Nov 252015
 

History_BYDK_Thanksgiving_SF_still_624x352You’re already inundated by now with pastors telling you to be sure to be thankful and sometimes even telling you what you should be thankful for.

As I am not the Holy Spirit, I will not be joining that choir.

One of the things I’m thankful for is that God delivered me from the need to tell the people I pastor how to think or feel about things…they are quite capable of doing so on their own.

My job is to just give people good things to think about.

I digress…

For many folks Thanksgiving is the beginning of yearly sorrow that doesn’t end until Jan 2.

They not only have to deal with their own sorrow and depression, but the guilt laid upon them for not fully participating in the “happiest time of the year”.

I’m one of those people.

I participate for the sake of others, not myself.

I endure the season like one endures a dental appointment.

My challenge is to “rejoice with those who rejoice”… a challenge I’m just now mastering with the help of Jesus and kids.

It’s worth the effort… because I’m thankful for those kids and the people I know who love this season.

I’m thankful for a lot of things.

Every day.

Being thankful or joyful isn’t something that should be contrived to satisfy the religious sensibilities of other people… people express their joys and thankfulness in different ways.

All those ways are received by God as praise.

So, I’m thankful for those who are excited about this season and I’m thankful for those who endure it like me.

Whichever side you fall on, I’m thankful for you.

I’m thankful to the God who has sustained us all for His many blessings.

May Thanksgiving and the season to come be the best it can be for you and yours.

 

  43 Responses to “Happy Thanksgiving”

  1. AMEN!

  2. Well, the political Liberals among us will remind us that the “christians” brought death and sickness to the natives in droves, basically wiping them out in the name of Jesus and progress.

    I view it as simply Natural Selection and a process of Evolution and Human Nature in action (which is a “god” thing IMO, and just how things work in the Universe).

    Religion doesn’t take the Human Nature out of us, in fact at times it feeds the bad sides and then provides all manner of justification and excuse…and of course you can simply ask your deity for “forgiveness” and all is good in the hood.

    I’m agnostic on the Thanksgiving issue. I’m part native american and my white European “christian” ancestors did wipe my other fore-fathers out. It is what it is. I’m not going to cry about it, it’s Human Nature and “progress!”

  3. As a recovering glutton, I LOVE Thanksgiving. it’s very ‘Merican. You watch over-paid celebrity football players all day on the TV-god and stuff your face and gorge until you’re ready to puke on all manner of high-calorie high-fat high-sugar delicacies prepared by all the women-folk while the dudes lay around doing nothing.

    What’s not to like? LOL

  4. Amen. And I, of course, am so very thankful for you. You have made me think….and think some more…. and re-read the Scriptures….. and not be so naive …. or feel so alone in the world of church and questions. Thank you.

    I’m not a huge ‘fan’ of the holidays. I’m not a materialist, so the constant urging to spend money that I don’t have on stuff people don’t need (or want) irks me…. My role is generally to dispense a lot of food, spending many hours thinking about food, buying food, preparing food, serving food, cleaning up food and putting away or giving away food…. I do love it and love to entertain….

    I love having my family around. Often. My favorite gifts; my ‘kids’ who are full grown adults, and my darling grands….and who ever else appears at our dining room table. For this, for life, husband, health, shelter, provisions, cats, Oregon winter beauty and so much more, I continually give thanks to a gracious God.

    Praying for YOU and the upcoming medical adventure.

  5. from Thanksgiving on, the holidays were magic when i was a child in the 40s – it WAS magic for us kids for a lot of reasons, but i remember my grandmother saying, “oh i dread another Christmas” … ? … now i get it – it was because it was showtime – even without expensive gifts there were still all the expectations and deadlines to be met … and the clean-up
    tomorrow, i will be thankful for the memories – and no snow 🙂

    may God give a blessed, soul enriching Thanksgiving day to all the PhxP peeps

  6. when you’re thankful daily, there’s no need for an especially set-aside holiday. For those of us who rarely come up for air to give thanks, it is a helpful reminder. Regardless, ‘shoulds,’ ‘oughta’s,’ and ‘better’s’ need to be deleted from the equation–guilt ruins gratitude just as made-to ruins an apology.

