Monday, November 21, 2016

Reasons to be Thankful, Part 1

Chuckle: A friend relayed to me something his boss told him prior to his getting married. He said, "look for a girl with biscuit dough on her axe handle!"
Quote: "Thankfulness is a conscious response that comes from looking beyond our blessings to their source." --Henry Blackaby

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever" (Psalm 136:1 NIV).
Our passage begins a beautiful expression of praise and thanksgiving to God as the Creator and as Deliverer. God's everlasting love is the basis for everything for which we should give thanks. In the next three lessons, we will be reminded of several reasons we should be thankful this Thanksgiving season and all year long. As simple as this exercise will be, I think it important to consider what God has done, and continues to do, for us.
Give thanks for the freedoms we enjoy. Today, I am reminded that Christians are being persecuted all around the world. They are being imprisoned, tortured, and killed. Their Bibles and other Christian literature are being confiscated. They gather for worship under the constant threat of being rounded up as criminals.
We live in a wonderful country, even with all its flaws. God continues to bless us with freedoms that many never experience. Please take the time to thank God for his blessing of freedom. Also, remember that freedom isn't free. Many have sacrificed their lives to protect these freedoms we enjoy. Please pray for those who put their lives on the line every day to guard our freedoms.
Give thanks for material blessings. God does not choose to bless all of us with the same abundance of material things. You may have little or much of this world's goods, but God wants all of us to be equally thankful for what we have. I'm reminded of the words of an astronaut years ago when he described the planet earth, as seen from space, as "an oasis in space." If the earth is an oasis in space, the USA must be a paradise in a barren wasteland compared with much of the world. In this country, our dogs and cats eat better than most people of the world. Our garbage cans tell the tale. I've read that we throw away 10 times our body weight per year. In many countries, people throw away nothing.
John Steinbeck once wrote these words to Adlai Stephenson, "If I wanted to destroy a nation I would give it too much and I would have it on its knees, miserable, greedy, and sick." Do you think America may have reached this point?"
Love, Jerry & Dotse

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