Day One: 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 need help better spotting blessings in our life, so I appreciated the emphasis. The problem was they stopped short, suggesting thanksgiving is only about the gifts.

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Family Activities for Practicing Thanksgiving

(This guest post was written by Heidi Sweet, the Director of Children’s Ministry at College Park Church Fishers. I get the privilege to serve on staff with her and learn from her.)

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November 30-Day Thanksgiving 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.

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Favorite Quotes from Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry

I love books. All kinds of books. Some books prove especially meaningful in specific seasons. Some books are timeless. There are books you read slowly, chipping away over time, and there are books you want to read in one sitting. Some books you never finish. Some books you read once. And some books you’ll read many times over a lifetime.

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A Theology of Thanksgiving

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord.” (Psalm 92:1)

Thanksgiving: Doctrine before Drumsticks

In our day and age of more-more-more where “Thanksgiving” is the waiting season between Halloween and Christmas, gratitude often takes a back seat.  It’s no surprise being thankful struggles to compete for attention with a holiday where I get to literally make a list of things I want that people will buy me.

It’s easy to blame “the world” around me, but I’ll admit that while I know God is the source of all things in my life, it doesn’t mean thanksgiving makes it into my day-to-day rhythms like it should. I tend to go through most days taking gifts for granted and unaware of ways God worked on my behalf. I’d prefer getting things over giving thanks. And when I don’t get what I want–whether on Christmas or any other day–I complain and feel gipped.

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2018 November Thanksgiving Reading Plan

In addition to “no shave November” there are other challenges you might take on in this month. A couple personal ones are saying yes to pumpkin anything and downing as much Thanksgiving Blend coffee from Starbucks as possible (while it’s around). It’s a month of food and feasting, and that is certainly something I can give thanks for with a full heart (and stomach)!

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