Worship the King with Thanksgiving: Gratitude Reading Plan (Day 3)

(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 Psalm 100

What’s 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 if we were under God’s righteous judgment because of our sin against Him, and yet He graciously redeemed us at the cost of His Son, what should be our posture before Him?

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Gratitude Reading Plan (Day 2): Give Thanks in Trials

(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 Daniel 2:17-23; 6:10; Romans 8:28-29

Yesterday’s devotional focused on recognizing God as the source of blessings. We feel gratitude and we give thanks.

Blessings include gifts in our life and God’s provision, but it can also include God’s comforting presence, His ongoing work in us, His involvement in our life, ministry He’s doing through us, what He reveals in His world, and what He teaches us in His Word. “Blessings” encompasses many things. It’s broader and deeper than idyllic stock photos, Instagram hashtags, and Pinterest boards. But we often focus only on positive things with thanksgiving.

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Group Discussion Guide for The Grumbler’s Guide to Giving Thanks

If you picked up a copy of The Grumbler’s Guide to Giving Thanks: Reclaiming the Gifts of A Lost Spiritual Discipline, there’s now a Discussion Guide available. Reading, discussing, and responding to books is always better when done with others than on your own.

You can download the Discussion Guide here.

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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 do teach kids to spot stuff they appreciate: 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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Gratitude & Thanksgiving Book, Grumbler’s Quiz, and Discussion Guide

My book, The Grumbler’s Guide to Giving Thanks: Reclaiming the Gifts of a Lost Spiritual Discipline, releases today. It’s exciting to see the work become a reality, and I pray that God will use it to stir up gratitude in the hearts of his people.

Maybe you think you’re not really a grumbler, so a book on gratitude isn’t for you. Here’s a Grumbler’s Quiz (excerpted from the book) to help you know if it’s for you or not.

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Endorsements for The Grumbler’s Guide to Giving Thanks

I”m excited to announce the release of my new book, The Grumbler’s Guide to Giving Thanks: Reclaiming the Gifts of a Lost Spiritual Discipline. My aim is to help the reader see how pervasive thanksgiving is in the Bible and how practical it is for the Christian life. It’s an everyday rhythm. On a daily basis, our heart gravitates toward either grumbling or gratitude. Each brings with it a host of friends. Grumbling invites pride, fear, anxiety, discontentment, and idolatry. Gratitude is accompanied by joy, worship, contentment, trust, and intimacy with God. Choose to give thanks rather than grumble.

As we give thanks, we not only enjoy God’s gifts to us and care for us, but we better know Him. Thanksgiving, then, is meant to lead us from gifts to the Giver. Even in trials, we practice “gritty gratitude” to trust God and thank Him for how He’s at work.

Below are three of the endorsements for the book.

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A Theology of Feasting

picIn our kitchen, we have this framed chalk art in the image to the left. “You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man’s heart” (Psalm 104:14-15).  It’s a reminder food and drink are both God’s provision to care for us but also an evidence of His goodness in giving us food to add to our happiness. God wants us to enjoy our food, our drinks, and our feasts.

The Bible describes feasting in very positive terms—although there are obviously times where it’s corrupted or misused, like all of creation. It seems God created us to thoroughly enjoy food as a gift but also to prepare our hearts and minds for something even more satisfying.

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A Theology of Thanksgiving

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

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 thankfulness struggles to compete for attention with a holiday where I get to make a list of things people will buy me.

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Family Activities for Practicing Thanksgiving

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

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