Forget Not All His Benefits: November Gratitude Reading Plan (Day 7)

(This devotion is day seven of a 30-Day Thanksgiving Challenge. Each day includes a daily reading that will be accompanied by a post on this blog.)

Read Psalm 103

In my closet, there are a few shirts that don’t fit like they used to. I’m sure it’s because they’ve been through the dryer too many times, not because I’ve outgrown them. I can squeeze into them, but it’s a little too snug for comfort. I don’t wear them in public, but I do wear them in the safe confines of my house. Because they don’t get used often, these shirts need washed again to rid them of that stale, dusty odor.

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The Nine or the One?: November Gratitude Reading Plan (Day 4)

(This devotion is day four of a 30-Day Thanksgiving Challenge. Each day includes a daily reading that will be accompanied by a post on this blog.)

Read Luke 17:11-19

I grew up reading the classics. No, not Dickens, Austen, or Stein beck, but Berenstain (as in The Berenstain Bears). Since I’m forcing my toddler to relive many of my experiences, including my favorite childhood books and shows, we often watch or read The Berenstain Bears.

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November Gratitude Reading Plan (Day 1): Give Thanks to God

(This devotion is day one of a 30-Day Thanksgiving Challenge. Each day includes a daily reading that will be accompanied by a post on this blog.)

Read James 1:17; 1 Corinthians 4:7; Romans 11:36; Matthew 7:9–11

Last November, I browsed dozens of children’s books related to the Thanksgiving holiday, searching for one to teach my daughter about giving thanks. Almost all of them mentioned things to be thankful for but missed the fact that thankfulness has a person on the other end.[1] These books teach kids to spot things they like: their dog, toys, parents, grandparents, teachers, falling leaves, good health, and pumpkin pie. Both kids and adults benefit from considering the blessings in life. But each of these books stopped short.

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November Thirty-Day Gratitude Reading Plan & Challenge

“It’s one thing to be grateful. It’s another to give thanks. Gratitude is what you feel. Thanksgiving is what you do.” Tim Keller

“I like to think of thankfulness as God’s ‘spiritual air freshener.’ It replaces the stale odor of resentment with clean, fresh-smelling air for the soul to breathe.” Gary Thomas

Gratitude is a bit like healthy eating. We all want it, and sometimes can do it for a few days, but our bad habits usually shoot us in the foot. Both take more than good intentions. They require replacing old habits with new ones. Good intentions need good habits if we want good results.

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Dwelling on The Good News in A Year of Bad News: An August Reading Plan

2020 has given us plenty of challenges: the pandemic, quarantine and isolation, church closures and re-openings, racial tensions, riots, debates over masks and pretty much everything else tied to COVID-19, politics in an election year, and questions about government intrusion on the Church. Mix in that trying to figure out what families should do for school, and how that affects our jobs and income, as well as churches scrambling to do their best to gather together and care for those struggling with all that’s going on, and there’s plenty to leave us discouraged.

One temptation is to immerse ourself in the news–on TV, online, or through social-media–to stay up to speed and feel informed. The intense debates only fuel this as so many people read articles to defend their cause. It’s no wonder people feel stressed, anxious, and angry. To make matters worse, some statistics indicate Christians are spending even less time in the Bible than they did before the pandemic. We’re filling our minds with bad news and stressful news, meanwhile we’re neglecting to fill our minds and hearts with The Good News.

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Holy Week Reading Plan & Resources

Today begins what the Church has called Holy Week or Passion Week. The time from Palm Sunday to Easter (Resurrection) Sunday has provided Christians with a week to give special attention to the person and work of Christ. It interrupts our normal rhythms and intentionally puts Jesus before us so we can reflect on the events leading up to and including his sacrificial death and triumphant resurrection. Below is a reading plan for the week, as well as activities and resources to help you leverage this significant week in the Church Calendar.

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Hebrews Reading Plan

Below is a 28-day reading plan in the book of Hebrews leading up to Easter. You can download the reading plan, with a daily question for adults and a daily question for kids, here. It includes a weekly practice to put something off and put something on during this Lenten season. (To receive these updates daily, you can subscribe by clicking the Follow button on the left-column.)

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Lent 2020 Reading & Fasting Guide

“Lent invites us into practices where the Gospel is felt in our bodies—in hunger, in longings that go unsatisfied, in wants deferred. And these aren’t just “intellectual” realizations. My growling belly has stories to tell me about who I am and who I’m made for.” James K.A. Smith

The season of Lent (starting Wednesday 2/26/20) in the Liturgical Calendar aims to prepare our hearts for Good Friday and Easter. It can be a dedicated time of seeking the Lord through Word, prayer, and related rhythms such as fasting. This year, our church put together a six-week reading guide called Rebuilding & Resting.

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Bible Reading Plan: September 2019

Bible reading plans help answer the question, “What should I read today?” Rather than randomly flipping open the Bible and reading whatever page you open, it’s helpful to read through a whole book of the Bible. Starting this Sunday, my church will read through 1 & 2 Peter and James during the 30 days of September. You can download the reading plan and suggested questions for study here.

Lent Reading & Fasting Guide

“Lent invites us into practices where the Gospel is felt in our bodies—in hunger, in longings that go unsatisfied, in wants deferred. And these aren’t just “intellectual” realizations. My growling belly has stories to tell me about who I am and who I’m made for.” James K.A. Smith

Next Wednesday, the season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday. This time in the Church Calendar carries us to Easter and the Passion Week. Our church has provided a Daily Reading and Weekly Fasting Guide. The daily reading plan focuses on Easter, and then during Passion Week it shifts to the events of Christ’s life from the Gospels.

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