Tag Archives: thanksgiving

Evidence of thanksgiving



It’s Thanksgiving Day, a day first set aside by President Lincoln in 1863, as a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”



Of course, you know it is Thanksgiving! The car is packed and ready to travel over the river and through the woods to visit family and friends if we haven’t already made the journey. Turkeys and hams are in the oven and all the rest of your favorite fixings are warming on the stove. The table is set, ready for the feast. Perhaps the TV is set up for the afternoon sports, or puzzles and games have been brought out of the closet for some fun times. There will be a boisterous time for sharing and laughing at worn out family stories and jokes. And perhaps a time of sadness. No matter how old are or what you’ve accomplished, you’ll likely take your birth order place once again at the table and be remembered fondly as you were years ago.


All this is evidence of the day we set aside to be thankful for family, friends, food, laughter, home, and health. Hopefully we remember to give thanks for such a great and compassionate God. But after the day has passed, even after the leftovers are gone, will the evidence of thanksgiving remain in our hearts?


It doesn’t happen automatically of course. Just as we are so intentional about organizing the special day’s festivities, we need to be intentional each day to keep the scales of our lives tipped to thanksgiving. We need to be intentional in remembering who God is, all he’s done, and all he still promises on our behalf. It is the intentional humbling of our hearts and appreciating and valuing others that gives real evidence to a thankful life. It is evidenced in our intentional choosing generosity over greed, sensitivity over callousness, and others over self. When we are so thankful for our forgiveness we find it easy to forgive others. When we realize the grace that has so freely been bestowed on us, we are compelled to give grace to others.


Is there evidence of thanksgiving in your Facebook posts, your emails, your checkbook register? Is a heart of thanksgiving evident to the waitress at the restaurant, the clerk at the store, and those you meet on the street? is there someone across the world who knows your name and gives thanks for you? let’s let our thankfulness be evident each day!


Give thanks in all circumstances. 1 Thessalonians 5:18



Morning Thanks


Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him and bless His name. Psalm 100:4


Unlike my mother who loves to get up early and greet the sunrise, I am not a morning person; never have been, but wish I were. As a young man, I would stay up late and get up late. As an older man, still tired from my stem cell transplant, I go to bed early and still sleep late.  But I have learned that whenever I get up it is best to greet the day with thanks.


Giving thanks prepares the mind and the body for the day. It sets the filter through which we greet the day, our circumstances, and our God. Instead of starting with a sigh, “Good Lord, it’s morning,” try, “Good Lord! It’s morning!”


Psalm 100

A psalm. For giving grateful praise.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
    Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Beginning each day


How do you greet each day when you first wake? What thoughts first come to mind? Are you one of those who quickly bounce out of bed like an expectant child on Christmas morning? Or is the snooze button on your alarm the first thought that crosses your mind? Is your mind instantly filled with thanks and hope or do the worries of the day rise quickly to greet you? Does the morning light bring a smile or a frown to your face? Regardless of your natural tendency, there is a ‘secret’ of living each day well.


How you start your day determines your course.


We can choose to have a ‘sort of’ good day or a great one; one prone to wandering or one filled with wonder; alone or in the knowledge that the Creator of the earth has His eye on you to care for and guide you. Though circumstances may sway you to choose poorly, it is still your choice how you greet each day, with regret or thanks, with discouragement or hope and praise.


The Psalmist says, “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go for to you I lift up my soul” (Psalm 143:8). The Lord answers, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. I will guide you with My eye” (Psalm 32:8).  What imagery God’s Word provides us. He guides us with His eye because He alone can see our day and our future. His eye stretches over all of space and time. There is nothing unknown to Him.   His eyes “range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him,” (2 Chronicles 16:9a). His eye is on the sparrow; how much more does He care for you! (Matthew 10:29-31)


There is some value in planning agendas and we can put some trust in maps and GPS to guide us. But we can put ALL our trust and hope in the One whose eye is on us as we begin and live each day.


“Why should I feel discouraged,
Why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely
And long for Heav’n and home?
When Jesus is my portion,
My constant Friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He cares for me;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free, 
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.”

(Lyrics by Lauryn Hill, adapted from Matthew 6:26 and 10:29-31)