claim thankfulness, we are proclaiming that we see this gift as undeserved favor and grace from the Giver and we are demonstrating our love and appreciation for His love in return.  

If I ever tell anyone, "I'm thankful for you," what I'm saying in truth is, "I acknowledge that God didn't have to put you in my life to bless me, but He did, and because He loved me in that way, I'm declaring my joy over the gift of you to you and most of all, to Him." [Yes, there are too many prepositional phrases in that sentence, read it again and forgive me.]

Thankfulness is always about God.  Turkeys and feasting are great.  Cornucopias and decorations are lovely.  But Thanksgiving has a source and a direction.  Blessings of all shapes and sizes, seen and unseen, are sourced, all of them, from the Father of Lights, the Giver of all good things (James 1:17).  And the direction of our thanks is always back at Him.

Eucharisteo - thankful to God for Grace.  Let's begin:

- J: my pajama friend on a Saturday morning

- spooky, silly stories from fifth-graders, and their attempts to write their classmates into laughter

- Chai-tea this morning when the coffee's all gone

- K's pretty smile after I wished her Happy Birthday and she got out of the car

- Your righteous garment, provided for me, imputed for me to wear at the Wedding feast, and the security of knowing You won't throw me into outer darkness (Matthew 22:12-13)

- hearing KS's testimony three times this weekend, and crying my way through all three, these tears of joy for her victory in You to overcome

- sustained joy even in all of this cold rain - a true miracle of strength (Nehemiah 8:10)

- tears of joy running down my face, praising You for the miracle of CK and Grace, and pictures of them on fb together in China

- a funny video-chat with my little niece, L, and how we laughed to see her crawl for the first time, all the way out of the room

- a panel of professionals, able and brave through the storm, coming to my writing group to share their wisdom and pour it into the thirsty sponges of amateurs 

- sitting fireside at Panera, typing and thanking, so cozy

- Here by Kari Jobe, and the comfort washed over my heart with a song:
          "Breathe in, Breathe out
            You will, you will find Him 

-Pumpkin bagels, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin bars, pumpkin candles, and pumpkin everything this time of year

- generous donations for prisoners - the forgotten, now remembered

- a baby's happy voice, babbling like a brook over and around the stacks at the library, breaking the silence with the most amazing sound I can imagine

Oh my God - Your gifts are so extravagant! Jesus, thank You every day for new ones, overflowing to more than I can hold.  And today I offer You back the only thing I have for You: thanks.  You deserve to be recognized and praised for Your generosity, Father.  Your goodness is more than I can describe.  May these words honor You, and inspire others to give You thanksgiving too.  Not only in three weeks or this month, but every month, every day, every moment.  This alone is true joy.

I invite you to add your eucharisteo too!  He is worthy of public praise.  

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