Intentional ‘Thanks’giving


In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 

Lead your children (by example) to be intentional with giving thanks to God and to others, especially at this time of year called ‘Thanks’giving!  

Here are some questions taken from Dee Brestin Ministries to ask around your Thanksgiving table to help promote thankfulness:

  • What can you be thankful for this year that you couldn’t have been last year?
  • Lift up the name of each person and have two to four people share one reason they are thankful for that person.
  • Is there a way that God met you in a challenging time this year? If so, how?
  • Did you receive an unexpected kindness this year?
  • Is there a Scripture passage that became more meaningful to you this year – if so, what is it, and how did it help you?
  • Is there something a little child said that delighted you?
  • Was there wisdom received from a book, a mentor, or a sermon?
  • Was there a time when circumstances lined up so you knew God was behind it?
  • God said He would shake our world so that what was unshakeable would remain – give thanks for one of those unshakeable realities.

Here are some previous posts with ideas to lead your children to be thankful:

Keeping Thanks in Thanksgiving – The First Thanksgiving

Keeping Thanks in Thanksgiving – A ‘Thank You God’ List

Keeping Thanks in Thanksgiving – Psalm 100 

Keeping Thanks in Thanksgiving – Songs

Keeping Thanks in Thanksgiving – A Thankful Walk

Keeping Thanks in Thanksgiving – Express Thanks to Others

Keeping Thanks in Thanksgiving – Bible Stories

Thanksgiving Ideas

I want to intentionally say ‘thank you’ to each of you who read this blog.  And thank you for your desire to train your children in God’s Word.




It’s Called Thanksgiving for a Reason!

This season especially should be filled with giving of thanks.  Here’s an idea that always worked for us in actually keep the ‘thanks’ in Thanksgiving:

Put a large piece of paper on the refrigerator with the words, “Thank you God for” at the top.  Family members are encouraged to regularly write down something they are thankful for.  This has been a tradition for many years in our home. We always enjoyed writing our own and reading what the rest of the family had written.

Now we all live in different locations, but that doesn’t stop us from sharing things we are thankful for with each other.  We use an app called GroupMe.  It is a free group messaging app. It is the best way to chat with everyone you know!

If you are separated from your family, you might consider the same thing. If you aren’t familiar with how to do that, you can get step by step instructions here.

Writing down your blessings and sharing them can really change your outlook.  As the old hymn by Johnson Oatman says, “Count your many blessings; name them one by one; and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”

Tell Your Children It’s Honor a Veteran Day

Three of my favorite veterans
Screen Shot 2012-11-11 at 7.33.14 AM

Psalm 106:3     Blessed are those who keep justice,   

2 Tim. 2:3     You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

What’s the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day?  Memorial Day honors American service members who died in service to their country or as a result of injuries incurred during battle, while Veterans Day pays tribute to ALL American veterans, but especially honoring living veterans who have served and protected our country.

You can keep the days straight by the fact that Memorial Day is in May and it has to do with the memory of those who died.

Veterans Day was originally Armistice Day which was the day during World War I that an agreement to stop fighting was signed – at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 the guns fell silent.

– Lead your children to honor all our Veterans and to pray for God to bless them and their families for their sacrifices.
– Set an example to your children of always going up to those you see in uniform and thanking them for their service.

Here’s a great site to help you celebrate Veterans Day with your children.


How Should Christians Deal With Halloween?


About 30 years ago I was busy making ghost costumes for my 3 young boys when Betty Rich called and asked what I was doing. I was embarrassed to tell her. She was such a Godly lady, I thought she would surely be disappointed in me for allowing my children to participate in the holiday. However, I still marvel at her wisdom in the comment she made that day, “Sheilah, don’t make your children so different from the world that the world doesn’t want what you have.” I have heeded that advice through the years and applied it in numerous situations, always trying to find things we could participate in with those that might not believe as we do, thus having an opportunity to interact with them.

We chose to enjoy Halloween without even talking about the dark beginnings of it. On other holidays I have encouraged you to teach the history of the traditions of the holidays.  And if you would like to do that for Halloween, here is an informative link.  A good book that explains in simple terms how Halloween started and how Christians now celebrate it is Halloween: Is It for Real? by Harold Myra. 

If you want to try to give a positive meaning to some of the traditions, you can point out that the orange color is used to symbolize the vibrant colors of the harvested crops, while the black color stands for the death of summer.  You can choose to use the pumpkin salvation story while you carve your pumpkin.  But you can choose to just enjoy a fun harvest time of family, friends, neighbors, costumes, parties, and pumpkins.

We must stay aware that some of the things that go on at this time may go beyond fun and can cause fear in children. There are bad spirits in the world, but we don’t have to be afraid of them. The Bible says that at the name of Jesus they have to run away (Philip. 2:10 “so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,”)  We can use the name ‘Lord Jesus Christ’.

God has given us good spirits called angels to watch over us (Psalm 91:11-12 “For he orders his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you with their hands to keep you from striking your foot on a stone.”)

Please check out Ministry to Children for great insights and ideas to help use Halloween to emphasize trusting Jesus.


Teach Your Children About Columbus

And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere.
Mark 16:15


‘In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue!’  But why did he set sail?

“Christopher Columbus had a belief that God intended him to sail the Atlantic Ocean in order to spread Christianity. He said his prayers several times daily. Columbus wrote what he called a Book of Prophecies, which is a compilation of passages Columbus selected from the Bible which he believed were pertinent to his mission of discovery.  Columbus’s own writings prove that he believed that God revealed His plan for the world in the Bible, the infallible Word of God. Columbus believed that he was obeying the mission God staked out for his life when he set sail west across the Atlantic Ocean.”  Phyllis Schlafly Radio Script, October 14, 2002

Washington Irving writes of Christopher Columbus: “ Whenever he made any great discovery, he celebrated it by solemn thanks to God. The voice of prayer and melody of praise rose from his ships when they first beheld the New World, and his first action on landing was to prostrate himself upon the earth and return thanksgivings.”

Teach your children that each Columbus Day, we celebrate the life of a brave explorer who loved Jesus and obeyed the Bible’s command to spread the gospel.  He landed in the Americas on October 12, 1492. It was first celebrated in 1866.   October 12th was made a federal holiday in 1934.  Since 1970 it has been celebrated yearly on the 2nd Monday of October.

The results of Columbus sailing the ocean blue was the discovery that the Earth was indeed round and also the settlement of new lands.  This resulted in the further spreading of the Good News which led eventually to our hearing the Gospel of Jesus.


  • Trace his journey on a globe from Spain to San Salvador Island:

  • Play with a ball, preferably an inflated globe ball, and talk about the fact that Columbus discovered that the world was round.
  • Tape off a boat on the floor or make one out of a large box and pretend to be Columbus discovering America.  Then get out and lay on the ground and thank God and sing as Columbus did.  Pretend the stuffed animals are the natives in the land and tell them about Jesus.
  • Check out this site for some Columbus Day crafts:
  • Consider getting a map of the world shower curtain