Keeping Thanks in Thanksgiving


Every year on the 1st of November, I always put a large piece of paper on the refrigerator with the words, “Thank you God for” at the top.  Family members were encouraged to regularly write down something they were thankful for.  This was a tradition for many years in our home. We enjoyed writing our own and reading what the rest of the family had written.

Since we are all separated now, we set up a Thanksgiving GroupMe account for group messages just for our family.  We number each thank you and last year we got up to 232 thank you’s.

If you are separated from your family, you might consider the same thing. We love reading what our children are thankful for and seeing them interact with each other on this account.

Writing down your blessings 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.”

 

 

 

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Ideas for Day Four of Passion Week

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
John 15:13

Jesus talked a lot about giving on Day Four of Passion Week.  Of course He had every right to do that since He was about to give the ultimate gift of His life on the cross for the sins of the world.

Encourage your children to give today as you talk about how much Jesus gave.  Bake Easter cookies (see recipe below) in the shape of a cross to share with neighbors.   As you make them,  talk about Jesus’ gift to us.  Say:

Everybody has done wrong things such as disobeying, lying, being unkind, etc.   God calls this sin and there must be punishment for it. But Jesus loved us so much that He took the punishment for all the wrong things that were done or would ever be done.  He died on the cross so we would not have to.  We can now have a happy life forever with God.

In your giving today, don’t forget to give thanks to Jesus for His gift of life to us.  Here’s some simple thankful songs  Make up your own songs together.

My mother’s old-fashioned tea cookies recipe:

3/4 cup crisco or butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 & 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 & 1/2 cup Self-rising flour
Mix all together, roll out, and cut into shapes
(If you don’t have a cross cookie cutter, roll out 2 small ropes & lay one across the other to make a cross.)
Bake at 350 for about 12 minutes.

Ice with butter cream frosting:
1 box confectioner sugar
dash of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup butter

 

Here’s a cute video about the ultimate Gift 🙂 https://youtu.be/8SoSGDNWT2c

 

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Keeping Thanks in Thanksgiving – Give Thanks to the Giver of All Things


 

For everything comes from God alone. Everything lives by his power, and everything is for his glory. To him be glory evermore.
Romans 11:36

Encourage each family member to thank God for something; be ready with suggestions or even have pictures of things to be thankful for.   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.

Have a Happy Family Thanksgiving as you give thanks to the Giver of all things!!!

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Keeping Thanks in Thanksgiving – The First Thanksgiving

Always help your children understand the holiday you are celebrating.  Have fun telling the story of the first Thanksgiving and acting it out with Indian headbands and Pilgrim hats.

Click here for a coloring book you can download and print that gives a simple explanation of the first Thanksgiving.  Talk about each page as you color.

The following sites have patterns for pilgrim hats and Indian headbands:

http://crafts.kaboose.com/pilgrim-hat-for-girls.html

http://crafts.kaboose.com/pilgrim-hat-for-boys.html

http://www.theholidayspot.com/thanksgiving/crafts/indian.htm

The following site has many ideas to help you celebrate Thanksgiving with your children:

http://ministry-to-children.com/thanksgiving-ideas/

Happy Thanksgiving!!

 

 

 

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Keeping Thanks in Thanksgiving – Positive Effects of Thankfulness

How’s your thank you list going?  Regularly writing down what you are thankful for can increase your level of happiness by at least 25%.   I have always believed that an attitude of gratitude is vital to your happiness and your health because of what Scripture indicates. Proverbs 17:22 “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength” is just one example.

However, Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier offers scientific evidence of this and that a grateful spirit actually improves your health: “The person who experiences gratitude is able to cope more effectively with everyday stress  . . . recover more quickly from illness, and benefit from greater physical health.”   I haven’t read the book yet, but I am always thrilled when scientists discover the reality of what Scripture has always said.  Read more of the research results here.

I read Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy two years ago as I was going through a difficult time in my life.   The book was a fresh reminder to concentrate on being thankful, which did tremendously help me cope with my circumstances at the time.   God doesn’t just tell us to do something for no reason.  He has our best interest in mind when He says, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thes. 5:18

Let’s teach our children early to have an attitude of gratitude, not just at Thanksgiving and not so we look good when they utter an unsolicited thank you to others, but so that throughout their lives they will experience all the positive effects of thankfulness that God intends for them.

 

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