Intentional ‘Thanks’giving

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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.

HAPPY ‘THANKS’GIVING!!

 

A Thanksgiving Tea

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I recently had the opportunity to speak at a Tea for some beautiful young girls in the Dublin Classical Conversations Homeschool group.  I decided to share it here as well:

 

In keeping with the Thanksgiving season, I wanted to talk about some of the gifts God has given to us.

2 Peter 1:3 tells us that God’s divine power has given us everything we need for life and for godliness – He’s given everything we need to live and be good.

As we talk about these things God’s given I want us to think about what the Bible says in Luke 12:48 For to whom much is given, from him much will be required;  which simply means the more you are given (animals, things, friends, money, etc), the more responsibility you have to take care of these things – and to share them! For example God gave us a larger house last year and along with it came more responsibility in cleaning and repairing, but also we feel more responsibility in sharing our home with others.

So let’s talk about some of the ‘much’ that has been given us:

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First of all, God has given us a royal position – he has made each of us girls His princess. The Bible says that He is the King of Kings (1 Tim 6:15 He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords)

And Galatians 3:26 says we are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Therefore if we are a child of the King that makes us a princess!! That is a pretty special position. So to whom much is given, much is required – Hmm -what is required of a princess?

Our country does not have a king and therefore we don’t have anyone in the position of a princess, but some other countries do. I looked up what some of the requirements are for a princess in another country:

A princess is to study to be well educated –You as God’s princess must study diligently in school, but especially you need to study God’s Word. 2 Tim 2:15 tells us to study to show ourselves approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

A princess is also to represent her country well by always being well-groomed and well behaved. –You all look like princesses this morning as you are so lovely on the outside. But in order to represent God well we have to look lovely on the inside also and I know yall do.  God tells us in 1 Peter 3:3-6 “Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.” That’s what makes us really shine with beauty.

One of my favorite verses says Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; (Psalm 34:5) Each time you look in a mirror remember you as God’s princess must radiate or shine for Him on the outside and inside. My daughter and I like to remind each another to radiate. Perhaps y’all would like to do that with your moms.

downloadThe second gift I wanted to mention that God has given us is parents. Yall, in this group, are so very blessed. I hope you are aware that not all young girls have moms they can look up to or dad’s who tell them about Jesus. I know most of your parents and yall have been given the best!  They are teaching you so much!!  So being so blessed, much is required of you. Obey your parents and listen to all they are teaching you.  (Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do.)

Because you are receiving such godly training from your parents, you have no excuse for not doing right.   You have a responsibility to do right! James 4:17  it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.

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Another gift from God is your friends.  Yall are greatly blessed in this group in that yall are all being taught to love the Lord and He will keep you friends forever.  I see you all enjoying each other so much at school, at play, and at other events. Knowing that you are so blessed with many good friends, what is required of you?

Well, the Bible tells us we must show ourselves friendly if we have friends (Proverbs 18:24 A man who has friends must himself be friendly) That means no excluding others but being friendly to all.

God had a special plan in giving us friends. God planned for friends to stir up each other to love and good works (Heb 10:24)  There are 59 Bible verse that talk about what we are to do for one another such as love, serve, encourage, greet, accept, even sing songs to one another, and  be kind to one another. Especially be kind to one another – think how would I feel if someone were treating me the way I sometimes treat others. (Check out the 59 One Another Scriptures in the New Testament here)

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Another special gift from God is the Bible – it is given for teaching, pointing out errors, correcting people, and training them for a life that has God’s approval. It equips God’s servants so that they are completely prepared to do good things. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

So if God has given us His written Words for our training for a good life, what is required of us?   We must take the time to read His Words, memorize His Word, and share His Words with others so they can be prepared for life.

If we want to know how to be good, how to honor our parents, how to be a friend, look in the Bible.  God has given us His ‘how to’ manual for life

Having the Bible and not reading it is like being hungry and having food growing in your back yard and not digging it up and eating it.
Not sharing the Bible with others is like seeing someone who is hungry and not giving them food.
Not obeying the Bible is like being hungry and being given good food but refusing to eat it.

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Lastly I wanted to talk about the greatest gift God has given – His Son dying on the cross in order to give us forgiveness for our sins. (Eph 1:7 Through the blood of his Son, we are set free from our sins. God forgives our failures because of his overflowing kindness.)

Wow! Talk about to whom much is given!! What is required in response to something that amazing!?!  God just wants us to accept what Jesus did to give us forgivenss and then to forgive each other (one of the one another scriptures is forgive one another Eph. 4:32) Don’t hold grudges, let it go if someone has hurt you. Think how you hurt God at times by not obeying, getting angry, or being unkind – but  God is faithful to always forgive. (Col 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.)

 

So we have talked about just a few of the many gifts we have to be thankful for. This Thanksgiving as you think of the ‘much’ that has been given to you, ask God what He wishes you to do with all you have been given.

Luke 12:48 “For to whom much is given, from him much will be required;”

 

 

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.”

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!!!