  7. Michael: I also participate for the benefit of others and find little about the season to feel good about. You’re right that it’s a good thing to participate for others. I work hard to do that and sometimes I just want to run away (today, for instance) but I hang in because it’s good for the ones I love that I remain present.

  8. Most holidays I am far from my children and grandchildren and I completely understand the melancholy, sorrow, aloneness, etc that comes during the holiday times.
    This year I have the joy of being with all my children and grandchildren.
    It is the first time my daughters and I will cook a Thanksgiving dinner together.
    I’m very thankful. I’m also very exhausted….Grandkids will do that to you.

    God bless the Phoenix Preacher Community. I’m thankful for you all.

  9. Pastor Al,

    Your very evangelistic about your non-religion religion. Still trying to figure out why.

  10. God likes Holidays from what my Bible indicates.

    The emphatic “You shall” says it all IMO.

    These are the set times of the LORD, the sacred occasions, which you shall celebrate each at its appointed time. – Leviticus 23:4

    1.Passover (Pesach) – Nisan 14-15
    2.Unleavened Bread (Chag Hamotzi) – Nisan 15-22
    3.First Fruits (Yom habikkurim) – Nisan 16-17
    4.Pentecost (Shavu’ot) – Sivan 6-7
    5.Trumpets (Yom Teru’ah) – Tishri 1
    6.Atonement (Yom Kippur) – Tishri 10
    7.Tabernacles (Sukkot) – Tishri 15-22

    Holidays bring people together, and there should be celebration.

    The main purpose of the early settlers, (who were trying to establish a new home from religious persecution), in having a day set aside to give thanks to their God was to show a unified appreciation collectively.

    The people who came 13 years ealier at Jonestown were after gold in the new world and had no intentions of settling other than as long as it took to seek their goal of Gold.

    The settlers put their value in honoring God with thanksgiving.

    When Abraham was visited by heavenly beings they partook of food.

    Food is the breaking of bread together.

    A unifying symbolic gesture of fellowship with one another in the presence of God.

    I find nothing wrong with that.

  11. That was a posting that speaks of my own holiday experience.Thanksgiving is no longer a struggle for me.December is a real struggle for me.I’m always happy to see January.

  12. My thankful thoughts:

    My every breath is life that God breathed into the nostrils of our father Adam.

    When I open my eyes in the morning to greet the day which the Lord has made and I am glad in it.

    My wife, my family and my friends all complete me.

    When I close my eyes and the Lord comes manifested presence to me.

    Knowing that this world is not all that there is and that I belong to the Kingdom that is not of this world.

    I am a citizen of Heaven, the Kingdom of God.

    Like Moses found out; I am and He Am and was and will be.

    I have the life of the ages, eternal life in Him.

    Nothing can separate me from the love that provided for me all of these.

    In my weakness and in my failures I have a God that still loves me unconditionally.

    I rejoice that I can rejoice.

    I am blessed when I come across ethical, morally good sincere people, like a refreshing ocean breeze they are to my soul.

    I am humbled by the fact that He is ever there and easily entreated and always with open arms and a kiss on my neck.

    For all these things and so much more He is worthy of my thanksgiving and all my praise!

    And I thank Him for all the loyal readers who make typing this blog by Michael such an enjoyable labor of love.

  13. Happy Thanksgiving Michael!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2zyjbH9zzA

    “Hello…”

  14. Just wanted to add this to my #10 post:

    He had promised that “if you will diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments…” that “… all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you.” (Deuteronomy 28:1,2).

    It seems like God’s “You shall celebrate” is not so much a blind robotic religious obedience to a command as it were more the following the wisdom of our Father who is in heaven.

    It gives Him another opportunity to release blessings upon us even so much that we are over taken by them.

    God’s favor is not difficult to come under.

    I hope we can all get our focus upon the blessings of our God no matter what our circumstances.

    Lets rejoice for what we do have and not focus upon what we do not have.

    What others have typed here matters greatly to Almighty God.

