Two Very Different Ways to Live

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

Read Romans 1:18–23; 12:1–2

Paul lays out two paths we can walk in: gratitude or ingratitude. We will either be people who give thanks or grumble. They are not simply destinations, a place (or practice) we eventually arrive at, but they’re the paths directing our steps either towards God or away from Him. Yes, gratitude is that important. Giving thanks is no cherry on top of the Christian life we toss in on rare occasions. It is the meat and potatoes, the heart and soul of following God.

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Grateful Offerings

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

Read 1 Chronicles 29:10–22; Leviticus 7:11–15

As a kid, one of my parents would give me money to buy the other parent a birthday gift. Even when I had an allowance and helped around the house, any money used for cards or gifts had to come from my mom or dad. I had nothing to give them they didn’t provide first.

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Are You the Nine or the One?

(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 on the classic books, The Berenstain Bears. Since I’m forcing my toddler to relive many of my experiences, including my favorite childhood books and shows, we’ve watched episodes of The Berenstain Bears online. One of my favorites is “Say Please and Thank You.” Brother and Sister Bear (the children) forget to say “please” and “thank you,” but they don’t realize it until they see it in others. They do favors for their friends, but feel unappreciated when those friends never say thank you.

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Day Three: Worship the King with Thanksgiving

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

Read Psalm 100

What is the proper reaction of creation to its Creator? If God is God, and we live and breathe in His world, provided for and blessed in countless ways, what is a fitting response? And even more significant, if we were God’s enemies under His righteous judgment because of our sin against Him, and yet He out of love and grace redeemed us at the cost of His Son, what should be our posture before God our Father?

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Day Two: Give Thanks in Trials

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

Read Daniel 2:17-23; 6:10; Romans 8:28

Yesterday focused on recognizing God as the source in blessings. We feel gratitude and we give thanks. Today, we’ll broaden our definition of blessings.

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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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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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