Faith & Worship: Take some time to celebrate ‘Thanks Living’

Published 8:00 am Thursday, November 1, 2018

Psalm 106:48 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting! And  let all the people say, ‘Amen!’ Praise the Lord!”

Psalm 107:1 “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so…”

I was taught at a very young age to say “Thank you” when someone did something kind or thoughtful for me.

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Perhaps they bought me a gift or served me at a restaurant or taught me something new. I was taught to be thankful for what I had rather than be upset about what I didn’t have.

I was taught to thank United States veterans for their service for our blessed country.  I was taught to be thankful for our schools, teachers, government officials, police officers, firefighters and emergency workers.

I was also taught to be thankful for what God had provided for me in the home. Whenever I was to turn my nose up to vegetables, my dad would remind me that there were children in remote parts of the world who would love to have the vegetables I had.

When I was discontent with our car, house or clothing, I remember that my parents would be visibly upset because, deep down, I knew they were doing everything they could to provide for us.

Now that I have two boys of my own, my wife and I feel the same way.

As I have grown older, I have learned to not just be thankful, but to express my thankfulness by being kind in return. I send “thank you” cards, notes of appreciation and sometimes gifts of appreciation for the gratitude that I feel for what has been done for me.  By the way, this reminds me that I have nearly 50 “thank you” cards to write by the end of this week to say thank you to families in my own congregation who have done such a marvelous job of saying “thank you” to me for being their pastor in October.

I am absolutely overwhelmed, humbled and thankful for the wonderful congregation that I get to serve at Midway Baptist Church!

God has been so good to me. He has blessed me with a beautiful, hard-working and faithful wife; two boys who I am proud of and adore; a great and supportive family; an awesome, Kingdom advancing, Christ-exalting church; a wonderful home filled with his blessings and provisions; and so much more. He has blessed me with good health thus far in my life (I’m 30 now… that may change, people say, Ha Ha!); the ability to move about freely without limitation; a voice that can proclaim God’s Word; a mind that can still learn; and a heart for people who need to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

I have infinite reasons to praise the name of the Lord!

I suppose I could try to write God a “thank you” card, but there would not be enough ink or paper, and I don’t think the post office has enough stamps to send it where it needs to go.

Do you know what I could do? I could live my life and serve him with a thankful heart.

That’s what I call “Thanks Living.”

Thanks Living is not a once a year occurrence that happens every November, but a daily choice to realize and express to God how thankful I am for him and for what he has blessed me with, and what he has blessed me to be able to do.

If I can learn to live thankful, I, in turn, will be more like Jesus Christ to those around me. I believe I will complain far less, be content and thankful far more and be a blessing for the Lord Jesus Christ, who is worthy of my worship, devotion and praise for everything that he has done.

I read a poem submitted by an unknown source that I thought would remind you today to live thankful. The poem is titled “Forgive Me When I Whine:”

“Today upon a bus, I saw a lovely lady with golden hair; I envied her — she seemed so happy, and how, I wished I were so fair; When suddenly she rose to leave, I saw her hobble down the aisle; she had one foot and wore a crutch, but as she passed, a smile. Oh God, forgive me when I whine, I have two feet – blessings are mine!

“And when I stopped to buy some food, the young man who served me had such charm; he seemed to radiate good cheer, his manner was so kind and warm; I said, ‘It’s nice to deal with you, such courtesy I seldom find’; he turned and said, ‘Oh, thank you sir.’ And then I saw that he was blind. Oh, God, forgive me when I whine, I have two eyes, blessings are mine!

“Then, when walking down the street, I saw a child with eyes of blue; he stood and watched the others play, it seemed he knew not what to do; I stopped a moment, then I said, ‘Why don’t you join the others, dear?’ He looked ahead without a word, and then I knew he could not hear. Oh God, forgive me when I whine, I have two ears, blessings are mine!

“With feet to take me where I’d go; with eyes to see the sunsets glow, with ears to hear what I would know; I am blessed indeed. Blessings are mine; oh, God, forgive me when I whine.” (Source Unknown)

It is my prayer that you will have a blessed Thanksgiving this year. How has the Lord blessed you?

I am thankful for you giving your time to read each month. I am thankful that God has blessed me with another year of opportunity to reach out to you through written devotions that I pray reach your heart.

As always, please know that I am available and willing to minister to you if you are ever in need of further ministry. God bless you, and I pray that you will live out your thankfulness in Jesus’ name!

Happy Thanks Living!