    Some of us are aware of the painful experiences unknown to us reflected in the words as we read them.

    We can tell there were those uncomfortable moments that shaped attitude.

    But I am here to tell you that our God is the God of second chances.

    He allows us to change when others won’t let us.

    He gives us hope when others would take it from us.

    He is our refuge in the storms of life.

    He is a safe haven of mercy and grace.

    He is our burden bearer.

    We read Peter telling us in 1 Peter 5:7 “casting all care upon Him for He cares for us.”

    One of my favorite not in the Bible sayings is, “Let go and let God.”

    Give God another chance.

    Approach tomorrow with an expectancy for change and for the presence of God as you determine to celebrate in thankfulness before Him.

    Let the day be set aside for exposure to the Lord.

    The blessings are described.

    They would be blessed in city and country; in their offspring and the offspring of their flocks and crops and in protection from their enemies.

    The Lord would make them “abound in prosperity” (Deuteronomy 28:3-14).

    Jesus’ blessings for us today emphasize the spiritual rather than the physical.

    While He gives certain assurances in the physical realm, His sacrifice on the cross had to do with restoring us to spiritual life and giving us spiritual bread and water so we need never hunger or thirst again (John 6:27-35).

    As we enjoy our meals let our hearts know that there is spiritual bread and water that will always satisfy our souls.

    He can change our hearts as we celebrate.

    That is always our thankful hope.

  15. Grendal…very apropos!

    Hope Thanksgiving is good tomorrow for all who wander here 🙂

  16. Thought that Trey would like this:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjL95XgSyO8

  17. We are as happy as we want to be.

    Happy thanksgiving to you all.

  18. “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

    ― Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

  19. Let us not forget the persecuted church during Thanks Giving

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q21rK4GHSUY

  20. Happy Thanksgiving!

    I’m grateful for/to Micheal, and all the PPr’s

  21. regarding Michael’s comments–one doesn’t need a special day when she/he lives daily in a mindset of thankfulness and gratitude, though it does allow for a good meal and contact with family and friends beyond the usual. For those of us who rarely come up for air and ‘overlook’ expressions of gratitude too frequently, it is a solid reminder of the goodness of God and our dependence upon Him. May all truly enjoy this day’s festivities and the seeds/fruit of gratitude be flourishing.

  22. Thanksgiving is the hardest day of the year for me. Was doing relatively ok this year till last night. My mom is on something called a wound vac due to infection after her surgery. Her incision is huge.
    The machine that’s the wound vac beeped and acted up ALL night long no one has slept.
    Just got off phone with her home care nurse who is a bit of a (insert not very nice word here). She is expecting me to take the wound stuff off and repack this thing with gauze etc.
    I’m terrified of making a mistake and making things worse. I honestly don’t think I can do it.
    I can do a lot of things and be ok. I’m just not sure I can deal with this. I nearly passed out the last time she showed me how to do it.
    I just can’t.

  23. Sorry. Meant that to be in the other thread. Michael, you can delete it so this stays positive.

  24. London,

    My heart is with you.
    I would be afraid to even attempt something like that…we went through something similar when my mom had her knee replaced.
    Breathe…and just do what you can.
    We’re all praying for you.

  25. I lost my mother at the beginning of last summer.

    My youngest sister had to tend to her open wound.

    I hadn’t thought about it much until now London.

    My heart is with you also.

    Be strong and of good courage in the Lord Jesus Christ.

    I know it may seem trite but for what it’s worth:

    “I can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me.”
    Philippians 4:13

    My prayers are that you might find strength and capability beyond your own capacities to the praise and glory of God.

    And may the comfort and blessings of God be with your mother.

  26. London, “Breathe…and just do what you can.
    We’re all praying for you.” yes, couldn’t say it better… unless… “Lord have mercy” on your child…

  27. “Your very evangelistic about your non-religion religion. Still trying to figure out why.”

    The Great Commission of course!

  28. Happy Thanksgiving, the Liberal PC Version!:

    As you racist redneck meat-eating animal-murdering gluttons watch overpaid celebrities run around a field mocking native Americans with team-names like the “Redskins”….remember that it was your white European “Christian” ancestors who brought Jesus and disease to the poor natives and slaughtered them in the name of “progress!” and white Imperialism. So as you slurp down your fifth plate of food while Refugee children are starving in Syria, remember to give thanks to your deity that you are not one of “them”.

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone! …and if you are white, make sure to feel really guilty! 🙂

  29. Rodriguez that wasn’t cool.

  30. Ok. Survived that.
    Compared to the last time when it was 7cm deep and everything visible, this is cake.
    Thank you sooo much for the prayers and support!

  31. Blessings on you, London.
    Keeping you and your mom in prayer.

  32. London…so glad it went better than you thought. Many prayers with you this day and for others who also struggle during the holiday season.

    I’m grateful both my husband’s and my parent’s are still alive and that a co-worker will join us for Thanksgiving. Also, that my adult sons are such a blessing a help to us.

  33. Happy Thanksgiving, the Redneck Conservative Non-PC Version!:

    As you pot-smoking granola eating liberal commies sit in your Thanksgiving meditation circle today feeling guilty for being white and apologizing to Mother Earth for your carbon footprints….make sure when you bite into that Tofurky that you also send up an apology….in the form of a Facebook post on your Apple iPhone assembled by children in China in a pollution-spewing factory that creates more carbon than the bullshit coming out of AlGore’s mouth….for all the hard-working tax-paying blue collar ‘Mericans who you rob every month to pay for the Food Stamps and welfare that is paying for the Thanksgiving feast of 48 Million non-tax-payers both legal and illegal today…while decrying that the redneck conservatives are “greedy” and don’t love Gahndi hippie Jesus of the gospels b/c fiscal responsibility.

    Did the natives get f****d over? Yes, yes they did. It’s called Evolution and Natural Selection. Those savages were sacrificing children to their gods, dominating women, skinning their enemies alive before we brought them Jesus, gambling and fire-water…and those red-devils have been paying us back one black-jack hand at a time ever since!

    Happy Non-PC Thanksgiving!!! 🙂

  34. The Great commission.

    Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.

    Happy ThanksGiving!

  35. Metaphor.

    The truth is the truth. Much of Religion and “church” today is anti-christ and it’s better that folks steer clear of it for their own good.

  36. my nurse daughter was on call last night, so we sat watching football and playing Scrabble – i beat her – or did she let me? it was a good Thanksgiving

  37. I spent a couple hours at the skatepark…Trey said 37 degrees was “warm enough”.

  38. I was surrounded by my kids and grandkids. Lots of laughs and good food to boot. Much to be thankful for.

  39. I bought a tub of salsa, chips, a salad, avocado (turned out to be rotten), tomato, chocolate milk, small square of carrot cake. No dishes to wash or floor to vacuum. Just me and the clouds and blue sky. Didn’t partake of turkey dinner given out by various groups. Warm food should be eaten when it is still warm, not served outside in the winter time.

    Other than this, thankful for the blue sky with clouds.
    For being able to purchase those items to enjoy.
    For a warm jacket, socks, and clean undies.
    For being over the menses, so not to have the menses to then the need to figure out a way to plug and then dispose of those things.
    For being able to make the choice to stay away from people who curse and swear, the act as though they have the right and obligation to do so.
    For being able to give thanks for the many provisions I have, although homeless and in hiding. For being able to help others also, for those will accept or receive the little I have to offer them.
    For the smiles I receive from others and the ability to smile back.
    For all the happy memories I hold in my heart and for those who have come and gone.

  40. As Scott, I was surrounded with our kids, grandkids and my mother. So much noise as the kids cried and laughed depending on their age. We then played a game which I think is called Pie In The Face. You put whipped cream on a paddle, place your face in the outline of a head and pull the lever once. You lose when you pull and the paddle whops you on the face and covers it with whipped cream. Kids go nuts when one of their parents gets whopped! It was a great day.

  41. I had a really good Thanksgiving, but there was one Indian incident. An Apache stood up from his seat in the middle of the dinner, and without asking anyone, started taking video of everyone with his I-phone. True story.

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